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

skatfan

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Given the horrifying anti-trans laws they've passed in Texas, I'm glad they were able to move away for that reason if nothing else. I hope Illinois doesn't join Texas and other states that have passed similar laws.
Gosh I hadn’t even considered how the anti-trans environment in Texas would be for Timothy. Glad he went to friendier pastures.
 

AYS

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Timothy has moved to Chicago and is no longer skating with Ashley, as I understand it.
:( Was there any announcement? I'm sad, they've been my favorite US team for a while and worlds was such a tough way to end a career together.

That said, they've had a terrific career, I think well beyond what many envisioned when they first teamed up. I wish them both the absolute best in their current and future endeavors.
 

Sylvia

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:( Was there any announcement?
No.

Ashley Cain has posted another Instagram story from Pairs camp that shows her with a new team there - Nina Ouellette, 20, and Rique Newby-Estrella, who will be 27 in June and coaches with the Cains in Texas. She competed on the JGP in singles in 2015 & 2016: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00054594.htm
He competed in one junior pairs international in 2015: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00035041.htm
ETA that they're pictured in photo #5 of 9: https://www.instagram.com/p/CerX9UAJHzU/

It's definitely a time of transition though, from one generation to the next, and we'll have to wait and see what some of these new pairings look like once they start competing at the summer comps like Indy, Glacier Falls, and Cranberry.
Skate Detroit ;); Indy Pairs Challenge ceased to exist a long time ago (really enjoyed that comp. the one time I attended in person).

ETA that I forgot to mention that Winter Deardorff has switched to Australia (made her debut with Ryan Dodds in the Senior Pairs SP at Hollins Trophy overnight). She last competed internationally for USA at 2020 Junior Worlds with Mikhail Johnson (who subsequently retired) and most recently placed 7th in Junior Pairs with Jake Pagano at 2022 U.S. Nationals.
 
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Karen-W

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2022-23 will be the third season for the McBeath/Bartholomay and Plazas/Fernandez partnerships.

Two of my favorite pairs. ❤️
Can we really count 2020-21 as a full season? Teams were barely able to train properly and there were maybe 2 or 3 competitions total (one of which was virtual) for both.

I'm excited to see what sort of progress these two teams have been able to make since January - I do wish that the USFS had sent Plazas/Fernandez over to Challenge Cup in February, if only just to get them on the World's SB Top 75 list so they would be eligible for selection to the GP (beyond a host pick).
 

ice coverage

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Can we really count 2020-21 as a full season? Teams were barely able to train properly and there were maybe 2 or 3 competitions total (one of which was virtual) for both. ...

Nonetheless, my opinion is that 2020-21 was a valuable season for both partnerships -- given that McBeath and Plazas both were competing for the first time in pairs. The reduced season because of the pandemic was better than no season at all.

... I'm excited to see what sort of progress these two teams have been able to make since January ...

(y) I am too.
 

Stephanie

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Can we really count 2020-21 as a full season? Teams were barely able to train properly and there were maybe 2 or 3 competitions total (one of which was virtual) for both.

I'm excited to see what sort of progress these two teams have been able to make since January - I do wish that the USFS had sent Plazas/Fernandez over to Challenge Cup in February, if only just to get them on the World's SB Top 75 list so they would be eligible for selection to the GP (beyond a host pick).
I don’t believe Challenge Cup scores were eligible for the seasons best list. Only GP, JGP, Challenger, and ISU championship scores are counted.
 

Karen-W

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I don’t believe Challenge Cup scores were eligible for the seasons best list. Only GP, JGP, Challenger, and ISU championship scores are counted.
Oh, you're right. I'd forgotten about that rule. At least with as small as the pairs field is internationally, they should be able to receive at least a host assignment - and they should be sent out to some Challengers this fall too.
 

Bouffantrex

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I would think if Cain/Leduc were retiring or taking time off (which is understandable, for a multitude of reasons) they would announce something via social media?

US pairs went from a position of superior strength and depth to almost nothing within 6 months. Let's pray Knierim/Frazier give it another go; they are primed to dominate (assuming Russia is rightfully banned the entire season).
 

Sylvia

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Usually Olympic/World/National champion pair teams that retire/split will get a press release published by USFS.

