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

Mad for Skating

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There's always room for continued advances, but generally Asian athletes are accepted and rewarded in the sport of figure skating. There are not many athletes of color in figure skating.
I don’t disagree with the fact that Asian skaters are a strong force in the sport, but technically Asians are considered “people of color”. The term “people of color” applies to anyone who is not white :)

Anyways, I really hope to see more diversity in the sport and I’m grateful to the athletes of color who have broken through and reached the top against all odds.
 

Immortelle

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I hope that when we get some competition again, we’ll see some very cool new lifts resulting from all the off-ice training the pairs have been doing!
 

aftershocks

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I don’t disagree with the fact that Asian skaters are a strong force in the sport, but technically Asians are considered “people of color”. The term “people of color” applies to anyone who is not white :)

Anyways, I really hope to see more diversity in the sport and I’m grateful to the athletes of color who have broken through and reached the top against all odds.
No argument, that can be true, but PoC is more associated with darker skinned people, although it can include Native Americans, Mexicans, Filipinos, East Indians, Hispanics, people of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ethnicities, and Asians as well. We are stuck with our culture's terminologies when discussing ethnic backgrounds, and the terminologies too often suck. In fact, melanin exists in all people, but larger amounts in darker-skinned people. In any case, anyone who has dark hair and dark eyes, that's melanin. :) There shouldn't have to be any distinctions made based on skin color, physical characteristics and ethnic backgrounds, in any field of endeavor, but sadly that's the world we live in.

I hope that when we get some competition again, we’ll see some very cool new lifts resulting from all the off-ice training the pairs have been doing!
Ah yes, I been looking back at some recent pairs events and just enjoying and noticing all the cool moves I'd like to see more of, and hoping for continued creativity within the discipline. :encore: Plus, seeing the old clips of Ron & Nancy Ludington (in the thread about Ron's passing), posted by @floskate on YouTube made me 'pairs happy,' and reflective about how the sport has evolved. And I notice that sometimes 'what's old is new again.' :cheer2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aomLvCpy9ho Ron & Nancy 1960 U.S. Nationals

1960 Olympics clip of highlights from top 3 pairs:

It's cool seeing Barb Wagner & Bob Paul performing at the end. They were the team who pioneered Canada's legendary status as a pairs power with their multiple World championship wins capped by an Olympic gold medal. I didn't realize how tiny Barb was, and how tall Paul was! From the little we see, they were definitely skilled and skated with great unison. It's equally cool seeing the German team of Marika Kilius & Hans-Jurgen Baumler. Obviously, K/B were another earlier creative and athletic German team with those sbs split leaps (or falling leaves?) into sbs leaps into low sit-spins (someone remind me the proper name for the move into the sit-spins). Wow. I'd love to see some current pairs teams try that particular combination of moves. :watch:

The Ludingtons were precision skaters with excellent footwork. They did a lot of short overhead lifts and dance lifts. As well, it looks like their signature move was pairs camel spins with added variations. The pull Arabians into a double camel spin at the end of their U.S. Nationals program was pretty cool. I think that must be Dick Button in the background exclaiming over their prowess. :D

The best pull Arabians I've seen performed are those of Tai & Randy circa the 1970s. And of course, T&R were known for their gorgeous pairs spirals and pairs Ina Bauer. We definitely need to see some pairs teams and choreographers today going back to mine inspiration from the moves of pairs teams from earlier eras. I mean, mix it up and spice it up! :fan21:
 

Mad for Skating

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No argument, that can be true, but PoC is more associated with darker skinned people, although it can include Native Americans, Mexicans, Filipinos, East Indians, Hispanics, people of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ethnicities, and Asians as well. We are stuck with our culture's terminologies when discussing ethnic backgrounds, and the terminologies too often suck. In fact, melanin exists in all people, but larger amounts in darker-skinned people. In any case, anyone who has dark hair and dark eyes, that's melanin. :) There shouldn't have to be any distinctions made based on skin color, physical characteristics and ethnic backgrounds, in any field of endeavor, but sadly that's the world we live in.
I agree! And some Asians have more melanin than others depending upon genetics or which part of the continent they come from. There’s not just one skin tone, but all colors are beautiful and deserve equal treatment!
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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ISU Season's World Ranking 2019/2020 for Pairs: http://www.isuresults.com/ws/wr2019-20/wrpairs.htm

Confirmed splits and/or retirements in 2020:

Ksenia Stolbova/Andrei Novoselov RUS - her retirement announcement by RusFed: https://fsrussia.ru/news/4913-kseniya-stolbova-ob-yavila-o-zavershenii-sportivnoj-karery.html

Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert RUS - did not compete in 2019-20; he announced his retirement back in February:
https://www.instagram.com/p/B9ChvNiJmXi/ ; translated interview with her in GSD: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/interview-with-zabijako.107203/

Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Chris Knierim USA - he retired; she has paired with Brandon Frazier: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/...and-brandon-frazier-announce-partnership.aspx

Liubov Ilyushechkina/Charlie Bilodeau CAN - his retirement announcement by SC: https://skatecanada.ca/2020/04/charlie-bilodeau-retires-from-competitive-skating/

Alina Efimova/Alexander Korovin RUS - split, according to this post in GSD: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...ve-35-winter-2019.106406/page-48#post-5753348

Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier USA - 3/25 article on their split: https://sports.yahoo.com/haven-denney-brandon-frazier-mark-014027206.html (they won 2017 Nationals & competed 7 times at the Senior level, won Intermediate national bronze in 2007-08 & qualified for Juvenile level Nationals in 2005-06)

Brooke McIntosh/Brandon Toste CAN - he has retired (reportedly to focus on school); she has paired with Benjamin Mimar

Justine Brasseur/Mark Bardei CAN - she announced their split on her IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-sr45EpK4j/

Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor AUS - he announced their split on his IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9BuhLHpE2W/

Chloe Panetta/Benjamin Mimar CAN (he has paired up with McIntosh)

Polina Kostiukovich/Dmitrii Ialin RUS - he is listed on the Senior reserve team without a partner

Nica Digerness/Danny Neudecker USA - he announced their split on his IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-SKESlHXWs/
I posted about his new partner in the U.S. Pairs here: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...ws-updates-part-x.105722/page-50#post-5820079
Digerness currently is recovering from foot(?) surgery and plans to skate with Ian Meyh: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAc6Oc4no0g/


Pairs planning to make their (hopefully) international debuts in 2020-21:

Knierim/Frazier USA
McIntosh/Mimar CAN (named to 2020-21 NextGen team)

Katie McBeath/Nate Bartholomay (now 31) USA - he officially announced their new partnership on his Instagram back on May 28 (includes a soundless clip of their SP choreography from March): https://www.instagram.com/p/CAwHmJ7Bgkr/
She is 25, started learning pairs last year, and competed 4 times in Senior Ladies at U.S. Nationals. They will train in Sand/Meno's group (Calalang/Johnson, Knierim/Frazier).

Nadya Labazina (age 15)/TJ Nyman (age 20) USA - clip of their triple twist that he shared on his IG late last month: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAyuRgrgclS/
Labazina last competed at Russian Nationals in December 2018, placing 11th in Senior with Nikita Rakhmanin, and they never competed internationally together, according to their ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00105626.htm

Elizaveta Zhuk/Martin Bidar CZE - she was released by Russia in April 2020 (they started skating together in 2019): https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/oes-news-2019-20-season.105753/page-4#post-5795002

Chloe Choinard/Livio Mayr AUT - she received her release from Skate Canada in April 2020 (last season he competed internationally with Olivia Boys-Eddy and she nationally in Senior with Shaquille Davis)

Anastasia Vaipan-Law/Luke Digby GBR, based at Ice Dundee in Scotland: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-haB9fDWFz/
 
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miffy

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Anastasia Vaipan-Law/Luke
/B-haB9fDWFz/
I’m excited to see more :)
Also... unless I dreamed this Harry Mattick was trying pairs too... I think it was with Lydia Smart. Harry is a good skater, even has a 4t, although I have never seen him do a 3a, so maybe pairs is a good direction for him to try.
I’ve longed for more British pairs for ages so keeping my fingers crossed they all stay together through this year. I don’t think any of the rinks have been allowed to open yet in the UK (I am not on the mainland and a bit out of touch these days so I could be wrong!)
 

Mad for Skating

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ISU Season's World Ranking 2019/2020 for Pairs: http://www.isuresults.com/ws/wr2019-20/wrpairs.htm

Confirmed splits and/or retirements in 2020:

Ksenia Stolbova/Andrei Novoselov RUS - her retirement announcement by RusFed: https://fsrussia.ru/news/4913-kseniya-stolbova-ob-yavila-o-zavershenii-sportivnoj-karery.html

Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert RUS - did not compete in 2019-20; he announced his retirement back in February:
https://www.instagram.com/p/B9ChvNiJmXi/ ; translated interview with her in GSD: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/interview-with-zabijako.107203/

Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Chris Knierim USA - he retired; she has paired with Brandon Frazier: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/...and-brandon-frazier-announce-partnership.aspx

