U.S. Pairs 2019-20 season - News & Updates, Part X

Karen-W

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Honestly, I don’t know why people are surprised or worked up about the worlds decision. C-G/L have always gotten preferential treatment by the USFS when it came to selections since they got together and at the time all the fans were on board because they were new and exciting.
Well, no, most fans were on board because they could land SBS jumps with some degree of consistency which was lacking in all of the US pairs teams on the scene at that time. Same with Deanna and Nate.
 

VGThuy

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Well, no, most fans were on board because they could land SBS jumps with some degree of consistency which was lacking in all of the US pairs teams on the scene at that time. Same with Deanna and Nate.
It was more than that.
 

yeslek

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Well, no, most fans were on board because they could land SBS jumps with some degree of consistency which was lacking in all of the US pairs teams on the scene at that time. Same with Deanna and Nate.
Which is also weird to me since those elements are low as far as points go and there are a ton of teams internationally that mess them up too.
 

Karen-W

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Which is also weird to me since those elements are low as far as points go and there are a ton of teams internationally that mess them up too.
Not really when you consider that ALL of the top teams in the world already have amazing lifts, twists, throws and other pairs elements. Landing the SBS jumps becomes the determining factor in who medals and who doesn't at a lot of competitions. A slight bobble on the SBS jump element was the difference between Olympic gold and silver. And everyone here says it... if you want to be on the podium, your team needs to land the SBS jumps consistently. It's what is so frustrating about our US teams - we say it in this thread all the time - if the K's or D/F could land their jumps, they would be contending every time. D/F got their jumps under control during the fall and went out and won 2 GP medals.
 
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VGThuy

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Not really when you consider that ALL of the top teams in the world already have amazing lifts, twists, throws and other pairs elements. Landing the SBS jumps becomes the determining factor in who medals and who doesn't at a lot of competitions. A slight bobble on the SBS jump element was the difference between Olympic gold and silver. And everyone here says it... if you want to be on the podium, your team needs to land the SBS jumps consistently. It's what is so frustrating about our US teams - we say it in this thread all the time - if the K's, or if D/F could land their jumps, they would be contending every time. D/F got their jumps under control during the fall and went out and won 2 GP medals.
Something the Gribbles don’t have. People say teams with great to excellent pairs skills could be contending with consistent SBS jumps, not teams with mediocre to wobbly pairs skills that get negative GOE even when completed can be contenders with consistent SBS jumps.
 

Karen-W

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Something the Gribbles don’t have. People say teams with great to excellent pairs skills could be contending with consistent SBS jumps, not teams with mediocre to wobbly pairs skills that get negative GOE even when completed can be contenders with consistent SBS jumps.
Well, in the context of WHY people first got on board with C-G/L when they teamed up, the expectation was those pairs skills would develop with time. The fact that they are still wobbly on lifts and that Tim lost them a whole element with the bad death spiral speaks to the fact that they haven't developed as was anticipated, but not to WHY a lot of people were very excited and on board with them a few years ago.
 

Spiralgraph

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And Cain/Leduc are not the only teams or skaters favored by USA skating. Remember last season when the Knierims were named as alternates as either to Worlds or 4CC when it was already announced that Chris needed surgery for his wrist injury? After their disastrous showing at Nationals. Sometimes officials just decide to send who they think will be the strongest shot to either to medal, or keep world spots or at least not lose any. Where they end up at Nationals is a factor but not the only one any more. It is hard to get used to this new protocol.
 

thvudragon

Usova's Apprentice
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Something the Gribbles don’t have. People say teams with great to excellent pairs skills could be contending with consistent SBS jumps, not teams with mediocre to wobbly pairs skills that get negative GOE even when completed can be contenders with consistent SBS jumps.
Exactly. What is the USFS pushing here? Two skaters with "good" SBS jumps that they hope can learn to do decent lifts and throws? It's been 3 years, and I've yet to see a lift that is aesthetically pleasing from them. This team only has so much potential, and as a pair, it isn't high. They still don't have a good spatial awareness of one another. They are still missing small things like handholds. They are still awkwardly transitioning between elements and lacking sureness. Everytime they start a lift, I get scared. Their handholds are so shaky. His footwork always looks tired and scratchy toward the end of their programs. I can still remember watching them at Skate America and feeling constant fear and anxiety during their skate. They were the only pair where I kept feeling like someone was going to get hurt.

