Pairs Discussion Thread 2019-20: “Two skating as one”

SCeline

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Sui/Han have demonstrated clearly, an observation that I feel is increasingly true regarding career longevity, comebacks, etc. - and it is that the whole notion of missing a season or part of a season, is not necessarily a handicap. One can achieve the top results, during the most important events, by delivering in the moment. One could argue, James/Cipres demonstrated the other side of the coin. Yes, I understand the idiosyncratic backdrop (the collision during warm up) which was a factor, but along with 'momentum' can come the pressure of 'expectations' for which it takes a rare breed of athlete to consistently bear.

Yes, momentum can be a valuable "thing" and, perhaps more so in dance than in other disciplines, it can work in a skaters' favor. But at the same time, once a team is firmly established as being amongst the best, the key becomes delivering the kind of performance that can win on the day.

In my opinion, a healthy Sui/Han are an arguably unbeatable force in the current field. I would much rather they take as much time as they need, to (ideally) achieve optimal health, in order to shine when it will matter most for them. The Olympics in their home country come 2022.
 

Dobre

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Yes, momentum can be a valuable "thing" and, perhaps more so in dance than in other disciplines, it can work in a skaters' favor. But at the same time, once a team is firmly established as being amongst the best, the key becomes delivering the kind of performance that can win on the day.
I don't know. This is worth a discussion, but probably not in the pairs thread. You've got Delobel & Schoenfelder who dropped pretty effectively their return season. Then you have teams like Faiella & Scali and Khoklova & Novitski who medaled and then dropped effectively. Every situation is different. I agree that there's a lot of evidence that if athletes clearly have the goods and come back trained & prepared & deliver, great success is possible. At the same time, I think there are a lot of cases where we've seen skaters' second marks drop for even well established athletes. Or maybe where we see the "standard" scores for the field rise and not for the athletes that was away. Mao Asada being the most obvious example that springs to mind for me during the last quadrennium.
 

AxelAnnie

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What's strange is that Enbert talked about his recovery in that article, but not what the actual problem was. Is "tiredness" a medical diagnosis? And would simple "tiredness" have required such a specific training plan, with constant monitoring of his heart rate? :unsure:
Lots of things can cause (overwhelming) fatigue. Medicine. Afib, allergies, medications, acute liver failure, anemia, anxiety disorders, concussion, sleep apnea, grandchildren :)

Aside from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the fatigue is a symptom of some other medical issue.
 

Mad for Skating

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What's strange is that Enbert talked about his recovery in that article, but not what the actual problem was. Is "tiredness" a medical diagnosis? And would simple "tiredness" have required such a specific training plan, with constant monitoring of his heart rate? :unsure:
It’s very concerning to me. He’s an elite athlete; his heart should be healthier than average. Unless he has a serious condition, there should be no reason why a 29-year-old man in good shape shouldn’t be able to do strenuous exercise. I know Stolbova/Klimov withdrew from 2015 Worlds citing “exhaustion”, so maybe that’s Mozer’s code word for “we don’t want to actually tell you what happened.” Didn’t Mozer say Vladimir Morozov has health problems too? It’s scary.
 

Dobre

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He’s an elite athlete; his heart should be healthier than average.
There are some health issues that are specifically related to serious athletes and can directly impact the heart. My uncle is a longtime distance runner, and he has this type of diagnosis.
 

Mad for Skating

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There are some health issues that are specifically related to serious athletes and can directly impact the heart. My uncle is a longtime distance runner, and he has this type of diagnosis.
Oh, I guess I didn’t know that. Still, I hope he is taking care of himself.
 

aftershocks

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Sui/Han have demonstrated clearly, an observation that I feel is increasingly true regarding career longevity, comebacks, etc. - and it is that the whole notion of missing a season or part of a season, is not necessarily a handicap. One can achieve the top results, during the most important events, by delivering in the moment. One could argue, James/Cipres demonstrated the other side of the coin. Yes, I understand the idiosyncratic backdrop (the collision during warm up) which was a factor, but along with 'momentum' can come the pressure of 'expectations' for which it takes a rare breed of athlete to consistently bear.

