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

Barbara Manatee

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What a painful and difficult decision for the Knierims. For all we'd joke about the "married bonus," it must have made these choices a million times harder than if they'd just been skating partners. Their comments about the situation are thoughtful and mature and compassionate. I wish Chris and Alexa nothing but the best from now on.
 

GarrAargHrumph

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Chris is retiring, Alexa is going to look for a new partner to aim for the Beijing Olympics. This also means Brian & Jessica are going to Worlds.
It's an interesting article. He says he's been depressed for a while, and is in treatment. He's been dealing with injuries for a while as well. It sounds like he's been struggling with this decision for some time. And that, with all this in the background, he basically quit skating during/after that pairs spin at 4cc - ouch.

I wish them both the best.
 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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That article puts both happy and sad tears in my eyes. It is well written. You could see they were going in separate directions, athletically speaking.

Nationals must have literally taken everything out of him.

This is what needed to happen. I wish them both the best personally and professionally.
 

kirkbiggestfan

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I am sure that Danny O'Shea is also dreaming about the Olympics! I know I am gonna get crap for even suggesting to break up a partnership! :)
 

GarrAargHrumph

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This may cause a reshuffling of who is skating with who in US pairs, yes. We'll have to see.

OMG, one thought: Mervin Tran. Although he's not a US citizen yet, and I'd hate to break up a partnership... but Mervin Tran. Unless Alexa is too tall for him. I think she's 5'2"? Mervin is about 5'9".
 

Aerobicidal

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I want Alexa to partner with Bruno Massot because Aljona's reaction would be the greatest thing in the history of skating.

(But I do sympathize with their struggles and hope Chris's treatment is effective.)
 

kirkbiggestfan

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It has to be a very short list of potential partners: O'Shea, LeDuc, Frazier, Tran, Mitrofanov, Bardei, Bilodeau, Nadeau. Not sure if there are any Russians available. The timing is right to put your name out there. She is a fabulous pair skater. I hope she finds her Trankov/Massot.
 

Carolla5501

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Chris is retiring, Alexa is going to look for a new partner to aim for the Beijing Olympics. This also means Brian & Jessica are going to Worlds.
Actually not incredibly surprising. Just watching them it was beginning to become apparent that she was more into it then he was.

I admit to being a little shocked he quit in the middle of a competition.

Personally I think her chances of getting back on top are going to be tough. She’s 28 so say 2 years minimum for a team to come together....,

And she’s aiming for the next Olympics. The partner either needs to be American or already very close.
 
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GarrAargHrumph

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I admit to being a little shocked he quit in the middle of a competition.
Based on what they said in the article, I'm impressed he was able to keep going for as long as he did. It sounds like he'd been trying to keep it going for her sake, and then reached a point where he literally could not for one more second do what he'd been doing. Depression can, to quote one of my friends, "be a bitch". He got to a point where he just couldn't.
 

GarrAargHrumph

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Any singles guys who could become pairs skaters?
sure. But could they be National Champs in 2 years? Unlikely
I agree - her best options are from current senior level pairs skaters, or maybe, maybe an absolutely top flight junior pairs skater. Any singles skater she looks at would probably need to be one who has already trained pairs, if her goal is to win major competitions and qualify for the next Olympics.

Ideally, the man already has US citizenship or already has the US citizenship process well in progress (Tran, for example, perhaps does, as he's been in the US for at least a couple of years now, with an apartment here and etc.) Alexa is a very strong pairs skater, and with the right partner, could do well internationally, so I'm thinking citizenship could be a factor in terms of who she picks.

Ernie Utah Stevens is an interesting idea. I hate to say Danny O'Shea, because we'd be breaking up a US pair to get him, but... he'd be a good choice. Can he grow his hair back for the occasion? I don't care if he's balding. ;)
 

GarrAargHrumph

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I understand that Nate Bartholomay is interested in returning to pairs. He had knee surgery, which is why he'd had to step away for a bit, but plans to return once he's healed up. He's 5'10", so they'd need to see if her (relative, for a pairs skater - she's 5'2") height is an issue.
 

Carolla5501

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I understand that Nate Bartholomay is interested in returning to pairs. He had knee surgery, which is why he'd had to step away for a bit, but plans to return once he's healed up. He's 5'10", so they'd need to see if her (relative, for a pairs skater - she's 5'2") height is an issue.
That's the most realistic thought I have seen to get her near the top. He did well with his Deanna and she wasn't even a pair skater.

I am assuming that Jessica and Brian have probably known what was going on and were training as if they might be at Worlds. Hopefully they will have another outstanding skate to end their season on a high note!
 

rfisher

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It's way easier for a singles female skater to switch to pair skating than a male as long as she's got the pair skater fearlessness. The male's skills are absolutely essential to keeping her alive and safe during lifts and twists. If Alexa wants to go to the 2022 Olympics, she has to partner with an experienced pair skater.
 

GarrAargHrumph

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Brian and Jessica likely had a serious clue they might be going at 4cc, when the Knierims withdrew. As first alternates, they've been told to continue training as if they were going to Worlds... although the reality is that yeah. But with what happened at 4cc, they probably could guess/were perhaps even told that their going was possible, and have been training for Worlds at least since then. I hope they do great.
 

Zemgirl

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It's way easier for a singles female skater to switch to pair skating than a male as long as she's got the pair skater fearlessness. The male's skills are absolutely essential to keeping her alive and safe during lifts and twists. If Alexa wants to go to the 2022 Olympics, she has to partner with an experienced pair skater.
Morgan Cipres as able to make the switch successfully within a shortish period of time.
 

sk8nlizard

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314
At Nationals, I told my friend Alexa and Brandon should team up. While I think O’Shea is a stronger skater, Frazier is bigger and would do some things that Alexa is used to (big twist, lifts, throws, etc). I hate to say that bc it would break up a US team, but when watching the event it’s what I thought would be best for US pairs.
Also, I’m sure this news is making for interesting convos and thoughts with all US teams. Alexa is quite the catch as far as US pair girls are concerned!
 
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