I was saddened to read about Shpilevaya and Smirnov because I thought they had finally found a style they could develop -- one that was a bit on the naughty if not a bit sleazy side (in a showmanship kind of way) that was both daring and different. Looked them up on Wiki and discovered that Shpilevaya had been hospitalized recently with Covid-19, which was a pivotal factor in their breakup. I do hope she doesn't suffer any long-term damages from the infection (and nobody knows yet what those potential damages might even be) and hope that everyone is social distancing and washing their hands and wearing masks. It makes a huge difference.
Sending her good thoughts and prayers.
Also sad to read about Uncle Sergei, whose perseverance was just awe-inspiring. I'll miss feeling just a bit younger because Uncle S was out there quading his big heart out.
Good luck to Yu Xiaoyu and Wang Lei! I hope this new partnership will prove to be redemptive for Yu. She is an exquisite figure skater. Hopefully, she will be able to reinvigorate and renew her passion for skating so that it comes to full life again on the ice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk5t8OAVUNo Yu/Zhang 2018-19 Chinese Nationals sp
The music for this short program and the choreo are great. Yu/Zhang weren't active internationally that season so this is the first time I've seen this program. The partnership didn't get off to a great start emotionally, but they were well-suited physically. It was Zhang's age, injuries and the circumstances around their partnering which seemed to hamper their success.
Oh, and the reports are that Wang Lei's former partner, Xuehan Wang, retired due to injury. So that's how Wang Lei became available to partner with Yu. How fortunate for Yu since finding an appropriate partner is so difficult. Wang/Wang had been around for awhile but never broke through in a big way. Wang Lei is in his early 30s, but hopefully still fit so that he and Yu can combine for a beautiful partnership within a limited time frame.
It was previously reported that Chelsea Liu who went to China to partner with Xie Zhong, has since split with Zhong, as he has retired. The little I'd seen of Liu/Zhong, they were still getting into the swing of things as partners and hadn't really meshed yet. Has Chelsea returned to the U.S. or does she still have a contract to fulfill in China? I wonder if she's going to try and continue with pairs, as she's still fairly young. She looked to have a promising opportunity with Ian Meyh representing the U.S. In 2018-19, Liu/Meyh were first at the Bavarian Open, and 11th at U.S. Nationals -- they looked good together. But Chelsea must have gotten a good offer from the Chinese federation at the end of that season.
Meanwhile, Ian Meyh is currently partnered with Nica Digerness in Colorado under Sappenfield. Nica had split with Danny Neudecker, who partnered with Sasha Fakhroutdinov, also in Colorado. I believe Nica is still recovering from an injury, but she seems to be a good physical match with Ian.