U.S. Pairs 2018-19 season - News & Updates, Part IX

chachacha

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172
Many sports, including hockey, football, rugby and soccer, are only now putting together somewhat protective protocols for athletes. Even within high-collision, full-contact sports, there is lack of education of players, parents, coaches and officials.

As a parent and board member, and as someone who is working very hard to make youth sports safer, I have seen little to no evidence that figure skating organizations are promoting anywhere near the level of education that other sports are currently advocating. What went on with Ashley -- with obvious loss of consciousness -- is usually evidence of the more severe forms of traumatic brain injury. It would be very unusual at this point to see anything but a long return to play for even NHL players, especially after a head hit with loss of consciousness evident.

Knowing what we know the about poor decision making and abuses of power of other medical personnel within this and other sports, it would not be out of the bounds of reason to wonder whether concussion protocols in figure skating needed some stricter regulation and rules about return to play.

Would athletes hide symptoms? I'm guessing they already are. Again, this is where education, awareness and strict protocols must be enforced. And certainly, it should never be celebrated by Team USA that an athlete soldiered on and competed the same day they reported potential concussion symptoms tied to post concussion syndrome. This is irresponsible and backwards thinking.
Totally Agree!
 

chachacha

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172
What makes Ashley's case so unique is that she was unconscious briefly for a moment on the ice!!!!

And then came to, and continued to skate.

On a seriousness level thats a 10.

Hope she is and stays healthy.

They have now about 5 weeks to Worlds? Hopefully she can also get rest.

Love them.
Her parents are the coaches who are allowing this. Figure skating is great and I can appreciate the hard work and dedication, but if it was my kid, that suffered a concussion they would not be going full throttle to hopefully get a 10th place finish in figure skating.
 

chachacha

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172
It's kind of strange that it took a concussion for cain/leduc to start skating this well, but oh well. I would like to see s/b and c/j assigned to some competition just so they can build a little more rep and see how their scores compare to 4cc skaters. Haven/Brandon are hitting all their elements besides jumps really well, so that is good at least.
I hope Alexa and Chris come back hungrier then ever. I think Alexa and Chris can be a top 5 in the world team when healthy 🙏🙏🙏💪💪💪
 

Firedancer

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1,252
It is definitely concerning that Ashley competed with post-concussion symptoms. You have to wonder if they really took adequate time off after her fall. I hope Ashley continues to feel better and that they are training and competing responsibly, with her health in mind.
 

ilovepaydays

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9,451
It’s seriously not okay that Ashley had concussion symptoms yesterday morning and still competed. And this response by Nick McCarvel is insane!

Honestly, we need to applaud athletes like Josh Farris who decided to stop and take care of their health first (and therefore the rest of their lives), even if it means moving on to something else. I fear that too many people - especially athletes, families, coaches, and governing bodies - aren’t having the right perspective with these high-level sports.

And yes, I’m aware that there are inherent risks here and very few things are 100% safe. But this is insanity.
 

haribobo

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7,751
As usual, we are taking one person's tweet/article and blowing it massively out of proportion. I wake up slow and in a fog sometimes and have never been concussed. Are we sure these are concussion symptoms and she wasn't just dehydrated or something? I think if Ashley's symptoms were *that* bad she would not be able to land anything. But what do I know? Recommence freaking out.....
 

DimaToe

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5,485
I’ve had a couple concussions in my life, the last came from a car crash this past Monday. Everybody handles them differently, at this point the injury didn’t get in the way of my everyday life because I knew more or less what to expect, although not all head injuries will go the same way. I can see how Ashley C. Might have been injured and is just going along because she has a lot of expectations on her. A concussion doesn’t make you unable to keep up your everyday life. Things are just different and something that you didn’t notice before might make you cry for a while. Like I said not all head injuries are the same but the armchair judging going on just rubbed me the wrong way.
 

chachacha

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172
As usual, we are taking one person's tweet/article and blowing it massively out of proportion. I wake up slow and in a fog sometimes and have never been concussed. Are we sure these are concussion symptoms and she wasn't just dehydrated or something? I think if Ashley's symptoms were *that* bad she would not be able to land anything. But what do I know? Recommence freaking out.....
Exactly! Anyone who suffered an actual concussion and still having symptoms would NOT be cleared to participate in a high level type of sports activity. Therefore, those tweeting, writing articles and Ashley herself are being quite ignorant in making statements that she is experiencing concussion symptoms because no medical practioner would clear an athlete to proceed with competing or training at a high intense level. So maybe she was dehydrated or had something else wrong but if they are stating it’s from her concussion It really is not anything to be making public since it’s sheer stupity and not acceptable for a medical physician to clear her it’s irresponsible, everyone involved Coaches, Athlete, USFSA it sends a terrible message to someone to keep pushing themselves when someone who has suffered a Concussion should not be doing so soon. It’s dissapointing to see that USFSA and any of the Team Physicians are this irresponsible
 

chachacha

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172
It does not stop you from every day living, however 2 months post concussion has different protocol and if one is still symptomatic, they should not be participating in a high level of sport activity.
 

