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

museksk8r

Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy
Messages
3,512
Add me to the Emily and Spencer fan club! They have definitely focused on their PCS and on improving their overall polish. Here’s hoping they continue to improve their technical consistency and make a big push for the 2026 Olympics. Love them! :love::cheer2:
 

Rhumba d’Amour

Well-Known Member
Messages
144
Me too! I especially love their unbridled passion and musicality…not cold & calculated, as with typical teams. He, in particular, is a firecracker! 🔥
Same as with the young Georgian pair…it’s the man who stands out…not that the women aren’t also very good.
Spencer Howe is clearly the breakout star of Four Continents :)

And he does look much better without the man-bun, I agree! It’s wonderful what a proper haircut can do.
 

olympic

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,510
^Fashion really runs in cycles, so I hope that man-buns and beards disappear soon. Don't get me wrong. Some men pull off a beard but many who sport a beard these days absolutely do not! They are harder to maintain, they can smell (!), they age you. I'm fine at the age of 52 if 20 and 30 somethings like the beard, I will look younger :) but for their sake, let's see those gorgeous faces.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
71,009
IMO, C/H are ones to watch. They have that something special something; a wild, fast quality to their skating that is fairly unique, especially in the US where the majority of teams have a paint-by-no's approach to their programs.
Here's what Emily Chan & Spencer Howe said right after their 2nd place free skate yesterday (copied from the Quick Quotes Pairs FS document that's linked from the ISU's 4CC event page):

Howe:
It was an exhilarating experience to be able to go out and perform well, we’ve never been in that kind of situation before so it was a new experience that we had and I felt happy that we came down to what we could go out there and give our best. (on the throw jumps) I was proud of Emily for going into the sal (Salchow) and fighting for it. Even though it wasn’t a perfect take off - she was a little tilted, but she managed to stay on her feet so I’m proud of her for that. (plans for the rest of the season) We’re the third alternates for the Olympics so we are going to stand by for that and we’ll be just waiting to see. It (Four Continents) is our last planned competition. It was a good showing for us. We want to be better but we are here. (on plans for next season) We’ll be going to continue improving our elements and continue to improve our skating which is our strength. We both have done up to triple Lutz, Emily was a great single skater - national Junior champion - so we just been changing the focus more on the pairs elements since this is what we would need to focus on and it’s something I want to continue to work on and may be adding more difficult jumps and combos. (on putting the split twist in the middle of the program) It was a tactic that we tried a season before and we stuck with it. In the short we do the twist first. The previous short program we did the triple toe first. We worked on the twist a lot - it’s one of the most difficult pairs elements.
Chan:
(on the throw jumps) They are always consistent, maybe a little bit we could have worked a bit better. The twist is getting easier, we’ve been working on it a lot. For me being a single skater to rotate a little bit sideways was very new and felt a little strange for me when I first started and I had to get accustomed for that.

My favorite quote of the pairs event came from Spencer during the medalists' press conference:
"For me, what makes the process really enjoyable is the art of figure skating. And so looking toward the future and our skating in the competitive realm of figure skating (the goal) is continuing to grow that art, being able to express that through our skating, and being able to showcase it at these big events."
:)
 

DreamSkates

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,002
If anyone knows a friend of a friend who's cousin's ex brother-in-law's new girlfriend's best friend's sister's mother's baby daddy's aunt has any pull with Skate USA or NBC Sports, please inform them that Ashley Wagner is the worst Ice Skating commentator EVER. Even worse than that Aussie dude. Why not use Charlie White as the 3rd option?

If she used the word 'popped' for a 7th time in 80 minutes or repeated that Nathan and Deanna used to be partners for a 4th time, I was going to turn it off. And then when she had the gall to say Emily & Spencer needed more connection I realized she must still be stuck in her La-La Land program I seriously considered hand writing a letter. World feed or bust.

I was rooting for you...we were All rooting for you.
I haven't heard her commentary but fans always have the option of emailing the powers that be at the network or USFSA to voice their concerns. The more, the merrier (meaning, the more fans who write in and specifically explain why they do or don't like something, the more likely the something will be changed in the future).
 

