What did he say this time?
What did he say this time?
This is purely speculation on my part, but I get the sense that while they are undeniably talented and worthy of praise, V/M have benefited greatly in the (positive) hype they receive because they had the path cleared for them in Canada when D/L retired. To be fair, this also presented them with the opportunity to become the leaders in their own country and step up the level of their skating. Still, they have the full force of their federation behind them, boosting their best qualities while D/W have had to work their way up more slowly in the shadow of B/A. That has led to them being overlooked sometimes. Their best qualities have tended to be diminished by relative lack of media attention.
Of course, being training mates with V/M and formerly with B/A, D/W were perpetually being compared to them and not usually favorably. That tends to sink into one's perception over time. Perhaps this is why some always see them as inferior to V/M and other teams despite any improvements they might make. There almost seems to be an opinion among some fans and even journalists that it's unthinkable for D/W to ever beat V/M fairly.
We've all heard how much stock the Canadian federation is putting behind V/M. That should not be a surprise given that they are the host for the upcoming Olys. But the hype at the senior level goes back to at least 2007 worlds if not 2006 Skate Canada. If you can find video of V/M's FD from either event, there was already OGM speculation about them then and not for 2014. Despite the fact that they finished one spot lower at Worlds and had an equally auspicious debut, D/W got little, if any, of the same media speculation. That may be due in part to the fact that the US is still getting accustomed to ice dance being its deepest discipline. Canada has been dance crazy for nearly 30 years and is always looking for the next stars. Americans may have been used to boosting only one team at a time for so long, that the prospect of two or three seemed too good to be true.
Still, that's where we are now. B/A's injuries over the last two seasons finally provided enough daylight for D/W to emerge as serious contenders. Perhaps that long apprenticeship was for the best. I've always had the sense that they prefer being the hunters rather than the hunted, at least up to this point. That extra wait may have given them the time to develop and grow and catch up to their peers in areas where they had previously been deficient.
The judges certainly seem to be looking at them with fresh eyes. I think that's good for ice dance as a sport. Perhaps there really will be no more waiting your turn or set pecking orders. We'll see.
Good luck to all.
Some of the above observations are very nice but they are not what is supposed to be judged. They go to personal enjoyment of a program and taste, not skating quality.
In NO way were D/W's pc's superior today and it is galling that they were two points ahead when it was as rough and sloppy as it was in parts, and when White's own account of their skating was way more accurate than what the judges scored. Yeah, they should look at the program and judge it with fresh eyes, not BLIND eyes as they did today.
jcoates, that was a great post and you made some terrific points about the parallel rise of D/W and V/M. That was well-thought and intelligent unlike some other comments. It's posts like yours that keep me reading forums despite the less intelligent posts that one has to wade through. Thank you for that.
Here is a fantastic montage I found on Youtube of them for anyone that is interested:
Nevertheless, any accurate reading of my post would find that I never accused V/M of not deserving any placement they have earned. My point was in reference primarily to the perception of the two teams' qualities with respect die hard fans (many of whom have very firm favorites) and at times the media. I only referenced judges by name at the end and only to make the fairly obvious point that D/W are getting new-found respect and attention from multiple judging panels which frankly is an extension of the work from last season.
Skaters are not static beings who are born with gold medals around their necks. Some are more naturally talented than others. Some take longer to mature. That should not preclude us from appreciating any skater or team when then reach a new level of performance. Whether you support them or not, that achievement should be appreciated.
Making an effort put aside preconceived opinions and look at skaters with a fresh perspective was the ultimate point I was trying to make. That does not mean unanimity of opinion has to be reached.
BTW, I suspect that much of the 1.79 lead earned came from increased levels on the circular step sequence. D/W earned a level 4. As dorispulaski noted in another thread, the rules as currently written indicate that PCS tend to go up when all technical elements are performed with greater speed and higher levels. That may explain the now apparently controversial wuzzrobbed D/W lead.
That's all I have to say on the matter. Vent if you must.
Last edited by jcoates; 12-03-2009 at 08:56 PM. Reason: spelling
GO KERRS! Prove my bronze medal predictions wrong!
I haven't seen D/W's OD, so no comments. V/M had a good, solid outing, but that wasn't their best skate. Considering the circumstances though, props to them for skating like they did with jet lag (14 hours! ouch). I thought the lift was wonky and they seemed kinda tired. Nonetheless, they deserved their marks.
I'm hoping Doris, wallylutz or Dragonlady will do a more detailed explanation. I'm no technique expert. *looks around hopefully*
I love both teams but my impression is that the Canadians have insane edging (often commented on by commentators), unison, free leg extensions and toe points; overall neat, precise technicians. D/W have improved tremendously as well but their carriage and unison cannot (as yet) match up to V/M's (I watched their tango romanticas back to back). Both teams are technically VERY good though, this is nit-picking.
One thing I really love about V/M is that they are typically well-dressed. In a discipline which is perhaps most prone to questionable/ hideous clothing a la K/N, I'm grateful that they wear appropriate, classy costumes. I'd like them to stay that way unless the dance calls for it, thanks. K/N have hurt my eyes badly as it is.
Great post jcoates! Can't say I agree with everything you said (and IIRC, no one was saying that V/M would be Olympic contenders back in 06/07) but that was a thoughtful and logical argument.
I haven't seen V/M skating with total abandon since the 2007/08 season because of Tessa's injury (Their Worlds 08 FD is ). Shades of it appeared in the SC FD, so hopefully we'll see them kick it up another notch today.