Yes, momentum can be a valuable "thing" and, perhaps more so in dance than in other disciplines, it can work in a skaters' favor. But at the same time, once a team is firmly established as being amongst the best, the key becomes delivering the kind of performance that can win on the day.

In my opinion, a healthy Sui/Han are an arguably unbeatable force in the current field. I would much rather they take as much time as they need, to (ideally) achieve optimal health, in order to shine when it will matter most for them. The Olympics in their home country come 2022.
Eh, in sports, nothing is certain, nothing is written in stone. On paper, everything can look different than final results. That's why we watch. Momentum doesn't mean anything when butterflies start dancing in athletes' stomachs. ;) Sui/Han do have the je ne sais quoi factor, of course. They are going to be the ones to beat moving forward, but I wouldn't say it's because they aren't at a disadvantage should they continue to strategically or out of necessity take off the early part of the season. Making up that actual or perceived disadvantage is something that simply depends upon the skaters and other elusive factors. Obviously Sui's health will be a factor going forward, so I can understand if her coaches and Chinese fed choose to limit wear and tear on her ankles.

I seriously would not dismiss James/Cipres' worthy accomplishments over the course of their career, and especially over the past three seasons! Winning everything in sight this past season except for the big one at Worlds, is certainly nothing to sneeze at. At 2019 Worlds, the judges seemed intent IMHO on placing a possible win somewhat out of reach for J/C before they even took the ice for their sp.

I say that because of the extremely high sp score given to Sui/Han, a team coming back from injury and a less than stellar showing at 4CCs, their first competition of the season. And especially the very high sp score for T/M, a team who had seemed to be low on confidence and clean programs the entire season. Neither S/H nor T/M, skating before J/C, did anything particularly exceptional in their sps to pull down such overly high marks, all things considered. Yes, both S/H and T/M have stellar credentials and wield deserved rep with judges, but such high scores were indeed putting the possibility of winning a tad out of reach for the top team coming in, whose season's best sp score was 76+ with a one-point time deduction.

At Worlds, S/H received 79+ for an okay sp performance (not one of their best either), that was a bit tight on the jumps, albeit clean. T/M skated better with a new sp than they had all season, after poor music selection had hounded them with their previous sp. Still, T/M didn't do anything spectacularly outstanding that warranted receiving 81+ for their effort. Additional pressure was indeed on J/C after those two teams landed such high sp scores (the only two teams with the talent and judging rep to rival J/C at the top on a level playing field). In the fp, Sui/Han were exceptional and absolutely willed themselves to win, no doubt about it. :kickass: T/M were more conservative and cautious in the fp, but the judges had given them a nice cushion so they didn't have to worry as much about the rest of the field, only S/H.

As far as the collision during sp warm-up between Vanessa and Matteo, it is what it was, and thankfully no serious injuries resulted. Certainly, it wasn't helpful to J/C for managing what was already high pressure and high stakes. But it was all a great learning experience. If indeed they were aware of the high scores given to their top rivals, it might have been a good thing if J/C had been able to simply shake it off, laugh a little, and try to just go out and have fun like it was practice. That's of course, way easier said than done. Still, the unsettling warm-up experience coupled with the pressure of being top favorites as well as underdogs, is under their belt. They will hopefully take it all in stride and come back stronger. I'm certainly glad J/C will be coming back to battle next season.

James/Cipres should be given more credit, and more due respect for their stellar talent, and for being the exciting team that many teams have been trying to emulate the past few years.
 

aftershocks

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So I did an interview with Davis/White for icedance.com, and I thought I'd cross-post it here, because Charlie discusses his pairs choreography work in the interview (including his work on James/Cipres's "Wicked Games" free skate). It's in the second half of the interview.

https://www.ice-dance.com/site/checking-in-with-davis-white/
Thanks so much for this double interview, Claire. I truly enjoyed hearing Charlie talk about his choreographic work, the enjoyment he gets out of collaborating with skaters, and the importance of understanding the meaning and depth behind the process.

