Pairs Discussion Thread 2017-18--"Two Skating as One"

clairecloutier

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With the GP assignments out for this fall, it seems like the right time to kick off the 2017-18 pairs discussion thread.

Here are the Grand Prix pairs assignments: http://static.isu.org/media/516607/gp_pairs.pdf

Random thoughts based on the assignments:

1. The "big" countries who had 2 pairs in the top 7 at Worlds chose to assign both their #1/#2 teams to their home GPs, i.e.: Tarasova/Morozov and Stolbova/Klimov both assigned to Rostelecom, Sui/Han and Yu/Zhang both at Cup of China, and Duhamel/Radford and Ilyushechkina/Moscovitch both at Skate Canada. Looks like the feds wanted to give their potential Olympic/World medalists as big a boost as possible.

2. Sui/Han will not need to leave Asia from now until the Olympics. They chose to do both of the Asian GPs, even though they're back-to-back (CoC, then NHK). And the GP Final and 4CCs (if they compete there) are in Asia. Their travel schedule will be the lightest of all the top teams.

3. Kavaguti/Smirnov are not on the GP list ... which makes me wonder if they'll compete this season.

4. As far as I can tell, only teams who were guaranteed GP slots (based on last year's rules) actually got slots in the initial assignment.

5. Many teams who were only guaranteed 1 spot (according to last year's rules) actually got 2 spots--notably, Peng/Jin, Zabijako/Enbert, Seguin/Bilodeau, Della Monica/Guarise, Moore-Towers/Marinaro, and, rather more surprisingly, Denney/Frazier, Wang/Wang, Duskova/Bidar, and Suto/Boudreau Audet.

6. Four teams were only guaranteed 1 slot and only got 1 slot: Astakhova/Rogonov, Castelli/Tran, Kayne/O'Shea, and Ziegler/Kiefer.

7. As @Sylvia listed in the ISU Grand Prix thread, the next 5 teams in line on the season's-best list who did not receive any GP slots are (in order): Cain/LeDuc, Ryom/Kim, Ruest/Wolfe, Efimova/Korovin, and Alexandrovskaya/Windsor. (Although it looks like A/W may have opted to remain junior for the Grand Prix season.)

7. In what I would consider a sign of support, USFSA: a) gave Skate America to Denney/Frazier as reigning National champions (per usual policy), despite D/F's disappointing showing at Worlds, and b) also apparently supported Denney/Frazier getting a second assignment (which was not guaranteed). So, good news for Denney/Frazier?

8. Cain/LeDuc were not guaranteed a slot, and they did not get one. I had expected to see them as a Skate America host pick, but my guess is the decision to give an SA slot to D/F prevented that from happening.

9. USA TBD. Contenders: Cain/LeDuc, Stellato/Bartholomay, Castellli/Tran, and Kayne/O'Shea. My guess is C/LD are the frontrunners, and C/T and K/O will have to be very strong in their early-season events to make a case for themselves.

10. Rostelecom TBD. Contenders: Astakhova/Rogonov, Efimova/Korovin, or Kavaguti/Smirnov (if they decide to continue).

11. China TBD. ???? I wonder if China is planning to assign Gao/Xie (top Chinese junior team), if they do well on the JGP next season, just to get senior experience. Or maybe their other junior team is showing promise?? Scratching my head with this one.

12. Japan TBD. Contenders: Takahashi/Shibata, Suzaki/Kihara? My guess is that Japan monitors these 2 teams over the summer and assigns whichever one is skating better.

13. France TBD. Contenders: Esbrat/Novoselov, Mendoza/Kovalev. Didier may not like the results of either of these teams, but with France having a second spot in the Olympics, I assume he'll pick whoever looks best by fall. (And if he leaves this TBD spot idle, as he did last year, I may personally kick his ass. [Or at least, I'll want to. :lol::biggrinbo])
 
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StitchMonkey

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I was surprised to not see Cain/LeDuc not get an assignment. But alas there are only so many spots. My guess is they will get the SA spot unless they get a chance to fill in due to WD which may happen. In fact I hope it happens, because I want so see Stellato/Bartholomay get the SA spot, but think Cain and LeDuc are more likely right now.
 

levineismine

I believed in Hubbell&Donohue before it was cool
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I was surprised A/W didn't get any assignment. As I understand, they were not guaranteed one, but as reigning JWC sure someone would invite them? Unless they stayed junior, but does that make sense if they want to qualify for OG at Nebelhorn?