There currently are 7 pairs listed in USFS' International Selection Pool (teams have to officially notify USFS of their split before their names are removed - 3 senior pairs already have - Calalang/Johnson, Lu/Mitrofanov & Liu/O'Shea):

Sonia Baram and Daniel Tioumentsev (ISU Junior age-eligible in 2022-23)
Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc
Emily Chan and Spencer Howe
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier
Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay
Anastasiia Smirnova and Danil Siianytsia
Cayla Smith and Andy Deng (ISU Junior age-eligible in 2022-23)

Smith/Deng attended the pairs camp at their home rink in Fort Wayne; I also spotted 2 teams that WD from Nationals - Maria Mokhova/Ivan Mokhov (Sr.) and Ellie Kam/Ian Meyh (4th in Jr. SP before they had to withdraw).
 

Willin

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I would think if Cain/Leduc were retiring or taking time off (which is understandable, for a multitude of reasons) they would announce something via social media?

US pairs went from a position of superior strength and depth to almost nothing within 6 months. Let's pray Knierim/Frazier give it another go; they are primed to dominate (assuming Russia is rightfully banned the entire season).
It's quite possible that they don't know what they're doing yet. They may do shows but not compete, or they may be exploring their options - especially given Ashley's concussion history. We do know Tim moved to Chicago, but who knows if Ashley would follow him there.
 

Karen-W

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Usually Olympic/World/National champion pair teams that retire/split will get a press release published by USFS.

There currently are 7 pairs listed in USFS' International Selection Pool (teams have to officially notify USFS of their split before their names are removed - 3 senior pairs already have - Calalang/Johnson, Lu/Mitrofanov & Liu/O'Shea):

Sonia Baram and Daniel Tioumentsev (ISU Junior age-eligible in 2022-23)
Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc
Emily Chan and Spencer Howe
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier
Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay
Anastasiia Smirnova and Danil Siianytsia
Cayla Smith and Andy Deng (ISU Junior age-eligible in 2022-23)

Smith/Deng attended the pairs camp at their home rink in Fort Wayne; I also spotted 2 teams that WD from Nationals - Maria Mokhova/Ivan Mokhov (Sr.) and Ellie Kam/Ian Meyh (4th in Jr. SP before they had to withdraw).
Oooo! So glad to see Smith/Deng on the ISP! I really hope Plazas/Fernandez are added soon.

I think I'm most curious to see what happens with Danny O'Shea.
 

haribobo

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In that picture, I believe I recognize the following of the pairs men from left to right (leaving out Brian Johnson and Chris Knierim who have retired)...

Max Fernandez, ?, ?, ?, Danny O'Shea, ?, Payton Winkler, Skylar Weirens, Blake Edwards, Rique Newby-Estrella, Nathan Rensing, William Church, Jordan Gillette, Daniel Tioumentsev, Andy Deng, Nathan Bartholomay, Ian Meyh, Blake Eisenach, Keyton Bearinger, Ivan Mokhov, Danylo Siianytsia

Partners are there also, I think (not in photo order, but in order to match the above)-
Valentina Plazas, ? ? ? ? ? Gracie Gottschalk, ? ?, Nina Ouellette, Cat Rivers, Margaret Church, ?, Sonia Baram, Cayla Smith, Katie McBeath, Ellie Kam, Megan Wessenberg, Linzy Fitzpatrick, Maria Mokhova, Anastasiia Smirnova. Olivia Appel, Sydney Cooke, Naomi Williams, and Ariela Masarsky are also there.

Seems like there are 8 or 10 more women than men in this photo so maybe some are just there without partners...
 
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TanithandBenFan

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Ashley and Timothy announce the end of their competitive career and their future plans:

 

quartz

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Ashley and Timothy were by far one of my most favourite US pair teams ever - they really brought their own style to the ice. I will miss them competing, but wish them well in their next chapters. Shallow note - My goodness they are both such gorgeous people!
 

Carolla5501

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Ashley and Timothy announce the end of their competitive career and their future plans:

How great to see them seemingly very happy

Had a great career, it’s too bad what happened at where all that would’ve been the perfect way to end it with a world medal
 

Louis

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Given the horrifying anti-trans laws they've passed in Texas, I'm glad they were able to move away for that reason if nothing else. I hope Illinois doesn't join Texas and other states that have passed similar laws.

