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

gkelly

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14,953
Say a team earned two silver medals at easy grand prix's, why go to nationals? You get worlds based on BOW.
Two silvers alone probably wouldn't guarantee a selection to the world team, unless no other teams had any international medals at all in the past year.

Teams that did well during the season don't have to risk nationals because they get worlds anyway.
If they're skating well and expecting to be in contention for a Worlds spot, they probably also expect to be in contention for a national title. That would be incentive enough for most to want to compete.

Of course if they're ill or injured in January and don't expect to skate as well at Nationals as they did earlier in the season or expect to in March, or their skates broke the day before the short program, that might be a reason to skip Nationals.
 

MacMadame

My G.O.A.T is better than your G.O.A.T.
Staff member
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32,154
I think, the way USFS does things, you always have to come to Nationals. They didn't pick a team that didn't come to Nationals! They just picked one that finished below other teams, something they very rarely do. If you want to be sure to be on the World team and get international assignments, you have to come to Nationals and do your best. Any other "strategy" is a crapshoot.
 

Carolla5501

Well-Known Member
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5,894
I honestly forgot all about about Kayne/O'Shea :yikes:
It's really clear the USFSA wanted Cain-Gribble/Le Duc on the world team and since Calalang/Johnson are the ones who finished in 2nd the focus is only on those two teams. Poor bronze medalists Kayne/O'Shea indeed


If the USFSA had already decided before nationals they wanted Cain-Gribble/LeDuc on the world team (and its clear they did) then they should have announced before nationals "Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc have a automatic bye to worlds regardless of the results of nationals. The second of the two spots is up for grabs" or some shit like that. It still stinks but its far easier to swallow then what they are doing now.
Oh come on the announcement would be married couple gets spot one and Ashley and Tim gets 2. The rest you were just skating because we’re having Nationals.

That score in the short pretty much told me the married couple was definitely going. I’m a little shocked by Ashley and Tim I thought they would not let them go.
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
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269
I have to say, usually I understand USFSA's Worlds decisions even when a lot of other people have complained about them, but this does not make sense to me. The SkatingScores link above about mean scores from this year is interesting, but I just don't buy that there's a big difference among any of the US teams this year. C-G/L have had a rough year, despite what they did last year, and it's not like C/J have been scoring in the 50s for the SP or <100 for the FS. I don't see any of the teams having a much greater chance than another this year, so why not give it to the teams that were clearly the best at Nationals?
If I were to be skeptical about CG/L having the fix in, I would say "Why did Nina spend most of her development coaching time with CG/L this season"? Why is she always at their practices and part of the team in the Kiss and Cry? If I were skeptical, I would wonder why she spent all this time with one team while USFSA paid for it.
 

aftershocks

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16,778
I recently saw some video of their off ice repetitive lifting exercises and noticed him dropping her hard to the ground.....I think you are right he most definitely needs to get stronger.
:lol: Tim is already way bulked up as a pairs guy who lifts a female nearly as tall as he. And Ashley does her part too, which is important for pairs girls to do in the very difficult lifts element. As I said, they work on exercises off-ice for strength and likely to improve their timing and via repetition, their muscle memory.

I doubt lifts will ever become an asset for A&T because of their similar heights. But they are able to use their similar heights and long lines to their advantage in other ways that turn a disadvantage into an advantage. IMO, A&T are capable with their lifts and they have constantly improved, while trying to increase difficulty where they can. They understand the limitations that their similar heights pose, and they have been able to manage the weaknesses and maximize the strengths of their partnership.

The video clip we saw of them training what looked like a simple lift entry, doesn't mean we know exactly what they were attempting and why. The exercise looks repetitive and so setting Ashley down abruptly appears to be part of the repetitive work they are doing. Timothy is not going to purposely set her down like that during a program. In fact, the exercise may not be as much about strength necessarily but more-so timing and repetition. Or, Timothy may be lifting Ashley for strength practice instead of using weights, because I doubt that he really needs to bulk up much more than he is already.

Candidly I was at the practices and she was most definitely in a panic.
Ah, so you are an expert on mental states. ;) A lot of skaters carry nerves under pressure situations, and deal with those nerves differently. As well, the pressure for every team varies when they are dealing with different circumstances and scenarios. The guys and the ladies on each team have nerves associated with competing -- they wouldn't be human if they didn't.
 