US pairs have a tough GP selection. Really surprised to not see Cain/LeDuc there after all the support USFS showed the past year, but hopefully they get the TBD SA spot.
 

zebraswan

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It seems to me that Kavaguti/Smirnov's names were not submitted at all, since there are lower ranked pairs who were given 2 spots. Based on Moskvina's last interview, I don't really expect to see them back. :( I would expect A/R to get the host pick for Rostelecom, or at least I hope they will.
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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3. Kavaguti/Smirnov are not on the GP list ... which makes me wonder if they'll compete this season.
It seems to me that Kavaguti/Smirnov's names were not submitted at all, since there are lower ranked pairs who were given 2 spots. Based on Moskvina's last interview, I don't really expect to see them back. :( I would expect A/R to get the host pick for Rostelecom, or at least I hope they will.
Moskvina was quoted in this May 18th article: http://rsport.ru/figure_skating/20170518/1120626011.html
( Google translation )

Kavaguti/Smirnov were guaranteed 1 GP since they were *** on the SB list so it appears their names were not submitted for GP selection (I forgot to mention them in my original post in GSD).
I was surprised A/W didn't get any assignment. As I understand, they were not guaranteed one, but as reigning JWC sure someone would invite them? Unless they stayed junior, but does that make sense if they want to qualify for OG at Nebelhorn?
Refer to kwanfan1818's post in GSD: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/in...-18-olympic-season.101315/page-3#post-5077816
Pairs only having 48 slots (8 x 6) in the Grand Prix series leaves out teams worthy of first as well as second assignments.
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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Why didn't USFSA just let Scimerim get picked up by another Fed thus freeing another spot at SkAm for a US pairs team. (I had fully expected SkAm to have been D&F, C&L and a TBD). Scimerim is guaranteed the 2 spots so let 2 other Feds choose them.

I mentioned this in the GP assignments thread I don't like it so much when USFSA doesn't spread the wealth around. No need to pit Ash and Karen against one another (they are both guaranteed 2 regardless if SkAm chooses them), or in the past when they have done Ash & Gracie or Shibs & C/B or Kwan & Cohen. Separate them to give them a better chance of medaling at other events and qualifying to Final. Granted the chances are slim/slimmish but no need for Scimerim to be at SkAm (AND I LUUURVVVEEE THEM, they are my avatar) but free it up instead.

I know USFSA's answer is going to be they want domestic star power to be at the event to sell tickets but just choose one of the top 2 skaters or teams not both.

This isn't the first time USFSA has pitted Scimerim and D&F together at SkAm when there isn't a need to do that.... They are our top 2 pairs teams so separate them.....
 
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clairecloutier

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@AngieNikodinovLove The Knierims were always going to be at Skate America, IMO. The reason, I think, is not to sell tickets really (although that could be a side benefit), but to give them the best possible chance for a successful GP season. They're the top American team, and USFSA will want to build them as much as possible going toward the Olympics. Having them compete at Skate America is the best way to do it: Friendly audience, close to their training base, and the fed will be there to politik for them. It costs a spot for another U.S. team; but if the Knierims do well, the trade-off in the fed's eyes will be well worth it. This strategy worked out great for the Knierims in 2015-16. It's a strategy many other top feds are pursuing this year as well--for example, Russia and China have both assigned their top 1 and 2 to their home GPs, which is not something they usually do. So anyhow I'm not surprised, and personally, I think it makes sense. The question in my mind was whether Denney/Frazier would be at SA as reigning national champions. Turns out the fed did go in that direction.

In other news, there's an interesting new GoldenSkate article about James/Cipres: http://www.goldenskate.com/2017/05/vanessa-james-and-morgan-cipres/.

