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

Carolla5501

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I hope you are right. Buttttt..........You don't get over a concussion where you are unconscious in two weeks.....according to a neurologist friend of mine. She saw the vid.....I'm sure happy with her energy.


I am so impressed That your friend is able to diagnose based on the limited video. What a shame she has not used the skills to improve the world.
 

aftershocks

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I don't think Olivia is much taller than Marissa, although maybe she is slightly taller.
I haven't been able to find info on Olivia Serafini's height @ice crystal. Mervin Tran is listed at 5'9", Marissa is listed at 5'0" and Mervin's former partner, Narumi Takashi's height is reportedly 4'9". I would suspect that Serafini is perhaps around 5'2 to 5'4". Just guesstimating on the basis of photos and clips.

This Twitter discussion observes that Serafini looks to be around 5'3"
https://twitter.com/sylviaunseen/status/992049911029010432?lang=en
Oh well, the clip of Mervin & Olivia starting their performance in Lake Placid suggests that Mervin is indeed about 5 or so inches taller than his new partner: https://www.instagram.com/p/BpMdpkpFxXk/ click right arrow for the action clip.

Serafini recently celebrated her 22nd birthday (born 12/22/96). Congrats!
https://www.instagram.com/p/Brommm6HAJo/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BqiPHRFnRBZ/

Congrats also to Marissa Castelli on her engagement to David Leenen! :)
 
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aftershocks

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http://www.joshica.net/blog/uncategorized/2019-season-recap/

Wow, Josh and Jessica have such great attitudes and sensibilities! I applaud Josh and Jessica for how dedicated they are and for how hard they work. Indeed Josh, sometimes injury timeouts can be a blessing in disguise. I recall when Adam Rippon broke his foot and he missed Nationals and recuperated for many months, but he then came back stronger than ever. His time off recuperating gave him a chance to learn how to be more fit, and it also further stoked his desire to keep fighting.

Congratulations and blessings to you Josh on giving your speech at City Hall and striving to do more for your community! No matter where your skating journey takes you Josh, both you and Jessica are already wonderful role models and you have already achieved success in your life every day, beyond measure. Thank you for sharing your journey!
 
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I am so impressed That your friend is able to diagnose based on the limited video. What a shame she has not used the skills to improve the world.
I was commenting about people who eluded that she may not have a concussion and maybe she was conscious.

Anyone with a brain (no pun intended) could see she was out cold unconscious.No competitive skater lays down and doesn't move in the middle of their program than drops there legs like that. I showed my neurologist friend and she agreed. If you don't think she was out, your in the minority and I sure wouldn't want you as and advisor based on your comment.


Who are you to evaluate what good people do to make the world better?
 

Sylvia

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Jim Peterson recently posted a photo of his Nationals-bound pairs with Kyoko Ina: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsGs6EsnY65/
Pictured, in addition to Stellato/Bartholomay and William Hubbart (standing behind Ina & making his Senior men's debut), are: Grace Knoop/Blake Eisenach (new Junior team), Taylor Nordquist/Mark Sadusky (new Novice team), and Megan Voigt/Levon Davis (Intermediate; Juvenile pewter medalists last year).
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Jim Peterson recently posted a photo of his Nationals-bound pairs with Kyoko Ina: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsGs6EsnY65/
Pictured, in addition to Stellato/Bartholomay and William Hubbart (standing behind Ina & making his Senior men's debut), are: Grace Knoop/Blake Eisenach (new Junior team), Taylor Nordquist/Mark Sadusky (new Novice team), and Megan Voigt/Levon Davis (Intermediate; Juvenile pewter medalists last year).
Ina hasn't changed a hair!!! Love her.
 

Sylvia

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Mark Sadusky is an accomplished singles skater (as shown by the 3T+3T he landed in the clip linked above) and finished the "dreaded" 5th in Junior Men at Pacific Coast Sectionals this past November. His partner, Taylor, competed at SA Regionals and placed 7th in her Juvenile Girls qualifying group.

Competing singles and pairs at the same time is fairly common in the lower levels in the US.

I count 4 men who will be competing in both singles and pairs in Detroit: Daniel Tioumentsev (Novice Men & Intermediate Pairs), Andy Deng (Intermediate Pairs & Men), Bryan Lehmann and Allan Fisher (both in Intermediate Men & Juvenile Pairs).
 

Sylvia

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Copying out Lynn Rutherford's tweets from these 2 pre-Nationals media calls today...