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aftershocks

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I'm concerned that the US national Championships don't mean as much anymore with the selection committee deciding based on their own criteria and Politics. Say a team earned two silver medals at easy grand prix's, why go to nationals?
I get fans being upset by the non-traditional way assignments are decided, but this change has been evolving for quite some time. Personally, I thought US figure skating would outright name the Knierims and then make a choice between K/O and C/J after 4CCs, but not based solely on 4CCs results. I suspected that the decision would more-so be in K/O's favor as the more veteran team who have been to Worlds before.

Still, your comments above seem bitter, overly emotional and simplistic, which isn't conducive to supporting the U.S. pairs discipline as a whole. If skaters do not compete at U.S. Nationals, they must have a good reason (i.e., illness or injury-related) if they hope to even be considered for a Worlds assignment. You seem to forget that Nationals performances are important, even if they are no longer the sole measure for making assignment selections.

ETA:
Reflections on a career in figure skating, with Jessica Calalang:
"Brian reminds me in training and in competition that we're here to have fun and enjoy ourselves. You really have to enjoy skating if you want to improve... When I'm at the rink, I forget what time it is... Putting in my work at the rink [training and coaching] makes me happy."

Here's an article about C/J's fp win, but strangely NBC Sports doesn't have a video of their winning 2nd place overall fp performance neither on their website nor uploaded on Youtube with other videos of second place finishers' performances.
 
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PairSkater12345

Active Member
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269
Shocks I see you are an expert at pairs nerves and how they cope with pressure.
Anyone watching the practices could see the panic, concern reaction of the coaches and Tim trying to remedy the situation. Even you would recognize the panic if you opened your eyes and looked. That's not what we need at worlds. C/J should have gone. This is political period.


Hey Shocks I see you are an expert on selection committee decisions and how USFSA works. Maybe the kinerims, K/O and D/F should seek your advice on how to influence the political process in order to overcompensate the bias of having an official to close to a pairs team. What do you think? A great consulting gig to supplement your day job. LOL
 
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PairSkater12345

Active Member
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269
The selection for worlds is a secret process. There are political factors that totally effect the decision. The culture is to frown upon coaches or skaters who question those decisions openly. As a coach, In order to have a chance you have to accept it and be part of it.They keep the decision making process closed for a reason. Ashley/Tim
Did not have a good season, did not do well at Nationals and they are going to worlds. Another factor is momentum and who is ready. The Skaters know what's going on. The culture gives praise and feedback to the skaters harmed by these decisions in order to keep the talent in the pool. C/J should be going.
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
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269
I get fans being upset by the non-traditional way assignments are decided, but this change has been evolving for quite some time. Personally, I thought US figure skating would outright name the Knierims and then make a choice between K/O and C/J after 4CCs, but not based solely on 4CCs results. I suspected that the decision would more-so be in K/O's favor as the more veteran team who have been to Worlds before.

Still, your comments above seem bitter, overly emotional and simplistic, which isn't conducive to supporting the U.S. pairs discipline as a whole. If skaters do not compete at U.S. Nationals, they must have a good reason (i.e., illness or injury-related) if they hope to even be considered for a Worlds assignment. You seem to forget that Nationals performances are important, even if they are no longer the sole measure for making assignment selections.

ETA:
Reflections on a career in figure skating, with Jessica Calalang:
"Brian reminds me in training and in competition that we're here to have fun and enjoy ourselves. You really have to enjoy skating if you want to improve... When I'm at the rink, I forget what time it is... Putting in my work at the rink [training and coaching] makes me happy."

Here's an article about C/J's fp win, but strangely NBC Sports doesn't have a video of their winning 2nd place overall fp performance neither on their website nor uploaded on Youtube with other videos of second place finishers' performances.

Tim is in good shape and fairly strong. If you look to the end of their programs they are gassed especially Tim. For Pairs,There is a fine balance between muscle mass and having all the flexibility and body physique to jump. He has to maintain that balance. If he gained 10 pounds of muscle to be bulked up enough to be safe in the lifts that would significantly effect his jumping consistency. Ashley and Tim deal with this problem regularly because of the combined body types. The coaches work with this issue quite a bit. The lifts are designed to do the minimum to get the points. The team has had an accident that could have been career ending. You won't see lifts like Haven and Brandon, K/O and the Kinerims, It's too dangerous for this team. Some of the other teams are far better suited for improvement and have the ability to add more interesting and complex lifts to their programs.
 