Spun Silver

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11,124
I’ve had a couple concussions in my life, the last came from a car crash this past Monday. Everybody handles them differently, at this point the injury didn’t get in the way of my everyday life because I knew more or less what to expect, although not all head injuries will go the same way. I can see how Ashley C. Might have been injured and is just going along because she has a lot of expectations on her. A concussion doesn’t make you unable to keep up your everyday life. Things are just different and something that you didn’t notice before might make you cry for a while. Like I said not all head injuries are the same but the armchair judging going on just rubbed me the wrong way.
Sorry to hear about your concussion last Monday. Take good care.
 
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VGThuy

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29,854
IIRC, D/F are part of the reason the US is down to one pairs slot at Worlds. The year they won the US Championships (2017) they didn’t even make it to the free skate, ultimately finishing in 20th place. I’m guessing that’s why they are not an alternate for worlds. S/B have arguably had a better season internationally than D/F. Why not reward that with a trip to 4CC?
This is not a fair thing to say. D/F failed to make the LP it's true, but so did the second ranked French team who placed below them by 12+ points. Both France and the U.S. qualified two spots for Worlds but only France got two spots for the Olympics due to an Olympic quota and James/Cipres placing higher than S-K/K at Worlds. So you can blame S-K/K too. The next year at Worlds both S-K/K and S/B skated and the U.S. lost a place at Worlds so now we're here down to one spot. D/F had nothing to do with the U.S. going down to one spot for this season or even Worlds either season. However, it seems only D/F gets the residual blame for U.S. pairs spots when S/B and SK/K are also to blame but they are treated much nicer by fans.
 

Willin

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2,045
It’s seriously not okay that Ashley had concussion symptoms yesterday morning and still competed. And this response by Nick McCarvel is insane!

Honestly, we need to applaud athletes like Josh Farris who decided to stop and take care of their health first (and therefore the rest of their lives), even if it means moving on to something else. I fear that too many people - especially athletes, families, coaches, and governing bodies - aren’t having the right perspective with these high-level sports.

And yes, I’m aware that there are inherent risks here and very few things are 100% safe. But this is insanity.
This x100!

We should be glorifying and celebrating smart athletes who make decisions for the sake of their health, not ones that make dumb and dangerous decisions. And yet, because this is America and this is sports, "fighting through an injury" is what people see as brave, no matter how dumb it is.
We need to change that culture and teach people that it's better to heal. That it's braver not to live up to the storyline or expectation and sit out until you're ready to go. We need to teach skaters and kids in general that it's okay to be injured. That an injury or a concussion doesn't make you weak. That coming back from an injury doesn't make you strong. That even if you're the best shot for a medal, you can be a better shot recovered in a year than you will be injured next week. That your long term health is more important than one competition that will hardly be remembered in 5-10 years (or maybe even one year).
The response of fans, reporters, and the USFS propaganda machine in reporting her competing with a concussion is the exact opposite of what we need for that change to happen.
 

aftershocks

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15,405
Im feeling more confident C&L can get 10th place at Worlds. They got a new SB by over 10 points in the free.
They seemed to have fixed their landings on their throws. Their 3 twist is doing well.
They land their jumps!!!! They did tho get a < on the 3 loops in both programs.. Was it Ashley????
I feel secure watching them now.... more than any other US team.
Although... how many entries does China have next month???
I feel C/L were over-scrutinized and shafted. Ice Desk commentators said Timothy got called on the 3-loop in the fp. The international judges are apparently always looking for a way to mark down, and look down on U.S. pairs teams. C/L did not get the credit they deserved on performance abilities. Yes, they have a lot of work to do still on continuing to perfect the quality of their elements. But I don't think they were under on their 3-loops in either program. The problem I saw was actually a slight stutter on the dismount of their 3-twist in the sp, and perhaps some slight issues with the combo jumping pass in the fp, but otherwise this was a good showing and they should have been in front of Peng/Jin at least in the sp if not overall. Especially if the judges were going to put KMT/MM in first place over a subpar Sui/Han in the sp. Of course Kirsten & Michael were technically the cleanest in the sp, but their performance value was not lights out over everyone else. Ash & Timothy deserved better, but the judges were clearly reluctant to give them full credit for their strengths. C/L's overall performance execution was better than Peng/Jin, even if C/L's elements still need work. My issue is that both Chinese teams did not really put it together, despite the fact they have better quality elements than the rest of the field. Sui/Han particularly looked rusty from her injury and lack of training time.

The biggest problem for me is that despite KMT/MM being the cleanest in the sp, they simply aren't in the top category of pairs yet to be receiving 74+. They may have skated their best sp of the season, but it truly didn't deserve that high of a score. Even they were surprised at their sp score. It was pure politics, IMO, on behalf of the Canadians and against the U.S. teams in their home country. I like KMT/MM a lot, but they are not Meghan & Eric. Not yet. Michael right now still has a lot of work to do to rise to the level of other male pairs partners. And KMT/MM's programs this season are not as good as their last season's programs. Their fp performance was underwhelming and somewhat shaky, yet they were in the kiss 'n cry apparently thinking they should have edged Sui/Han again.