People keep talking about how C&J can't be trusted at worlds. People should be asking another questions. Should C-G/L be trusted? All they have going for them is "okay" SBS jumps and politics. I know for some, that's enough, but is it really enough to build a pairs program? To nurture a deep stable? To actually keep athletes in the sport and grow it? Pushing C-G/L is holding our pairs back. It's literally shitting on the hard work of a more talented and (IMO) deserving team.
 

hoptoad

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I do like that the top four pairs all got an assignment. I would have sent Cal/Joh to Worlds, though and kept Knierims home from 4C to practice their jumps before Worlds.
 

Spiralgraph

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Just a reminder that Cain and Leduc received a level 4 twist at Nationals and at least one of their lifts were level 4. They have improved in those areas and hopefully will work darn hard to improve more so by worlds. Crosses fingers for that.
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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I was on board with C-G/L because they moved across the ice, had long lines, had interesting programs and energy, and had ambitious SBS jumps. The only time I've seen them live, at 2018 SA, I don't remember being worried about their lifts. They only got three -GOE marks total on four lifts, one in the SP, and two in one of three lifts in the FS.

I do remember watching them on video right after the event, and they looked sloppier on film than live.
 
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Pastilage

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Exactly. What is the USFS pushing here? Two skaters with "good" SBS jumps that they hope can learn to do decent lifts and throws? It's been 3 years, and I've yet to see a lift that is aesthetically pleasing from them. This team only has so much potential, and as a pair, it isn't high. They still don't have a good spatial awareness of one another. They are still missing small things like handholds. They are still awkwardly transitioning between elements and lacking sureness. Everytime they start a lift, I get scared. Their handholds are so shaky. His footwork always looks tired and scratchy toward the end of their programs. I can still remember watching them at Skate America and feeling constant fear and anxiety during their skate. They were the only pair where I kept feeling like someone was going to get hurt.

People keep talking about how C&J can't be trusted at worlds. People should be asking another questions. Should C-G/L be trusted? All they have going for them is "okay" SBS jumps and politics. I know for some, that's enough, but is it really enough to build a pairs program? To nurture a deep stable? To actually keep athletes in the sport and grow it? Pushing C-G/L is holding our pairs back. It's literally shitting on the hard work of a more talented and (IMO) deserving team.
Perfectly stated. Thanks for that!
 

SidelineSkater

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I was surprised by the selection of C-G/L, but even more surprised at the backlash against them. They got back two spots - which was a great accomplishment and no small feat last year. They also score fairly high PCS internationally when skating clean or mostly clean (higher than C/J especially). I was enthralled by C/J's performances at both SKAM (live) and especially their free program at Nats (on TV). In fact, I thought they should have won over K/K, simply based on their cleanliness. But a clean skate and landed jumps at ONE competition doesn't make for a consistent pairs team. I hope they can repeat it at 4CC and grow and use the selection as motivation.

As already stated by other posters, I really think the PCS ceiling for C-G/L and the later start group at Worlds was part of the decision, along with their consistency last year getting back the two spots. Think about when our other 2nd pairs have been at worlds recently...early start times mean lower scores...and when every placement counts to keep two spots...it's crucial to set yourself up for success.

Do C-G/L really have awkward transitions? I thought they look complex. Are their lifts that shaky? I'd be interested in hearing from others on those so-called weaknesses? They've vastly improved the twist, they can almost always land two different triple jumps (although underrotated sometimes). The death spiral was a fluke.

Looking forward to 4CC's and Worlds for continued improvement from ALL our pairs teams. I'm glad USFS split the wealth of assignments to at least get four teams out there.
 

