Yeah, it seems like Paul & Islam got in with the judges this season. Maybe there's some politics behind it (the move to Detroit may have impressed the judges?). Who knows. But I found it odd that Paul Poirier has been on the Senior Dance podium for the last 5 years in a row, and all of a sudden he's taken off it this year. G&P were on the podium the last 2 years and have always beaten P&I in the past, so how come P&I placed ahead of them this time? I could understand if G&P had fallen down etc., but they were clean in both programs.
Originally Posted by Ziggy
Unfortunately it may be that the judges wanted a boring, traditional ice dance, and while I don't want to bash P&I, I don't think people will remember their program and don't think that they will make much impact with the general public. I also just think G&P have so much more engaging personalities and maybe this is a bit shallow, but I also think they look more attractive together.
Poirier also would have given the Canadian Ice Dance team the benefit of someone with prior Olympic experience, so now only Tessa & Scott have any prior experience at the Olympics among the Canadian dance contingent.
Finally, the absence of Poirier means Canada's figure skating team loses a valuable Francophone voice, and does not have a single French speaker on its Ice Dance team.
You made some fair points. The Bronze medal in Dance is the only decision that I disagreed with among the 17 Olympians. Not wanting to get into the specifics, I would say that I concur with many of your points.
Originally Posted by Ryan O
As for the lack of a Francophone voice, funny enough, that void was filled by Patrick Chan. At the press conference announcing Canada's FS Olympic team, it was Patrick who was tasked to give the speech in French. He did a fairly good job. At the end of the day, the Team's selection cannot be based off noble goals or intentions such as diversity. It should always be 100% based off meritocracy even though we know this isn't always true - just human nature. Among the rest of the Canadian team, Duhamel and Radford technically represent Quebec even though both are originally from Ontario. Duhamel is in fact a Francophone from Ontario and her French is excellent. Surprisingly though somewhat, Eric Radford's French is also very good, about as good as Patrick Chan. I haven't got the chance to ask Eric about it, can be a little awkward if it came out wrong but with those 2 and Patrick, Team Canada overall doesn't lack voice for the Francophone aspect at all. Incidentally, I never heard Paul Poirier spoken French before. Even back when he was with Vanessa Crone, it's always English - not sure if he even speaks it.
Of course Paul Poirier speaks French! He is a Francophone and went to French high school in Toronto (with Patrick Chan) . Yes, Patrick Chan is very good in French - almost as good as Paul Poirier. But he is not a Francophone. Chan's parents wanted him to learn both of Canada's official languages of English and French along with Chinese, which is very admirable!
Originally Posted by wallylutz
Included here is a long French interview Poirier did in 2011 when he was still with Vanessa Crone:
Constable , Costume Police
I thought Paul was studying linguistics ? If so , I'd be surprised if he didn't speak French.
But honestly, Ryan O.. none of your laundry list has anything to do with why people are ( or should be ) given a spot on the Olympic team.
Much of what you say is personal preference, including people's personalities and attractiveness ( or lack of same).
I don't think you should raise the last 2 years in particular. Yes, G/P placed ahead of P/I 1) in the year P/I were suffering from injury all through the competitive season and 2) last year when P/I had a disastrous fall in the FD... Those are the breaks .. but everyone who was following both teams should have known that healthy and without a fall , P/I should be competitive with G/P...and so should have known all bets should be off this year.. ( The same way most people would agree that G/P might have placed a bit higher at Worlds without their fall )... but at the same time, in both years previous to this , G/P were outrageously overmarked so as to put them really undeservedly close to both W/P and V/M... That was what people complained most about , not their marks compared to P/I's . Those marks tell you nothing about how they would or should have compared to P/I without extenuating circumstances... This competition was fair , and thankfully, no team was done any favours , or any slights . P/I earned their finish in the SD, FD and overall placement.
They know they'll have to work to try to keep it. They will have no illusions about the depth and strength of their competition... just as G/P knew they had to worry about P/I here. They knew P/I had been skating very well.
You're right that the final factors I listed (eg. attractiveness as a couple, Paul being a Francophone) were not reasons why G&P should be on the Olympic team. I just said those were additional reasons it was a loss not to have them on the team (particularly Poirier).
The reasons why I said G&P should have been on the podium were listed in the first part of my response where I compared the actual reasons and the programs the teams skated and their originality, choreography, techniques and previous rankings.
And yes, Paul is doing a degree in Linguistics. He grew up speaking 3 languages - English, French & Spanish (from his mother's side - she teaches Spanish in Toronto). WallyLutz didn't know Poirier was a Francophone so I included a French interview for those who want to see him speak French. It's a very extensive interview from 2011 with Giselle Quenneville of French TVO - she is used to interviewing the politicians in Ontario so she asks challenging questions and she interviewed Poirier because she does a program on Franco-Ontarians. Poirier has written about his Francophone background on his website, and both he and Patrick Chan have received awards from Etienne-Brulé school for promoting the French language in Canadian sports. Here is an article on Poirier & Chan from 2011:
One of the reasons people sometimes don't see Paul speaking French is because both his partners (Crone & Gilles) as well as his coach (Carol Lane) have all been Anglophones and so he speaks with them in English since they don't speak French.
Constable , Costume Police
Ryan O... I know you're a great fan of Paul Poirier and that's fine with me .There's a lot to admire about Paul.
