Mods, I'm restarting this, but please amalgamate with the old thread if you prefer ( it's already quite long)
After a number of very excellent and interesting posts on the Canadian Nationals Ice Dance competition threads and various post-competition discussions across other threads and forums ( which are bound to fade as successive competitions approach ), I felt I wanted to keep the discussion going , not only in light of the respective finishes at National's and the upcoming 4CC and World's, but in general as well.
Here's a quote from one of ImaginaryPogue's posts on the Free dance thread that gets to the crux of the situation , for me. ( I've used bold text to stress what pertains to dance. The italics are 'Pogue's ) ..
"b) In this case (G/P, Patrick Chan) there seems to be a more specific intent in the scoring, moreso than Nationals inflation. Plain-jane Nationals inflation - we saw that with Duhamel/Radford's skates. They'll be above 120 w/ a clean skate, but not that close to 130. You can even make the argument that Chan will break his own record with those skates (I'm not convinced), but there seemed to be a goal - get G/P on the podium, get Chan 300."
It's like the old saying about Caesar's wife..not only must she be above reproach , she must be seen to be above reproach. As Caesar's wife , Skate Canada and this judging panel appear to make a great scarlet woman with a shady past.
Even if there was no intent, the inexplicable , unbelievable bronze finish of G/P guarantees speculation and suspicion that somewhere , intent must have been at work ...or that this judging panel was particularly gullible and susceptible to hype. And if either possibility exists , what will it mean for our athletes going forward ?
These athletes have all invested a great portion of their lives in the pursuit their sport ; their competitive careers are relatively short , and they risk career ending injury daily. As others have said before me , the very least they deserve is to be able to trust in fair judging and a fair competition. Neither the judging nor the competition schedule at Nationals this year afforded them that.
If I was one of these athletes ( with the exception of G/P) I'd be very depressed about my prospects. Of course, I do hope to see them all emulate the attitude W/P displayed last year ..just work to perfect your own performance , so that you can't be denied . That's all they can do , after all ... even though that disgraceful 100+ score for G/P would seem to imply that there are no limits to the amount of preference or over-evaluation G/P will be shown , nationally. ( Unless there's a backlash , which I truly hope there will be )....I further hope that some of the annual changes in Ice Dance rules help prevent a repetition of what we've just seen.
So, with this cloud over the scene, and despite it , what do we hope for some of these teams ? What can they do ? What should they do ? Just some initial thoughts...
For R/H .. I would wish for them to get out from under. Change schools and continue to address their posture issues. Realize there's quite a bit of luck involved in their trip to World's ( see FD scores).
For P/I .. I hope they are even stronger by 4CC. I'd wish for a different SD costume. It's a pretty dress, but because their SD is more restrained than most , it cries out for colour, just as the FD did. After being plagued by injury , do they need to rethink strength regimen ? ( I really don't know that much about their regimen ). I think they'd benefit from more of a group training environment, but don't know where that would be. They're already developing their own look and I'd hate to see that change. ( Progress, yes. Change , no. )
For O/W .. keep going. Unlike NorthernDancers,( whose opinions I still respect ) I do see a lot more togetherness between them over last year,and particular progress for Thomas. Considering all they've had to contend with this year - having to be ready for Jrs. and Srs., and the G/P circus coming to town , I think they've done about as well as they could be expected to do. I hope they have a very respectable finish at Jr.World's. It's a deep field..but the GP, at both levels , can be fairly deceptive, so I wish them luck.
Of course, that's not all I think or wish, but it's enough for tonight.