What's happening to Italian pairs? | Page 2 | Golden Skate

What's happening to Italian pairs?

BlissfulSynergy

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Volodin's partnership with Hase is great, despite the meltdown FS here.
I never said otherwise. Hase/ Volodin faltered at Euros in the fp, but they are clearly 'class of the field.' H/V just need a bit of time to adjust to their new partnership, and frankly to believe in how good they are, and to bring it with greater confidence when the pressure is on.

Obviously, there are plenty of Russian coaches and skaters repping the U.S. too. No one is taking any individual Russians to task for their skill, desire and ambition. I do take exception to some of the conceit often exhibited by particular Russian coaches. But Russian culture is amazing, and Russia has undeniably contributed so many positives to figure skating.

However, the negative aspects of Russian influence regarding doping allegations do need to be condemned, as well as acknowledged by specific perpetrators (which obviously will never happen, due to sly deception and denial).
 

ladyjane

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LOL! But that sp of Conti/ Maci's is old. I would think they have 'tested' it quite enough already. 👀 All of the Italians, in every discipline except women, are frothing at the mouth to be on Olympic podiums in MILAN!!! And frankly, it's looking pretty d@ng good for Italians in ice dance, men's singles, and pairs for Milan. For sure, the Italians are hoping to be competitive in the team competition in Milan 2026. Matteo Rizzo is getting surgery after Euros this year in order to recover in time to be fit for the Olympics. Gabrielle Frangipani is gearing up to try and be a threat in Milan too.

Overall, I think it will be tough for either Rizzo or Frangipani to make the Olympic podium in men's singles, due to Quad God Malinin, Siao (Slay) Him Fa, the Japanese sublime quadster men, and magical Jun Hwan Cha, but the Italian guys certainly have a chance to be highly competitive. The pairs podium will be a battle in Milan (especially if all the Russian teams are back), but at least one Italian team could possibly medal due to political home advantage coupled with deserving talent. Ice dance should be a lock in Milan for Italians on the podium. There are no highly competitive Italian women figure skaters at the moment, but there are some prospects on the rise who could conceivably break the top ten in Milan.
Small thing, it's the FS from Conti/Maci that is old (from last year), not their SP!
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I was always a huge fan of DlM/G, and I was unlucky never see them live, so I am super happy that I will see Guarise with the new partner in Montreal, hopefully.
With all due respect to your love for Guarise's former partnership with Nicole Della Monica, but although Della Monica was very charming, she and Guarise could never quite make it to the top together internationally. Kudos to them for being 7-time Italian champions, and for winning medals on the GP, etc. Still, their style never especially evolved in a fresh or exciting way.

I think tough, sweet, handsome former model and roller skating champion, Matteo Guarise, has finally found his best figure skating partner, in Lucrezia Beccari, albeit at the advanced age of 35. It also took Deanna Stellato awhile to find her perfect match in Maxime DesChamps of Canada. And even Maxime went through a struggle with about 8 or 9 partners prior to achieving success with Deanna. At their ages, Guarise, Deanna, and Max are huge role models. I will be rooting for both teams, along with Hase/ Volodin, for 2024 Worlds. 🥳
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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Small thing, it's the FS from Conti/Maci that is old (from last year), not their SP!
Thanks, I thought it was the fp. LOL! I will correct my prior posts. Frankly, neither of Conti/Maci's programs this season are memorable or make much of a statement, which is probably one reason why I couldn't recall which was the one from last season. On the other hand, Ghilardi/ Ambrosini leveled up with exciting concepts and choreo this season, which help camouflage their weaknesses.
 

lariko

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With all due respect to your love for Guarise's former partnership with Nicole Della Monica, but although Della Monica was very charming, she and Guarise could never quite make it to the top together internationally. Kudos to them for being 7-time Italian champions, and for winning medals on the GP, etc. Still, their style never especially evolved in a fresh or exciting way.

