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 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.
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.
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.