Vanessa James & Eric Radford | Golden Skate

Vanessa James & Eric Radford

gsk8

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Vanessa James of Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford (Balmertown, Ont.) have formed a new skating partnership and will compete for Canada in the pairs discipline beginning the 2021-22 season. Both skaters have previously competed internationally with different partners, James representing France and Radford on the Canadian national team. Coaches are Julie Marcotte and Ian Connolly.

Vanessa James was born September 27, 1987, in Scarborough, Ont. With former partner Morgan Cipres, she is a 2019 European Champion, the 2018 World bronze medalist, the 2017 European bronze medalist, the 2018 Grand Prix Final champion and a six-time French national champion.
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Eric Radford was born January 27, 1985, in Balmertown, Ont. With former partner Meagan Duhamel, he is a two-time world champion (2015, 2016), a 2018 Olympic gold medalist in the team event, a 2014 Olympic silver medalist in the team event, a 2018 Olympic bronze medalist in the pairs event, a two-time Four Continents champion (2013, 2015), the 2014–15 Grand Prix Final champion, and a seven-time Canadian national champion (2012–18).
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elbkup

I AM a soul; I HAVE a body..
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Mar 3, 2015
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Good Luck to this newly formed outstanding pairing!! I would see them in any show with or without medals but cannot wait for their first competition and the first glimpses of their partnership in progress. May your skates have wings!!
 

BlissfulSynergy

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skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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Aug 12, 2014
I really can't wait to see Vanessa and Eric skate together. I think they're going to be awesome -- with a sparkle that's also so resonant with anyone who's ever thought they were "finished" with a certain pathway, but who find that they're at the beginning of a whole new chapter -- a whole new vision and a whole new inspiration.

I am by and large okay with the "off season" and was thinking I'd be happy to wait until August or September for new skating, but now I'm actively egging on the season. I just think Vanessa and Eric will add a whole new dimension to pairs skating. I'm particularly happy for Vanessa, since she thought she'd retired, and it hadn't been her choice or anything she could control. However, she kept her positive outlook and her openness and sunny personality, et voila -- who'd have thought this opportunity with Eric would appear? Plus, Eric gets to express a more lyrical and musical side to his skating.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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Aug 12, 2014
Here's a little clip of Vanessa and Eric's training, posted 1 day ago, He says training is going "fantastic."

What makes me so happy is to see the symmetry in their skating; their movements are so harmonious and together, and it seems to me the harmony is from the inside out. It's just lovely to see them express something new for each of them.
 

ladyjane

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Here's a little clip of Vanessa and Eric's training, posted 1 day ago, He says training is going "fantastic."

What makes me so happy is to see the symmetry in their skating; their movements are so harmonious and together, and it seems to me the harmony is from the inside out. It's just lovely to see them express something new for each of them.
Did you forget to include the clip? I would really love to see it. :)
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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Sep 1, 2020
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Mars

Yep, I came here to post the same. Here's my cross-post from the Pairs Worldwide thread:

James/Radford are looking good on and off-ice:

How lovely -- so good looking together
It's nice too that their partnership is centered on friendship, professionalism and mutual goals, with no personal romance involved between them. That's another reason why it will be interesting to see how they approach their choreo and program selection.

The technique on the twist looks quite different here for Vanessa. I believe she got higher in the air formerly. But this twist looks good and I see that Vanessa utilizes a pretty arms akimbo position while twisting in the air. As commenters note: James/Radford have a similar style already, and their movement quality looks 'so easy and natural.' They 'flow' together with such 'grace.' And their long lines are to-die-for. They have a long line quality similar to Cain-Gribble/LeDuc.

Interesting in the Canadian skating thread that posters mentioned how Phil Hersh posted on Twitter his prediction about James/Radford having a great shot for Olympic gold.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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Mars
More practice footage I found:



Both of those clips show throws...

Here's a brief clip of sbs salchows:
These jumps are very much in unison and executed close together too

I think this clip is of sbs triple toes:
Again, close together with very good unison

I realize actual competition will tell us more because it is more pressurized than training practices. Still, they look very good together, and appear to be making great progress. There seems something sympatico in their partnership. In one funny practice clip where they tumbled together while practicing a unique, low to the ice move, their coach, Julie Marcotte commented: "Even with mistakes, they are so smooth together."

I can't find clips of any lift practices, but someone said on social media that Vanessa had posted some Insta-stories showing her and Eric doing some time of lift preparation exercises off-ice. Vanessa has always been very creative with lift ideas, so combined with Julie Marcotte's creative vision, it will be very interesting to see their end product re lifts.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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Mars
The technique on the twist looks quite different here for Vanessa. I believe she got higher in the air formerly.
So I looked at a prior James/Cipres performance to try and compare the 3-twists. J/C's 3-twist is a bit higher in the air and at a more lateral angle. It is not completely lateral, and not as high as the best, effortless triple twists in the world, e.g., of Calalang/Johnson; the Knierims, and Knierim/Frazier, plus many of the Russian teams. Still, J/C worked hard on developing a well-executed and top-notch 3-twist with great consistency.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQeoowppY48/ 3-twist of James/Radford
Although sufficiently high, it is not as high as the best in the world, but the smooth, perfect execution is quite pleasing to the eye!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZnWFHvsAr4 3-twist of James/Cipres @ 0:50
Another beautifully executed 3-twist, with greater amplitude and more lateral positioning
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014

Gorgeous. It also shows Vanessa doing sort of a flowing "arms-akimbo" variation, starting with her arms over her head and ending with hands at her hips, during the long running edge out of the throw. So lovely! ❤️ :love: It adds interest, while at the same time showcasing how long she holds the edge. I wonder if she's (or they are) developing "arms akimbo" as a sort of trademark -- I didn't notice it in the twist till you mentioned it.

The word that keeps coming up for me with Vanessa and Eric is "smooth." Still, they are so much more than just smooth; it's like they're connected emotionally and psychically, so that even when something unplanned happens, they react similarly with their movements. (Mishina/Galliamov did this even in the K&C at Worlds!)

It reminds me of something that Sergei Voronov said in a recent interview. He did some research and homework in preparing to help with Tarasova/Morozov's coaching. He said that Sergei Grinkov had taken the art of unison to its highest degree. (I agree with him that it was often Sergei who followed Katia's moves.) And then he said the result was that G&G made even the simplest moves seem like magic! 💞 I so agree!
 
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