Hawayek/Baker have withdrawn from 2023 Worlds

Sylvia

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USFS' "media alert" today (no link, AFAIK ETA: refer to the tweet linked in post #5 below) - from ~2 hours ago:

Hawayek and Baker Will Not Compete at World Championships

Team USA ice dancers Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker have chosen not to compete at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 as they continue to prioritize their healing and mental health.

First alternates Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko will compete in next month's event in Saitama, Japan.

(Also posted in the 2023 Worlds subforum in Kiss & Cry but I thought this deserved a GSD news thread.)
 
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clairecloutier

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I'm very disappointed for Kaitlin and Jean-Luc. :( Hope things go better for them the next few months.

With H/B out, it does put a little more pressure on keeping 3 spots for the U.S. It would be a near-guarantee with C/B and H/B both there. Without H/B, it's still a very strong likelihood, but less certain.

Current season's-best list:
 

litenkyckling

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I'm very disappointed for Kaitlin and Jean-Luc. :( Hope things go better for them the next few months.

With H/B out, it does put a little more pressure on keeping 3 spots for the U.S. It would be a near-guarantee with C/B and H/B both there. Without H/B, it's still a very strong likelihood, but less certain.

Current season's-best list:
Assuming C/B are 1st or 2nd where does the next US team need to place to keep the 3 spots?
 

Debbie S

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Assuming C/B are 1st or 2nd where does the next US team need to place to keep the 3 spots?
Placements of the top 2 need to total 13 or less. If C/B are 1st, the next team would need to be 12th or better. If they are 2nd, the next team needs to be at least 11th.

On the SB list, Green/Par are actually 9th, since L/L won't be at Worlds.

ETA: Ooops, yeah, I need to take H/B off the rankings list too....Green/Par are 8th. I'm optimistic!
 
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chameleonster

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Assuming C/B are 1st or 2nd where does the next US team need to place to keep the 3 spots?
The top two teams need to have placements equalling thirteen or less, so if C/B win one of G/Pa or C/P need to at least be in the top 12, if C/B are 2nd one of the others need to be at least 11th, etc. Of the teams who will be at worlds, G/Pa and C/P have the 8th and 10th highest scores(since Lajoie/Lagha and obviously Hawayek/Baker will not be there). Nothing's certain, mistakes can be made and teams can make big scoring shifts forwards, but I think it should be okay.
 

~tapdancer~

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I have enjoyed H/B for years and wish them nothing but the best. They have given so much to ice dance. I hope they are able to heal and if they choose to, to continue competing. Really happy for CarPon. I'm sure most of us knew this was coming.
 

Hanna

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This makes me so sad. :( They had my fave programs of the season and while the FD could technically be kept for next year, the RD obviously won't. I'm glad I was lucky enough to see them 3 times in person during the fall season. It does sound like it is a good decision and an important one they needed to make. Wish them all the very best and hope that they can come back even stronger. đź’Ş
 
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Foolhardy Ham Lint

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I would hate to think if the Instagram post Hawayek uploaded earlier in the season about the 'fan' suggesting she lose weight has anything to do with the team sitting out the rest of the season.

For anyone who has conquered an ED, I can only imagine how triggering it would be to hear that kind of unsolicited advice.

Skating is such a difficult sport to master, and they had two of my favourite routines this year.

Even a champion like Katarina Witt admitted that all the training and preparation in the world means nothing, because every day is not the same.

I wish them a speedy recovery.
 

Spiralgraph

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Dang it, my heart was believing H/B would recover enough to be at worlds, but my head had some doubts. Please please may Kaitlin and Jean-Luc come back even stronger for next season. And yes, I'll enjoy watching Christina and Anthony (and Caroline and Michael) at their first worlds.
 

Wyliefan

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Here's Kaitlin's Instagram statement. Thanks to @swissskate for putting it in the Worlds forum.
 