Arch-

Active Member
Messages
60
I totally agree!!! This is based on her first times commentating, a couple of years ago, because I can avoid her NOW by going to no-comments Peacock. I also hated how she used to mention her coach Raf whenever possible. I loved her skating and overall
Bow, Clap: merci de Egnädige Frau Muller.
Bow, clap: Spasibo Ogromnoe Brashka Frau Muller.
Bow specifically to you; Merci pour le cadeau. J’ai tellement appris grâce à vous. Merci Ma'dam Muller
Bow: Collect my shit and give u peace a sign out at the door, yo thanks Ma'dam Muller

Figured one of those would translate. Hehe

Frau Muller you changed my life today.

When you said "no comment world feed" on peacock I decided that maybe i had the wrong settings bc I knew that Peacock was supposed to be & promised to be commentary free. But the very first world feed was Skate America and that Aussie came on and was just awful. With only moderate knowledge with poor research. i went to the Peacock comment section and folks were very upset and I just figured that is how it was and never rechecked.

So today based on your subtle hint, I went on to Skate Canada Pairs Comp...and waited....and waited more, expecting someone to pop in a dumbsplain. Then they announced the ISU Rep, the judges (I unconscious booed out loud at a couple) and tech specialist & assistant. 1st group came out...and they were introduced, 6 min warm up...and bam just the sound of ice slush, getting off the ice and kiss & cry convos WHICH I LOVE. No commentary. It was GLORIOUS.

I feel like through the 8 comps I watched today I learned things that I thought I knew but not really bc i was told not taught. Specifically how to tell good 3triple twists from bad ones even if they are both the same height, and how they can gain levels. It was amazing.

AND they have the US Championship Series...WHAT?...AND JRs!

I saw Ting Cui, who used to be my fav. i wish her the best.

And there are YOUNG US pairs...who have been together for 3-5y already!...WHAT I am blown away by how good these guys are...what a great crop out of Broadmore. It looks like these pairs, like actually take ballet often. 2 or 3 have significant potential if the girls can gain muscle and weight through puberty and the boy's height bc standard.

I just can't thank you enough for the subtle Peacock statement. I know it's sooo dumb bc it's just FS at least I had access and should be thankful....but it's SOOO much nicer and more fun then I expected.

Spencer is more than impressive. He is by far imo the most talented male partner in the US today. He has exceptional musicality that Emily doesn't have quite yet but bc she's rushing. I think Misha is a very good traditional Russian puff chest partner which I respect and personally love. Unfortunately, and don't hate me, I don't think Audrey has it. Like in ballet, we are to bring attention to our female partners. But they have to demand it herself too. And Audrey doesnt and hasn't since she was a jr. She will always create a set max 2nd mark ceiling bc she also has a noticeable lower quality edge quality to Misha. Am I crazy?

Plus I assume there are going to be ISU rule changes and rumor is that there will be some deal that keeps the age limits as is in exchange for re-establishing the BV of throw quad twists and throws and re incentivize a 10% bonus in 2nd half jumps, thows. Her technique and delayed twist on throws is going to kill her. But she is a fighter so I hope I'm an asshole.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
Messages
17,112
Bow, Clap: merci de Egnädige Frau Muller.
Bow, clap: Spasibo Ogromnoe Brashka Frau Muller.
Bow specifically to you; Merci pour le cadeau. J’ai tellement appris grâce à vous. Merci Ma'dam Muller
Bow: Collect my shit and give u peace a sign out at the door, yo thanks Ma'dam Muller

Figured one of those would translate. Hehe

Frau Muller you changed my life today.

When you said "no comment world feed" on peacock I decided that maybe i had the wrong settings bc I knew that Peacock was supposed to be & promised to be commentary free. But the very first world feed was Skate America and that Aussie came on and was just awful. With only moderate knowledge with poor research. i went to the Peacock comment section and folks were very upset and I just figured that is how it was and never rechecked.

So today based on your subtle hint, I went on to Skate Canada Pairs Comp...and waited....and waited more, expecting someone to pop in a dumbsplain. Then they announced the ISU Rep, the judges (I unconscious booed out loud at a couple) and tech specialist & assistant. 1st group came out...and they were introduced, 6 min warm up...and bam just the sound of ice slush, getting off the ice and kiss & cry convos WHICH I LOVE. No commentary. It was GLORIOUS.

