German Skating Season 2020-21

cs.berlin

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Sabine-Yuna

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The new season seems to awaken - first impressions (via @anni_kamaria Instagram stories)
of H/K's training and her new FS music, again choreographed by C. Papadakis:

Clip

Clip

I like what I see😍. I hope they'll get enough time to prepare the season. I guess no skater can be on the ice at the moment and who knows for how long this will last. For a new team like Hocke/ Kunkel this is not a good situation, but I bet they'll work their butts off for their first complete senior season.
 

cs.berlin

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I like what I see😍. I hope they'll get enough time to prepare the season. I guess no skater can be on the ice at the moment and who knows for how long this will last. For a new team like Hocke/ Kunkel this is not a good situation, but I bet they'll work their butts off for their first complete senior season.
I recently noticed the following text on some Japanese page - it could be taken from its nice naive formulation according to a glass ball - or in the best case simply mean a good omen (with the blatant hint that the couple should indeed please work their asses off to make it work):

All in all, you have become one of the most popular figure skating pairs in the world in a crazy short time; to experience how the two of you grow together is simply a great joy!
With hard work, discipline, seriousness and a little luck come success, joy and fame.
And one day you will also "write a story", namely that of the fifth legendary figure skating pair in the line of ancestors of German figure skating: Ria & Paul Falk, Marika Kilius & Hans-Jürgen Bäumler, Alyona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy, Alyona Savchenko & Bruno Massot, Annika Hocke & Robert Kunkel.
That's the way it's gonna be.


I hope they don't get scared if they happen to read it ... After all, the signs have not been that good for a long time, but let's be surprised how far the resources reach (it has often started so well ...)
 
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cs.berlin

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Alyona last night on a German talk show; the broadcast was recorded a few weeks ago, therefore still with studio guests:
For my taste, the round offered the expected usual superficial babble, even when the conversation came to Alyona (from about 51:30), nothing changed: the Olympic medals on the table, a very small bit of book promotion (by the way, I obviously had too high expectations for this book myself), the usual short clips of Pyongyang, without any of its spirit coming over; not to mention her life story, which normally can fascinate people (the moderator's feeble attempt to coax something boulevard-like from Alyona about her relationship with Ingo Steuer: let's keep quiet about it ...). And, of course, the usual question how to go on, with the usual answer (you'll see ...) there was nothing else of importance (I would have loved to call out to her: avoid these trivial appearances in the future and reflect on what you really are and what you can carry on and pass on). After all, it could be seen that Alyona is growing older with dignity and has remained true to herself - and that, yes, was nice to see.
 
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Jeschke

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Nicole Schott took over IG Story of ChiqueSport today

Lots of fan question answered.
3a footage too (on this leash thing, have no clue about the name)
 

cs.berlin

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In Dortmund the challenge seems to be taken up in individual skating:

Clip

I get sick just watching.
And above all, I hope for the little lady that she remains unharmed and that she masters this mentally when she is taken off the rod later on ...
 

cs.berlin

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You're not just a figure skating fan - now it was decided what needed to be decided:

Olympics: Summer Games in Tokyo postponed to 2021

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will be postponed. The competitions are now scheduled to take place in summer 2021. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) under the leadership of Thomas Bach has already agreed to this, according to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "I have proposed to postpone the Games by one year, and President Bach has agreed to it 100 percent," Abe said in Tokyo.


(Joint statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee)


PS ...
 
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Jeschke

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Short interview with Hocke/Kunkel

Most interesting part (for me), is how they found together!
I had no clue about Thomalla's surgery.

Do we know if Thomalla is still skating/searching for a partner?
 

cs.berlin

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I think the revealing interview should be decent edit so that you can read it with pleasure ... (derived from the Russian and the second English text)

»The low season is no reason to forget figure skating. We have been watching the skating all season long and have celebrated the most interesting moments, programs and athletes and we have tried to learn as much as possible about them. And now we want to share them with you.
Once a week we will publish not only interviews with athletes, but also with people who are in any way related to figure skating. And we decided to start with one of the best young pairs of this season - Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel as representatives of Germany.

It was really exciting to meet Annika and Robert at the Junior World Championships. They are charming guys, so it was a pleasure to talk to them. What were we talking about? Read in our interview!

“It was a crazy road!” Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel about their partnership, program to “Dirty Dancing” and the small bronze medal of JWC

Annika was a participant of the Olympic Games in Korea, for Robert this Junior World Championships was already the fourth in his career. Less than a year ago, the skaters teamed up and just in a season they have achieved serious success. They won two bronzes at Junior Grand Prix, qualified to JGP Final, and took seventh place at the European Championships and fourth at the World Junior Championships with a small bronze medal in the free program. In an interview with the Figurchat team, Annika and Robert talked about how they decided to skate together, about the difficulties in programs' creating and their main goal.