It was also cool hearing a bit more about how Charlie worked with James/Cipres and their coaches on Wicked Games. What he had to say about J/C is a wonderful compliment, very much deserved. Charlie himself is an exceptional person, athlete, artist. :D

And it was so lovely being updated on Meryl's busy life and her exciting, laid-back, adventurous plans for her wedding. What a blast for her that the first dress she tried on was her 'Say Yes' dress! :lol: :glamor:
 

Sylvia

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Copying over these 3 posts from the Canadian Pairs and Korean skating news threads because skaters from 3 countries are involved and the situation sounds confusing:
For some confirmed news, this was from a few weeks ago but Kyueun Kim was announced to skate with Maxime Deschamps earlier however her mother has confirmed that Max had a tryout while they were in Korea and would rather skate with the girl he had a tryout with so this partnership is now over. Kyueun is not looking for a new partner at this time so SK will not have a senior pairs team this upcoming season.
Kyueun KIM skated with Alex KAM for South Korea at the 2018 Olympics & Worlds: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00015257.htm
It was reported by TSL that he [Deschamps] had a good tryout with Deanna Stellato.
This Stellato thing is all a misunderstanding.

Deanna sought permission to train with Max to keep her pairs skills up while she searches for a partner and Max' partner went home for a month.

You'll notice that TSL took down their video characterizing this as a tryout and reposted it with this section edited out.

I am told though that they look good together. Too bad this is only temporary.
Maxime Deschamps last competed internationally for Canada at 2018 Four Continents (he sat out last season): http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00102648.htm

Deanna Stellato's last international with Nate Bartholomay for the USA was CS Golden Spin of Zagreb in December 2018.
 
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Sylvia

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Laura Barquero posted on her IG in both Spanish & English that she and Aritz Maestu will no longer be competing together :(: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByI_cCForEk/
We’d like to share with you the ending of a stage in our life as an ice skating couple because of the Aritz’s sport injury.
It’s being a really hard time for us because we are a team not only as a sporting level but personal.
It’s been a challenging road until here but it allowed us to learn, to grow amazingly and to build a little family in which love, complicity and our passion for ice skating will always stay.

Sometimes life puts you to the test, although it won’t be easy keep going being apart, we will still give the best of ourselves and always fight for our dreams.
 

aftershocks

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binbinwinwin said:
For some confirmed news, this was from a few weeks ago but Kyueun Kim was announced to skate with Maxime Deschamps earlier however her mother has confirmed that Max had a tryout while they were in Korea ...
Rock2 said:
This Stellato thing is all a misunderstanding. Deanna sought permission to train with Max to keep her pairs skills up while she searches for a partner...
The first report speaks about 'confirmation,' and then there's supposed to be a misunderstanding. :confused: Apparently, the mother misunderstood? Surely Deschamps would have informed Kim before she left that he would be subbing at the rink to help out a lady who wanted to stay fit while she's looking for a new partner? Unless Kim had left for Korea before Deanna asked for permission to work with Deschamps temporarily.

Oh well. I hope all is well that ends well.
 

Alvyne

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The first report speaks about 'confirmation,' and then there's supposed to be a misunderstanding. :confused: Apparently, the mother misunderstood? Surely Deschamps would have informed Kim before she left that he would be subbing at the rink to help out a lady who wanted to stay fit while she's looking for a new partner? Unless Kim had left for Korea before Deanna asked for permission to work with Deschamps temporarily.

Oh well. I hope all is well that ends well.
The misunderstanding is about Deanna and Maxime teaming up.

Maxime split with Kim to team up with someone else, who is not Deanna. So who is he skating with I wonder...
 

aftershocks

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The misunderstanding is about Deanna and Maxime teaming up.

Maxime split with Kim to team up with someone else, who is not Deanna. So who is he skating with I wonder...
Right, but I'm speaking about whether or not Kim's mother somehow misunderstood if perhaps someone had mistakenly told her that Kim's partner was 'trying out' with someone else at the rink. And that's why I say it would have made sense for Max to let Kim and/or her mother, or some other Korean official know that he was simply subbing and helping out another pairs lady, and not 'trying out' with her.

Note the post that says Kim's "mother confirmed that Max had a tryout..."

Maxime split with Kim to team up with someone else, who is not Deanna.
Oh, okay. So, we're back to where we began in the Canadian pairs thread. Max has split with Kim, but he's not pairing with Deanna.