Now, I see why Vincent Zhou was put in first over Cha in the sp! And Bradie was ahead in the sp over other ladies. Some of the scoring in singles was probably related to making up for dissing Cain/LeDuc in the pairs sp. Also, in the sp, the judges were very intent on keeping down Haven/Brandon's scores. H&B have world class quality lifts and throws, plus their 3-twist is excellent and very consistent. Yet on a superior throw with exquisite height and distance, H&B were given .50 GOE??? Contrasted with Ruest/Wolfe and Walsh/Michaud both receiving 1.00+ for their sp throw jumps. :huh: While the latter two teams performed competent throws in the sp, they certainly did not have the same height and distance as Haven's! I noticed in the fp that the judges started to give H&B a bit better GOE on their throws and lifts, so someone must have rightly said something after the sp. The scoring was inconsistent and unfair. If they would just score the elements fairly. This sport is so frustrating, so political and full of conflicts of interest.

It looks like Tarah/Danny lacked confidence and oomph coming in as defending champions. Honestly, someone needs to work with Tarah (as Scott Dyer recently mentioned) on her skating skills, her blade skills, and on managing her center of gravity, which will help increase her speed. This needs to happen if she & Danny hope to move to the next level. Haven & Brandon have some great elements and Charlie White gave them excellent programs this season, but Haven has to figure out the sbs jumping issues, because they've appeared to regress on those even from last season. It looks like she doesn't have the confidence or ability to get around on all her triples and land them anymore, so they have resorted to doing doubles. Maybe H&B's coaches have an overall plan, but until they figure out the jumps and continue to improve their connection, polish, and performance skills, it will be difficult for them to be next-level competitive. They should be better respected though for what they do well. Plenty of teams try to emulate their lift positions.

Cain/LeDuc should continue to hold their heads high with confidence! They held their own, despite being given a hard time by the judges vs the teams placed ahead of them. It seemed like the judges were intent on finding something wrong that they could take points off for C/L. But C/L still came out and skated confidently in the fp. They've come through a lot and they have so much to be proud of. I hope to see them continuing to improve in all areas, and continuing to stay centered and focused on doing their best, no matter what obstacles they have to confront. :cheer2:
 
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aftershocks

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15,405
I hope Alexa and Chris come back hungrier then ever. I think Alexa and Chris can be a top 5 in the world team when healthy 🙏🙏🙏💪💪💪
Well, it's going to be up to Cain/LeDuc to skate well at Worlds in order to bring back two spots for U.S. teams. Obviously, Ashley & Timothy are needed to be at their best at the World championships in order for U.S. pairs teams to continue building their competitiveness and rep in this crazy sport. So at this juncture, I'm not sure why you're touting a U.S. team who is no longer in the running this season. The judges at 4CCs IMO were unfairly reluctant to give C/L more performance value credit at 4CCs, while padding scores of the teams who placed ahead of them. Still, C/L had a good showing and should rightly be proud of all they've been able to focus on and accomplish since the incident at Golden Spin.

As far as your earlier comments about Ashley's medical condition, if I were you I'd be careful about making blanket statements accusing the athletes and their coaches of promoting falsehoods. Do you have access to Ashley's medical records?

Alexa/Chris had every opportunity this season to overcome the difficult challenges they faced in connection with their start of the season split with Aliona. Considering what the Knierims have had to deal with, they will definitely need to regroup over the off-season, and also to reassess their goals. If they are still hungry, I think they need to seek out a sports pyschologist to help Alexa figure out what's going on and whether the difficulties she's been experiencing are physical in nature, or emotional. I agree that if Alexa & Chris are at full strength physically and emotionally, then they have the opportunity to be at a high level because all of their elements are good and have pop, except for the sbs jumps. The Knierims showed some dynamic improvements in their performance abilities with Aliona's help and Benoit Richaud's choreo, but they still need to improve their on-ice connection and their confidence.

It's kind of strange that it took a concussion for cain/leduc to start skating this well, but oh well. I would like to see s/b and c/j assigned to some competition just so they can build a little more rep and see how their scores compare to 4cc skaters. Haven/Brandon are hitting all their elements besides jumps really well, so that is good at least.
Actually Ashley and Timothy had a great start to the season, winning gold at two Challenger events before placing third at Skate America. And they might have done better at their next event had they been able to go to France GP or NHK rather than Rostelecom Cup in Russia, especially as a pairs team.

So quite obviously, it DID NOT take a concussion for Cain/LeDuc to start skating well. Please stop with the hyperbole. It likely makes better sense to frame it as hardships sometimes helping individuals to refocus and concentrate at a heightened level on how best they can achieve their goals in the face of what seems like insurmountable obstacles. The other issue is that we don't have all the details about the extent and impact of Ashley's concussion. From viewing what happened, it looked to me like she also experienced a bit of whiplash during the course of her Golden Spin fp.

Frankly, my advice for Cain/LeDuc is to resist U.S. fed's and U.S. media's stupidity in trying to somehow hype and promote her ability to 'miraculously' overcome a concussion. Every such situation and experience is different for every individual. Ash & Timothy, please just keep your noses to the grindstone and your eyes on the prize! I hope C/L will go back to conducting themselves like they did during December and early January in terms of being positive and ensuring that Ashley's health is always taken into full consideration, while also putting in the necessary training time that will keep them in competitive shape. Ashley needs to continue doing what works best for her, and to follow her doctor's advce, not the media's hype and U.S. fed's questionable directives!
 

aftershocks

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It’s been a few years that Haven has actually jumped a 2nd jump pass. I think they have reached there peak on jumps. It’s really unfortunate because if Denney could jump they would be competitive internationally. I wonder if maybe Denney & Frazier should consider retiring or perhaps Frazier should explore his options. He’s only 26 and has stayed loyal but it’s holding him back.
:rofl: :duh: Please, please stop over-thinking. As we can see Haven & Brandon are competitive internationally, despite issues with their sbs jumps, which they obviously need to fix. H&B have been through a lot together, and I seriously doubt that Brandon is planning to try and start over with a different partner at this point. I don't think they've publicly discussed what's going on with Haven's jump issues post her surgery, but hopefully their coaches have a long term plan to get them back on track with the jumps, if it's at all physically and mentally possible.

