Historical Pairs Teams

AngieNikodinovLove

Amber’s 3 Axel for Nats
Messages
9,552
Don’t know if there’s going to be much interest I’m hoping there is but I’m still find myself watching pairs teams from the past. If you have any contributions or feedback from pairs of yesteryear let’s do it here....

Last night I watched on YouTube some videos of Calla Urbanski and Rocky Marval I’ve always loved them. There’s actually quite a lot of videos of them uploaded. I’ve just been so in awe of this team since they were dubbed “the waitress and the truck driver” by the American media machine.

I thought I knew a lot about them but I learned even more by watching more videos. She is from my neck of the woods and went to the same high school as my cousins, Niles north. And Rocky Marval is not his real name. Interesting his name is Rocco Marvaldi.

As I watch their videos just like a lot of North American teams back in the early 90s, totally undermarked even Scott and some of the announcers are always quite wondering why their marks are so low. I guess if you did not have a Russian last name and skating to Rachmaninoff and pretending you’re massively in love your underscored in those days lol

Some of their elements are amazing and I never seen a pairs team skate with that much speed even the Japanese team today. Their lifts are crazy fast and they fly around the ice and cover every inch of the rink. I think in today’s days they would rock PCS.

Im just amazed at their tricks and I love when he throws her into a double axle and she’s in the kneeling position to start that throw. It is unbelievable the height she gets an all of her throws and is able to land them on 1 foot. Sandra says she has cat feet.

Their Headbanger is so crazy fast and her head gets so close to the ice I almost love that this move is banned because of how dangerous it is and then the Detroiter is crazy fast as well.

I love watching him - he has a very great physique. He’s quite graceful, very masculine, kind of statuesque and I love the way his physique moves on the ice. If you ask me he has really wonderful physique.

I know he married Isabelle brasseur and they had a daughter, they seem to live quite private lives Just like the greatest figure skater of all time Angela Nikodinov 😬

I forgot that after they were two-time US national champions they split up and I think skated with a different partner and then regrouped again for 1994?

When I watch them in the kiss and cry she seems to have a Nicole Bobek type personality ( at times she seems to be critiquing their marks, as she should if you ask me) and he’s very quiet and reserved, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile yet I still find him and this team super super interesting.

Does anyone else have any special memories of this team?

ADDED LATER - One thing that bothers me is that in every single performance they always had to mention her age because she was like 30. Big deal but it was mentioned in every single performance. Just like they kind of do now with Deanna. I hope they don’t make that a big deal. I do find Deanna’s story compelling because you know she stepped away for 16 years and then returned to a different discipline but I just hope theres no need to mention it frequently.
 
Last edited:

alj5

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,578
I remember watching them at the champions on ice tour one year and they were so fast.
I also loved their throw 2A, and I would hope that would get massive GOE today because of the entrance difficulty.

They seemed like such real, nice people. It's a shame they couldn't get their personalities to mesh to stick together longer. I think they only competed like 2-3 seasons together. In their competitive years, I saw a negative tension/workman-like performance quality between them that seemed to vanish once they turned professional.

Their cancan short program was probably my favorite program of theirs. And they were doing a throw triple loop back in the 1990s.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

Amber’s 3 Axel for Nats
Messages
9,552
I remember watching them at the champions on ice tour one year and they were so fast.
I also loved their throw 2A, and I would hope that would get massive GOE today because of the entrance difficulty.

They seemed like such real, nice people. It's a shame they couldn't get their personalities to mesh to stick together longer. I think they only competed like 2-3 seasons together. In their competitive years, I saw a negative tension/workman-like performance quality between them that seemed to vanish once they turned professional.

Their cancan short program was probably my favorite program of theirs. And they were doing a throw triple loop back in the 1990s.

yes the cancan performance was one of the many I watched last night.

I could see how they could have personality conflict. He was just so quiet and reserved like a warrior and like I said she did seem to have that Nicole Bobek free spirit personality

it’s just truly amazing that speed and power they skated with.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,774
Just watched their 1992 Worlds SP, and my own marks for them matched most of the judges. Is there a particular performance of theirs I should watch to get a sense of them being undermarked?
 

AngieNikodinovLove

Amber’s 3 Axel for Nats
Messages
9,552
I have to go back and look at them all.. there were at least three last night that were jaw-dropping how low they were. Particularly usually their technical content. Usually skaters like them and Tonya Harding artistry marks go down. I disagree mostly with that but whatever.

