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Thread: 2013 US Nationals Sr Pairs LP

  1. #46
    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    Christine Brennan ‏@cbrennansports
    How can a nation of 315 million have such trouble finding 1 young man & 1 young woman to skate pairs together for, say, 5 yrs? #Omaha2013
    1:31 PM - 26 Jan 13

    Although Castelli/Shnapir have been together longer, interesting that only this year did they reach the Nationals podium.
    In any case, congratulations to them for their win.

    And the standing O for Zhang/Bartholomay was well-deserved.

  2. #47
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    I didn't think Caitlin Yankowskas was a savior to US pair skating by any means. We can also be critical of the US pairs we currently have. This is a message board after all. I think Marissa and Simon presented the most complete program, so I'm happy they won. Overall, the pairs competition was well skated.
    Last edited by gold12345; 01-26-2013 at 04:53 PM.

  3. #48
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art&Sport View Post
    Please please stop putting down U.S. pairs teams. Understand what it takes, and what it means to build to reach a higher level. Champions do not come out of nowhere. Marissa and Simon are a perfect case in point. They are the only U.S. pairs team currently on the eligible level to have been together for a long time: 7 years -- that makes a huge difference in a partnership. Despite their tightness due to nerves in the fp, Simon and Marissa didn't allow their nerves and Simon's miscue on the sbs spin to hold them back. They held it together and they are clearly the class of this field, in the absence of Caydee and John (and unfortunately the break-up of Rockne and Mary Beth).
    Considering the state of US pairs for the past decade (at least), I think it's natural and okay to be critical of a program that is clearly NOT working. Fans are not the only ones speaking out about it - US pairs teams of the past have spoken out about the attitude of the current situation. Now the media's chiming in. This is not something new. The only way to get it to change is if the USFSA takes a different approach in how they cultivate these teams - and it starts at the club level.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Castelli & Shnapir got a bit lucky today. That LP would have cost them against some stronger teams.
    Yes, indeed it certainly would have. IOW, they certainly would not have come in first if Caydee and John could have competed; if Rockne and Mary Beth had stayed together; and not to mention if Evora and Ladwig had stayed together another season (but it seemed Amanda was ready to move on with her life -- it's nice to see her in the kiss 'n cry coaching for some of the Florida teams).

    Marissa and Simon, as I said have a stronger partnership than the other teams who competed at this Nationals, as a direct result of having years of experience together. They still have a lot of work to do to improve and to reach an even higher level of skill and performance ability. But the pressure and nerves they experienced here, and the opportunity to go to Worlds should be a huge benefit in helping them further develop.

    Obviously, what the pairs event has proven beyond a doubt is that if John is healed and sufficiently ready to go, he and Caydee will have their tickets stamped for Worlds.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Considering the state of US pairs for the past decade (at least), I think it's natural and okay to be critical of a program that is clearly NOT working. Fans are not the only ones speaking out about it - US pairs teams of the past have spoken out about the attitude of the current situation. Now the media's chiming in. This is not something new. The only way to get it to change is if the USFSA takes a different approach in how they cultivate these teams - and it starts at the club level.
    It's fine to be critical and state the obvious. I'm talking about the more dismissive comments and overall negative attitude, which prevents us from seeing and understanding the complexities involved, and moreover keeps us from appreciating the hard work and dedication of these young people. Yes, U.S. fed should do more, IMHO, to work with top U.S. coaches in all disciplines to address strengthening and further developing U.S. figure skating athletes.

    Something to praise, IMO, is how the new team of Baga/ Toth went out and skated more strongly. They have a long way to go, but they have a nice look together on the ice. In order to stay together, these young teams need support and they also need knowledgeable coaches who are willing to help them work through the hard times. For Baga/Toth, they apparently have that in coach, Philip Mills, who has been giving them constant and strict encouragement re "staying together." Negative gossip and fan complaints only contribute to the musical chairs. I applaud Philip Mills for his passionate support and encouragement of his students. That's a positive, and I hope it will help Baga and Toth overcome the obstacles and go farther together.

    Let's point out the problems, but being constantly negative about the failings of the U.S. pairs program, doesn't help matters. There is plenty to also praise and there's plenty of reason for fans to cheer instead of constantly tearing down and whining about "break-ups," and "lack of elegance." Complaining is too easy.


    The U.S. ice dance discipline was never very strong either, and that has changed largely due to the coaching in Detroit. There are several strong pairs coaching centers in the U.S.: in Colorado, in Florida, and in Boston. Send in donations for athletes' training, offer suggestions to USFS, advocate and encourage instead of being part of the "thumbs down" squad.
    Last edited by Art&Sport; 01-26-2013 at 05:30 PM.