I feel like through the 8 comps I watched today I learned things that I thought I knew but not really bc i was told not taught. Specifically how to tell good 3triple twists from bad ones even if they are both the same height, and how they can gain levels. It was amazing.

AND they have the US Championship Series...WHAT?...AND JRs!

I saw Ting Cui, who used to be my fav. i wish her the best.

And there are YOUNG US pairs...who have been together for 3-5y already!...WHAT I am blown away by how good these guys are...what a great crop out of Broadmore. It looks like these pairs, like actually take ballet often. 2 or 3 have significant potential if the girls can gain muscle and weight through puberty and the boy's height bc standard.

I just can't thank you enough for the subtle Peacock statement. I know it's sooo dumb bc it's just FS at least I had access and should be thankful....but it's SOOO much nicer and more fun then I expected.

Spencer is more than impressive. He is by far imo the most talented male partner in the US today. He has exceptional musicality that Emily doesn't have quite yet but bc she's rushing. I think Misha is a very good traditional Russian puff chest partner which I respect and personally love. Unfortunately, and don't hate me, I don't think Audrey has it. Like in ballet, we are to bring attention to our female partners. But they have to demand it herself too. And Audrey doesnt and hasn't since she was a jr. She will always create a set max 2nd mark ceiling bc she also has a noticeable lower quality edge quality to Misha. Am I crazy?

Plus I assume there are going to be ISU rule changes and rumor is that there will be some deal that keeps the age limits as is in exchange for re-establishing the BV of throw quad twists and throws and re incentivize a 10% bonus in 2nd half jumps, thows. Her technique and delayed twist on throws is going to kill her. But she is a fighter so I hope I'm an asshole.
Glad that I could help! I’m praying that it’ll be the same with the Peacock Olympics coverage. 🤞
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
71,009
"Thank you to the Ducks for inviting Alexa and Brandon to drop the puck [on 1/21/22] before they head off to Beijing this week." (photo on Team Meno/Sand's Instagram today): https://www.instagram.com/p/CZHd59sl6Vv/
Sam photo was tweeted by the Anaheim Ducks: https://twitter.com/AnaheimDucks/status/1484739228181274626

Ashley Cain-Gribble's post yesterday: https://www.instagram.com/icegirlash/
Starting the journey to Beijing!

Ready for a week in LA doing team processing and training in the bubble before we head to China☺️
 
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Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
71,009
And there are YOUNG US pairs...who have been together for 3-5y already!...WHAT I am blown away by how good these guys are...what a great crop out of Broadmore.
@Arch- just wondering which young U.S. pairs you are referring to?

The new pair of Elie Kam/Ian Meyh (who improved noticeably during their 2 Championship Series qualifying comps) are based at the Broadmoor arena but they had to withdraw after their 4th place Junior SP at Nationals. :(

Of the teams that competed at 2022 Nationals, the now two-time U.S. Junior pairs silver medalists Isabelle Martins/Ryan Bedard have been together the longest - since April 2015 starting at the Juvenile level! They train in the Chicago area with Stefania Berton & Rockne Brubaker and are slated to compete in their final Junior Worlds in March with Smirnova/Siianytsia.

ETA:

The young pair I'm really looking forward to to watching next season is Sonia Baram & Daniel Tioumentsev (2022 Junior champs) who will be ISU Junior age-eligible for 2022-23 only. I also was very impressed by the highest scoring Intermediate pair this season, Saya Carpenter & Jon Maravilla, coached by Jim Peterson & Amanda Evora in Canton, Michigan.
 
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AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
14,463
II cannot think of a much more horrid place to be. Both covid and crime are utterly out of control there.
Who thought this was a grand idea?..
PS I escaped LA years ago. Genius!
 

skatfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,710
^Fashion really runs in cycles, so I hope that man-buns and beards disappear soon. Don't get me wrong. Some men pull off a beard but many who sport a beard these days absolutely do not! They are harder to maintain, they can smell (!), they age you. I'm fine at the age of 52 if 20 and 30 somethings like the beard, I will look younger :) but for their sake, let's see those gorgeous faces.
The only beard I like this year is from our non-binary pair partner. They know how to manage it well!
 