Sylvia

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^^^ Worth copying out in full here, IMO!
:respec:

Hi everyone, I’ve been taking some intentional space from social media over the past two months, but I wanted to share this moment in my journey with you all as you’ve been so supportive of Jean-Luc and I over the course of our career thus far. As many of you have seen and followed, Jean-Luc and I have made some tough decisions the past few months to sit out the remainder of our competitive season for personal reasons. As an athlete, we are taught to push past physical and mental challenges, because that’s what “tough competitors” do.

Many people don’t know that during the Olympic season, I not only experienced a significant concussion, but I also fully tore my ACL in the same training incident. The athlete mentality came into full force as I my dream of going to the Olympic’s was so close to achieving and at that moment, pushing myself to return in time for the season was not a question in my mind.

This past year, I have continued to face significant post-concussive challenges that put me in constant pain and limitation to how I could live my life outside training, and as the months past and I pushed through, anxiety and depression really began to have an impact on my life that felt too large to just push through and continue to ignore in order to live the “tough competitor” mentality.

It’s never easy to make a decision to press pause, especially when from the outside, the season had been going so well, but I made the decision to prioritize my mental health and at the moment this is still a work in progress. The past few months have been full of tough moments but I am making steps day by day to be a whole-hearted and healthy version of Kaitlin that I am eager to discover. I am so grateful for the support my family, Jean-Luc and my team here in Montreal have provided me as I step into a new focus of prioritizing my well-being as a person first, and letting the process of being a competitive athlete come second. Our competitive aspirations are still there, and Jean-Luc and I are putting our focus onto next season, allowing myself to take the time now to get my physical and mental health to where it needs to be to continue to perform with the same authenticity and love that we value so much in what we put out on the ice. Much love and thank you everyone for the support,

Kaitlin
 

clairecloutier

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I applaud Kaitlin's honesty and courage, but I am really very sad that she's had to go through all of this, and so quietly too. It must have been very hard sometimes to keep up a brave face to the outside world, when all this was happening.

I also admire Jean-Luc for supporting Kaitlin through all this, including the decision to bypass the rest of this season. Not all partners would be supportive, I don't think, so kudos to him.
 

Ena Grins

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Selfishly as a fan, I'm disappointed we won't get to see them at Worlds. They had their best pair of programs in years IMO this season and they really should've won Skate America, even if C/B have since improved and cemented their status as medal favorites.

But I'm so glad Kaitlin is taking the time she needs. So many athletes push themselves far past the point of burnout, and I'm happy that she took a break when she needed to (and has the supports to do it).
 

Sylvia

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And here's Jean-Luc's post (copied out below):

Hey everyone, as many of you might have seen we have withdrawn from all of our events from the second half of the season due to prioritizing our mental health. Making these decisions have been incredibly difficult but also extremely important for @kait_hawayek and my self. We love what we do so much and the moments we can create together. Having to turn down opportunities to perform and share a part of us is heart breaking because of how much we love to share with all of you. One of the many beauties of our sport is being able to connect with an arena full of fans, family and friends without saying a word for 4 minutes. Inviting people into the world that we create together and to feel emotions that we are sharing with one another. It is absolutely my favorite part of this sport. In order to do that we need to become the most vulnerable with ourselves before allowing you to step into our world with us…

Throughout our sport we have sustained many injuries and always come back fighting. Fighting regardless of the effects on our body, fighting without question on the effect on our lives. Fighting without consideration of how it changes our overall well being. As athletes we are wired to always come back fighting in order to perform for the next event and we have always done that. We are now taking a step back for the rest of this season in order to fight for ourselves and heal. As challenging as this process is, I couldn’t be prouder of Kaitlin and myself for choosing this path in order to come back stronger than ever.

We will miss you all so very much. Open your hearts to what ever your life bring and know you’re never alone. We will see you soon and create more moments together again
❤️
 

chantilly

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So it seems that there are issues for Jean Luc as well.
I know that all of their statements have said that, but it’s interesting to hear that this was truly a team issue and not just a Kaitlyn issue.
 

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