I think tough, sweet, handsome former model and roller skating champion, Matteo Guarise, has finally found his best figure skating partner, in Lucrezia Beccari, albeit at the advanced age of 35. It also took Deanna Stellato awhile to find her perfect match in Maxime DesChamps of Canada. And even Maxime went through a struggle with about 8 or 9 partners prior to achieving success with Deanna. At their ages, Guarise, Deanna, and Max are huge role models. I will be rooting for both teams, along with Hase/ Volodin, for 2024 Worlds. 🥳
They couldn't make it to the top in the presence of the top Russians, Chinese along with German and French couples that were top notch...but I am happy that Guarise continues to skate so he can land his experience to Beccari and in the current way weakened field they would be quite the force. Even though they still miss jumps, heh.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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They couldn't make it to the top in the presence of the top Russians, Chinese along with German and French couples that were top notch...but I am happy that Guarise continues to skate so he can land his experience to Beccari and in the current way weakened field they would be quite the force. Even though they still miss jumps, heh.
Exactly! Indeed, it goes without saying that the presence of Russians, Chinese, German (i.e., Ukrainian-German-French juggernaut), as well as top Canadian pair D/R, and top French pair J/C who maximized their talent with the help of Zimmerman/Fontana camp in Florida, made it challenging for DM/Guarise to rise to the top.

OTOH, if DM/G had been able to further develop their skills, beyond what they were able to accomplish, their competition would not have been an insurmountable obstacle. In any case, DM/G did well enough, but they began to falter with their consistency (in part, probably due to physical limits complicated by injuries). Nicole was more than ready to retire by the time she called it quits and transitioned to coaching. I'm so happy for Matteo that he found another partner with whom he has been able to excel. And yes, as with all teams, Beccari/Guarise have lots of room to continue improving.
 

Anna K.

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@Anna K apparently meant to ask, "What happened to the top two Italian teams in Euros sp?"
In fact, I meant all 3 pairs because they finished SP upside down compared to last year's final result :laugh:
So there was a question, had C/M and G/A been so bad or B/G been so good? A team leader change, huh?

As for the competition, of course it's getting tougher after the laidback post-olympic season. Next year, it will get only toughest. However, if Italian pairs want to climb on that coveted home Olympic podium, they must stand the competition somehow. In a charming underdog way, maybe :laugh:
 

BlissfulSynergy

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The greatest thing that I see is the trend to employ former ice dancers as choreographers. Oh, are those programs awesome :love: I hope they will keep this trend regardless of what happens next.

What happens next is quite a question though. Five of six skaters that formed three pairs finishing in the top six this year are on the overtime of their careers and now they all have medals. It's about time for them to make their decisions if they want to continue till Olympics and beyond. They may decide not to.
FYI: It is far from being a new trend to see pairs teams using choreo by former ice dancers turned choreographers. Christopher Dean has been choreographing for skaters in all disciplines for years. It was the amazing success of John Kerr with James/Cipres circa 2016 - 2017 that helped popularize the recent creative cross-fertilization between ice dance and pairs. That along with the brilliant work of Christopher Dean for Savchenko/ Massot in the lead-up to the 2018 Olympics further heightened this exciting ice dance influence on pairs.

The excitement continued with the work of John and Sinead Kerr for the former Chelsea Liu/ Danny O'Shea partnership. It was the Kerrs who came up with that thrilling leg-around the-neck move in Liu/ O'Shea's programs in their first and only season. Adam Rippon is credited overall for L/O's brilliant sp, and the Kerrs created their fp. The leg-neck wrap move has been copied/ adapted by a number of pairs teams since then.

As well, Guillaume Cizeron made his choreographic debut with the sp he made for James/Ciprés. Charlie White made highly praised programs for J/C and Denney/ Frazier. Shae-Lynn Bourne worked with J/C before their retirement, and Shae has since done wonderful work for Knierim/ Frazier. Obviously, M-F Dubreuil, Pasquale Camerlengo, Kaitlyn Weaver, and Massimo Scali, among other former ice dancers, have been doing amazing choreo for awhile now.

