U.S. Pairs 2020-21 season - News & Updates, Part XI

Karen-W

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This gets more and more WTF as the year continues.. although it seems as if Tarah is now going out with Balazs Nagy so perhaps they will team up if Danny indeed has retired?
Careful there... doesn't Mama Finster or someone close to the team lurk on FSU? I seem to recall some defensive posts last season in the JGP Lake Placid threads when they didn't skate as well hoped and posters questioned their longterm viability as a team due to the lack of much size differential, among other fair critiques.
 

olympic

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Any rumor regarding Danny's retirement makes me sad. He was one of the most talented US pair guys and K/O added to the nascent growth of US pairs on a natl. level. I thought K/O made initial progress under Dalilah on the big elements like the twist and throws; they looked bigger that 1st year but something caused regression and IDK what that was ....

ETA - Ironically years ago when the Chinese Fed stepped in and split Yu/Jin and Peng/Zhang to form Yu/Zhang and Peng/Jin (theoretical super-pair v. "cast-offs"), I always wondered if the USFSA were as authoritative if they would have split Denney/Frazier and Kayne/O'Shea to form Denney/O'Shea as a pair that is better matched. Obviously moot with everything that has transpired including Denney's records on SBS jumps plummeting rather badly post-injury and her status in limbo (Not sure if she is retired or not), but that pair would have been a tantalizing prospect to me. BTW, Peng/Jin figuratively flipped their Fed the bird by becoming a top team in the World.
 
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Spiralgraph

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Oh Rats. On the one hand, it is TSL so I take the news with two big grains of salt. On the other hand TSL has been right about their scoops more than once. I'll just wait for a more official announcement, if any.
 

Amy L

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Careful there... doesn't Mama Finster or someone close to the team lurk on FSU? I seem to recall some defensive posts last season in the JGP Lake Placid threads when they didn't skate as well hoped and posters questioned their longterm viability as a team due to the lack of much size differential, among other fair critiques.

Mama Finster definitely tried to tear me a new one for that exact thing. However, last week Dave from TSL said that Finster/Nagy broke up as well.
 
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sk8nlizard

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609
Before Continuing, Please consider TSL as the Source. Do with that what you will. I personally hope this is fake news

Danny O'Shea Allegedly Retiring

If this is true, it’s a big loss for US Pairs, he is an extremely talented partner! I can understand with *********, getting older and continuing to slowly slip in the rankings why retirement would be a consideration even though it makes me sad. It does make me wonder How many guys actually contacted/tried out with Alexa? I was saying at US Nationals that she and Brandon should team up, but when it came time for her to find a partner, many were saying not to break up current teams. I would be interested to know if any other guys seriously considered it, or if Brandon was the only one that was willing. All that to say, I think Alexa and Brandon are a great match and he was my top pick for her, but I do think it shows that staying together just for longevity isn’t always the best decision.
I hope Danny is happy in whatever he decides to do.
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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Canadian Dance teams retired after Virtue/Moir announced their comeback, because a realistic fight for the third spot was gone, and it's a lot of time and money to invest. If he's retiring, I can imagine that with K/F having made such a splash, a shot at the second spot looked more remote, although US Pairs is not nearly the brick wall that Canadian Dance was, with W/P and G/P behind V/M.
 

HeatherC

Searching for Sanity
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11,267
Until you hear something official from either me or USFS, I would take whatever TSL says with a giant grain of salt. I haven't heard anything official as of today and I would for sure let you guys know if this rumor was true. I will look into it and see what I can find out but with it still being the holiday weekend here in the US, we may not hear anything for sure until the weekend is over.
 

Michelle

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I don’t blame Danny for retiring (if true). He’s pretty much capped with Tarah since she has major technical issues that prevent them from improving. Add that to the lack of money coming in because of ********* on top of expenses and it’s a nightmare. He might want to pivot to other career pursuits instead of trying to start all over again with another partner. It’s sucks because his skating is absolutely gorgeous and I would have loved to see him with a partner that can land her jumps, etc. 2020 is a hard year for all.
 

hoptoad

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Can someone remind me where these teams train now? I thought Finster/Nagy were with Sappenfield, but that Kayne/O'Shea were looking for new coaches. Didn't they go back to Peterson in somewhere-not-Florida temporarily?
 

maureenfarone

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Can someone remind me where these teams train now? I thought Finster/Nagy were with Sappenfield, but that Kayne/O'Shea were looking for new coaches. Didn't they go back to Peterson in somewhere-not-Florida temporarily?
Jim Peterson and Amanda Evora are coaching at the Arctic Edge Arena in Canton, MI (Zoueva used to coach there). Jim Peterson was with Kayne/O'Shea at Skate America but it was for that competition. No permanent coaching change has been announced. No one seems to know where Kayne/O'Shea are training at the present time.
 

Spiralgraph

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I don’t blame Danny for retiring (if true). He’s pretty much capped with Tarah since she has major technical issues that prevent them from improving. Add that to the lack of money coming in because of ********* on top of expenses and it’s a nightmare. He might want to pivot to other career pursuits instead of trying to start all over again with another partner. It’s sucks because his skating is absolutely gorgeous and I would have loved to see him with a partner that can land her jumps, etc. 2020 is a hard year for all.