VGThuy

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I was surprised by the selection of C-G/L, but even more surprised at the backlash against them. They got back two spots - which was a great accomplishment and no small feat last year.
I get your other points, even though C/J have already beaten C-G/L internationally this season already, but I don't get this point because what does it matter if they got two spots back (in one of the less congested Worlds in years) if the second spot would just automatically be given to them anyway? Like it doesn't really matter to the other teams that they got that spot back, at least this year.
 

SidelineSkater

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I get your other points, even though C/J have already beaten C-G/L internationally this season already, but I don't get this point because what does it matter if they got two spots back (in one of the less congested Worlds in years) if the second spot would just automatically be given to them anyway? Like it doesn't really matter to the other teams that they got that spot back, at least this year.
Yeah internationally they were beaten by three points at SKAM. I'm not saying getting two spots back clinched their ticket automatically. I'm just saying they proved themselves to not buckle to pressure at Worlds last year, and the whole body of work example. And Um...yeah like it does matter to the other teams they got that spot back...because there were two spots available to compete for - instead of the pressure cooker like last year with just one spot.
 

yeslek

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I do like that the top four pairs all got an assignment. I would have sent Cal/Joh to Worlds, though and kept Knierims home from 4C to practice their jumps before Worlds.
But they have to get out there and practice their new technique under pressure. My guess is that they land a higher % at home but are reverting to old technique under pressure when they are nervous so they have to practice it. Similar to Jason who wants to get out there as much as he can.
 

yeslek

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I say c-g/l is the safe choice for another year or so To help keep 2 spots while c/J develop and the knierims work on their new jump technique but they shouldn’t get their hopes up for the Olympics. C/j and the knierims have much more potential.
 

olympic

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Some points - CG/L lost around 5 points in the SP on an invalid element that can be easily fixed. They would have scored about 74 points and their total would have been close to K/O.

Also, this may have played a role in the USFSA decision. They have the highest average score of all US teams including Knierims this year: Thirteen points over K/O and 14 points over C/J, and they ended part 1 with a victory over K/O at GS.

Nonetheless I would have sent all 3 teams in question to 4CCs as a skate off
 

beckab81

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While I thought C/J were spectacular in the free, the challenge at worlds is that you have to make it to the free. C/J have had a LOT of issues on their SBS this season. Combine that with being in the earliest group, and there is a higher chance that they could miss the cutoff (think D/F a few years ago). K/K are already high risk for the SBS, but they have enough PCS to keep them from missing the cutoff. CG/DL are a very safe bet to make the cutoff, and they also get higher PCS internationally. Who knows if it's the right decision, but I can understand the thought process.
 

Pastilage

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^^^ Valid point.
But what if C/J finally got their act together and jelled at the perfect time? Why say that Nationals results have anything to do with making the World team? I get Vincent. I don’t get this.

So many people from so many different walks of life have expressed their displeasure at this decision. People that I would have never dreamed would be skating fans. I hope they feel the warmth and support of those of us that believe they’ve been screwed.
 

Seerek

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Reviewing earlier posts in this thread from the early fall, most posters did have Jessica/Brian 5th out of the 5 contending teams in the pecking order. I suspect the USFSA had the same train of throughout the season leading into Nationals.
 

aftershocks

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... truly surprised at the decision to name C-G/L over C/J,
Why? In head-to-head BOW even just this season, Ash/Timothy have the edge over both C/J and K/O. I love C/J, and I'm glad they have the chance to shine at 4CCs and to continue building momentum on an international level there. But C/J at this point, would not have a great advantage against some other teams if they were sent to Worlds. Ash/Timothy and the Knierims have a good chance to both do well at Worlds. Both teams simply need to skate their best and be stoked to make a statement. The Knierims and Ash/Timothy deserve our full support!

Those bellyaching seem too caught up in the emotion of which team they like better. Think more strategically about the importance of U.S. teams working hard to try and gain three spots, or at the very least to begin establishing more momentum and laying the foundation for continuing a rise in the ranks. And as well for building rep with the judges. Pairs is the toughest discipline, so please show some respect to all the skaters.
 