Annika, Robert, I congratulate you for such good result. You took 4th place on this competition. What are your impressions and emotions about Junior World Championships?

Robert: For me it was my 4th JWC and my 1st together with Annika. It was successfully one. It was great to compete. A little bit sad about that we didn't maybe do all for the 3rd place. But it was awesome event.

Annika: I can just say that I’m super happy and again proud of what we have achieved actually.

Robert: And not even one year (skating together).

Annika: Yeah, even one year. And I didn’t think about the placement I just proud about that we do our best. I think it was not the very best but a good skate or two good skates.

That’s fine! How did you find each other? How did you start your partnership?

Robert: We started like 10 or 11 months ago. Annika just broke up with her old partner, and my partner, with whom I competed also at the Junior Worlds last year, had a surgery on her knee after the season ended. And we just trained together to stay fit and worked out. It was very fun, and so we said: “Let’s continue”.

Annika: Yeah, it was not really planned, but we both trained in Berlin, we were at the same place and both without partners. So we thought why not to stay fit together and then worked out.

You performed at two Junior Grand Prix this season and you qualified to JGP Final. What were your emotions about that competition, as you stay together not so long but you did it well and achieved good results?

Robert: I think it gave us so much motivation to reach the Final also as the 1st junior German pair that has ever did it. We were making it for this, and it gave us a lot of motivation, fun, and we will try to do it next year again.

Annika: I think it is an amazing competition, because just the best people are allowed to go there, and it made us really hungry for more. So we wanna also go the senior Grand Prix Final, of course. And it just motivated us a lot.

Annika, you performed at the singles for a long time. How did you decide and understand that pair skating is yours?

Annika: Actually, to be honest, I always wanted to do pairs. I don’t know I always loved watching pairs. Of course, I loved watching Aljona (Savchenko – fn FigureChat). She was in Germany, and she was very very best we have. So I always wanted to have the success she has. And somehow I understood that in single skating I would not be able to have the success I want to. Also pair skating has so much more fun to me, because it is the adrenaline you get, and you can do more and you are not alone on the ice. So I decided: okay, just do it now.

Does Aljona help you in your pair skating, maybe in trainings?

Annika: I think, right now she is very busy because she got the baby. But of course, we text a lot, and she gives a lot of feedback by the phone. And when I was still competing with my old partner and competing with her, she was a big help. I think, in the future we wanna work more with her.

What is the most difficult element in pair skating for you?

Robert: Today, for sure, it is the spin (their pair spin in the end of the free program was not counted – fn FigureChat), but in general …

Annika: (laugh) I think twist. I have to be honest, right now I don’t feel we have one element that is especially part for us, but I would say the twist needs the more score.

Robert: Yes. Twist and solo jumps. But all pair elements we need to learn like new. Because when you have a new partner, it’s a new person, another technique. So every element was new.

We know a little about you. Who is the choreographer of your programs? How were the ideas of program born?

Annika: That’s a good question! (smile) I think, for us it was difficult to find the music, because we did not skate together for so long, and we didn’t know what fits us.

Robert: And we came from a very different level of pair skating.

Annika: Yeah. So the short program music, actually, Robert found, and I immediately agreed, because I just like the song. It was in the series on Netflix, and he likes that one, and I thought: ok, let’s try it. I think, it’s fitting for us, and we have fun skating to it. The program was made by the mother of Gabriella Papadakis (Catherine Papadakis – fn FigureChat). She was in Berlin at that time, so it was all like it was not planned: she was there, we asked her, and it worked out. We like working with her, and we really like the program.

Robert: For the free program we just wanna do something different to the other pairs. When you see the last group or the last two groups, there are a lot of sentimental and slow programs. We wanna do something fun to wake up the crowd and also the judges. She likes the film a lot (“Dirty dancing”), and also the choreographers (Fabienne Scharer and Dmitry Savine – fn FigureChat) like it too. Then we put 10 or 12 different cuts together from different music, because there is a lot of music in the movie. And then we decided for that and it was good at all.

Annika: It was difficult in the beginning.

Robert: Yeah, we were not sure that it works right or this maybe not really reaching the crowd. But we were very very happy with that.

Annika: To be honest, we were searching for a very long time for the music. I always wanted to skate to “Dirty dancing”, and I didn’t think it work out. I just tried to throw my idea in there, and suddenly he said: “Yes, why not? Try it out”. I didn’t think that he would agree on that, but he did. So I was really happy. (smile)

Do you have maybe some ideas about the next season music?