Where are you getting the understanding that Max has indeed split with Kim to pair with someone other than Deanna?

ETA:
And do you know @Alvyne, which rink it is that Max and Deanna were seen training at?
 
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Rock2

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The misunderstanding is about Deanna and Maxime teaming up.

Maxime split with Kim to team up with someone else, who is not Deanna. So who is he skating with I wonder...
I will clarify that Deanna originally came to Montreal to keep up her pairs skills since Max was free because Kyu was back in SK for about a month. It was not positioned as a tryout. This is why TSL edited their comment out of the video that there was a tryout.

Anything that has developed (or not) since then you can expect will be explained or clarified publicly...probably fairly soon.
 

Mad for Skating

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Copying over these 3 posts from the Canadian Pairs and Korean skating news threads because skaters from 3 countries are involved and the situation sounds confusing:

Kyueun KIM skated with Alex KAM for South Korea at the 2018 Olympics & Worlds: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00015257.htm


Maxime Deschamps last competed internationally for Canada at 2018 Four Continents (he sat out last season): http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00102648.htm

Deanna Stellato's last international with Nate Bartholomay for the USA was CS Golden Spin of Zagreb in December 2018.
Well this is complicated...and here we thought the off-season was going to be boring!
 

aftershocks

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I will clarify that Deanna originally came to Montreal to keep up her pairs skills since Max was free because Kyu was back in SK for about a month. It was not positioned as a tryout. This is why TSL edited their comment out of the video that there was a tryout.

Anything that has developed (or not) since then you can expect will be explained or clarified publicly...probably fairly soon.
:sekret:
 

Sylvia

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aftershocks

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^^ I cross-posted the relevant link to the Davis/White fan thread. :D

It must be fun and very rewarding for skaters to work with Charlie White. I wonder whether Charlie is choreographing programs for Miriam & Severin?
 

aftershocks

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Cross-posting from TSL thread. I missed this the first time around. This adds to the dribble drabble that was in the Canadian pairs thread that Sylvia summarized awhile back. The plot thickens:

[TSL] were talking about a tryout arranged by Meagan Duhamel that Deanna Stellato had with sb. I forgot with whom it was but I guess Deanna didn't want it to be public yet.
She was trying out with Maxime Deschamps. She already tried out with Ruben Blommaert.
She didn't try out with Blommaert i think he is in the German sports military camp until the end of May and while being there you don't really have time to train. Also Blommaert told that he is doing a try out with someone from Berlin after the camp.
Whatever is transpiring, I wish good luck to Deanna. :saint: She's continuing to train hard as per posts on her Instagram.
 

Sylvia

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I think this new pair was first discussed in the 2018-19 Canadian Pairs thread in GSD?

Copying over from the 2019 Canadian Spring/Summer Competitions thread in Kiss & Cry re. the Quebec Summer Championships entries list: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/2019-canadian-spring-summer-competitions.105558/#post-5597679
A new senior pair team - Isabella Gamez and David-Alexandre Paradis - representing Philippines?
So now we finally know which country they will represent. ;) Gamez previously competed at U.S. Nationals (Novice silver in 2016 & 9th in Junior in 2017 with Griffin Schwab) and then with Ton Consul for Spain internationally in 2017-18. Paradis originally competed in Canada, placed 6th with Ai Setoyama at 2016 U.S. Nationals, and skated with Sarah Jane Dana for Korea domestically in 2016-17. (Dana was partnered with Livio Mayr for Austria last season.)
 
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Mad for Skating

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Miriam Ziegler & Severin Kiefer are spending 4 weeks training with the Zimmerman/Fontana group in Florida: https://www.facebook.com/skateaustria/videos/444284083016921/

https://www.facebook.com/ziegler.kiefer
May 31st FB post's photo caption: "Thank you to the amazing Charlie White for some great sessions, in which we practiced new stroking techniques and ice dance elements! 🕺🏻😍⛸"
There's a clip of Charlie lifting Miriam in the 2nd photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByGgakCoBcl/
As a huge fan of Ziegler/Kiefer, I’m really excited to see their programs. Charlie has done some excellent work for pairs programs (James/Cipres’ Wicked Game was stunning), so I think this could turn out well.
 