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PairSkater12345

Active Member
Messages
269
Why do you think the selection committee decided not to send Ashley and Tim to four continents? Why wouldn't they leave off C/J or K/O? Why didn't they send Haven and Brandon? This pairs team had the best Grand Prix season of all the US teams. Haven and Brandon had one bad skate. I'm interested in hearing what people think.
 

antmanb

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Messages
9,680
I'm just glad that it's been clarified that there is only one true pairs fan in this thread and everyone else is a newbie. As the one true pairs fan only She is capable of mind reading and determining mental and emotional state (while criticising others for pretending to have this skill which only She can possess, duh!), future performance and invention of words already used in common parlance by everyone.

Surely this thread can now be closed for the Oracle has spoken and no-one else is worthy :rofl:
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
Messages
32,204
D/F will never live down 2017 Worlds, where their SP score, would have had them in the penultimate group in 2015, the second group of the FS in 2016, and the middle group in 2019 (even without +5/-5 factoring, including the extra FS group), and missing the FS by one spot in 2018 (coming off Olympics score momentum), and, due to unusual circumstances that 2020 rules were created to avoid, the US lost an Olympic spot. If either had not happened, I don't think they'd be dismissed like this.

Scores can't be compared across competitions, blah, blah, but, except for outliers in homer international, ranges can IMO, and in 2015, 2016, and 2019, their 2017 SP score, they were nowhere close to falling below the cut-off in ranges
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
Messages
269
I'm just glad that it's been clarified that there is only one true pairs fan in this thread and everyone else is a newbie. As the one true pairs fan only She is capable of mind reading and determining mental and emotional state (while criticising others for pretending to have this skill which only She can possess, duh!), future performance and invention of words already used in common parlance by everyone.

Surely this thread can now be closed for the Oracle has spoken and no-one else is worthy :rofl:
Common sense, experience and observation can always add value to the conversation. That's what makes this blog interesting at times. You should try it.
Thanks for the kind words, I'm always interested in other opinions and you have just given me yours......lol
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
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269
D/F will never live down 2017 Worlds, where their SP score, would have had them in the penultimate group in 2015, the second group of the FS in 2016, and the middle group in 2019 (even without +5/-5 factoring, including the extra FS group), and missing the FS by one spot in 2018 (coming off Olympics score momentum), and, due to unusual circumstances that 2020 rules were created to avoid, the US lost an Olympic spot. If either had not happened, I don't think they'd be dismissed like this.

Scores can't be compared across competitions, blah, blah, but, except for outliers in homer international, ranges can IMO, and in 2015, 2016, and 2019, their 2017 SP score, they were nowhere close to falling below the cut-off in ranges
Now Kwan, I'm a rookie here and as fan can recognize you are a veteran and have some great points , maybe the Oracle (see above comment lol). I don't know about never but they most definitely have to over come their inconsistencies and prove it, create the trust for sure. Your observation of the group positioning and the rules changes are spot on. Your observations are the primary factors and underscore the political importance of positioning groups both in the US and internationally.The powers are very skeptical of this team and winning is all that matters. Ashley and Tim have better group positioning than C/J for worlds. That alone is a factor in the decision making process. As for Haven and Brandon going to worlds, I think USFSA doesn't want their coach representing the USA. I would expect Haven and Brandon to make a change.
 

nylynnr

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Messages
769
If I were to be skeptical about CG/L having the fix in, I would say "Why did Nina spend most of her development coaching time with CG/L this season"? Why is she always at their practices and part of the team in the Kiss and Cry? If I were skeptical, I would wonder why she spent all this time with one team while USFSA paid for it.
Now, you know Nina spends time with many of the U.S. pairs, including C & T, Todd Sand's pairs, etc. If K & O, or D & F, wanted more time with Nina and were willing to arrange their schedules for it, would they not get that time?
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
Messages
269
Two silvers alone probably wouldn't guarantee a selection to the world team, unless no other teams had any international medals at all in the past year.



If they're skating well and expecting to be in contention for a Worlds spot, they probably also expect to be in contention for a national title. That would be incentive enough for most to want to compete.

Of course if they're ill or injured in January and don't expect to skate as well at Nationals as they did earlier in the season or expect to in March, or their skates broke the day before the short program, that might be a reason to skip Nationals.
I like the skates broke comment here. I can remember that happening recently. Some USFSA leaders recommend taking two pairs. Most figure skaters don't like that option. Changing skates seems to be a linear process. Patch tape glue until you have the time to break in the new skates.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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48,956
I don’t like C&L at all so I am even more upset by their selection. Had they finished 3rd and barely missed the silver there could have been some justification (as in the case of Zhou). This is a travesty. It is an easy way to stop talented younger pairs who actually delivered when it counted.