As another poster already noted, the Italians are far from thinking of retiring. They are all loaded for bear and focused on peaking for Milano 2026! 🥳
 

BlissfulSynergy

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In fact, I meant all 3 pairs because they finished SP upside down compared to last year's final result :laugh:
So there was a question, had C/M and G/A been so bad or B/G been so good? A team leader change, huh?

As for the competition, of course it's getting tougher after the laidback post-olympic season. Next year, it will get only toughest. However, if Italian pairs want to climb on that coveted home Olympic podium, they must stand the competition somehow. In a charming underdog way, maybe :laugh:
But as you can see from everyone's responses, nothing particularly 'happened' to any Italian pair team. It is just the usual transitional chaos of the pairs discipline, plus unpredictable developments. The short answer already given is the best answer: the top Italian teams from last season have unresolved weaknesses, and new very skilled teams have formed, filling the gap in European pairs depth in the aftermath of the Russian ban.

It was only a matter of time before Beccari/ Guarise would strengthen their partnership. I could see how much promise they had when I saw their first competition. For me, the fact that B/G have improved to take the lead among the Italian teams is not a surprise, albeit I did not necessarily expect their total upending of the other teams to occur this season. Of course, B/G are not going to dominate at this stage, but at least there's parity. Still, I have been pointing out for awhile that I prefer B/G over C/M and G/A. But C/M were receiving a bit of favor from the judges. Now, the judges appear to be rating C/M more reasonably in line with their weaknesses. Granted that C/M are also less consistent, and exude less confidence. G/A have been fortunate to get assistance with programs that accentuate their strengths.
 

Anna K.

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Not to forget that Christopher Dean choreographed WL/D free skate this year. It looked like a bit too big shoes to fill for this pair right now. However, the fact that they have such artistic ambition is a very promising sign. I'll keep watching them ;)
As for Italians, cross-discipline choreo feels like breathing for them right now.

Yes, I suppose that B/G can still progress and improve their partnership. The best of them is yet to be seen.
G/A are fighters. They proved it last year and they proved it this year. I'm looking forward to what they will come up next with, choreography-wise and otherwise.
C/M have apparently chosen to move to their goal in small steps. I actually liked their SP but they need to do something about the athletic side of it. Also, they need new programs to prove that they are still relevant artistically. Or, other teams will be too far ahead of them to keep their dream alive.
The best of luck to all three pairs. It will be exciting to watch how the things will develop, including the inner competition of Italian pairs.
 

Skater Boy

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What is happening to Italians in Pairs. Well they have three strong teams that appear stronger in light of Russia not competing and as luck would have it China, USA and Canada not having their strongest teams in years. This allows them to become huge threats. They are good teams but make not mistake a lot has to do with timing and who else is competing.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Not to forget that Christopher Dean choreographed WL/D free skate this year. It looked like a bit too big shoes to fill for this pair right now. However, the fact that they have such artistic ambition is a very promising sign. I'll keep watching them ;)
As for Italians, cross-discipline choreo feels like breathing for them right now.

Yes, I suppose that B/G can still progress and improve their partnership. The best of them is yet to be seen.
G/A are fighters. They proved it last year and they proved it this year. I'm looking forward to what they will come up next with, choreography-wise and otherwise.
C/M have apparently chosen to move to their goal in small steps. I actually liked their SP but they need to do something about the athletic side of it. Also, they need new programs to prove that they are still relevant artistically. Or, other teams will be too far ahead of them to keep their dream alive.
The best of luck to all three pairs. It will be exciting to watch how the things will develop, including the inner competition of Italian pairs.
Please spell out skaters' names prior to using initials only. I can't readily recall who you meant by WL/D. Just now I realize you mean British team Vaipan-Law/ Digby ( V-L/D). Thank you.