Meanwhile, can we maybe please refrain from apocalyptic gloom and doom? I'm sure H&B and their coaches know something has to change re the jumps if H&B are to make it to the next level. Hopefully, there is a plan in place, as they continue to perfect all areas of their skating. As I said before, there's no doubt that their 3-twist, lifts and throws are world class. And Charlie White's choreo this season has showed off their best qualities and incrementally enhanced their confidence.
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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I feel C/L were over-scrutinized and shafted. Ice Desk commentators said Timothy got called on the 3-loop in the fp. The international judges are apparently always looking for a way to mark down, and look down on U.S. pairs teams. C/L did not get the credit they deserved on performance abilities. Yes, they have a lot of work to do still on continuing to perfect the quality of their elements. But I don't think they were under on their 3-loops in either program. The problem I saw was actually a slight stutter on the dismount of their 3-twist in the sp, and perhaps some slight issues with the combo jumping pass in the fp, but otherwise this was a good showing and they should have been in front of Peng/Jin at least in the sp if not overall. Especially if the judges were going to put KMT/MM in first place over a subpar Sui/Han in the sp. Of course Kirsten & Michael were technically the cleanest in the sp, but their performance value was not lights out over everyone else. Ash & Timothy deserved better, but the judges were clearly reluctant to give them full credit for their strengths. C/L's overall performance execution was better than Peng/Jin, even if C/L's elements still need work. My issue is that both Chinese teams did not really put it together, despite the fact they have better quality elements than the rest of the field. Sui/Han particularly looked rusty from her injury and lack of training time.

The biggest problem for me is that despite KMT/MM being the cleanest in the sp, they simply aren't in the top category of pairs yet to be receiving 74+. They may have skated their best sp of the season, but it truly didn't deserve that high of a score. Even they were surprised at their sp score. It was pure politics, IMO, on behalf of the Canadians and against the U.S. teams in their home country. I like KMT/MM a lot, but they are not Meghan & Eric. Not yet. Michael right now still has a lot of work to do to rise to the level of other male pairs partners. And KMT/MM's programs this season are not as good as their last season's programs. Their fp performance was underwhelming and somewhat shaky, yet they were in the kiss 'n cry apparently thinking they should have edged Sui/Han again.

Now, I see why Vincent Zhou was put in first over Cha in the sp! And Bradie was ahead in the sp over other ladies. Some of the scoring in singles was probably related to making up for dissing Cain/LeDuc in the pairs sp. Also, in the sp, the judges were very intent on keeping down Haven/Brandon's scores. H&B have world class quality lifts and throws, plus their 3-twist is excellent and very consistent. Yet on a superior throw with exquisite height and distance, H&B were given .50 GOE??? Contrasted with Ruest/Wolfe and Walsh/Michaud both receiving 1.00+ for their sp throw jumps. :huh: While the latter two teams performed competent throws in the sp, they certainly did not have the same height and distance as Haven's! I noticed in the fp that the judges started to give H&B a bit better GOE on their throws and lifts, so someone must have rightly said something after the sp. The scoring was inconsistent and unfair. If they would just score the elements fairly. This sport is so frustrating, so political and full of conflicts of interest.

It looks like Tarah/Danny lacked confidence and oomph coming in as defending champions. Honestly, someone needs to work with Tarah (as Scott Dyer recently mentioned) on her skating skills, her blade skills, and on managing her center of gravity, which will help increase her speed. This needs to happen if she & Danny hope to move to the next level. Haven & Brandon have some great elements and Charlie White gave them excellent programs this season, but Haven has to figure out the sbs jumping issues, because they've appeared to regress on those even from last season. It looks like she doesn't have the confidence or ability to get around on all her triples and land them anymore, so they have resorted to doing doubles. Maybe H&B's coaches have an overall plan, but until they figure out the jumps and continue to improve their connection, polish, and performance skills, it will be difficult for them to be next-level competitive. They should be better respected though for what they do well. Plenty of teams try to emulate their lift positions.

Cain/LeDuc should continue to hold their heads high with confidence! They held their own, despite being given a hard time by the judges vs the teams placed ahead of them. It seemed like the judges were intent on finding something wrong that they could take points off for C/L. But C/L still came out and skated confidently in the fp. They've come through a lot and they have so much to be proud of. I hope to see them continuing to improve in all areas, and continuing to stay centered and focused on doing their best, no matter what obstacles they have to confront. :cheer2:
Interesting points.

I do, as I told Ashley already, feel that her and Timothy were held down.

