When W&P debuted on the GP circuit, they had no success at all, finishing well back in the pack at their first Skate Canada. C&P, OTOH won the silver medal at their first GP event, and were 4th at TEB shortly thereafter. They were on the podium at every GP event they skated thereafter. W&P debuted at Skate Canada in 2008 and didn't make a GP podium until Skate Canada in Kitchener in 2009.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
I strongly disagree that W&P were being held down or held back by Skate Canada. I was at Canadians when Vanessa fell in their FD and W&P finished 3rd to C&P's silver medal. W&P were tight, slow and had numerous little bobbles and missteps in theire program. They skated not to lose. They didn't fall but they didn't attack either.
When Vanessa bounced her butt off the ice, the two of them took off like the devil himself was chasing them and they nailed the rest of their program with speed and attack so I thought the decision a good one, although I really wish we'd had three spots that year. To their credit C&P got us that third spot so both teams were able to do the next year.
W&P were not being politiked to third place in Canada. It was reasonable and justified. And to their credit, they saw what they needed to do to improve and they've worked hard.
I am sick to death of people blaming politics for stuff that has to do with the skating, not who your coach is.
Thank you Dradonlady, I totally agree with you.
The USFSA will release Piper in May of 2012, not 2013. The first Worlds they will be eligible to skate is in 2013, but they will be also be eligible for the GP circuit in 2012.
Originally Posted by chuckm
Constable , Costume Police
Dragonlady , I understand where you're coming from , but I don't believe that the people who are getting a whiff of politiks feel any less nauseated by it. They wish it wasn't so. I'm sure some of the concerns being voiced must be difficult to read for one who has known Paul for the greater part of his life, so let me assure you , that on my part , my feelings do not originate from any dislike of Paul. ( I'm sure the overwhelming number of posters here would say the same.)
Most of the positive aspects that people point to in his skating are undeniable ( Deep edges , finished extension, powerful acceleration , etc.) and I admire them. Together , he and Vanessa made a good team , and I'm not suggesting that their acheivements were only due to Politiks, but Politiks were certainly never against them. Besides their obvious strengths , they did have some noticeable flaws ( posture ) and some weaknesses ( lack of connection, poor costumes ) that remained largely unaddressed for the 3 yrs. I watched them at seniors . As a skating fan , this was very frustrating to me , since I could see their potential had the problems been addressed.
However , originally , I only meant to bring C/P up, here, to make a point about HYPE. They are no longer a couple ( for whatever reason ) but there's no denying they recieved a lot of promotion last year. Some very strong quotes came directly from SC, and these were picked up and used in turn , as talking points by various commentators and reporters ... in some cases added to, with mentions that C/P had been hard done by in the past, and misleading claims as to the degree to which they'd improved. It was really out of all proportion, IMO, overstepping the bounds of normal PR ( which is a good and useful tool , used within rational bounds ).... Some may feel it was deserved. I don't ... but there's no denying it was there. Hype definitely exsisted.
Now we see a similar situation building around a couple that at this point , certainly, is much less deserving than C/P, and wildly anomalous scores being awarded to them, and to them alone. If there is no Politiking going on, then we have to assume that we have a serious problem with the perceptions of our officials.
Of the two options , and based on past observation , I have to think Politiks is at work .. bad as it makes me feel.
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 02-07-2012 at 02:33 AM.
Any hype in regards to C&P's last season together was hardly political or misplaced. They had finished 7th at Worlds in 2010 and secured that elusive 3rd spot for Canadian dance teams. Christopher Dean gave them a brilliant FD with which they won Skate Canada and the Bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final. And then the wheels started coming off the wagon. They looked tired and ragged at Canadians, and finished 3rd to the Shibutanis at 4CC. That was true of all of the North American skaters who made the GPF. The travel schedule just killed everyon. And then came Worlds and they split shortly thereafter.
I also disagree that nothing was done to correct their issues. Vanessa's posture improved enormously during the Olympic season. Working with the flamenco dancers really seemed to help her and a conscious effort was made on her part. I noticed the difference and complimented her on it. She was pleased that I noticed because of the effort she had expended. Marianne Stong was involved in their packaging for the 2010/11 season to address the comments around their costumes.