Kayne/O'Shea:
Biggest change for this pair is entering #19USChamps healthy. Last season Tarah was coming off knee surgery & they were "purposely trying to make throws smaller." Now, says Danny, "Being healthy for nationals is a very comfortable place."
Since moving to Colorado Springs to train with @CoachDalilah Sappenfield, they have "Started from scratch. We let her mold us, change what she wanted to change...because we wanted to be bigger (in elements), better, faster."
Knierims:
@Scimeca_Knierim On working w/Meno & Sand in California: "They have helped us a lot w/our elements...(in) Germany we kind of changed all our elements top to bottom...Going to Jenni & Todd they refined the elements, made them more consistent," said Chris.
They will not discuss break w/coach Aliona Savchenko at length; "It just didn't work out," Alexa said. They learned a lot in Germany: "It's building for the next 3 years...going into nationals we know if we skate great we will place well."
ICYMI - I created a separate thread earlier this week for Nick McCarvel's article on Marissa Castelli: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...-doesn’t-want-you-to-call-her-retired.105076/
 

aftershocks

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In the article about Marissa retiring, which has it's own separate thread, I want to reference a couple of minor issues: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/...lli-doesn-t-want-you-to-call-her-retired.aspx

It's a very nice article overall. I'm so happy for Marissa, and for the USOC's 'pivot' program that helped her redefine her goals, as I expressed in the other thread. Meanwhile, I noticed in the article about the mention of Simon Shnapir:
"... After [Castelli/Shnapir] finished 11th at Worlds in 2014, Shnapir stepped away from the sport to coach, but Castelli wanted more."

Check out the full text. It's lovely to read the reflecting back on those partnership memories. Simon and Marissa did not have an easy partnership, but indeed they courageously worked things out together and they had a great run, winning two U.S. championships and helping the U.S. Olympic figure skating team win a Team bronze medal in Sochi. However, in the interest of accuracy, it's well known that after the 2014 Olympics, Marissa and Simon decided to split up. Simon did not immediately segue into retirement. They both tried out with new partners: Simon paired with the talented DeeDee Leng, and Marissa subsequently paired with Mervin Tran after tryouts, including with Leng's former partner, Timothy LeDuc (who is now paired with Ashley Cain). Leng/Shnapir seemed to be a promising pair, but they were hampered by injuries and both soon retired. McCarvel could have briefly mentioned the Castelli/Shnapir split and the fact they both pursued tryouts with other partners, before Simon soon retired due to injury.

McCarvel goes on to say: "... Tran's citizenship efforts hit roadblocks..." Was it roadblocks,' or just the normal long wait times and headaches involved in the application-intensive step-by-step citizenship process? I've heard that Tran now has his Green Card. I wish McCarvel would not use abbreviated phraseology that's unclear or omissive to explain things away. I realize the article is focused on Marissa, and nicely done, but there's surely an abbreviated way to reference Tran and Shnapir with a bit more clarity and accuracy.
 

Jeschke

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Cross-posting from German thread: Szolkowy is moving to the US and will coach there
(what might not have worked with Savchenko, will work with him :p)

Robin Szolkowy is moving to US and will start coaching in Irvine/Los Angeles
https://www.freiepresse.de/sport/robin-szolkowy-zieht-es-in-die-usa-artikel10415069

Main facts:
- first conversations with US fed during olympics 2018
- new ice center there
- they (wife included) want to be there from the scratch
- working there with Jenni Meno/Todd Sand (who have SK/K there, funnily coached by Szolkwoys ex-partner before)
- not US teams only, Szolkowy's want it to be an international center
- he/they will do camps in europe still
- possibility for US camps for in Irvine for skaters from overseas
- project will last at least until 2022, but they are open to stay there for longer
 

Spiralgraph

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Cross-posting from German thread: Szolkowy is moving to the US and will coach there
(what might not have worked with Savchenko, will work with him :p)


Good news indeed. US pairs need help from good international coaches. That approach sure helped our dance teams. And Robin working with the Knierims perhaps, I like the idea of that. :D In the words of Arte Johnson... "Very interesting"
 

Jeschke

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I have to say, no word is mentioned, her will work with Knierims especially.
It just seems to be they will be coaches alongside Meno/Sand, not sure he is involved in the Knierims coaching.
 

LarrySK8

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This could be potentially very good news for US Pairs. If a non-US coach can improve a current pair enough that they earn 2 spots for next year and they start to work on improving junior pairs transitioning to seniors, it will only take 2 or 3 improved teams going into seniors to entirely change the landscape for US teams. Sappenfield and Peterson simply haven't produced the quality teams needed to be competitive on the international scene (into final group) with the Russian and Chinese teams.
 

clairecloutier

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This is indeed great news about Szolkowy. To me, the most promising aspect of it is USFSA's involvement in bringing him to the U.S. It signals the kind of long-term, more strategic thinking that the U.S. pairs program needs, IMO.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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I have to say, no word is mentioned, her will work with Knierims especially.
It just seems to be they will be coaches alongside Meno/Sand, not sure he is involved in the Knierims coaching.
Well, well, well, ANL has awoken to some interesting news!!!! Whats App me please when you know more

tee-hee
 

Carolla5501

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In the article about Marissa retiring, which has it's own separate thread, I want to reference a couple of minor issues: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/...lli-doesn-t-want-you-to-call-her-retired.aspx

It's a very nice article overall. I'm so happy for Marissa, and for the USOC's 'pivot' program that helped her redefine her goals, as I expressed in the other thread. Meanwhile, I noticed in the article about the mention of Simon Shnapir:
"... After [Castelli/Shnapir] finished 11th at Worlds in 2014, Shnapir stepped away from the sport to coach, but Castelli wanted more."