Robert: We already had it, but it’s still a top secret.

Annika: Yes. (laugh)

[Note: Annika, however, had already briefly (and perhaps a bit hastily?) introduced the FP before she deleted the clips again - namely: “The Other Side” by Ruelle]

Ok, what do you do when you have a day off figure skating, how do you rest on your weekend? What are your hobbies?

Annika: Right now I have almost done with finishing school, so on the weekend I mostly have to do a lot of school works, study. But for relaxing I love to go to yoga or run around the lake, because I live near the nature. It is nice to refresh your mind. And also sometimes when I have time I love baking as well as everybody does.

You are so lucky! And what about Robert?

Robert: I really like sport at all so I can play at squash, tennis or sometimes go to yoga, but really just sometimes, or just shopping, meeting with friends.

Do you have some idols or examples in pair skating, who inspires you?

Annika: I think that we look at every best of each pair and get a little bit of everything. Of course, our main goal is to be ourselves with doing something special, but also, for sure, twist of Aljona and Bruno is something we wanna do. And also we both really like skating of Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres. We try to get something from everywhere.

The European Championships this year was the first for you as a team. What are your emotions about that? What did you feel?

Robert: Europeans was very awesome, because there was a very nice crowd, they supported us very good. It was my first big senior competition and my first big competition at all. For me it was awesome.

Annika: For me too. We had a lot of fun again.

You will compete at the senior level next season, right?

Annika and Robert: Yes, just senior.

What are your purposes on the future? What do you want to do?

Annika: Our main goal is to be remembered for something special, to have something special at each element like signature lift and maybe signature move that everybody knows and says like: “Oh, that’s Annika and Robert doing it”. And I think that is our main goal to be remembered.

Robert: And we wanna improve every element. We didn’t have time last year to prepare for the season, because we had already started about one or two months ago in front of the competitions. We wanna use the summer to build up the elements as we want and not just as they are working.

Sounds great! This is your first and last season on junior level as a team. What can you say about it, about the all events this year and the road to this competition. What is it for you?

Annika: Oh, it was a crazy road! We took all the events we could in juniors, we really did our best more than we could ever wanted for and expected. And I think, it could never be better, it is a perfect ending with this small bronze medal.

Robert: Same.

You will go to the Worlds in Montreal. What are your expectations about this competition?

Annika: Definitely, to skate two clean programs, show the programs we love one more time for a big crowd. I think, for Worlds we don’t really think of placement. Of course, we wanna get two spots for the next year for Germany. But first skate clean and then we'll see what happens.

Robert: Yeah, skate clean, have fun and get a lot of experience.

And what can you advise to young skaters in your country?

Robert: Have fun with what you are doing, definitely.

Annika: I think you need to realize why you are doing it and then work for what you want to achieve. And always have fun while working.

Thank you for the nice Interview. Good luck in next season!«
 
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Eislauffan

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Short interview with Hocke/Kunkel

Most interesting part (for me), is how they found together!
I had no clue about Thomalla's surgery.

Do we know if Thomalla is still skating/searching for a partner?

There will be another interview with them in the next issue of Pirouette magazine where they also share details about how they got together.

I actually asked about Talisa Thomalla (but not for that interview, but because I was interested in that too). She is back on the ice, still skating and looking for a partner. Apparently she had some try outs.
 

cs.berlin

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How the cooperation between H/K came about could be read about since early December:

Differences with ex-partner Blommaert

Last spring, Hocke and Blommaert had ended their collaboration after it had not been right between them for some time. "There were irreconcilable differences. We had different ideas about what our future path should look like," says Annika Hocke. For her this question now arose in a completely different way.

A return to singles was not an option, but a new partner was not in sight either. Hocke went on the ice soon after with Robert Kunkel, who had lost his partner Talisa Thomalla [Thomalla had surgery on her knee]. However, this cooperation was initially more of a partnership of convenience.

"We were two pair skaters without a partner and simply thought that we could do the exercises together to stay fit", says Kunkel. But they soon realised that more could come of it.



The two competitive pairs [H/K, P/B] have found each other anew this season. This had become necessary because the Olympic participants Annika Hocke/Ruben Blommaert separated in spring and are now both on the road with new partners. Humanly, the chemistry was not right, the frosty looks the two had given each other during and after their presentations spoke volumes.


I don't think H/K's meeting came about by chance. It was obvious who or what had priority. I feel sorry for Thomalla in my soul, and I really hope that a new chance will arise for her quite soon (I don't know anything about a new partnership or any IG news, Thomalla seems to have withdrawn completely somehow).
 