One performance it was the czech judge although back then it was not abbreviated CZE who was giving them in the fours unbelievably like 4.6 on a 6.0 scale for technical and even Scott and Sandra couldn’t believe it.

for 1991 and 1992 I feel like their technical score should’ve been 5.8 lowest. Even with a mistake on a jump here or there everything else in my opinion was remarkably technical. I caught a couple videos when Sandra would say they were out of sync on their sbs jump. But I would rewind it and could not tell if they were really not timed together - mostly because they are traveling so fast I couldn’t really tell if they took off at the same time and I’m like if Sandra think that sbs jump in out of sync I can’t even imagine what she must think of som elf the abs jumps of Alexa and Brandon. Absolutely no diss to them - I Uber them but I really could not see any errors for a mistimed jump approach.

there were a couple of videos I saw where after the side-by-side jumps she nearly collides with the wall because of all of her power into her jumps and of the edge coming out.

Speaking of the jumps they say that Calla had an unorthodox approach into her double axel. I caught one video where they finally defined that saying she holds her edge too long and that’s what makes her out of sync with Rocky.

I always thought of them fondly and watching some of their videos yesterday I was reminded what a remarkable team they were.
 
Last edited:

tony

The older, the crankier
Messages
13,937
Urbanski had the most awful 2A technique I think to ever grace the senior level- no joke. But the rest of their skating was so dynamic and sharp, and I think matched with them not having the most lovely relationship, really gave them an excitement that has almost always been missing from US pairs.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,774
I don’t know that US pairs being “almost always” missing excitement. I think that has been true at the turn of the century once Kyoko Ina retired (or refused to pee in a cup). She was always not getting along with her partners that provided a would they/wouldn’t they skate well together or break up sort of dynamic haha. That said, Caydee Denny provided some fans some laughs at the time. I remember Orscher/Lucash were fun for a season.
 

Prancer

Aun Aprendo
Staff member
Messages
53,561
My favorite memory of Rocky was at an SA in Colorado Springs after he stopped competing. He and Dick Button and some male coaches were sitting in the bar having cocktails and smoking cigars. Whenever I think of Rocky, it's always of him grinning at Dick Button around the giant cigar clamped between his teeth.

Maybe he just didn't smile much when he was with Calla :shuffle:.
 

paskatefan

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,757
Rocky has shown a very serious side whenever we have seen him @ the Philadelphia International Summer Competition (we've been attending it since 2009 when it was still known as the Liberty Summer Competition). Once of my friends who has somewhat got into figure skating because of the summer competitions always says to him "Smile, Rocky." He does, for her!

BTW, Call & Rocky skated in the December 2010 "Salute to the Golden Age of Figure Skating" show in Atlantic City, NJ. They were fabulous, and IMHO, really brought the house down. It's a shame that their performance was not shown on the national broadcast.
 

Andora

Skating season ends as baseball season begins
Messages
11,829
Aw, Urbanski & Marval may or may not have been under-marked, but they were competing against some of the enduring greats at the time. I can't see how their programs could have taken them much higher in the ranks at the time, unless they could out-do Brasseur&Eisler at their own game. LOVED them as pros, though. I had no idea they were so interesting as amateurs until catching their programs (and BRUTALLY honest puff pieces) on YT years later.

I often became a huge fan of pro teams that weren't as epic in their amateur days. Another pair that I loved circa 1996-1998 was Bechke & Petrov. Their "Romance" from the 1996 world pros is a regular re-watch for me. They weren't bad as amateurs, but again... competing against legends at the time with M&D.

Less-successful but even more vibrant as pros were Hough & Ladret. Not everyone's cup of tea, and I can really only sit through maybe 3 of their amateur programs, but they were definitely fun to watch as pros.

Are Gonna Go My Way - Complete with hot pants and "knee-high boots".
Is It A Crime - One of the best red dresses I've ever seen in skating.

I feel like it's showing my bad taste, but Yeltsova & Bushkov, while not the best packaged team, had really lovely moments in their skating. Their 1997 FP was skated better than when they won worlds in 1996. Too bad the music was so... twinkly.

I love Pairs. I hope the discipline recovers and never looks back. :)
 

miffy

Administrator
Messages
11,153
My favourites are Mishkutenok and Dmitriev. I am still in awe of some of their choreography and Natalia’s flexibility.
I like how Moskvina gave all her pairs different and unique highlight moves. I seem to remember Bechke and Petrov had some great choreo and highlights too, and later of course pairs like B/S and I/Z.

Other than Moskvina pairs I also like watching Yamaguchi and Galindo, and feel sad they weren’t around for longer (I know why of course!) They also had some unique moves I love to rewatch.
 

SidelineSkater

Well-Known Member
Messages
436
Because @AngieNikodinovLove faxed and told me to comment in here...

Were there any US pairs teams that were good with SBS jumps and either held back or just not competitive enough with the Russians and Chinese in the 90's and 00-10? I know it was 02 before Shen/Zhao really started to make a name. I remember Ino/Dungjen and Ino/Zimmerman...noting they were World Bronze...I also remember Meno and Sand going back to an old routine at the 98 olympics after they knew they wouldn't medal.

but any standout US pairs I should go back and watch?