Check out the full text. It's lovely to read the reflecting back on those partnership memories. Simon and Marissa did not have an easy partnership, but indeed they courageously worked things out together and they had a great run, winning two U.S. championships and helping the U.S. Olympic figure skating team win a Team bronze medal in Sochi. However, in the interest of accuracy, it's well known that after the 2014 Olympics, Marissa and Simon decided to split up. Simon did not immediately segue into retirement. They both tried out with new partners: Simon paired with the talented DeeDee Leng, and Marissa subsequently paired with Mervin Tran after tryouts, including with Leng's former partner, Timothy LeDuc (who is now paired with Ashley Cain). Leng/Shnapir seemed to be a promising pair, but they were hampered by injuries and both soon retired. McCarvel could have briefly mentioned the Castelli/Shnapir split and the fact they both pursued tryouts with other partners, before Simon soon retired due to injury.

McCarvel goes on to say: "... Tran's citizenship efforts hit roadblocks..." Was it roadblocks,' or just the normal long wait times and headaches involved in the application-intensive step-by-step citizenship process? I've heard that Tran now has his Green Card. I wish McCarvel would not use abbreviated phraseology that's unclear or omissive to explain things away. I realize the article is focused on Marissa, and nicely done, but there's surely an abbreviated way to reference Tran and Shnapir with a bit more clarity and accuracy.

I noticed that the authors seemed to gloss over the fact that she broke off the partnership with Shnapir by claiming he wanted to retire. I admit that makes me curious about her claim that Tran broke this pairing up.
 

olympic

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Maybe Robin Szolkowy can do for U.S. pairs what Igor Shpilband did for U.S. ice dancers: A good rink and coach to establish a center for eager American pairs to develop to their maximum.

ETA - The tight lipped response makes me super curious about what went down between Aljona and the Knierims
 

aftershocks

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Cross-posting from German thread: Szolkowy is moving to the US and will coach there
(what might not have worked with Savchenko, will work with him :p)
Yahoo, Mountain Dew! :encore: :cheer2: :40beers: :rollin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqWQzOzK3kw I Want to Take You Higher
"Baby, baby, baby, take me higher ... boom lacca lacca lacca whoo!"


I hope it works out amazin' for all concerned! It sounds Grrrreat! What didn't turn out quite as hoped re Ingo Steuer's and Aliona Savchenko's prior tentative forays into coaching U.S. pairs teams, I hope will bear steady, solid, substantial fruition for Robin Szolkowy and whatever is being planned on a collaborative basis in California with Meno/Sand! :saint:
 

aftershocks

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I noticed that the authors seemed to gloss over the fact that she broke off the partnership with Shnapir by claiming he wanted to retire. I admit that makes me curious about her claim that Tran broke this pairing up.
I don't know details about the exact reasons behind the Castelli/Shnapir split, or who initiated it. There were rumors floating around at the time. But it was common knowledge they weren't getting along, despite the leap they took to commit for a focused Olympic push. Seemingly, after the Olympics, the friction between them reached another boiling point. I had thought the split was mutual.

I also thought the split between Marissa and Mervin was mutual. They had run into a lot of challenging setbacks that were more about bad luck, delayed focus on ironing out tech woes, the back-and-forth nature of their training camp approach in their first season, and lack of charting clearly defined mutual goals. The slow progress of Mervin's citizenship process surely impacted how their partnership was perceived at times, but it doesn't seem to be the focus of the split, since Mervin has his Green Card, and he's partnered with another U.S. skater.

Whether or not the C/T split was mutual, I think they both tried hard to make things work, but it wasn't working for them, which is sad since aside from the problematic tech woes, they were a smooth, engaging team stylistically with great speed and chemistry. An interview that Marissa and Mervin gave to IceTalk a couple of seasons ago is very revealing re their partneriing relationship.
 

aftershocks

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Jenni Meno Sand's IG photo yesterday of their group (Todd Sand, Christine Binder, Knierims, Calalang/Johnson) at Great Park Ice in Irvine, CA: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bse8Dr6HLIj/
https://www.ifsmagazine.com/robin-szolkowy-joins-california-coaching-team/
"The new facility in Irvine opened this week. In addition to the pairs coaches, Rafael Arutyunyan, his team and their skaters have also made the move to this venue."

Another great photo before Meno/Sand and team moved to Irvine:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BsFW59kHL47/

Todd's and Jenni's sons in days preceding 2014 Olympics:
https://www.instagram.com/miaublades/p/kIIKYbCPRR/ :)


Robin Szolkowy's words of wisdom on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsd_j83IE2M/
"Everything is possible when you see the advantages of joy, fun and a little smile in every situation!!!"
 
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