aftershocks

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Cross-posting from U.S. pairs thread, re a conversation about what makes Chinese pairs skating such a dominant force vs the challenges faced by the U.S. pairs discipline. The discussion was precipitated by the news that Chelsea Liu of the U.S. has paired with Xie Zhong of China. Check out U.S. pairs thread for the genesis and initial context of the conversation:

... There ARE coaches in the US with great strengths-- Dalilah has a crazy knack for putting great matches together and also teaching the split twist. Meno and Sand are great at the quality of skating. Peterson and Evora create consistent teams. None of them, however, have crafted a team that has it all, and that's what the Chinese are good at. Just my two cents.
This is an interesting conversation, because I truly love watching, reading about and talking about pairs skating. :) I don't think that all Chinese pairs have it all though. In the beginning of their rise to the top, Chinese teams were bravura on the technical side, but generally weak in spins and spin positions. Like most pairs teams, they all had to work at developing unison in spinning too.

First and foremost most Chinese pairs have been excellent technicians with consistent sbs jumps, huge 3-twists, high throw jumps with great distance and gorgeous landings that are always usually bam! They have historically had to work at improving choreography and music selection, which grew in a wonderful direction with the assistance of Lea Ann Miller and Lori Nichol. And eventually the spins of top Chinese teams improved too. The key is that Bin Yao developed a strong, well thought out training system that has fostered technical consistency.

Still, each Chinese team have exhibited their own strengths and weaknesses, despite generally being technically strong across-the-board. Shen/Zhao grew to be one of the greatest teams of all time, partly due to years of being able to consistently compete at major international championships, and largely due to their talent, their strong connection with each other and dedication to their craft. Pang/Tong were generally a lovely team to watch. I always felt that Tong was stronger and more expressive artistically, but they grew over time to become equally strong. Still, their spins were not their strongest asset. When Sui/Han first came on the senior scene, they were very dynamic and fast with jaw-dropping technical feats. But for me, they lacked superior artistry and presentation until the last several years during which they have grown in those aspects due to being mentored by Shen/Zhao.

Zhang/ Zhang were chiefly brilliant technically, but not great in terms of artistic presentation, IMO. Yu/Jin may have become the next Shen/Zhao, but were broken up to repair the Peng/Zhang mismatch. Peng/Jin are a well-matched, entertaining team, but they don't necessarily have the same magical connection that Yu/Jin possessed. I think Peng/Jin have the ability to continue improving, but right now they lack technical consistency, and don't always exhibit an oomph factor. Yu/Zhang are also fairly well-matched physically and they possess bravura technique, but unfortunately Yu's heart is not in the partnership, no matter how hard she tries. Yu's apparent distracted focus has often led to performance inconsistencies.
 

hanca

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According to https://www.czechskating.org/informace/detail/383-informace-z-jednani-p-cks-z-17-5-2019 Bidar/Zhuk will skate in the test skates if she is released.

Dušková/Jakubka are training in Canada with Gauthier until the test skates.

Jakubka's previous partner Edita Horňáková has teamed up with Mykyta Husakov.
It would be nice to hear something from the Russian federation. Of course the Czech federation wants them, and of course Bidar/Zhuk want to skate together, but will they be able to? Will the Russian federation really release her, if they didn’t release Nika Osipova to skate with Bidar last year, and Karina Akopova to skate for Australia also last year?
 

barbarafan

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It would be nice to hear something from the Russian federation. Of course the Czech federation wants them, and of course Bidar/Zhuk want to skate together, but will they be able to? Will the Russian federation really release her, if they didn’t release Nika Osipova to skate with Bidar last year, and Karina Akopova to skate for Australia also last year?
good luck with that.
 

Michalle

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Maybe there could be some massive trade to release everybody - is there a way to connect this to getting Novoselov (sp?) released for Stolbova or is that already taken care of?
 

barbarafan

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Maybe there could be some massive trade to release everybody - is there a way to connect this to getting Novoselov (sp?) released for Stolbova or is that already taken care of?
Isn't Novoselov from France? I am going from memory of reading something but definitely could be wrong. If I am right Didier would never release him.
 

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