Gosh I hadn’t even considered how the anti-trans environment in Texas would be for Timothy. Glad he went to friendier pastures.

Did I miss something, or is Timothy or their partner trans? I know Timothy identifies as non-binary.

I’m sad for us but happy for Ashley’s longterm health. I really liked their style.

Agree 100%. They're so accident-prone that this is really for the best.
 

Karen-W

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Gosh I hadn’t even considered how the anti-trans environment in Texas would be for Timothy. Glad he went to friendier pastures.
Why is there an assumption that they and partner left Texas because of this? They are originally from Iowa, so maybe it is just something as simple as wanting to be closer to family. Or perhaps a job opportunity presented itself for their partner.

I think we need to stop projecting our own politics onto skaters, especially ones who are extremely private about their personal life.
 

skatfan

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Why is there an assumption that they and partner left Texas because of this? They are originally from Iowa, so maybe it is just something as simple as wanting to be closer to family. Or perhaps a job opportunity presented itself for their partner.

I think we need to stop projecting our own politics onto skaters, especially ones who are extremely private about their personal life.
Maybe start with not putting words in my mouth. ;) I didn’t assume it or even say that it was probable that was the reason he left, only that I hadn’t considered that side of things.
However, I would say that Chicago is a friendlier place for LGBTQIA folks than Texas is these days.
 

Trillian

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Why is there an assumption that they and partner left Texas because of this? They are originally from Iowa, so maybe it is just something as simple as wanting to be closer to family. Or perhaps a job opportunity presented itself for their partner.

I think we need to stop projecting our own politics onto skaters, especially ones who are extremely private about their personal life.

I didn’t take it as an assumption, just one possible reason someone who is trans or non-binary might consider moving out of Texas right now. Being closer to family is another. So is the fact that Chicago is a great city, period.

I also don’t see it as a political statement. There are places in the US right now where LGTBQ people are safer and have more legal protections than they do in Texas. A lot of people have heard “If you don’t like it, you can move” and … decided to move. Fact of life.
 

Theatregirl1122

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Why is there an assumption that they and partner left Texas because of this? They are originally from Iowa, so maybe it is just something as simple as wanting to be closer to family. Or perhaps a job opportunity presented itself for their partner.

I think we need to stop projecting our own politics onto skaters, especially ones who are extremely private about their personal life.

One's own personal safety and legal rights are not politics.
 

Karen-W

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Oh, for goodness sakes. If you ask a question about whether or not a move to another state was prompted because one state is anti-trans (for someone who doesn't even identify as trans, but rather as non-binary), instead of, I dunno... doing something as basic as looking at their USFS profile or Wikipedia entry and realizing that they are from a neighboring state, then, yes, you are projecting some assumptions into the equation that DO have to do with legal rights and politics. Additionally, this is how gossip and rumors get started. I've seen plenty of people ask something, presenting it as an innocuous wondering, with the full intent of it gaining traction and taking on a life of its own. I'm not accusing anyone (especially @skatfan) of asking that question with the intent of turning it into gossip-as-truth, but it does happen and, especially when it comes to something as personal as gender and, as @Theatregirl1122 pointed out, legal rights, I think we should be careful in raising that as a potential cause for the move when 1)
Timothy has never really talked about their life in Dallas (good or bad), 2) Timothy keeps a very low public profile and has no social media presence apart from the team accounts which appear to be managed by Ashley, and 3) it is, actually, none of our business since we are FANS.
 

Theatregirl1122

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(for someone who doesn't even identify as trans, but rather as non-binary),

You are making a distinction between nonbinary and transgender that does not exist. Transgender means having a different gender than the one you were assigned at birth. It does not specifically mean identifying as a binary gender. Transgender is an umbrella term that includes nonbinary, genderqueer, etc. While not all nonbinary people would specifically use the label transgender for themselves, laws that target transgender people fundamentally and explicitly target nonbinary people as well as all people who do not fall neatly into the gender binary. This is a fact. Whether it had to do with Tim's choice to move or not, the laws in the state of Texas target all transgender people whether they identify as men, women, nonbinary, genderqueer, or something else.
 

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