More points from ANL:

I aint a fan of MT/M but I realized how super fast they skate just like S&H! If I am fair (and I like to think that I am) they have improved immensely in a few months. Stiil not my brand of whiskey but they are good.

That free skate from S&H just may be my favorite pairs program of all time.. and to find out that it is a Nichol program..... every now and then she does a fantastic program. She is always good but this was fantastic. It was amazing!

P&J dont emote enough to make me feel anything of "La Vie En Rose." I admire the version they chose but I dont feel like they "felt" that music whereas C&L transported me. Their lines, their synchronicity, expressions.....they make me want to rewatch their programs.

I dont feel like D&F were held down at all. I was expecting about 114 for that free not 122. They do have great speed, great lifts... but jumps from juniors. Cant fault them for it.... her blown out achilles ... man... may not ever recover from something so severe....

It will start to p*ss off ANL tho if judges lowballl C&L..... they are IMO now world class.
 

Spiralgraph

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I think C/L are not perceived as the National champions yet by the judges. Some posters here are almost saying that SK/K should be sent to worlds, when they're clearly injured and haven't had a clean program in some time. If Ashley and Tim keep skating clean or cleanish, their marks will rise. Already since their time as a team, their lifts and the triple twist have improved. They need to keep improving, be consistent and of course a little luck. Most of all Ashley needs to heal and not get injured again. That's the mantra for all our teams, stay healthy.

And it does no good to denigrate any of our pairs. We do need more than one team to compete well and show improvement. The point upthread was right, it took more than one team to get to the point where we have just one spot for Worlds or the Olympics. To get that second spot back we shouldn't have to rely on only one pair.
 

aftershocks

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^^ To be completely honest, let's face it, the reason the U.S. is down to one spot in pairs is not purely due to the performances of our teams, it's largely due to ISU rigid rulings and antiquated way of running the sport, period. Stellato/Bartholomay did their job last year at Worlds, period. They just got shafted because of ISU cut-off rule for the fp. And because of reluctance to be fair to U.S. pairs. Some of that disrespect and damning reputation is partly due to the fact that so many of our talented teams are not able to compete on the World stage on a regular basis in order to gain the necessary experience to incrementally improve and to grow in confidence. Back-in-the-day, Shen/Zhao were able to go from dead last place in World standings to number one, because they steadily built their skills and their competitive strengths through being able to go to Worlds every year. The ability to go to Worlds every year can not be underestimated. That is like gold. Teams have got to compete internationally on a regular basis in order to get better.

The elephant in the room, and the icky sticky wicket for U.S. pairs has been injury and illness over the past several seasons which has hampered their growth and momentum. Haven & Brandon and the Knierims would be in a much better position if not for having to battle back from serious, career and life-threatening injury and illness. Too often, no one takes that into account when they discuss U.S. teams. It's just always negative slights instead of looking at the reality, which is that the U.S. has a lot of very good pairs teams who simply need to catch some breaks and receive better respect!

Now, I enjoy and root for a lot of international skaters and teams. I really like many Canadian skaters. I enjoy and root for Kirsten & Michael. But I disagree with their score in the sp. They skated better than everybody in the sp, but they don't have the magic of a rusty Sui/Han. Of course, even Sui/Han were scored higher than they should have been in the sp, which is what led to the judges' dilemma after they low-balled C/L in favor of P/J, and then KMT/MM came out and skated a blinder. It looked as if the judges felt they then had to put KMT/MM in first because both Chinese teams messed up and were put in front of C/L on the basis perhaps of superior overall elements and rep. However, for my money, C/L performed the heck out of their sp and they were not given enough credit for their performance value. Plus, they had no readily visible major error. I think the judges scrutinize with a microscope skaters they feel have UR rep and who they basically don't want to give too much credit, and so a close call on a UR check tends to go against skaters. For me, I would have had Sui/Han at maybe 71+ or 72, and KMT at about 70+ in the sp.

And if the judges desired to edge P/J over C/L in the sp, it should have been only by percentage points! I'd say 67.95 for P/J vs 67.55 for C/L or 68.70 P/J vs 68.20 for C/L. I see that the judges are saying they like P/J's rep and some of their quality elements, so I don't hugely argue with the overall outcome. I just think C/L weren't given enough credit, and the scores should have been closer in both programs. I would have had P/J finish at maybe 200, not 205. Overall C/L ended up with 196.82 which is granted, a season's best internationally, but I would have given them more credit for what they did well vs P/J in particular. Even KMT/MM were not that strong in their fp performance. C/L's programs are better choreographically than P/J's and KMT/MM's.

U.S. pairs have gotten the shit-end of the stick for far too long. And I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not taking it lying down. I will speak up for U.S. pairs teams, and advocate for U.S. teams and cheer on U.S. teams. That's what Canadian fans do, no-holds-barred.

That said, I will also always call it like I see it, no matter what. I call what I see on the ice with my own eyes. That doesn't mean I'm always right. I do double-check the protocols and the slo-mo replays against what I see with my own eyes, and I make my judgements from there, based on years of watching this sport. And then I'm honest as I can be in my assessments. I'm also aware that there's always something new to learn, and I will listen to anyone who has more knowledge than I do. But I'm not falling for hype, politics or BS.
 
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AxelAnnie

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11,290
What makes Ashley's case so unique is that she was unconscious briefly for a moment on the ice!!!!