Hearing that C&P had split was shocking to me because of my personal connection to both skaters and I was really inclined to NOT like G&P. I strongly believe that skating together for 10 years gives a team things that cannot be replaced: matching lines, unison, and a sort of 6th sense as to where your partner is and what he/she is doing. When you reach out your hand, he/she is there. All of that is gone with a new partner. I was really personally inclined not to like Gilles & Poirier because I think Vanessa Crone is one of the sweetest nicest people I've ever met. But I do like Gilles & Poirier and I see great potential in this team. Were they overscored at Canadians: Yes. Do I think the placement was wrong? No.
I'm sorry but I am not a fan of Paul & Islam. This is the Canadian team that I find to be completely over-hyped and over-scored. I see a lot of potential in this team but as long as they are packaged as "Virtue & Moir lite" they look like pale imitations of the much more talented originals. I much prefer Ralph & Hill, but I also have to admit to the same level of personal bias for Asher Hill as for Paul and Vanessa and for the same reason. My daughter used to go to Scarborough for ticket ice when she competed and she's the same age as the young ice-dancers. They all hung out together at the rink, and at competitions. I know all of the kids from the Greater Toronto Area currently on the Canadian team, and their parents. It's the nature of being a skating parent.
I do try to be objective in analyzing the skaters and the teams, but I think it fair to other posters to acknowledge my biases.
I don't think D/W looked tired and ragged at 4CC, and they made the GPF.
It's interesting you mention P/I, because my thoughts were the same as yours - V/M lite. But their programs this season have really gone in a different direction and I'm pleased at their growth.
I guess we'll have to disagree about G/P. If the placement is correct and fair, than ice dance itself needs to be fixed
Yes, they have started to develop their own style and look. I'm also pleased to see that Mitch Islam is no longer dying his hair darker, or straightening it. He looks less like Scott Moir now. But this team looked slow and undertrained at Canadians.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
G&P did a program that was less dance and more a series of interesting and entertaining tricks, but they were very difficult tricks and they carried off the program as well as they could at this point. Those who were there commented on their speed, power and flow as being VERY impressive. Live, these are things that impress and the problems with unison and newness are less noticeable.
I love unison and matching lines. It's the first thing I notice in a dance team. Nobody has matching lines and unison like V&M and it's one area where D&W have really improved this season. But I also note that P&B, who have IMO, very poor matching lines, seem to win a lot of medals without it.
Last edited by Dragonlady; 02-07-2012 at 12:15 PM.
I've been looking for a ' flogging a dead horse' smilie, but we don't have one yet. As a rank outsider, without any contacts in the skating world, I consider myself a keen observer and fan.
Let me just say that I thought C/P were a good team, that didn't persist, and I'm curious to see their future efforts with new partners.
Canadian hype, in ice dance, regardless of the team being backed, always seems to involve finding the new Torvil and Dean and changing ice dance in the world. I thought the old Torvil and Dean were a 'one off' but perhaps Nostradamus said the new ones would appear in Canada. Now, the reason I call these pronouncements hype, aside from their silliness, is that the same words are used by everyone in the media, as if guided by a press handout. And to top it off I've even heard dissenting opinions from the boards being 'spun' by TV commentators.
In the distant past, It was stated on TV that Skate Canada had a new policy of identifying and putting its efforts behind our champions. The idea seemed to be that the public needed one 'hero' to focus on, in order to build public interest. I have never heard that strategy has changed, but , for myself , I find close competition far more interesting than any fluff piece.
Last edited by slipslidin; 02-07-2012 at 03:19 PM.
Wicked Yankee Girl
USFS has that Hero strategy in the States, too, and frankly, I don't like it at all. It has resulted in the 13th place skater at Nationals being sent to 4cc'S It's fine when your hero is Michelle Kwan, but it's a bit more questionable when your hero is Richard Dornbush. Plus these kids start to believe their own press releases, and when they do that, they think they don't have to improve to keep their spots internationally as well as nationally.