Liubov Ilyushechkina/Charlie Bilodeau CAN - his retirement announcement by SC: https://skatecanada.ca/2020/04/charlie-bilodeau-retires-from-competitive-skating/

Alina Efimova/Alexander Korovin RUS - split, according to this post in GSD: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...ve-35-winter-2019.106406/page-48#post-5753348

Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier USA - 3/25 article on their split: https://sports.yahoo.com/haven-denney-brandon-frazier-mark-014027206.html (they won 2017 Nationals & competed 7 times at the Senior level, won Intermediate national bronze in 2007-08 & qualified for Juvenile level Nationals in 2005-06)

Brooke McIntosh/Brandon Toste CAN - he has retired (reportedly to focus on school); she has paired with Benjamin Mimar

Justine Brasseur/Mark Bardei CAN - she announced their split on her IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-sr45EpK4j/

Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor AUS - he announced their split on his IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9BuhLHpE2W/

Chloe Panetta/Benjamin Mimar CAN (he has paired up with McIntosh)

Polina Kostiukovich/Dmitrii Ialin RUS - he is listed on the Senior reserve team without a partner

Nica Digerness/Danny Neudecker USA - he announced their split on his IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-SKESlHXWs/
I posted about his new partner in the U.S. Pairs here: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...ws-updates-part-x.105722/page-50#post-5820079
Digerness currently is recovering from foot(?) surgery and plans to skate with Ian Meyh: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAc6Oc4no0g/


Pairs planning to make their (hopefully) international debuts in 2020-21:

Knierim/Frazier USA
McIntosh/Mimar CAN (named to 2020-21 NextGen team)

Katie McBeath/Nate Bartholomay (now 31) USA - he officially announced their new partnership on his Instagram back on May 28 (includes a soundless clip of their SP choreography from March): https://www.instagram.com/p/CAwHmJ7Bgkr/
She is 25, started learning pairs last year, and competed 4 times in Senior Ladies at U.S. Nationals. They will train in Sand/Meno's group (Calalang/Johnson, Knierim/Frazier).

Nadya Labazina (age 15)/TJ Nyman (age 20) USA - clip of their triple twist that he shared on his IG late last month: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAyuRgrgclS/
Labazina last competed at Russian Nationals in December 2018, placing 11th in Senior with Nikita Rakhmanin, and they never competed internationally together, according to their ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00105626.htm

Elizaveta Zhuk/Martin Bidar CZE - she was released by Russia in April 2020 (they started skating together in 2019): https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/oes-news-2019-20-season.105753/page-4#post-5795002

Chloe Choinard/Livio Mayr AUT - she received her release from Skate Canada in April 2020 (last season he competed internationally with Olivia Boys-Eddy and she nationally in Senior with Shaquille Davis)

Anastasia Vaipan-Law/Luke Digby GBR, based at Ice Dundee in Scotland: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-haB9fDWFz/
Ahhh now I’m sad all over again because most of my favorite pairs split or retired last season! :(
 

aftershocks

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Katie McBeath/Nate Bartholomay (now 31) USA - he officially announced their new partnership on his Instagram back on May 28 (includes a soundless clip of their SP choreography from March): https://www.instagram.com/p/CAwHmJ7Bgkr/
She is 25, started learning pairs last year, and competed 4 times in Senior Ladies at U.S. Nationals. They will train in Sand/Meno's group (Calalang/Johnson, Knierim/Frazier).

Nadya Labazina (age 15)/TJ Nyman (age 20) USA - clip of their triple twist that he shared on his IG late last month: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAyuRgrgclS/
Labazina last competed at Russian Nationals in December 2018, placing 11th in Senior with Nikita Rakhmanin, and they never competed internationally together, according to their ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00105626.htm
Thanks @Sylvia. That's a full and helpful rundown. Ah, and I see you did also mention the split of Nica Digerness & Danny Neudecker, along with their new and promising partnerships.

Sasha Dinov* & Danny Neudecker (the official announcement, and some training clips)
https://www.instagram.com/p/CBRof6mp4FA/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Dc3aPB0ZC/?igshid=1bkxuwpiwhsm0
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-arXXthVX5/

I look forward to seeing Nica and Ian on the ice together. Ian looked good at U.S. Nats in 2019 with Chelsea Liu, who is of course now skating with a new partner in China

Former singles skater, Megan Wessenberg is practicing pairs in the Meno/Sand training camp in Irvine, CA -- Chris Knierim has been working with her on learning pairs skills; Megan is apparently still searching for a partner


* Sasha Dinov is the daughter of Russian-born Rinat Farkhoutdinov who switched to coaching in the U.S., after competing as an ice dancer representing Japan, with former partner, Nakako Tsuzuki


Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier USA - 3/25 article on their split: https://sports.yahoo.com/haven-denney-brandon-frazier-mark-014027206.html (they won 2017 Nationals & competed 7 times at the Senior level, won Intermediate national bronze in 2007-08 & qualified for Juvenile level Nationals in 2005-06)
Haven & Brandon also won the 2013 Junior World Championships in Pairs

 
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Sylvia

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FWIW, Neudecker's new partner Sasha spells her last name Fakhroutdinov (different than Farkhoutdinov).
 

aftershocks

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Possibly the Wiki entry for her Dad misspelled his name? It sure is a mouthful. And apparently, Sasha unofficially drops the first part of her surname, at least on Instagram.
 

Sylvia

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Ziegler & Kiefer were featured on Skate Austria's Instagram stories today. Miriam mentioned today was their last day of their 7 weeks training in Austria (Salzburg for off-ice; skating in Gmunden) before they return to Berlin next week. They also mentioned their choreographers for the new season: Mark Pillay (SP) and Silvia Fontana & John Zimmerman (FS via FaceTime).
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Ziegler & Kiefer were featured on Skate Austria's Instagram stories today. Miriam mentioned today was their last day of their 7 weeks training in Austria (Salzburg for off-ice; skating in Gmunden) before they return to Berlin next week. They also mentioned their choreographers for the new season: Mark Pillay (SP) and Silvia Fontana & John Zimmerman (FS via FaceTime).
😱

#jelly

My two favorite cities

(Besides Barcelona. And Madrid. And Vancouver.)
 

Audrey177

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Ziegler & Kiefer were featured on Skate Austria's Instagram stories today. Miriam mentioned today was their last day of their 7 weeks training in Austria (Salzburg for off-ice; skating in Gmunden) before they return to Berlin next week. They also mentioned their choreographers for the new season: Mark Pillay (SP) and Silvia Fontana & John Zimmerman (FS via FaceTime).
They are one of my favorite pairs..cute couple and i feel like they get better and better with every competition! Curious to see new programs :watch:
 

Sylvia

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2018 Czech Olympic pair skater Anna Dušková (also the 2016 World Junior champion with Martin Bidař) posted her retirement announcement on her Instagram yesterday: https://www.instagram.com/p/CB0wDRlpUnl/
She has had "struggles with many injuries for the past 2 years" (including 3 knee surgeries, most recently one in February).

Her current pairs partner, Radek Jakubka, 19 (they never competed internationally together; he placed 5th in SR men at CZE Nationals) wrote a touching tribute to Anna and mentioned she will be involved in his coaching team: https://www.instagram.com/p/CB1Dzj-pQhO/
 

Sylvia

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The Spanish federation announced today that Laura Barquero and Ton Consul have split:
 

Vash01

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Ziegler & Kiefer were featured on Skate Austria's Instagram stories today. Miriam mentioned today was their last day of their 7 weeks training in Austria (Salzburg for off-ice; skating in Gmunden) before they return to Berlin next week. They also mentioned their choreographers for the new season: Mark Pillay (SP) and Silvia Fontana & John Zimmerman (FS via FaceTime).
I like this pair. I saw them skate live in 2016 in Boston. Every year they have improved. Last year they looked very good. I am eager to see hiw they do this year.
 

aftershocks

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^^ I'm sad to hear about the Barquero/Consul split. I thought they had very good potential together. Despite their lack of speed, and the problems on their lift and 3-twist in the below performance, they were an interesting pair. I think Ton was more suited to Barquero than her former partner:


They both exhibit a nice style to their skating, especially Ton. Their fp at the 2019 Denis Ten Memorial competition:

I wonder whether the split has something to do with the current uncertainties regarding the skating season, and resultant logistical and financial-related concerns. Laura and Ton are both from Spain AFAIK. Ton was born in Vielha Lerida, but has resided in Montreal, where he was coached for a number of years. I'm not sure if that's where he's still living.

Ton has skated with several other partners, including Isabella Gamez:

I hope things will work out for Ton and Laura should they both be continuing to pursue individual careers in skating.
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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2012 Worlds pair bronze medalist Narumi Takahashi, now 28, has joined a major entertainment agency Shochiku entertainment:
"I want to become an actor and experience the lives of various people, and compete with the expressive power cultivated in figure skating."
 

thunderbolts

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I like this pair. I saw them skate live in 2016 in Boston. Every year they have improved. Last year they looked very good. I am eager to see hiw they do this year.
They have problems with consistency and the lack of clout from a weak federation, but I enjoy watching them. I would like to see them have good results.
 

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