U.S. Pairs 2021-22 season - News & Updates, Part X

Theatregirl1122

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I mean, the goal is to win, not to rotate the disciplines out of some sense of fairness. And it's not even really fairness anyways. The only skaters who will actually be involved who won a medal last time would be Nathan and Alexa. All other skaters involved either weren't entered at the 2018 Olympics or weren't a part of the team event. So splitting the two disciplines that weren't split last time isn't actually any more "fair" since no one conceivably involved in those splits has won a team event medal before (actually, splitting pairs might result in Alexa getting her second medal over someone else getting their first).

But again, the team event should be chosen first with the goal to win the medal which should mean picking the most competitive team and then with the goal of winning the most medals overall (so giving team members who might medal in the individual a chance to split where it would help them if desired and if the team can still be successful that way).
 

hlp728

Active Member
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Whether it’s Ashley/Timothy or Alexa/Brandon, where would their scores fall into the team event compared to the other pair teams? Would it be 3rd -6th place with Russian, China, Japan likely in 1st thru 3rd?

What I would really like to see is Timothy as a flag bearer for the U.S. at the Olympic opening ceremony.
 

Karen-W

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17,586
Whether it’s Ashley/Timothy or Alexa/Brandon, where would their scores fall into the team event compared to the other pair teams? Would it be 3rd -6th place with Russian, China, Japan likely in 1st thru 3rd?

What I would really like to see is Timothy as a flag bearer for the U.S. at the Olympic opening ceremony.
K/F's scores are appreciably better against the rest of the projected field (assuming China swaps out S/H for P/J in the FS; and based on the AnythingGOEs tweet today that said Italy's using Ghilardi/Ambrosini in the TE).

Median Scores this season
Short Program
K/F - 4th
C-G/L SP - 7th
Free Skate
K/F - 2nd
C-G/L - 4th

Best Scores this season
Short Program
K/F - 3rd
C-G/L - 5th
Free Skate
K/F - 2nd
C-G/L - 4th

Worst Scores this season
Short Program
K/F - 4th
C-G/L - 5th (ACI score)
Free Skate
K/F - 4th
C-G/L - 5th (ACI score)

Using C-G/L instead of K/F would, in all likelihood, cede at least 3-5 points to Russia, IMO. China and Russia are the clear #1-2 in the SP, K/F have had a couple of good skates that would put them neck and neck with M/K in the SP, and I think there is very good reason to expect that they could be #2 in the FS, but, again, that's going to also depend on how P/J skate. The SB and MS for those three are within 1.5 points of each other.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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14,463
C/J have beautiful skating, but they didn't land a single jumping pass cleanly in the long. They got the benefit of the doubt in the sp, but their jumps just aren't there in general. Even their throws were off. I'm not surprised they're sending K/F.
I could make a case that the ISU owes them for sidelining them for most of the year...over lipstick!
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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71,009
I could make a case that the ISU owes them for sidelining them for most of the year...over lipstick!
WADA & USADA, not ISU, and it was reportedly eyelash serum:
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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14,463
The guidance changed with omicron, and a negative test is no longer required. It's just 5 days of isolation if your symptom free at the end of that period, or 10 days if you still have symptoms at day 5. Day 1 is either the day following the onset of symptoms or the day of your first positive test if asymptomatic.
Today it is. Risk assessment Of factors in play I don't anyone can be sure of their status, venue status, airline...and on and on.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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71,009
It took 35 hours of flying time but the Boston group, including Lu/Mitrofanov & Chan/Howe, have made it to Tallinn, Estonia for 4CC!

Ditto for McBeath/Bartholomay - Katie shared IG story updates on their 4-flight journey that also took over 30 hours!
 