Well folks, the battles in US nationals and Olympics just got more interesting.
As to D&W's lead, the isu.org report of the first day says that V&M's levels were below D&W's in most cases. Charlie White said they got all Level 4. There are 4 scored elements, 2 of them step sequences, the twizzles, and one lift. We'll know when we see the protocols, but I'm guessing V&M got Level3 on both step sequences, which explains most of the the TES gap.
Additionally, the midline sequence at the end of V&M has nothing but very fast flamenco foot stamping noise; no music. A major part of PCS is timing; i.e. skating on the beat. I don't think any team could appear to have good timing skating to that foot tapping, which is variable in speed. In fact, the whole choreo, which is excellent up to that point, rather falls apart as a composition from then on. Since that is near the end of the program, the result is to end the program on a PCS low note. And PCS is assigned by the judges at the end of the program.
So picture yourself a judge--you go from V&M with a great beginning and an unsatisfying ending to D&W who end on a high point and have the first all level 4 OD of any team of the season. Both teams got partial standing ovations. The PCS are not going to go down much vis a vis V&M and in fact, go up a little.
That is the advantage of skating last, not to mention that the fact of D&W skating last is due to the fact that they won the tie break over their GP events to win that position, and of course, the judges know it.
This is an interesting competition since really only the British judge and the Canadian judge have their number one team competing. The head tech specialist is Alexander Gorshkov, and he really does not have a dog in the fight. I'm not sure what that means, and I could spin a conspiracy theory out of it, but it would be just idle speculation.
It is true that Charlie skated that OD better at NHK. However, V&M had some little glitches possibly due to being a day late to the competition and possibly due to the fact that they skated this program really poorly at SC. It was great to see them skate it the best they have this season.
As to the 'highest score of the season' business, every season the judges crank the scores up at GPF, 4CC's, Euros and Worlds (not to mention Olympics) versus the Grand Prix events. They should not pretend that those scores are meaningful in an absolute sense...but of course, they do.
The protocols will be interesting.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 12-03-2009 at 09:39 PM.
I did a little digging and pulled up the following video of the type of boosting I was referring to. While the Olympics themselves are not mentioned in either video, near term world podium finishes are, which is an indication of Olympic contention. Virtue and Moir deserved every comment they got. I was just as impressed with their debut as D/W that season.
V/M 2007 Worlds FD (see starting at the 5:00 mark for the comments)
V/M 2006 TEB FD (see 5:15 mark for comments)
Were D/L definitely retiring at that point, though?
They had planned to retire after 2006, but stayed on to try to win worlds in 2007. After finishing second again, IIRC the speculation was 50/50 that they would either retire or take time off to get married a la S/Z and maybe return for 2010. They ultimately decided to take the next season off and tour with Stars on Ice. Ironically Denkova and Staviski's careers came to a halt shortly thereafter with his DUI incident. After the gangbusters season V/M had the next year, they pretty much said goodbye officially and got married.
So at the very least, there was a fair bit of certainty that V/M would have at least a season as top dogs in Canada to make an international impression unobstructed.
I guess, but I think it's worth mentioning that V/M consistently beat D/W as juniors - three times in the 2005-2006 season (all their head to heads: JGP Andorra, JGP Final and Junior Worlds) so while I do think there is some merit in your thoughts (that D/W were overshadowed by V/M and B/A from the beginning thus leading to a perception that their results should never fairly be above that of their training mates) I think it has just as much to do with the fact that both those teams were better at that time. There's no denying that Davis/White have made leaps and bounds these past three seasons, though.
I don't know why they do but costumes matter to me when I watch figure skating. For all disciplines but especially in dance. They can definitely enhance or detract. And I really wish V/M of Canada would have more catchy/dramatic costume for their beautiful long program this year. White is not a color and it doesn't do much for figure skating unless someone is doing a swan lake (ie. Oksana Bauil in 94 Olympics).
I am a Canadian and I love V/M. They are such an attractive couple and Virtue is so strikingly beautiful. Why then is she given a dress that looks like someone's old wedding dress that is too large for her? They are skating to the music Katia Gordeeva skated to in her tribute to her husband Sergei. This is a piece of music Maria Zueva (V/M's current coach who used to be Katia and Sergei's coach) said at the time was written by Mahler as a marriage proposal to the love of his life. SO WHY can they not come up with a costume that fits this theme for V/M. PLEASE MARIA, IGOR, V/M, A NEW COSTUME FOR THE OLYMPICS!:
D/W on the other hand, had flown much more under the radar, as is their custom. On top of the fact that the US had a number of junior teams over about ten years medal at or win junior worlds with only one real successful transition to seniors (B/A) prior to them, the lack of promotion was arguably warranted until they proved themselves. Since dance is still not a marquee discipline in the US, in many ways, B/A are the exception among US dance teams rather than the rule in terms of PR. Of course, they have earned much of that PR through their competitive record.
Plus D/W had a "lost season" in 2004-2005 when he broke his ankle. I can only imagine this put them further behind for a time. Still, they were effectively the second best junior team for most of the 05-06 season. But as you said, they have made tremendous strides since then. Their healthy competitive environment certainly done much to benefit them.
[color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color]?! Why did they show B/A 's Skate America performance when they could've shown the Kerr's or Crone/Poirier? Talk about America centric!