And then came to, and continued to skate.

On a seriousness level thats a 10.

Hope she is and stays healthy.

They have now about 5 weeks to Worlds? Hopefully she can also get rest.

Love them.
That is called Adrenalin.

She is playing with fire and permanent damage. Foolish.
 

aftershocks

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15,405
I don't pretend to be a doctor, but I do know what I saw looking at C/L's Golden Spin fp. As I've said previously, Ashley fell on a throw landing toward the end of the program. It was a hard fall where her head moved back and forth in a whiplash movement. IMHO, she probably became dizzy and disoriented from that impact, even though she got up to continue skating. I don't think Ashley was in a good state to go into a lift at that point. She may even have been experiencing vertigo which is not a good thing when trying to maneuver a lift. I believe that she was not in a good state physically going into and coming out of that lift, which is what caused her to be unable to manage the dismount. Timothy was holding onto her for dear life which is what saved her fall out of that lift from being more dangerous.

For all we know, Ashley was already dizzy and disoriented coming out of the lift based on the earlier whiplash she'd suffered. So when her head came down and hit the ice (although it wasn't a tremendous impact), it was probably all that was necessary to knock her out for a few seconds because she was already dizzy and disoriented, especially if she'd had to do any spinning moves or turning moves after the whiplash. I don't see anybody talking about the whiplash, but I think it's that fall on the throw and the whiplash that resulted, which led to the botched dismount on the lift.

Ashley and Timothy have come back in tremendous fashion, and I hope they continue to do everything necessary to ensure Ashley's good health and full recovery from effects of the concussion, which is apparently not as severe as some cases. Still, they need to be mindful of focusing on Ashley's health. OTOH, I don't think we need articles of this type, hyping Ashley's ability to come back from a concussion. The media and U.S. fed need to be focusing more on how well C/L skated at 4CCs, and on how good their programs are, and on how much they've improved this season.

I do, as I told Ashley already, feel that her and Timothy were held down.
True, but honestly, that wouldn't be something I would want to stress to them. I think they know the lay of the land in figure skating, and they know what they have to do. I'd cheer and congratulate them and tell them to stay focused and centered on themselves and on training to be their best. Limit the outside noise and distractions, and keep on doing what has gotten them to this point. Keep believing in themselves and doing the work and staying positive and focused! They have great programs and as they've said, the experiences they've been through have shown them they are made of tough stuff, and they know how to persevere!
 

aftershocks

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15,405
I dont feel like D&F were held down at all. I was expecting about 114 for that free not 122. They do have great speed, great lifts... but jumps from juniors. Cant fault them for it.... her blown out achilles ... man... may not ever recover from something so severe....
Here are the scoring results with a link to the protocols:
http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1819/fc2019/

Please note that I said specifically D/F were low-balled in the sp on their GOEs, particularly and most egregiously on their throw 3-loop vs other teams, especially Ruest/Wolfe and Walsh/Michaud who both received 1.00 for their throw 3-loops. Neither Ruest nor Walsh achieved the same height and distance as Haven. I think Ruest had good distance and fairly decent height. Walsh's height was adequate but her distance on that throw was nonexistent. There's no way H/B were fairly scored on that with .50 GOE. It should have been more accurately 1.50. Let's face it that D/F skated first in the sp and the judges held back their scores. There was a .20 difference between the scores of Walsh/Michaud and D/F in the sp, with W/M edging D/F. As I said, someone must have pointed out how much better quality lifts and throws D/F have, and how they were low-balled on their throw in the sp, because in the fp their GOE increased to where it should have been all along.

I don't have too much of a problem with W/M slightly edging D/F in the sp because W/M skated cleanly, but W/M's lifts, throws and 3-twist are not as high-caliber as D/F's, so if D/F had been given their due, it should more likely have been D/F coming out slightly ahead of W/M in the sp. But some people are overfocused on D/F's poorer sbs jumps, so okay. With that in mind, if P/J have somewhat better quality elements than C/L at this stage, but C/L performed more consistently than P/J and did not make a major error on their jumping pass like P/J did in both programs, then C/L should have edged P/J by percentage points, because honestly, C/L have a bit better quality programs and better overall performance skills. Be consistent and fair. Judge fairly on the elements and stop going with rep, politics, skate order, and GOE and PCS manipulation out-the-wazoo. :soapbox:
 
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aftershocks

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Some posters here are almost saying that SK/K should be sent to worlds, when they're clearly injured and haven't had a clean program in some time.
What's up with that??? :duh: Just because the judges didn't give C/L full respect at 4CCs? And just because of these irresponsible tweets by the media, sanctioned by U.S. fed? :drama: Those fans suggesting that the Knierims should be sent to Worlds are not thinking straight. The Knierims are going to need to regroup after a difficult season mentally and physically. Plus, Chris apparently needs to have surgery on his wrist. Can we think a bit more and do some research before saying things that don't make sense? Why aren't fans, media, and U.S. fed paying attention to the fact that C/L held their own and improved their international season's best score to an all-time high?

Only Ashley and her doctors know what her medical situation is, and what she should be allowed to do going forward. Like I said, the focus should be on promoting what C/L accomplished at 4CCs, regardless of the judges being intent on keeping down their scores.

