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

aftershocks

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The Knierims added Raf to the coaching staff off season to try and get Chris his triples, but apparently to no avail.

Actually, it's way too soon to conclude that Raf's coaching input has been 'to no avail.' After the Knierims' experience with Aliona, Chris' overall look on the ice and his jumping were much improved. In fact, Chris was landing his jumps last season, at times where Alexa seemed to be having problems. It was rather confounding.

Now, the Knierims are both relearning and retooling their jump technique, and as Raf has previously forewarned when he takes on new students, 'it's a slow process.' Better avail does not happen over night. 'Rome wasn't built in a day.' Or, take your pick of apt cliches. :D

ETA:
In any case, we can see how well things are beginning to come together for the Knierims. Their sp was marvelous at U.S. Nats:
 
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Japanfan

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What's really unfair is that I'm a misanthropic introvert who comes off as a loud, talkative extrovert. I've been masquerading my entire life.. :lol:

I'm exactly the same, PR Lady. I can hold my own in a conversation and am passionate about my views, and usually enjoy social time. But it takes me a few days to recover from a social occasion, usually.

I have one friend is very intelligent, very intense, and quite hyper. We have Saturday night wine get-togethers from time to time. Much as I love this friend, I always feel rather battered the next day.
 

VGThuy

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What's really unfair is that I'm a misanthropic introvert who comes off as a loud, talkative extrovert. I've been masquerading my entire life. One reason I love hanging out with quiet introverts like @BlueRidge is that she never thinks I'm depressed if I'm lowkey. :lol:

That’s exactly me as well. People act surprised to learn that I’m an introvert because I come off as a talkative social person when I’m comfortable, but boy do I need time alone to recover and I do go in and out and feel zapped of energy in public even when I want to hang out all night.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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A new interview with the Knierims. They say they considered retirement after the Grand Prix season this year--but decided to continue on to Nationals:


Thank you for posting Claire! 💅🏻

Now this is the type of inside information I’ve been wanting access to. I learned so much about them. I have even more respect for them with all they’ve gone through. And I certainly know the Illinois - California transition as that’s what I’ve done myself. Wish nothing but success for them always
 

aftershocks

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Calalang/Johnson are a quality team with speed, power, great chemistry, lovely skating skills and wonderful programs. Since they are a fairly new team (even though they both have a lot of pairs experience with other partners), the judges seem to skimp a bit on PCS. So they have to continue building their reputation as well as their confidence on the jumps, which as we've seen in some recent competitions, they can land when they're on. Overall, that was a good job by C/J in the sp at 4CCs.

The Knierims, with their quality elements (3-twist, throws, lifts) shouldn't have missed out on scoring better -- they should be around 74 to 76 or more at their best, even internationally. It appears that they get down on themselves when they miss their jumps. I wish someone could get through to them not to stress the jumps. Go for them and if they don't land them, just be sure to be prepared to do their best on everything else which they are great at. They appear to need more confidence and self-belief. They are clearly one of the top teams in a lot of categories, but they need to believe in themselves and show it.

Tarah/Danny regrouped this season and they looked quite strong at U.S. Nationals. They had the opportunity to place just behind or maybe even slightly ahead of C/J in the sp at 4CCs, had they skated their best. Their several miscues in the sp hurt them because they don't have the pop, power and speed that could bring up their levels. They have to ace what they're good at. Their reworked sp is an improvement for them. Perhaps they'll keep it for next season and try to get a fp with the same impact they had with Swan Lake.
 

aftershocks

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aftershocks

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My questions still are: How many of you are actually true blue U.S. pairs fans? Are some of you simply neutral observers or provocateurs or fans of other international pairs teams eager to continue poking fun at U.S. pairs because the U.S. discipline is getting stronger?

Those like ANL who are actually fans of U.S. pairs should take a step back and chill, please. It's not about saying 'Take that, U.S. fed.' This should not be looked upon as some kind of tit-for-tat game. The selection committee has to make tough decisions quite often because of the antiquated competitive structure of the sport. It's not a secret or a mystery how good a team C/J are and that they will with proper guidance continue to improve. But with the talent and veteran experience of our other pairs, US figure skating needs to make an effort to support them all, even through their ups-and-downs and periods of self-doubt.

And quite honestly, C/J have to be guided strategically and not simply thrown out there expecting them to carry the entire burden of elevating U.S. pairs as a bright, hugely talented up-and-coming new team. Each U.S. team have their own personal goals and dreams, but they need to be supportive of each other too, because that's the only way the U.S. will be able to get good enough and consistent enough to gain three spots, which frankly the U.S. deserves. Athletes who are good need to compete in order to get better and to gain experience and international exposure. On the big stage of Worlds this season, it would be fine to send C/J with the Knierims, but I get the fact that U.S. figure skating is trying to support the discipline as a whole and trying to help all of their pairs have the opportunity to strengthen themselves for the tough battle of gaining three spots.

The bickering outcries and constant put-downs in this thread based on what happens every five minutes do not help the Knierims, nor Ash/Timothy, nor Kayne/O'Shea, nor Denney/Frazier or any other U.S. team. In fact, it truly does not help C/J long term to have undue pressure placed on their shoulders when right now they are simply trying to gain international competitive experience without having to carry the banner for the entire U.S. pairs discipline on their shoulders in only their second season together, despite the fact that their talent is huge and they are improving at a fast clip. I think C/J would tell us (and have told us in interviews) that training with the Knierims has helped them to improve. Whatever C/J's results are at 4CCs should be a boon and a benefit to them and to the U.S. discipline -- and I think their PCS should be much higher, but that's the politics of the sport. In any case, how well C/J perform at 4CCs should NOT be used to ridicule their U.S. teammates, nor U.S. figure skating.