  6. #51
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Why bring those negative thoughts into this thread, then? No one has dared suggest anyone break up - or even mentioned the rumors. in fact most said Baga should just focus on pairs skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Why bring those negative thoughts into this thread, then? No one has dared suggest anyone break up - or even mentioned the rumors. in fact most said Baga should just focus on pairs skating.
    Fine, I mentioned that as an example of some of the negative things that have been said, but you're right, it doesn't help any to repeat it, so I'll edit.


    Also, Tonichelle, there are at least a few positive things to point out re U.S. pairs teams over the last decade, including Evora/ Ladwig; Inoue/ Baldwin; Hinzman/ Parchem; McLaughlin/ Brubaker (brief shining light) and in the final year of their professional partnership, Ina/ Zimmerman -- if you're talking about going back 10 years. Not to mention U.S. pairs being first in the world to perform a throw quad jump, and a throw triple axel in competition.
    Last edited by Art&Sport; 01-26-2013 at 05:49 PM.

  8. #53
    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    As Jo-Ann Barnas has been discussing on Twitter, the ever-increasing popularity of ice dance in the U.S. is affecting the available talent pool for pairs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    As Jo-Ann Barnas has been discussing on Twitter, the ever-increasing popularity of ice dance in the U.S. is affecting the available talent pool for pairs.
    Good point, golden411, thanks for sharing that tweet from Barnas.

  10. #55
    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    ^^ I was only paraphrasing what Barnas said (i.e., not attempting to quote her directly), but I agree that she makes a good point.

    And this tweet from U.S. pairs royalty also reflects the success of U.S. ice dance:

    Tai Babilonia ‏@taiskates
    the u.s. dance teams are magical ~ i hope one day the u.s. pair teams find that magic ~
    2:41 PM - 26 Jan 13

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    Besides teams not staying together this is a country where little girls want to be singles skaters. Imagine someone like Kiri Baga if she had decided 5 years ago to be a Pairs skater instead of doing singles.

  12. #57
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    What was the music for shnapir castelli? It was so beautiful!
    Last edited by werfdhhg3; 01-26-2013 at 08:40 PM.

  13. #58
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Besides teams not staying together this is a country where little girls want to be singles skaters. Imagine someone like Kiri Baga if she had decided 5 years ago to be a Pairs skater instead of doing singles.
    With so few male pairs skaters to go around it makes sense why most girls go for singles.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Besides teams not staying together this is a country where little girls want to be singles skaters. Imagine someone like Kiri Baga if she had decided 5 years ago to be a Pairs skater instead of doing singles.
    Little girls want to be like Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Kristy Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan. Little boys want to be like Scott Hamilton and Evan Lysacek. Boys and girls can be like Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto. Without a Olympic pairs medal since 1988, finding an American couple to emulate is tough.

    There is good news and bad news about being a top-tier American figure skater. The good news is that World and Olympic medalists often earn the privilege of never having to work a day outside a skating rink. Such a goal isn't possible in most of the world. The bad news is that as Tiger Woods put it, second sucks. As Ricky Bobby said, if you're not first, you're last.

    Americans don't tolerate defeat. There are too many athletes who win to do otherwise. Place poorly at the World Championships or the Olympics--which are the only two international events people who don't post on message boards might follow--and be ignored or ridiculed.

    Stop babying the competitors. Ice dance became popular in the U.S. after Belbin and Agosto began doing well on the international stage. Prospective U.S. pairs skaters, start winning and Americans will pay attention to you. Otherwise, best wishes on your anonymity.
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 01-27-2013 at 02:32 AM. Reason: 1. no need to bypass the censor, as teh word is not on the "no no" list. 2. do not bypass the censor.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Besides teams not staying together this is a country where little girls want to be singles skaters. Imagine someone like Kiri Baga if she had decided 5 years ago to be a Pairs skater instead of doing singles.
    A 12 or 13 yr old Kiri probably would have never found a partner in Minnesota (or a pair coach). And that's way too young of an age to really justify moving away, especially for a beginner pair skater. When's the last time a decent pair team has come out of Minnesota? Pairs is just rare in this country. Even if you're a kid who wants to be a pair skater, good luck jumping over all the hurdles to make it work. It's a lot more likely that you could find a suitable ice dance partner. There are fewer physical limitations in ice dance.... You don't need to pair a 5 ft girl with a 6 ft guy, and the guy doesn't have to be he-man strong. But ultimately, most kids and their parents find it much less of a hassle to go into singles and focus on themselves instead of worrying about a partner who oftentimes ends up not being the right fit for various reasons. The fact that singles is what's popular on TV further increases skaters' interest in doing singles. Even for Kiri, she was 1 placement away from getting her Ladies free skate on prime time television... On the other hand, she skated her pairs program in the morning and NBC wasn't even willing to devote a full hour to pairs.
    Last edited by gold12345; 01-27-2013 at 02:41 AM.

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