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Thread: What happened to these promising US Skaters?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    What an idiosyncratic way of counting continents.

    Kristine Musademba has nothing to do with Nigeria, does she? Her father is from Zimbabwe. I think she struggled with injury as well as wanting to go to college, and so did Amanda Dobbs and her pairs partner. It's rough.
    woops, my mistake. yes, her father is from Zimbabwe not Nigeria.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by koheikun90 View Post
    Thank you all for the update. I'm most disappointed to hear about Kristine Musademba. She had so much talent. Good luck to her in college. Figure skating is a very unforgiving sport, however, I admire skaters do not put all their eggs in skating and instead look forward to future opportunities.

    Maybe Kristine should follow in Melissa Bulanhagui's footsteps and compete for the Philippines, or even Nigeria. That would be cool.
    I think Musademba wants to follow her own footsteps.

  3. #18
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    In conclusion, if the US wants to improve its pair program: dish out extra funding for pair teams to make up for the fact that pair prizes are not only lower, but have to be split among partners to encourage talented single skaters to go into pairs. Attract/kidnap a great pair coach.
    I like your analysis and you need to keep hammering that message. I would add to your conclusion: Sell it to the parents. I had some interesting conversations with a "skater dad" a year or two ago who happened to be my physical therapist. He talked a lot about his kids' talent, training situation, and future in the sport, but he only talked singles. He looked down on pairs as something for losers. I did my best to explain how hard (and exciting) pairs was, and he had an "aha" reaction. It was really news to him, and he was serious enough about his kids' skating to be planning to sell his house and move closer to a good coach. Maybe we'll get a new pairs boy out of those conversations. : )

  4. #19
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    I like your analysis and you need to keep hammering that message. I would add to your conclusion: Sell it to the parents. I had some interesting conversations with a "skater dad" a year or two ago who happened to be my physical therapist. He talked a lot about his kids' talent, training situation, and future in the sport, but he only talked singles. He looked down on pairs as something for losers. I did my best to explain how hard (and exciting) pairs was, and he had an "aha" reaction. It was really news to him, and he was serious enough about his kids' skating to be planning to sell his house and move closer to a good coach. Maybe we'll get a new pairs boy out of those conversations. : )
    Way to go! Your enthusiasm and inspirational made me think... There is huge potential in the US for a pair team to become stars. It is the least competitive discipline in the US, thus it'll be easier to rise in its ranks. It is the most explosive discipline in figure skating in its modern form: a still photo of a huge twist lift would blow most people's minds, and satisfy the American need for extremeness in sports. And Americans (as most people around the world) love romance. They love duets and they love couples. If an internationally successful US pair team can sell that angle, cha-ching! There's a lot of unique and multiplied risks in investing in pairs in the US, but maybe the reward ratio isn't so bad after all.

  5. #20
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    Yes - wouldn't it be nice it if the answer to the question to where have all these promising single skaters gone was: to be become successful pairs skaters . When I watched Nat'ls it was obvious that some of the skaters were never going to get their triples solid enough to be really competitive as singles, but they have good fundamentals and presentation. I often think they could be good pairs skaters, though as SB says there is a whole other skill set they have to master too. A great and inspiring coach could do a lot

  6. #21
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    this happens everytime though, every season new juniors are stepping in and skaters transition
    and those who can't keep up will be pushed at the back of the pack,

  7. #22
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    True, sky_fly20, that's life. Thank goodness for the ones that don't put all their eggs in one basket and have a life outside skating, and can re-invent themselves, go to college, or even get a regular 9-5 job like everybody else, have a fallback plan. It's the parents I feel sorry for, those that took out second & third mortgages to pay the bills, and are still paying on them, even though their promising prodigy child is no longer such in figure skating. But they knew the chances going in; my only hope is that the child can help pay back those expenses by taking a job on a cruise ship, a figure skating tour, etc. Of course if the parents are independently wealthy no worries.

    Back to pair skating, like Serious Business writes it's not as easy as it sounds, several dynamics are involved. The girl has to be small enough (both height & weight) so the guy can lift & throw her, and the guy has to be big enough (both height & muscle) to do so. But most importantly, as Peter Carruthers & even Dick Button have said in the past "the girl must be fearless"! She's going to be lifted 12 feet off the ground and thrown that far across the ice, no time for trepidation or fear. She's gotta be prepared to have her chin split open at least once, and maybe even dropped and knocked unconscious (e.g. Katia Gordeeva). Likewise, the guy has to be just as fearless, knowing that one trip or catch of the ice on his blade can result in brain injury (e.g. Paul Binnebose). It's not for the faint of heart.