4rkidz

plotting, planning and travelling
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13,439
Ashley & Tim are my least favourite team, I find their skating skills lacking and I have little faith in their lifts. But I do love the backstory. I find the other teams smoother and more refined. But wish them well in Beijing.
 

stjeaskategym

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1,397
Median International ScoreSP ScoresLP Scores
Knierim/Frazier202.9776.09, 70.15, 69.83, 66.44, 66.37136.60, 136.46, 136.04, 131.54, 120.25
Cain/LeDuc191.4570.75, 64.98, 61.68, 59.58132.04, 128.22, 128.02, 111.06


To maximize the US's chances, I want K/F in the Team Event. There's little risk in using them (their scores are always good), and a lot to gain. I'm assuming they'll be monitored to see what form they are in. Judging by yesterday's video of their throw triple flip, they haven't missed a beat- one of the best 3FTh in Pairs today.


I think Ashley and Tim have a great case for being in the team event. They’ve been improving all season and had two incredibly solid skates at Nationals. We know they are in peak form. And I’d like to see them have a chance at a medal since Alexa already has one (sorry, Brandon 😛).

The US has to pick their best potential team and try to maximize their chances at doing well in the Team Event. We have a chance at going for a higher placement than bronze this year, and we also have to fend off Canada to get on the podium. Knierim/Frazier have the best scoring potential, the most realistic chance at challenging a pair like Miura/Kihara (they outscored them in the LP on the GP), and are our best chance at staying in front of some of the other better pairs in the field. Their international scores are convincing. All these 200+ scores for K/F is unprecedented for a US pair.

Knierim/Frazier- 212.55, 205.87, 202.97, 201.69, 186.69
Cain/LeDuc- 202.79, 193.00, 189.90, 170.64

(Even if I drop the 170 for C/L, their average is considerably behind K/F. And even more so if I drop K/F's low score too).


I saw Cain/LeDuc's international season as up-and-down. They started out rough, then they got a score in the 190s at their next event with okay scores (they were way low in the SP standings behind the Spanish and German pairs). But then they dropped back into 180s at Skate Canada with another rough SP. It took them until their last international event in mid-November to post a solid number. But their scores were low enough on average that Calalang/Johnson didn't really have to land any jumps to hang with them internationally.

I'm not sure how much weight to put into Nationals when the top pair didn't get to compete, and Cain/LeDuc skated better than they have always tended to internationally. It's hard to tell if they've peaked here or if they can build on this; they've been up and down internationally. Nationals scores were also highly inflated- C/L don't have that pair element buffer internationally. If they miss their SBS 3Lo (she had a fall with a << the day before the SP in practice, which isn't that uncharacteristic), their score tends to plunge, whereas K/F have been able to absorb mistakes better. K/F generally have better pair elements to fall back on, and fewer underrotation concerns. If K/F UR something, I'm surprised, whereas C/L usually have had at least one UR per event, for years now.

Personally I would love to see Alexa (and Nathan) medal at two Olympic Team Events. A US pairs skater medaling with two different partners would also be really neat. I think Alexa is a tremendously talented pair skater (underrated at times) and her longevity is special (we haven't had this in the pairs discipline since 2002 with Kyoko Ina), and I want to pick the best team rather than worry about spreading the wealth to other US pairs- but everyone has different sentimental reasons for feeling one way or another. But ultimately the US has to put together the team with the greatest potential.


WADA & USADA, not ISU, and it was reportedly eyelash serum.

Even if it's just eyelashes, as an athlete I'd avoid putting anything on my body that's purpose is to artificially grow anything.

Looked like she was back in CA and he was in Nashville hotel still???

Alexa stayed in Nashville until Sunday for the Olympic team announcement. It seems a few skaters stayed off-site and not at the main hotel.
 
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Karen-W

Well-Known Member
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17,586
Median International ScoreSP ScoresLP Scores
Knierim/Frazier202.9776.09, 70.15, 69.83, 66.44, 66.37136.60, 136.46, 136.04, 131.54, 120.25
Cain/LeDuc191.4570.75, 64.98, 61.68, 59.58132.04, 128.22, 128.02, 111.06