I do however expect C&L to skate much better at worlds. I am sure they are aware of the unfairness in their selection and they will want to prove themselves.
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
Messages
269
I think, the way USFS does things, you always have to come to Nationals. They didn't pick a team that didn't come to Nationals! They just picked one that finished below other teams, something they very rarely do. If you want to be sure to be on the World team and get international assignments, you have to come to Nationals and do your best. Any other "strategy" is a crapshoot.
Good point I would add that you need to come to Champs camp if your eligible too!
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
Messages
269
I don’t like C&L at all so I am even more upset by their selection. Had they finished 3rd and barely missed the silver there could have been some justification (as in the case of Zhou). This is a travesty. It is an easy way to stop talented younger pairs who actually delivered when it counted.

I do however expect C&L to skate much better at worlds. I am sure they are aware of the unfairness in their selection and they will want to prove themselves.
I don't dislike the team, I have so much respect for the sheer effort and sacrifice to get to this level. Likely One of the reasons Ashley and Tim were not selected to go to four continents is the competition is too close and the team need to get the confidence back. Can you imagine two of the other US teams beating them, C/J and K/O? The selection committee doesn't like that kind of criticism.
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
Messages
269
:lol: Tim is already way bulked up as a pairs guy who lifts a female nearly as tall as he. And Ashley does her part too, which is important for pairs girls to do in the very difficult lifts element. As I said, they work on exercises off-ice for strength and likely to improve their timing and via repetition, their muscle memory.

I doubt lifts will ever become an asset for A&T because of their similar heights. But they are able to use their similar heights and long lines to their advantage in other ways that turn a disadvantage into an advantage. IMO, A&T are capable with their lifts and they have constantly improved, while trying to increase difficulty where they can. They understand the limitations that their similar heights pose, and they have been able to manage the weaknesses and maximize the strengths of their partnership.

The video clip we saw of them training what looked like a simple lift entry, doesn't mean we know exactly what they were attempting and why. The exercise looks repetitive and so setting Ashley down abruptly appears to be part of the repetitive work they are doing. Timothy is not going to purposely set her down like that during a program. In fact, the exercise may not be as much about strength necessarily but more-so timing and repetition. Or, Timothy may be lifting Ashley for strength practice instead of using weights, because I doubt that he really needs to bulk up much more than he is already.

Sorry Shocks, No pairs coach or off Ice trainer wants pairs guys to drop their partners to the ground. You wouldn't do that on the ice and you wouldn't do that off ice.


Ah, so you are an expert on mental states. ;) A lot of skaters carry nerves under pressure situations, and deal with those nerves differently. As well, the pressure for every team varies when they are dealing with different circumstances and scenarios. The guys and the ladies on each team have nerves associated with competing -- they wouldn't be human if they didn't.
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
Messages
269
Now, you know Nina spends time with many of the U.S. pairs, including C & T, Todd Sand's pairs, etc. If K & O, or D & F, wanted more time with Nina and were willing to arrange their schedules for it, would they not get that time?
Sure she spends time with other pairs teams (She makes the circuit to the pairs camps and Champs camp) She spends most of her time in Dallas or where Ashely and Tim train like in RUSSIA. You also don't see her working with other pairs teams during competition practices like nationals this year. You don't see her representing other teams at the boards and in the Kiss and Cry. Hard to believe having a coach like that in your camp not helping politically. Plus USFSA is paying for it.
 

nylynnr

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769
Sure she spends time with other pairs teams (She makes the circuit to the pairs camps and Champs camp) She spends most of her time in Dallas or where Ashely and Tim train like in RUSSIA. You also don't see her working with other pairs teams during competition practices like nationals this year. You don't see her representing other teams at the boards and in the Kiss and Cry. Hard to believe having a coach like that in your camp not helping politically. Plus USFSA is paying for it.
My point was, C & L seem to have grasped the opportunity to work with Mozer. If another pair wanted to have more time with Nina, and were willing to travel across the world for it, AND their coach welcomed and agitated for it, then they might get that time as well. Some pairs may have decided working with their own coach(es) in their home rink on their elements, was as or more effective than traveling to Russia. For example, Knierims taking Raf's classes.
 