--They considered quitting after 2016 Worlds but instead did a complete turnaround, switching to Zimmerman
--Also considered Bruno Marcotte and Dalilah Sappenfield as coaches, but liked the fact that they would be Zimmerman's top team
--They will have 2 new programs next season, but not yet ready to announce the music
--Most noteworthy, they say Pyeongchang will be their last Olympics. They do not intend to go to 2022--feel it would be too long. They may compete for one year after Pyeongchang, depending on how this coming season goes
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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^^^^ Damn, girl its been 45 minutes and Im still reading and viewing your post.. I missed my friends dinner.....OOPS

Comments so far: AMAZE BALLS!!

Thanks for including this: HONORABLE MENTION Efimova/Korovin at Russian Nationals Are they doing JGP this season???


Like I said Im about half way through your article..Is there a best dressed column coming up? Cause if so Stolbova & Klimov ALL THE WAY.

I love the Best comeback section (Go SCIMERIMS) I agree with your 3 and their order....

I also love MOST IMPROVED TEAMS and Best moments in American pairs..

Damn its been nearly a CENTURY since we didn't have at least 2 pairs teams at Olys...??? Molly, you in danger, girl.

OK, got to go back to your article.

ADDED LIKE 3 minutes later: LOLLLL next thing was best dressed... AH.. WRONG-O... Stolbova and Klimov weren't even mentioned. They won...hands down. LOL.

ADDED 6 minutes later: Ohhh yeah what the heck did D&F bright blue costumes have to do with the music or movie... YES, you are so right. And these costumes weren't flattering for any piece of music. Oh and yea S&B costumes were for the circus or for juniors.

You have a lot of nerve putting Zabijako/Enbert on any best dressed list, and leaving off S&K royalty. LOLLLL.

XO
 
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clairecloutier

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LOL @AngieNikodinovLove, thanks for all your comments!! ;):biggrinbo And thanks for checking out the article!!

So I have to say, Stolbova/Klimov's costumes this year didn't really do it for me. From a distance, Ksenia's pink lace dress for the SP looked great ... but up close, it was a bit too sheer. And the LP unitard wasn't my cup of tea. I liked the white decoration on top, but otherwise it was a bit plain. Sorry. :D (FWIW, S/K did get 2 spots on my best-dressed list last year. :lol:)

Efimova/Korovin are too old for the JGP; they have to compete as seniors. Their best hope is to get the host spot at Rostelecom, plus Challenger Series assignments. Hoping we will see big improvements from them this season, now that they're coached by Vasiliev. :)
 

Doggygirl

Going through FS withdrawal after GPF
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@clairecloutier I LOVE your Best/worst article! Really enjoyed re-watching all the videos - thank you for including the video links making it easy to re-live the best of the best!

In answer to your end-of-article costume question, I say Vanessa's 50 Shades costume goes in the BEST column. Why? 1) If you are gonna bring the sexy, then BRING IT!! and 2) If you got it, FLAUNT IT! :smokin: That's my opinion anyway! :D
 

Spun Silver

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LOL @Doggygirl on Vanessa's costume!! Yeah, if I looked like her, I guess I would flaunt it too. ;)
She flaunts it on Instagram too. Why not? She worked hard for it and heaven knows she is nice to look at! And she looks so happy these days! I hope they can stay in this state of grace in the new season - it would be a wonderful attitude to take to the Olympics.
 

Karpenko

Not Impressed.
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The big screen though, not the internet screen. :D those ideas are already in progress. :COP:

Pairs is the coolest it's ever been though IMO and I love it so much! :inavoid: :cheer2:
 

aftershocks

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I can't find Ekaterina Gordeeva thread, so I'm posting this here. She and Sergei were after all, perhaps the best of the best in skating as one. :)

Gordeeva/Pelletier :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZfgatlzRv :watch:

Gordeeva Take Me Home montage -- with G/G clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-G8wMC3pEw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIS2K68Z5gA G/G