I watched mostly singles starting in 94 - because that's what was usually shown on TV...and only really become obsessed after 06 and then during the 09-10 season for all four disciplines.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,774
Because @AngieNikodinovLove faxed and told me to comment in here...

Were there any US pairs teams that were good with SBS jumps and either held back or just not competitive enough with the Russians and Chinese in the 90's and 00-10? I know it was 02 before Shen/Zhao really started to make a name. I remember Ino/Dungjen and Ino/Zimmerman...noting they were World Bronze...I also remember Meno and Sand going back to an old routine at the 98 olympics after they knew they wouldn't medal.

but any standout US pairs I should go back and watch?

I watched mostly singles starting in 94 - because that's what was usually shown on TV...and only really become obsessed after 06 and then during the 09-10 season for all four disciplines.
Yamaguchi/Galindo were exciting and had mirror elements. They were also World Junior Pairs Champions at the age of the Soviet domination. However, you know how that turned out.

Watson/Oppegard won an Olympic bronze following the Carruthers' Olympic silver, who followed Tai/Randy who were World Champs. However, watching Oppegard may be awkward knowing what we know about his coaching "methods" aka abuse now.
 

Andora

Skating season ends as baseball season begins
Messages
11,829
TT&MM were pretty great! I think their lack of steadiness in lifts (Before and after the accident), and sometimes cold demeanor took slightly away from them being considered one of the Russian Greats, but they had everything else in spades: lines to die for, great speed/glide on the ice, etc.

I love that they weren't afraid of doing things a bit different, which set them apart nicely. I legit think their Romeo & Juliet at Torino was something to behold, even if it wasn't AT ALL your typical R&J/romantic program. (Plus his huge cheer at the end is kinda adorable)

I was definitely a Shen & Zhao uber, but I can't say TT&MM were disappointing stand in champions. :) Especially seeing as S&Z did eventually get an Olympic Gold Medal. :lol:
 

Ananas Astra

The Queen of Mean
Messages
13,727
TT&MM were pretty great! I think their lack of steadiness in lifts (Before and after the accident), and sometimes cold demeanor took slightly away from them being considered one of the Russian Greats, but they had everything else in spades: lines to die for, great speed/glide on the ice, etc.

I love that they weren't afraid of doing things a bit different, which set them apart nicely. I legit think their Romeo & Juliet at Torino was something to behold, even if it wasn't AT ALL your typical R&J/romantic program. (Plus his huge cheer at the end is kinda adorable)

I was definitely a Shen & Zhao uber, but I can't say TT&MM were disappointing stand in champions. :) Especially seeing as S&Z did eventually get an Olympic Gold Medal. :lol:
Shen/Zhao were another pair for the ages, so I salute you!
 

blue_idealist

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,636
Because @AngieNikodinovLove faxed and told me to comment in here...

Were there any US pairs teams that were good with SBS jumps and either held back or just not competitive enough with the Russians and Chinese in the 90's and 00-10? I know it was 02 before Shen/Zhao really started to make a name. I remember Ino/Dungjen and Ino/Zimmerman...noting they were World Bronze...I also remember Meno and Sand going back to an old routine at the 98 olympics after they knew they wouldn't medal.

but any standout US pairs I should go back and watch?

I watched mostly singles starting in 94 - because that's what was usually shown on TV...and only really become obsessed after 06 and then during the 09-10 season for all four disciplines.

I quite liked Rena Inoue/John Baldwin, Jr. They had a throw 3A.
 

jlmart

Well-Known Member
Messages
369
Watching the Bechke & Petrov performances have made me very nostalgic for the pro circuit. Given that most of the pro competitions were televised it gave viewers at home a lot more opportunities to watch competitive skating and follow favourite skaters/teams.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
Messages
33,848
Watson/Oppegard won an Olympic bronze following the Carruthers' Olympic silver, who followed Tai/Randy who were World Champs. However, watching Oppegard may be awkward knowing what we know about his coaching "methods" aka abuse now.

And along similar lines, Stephanie Stiegler and John Zimmerman had a brilliant program to The Sorcerer's Apprentice, choreographed by Oppegard.
 
Last edited:

orbitz

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,460
Urbanski had the most awful 2A technique I think to ever grace the senior level- no joke. But the rest of their skating was so dynamic and sharp, and I think matched with them not having the most lovely relationship, really gave them an excitement that has almost always been missing from US pairs.

I have no idea how Urbanski didn't waxel 95% of the time due to that painfully held long forward edge entrance, LOL.

Tai Babilonia had unattractive air position in her 2axels, actually in all of her jumps.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information