To maximize the US's chances, I want K/F in the Team Event. There's little risk in using them (their scores are always good), and a lot to gain. I'm assuming they'll be monitored to see what form they are in. Judging by yesterday's video of their throw triple flip, they haven't missed a beat- one of the best 3FTh in Pairs today.
I agree, 100% with your assessment on the TE. It's a no-brainer for me that K/F should be given the assignment.
The US has to pick their best potential team and try to maximize their chances at doing well in the Team Event. We have a chance at going for a higher placement than bronze this year, and we also have to fend off Canada to get on the podium. Knierim/Frazier have the best scoring potential, the most realistic chance at challenging a pair like Miura/Kihara (they outscored them in the LP on the GP), and are our best chance at staying in front of some of the other better pairs in the field. Their international scores are convincing. All these 200+ scores for K/F is unprecedented for a US pair.
The USA is in a good position to challenge Russia for gold. We need more to go our way than Russia needs to go their way to make it happen, but the USA should have no trouble securing silver. Japan and Canada will be duking it out for bronze. I have a post comparing all of the likely pairs teams competing in the TE event in the Qualification for the TE discussion - https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...n-at-the-beijing-olympics.108082/post-6169396 - K/F are neck and neck with M/K (and P/J) in the FS scores so far this season. They've been more inconsistent in the SP than M/K but there's a bunch of teams (J/R, H/S, S/B) who have all scored 66+ in the SP this season, so it's going to be a matter of who skates best that night.
 

museksk8r

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Performance and scoring wise, Alexa and Brandon are trending down while Ashley and Timothy are trending up. Cain-Gribble was also ill with Covid-19 early in the season and had to adjust with the resulting loss in stamina and training time. Given all of their hype, Kneirim and Frazier should have won the Golden Spin of Zagreb, but instead they placed a very disappointing 5th in a generally weak field of pairs. I just have to look at these posts that claim it is a certainty that Kneirim and Frazier are going to outscore Cain-Gribble and Leduc with a very heavy side eye. Neither of them are beating the Russian, Chinese or Japanese pairs barring an apocalyptic disaster, so what difference does it make which of them is chosen for the team event? Alexa already has her Olympic TE medal, so personally I wish to see Ashley and Timothy get their chance.
 

yeslek

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Messages
511
Performance and scoring wise, Alexa and Brandon are trending down while Ashley and Timothy are trending up. Cain-Gribble was also ill with *********-19 early in the season and had to adjust with the resulting loss in stamina and training time. Given all of their hype, Kneirim and Frazier should have won the Golden Spin of Zagreb, but instead they placed a very disappointing 5th in a generally weak field of pairs. I just have to look at these posts that claim it is a certainty that Kneirim and Frazier are going to outscore Cain-Gribble and Leduc with a very heavy side eye. Neither of them are beating the Russian, Chinese or Japanese pairs barring an apocalyptic disaster, so what difference does it make which of them is chosen for the team event? Alexa already has her Olympic TE medal, so personally I wish to see Ashley and Timothy get their chance.

because Alexa is a strong enough skater to make two Olympic teams they should give if to Ashley and Timothy? That shouldn’t be a factor whatsoever. In fact if anything her success and experience should support why they should do it.

 

Karen-W

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17,586
Performance and scoring wise, Alexa and Brandon are trending down while Ashley and Timothy are trending up. Cain-Gribble was also ill with *********-19 early in the season and had to adjust with the resulting loss in stamina and training time. Given all of their hype, Kneirim and Frazier should have won the Golden Spin of Zagreb, but instead they placed a very disappointing 5th in a generally weak field of pairs. I just have to look at these posts that claim it is a certainty that Kneirim and Frazier are going to outscore Cain-Gribble and Leduc with a very heavy side eye. Neither of them are beating the Russian, Chinese or Japanese pairs barring an apocalyptic disaster, so what difference does it make which of them is chosen for the team event? Alexa already has her Olympic TE medal, so personally I wish to see Ashley and Timothy get their chance.
One really poor FS @golden Spin does not indicate a strong downward scoring trend, especially in light of the extremely cold rink conditions in Croatia that negatively impacted their performance.

