All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!!
Smith: Where have all the skate pairs gone?
Resident Chinese pair nerd
That was a good article. I do think it's interesting however when teams cite the size different as a factor in staying together. It shows you how much the sport has changed. Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner were close in height yet still had beautiful lifts and tricks. Of course that was a long time ago and the sport is much more difficult now.
I don't think it's necessary to have 6'4" x 4'10" to have a beautiful pair team but the bravura fans need wow throws and higher than average arm lifts. Beautiful rapport be damned. Super High Throws and Super High Lifts, and that's Pairs, imo.
Originally Posted by discoduck
Resident Chinese pair nerd
I agree with you Joe. I love the big tricks as much as anyone but for me, it's about the connection. Unfortunately with CoP, the big tricks get the points. Personally I'd rather watch my old B and G vids than some of the newer teams out there.
Not all wow throws and lifts
If pairs skating were mostly wow throws and lifts, then Dorota Zagorska and Mariusz Siudek would be the defending world champions. Their lifts were second to none and she stuck the throws more often than not.
Sadly, they were defeated often by side by side jumps and spins.
I liked them but they were an incredibly unpolished pair both technically and unartistically. Even their best elements- the lifts, were sloppy in many ways despite being still great. They were far too unpolished in their elements and overall skating to make it to the very top level. They actually improved a huge amount under Richard Gauthier from 2003-2007 and still did not climb back up the ranks to where they were after the 99 Worlds.
Originally Posted by Linny
In pairs, being able to do the jumps/lifts/throws is only half the battle. The other half is developing what I think of as the "pairs quality" of the team--basically, joining the skills of the two skaters to create perfect unison, connection, timing, and line *as a team*. The greatest pairs aren't defined by their technical elements, but rather by the overall quality of their pairs skating.
Despite their many years together, Zagorska/Siudek never really developed great pairs quality in their basic skating. For example, they were often out of unison in side-by-side footwork, and often looked tentative and slightly out of sync going into pairs spins. Even their side-by-side spirals suffered, as Siudek's leg line was never aligned with Zagorska's.
To me, it was this lack of great pairs quality in their skating that kept them from becoming champions.