There's something all kinds of wrong with that headline. It sends the wrong message altogether. U.S. fed and media are totally behind the eight-ball with their egregious overhyping of skaters like Alysa Liu at the wrong time for the wrong reasons, and their incompetent lack of ability to put together the right messaging for their skaters, especially in this instance for C/L after a very good showing at 4CCs. I don't think we need to focus on Ashley's concussion symptoms. Attention behind the scenes needs to remain focused on ensuring Ashley's health is fully considered and attended to.

Just as Ashley didn't go around discussing how she was doing healthwise in December and early January, they don't need to be suddenly over-focused on talking about concussion effects now. It doesn't serve them well, unless they see a reason to share at this juncture how and why it's considered okay for Ashley to continue training and competing (which I doubt is their intention). The 'concussion' situation has existed since she suffered the whiplash and falls at Golden Spin. Unless Ash and her doctors are going to lay it all out on the line now (which is the wrong timing IMO) for the purposes of education and enlightenment, please focus on what's going well at this point for C/L. :saint:

Please accept the fact Lynn Rutherford, and clueless Nick McCarvel, and inept U.S. fed that you are sending the wrong message. :drama: Please focus more on promoting C/L's strengths that should be better respected by the judges. Focusing on Ashley 'pushing through concussion symptoms' as a high-level athlete is not a winning message, unless it's laid out after-the-fact of C/L slam-dunking at 4CCs and Worlds. In this case, it looks like someone boneheadedly thinks that playing the concussion 'sympathy card' is a good ploy to somehow explain why C/L didn't win a medal at 4CCs, when the real reason C/L didn't win a medal is because the judges decided not to give C/L full credit for their strengths, and other skaters were a bit overscored based on their overall rep, political standing, and quality elements they managed to perform well.

ETA:
Another problem with that article is this:
"Last season, Kayne and O’Shea won the gold medal at Four Continents, with Cain and LeDuc taking the silver.
However, this year, the Chinese and Canadian pairs were more formidable."


Who is this writer? The Chinese teams were not exactly 'formidable' at this year's 4CCs. :rolleyes: And only one Canadian team performed well overall. Doesn't this writer realize that last season, the top Chinese, American, and Canadian pairs did not go to 4CCs? KMT/MM and D/R were preparing for the Olympics, as were the Knierims and all three top Chinese teams. No Chinese teams participated in 4CCs last season. :duh: Dylan & Luba were at 4CCs, but Dylan had a wrist injury. And the other Canadian teams were low on the totem pole, and two of the Canadian teams who attended 4CCs last season have since split.
http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1718/fc2018/CAT003RS.HTM

Obviously, these writers do not closely follow the sport, nor do they know how to do research to back up their claims. C/L received a higher score at this year's 4CCs than last year, but it was only good enough this year for 4th place.
 
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Yazmeen

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As a physician, might I suggest the Ashley and Tim, and her clinicians and their coaches make the decisions on what they should and shouldn’t be doing?

Of course, I realize I couldn’t possibly know more about concussions than some of the experts here...(bow, scrape, genuflect). 🙄
 

aftershocks

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^^ Exactly. That's certainly the point. I'm not saying the doctors truly need to be sharing anything. It's just that by focusing on the 'concussion symptoms' in the article, it brings up questions which aren't really the public's business to be getting into in the first place. So, therefore the point is also that the media and U.S. fed shouldn't be promoting or messaging how Ash is 'pushing through concussion symptoms' to place fourth at 4CCs. Ash and her doctors will obviously take care of what's necessary and meanwhile the media and U.S. fed should focus more on promoting Ash & Timothy's strengths as a pairs team!

And voila! It looks like the article has been removed. Is someone from U.S. fed in here reading comments? Hopefully, they take it all in a positive way and will make thoughtful and beneficial decisions for the athletes. Kudos to Ash & Timothy on their 4CCs showing, and here's hoping the best judgements for them will be made moving forward. It wasn't wrong for the article to talk about Ash & Timothy persevering and trusting each other, but the headline was very misleading which has led to some of the haranguing and second-guessing in this thread.
 
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Dobre

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I think C/L are not perceived as the National champions yet by the judges. Some posters here are almost saying that SK/K should be sent to worlds, when they're clearly injured and haven't had a clean program in some time. If Ashley and Tim keep skating clean or cleanish, their marks will rise. Already since their time as a team, their lifts and the triple twist have improved. They need to keep improving, be consistent and of course a little luck. Most of all Ashley needs to heal and not get injured again. That's the mantra for all our teams, stay healthy.
Oh, I think they are perceived as National champions. They've had a very solid season. Their elements are better. Their twist is not good, though, better or not so C&L always forfeit a certain number of points to teams in which the guy actually catches the girl. C&L need to make up the difference there somewhere if they want to rise in the standings without hoping for mistakes from other teams. The loop could maybe do this, but they need to rotate it. And the lifts are also not comparable to most top teams. So again, C&L either need to take those to the next level or up the ante elsewhere. (I'm thinking in this case that some creativity could find a way to generate a couple stand-out lifts for a team that doesn't fit the standard mold but does have flexibility & good line).