I love C-G/L too and I think their programs are much better than K/F this season but K/F have much better scores, overall, this season. They are, like it or not, the stronger team to use in the TE.
 

museksk8r

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The US has to put together a team that has the best chance to produce the best result. Who has been to the Olympics before/already has a medal is irrelevant. I hope they use K/F because the numbers show they are our strongest team.
Now that the 5th place from Zagreb is their most recent performance going into Beijing and they are no longer reigning US champions, will K/F be rewarded those numbers? Skating is a very political sport. I am not convinced Brandon and Alexa would have defeated the consistency of Ashley and Timothy that we witnessed at Nationals. Both of the US teams are fighting for 4th in the team event and 7th in the individual pairs event currently.
 
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museksk8r

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Alexa Knierem has been able to “over perform” before and beat “better teams” at the last TE SP. By doing better than expected by a few places , she and Chris arguably salvaged Nathan Chen’s SP bomb. Maybe she can do the same with Brandon.
Alexa and Chris were reigning US champions back in 2018 and they had much better programs and connection than Alexa has with Brandon.
 

museksk8r

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because Alexa is a strong enough skater to make two Olympic teams they should give if to Ashley and Timothy? That shouldn’t be a factor whatsoever. In fact if anything her success and experience should support why they should do it.
That’s a huge load of BS! The team chosen should be the team that is currently healthiest and skating with the most quality and consistency. Past successes and experience should be secondary considerations; no skater or team should get to rest on their laurels. It’s not as if Alexa and Brandon have individual Olympic medals, World medals or GPF medals on their resumes either.
 

PRlady

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39,666
The only discipline where US skaters "deserve" a split is Dance, where C/B and H/D have been trading US titles and Worlds finishes for years and years. Pairs is our weakest discipline and I'm not sure it's going to matter much which team gets used, they're both really motivated since neither will medal individually.

Personally I would split the ladies given how inconsistent they are, at least give us two shots at a good program, as well as dance. (That's assuming Nathan wants to skate two programs; if he doesn't, give the SP to Jason.) Much as I like Ashley and Timothy I think K/F have the more consistent track record.
 

Spiralgraph

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I'm not a Knierim/Frazier fan, but I must take issue with the implication that Alexa/Chris had better on ice chemistry than other pairs. Far from it. Chris Knierim was never a gregarious skater and he grew uncomfortable with competing. Alexa was and still is, more outgoing and fiery.
Brandon projects better than Chris. Personally I'm glad Chris has taken so well to coaching, he can teach that great technique on the triple twist.
As for who will skate in the team event, well I'd like Ashley and Timothy but it's not up to me. So when they probably choose Knierim/Frazier I'll still cheer for them to skate their best.
 

museksk8r

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I'm not a Knierim/Frazier fan, but I must take issue with the implication that Alexa/Chris had better on ice chemistry than other pairs. Far from it. Chris Knierim was never a gregarious skater and he grew uncomfortable with competing. Alexa was and still is, more outgoing and fiery.
Brandon projects better than Chris. Personally I'm glad Chris has taken so well to coaching, he can teach that great technique on the triple twist.
As for who will skate in the team event, well I'd like Ashley and Timothy but it's not up to me. So when they probably choose Knierim/Frazier I'll still cheer for them to skate their best.
To be clear, I was only comparing Alexa and Chris to Alexa and Brandon; I never said “other pairs.” Most pairs are not Gordeeva and Grinkov or Shen and Zhao, nor should they be expected to portray a couple on the ice. The majority of my favorites do not have this aesthetic.
 
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wickedwitch

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I'm not a Knierim/Frazier fan, but I must take issue with the implication that Alexa/Chris had better on ice chemistry than other pairs. Far from it. Chris Knierim was never a gregarious skater and he grew uncomfortable with competing. Alexa was and still is, more outgoing and fiery.
Brandon projects better than Chris. Personally I'm glad Chris has taken so well to coaching, he can teach that great technique on the triple twist.
Yet K/F have a mediocre twist. It's really odd. Brandon had a very good twist with Haven, too.
 

Spiralgraph

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Yet K/F have a mediocre twist. It's really odd. Brandon had a very good twist with Haven, too.
That's true but Alexa and Brandon have only been a team for a short time, relatively speaking. But I'd rather have Chris coach them for the triple twist than Jenni or Todd. Meno/Sand's twist was okay for the time but looking back now it's not impressive at all.
 

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