Carolla5501

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,777
If anyone knows a friend of a friend who's cousin's ex brother-in-law's new girlfriend's best friend's sister's mother's baby daddy's aunt has any pull with Skate USA or NBC Sports, please inform them that Ashley Wagner is the worst Ice Skating commentator EVER. Even worse than that Aussie dude. Why not use Charlie White as the 3rd option?

If she used the word 'popped' for a 7th time in 80 minutes or repeated that Nathan and Deanna used to be partners for a 4th time, I was going to turn it off. And then when she had the gall to say Emily & Spencer needed more connection I realized she must still be stuck in her La-La Land program I seriously considered hand writing a letter. World feed or bust.

I was rooting for you...we were All rooting for you.
Sorry. Johnny and Tara have earned the titles Of worst ever in perpetuity. The competition has been closed 😂
 

euterpe

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,639
^Fashion really runs in cycles, so I hope that man-buns and beards disappear soon. Don't get me wrong. Some men pull off a beard but many who sport a beard these days absolutely do not! They are harder to maintain, they can smell (!), they age you. I'm fine at the age of 52 if 20 and 30 somethings like the beard, I will look younger :) but for their sake, let's see those gorgeous faces.
I read that beards harbor lots of bacteria. Ugh!
 

tony

But it just doesn't fcuking glide
Messages
12,574
This latest conversation is :lol:
@olympic , you live in the same place as I do and you should know very well that man buns had a huge run around 6 or 7 years ago and they've really died out. It's nothing like it used to be, but I don't mind them.

On the other hand, I've had a beard for 99% of the last 8 or so years, and I don't exactly think it ages me in any kind of way. I actually think a lot of people look better with beards or some kind of facial hair ;)
 

olympic

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,510
This latest conversation is :lol:
@olympic , you live in the same place as I do and you should know very well that man buns had a huge run around 6 or 7 years ago and they've really died out. It's nothing like it used to be, but I don't mind them.

On the other hand, I've had a beard for 99% of the last 8 or so years, and I don't exactly think it ages me in any kind of way. I actually think a lot of people look better with beards or some kind of facial hair ;)
True about the man buns. I don't see them much anymore, they just stick in my memory. They always looked sloppy to me and the guys wearing them were not Samurai warriors.

@tony - I can't picture your face right now. I think you had it on your FSU profile before. If you've got the strong jaw line, the opposite (receding chin), or aging, a beard works best because it will accentuate or hide what you need to. But my beauty tip is to cut it and show off your beautiful youthful face, while you still got it.
 

mtnskater

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,368
Spencer Howe is a rock star. I was so impressed with him at Nationals in person. He is so expressive and artistic. Charisma too. Gorgeous posture, stretch and line. Hope Emily can work to match him and to land her jumps. So happy about the 4CC silver!
 

AYS

🌻
Messages
24,303
Spencer Howe is a rock star. I was so impressed with him at Nationals in person. He is so expressive and artistic. Charisma too. Gorgeous posture, stretch and line. Hope Emily can work to match him and to land her jumps. So happy about the 4CC silver!
I watched their programs again on an Olympic channel rebroadcast last night and felt myself slip into uberness for Howe. They're a great match but for now, he is indeed the rock star at this point.
 

acraven

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,464
I was very impressed by the artistic side of Emily's singles skating back in the day. I'm guessing she's still having to think her way through some of the higher-level pair skills. I'm looking forward to seeing the Chan/Howe team continue to develop.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
71,009
Audrey Lu's message & photos from 4CC: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZLAE0orNCK/

2022 ISU Four Continents Champion!🥇These are the moments I live for.⛸🇺🇸 So honored to represent Team USA and so blessed to share these moments with such an amazing team and everyone who believes in us from all over the world! Thank you❤️

Even though we didn’t have the performance we had trained for at Nationals with some setbacks…stitches, long hours in the emergency room…we are proud to be the 2022 US National Bronze Medalists. That’s the beauty of the sport, sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand back up taller than you ever were. We never give up, we only keep fighting.🔥