PairSkater12345

Active Member
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269
My point was, C & L seem to have grasped the opportunity to work with Mozer. If another pair wanted to have more time with Nina, and were willing to travel across the world for it, AND their coach welcomed and agitated for it, then they might get that time as well. Some pairs may have decided working with their own coach(es) in their home rink on their elements, was as or more effective than traveling to Russia. For example, Knierims taking Raf's classes.
You make some good points. Raf for example is without question the best Jump coach on the planet. Chris has taken advantage of that because of the situation, I don't know if USFSA is paying for that directly. Chris has had some good results. Chris hasn't taken advantage of Raf's expertise when they were training in Colorado, the cost and time away from primary coaches is prohibitive. Other coaches would welcome Mozer's expertise, other than temporary time on the circuit, she is with Ashley and Tim. Grasping the opportunity is a misnomer. Do you think Mozer manages her own time in the US? Naaa. She gets paid for her time to work with teams and camps based on USFSA priorities. She will also work with anyone, any country's pairs teams if she gets paid enough (hired Gun). USFSA pays for and schedules her time, otherwise she would be sunning in South Florida in the great weather. She does have the glasses Too. LOL
 
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nylynnr

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You make some good points. Raf for example is without question the best Jump coach on the planet. Chris has taken advantage of that with some good results. Chris wouldn't have likely taken advantage of Raf's expertise if they were training in Colorado the cost and time away from primary coaches is prohibitive. Raf's been around a while and Chris didn't go to CA in the past. Do you think Mozer manages her own time in the US? Naaa. She gets paid to work with teams and camps based on USFSA priorities. She will also work with anyone, any country's pairs teams if she gets paid enough (hired Gun). USFSA pays for her time otherwise she would be sunning in South Florida in the great weather. She does have the glasses though. LOL
As Barzini said in The Godfather: "(S)he can bill for her time, after all, we are not communists." Two weeks before nationals C & T flew to CA to work with her. When it comes to lifts, some pairs can handle the added difficulty, some may not do it as easily, or may get somewhat injured trying .... C & L did well last season, they "got" the second spot, they weren't going to be downplayed as yet. If the results in Montreal are disappointing, priorities may be re-ordered .... The thing here is, despite good talent and coaches, no one or two U.S. pairs has really moved dramatically to consistently take the lead over other U.S. pairs internationally. Until that happens we can parse and dissect a lot of the assignment decisions.
 

shan

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As Barzini said in The Godfather: "(S)he can bill for her time, after all, we are not communists." Two weeks before nationals C & T flew to CA to work with her. When it comes to lifts, some pairs can handle the added difficulty, some may not do it as easily, or may get somewhat injured trying .... C & L did well last season, they "got" the second spot, they weren't going to be downplayed as yet. If the results in Montreal are disappointing, priorities may be re-ordered .... The thing here is, despite good talent and coaches, no one or two U.S. pairs has really moved dramatically to consistently take the lead over other U.S. pairs internationally. Until that happens we can parse and dissect a lot of the assignment decisions.
Who are C & T?
 

Spiralgraph

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As for the complexity of the lifts for Cain/Leduc, perhaps the scoring of levels can be compared to the levels for dance.
Chock and Bates's lifts are more intricate and look harder to me than the balance lifts of Hubbell/Donohue yet they all meet the criteria for level four. I'm thinking that Ashley and Tim have found and are working on lifts that are level four but not the exact same lifts that our other teams are doing. If every team did the exact same lifts it would be very repetitive and uninspiring.
Someone up thread mentioned Denny and Frazier and their coaching team. With all that's ongoing with the investigation, they might be looking for another coach. But I looked on their bio page and they've already gone through many coaches:Jim Peterson, Dalilah, Rockne, and Ingo for a brief time. Who's left? I hope they parted with their previous coaches on good terms or they will have a difficult time changing coaches yet again.
 

happycamper2554

Active Member
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170
As for the complexity of the lifts for Cain/Leduc, perhaps the scoring of levels can be compared to the levels for dance.
Chock and Bates's lifts are more intricate and look harder to me than the balance lifts of Hubbell/Donohue yet they all meet the criteria for level four. I'm thinking that Ashley and Tim have found and are working on lifts that are level four but not the exact same lifts that our other teams are doing. If every team did the exact same lifts it would be very repetitive and uninspiring.
Someone up thread mentioned Denny and Frazier and their coaching team. With all that's ongoing with the investigation, they might be looking for another coach. But I looked on their bio page and they've already gone through many coaches:Jim Peterson, Dalilah, Rockne, and Ingo for a brief time. Who's left? I hope they parted with their previous coaches on good terms or they will have a difficult time changing coaches yet again.
I think they should go back to be Peterson. Easiest logistically (geography) and he doesnt have a top senior pair at the moment.
 

Carolla5501

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5,894
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.

Don’t forget last year Alexa looked at the score and said “that was generous” . You know you’re being gifted when the skater says that was generous

Yeah and naming them as alternates to the world team was just a disgrace.
 

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