The Knierims have switched coaches from Sappenfield to ... Aljona Savchenko!

barbarafan

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Great news! Aliona coaching, did I miss her retirement announcement.
Alexa and Chris will surely benefit from this change. Best of Luck to them!
Bruno has injuries to heal and prob. Aliona has as well. Bruno/fiance are expecting I believe so maybe this is a year off break where Aliona tries to start a family. No better time....If Bruno recovers completely maybe they will compete again next yr or come back for next Olympics. If not she certainly has no cause for regrets. A fabulous career.
 

whiteskates

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Wishing them the best of luck. It remains to be seen whether Aljona will be as successful as a coach as she has been as a skater.
 

nimi

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Wow. I was expecting them to announce a coaching change, but... like, maybe to Florida, not to Germany! :lol:

Anyway, this is great news and I'm looking forward to seeing how they are going to develop stylistically! I trust Aljona to keep them away from Ghosts and Moulin Rouges and other warhorses...

Didn't Christopher Dean choreograph a Chaplin free for Alexa&Chris for last season, and they also had that Paint It Black SP (does anybody remember who choreographed that? ETA: choreo by Rohene Ward, thank you AngieNikodinovLove!), but then they got feedback from the Fed that they should stick to their old programs & old style for the Oly season? I wonder whether the process of working with Dean, combined with the disappointments they had after the team competition, gave Alexa and Chris some ideas about how a big leap into the unknown might be a good move...
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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Cool photos of the happy trio:
https://twitter.com/alexa_knierim/status/996091360569692160 (and I looooove those T-shirts!)
OH wow.. And cool shirt.... so this has been in the works for a while...

So they now train in vernon hills, IL... not far from where I grew up...

What rink is that and whom else trains there...

Wow, its like IL is the new CA as far as where skaters either come from or train!!!
 

Anyasnake

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That's some gutsy move, it shows that they may want to aim for a Beijing 2022 medal, or at least a world medal. I love seeing skaters taking their careers into their own hands, moving part-time to Germany is no joke. All the best to them !
And if we get programs like we got these last 2 seasons from S/M... :encore::encore::encore:
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Didn't Christopher Dean choreograph a Chaplin free for Alexa&Chris for last season, and they also had that Paint It Black SP (does anybody remember who choreographed that?), but then they got feedback from the Fed that they should stick to their old programs & old style for the Oly season?
Paint it Black was Rohene Ward...

wish they kept it..

although I did see Ekaterina & Harley's PIB and I did not like at all.....
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger (she/her)
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Wow. This is quite a coup. Maybe Les Marrieds can become Les Contenders? Maybe? Eventually?

And I applaud anyone escaping Sappenfield.
 

lmarie086

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I never thought they would leave Sappenfield, even though I've been hoping they would for awhile. This is a bold move, I like it. Good luck to them!
 

SamuraiK

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I applaud the move.. if you love the sport and still feel you can continue! go for it and do what's necessary to achieve your goals. Pairs is perhaps the only discipline where not being too young anymore is not a disadvantage and who else better to show them it can be done than Aljona.

Best wishes for the Knierims,
 

Tavi

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1,955
OH wow.. And cool shirt.... so this has been in the works for a while...

So they now train in vernon hills, IL... not far from where I grew up...

What rink is that and whom else trains there...

Wow, its like IL is the new CA as far as where skaters either come from or train!!!
Glacier Ice Arena is in Vernon Hills. Chris Howarth is the skating director and Alex O is on staff there. So Shoma and Gracie and Tomoki have all trained there.

Did they confirm that’s where they’ll train in Illinois?
 

skatfan

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It strikes me that part of the move is also to get out of the US Figure Skating fishbowl in Colorado Springs. I'm not sure that having those official nit-pick over their program choices has done them any favors. I'm guessing Alijona supports them developing creatively in some new directions.
 

BittyBug

The missing ingredient
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22,573
As far as I can tell, S&K's choice of programs has not been their chief obstacle to increased success.

Jumps, jumps, jumps - if Aljona can fix that for them, they'll be in the hunt.
 

Debbie S

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12,244
Can Aliona coach in the US right away? Does she need a usfsa membership?
Yes, she (and the other coaches) needs to be a member of USFS and the PSA, purchase the PSA liability insurance, pass the annual background check (done through a USFS vendor) and complete CERs (online classes consisting of reading material/Power Points and a quiz) in order to be credentialed at a U.S. comp. Rinks have their own policies but most require the full USFS certification.
 

starrynight

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It's probably a safe coaching start for Aljona too. Anything she can do for Alexa and Chris is a bonus after how badly Worlds went.
 

Lizziebeth

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Aljona seems like a good choice. She knows how to overcome obstacles and what is needed to win. She has excellent taste in competitive programs. She helped and encouraged Bruno to be the best he could be. She seems to be really good at the mental game of skating. I hope this coaching and skating team really kicks butt!
 

Scrufflet

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1,204
Well this is interesting! And really good news for U.S. pairs. I don't follow it closely and have no idea what goes on behind the scenes but after nationals this year I thought the two of them looked deflated, as if someone had been kicking them in the head repeatedly. At the time I remember thinking that they needed either Duhamel or Aliona to go down there and give them some confidence and now this! Whew.
Now if we can only get Mervin Tran into a good groove, there my be a change!
 

ballettmaus

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14,671
Yes, she (and the other coaches) needs to be a member of USFS and the PSA, purchase the PSA liability insurance, pass the annual background check (done through a USFS vendor) and complete CERs (online classes consisting of reading material/Power Points and a quiz) in order to be credentialed at a U.S. comp. Rinks have their own policies but most require the full USFS certification.
She'll also need a visa allowing her to work. I hope they've already started that process!
 

ilovepaydays

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10,658
It's probably a safe coaching start for Aljona too. Anything she can do for Alexa and Chris is a bonus after how badly Worlds went.
Unless they somehow end up getting beaten at U.S. Nationals. Which I don't think would happen - but weirder things have happened.

Best of luck to the Knierims. I was a bit surprised at this news - I was under the impression that Alexa and Chris would never leave Delilah - but I think this change will be for the better. I think Aljona should help them with packaging their programs and nailing their elements better.
 

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