That's a good team to point out. I recall the familiar British commentator (whose name I do not remember) noting that Anastasia/Luke's programs were choreographed by Chris Dean. 😍 How fortunate and deserving for them. Sadly, they were a bit full of nerves in the fp, but they are developing quite well and making progress internationally. I enjoy their skating, and I love their style!
 

lariko

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What is happening to Italians in Pairs. Well they have three strong teams that appear stronger in light of Russia not competing and as luck would have it China, USA and Canada not having their strongest teams in years. This allows them to become huge threats. They are good teams but make not mistake a lot has to do with timing and who else is competing.
Canadians could be in it if they found/imported a better partner for Pereira (a wistful sigh) ... but there is a few really good junior teams too.
 

Anna K.

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Please spell out skaters' names prior to using initials only. I can't readily recall who you meant by WL/D. Just now I realize you mean British team Vaipan-Law/ Digby ( V-L/D). Thank you.

That's a good team to point out. I recall the familiar British commentator (whose name I do not remember) noting that Anastasia/Luke's programs were choreographed by Chris Dean. 😍 How fortunate and deserving for them. Sadly, they were a bit full of nerves in the fp, but they are developing quite well and making progress internationally. I enjoy their skating, and I love their style!
My bad.
This pair is relatively new to the international field so I have not learned their names yet :biggrin:
They definitely caught my eye though. Last year it was because of their nice big throws and this year it was the choreography.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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What is happening to Italians in Pairs. Well they have three strong teams that appear stronger in light of Russia not competing and as luck would have it China, USA and Canada not having their strongest teams in years. This allows them to become huge threats. They are good teams but make not mistake a lot has to do with timing and who else is competing.
Some of what you say makes sense. However, you are very wrong in saying that China, USA, and Canada "not having strongest teams in years." 🙄

First of all, China, USA, and Canada do not compete at Euros. They compete at 4CCs. To my understanding, this conversation began with a query specific to the results of Italian pairs teams at 2023 and 2024 Europeans.

There was only one Italian team at Worlds in 2023, because Italian pairs did not compete at Worlds in 2022. Conti/ Maci were popular with the judges last season, plus their Euros win helped them at Worlds. I personally felt C/M were over-rated and should not have been in 3rd after the sp at Worlds 2023. But the judges liked them. With Deanna/ Max faltering in the fp, the judges were aided in keeping C/M in 3rd for the bronze.

Since Sui/Han's retirement, China is no longer strong in pairs. However, the new pairing of Peng/Wang should not be ignored. If they manage to develop difficulty and consistency, they will need to be reckoned with among top contenders for 2026 Olympics.

U.S. pairs discipline has lost a number of veteran teams, including 2022 World champions Knierim/ Frazier; Cain/LeDuc; Calalang/Johnson, et al. Plus, Chan/Howe -- 5th at 2023 Worlds -- were out with injury early in the season. Still, the U.S. has promising new pairings and a lot more teams than there are available assignments. Don't scoff at how competitive U.S. pairs teams may soon again become.

Two Canadian pairs teams just competed at 2023 GPF. One of those teams will be a strong contender for gold at 2024 Worlds. Plus, those same teams placed 4th and 6th respectively at 2023 Worlds. Since Canada's James/ Radford won the bronze medal and deserved the silver at 2022 Worlds, I think Skate Canada has barely missed a beat in their pairs rebuilding process post 2018 Olympics.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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Canadians could be in it if they found/imported a better partner for Pereira (a wistful sigh) ... but there is a few really good junior teams too.
Huh? What? 🤭 It's actually Lia Peirera who was recruited for Trennt Michaud to finally have a well-matched partner. Don't mistake Trennt faltering a bit at Canadian Nationals for them not being a good team together. After all, they won gold at 2023 GP France; and silver (which arguably should have been gold) at 2023 Skate America. This team, as new partners in their 2023 Worlds debut, placed 6th. What better partner could Peirera have I wonder?!