Any of you coming in to tear down U.S. figure skating or to pettily and negatively criticize any of the athletes are NOT helping to support the U.S. pairs discipline to continue improving and getting stronger.
 
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aftershocks

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2019 vs. 2020 4CC Pairs SP scores

Calalang/Johnson 2020 67.76
Cain/Leduc 2019 67.49
Kayne/O'Shea 2019 66.34
Knierim/Knierim 2020 63.14
Kayne/O'Shea 2020 62.65
Denney/Frazier 2019 61.71

Yes and so what? I have a good memory of the performances, and I'm here to tell you off-the-bat that at least C/J, C-G/L, probably K/O in 2019, and definitely D/F in 2019, ALL DESERVED HIGHER SCORES THAN THEY RECEIVED!

Put that in your pipe and smoke it. And then tell me what difference your listing the documented scores makes to whatever point you are trying to make.
 

haribobo

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Actually just posted those to rile you up. Looks like I succeeded. :)

Jokes aside, I am really impressed with how Calalang/Johnson have been progressing this season. We should celebrate the successes and not be trying to tear them or anyone else down.
 
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aftershocks

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Actually just posted those to rile you up. Looks like I succeeded. :)

Jokes aside, I am really impressed with how Calalang/Johnson have been progressing this season. We should celebrate the successes and not be trying to tear them or anyone else down.

:) Ha ha. Okay, I'm sorry for being confrontational in my tone. Still, there really isn't any point in posting scores across events and across seasons to try and put down particular U.S. teams over other U.S. teams. Even the selection committee looks at and weighs more than just scores from event-to-event and season to season.

And as I pointed out, scores aren't all that reliable as indicators of how well the skaters may or may not have performed, when politics is involved in the scoring, particularly on PCS. If anything, what you posted continues to confirm just how close the scores are comparatively between C/J and C-G/L, with C-G/L having a slight edge overall, along with an edge over C/J in how long they've skated together.

All we can do is watch, support the skaters, voice our opinions, and hope the sport as a whole will someday change for the better in how it's structured and scored, and in particular for the better benefit and development of athletes.
 

aftershocks

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Just LOL that C/J are highest US team after the 4CC SP.

There's not much to laugh about, since in fact C/J also rival all three teams placed ahead of them in the sp, in particular on 3-twist, death spiral, lifts, chemistry, speed, power, programs/costumes, and skating skills. :smokin:

Politics and PCS manipulation reign, as usual, when it comes to the scoring.

And see my previous posts please, re the fact that our U.S. pairs teams do not need to be pitted against each other. They need to continue pushing each other to greater and greater heights.
 

Messalina

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I think I have my US Pairs Fan Club card here somewhere.

Anyway, I love that C&J are looking better and better and will be reaping the rewards of international exposure even more after this 4CC.

The article on Alexa and Chris reminded me how I used to like their fierce, go-get-it attitude* (way back when everything was starting to click and we first noticed their huge pair elements), and I feel for them now. So glad they kept on through nationals, and I hope they give it their all to 2022. So great that Raf is in the picture. I was skeptical about Jenni and Todd at first (because I remember the 90s and zzzzzzzz), but it sounds like they are just where they need to be. And did someone say Raf!

I really hope they can pull it together in the FS.

* Or maybe that was just Alexa's
 

aftershocks

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^^ I was about to agree with your post (which I do for the most part), but tsk, tsk, I DO NOT go along with you dissing Meno/Sand and the 90s. I loved and I still love the skating of Meno/Sand from back in de day! :respec: I have huge respect for Jenni & Todd and for their coach and mentor, John Nicks!!! :encore:

Not to mention the fact that the 90s brought us Michelle Kwan and perfect 6.0s; the marvelous Midori Ito; the rise of Shen/Zhao and Chinese pairs; U.S. women sweeping the Worlds podium; Kristi Yamaguchi winning gold at the 1992 Olympics; Paul Wylie nearly winning gold at the 1992 Olympics; Gordeeva/Grinkov's swan song at 1994 Olympics before Sergei's untimely death in 1995; Anissina/Peizarat's great ice dance performances; Todd Eldredge winning 1996 Worlds; Rudy Galindo's stunning performances and victory at 1996 U.S. Nationals; the popularity of the sport and growth of pro competitions (at least for a short time), and so much else... (fyi, including Meno/Sand winning World bronze in 1996, placing 5th at the 1994 Olympics, and earning silver medals at 1998 Worlds).
 
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honey

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The initial tweet from USFS said due to family illness. It was quickly deleted and reposted just saying that they withdrew.
 

aftershocks

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Here is the first tweet mentioning illness

It looks like the original link won’t load

Right, the tweet won't load. There must be a family illness involved, but clearly it was thought best (and rightly so) not to blame a family illness for their withdrawal. I even thought perhaps the Knierims might better have chosen to skip 4CCs altogether in order to concentrate on being in their best shape for Worlds, since the turnaround from Nationals was very quick for 4CCs. That way, U.S. fed might have been able to send D/F (to reward their season) or Lu/Mitrofanov (to gain more experience).

OTOH, the idea may have been to keep momentum going. But since the Knierims weren't perfect in the fp at U.S. Nats, maybe think about foregoing 4CCs mostly because of the travel and the very quick turnaround from Nationals. And just go back to training and dealing emotionally with whatever family situation is going on.
 

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