Compared with our other US female pair skaters, I can't think of many who are consistent with their triples. That goes for the men as well. Otherwise US pairs wouldn't be mired in mediocrity that they as a whole keep trying to emerge from
 

olympic

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Compared with our other US female pair skaters, I can't think of many who are consistent with their triples. That goes for the men as well. Otherwise US pairs wouldn't be mired in mediocrity that they as a whole keep trying to emerge from
I agree with you to the extent that the most glaring problem in watching your typical elite US pairs program on an international stage is their inability to complete SBS jumps.

But, many other international teams screw up their jumps and still outrank top American teams. I would rank jump screw-ups a big problem for anyone. If you were to ask me about what element Sui / Han would most likely screw up on, it would be a SBS jump. Yet, they are champions.

Why? IMO, the top reasons are (1) better, basic SS like speed and posture; (2) sheer strength on other elements that give them ability to make up ground when their jumps fail (ex - Chinese (or Savchenko) on throws, twist); and (3) slightly better and more imaginative choreography. I sometimes think the latter is simplified for US teams so they can complete elements, and I admit there are exceptions - The Lion King for D/F, that LP for C/L last season. But, for example I watched K/O skate to POTO in 2016 and everyone was so excited, but I knew looking ahead it wouldn't fly as high on the international stage. It was a warhorse and their elements are relatively small (I was personally excited by that initial move to Dalilah because I thought she would give them more power on big elements, alas) I also remember Zhang / Bartholomay in 2014 who never missed an element being placed on the Olympic team, but you needed a microscope to see their elements.

One US team that totally excites me is C/J because I see their SS are IMO a notch above the other top US teams and that will give them an edge if they make mistakes. I believe a relatively clean SK/F beat them at SA, but C/J weren't behind by much even with jump mistakes; They generate great power from a few strokes. They have interesting transitions and choreography (OK - the SP only), and their posture and stroking is something I would expect from a Euro or top Canadian team. The throws and twists are big, but let's circle back to the topic - SBS jumps. I am in descending into despair because it looks like the jumps might become 'a thing'. I truly hope not: A clean season post-********* season IMO would elevate C/J more than any other US pair (IMO) towards medal-land
 

Cleo1782

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Regardless of their shortcomings, Tarah and Danny had a great career even if it ends now. They both were talented and had an it factor although injury seemed to slow them down. They were Olympic alternates, grand prix medalists, national champions, and 4cc champions. That's pretty impressive. Here's a few of my favorites:
2016 US national SP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1yAjey09NA
2016 Nationals
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnxBK5wVZTE
2018 4cc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-avphCZGA3g

If the news is true I will miss them a lot. I thought they were a good team and I appreciated their great lifts and longevity.
 
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Michelle

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Compared with our other US female pair skaters, I can't think of many who are consistent with their triples. That goes for the men as well. Otherwise US pairs wouldn't be mired in mediocrity that they as a whole keep trying to emerge from
I like her skating but Tarah couldn’t even rotate her jumps. That’s a big problem. Also, her throws were very small. Danny barely threw her. I think there’s easily 4 better female pair skaters in the program above Tarah in terms of their technical celling, even 5.
 

Willin

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Honestly I think it's a shame O'Shea might be retiring. I remember one of my coaches (a former US Junior pairs champ) said some excellent skaters get way too invested in their partnership to realize when they need to switch partners and it holds them back. I think he's a prime example of this. While Tarah Kayne is a good enough skater to be in a Senior Pair's US medalist, she's not up to his level. If he got another stronger partner he could be closer to a consistent Grand Prix medal threat. I kind of wish USFS had more of a mind to interfere with pairings than they currently do. It works for other countries to switch up pairs when things aren't working.
 

sk8nlizard

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Honestly I think it's a shame O'Shea might be retiring. I remember one of my coaches (a former US Junior pairs champ) said some excellent skaters get way too invested in their partnership to realize when they need to switch partners and it holds them back. I think he's a prime example of this. While Tarah Kayne is a good enough skater to be in a Senior Pair's US medalist, she's not up to his level. If he got another stronger partner he could be closer to a consistent Grand Prix medal threat. I kind of wish USFS had more of a mind to interfere with pairings than they currently do. It works for other countries to switch up pairs when things aren't working.
I agree with this, but I also think it’s a tough situation because people get criticized for switching partners too quickly. This is when it would be nice for USFS to step in and help match up some of the skaters. The US actually has a few decent pairs skaters but most are not paired up for max potential (in my opinion).
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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Where are you coming from with Tarah not rotating her jumps? She rarely get ur calls. Her tech skills might be limited but what she does she does well. Danny was/is amazing but Tarah wasn't just standing around in all of this.
Tarah pre-rotates, which isn't a technical panel issue, it's GOE issue, and so she doesn't get the > or >> calls. It's one of the reasons that they often have the jumps choreographed into the corner away from the judges, and with Danny in front of her to at least somewhat block the view of the judging panel.

Their free skate starts at about 13:00 mark, and the 3S+1E+2S is at about 13:50. You can clearly see that Tarah pre-rotates the jumps in real time, and if you slow the playback speed to .25 you can really see how she does all 3 jumps forward, so she's really doing 2A+SEQ+1A.
 

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