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Quadjump

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New article on Hocke/Kunkel
They will try out the throw triple Axel. Would be a super crazy element no question about that. I love big elements. The BV has been decreased to to 6.00 (it was 7.70 when Aljona and Bruno tried). So the risk is definitly not worth it.
 

Sabine-Yuna

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Well, Schott talked about triple axel too... :shuffle:
The difference is that Hocke was practicing the triple Axel in 2016 (or even earlier, I can just find a video of 2016) when Schott probably didn't even think about it. So I'm pretty sure that she will try to learn a 3ATh, although it's not really worth it. If it will work out and it's as good as their 3FTh or 3LoTh I would be happy to see something different.
 

Jeschke

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The difference is that Hocke was practicing the triple Axel in 2016 (or even earlier, I can just find a video of 2016) when Schott probably didn't even think about it. So I'm pretty sure that she will try to learn a 3ATh, although it's not really worth it. If it will work out and it's as good as their 3FTh or 3LoTh I would be happy to see something different.
I was obviously teasing.
We have seen footage of Schott's practice too. That was my actual point. It's a long way from trying out to finally see it in competition (not even taking the current situation into account).

I agree with the current base values it seems not worth it, but yeah, let's just wait and see.
To me, their throws to date did not look that superb to me, so I would put my focus on that or going for harder triples (which she is/was capable of).
But yeah it's off-season, speculation game it is :D

As mentioned in the article, first season is always kinda 'easy', to build on that is starting now.
 
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sandra_persch

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The Teams for the new season have been named
 

Jeschke

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The Teams for the new season have been named
How can Dastich still be PK? When was the last time she actually competed? It's been 1,5 seasons in a row now, or?

How strict where they with the new standards? I recall the standards being quite harsh for this season and I am kinda confused Stoll (amongst others) met these.

Where is Dimitrescu? @rfisher
Not even EK?

Same for Bock :(
 

Sabine-Yuna

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How can Dastich still be PK? When was the last time she actually competed? It's been 1,5 seasons in a row now, or?

How strict where they with the new standards? I recall the standards being quite harsh for this season and I am kinda confused Stoll (amongst others) met these.

Where is Dimitrescu? @rfisher
Not even EK?

Same for Bock :(
It's like every year... too many names that haven't nearly met the criteria (more than 50 percent I would guess).
Dimitrescu has finished his career was the last I have heard. Bock maybe too? I don't know. She has started to study and maybe wants to focus on university now.
Aljona and Bruno are out of EK, so this is it...
 

rfisher

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It's like every year... too many names that haven't nearly met the criteria (more than 50 percent I would guess).
Dimitrescu has finished his career was the last I have heard. Bock maybe too? I don't know. She has started to study and maybe wants to focus on university now.
Aljona and Bruno are out of EK, so this is it...
Dimitrescu finished? NOOOOOOOOOOO....:wuzrobbed:
 

sandra_persch

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I get the impression they were loose on the rules for everyone that was injured. due to compete and couldnt due to cancelled competitions. Dont know if they used training videos too.
When the scores where there they went easy on the technical requirements or where the tec was high and due to < the score not quite there for the Novice skaters.

According to me tracking the following are in without having / fully having met the criteria:
PK - Dastich, Isaev, Stoll, Hess, Urban / Steffan, Koch / Nüchtern, Müller / Dieck
NK 1 - Marold, Steblyanka (had her in NK2), Jagoda, Starostin, Weissert - didnt bother checking Technical for Pair and dance but scores where there
NK 2 - Beier, Hirling, Renne (inj), Salatzki (scores in full), Wiens, England (inj), Kraiczyk, Mager, Mai, Muntean / Rotar
 

Sera

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Team Flo posted a picture in their Instagram Stories: Aya Hatakawa skating with the writing "Happy to be on the ice again"
 

Jeschke

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Müller/Dieck are back on the ice too.

So Dortmund and Oberstdorf seems open for national team members. Any word from Berlin and Mannheim?
 

sandra_persch

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Glad they are back on the ice. Berlin seems more strict with the rules but they have requests in to get at least the National Team back onto the ice.
Guess we will find out the second Hocke is back on the ice :D Anyone following them on Twitter / Instagram etc?

Mannheim is usually closed till July with skaters using other rinks of off ice in the meantime.
 

Sabine-Yuna

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Since the beginning of April all National team members of Olympic and Paralympic sports are allowed to practice at their facilities. As far as the German Figure Skating Fed. is responsible to care for the exemptions for their athletes I assume it took a little longer for the top figure skaters to start practicing again. By the way the ice rink Müller/ Dieck are skating at doesn't look like Dortmund to me.
 

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