It's a bad deal all around, plus I don't want skating to be entirely like the WWF-a play with predetermined winners and losers.
As a fan of horse racing I know how hard it is to pick a winner, and heartbreak is always lurking around the next turn.
Last fall I heard Michael Slipchuck pontificating about Skate Canada's success in the career of Virtue and Moir. I was a bit dubious when the hype began because I thought Tessa might outgrow Scott. Aside from that it didn't take a genius to spot the talent, and when they moved up to seniors, they presented themselves as well packaged contenders. But W/P ,who were good as soon as they teamed up, seemed to me to be allowed to ' just grow ' on their own, and I thought the problem was that they were in the same age group as V/M. Were V/M better ? Yes, I think so, but W/P should not have been ignored. To me it looked as though TPTB were looking to get a younger team in place to replace V/M.
I don’t think that the issue was that W&P were allowed to “grow on their own” but rather that they debuted at Canadians in 2007, won the bronze medal then and went off to Jr. Worlds where they finished third and then to Sr. Worlds where they barely made it out of qualifying and finished 20th overall. They moved up to senior the next season, having been together for only a few months and it took them time to come together as a team. They finished well back in the pack at their GP events and 17th overall at Worlds in 2008. W&P skated on the GP circuit for two full seasons before finally winning a bronze medal in 2009 at Skate Canada and I strongly believe it was the boost of skating in Kitchener that did it for them because I’d never seen them skate that well.
I don’t think it’s reasonable to compare Skate Canada’s development plan for a team that’s been together for 10 years and has succeeded at every level they’ve competed at with one which has only been together for a few months with very mixed results.
I fell in love with Andrew Poje when he just up from Novice and skating NAC’s with his former partner. I remember sitting at Canadians in 2006 watching Andrew drag poor Alice Graham around the ice and one of our group said “If we take up a collection, could we buy Andrew Poje a better partner?”. It just made us sad to see a boy who was that good, trying to skate with someone who was incapable of keeping up with him. Everyone was thrilled when he teamed up with Kaitlyn, but I think that bronze medal at Jr. Worlds raised expectations for this team going into seniors that they were in no way ready to fulfill.
I’m very happy that G&P can’t go anywhere until next fall. I really think that they need this time for work out the “new”, build trust and confidence in one another, and to put the miles in to allow this team to gel. Piper seems to be working very hard to raise the level of her skating.
I do agree that there has been a lot of hype around this team which is never a good thing, unless of course, they come out next season and get the kind of scores internationally that they’ve been getting at home, or at least something close to it.
I'll be holding my breath.
Bear in mind that when Weaver / Poje won the bronze medal at JW 2007, it was partly because Samuelson / Bates (who were in second behind Bobrova / Soloviev after the CD and OD) had a fall that resulted in Emily Samuelson's badly cut hand, and they were forced to withdraw.
Tweet today from @PiperGilles (emphasis added):
"First SD run through of the new season! Wait what!? It's only April. Gotta love new programs and we actually have time to train this year!!"
Interesting thoughts by everyone about W/P, P/I and G/P. Weaver and Poje didn't have the polish the first years they were in seniors. This year, they got the music and the choreo and worked their butts off. I'm happy for them. I hope they continue with Camerlengo/Krylova and Bourne. They work well together.
I agree Paul and Islam are indeed V/M lite. Different music, different choreo, a different look (their own). Maybe it would help. Last year at Cdn Nats someone said they thought that P/I would be on the podium at worlds over the Shibs. I said pigs would fly first. We all know how that turned out.
I saw Gilles and Poirier at the challenge. I really liked their sd, so so on the fd. One thing I have to say is if Piper doesn't match Paul in speed by this fall I will be very surprised. She certainly gave it her all at the Challenge, and they hadn't been together very long. I think their biggest downfall is that they'll look exactly like a couple of other teams in NA. I can think of all the things that identify a lot of teams. There isn't anything that sets G/P apart *yet*. I too was a big C&P fan, and was quite prepared to dislike G/P. I don't dislike them, but I don't feel anything about them other than a wait and see what they can do. I wish them luck tho.