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Thread: Paul/Islam interview with Pj Kwong (May 5 video and blog)

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    Paul/Islam interview with Pj Kwong (May 5 video and blog)

    Paul/Islam interview with Pj Kwong (May 5 video and blog)

    Kwong's blog post:
    Catching Up With…Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam
    http://pjkwong.com/?p=1407

    The 4:00 video interview is embedded there.
    Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam - Bacsktage at COS show
    Published on May 5, 2013
    "Pj got the chance to catch up with ice dancers Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam backstage at the COS Margaret Garrison memorial show. They spole about reovering from the disappointments of last season and setting their sights on the Olympics in Sochi."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=3qdgfexzMKU

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    Lots of luck getting a Sochi berth. They are 4th in line behind V/M, W/P and G/P and they didn't help their case by yet another unfortunate mistake at Nationals, losing the bronze medal to Orford/Williams. Their only hope for a GP slot is a host pick, because they aren't on the Seasons Best list (they didn't get a GP or an ISU Championship slot last season) and they are #42 on the World Ranking list.

    At least they have a shot at 4CC, as Canada traditionally doesn't send Olympic-bound skaters to that event.

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    I think that Paul/Islam are well aware that they have an uphill climb to qualifying for Sochi. I admire them for giving it their best shot.

    And never say never. I am absolutely not wishing misfortune on any other couple, but the season has not even started yet and the reality for everyone is that no skater has guaranteed immunity to injury.

    Meanwhile, does Gilles have her Canadian citizenship papers in hand yet? I know that based on family ties to Canada (through her grandmother?), she was not anticipating any obstacles, but is her citizenship a done deal?

    I would add that Max Aaron had no GP assignments this past season, but won U.S. Nationals. The point is that stranger things have happened than Paul/Islam qualifying for Sochi when January rolls around.

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    They have a shot. A SMALL shot...

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    The Post of the Day:
    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    And never say never.

    And to all skaters and its fans in the world, who dream to compete at the Games!

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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    Max Aaron had no GP assignments this past season, but won U.S. Nationals.
    The US sent him to two B events and he medaled in both (gold and silver). Paul/Islam were sent to two Bs (unusual for Canada) and won silver in the first but were fifth in the second. That is the level of inconsistency that gives Skate Canada pause.

    The point is that stranger things have happened than Paul/Islam qualifying for Sochi when January rolls around.
    P/I need to skate well at every summer competition to convince Skate Canada they have left their bad luck behind them. They especially need to do well at the Lake Placid event to be considered for a host pick, and they need SC to get a positive response from ISU judges. Last season at Lake Placid, they finished 17 points behind Orford/Williams; they can't allow that to happen again.

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    I think the first 2 spots are rock solid, barring any weird or catastrophic injuries. I think the 3rd spot is wide open. Let's review:

    - G/P did not help themselves by finishing 18th in the World. Just because they have been overly gifted with high marks in Canada doesn't mean the rest of the world will buy what they're selling right now. There is only so much pep and pizzazz and hype that will be tolerated before everyone starts asking "where's the beef?!" If they want to be taken seriously on the world stage, they have to work very hard at coming together as a team with some matching lines, edges, and real quality between the cool tricks.

    - P/I have beautiful chemistry, skating skills, edges, smoothness, matching lines, and so on. They also are training in a great rink to allow them to keep pushing themselves and getting stronger mentally. I think Detroit did wonders for W/P and their inconsistency issues. But P/I are going to have to bring it this season. They can do it. And they just might get the nod as the 3rd team. I predict we will see Skate Canada giving them some more head-to-head matchups in Senior B's with G/P in the upcoming season.

    - Then there's O/W. They had a Cinderella season last year, and I think will not finish on the podium at Nationals again. The SD was perfectly suited to Williams, and allowed them to really put in a great effort. I don't think they are as strong as P/I in any way, but, as we found out at Nationals, the ice is slippery. It's about who brings it on the day of competition.

    - Then we should also not write off R/H, who could be in the running if they have some decent material this year, and get the time and attention they deserve in order to be competitive.

    There are a couple of teams from Quebec. I liked P/O at the beginning of the season, but they didn't thrill me at Nationals. It was messy. But they have some great raw talent. I loved the clean lines and crisp feet and interesting choreography of P/S. If they are focused, work hard, and deal with their inconsistencies, they have a chance at top 5, perhaps.

    And then there are the new ones to Senior: E/P, our Junior Champions, are way better than O/W in my opinion. There is a ton of talent in those 2, and they just might not out-grow each other. They have had a number of years together, and they are getting better every year. Their SD this year was a favourite of mine. And an honourable mention for a strong start at Senior is C/B from Quebec. I love their classical lines and sensibilities. They've really grown these last 2 seasons.

    Folks, that's already 10 teams. It's going to be a great upcoming season!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDancers View Post
    I think the first 2 spots are rock solid, barring any weird or catastrophic injuries. I think the 3rd spot is wide open. Let's review:

    .... It's about who brings it on the day of competition.

    .... Folks, that's already 10 teams. It's going to be a great upcoming season!!
    Thanks for your thorough review, Northern. I look forward to your commentary when the season is in progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    P/I need to skate well at every summer competition to convince Skate Canada they have left their bad luck behind them.
    Another reason that I think it is too early to give up on Paul/Islam:
    Last May, was anyone predicting that Orford/Williams would win the bronze at Canadian Nationals?
    Yes, they were helped by Weaver's injury and P/I's disappointing performance, which could not have been foreseen. But again, that is the point: surprises can happen and change the landscape.

    Also, Paul/Islam are overdue for some good luck. Wishing them and all the other teams the best.

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