VGThuy

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Why? In head-to-head BOW even just this season, Ash/Timothy have the edge over both C/J and K/O.
Not necessarily this season. I mean in an actual head-to-head, C/J beat CG/L once internationally and once at Nationals. But Debbie S brings up a good point about the SP cut-off. That was what did the U.S. Pairs in when they only qualified one spot for the Olympics and then lost a spot for Worlds in 2018. The trick is making it to the LP and after that, getting enough points for 2 spots is much easier. The SP is like a red light as it is the best equalizer since so many pairs are doing similar elements and missing one is not a mistake a team can afford when trying to make it out of the SPs (at least when it was congested). I guess CG/L has shown that they are more consistent in the SP, even at Skate America when they lost the LP to C/J by over 10 points and overall by over 3 points. I guess the standards are such that placing in the top 10 in Pairs is like winning a World medal in other disciplines for the U.S.
 

aftershocks

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... what if C/J finally got their act together and jelled at the perfect time?
C/J can have two great performances at 4CCs! IMO, your complaining and prognosticating is short-sighted. There's no 'finally' about C/J 'getting their act together,' since they already performed lights out in the fp at U.S. Nationals. Plus, they looked great at Warsaw Cup too. The task for C/J is to continue building momentum internationally by having a great showing at 4CCs and then cheering on the two teams selected for Worlds to skate their absolute best.

This is about all U.S. teams continuing to shine. There's no room for petulance or bitterness. There's only room for everyone working hard and pushing each other so that U.S. teams can gain better recognition and respect, and achieve stellar results on the world stage consistently.
 

aftershocks

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But Debbie S brings up a good point about the SP cut-off.
I've already pointed out that the rules at Worlds would NOT be in a newbie team to World's favor. C/J would be in the first group to skate as a new team, and that's a huge disadvantage, in addition to the cut-off factor and the politics. So I've made the case already as to why it is good judgment to send Gribbles and the Knierims to Worlds, in particular over C/J. But thanks for weighing in with your take.

There's also a good case for sending Gribbles over K/O. And as I've already mentioned, true fans of U.S. pairs need to get with the program and support our teams. No matter what decision was made, the skaters being sent NEED OUR FULL SUPPORT!
 

VGThuy

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Anyone know what's going on with Kayne/O'Shea? I miss the team that looked so on at TdF just last season where they arguably had the performance of the night in the LP over even James/Cipres. That Swan Lake LP was gorgeous and made me like them when I used to not like them so much for having small twists and throws and for some of their choreography. I know they had that disastrous Nationals that cost them a spot at Worlds, but I was hoping it didn't kill their momentum, but it seems like they've become a bit deflated since then even with a bronze medal here.
 

aftershocks

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... even at Skate America when they lost the LP to C/J by over 10 points and overall by over 3 points.
So what? I'm sure most astute observers, including the U.S. fed assignment committee are able to analyze results based on overall skill, years of experience individually and together, plus the expectations and circumstances surrounding each event, and not simply the scoring results. They also surely take into consideration each team's World experience and the rules that would place C/J somewhat at a tactical disadvantage if they were sent to Worlds this year. Let's have no more repeats of what happened to U.S. men at the infamous 2011 delayed Worlds event in Russia when all 3 guys who were sent on a hope and a prayer and by virtue of U.S. Nats placement, had no significant senior Worlds experience or standing.

Anyone know what's going on with Kayne/O'Shea? I miss the team that looked so on at TdF just last season where they arguably had the performance of the night in the LP over even James/Cipres. That Swan Lake LP was gorgeous and made me like them when I used to not like them so much for having small twists and throws and for some of their choreography. I know they had that disastrous Nationals that cost them a spot at Worlds, but I was hoping it didn't kill their momentum, but it seems like they've become a bit deflated since then even with a bronze medal here.
Be more of a U.S. pairs follower throughout the season and you'd know. I suggest looking back through this thread and checking out any available fan zone articles on K/O. And also check out Tarah's Instagram account. :)
 

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