You should realize that Trennt is one of the best pairs guys in the world. No one is perfect all the time. But his skills are right up there. Maybe sometimes he has trouble wrapping his head around what an outstanding partner he now has in Lia. No one should underestimate P/M's growth potential and competitive abilities.
 

lariko

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Huh? What? 🤭 It's actually Lia Peirera who was recruited for Trennt Michaud to finally have a well-matched partner. Don't mistake Trennt faltering a bit at Canadian Nationals for them not being a good team together. After all, they won gold at 2023 GP France; and silver (which arguably should have been gold) at 2023 Skate America. This team, as new partners in their 2023 Worlds debut, placed 6th. What better partner could Peirera have I wonder?!

You should realize that Trennt is one of the best pairs guys in the world. No one is perfect all the time. But his skills are right up there. Maybe sometimes he has trouble wrapping his head around what an outstanding partner he now has in Lia. No one should underestimate P/M's growth potential and competitive abilities.
I saw them twice this year in Sk Am and in Nationals, and I felt that Michaud was the weak link both times. I absolutely adored Peirera's charge/attack and crispness. If Michaud was strong, they should have been ahead of Stelatto etc. I dunno what happened to Nazarychev...but I wish someone had found his phone number...
 

skatingguy

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I saw them twice this year in Sk Am and in Nationals, and I felt that Michaud was the weak link both times. I absolutely adored Peirera's charge. If he was strong, they should have been ahead of Stelatto etc. I dunno what happened to Nazarychev...but I wish someone found his phone number...
I think he's too worried about her in the side-by-side elements, and needs to focus on himself to get those elements completed. I'm hoping we see better skates at Worlds, but I wouldn't be surprised if takes until next season for things to even out between them. These are often the growing pains of new pairs teams.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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I saw them twice this year in Sk Am and in Nationals, and I felt that Michaud was the weak link both times. I absolutely adored Peirera's charge/attack and crispness. If Michaud was strong, they should have been ahead of Stelatto etc. I dunno what happened to Nazarychev...but I wish someone had found his phone number...
Once again, if you are not familiar with Trennt's overall career as a pairs skater, then you are missing a lot in terms of his abilities and his trajectory in the sport. I have been watching Trennt since juniors. As I said, he is seemingly adjusting to suddenly having a stellar, unflappable partner. Previously, Trennt was seemingly used to compensating for, supporting, guiding, and making the best of things with a partner who did not fully match his stellar abilities. He rarely made mistakes in his previous pairing. He was always the solid, consistent one.

Apparently, you did not see P/M at GP France, where they won gold. For sure, Lia Pereira is a talented, classy, on-the-money boss. Trennt needs to buck up, yes, but he has the chops to get his shizz together. Plus, let's be honest that no one in a pairs partnership is perfect all the time. Support, trust, patience, loyalty, understanding, and communication are key factors in succeeding.

ETA:
P/M's partnership is too new for them to currently surpass the obviously superior abilities of Stellato/DesChamps. When top teams make nervous or tense mistakes, you really need to look closely at what they do exceedingly well and with great ease. S/D stun on their 3-twist, lifts, death spiral, footwork, and choreo sequence. Their spins are good, and they can land beautiful sbs jumps and throws. It's just that the jump elements are usually the main ones teams falter on when they are tight.
 
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BlissfulSynergy

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I think he's too worried about her in the side-by-side elements, and needs to focus on himself to get those elements completed. I'm hoping we see better skates at Worlds, but I wouldn't be surprised if takes until next season for things to even out between them. These are often the growing pains of new pairs teams.
Yep, this often happens, especially for new pairings. Trennt needs to break the habit he's probably accustomed to of constantly checking on his partner.
Another recent example in ice dance is Olivia Smart and Tim Dieck. Olivia is seemingly trying to adjust to skating with a new partner. She often appears worried about him, which leads to her making mistakes.

Lia and Trennt were quite clean at 2023 Worlds, where they placed 6th. They also performed well at 2023 4CCs, where they placed 4th.
 
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