In any case, they've made some solid improvements, especially in consistency, this season. A good competition for them at 4CCs.
 

wickedwitch

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14,332
Their twist is not good, though, better or not so C&L always forfeit a certain number of points to teams in which the guy actually catches the girl.
I disagree. It's quite a good element at this point. They got a level 3 with a solid GoE in the LP. Obviously, there are teams who can get more, but it's like a point difference. Even Sui/Han only got 1.18 points more.
 

aftershocks

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Oh, I think they are perceived as National champions. They've had a very solid season. Their elements are better. Their twist is not good, though, better or not so C&L always forfeit a certain number of points to teams in which the guy actually catches the girl. C&L need to make up the difference there somewhere if they want to rise in the standings without hoping for mistakes from other teams. The loop could maybe do this, but they need to rotate it. And the lifts are also not comparable to most top teams. So again, C&L either need to take those to the next level or up the ante elsewhere. (I'm thinking in this case that some creativity could find a way to generate a couple stand-out lifts for a team that doesn't fit the standard mold but does have flexibility & good line).

In any case, they've made some solid improvements, especially in consistency, this season. A good competition for them at 4CCs.
Already @Dobre, C/L are not being given credit for their superior performance value over some other teams. That's what should be promoted! And then C/L need to continue to work on all aspects of their skating, especially getting around on their jumps. I'm sure their coaches have a plan. They've improved a ton, and they just need to keep going and keep the faith.

As far as C/L's twist, it's improving all the time. I credit them for going for that 3-twist very early in their partnership, and the height has improved a bit, via their work with Nina Mozer. In fact, I'm sure Mozer has helped C/L a tremendous amount. And indeed, Ashley credits JCoughlin for helping and encouraging them as well with their 3-twist, which is something that should not be dismissed or forgotten. Of course, the twist still needs work, especially on the dismount. But never say never.

For example, look at J/C and realize how far they've come. Vanessa has said how difficult it was for them to perfect their 3-twist, but through hard work and perseverance, they did! And they kept going with self-belief and assistance from many quarters. It took fortuitously joining with JZimmerman and crew in Florida for J/C to find their ultimate mojo, put all the puzzle pieces in place and create magic. :encore: So, it is possible for U.S. pairs teams to reach for their dreams, incrementally improve, and attain excellence. It's more than just a notion. It's a roller coaster, with luck and opportunity uniquely important factors on the journey.

ETA:
Yes @wickedwitch, C/L's 3-twist is improved, and it's certainly better at this point than the twists of some other teams. It's just not their strongest attribute, but they are able to hold their own with it. I think they need to work on their twist dismount and on consistency. But the biggest thing they need to work on is making sure they leave no room for conjecture that they are around on their triple jumps!

Their lifts are okay, but they do need to continue to make them stable and consistent. They've managed to incorporate difficult positions, but I think they need to focus on their lift consistency before trying to go for more difficulty or creativity. They've improved their combo spin, but they could work on finding ways to make it stand out more, and to get better levels on their death spiral. I'm sure they know better than we do what they need to improve.
 
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jmtfti

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And voila! It looks like the article has been removed. Is someone from U.S. fed in here reading comments? Hopefully, they take it all in a positive way and will make thoughtful and beneficial decisions for the athletes. Kudos to Ash & Timothy on their 4CCs showing, and here's hoping the best judgements for them will be made moving forward. It wasn't wrong for the article to talk about Ash & Timothy persevering and trusting each other, but the headline was very misleading which has led to some of the haranguing and second-guessing in this thread.
It's still up (or, up again): Ashley Cain Fights Through Post-Concussion Syndrome To Place Fourth With Timothy LeDuc At Four Continents

But the link was truncated in quoted posts, so accessing it that way leads to a 404 error.
 

aftershocks

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It's still up (or, up again): Ashley Cain Fights Through Post-Concussion Syndrome To Place Fourth With Timothy LeDuc At Four Continents

But the link was truncated in quoted posts, so accessing it that way leads to a 404 error.
Oh okay, I wondered. It looks like they slightly changed the title though. I'll take a look to see if any content was modified. :)

Nope, it looks like exactly the same article with the same title actually. And the same wrong implication about the Chinese and Canadian teams being more formidable this year. That's not accurately phrased.

That reminds me how Ice Desk commentators on Youtube erroneously implied that somehow the top Canadian team and even the Chinese teams are older and more experienced than the Americans, which is actually not true. Sui/Han do have years and years of experience together as a team, but Peng/Jin do not (although both Chinese teams obviously have great rep and the all-important year-to-year international competitive experience at Worlds).

Also for example, KMT/MM and C/L are fairly comparable in age and experience. It's just that KMT/MM have been paired for two seasons longer than C/L, but all of these skaters have years of pairs experience, and Cain/LeDuc also have a fair amount of singles experience. In addition, when KMT/MM started out, they experienced a lot of problems. Things did not turn around until they were able to switch to Gauthier/Marcotte, which is when they slowly began to improve. Contrastingly, C/L started out their partnership very strong and they managed to keep building and slowly improving every season. Ash is the youngest at 23, while Timothy is the oldest at 28, and KMT/MM are 26 & 27 respectively. Both teams could realistically continue through 2026 if they so desired and if they continue to have that fire in their bellies. Of course, it's also possible that both teams may call it a career after 2022 and move on to other pursuits. Ashley will be getting married this year, and she may have plans to start a family post-2022 Olympics.
 
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