Thank you @usfigureskating @skatingclubbos @olgalexcoaching @icecoldcombos @davidmersondrptatc for all your love and support along the way.
Thank you @isufigureskating and Estonia Federation 🇪🇪 for putting together such a safe and wonderful event. Back to work as the alternates for the Olympics and Worlds!🇺🇸💪
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
71,009
CAIN-GRIBBLE AND LEDUC: CREATING THE SPACE TO BE DIFFERENT by Lynn Rutherford (Jan. 27): https://www.teamusa.org/News/2022/J...-And-LeDuc-Creating-The-Space-To-Be-Different
Excerpts:
Cain-Gribble and LeDuc’s competitive routines build on their strengths: long, well-matched lines, strong individual skating skills and the ability to gracefully execute difficult footwork. They call their free skate, choreographed by Pasquale Camerlengo to the “W.E.” soundtrack, their “Two Pillars of Equality” program, and perform it clad in matching grey unitards.
“We really want to focus on having that equality of skating skills on the ice,” Cain-Gribble said.
“There is nothing inherently wrong with doing a romantic program. … We just want to make space for other stories to be told,” LeDuc said. “Sometimes not relying so much on the standard portrayal of gender roles, in the way women are often portrayed as more fragile, or the men always portrayed to be masculine and strong.”
“Ashley and Timothy have really been putting themselves on a plan for the Olympics,” Peter Cain said. “We have been deconstructing and reconstructing (elements). We knew there would be some ups and downs and errors made, but this year we really wanted everything to gel and so far, it has.”
“Each competition this season we are building, building, building, getting better,” LeDuc said. “We had really good skates in Nashville, but we still feel like we have room to grow, and we know that we are so prepared and so strong right now going into the Olympics. It’s time for that ultimate peak performance.”
 

stjeaskategym

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,397
Museksk8er, I wasn't comparing Alexa Knierim to Nathan Chen or Tarasova/Morozov. You missed my point. The only direct comparison I made is between Knierim/Frazier & Cain/LeDuc. K/F have a clear edge numerically and I feel belong in the Team Event. They've shown better scoring potential for an extended time (including if you go back before Ashley's illness, which seems to be getting a bit overblown; C/L wouldn't have returned to competition that quickly if it was more serious, and most of their mistakes weren't stamina related). None of these skaters are perfect and all have overcome adversity, I just feel K/F are the better choice, and that can be backed up with numbers. Both pairs would be fine, but I want K/F in the event.

I only brought up Nathan (who of course medaled in the Team Event in 2018) to drive home the point that prior Team Event experience isn't a valid reason to exclude a skater from this year's Team Event. If anything, having done well in a prior Team Event is another feather in a skater's cap.

I brought up Tarasova/Morozov as another example of how domestic competition results haven't really had an impact on how pairs are perceived internationally (which is what you claimed). How many times have Peng/Jin won Chinese Nationals and Sui/Han didn't even go; it's not like it gave P/J bonus points. Mishina/Galliamov won Worlds after placing 4th(!) at Russian Nationals. In other words, K/F being forced out of Nationals with illness should have zero impact on their perception internationally. Even when they were brand new and skating first in the start order, the reception for them was strong.

And I wouldn't underestimate how important Pairs can be to the Team Event. In 2018 when Nathan surprisingly placed 4th behind Alexei Bychenko, it was extremely helpful for the US's chances for Knierim/Knierim to then go out and defeat a few pairs they weren't expected to beat like Yu/Zhang and James/Cipres. That got the US's point total and morale back on track. This isn't about comparing pairs to Nathan Chen, it's about valuing the importance of the pairs discipline itself.


“There is nothing inherently wrong with doing a romantic program. … We just want to make space for other stories to be told,” LeDuc said. “Sometimes not relying so much on the standard portrayal of gender roles, in the way women are often portrayed as more fragile, or the men always portrayed to be masculine and strong.”

LeDuc is right that there is room in pair skating for programs (and human beings) of all kinds, not just romantic ones. But I've never considered a pair girl "fragile"; they are some of the toughest athletes in the sport. And all pair guys, whether masculine or not, have to be very strong. They're responsible for showing off/presenting their female partners and protecting them (not because the girls are "fragile", but because they're flying in the air over a sheet of ice). The nature of the pair discipline is for the man to be a strong base for the female so she can fly and shine (and be set down gently and gracefully). The man trying to outshine the woman or wanting to have the same role as her doesn't fit the nature of pair skating, which is primarily based on a man letting a woman soar. Men and women can have more similar roles in ice dance due to the skill set required. But pair skating is more of a "flower and stem" discipline inherently; it's not a negative thing.
 
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