You've interpreted my post incorrectly. Nowhere did I mention "waiting one's turn" nor was that my intent to imply. Comparing the current situation to the past isn't necessarily relevant. The fact NOW is that Hubbell/Donohue and Chock/Bates are such strong dance teams (including World medals), that it will be very difficult for the USA teams behind them--including the current senior #3-5, to dislodge them . Not impossible, but very very difficult to do within the next 2-3 years and without help from H/D or C/B in the form of making serious mistakes in competition. IMO, teams H/B, M/C, and C/P are capable of switching positions 3-5 between them depending on competition execution, but I'm hard-pressed to think of ANY other US senior or junior teams (or new partner combinations) leapfrogging these three in the same time frame. This means anybody else is fighting for at best 6th place between now and 2022.I disagree with this sentiment. Ice Dance teams no longer have to "wait their turn" or wait until a more experienced teams retires to make their move (onto the podium).
Chock/Bates jumped right onto the podium when they paired up. When the Shibutani's turned senior, they debuted on the podium. They did not have to wait their turn.
Belbin/Agosto spent one season behind Lang/Tchernyshev (the more senior team), then passed them and in their turn Belbin/Agosto were passed by Davis/White (at that time a more junior team).
There has been a great deal of movement on and off the podium in the last twenty years. I don't think any of the junior teams coming up need despair. If they work hard enough, they will get on the podium. Nothing can stop talent.
What these young teams need to do (to ensure their future success) is stick together, as we have seen a dozen promising teams (over the last twenty years) split up (for various reasons) just as they were about to make their mark as senior skaters.
Like it or not, there is a hierarchy here and it has as much to do with actual skating ability as it does with theoretical seniority. And though junior and new senior teams may improve greatly, those on the ladder above them are nearly all improving as well. The view is different when you're on that ladder and there are 3-4 teams above you to get to the top rung, vs 7-8 teams above you--the latter is a LOT more discouraging when the clock is ticking.
I don't agree with your statement that I bolded. Hard work is a necessary component, but it doesn't guarantee that a team will get on a podium or win ISU championship medals. Plenty of circumstances can stop talent dead in its tracks.