    By the way, I recall Katia writing in her book that she wasn't a strong singles skater, and that's why she was assigned to pair skating. She was a decent singles skater, but not amongst the best, therefore pair skating it was.

  8. #23
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Katia can skate solo without more than a double axel and hold our attention. She just flies softly over the ice. She gets better with age.

  9. #24
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    With regards to pairs vs dance.... one of the reasons for the resurgence of dance is the recent sucesses. Naomi and Peter brought a spark to American dance after Punsalen and Swallow and Roca and Sur. For whatever reasons, they just seemed so fresh - however, note that only 1/2 American. Then we had Tanith and Ben - again 1/2 American. There was an extended period of time where there were many female dancers who couldn't find American partners. I think it was the sucess of Tanith and Ben that brought more attention to ice dance at the rinks in the US, which has helped to bering stable dance teams again.

    Americans Pairs skating needs a successful team to spark a revival, as well. Inoue and Baldwin were interesting and successful, but they didn't acheive the magic off the teams they were competing against. Before them, Ina/Zimmeran, Ina/Dungen, Meno/Sands, etc. My point is that it's been a long long time since an American pairs team has had a realistic shot at any color medal at the international level, let alone gold.

  10. #25
    Custom Title DianaSelene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyang View Post
    With regards to pairs vs dance.... one of the reasons for the resurgence of dance is the recent sucesses. Naomi and Peter brought a spark to American dance after Punsalen and Swallow and Roca and Sur. For whatever reasons, they just seemed so fresh - however, note that only 1/2 American. Then we had Tanith and Ben - again 1/2 American. There was an extended period of time where there were many female dancers who couldn't find American partners. I think it was the sucess of Tanith and Ben that brought more attention to ice dance at the rinks in the US, which has helped to bering stable dance teams again.

    Americans Pairs skating needs a successful team to spark a revival, as well. Inoue and Baldwin were interesting and successful, but they didn't acheive the magic off the teams they were competing against. Before them, Ina/Zimmeran, Ina/Dungen, Meno/Sands, etc. My point is that it's been a long long time since an American pairs team has had a realistic shot at any color medal at the international level, let alone gold.
    Well, it seems that Ina/Zimmerman should have had an effect for other American pair skaters when they finished 5th at olympics and were coached by Moskvina. But even Moskvina could not put them on the podium. And after them, there wasn't a huge revival resulting in great American coaches or pairs.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Katia can skate solo without more than a double axel and hold our attention. She just flies softly over the ice. She gets better with age.
    But if she had been a singles skater without more than a double axel, she never would have gotten near the 1988 Olympic podium without exceptional school figures, and likely would not have been able to qualify for the (1992 or) 1994 Olympics at all. And therefore opportunities to star in professional events would have been unlikely because casual audiences would not have turned on the TV or bought tickets to watch a skater they'd never heard of -- even with the same quality of performance she has shown as a professional singles skater in real life. The performing opportunities she had access to would not have come without those pair gold medals.

    Singles skaters who make it to their late teens with no triples know that they're not going to be champions or stars in that discipline, so they usually make other career plans.

  12. #27
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    At one point, didn't she have a triple toe?

  13. #28
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    She had stronger jumps during her pairs competitive days, of course, because I'm sure she trained them harder and more regularly. I don't remember whether she ever succeeded at triples once she began skating alone, but it's possible she did. One interesting skill I notice that she seems to have retrieved after long disuse is a spreadeagle. I don't remember seeing her do a spreadeagle during the first ten years or more of her singles career, and I came to think that she didn't have a turnout. Then I saw on YouTube an old program she and Sergei did in their amateur days, and there she was in a lovely spreadeagle. So I assumed that she had just given up that move. Imagine my surprise when I saw her execute a beautiful spreadeagle on one of those Pandora shows a few weeks ago. Go, Katia!

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine View Post
    By the way, I recall Katia writing in her book that she wasn't a strong singles skater, and that's why she was assigned to pair skating. She was a decent singles skater, but not amongst the best, therefore pair skating it was.
    I recall reading somewhere that it was the same for Oleg Vasiliev.

  15. #30
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conga View Post
    I recall reading somewhere that it was the same for Oleg Vasiliev.
    IIRC, Sergei couldn't get all the triples needed for singles, either, which is how he got shuffled to pairs.

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