Katia & Ilia famous number SOI 99/00 Si Tu No Estas/Casi Un Bolero *
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFbUBc2InfA K&I start at about 2:54
So poignant & fraught with sexual tension. I love that beautiful last move. Oh! :swoon: Who among today's pairs would look good performing that move? Scinerims? Luba/Dylan? I'd love to see it from Canadians Ruest/Wolfe. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVCH0ej6iOM R/W 2017 sp

*Ilia learning pair moves at the same time Ilia & Katia learn choreo for their SOI performance circa 1999 - 2000 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-dpKl10DLg

Funny tweet from skate_moivo (Mervin Tran):
https://twitter.com/skate_moivo/status/853974259546423296 :lol:
 
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Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Replying to @DFO here :):
2 hours before deadline, the Championnat québécois d'été update is including some other foreign pairs:
2 seniors;
Castelli/Tran (USA)
Kim / Ryom (North Korea)

and 1 junior: ??? /Ton Consul Vivar from Spain. They are training in St-Leonard. He was recently listed in IPS.

That makes 30 pairs in Senior/Junior/Novice/prenovice/juvenile. This is the biggest turnout of pairs in the event history, at least since 2009. And by far.
Ton Consul's new partner for Spain is Isabella Gamez who competed junior at 2017 U.S. Nationals. Here's what I posted recently in the Spanish skating news thread in GSD:
Re-posting from the Programs/Choreographers thread:
...
Gamez, 18, placed 9th in Junior Pairs at 2017 U.S. Nationals and was the 2016 U.S. Novice Pairs silver medalist (with Griffin Schwab). Consul, 19, is the current Spanish Junior Men's champion and started skating pairs last year with Canada's Alexanne Bouillon (they placed 16th at 2017 Jr. Worlds): http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00102405.htm

ETA: I had posted on May 24 about Ton Consul listing himself on icepartnersearch.com in the OES News thread.
Sounds like the North Korean pair from Worlds is getting ready for Nebelhorn Trophy (and looking for one of the 4 Olympic pair spots available there) at the Quebec Summer Championships! :cool:

ETA:

Countries in contention for the 4 spots - from 2017 Worlds:

14 Anna DUSKOVA / Martin BIDAR CZE 179.70 15 14
15 Tae Ok RYOM / Ju Sik KIM PRK 169.65 14 15
16 Ekaterina ALEXANDROVSKAYA (Russian) / Harley WINDSOR AUS 164.10 16 16
Sumire SUTO / Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET (Canadian) JPN FNR 17
Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT FNR 18
Lana PETRANOVIC / Antonio SOUZA-KORDEIRU (Russian) CRO FNR 21
Goda BUTKUTE / Nikita ERMOLAEV (Russian) LTU FNR 22
Tatiana DANILOVA (Russian) / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK BLR FNR 23
Daria BEKLEMISHEVA (Russian) / Mark MAGYAR HUN FNR 24
Zoe JONES / Christopher BOYADJI (French) GBR FNR 26

Also, Liubov Efimenko (Russian-born who moved to FIN when she was 9) has paired with Matthew Penasse (Canadian who competed for Finland at Worlds) in May 2017.
 
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Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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levineismine

I believed in Hubbell&Donohue before it was cool
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Cross-posting here from GSD:

@levineismine, the North Korean pair are training in Montreal and are listed to compete at the Quebec Summer Championships in August 10-13, 2017 (see post above mine).

Thanks for the info! Are they there for the summer or have they moved permanently (no clue how it works with North Korea laws)? Anyways it's great news, they have lots of potential and with some refinement they sure can make it to the Olympics.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Yes, it always takes a very long time before Olympics broadcasts are made available on Youtube. I've been trying to find full group NBC broadcasts of the various fs disciplines from 2014 Olympics. There are some individual NBC performance clips up, but I'm still searching for full group marathon videos in English (NBC, CBC, British Eurosport). There appears to be South Korean full group videos up, if I'm not mistaken (could be Japanese, as I can't tell these languages apart -- I can distinguish Chinese from Japanese language, and Russian, and Spanish are easy to decipher, if not to understand ;)).
 

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