Even in the first part of your post, I don't agree with your reasons.( I mean I don't think some of them should be reasons ) ...I like G/P's Hitchcock program much better that the programs they've had in the past. The content is greater this year, IMO.... I just don't see it as the work of genius that some would like to proclaim it to be. Though entertaining, and built on an original concept , for my taste , it's still a bit contrived in places... I certainly don't think that the program, itself, is a standout qualifier for a spot on the Olympic team.
OTOH, I don't find P/I's program boring at all. I find it filled with interesting movements , good speed , beautiful postions, lovely skating ,all performed to interesting music ... I don't object to some programs having a strong narrative , but it's not necessary to me . If the skating is good I can enjoy programs with strong narrative , subtle narrative , or none at all ...and I know many would agree with me . But again, that's a matter of preference.
Here's the thing.. Paul was not taken off the podium.. Paul , on his own, cannot earn a place on the ice dance podium , no matter what he skates to.... Every year he and his partner have to ( or should have to ) try to earn or keep a spot on the podium anew. This year, they didn't do it . For me , that was obvious in the skating of the two couples..Apparently , it was to the judges , too.... Next year , who knows ?
Paul does speak French, but I think Patrick speaks it better, more fluently. I had no idea Meagan and Eric spoke French too. When I have seen them interviewed on French Canadian tv, it was always in English, with the inverviewer translating afterwards.
As for the debate for third place, I too think the placement was correct. Even though I loved the innovative choreaography of G/P's program, and have found P/I a little boring in the past, their free dance this year (P/I) definitely made me a fan and deserved third place.
I have been a huge fan of piper and Paul since they started together, and I think they skated great here. Their program was truly unique but at this competition I was really blown away with the beautiful fluid movements of Alex and Mitch. They also appeared to have more speed and flow as well. Weaver/Poje should have won in my opinion, just fabulous. Virtue and moors program was just same old stuff again.
Forgot to mention that I wish they had televised the whole event instead of just the top flight. I wasn't very impressed with orford and Williams program this year.
Actually, he grew up speaking primarily English. He and his brothers were sent to French school to have a more comprehensive exposure to French. I think Paul was the only one that went to French high school and he started learning Spanish at the end of school and continued with studies in University.
Not taking away, just saying there are quite a few athletes that are trilingual, and many that speak two languages fluently.
Regarding G/P being taken off the podium: P/I skate was superior in edges, speed, fluidity and also had an absolutely stunning, difficult lift, and to my view, P/I have a great connection and chemistry on the ice which G/P do not even if they "have fun skating together". Seriously, interesting music does not make for stupendous choreography, and if it did, it is not a guarantee for a podium finish. Choreography is one component of many. P/I more than earned the spot.
G/P were correctly scored. Any sense of entitlement to a podium/olympic spot has more to do with ridiculously over marked performances the first two Nationals.
I was disappointed with Voirs program, seems like a repeat of 2010 and many others, storyline aside. Carmen would have been an incredible vehicle this year.
Originally Posted by from the sidelines
Paul and his brothers grew up speaking both languages in the house from childhood - his parents alternated between the two languages. Paul told this to me and a friend last year. His Father is a Francophone and his Mother speaks French too, but it's not her first language (English & Spanish are). I think you are right though that Paul was the only brother that took French all the way through high school as well - his brothers went to an English high school whereas he went to French high school (with Patrick Chan).
Originally Posted by wasabi
Paul identifies as a Francophone and as a Franco-Ontarian and he wrote an interesting piece in both languages on G&P's website last year. He has signed up to be on the Official Languages Committee of the 2015 Pan-Am Games that will be held in Toronto next year where he wants to promote the French language so that Francophones are well-represented:
I'll keep any eye on the ranking between Ralph & Hill and Orford & Williams in the future. I think Ralph & Hill did beat Orford & Williams in the Free Dance, and while it didn't change the rankings, it might mean the judges are considering placing them ahead overall down the road.
Originally Posted by Jade
I agree that the SD start order seemed somewhat unfair. I was there in person and I noticed it the moment I showed up. Ralph & Hill had to skate at the start of the 2nd-last flight which means that they were separated from the other top 5 dance teams. They are improving in their skating since they are the training mates of Gilles & Poirier, and with the expected retirement of Virtue & Moir (and maybe Weaver & Poje at some point) at least they will be able to get into the final flight next year.
G&P, R&H and O&W are all scheduled to be at 4 Continents next week so we will see how they all rank in relation to one another. Interestingly enough, the Dance competition at 4CC may be between G&P and the American team of Hubbell & Donohue (Piper's former partner!)
Constable , Costume Police
I think I'm correct in saying that the start order for the SD is seeded based on the current point standings of the competitors. Unfortunately for R/H, that's where they stood .. but it wasn't unfair. All the competitors are subject to the same rules. O/W benefited from having had more opportunity to earn points during the GP ( based on their finish at the previous nationals ). I felt bad for P/I and R/H both for their situations re: the GP this season ,but glad P/I at least were able to earn that host spot.
If V/M retire, R/H should be bumped up to 5th, and be eligible for GP assignments in the fall. The bad news is, that since the ISU has cut back on the number of competitors at each GP ,O/W and R/H might have to settle for only one assignment . ( Then on top of that, there are the rules as to which groups of skaters a host country must select from first, based again , on points.. )
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong .. I fear I'm right (ish), but would love to find out otherwise..
O/W were ahead of R/H in the SD by 1 point and .4 in the FD.
Originally Posted by Ryan O