Saturday, April 13, 2013

Curve lifts

When I watch this lift, I see that Tessa's foot may have briefly touched the ice immediately before she is put back on her feet.

It's a CoP world now. Details count. Perhaps that's why Davis White's lift got better GOE. We know how GOE is determined. Was something fractionally imperfect in something VM did? Strip points!

Did DW skate without falling on their face? They win.

We can see that DW's curve lift is equal to VM's in difficulty. And GOE is better.

But why not look at a few things. Screen caps, then gifs.

Charlie's arms, his torso vis a vis Meryl's torso. His right arm completely encircles her trunk. But her legs need support. And his left hand is not just between her legs supporting them, but his bicep and shoulder is braced against her leg. Plus his torso. And, you know, his face. And her right arm is around his trunk, just below his shoulders. 

I love the big deal she's making of her free arm. Her trunk, her legs, everything actually engaged in the move is pasted to Charlie. But look ma - left arm is waving.

You know what I notice? How Charlie has her arms yanked back which keeps her chest up. She's not doing it - how they got into the movement is fucked up, so she's in no position - literally - to manage her own body. It's a pure force move - she's got her right arm clinging to him but the rest is fucked up. There's no technique here at all.

I'm curious about that left foot of hers, particularly what the toe pick is doing. I don't know if there's video from behind, so we can see what's happening with her left toe pick.

Both damn arms yanked back by both of Charlie's arms, and, again, seriously with the toe pick.

What does GOE even mean in a lift when the mechanics are this trash heap.

I don't get why this has anything above L1. Her fucking crotch is straddling his fully planted skate boot. There is no skating skill demonstrated here. He's leaning the other way. He's got her left arm fully yanked in as he leans in the opposite direction. She's full on theatre with the right arm and the head, but the arm and the head are showing off what? That she can elevate her limbs around her damn pelvis? Shit, so can I.  He's the one holding her in that position - she's not.

And now for a gif (we've already seen the exit of this thing screen capped).

What do you think? The left foot touches the ice or no?

I am still grounding all of this in the rulebook. "Level of difficulty" is obviously whatever they want it to be, as far as the ISU is concerned. 

The next gif will go back to the DW spin, and I'm curious. If the guy's skate boot butts up against the instep of his partner's skate boot for more than one rotation in a spin, does that matter?


  1. What a joke when you look at the mechanics of those lifts.

    I'm not as good at describing this as the blogger... but Charlie hoists Meryl in the air, legs up, then flips her downwards - following the same trajectory, the same arc - then she collapses down his leg as he supports her by dangling, until she finally falls out of it (the "dismount").

    What the mother. fuck.

    I know she's skinny but his arm must hurt because she's not supporting herself at all.

    In fact, his arm is basically working like one of Oksana's "bungee cords" as they've been called on this blog. Ouch.

    Scott enters his lift in a spread eagle, squatting as Tessa leaps upwards. Tessa has some agency here. She can actually move on her own. And you won't often catch D&W both changing position at the same time, because they can't stabilize themselves. When Tessa is first being lifted, shes facing him, but he quickly flips her into the opposite direction, then basket tosses her - right to the beat of the music (D&W added bell sound effects later - of fucking course).

    Tessa's position in the air during the toss is flawless, fully arched and extended. Mid-air, she's SUPPORTING HERSELF BETTER THAN MERYL DOES WHILE SHE'S PRACTICALLY WIPING THE FLOOR. Bitch can LEVITATE.


    Oh, but they're not done. She quickly changes her trajectory a second time, now facing the opposite direction, puts her hand on Scott's boot, again quickly hitting a great position.

    If the point is "fast" then doesn't fast mean having your lift be one fluid motion, in which you also are hitting correct positions in every moment? Rather than just flipping over in one motion and never holding still til the very end?

    This entire photo essay from Canadian Nationals is amazing to see how perfect they look in stills and notice things you don't because they move so fast across the ice:

    1. The sad part is how the judges and the ISU and the commentators exploit the "speed" so as not to notice what Meryl and Charlie are doing is crap, but also so as not to notice how brilliant Scott and Tessa are. I'm as pissed off at the commentary low balling and beside-the-pointing of the remarks about Scott and Tessa as they execute their moves as I am by the "listen to what I say about it don't look at how it was done and what you saw" that characterizes what's said about Meryl and Charlie.

  2. My vote is that Meryl's toepick touched the ice. It looks like her foot bounces in that moment, and I think the only place that toepick could have been was the ice.

    Another thing I noticed about the lifts: Charlie's blades are once again wobbling like a Weeble. Scott's are solid and steady, just like always.

    1. I think it's good to notice Charlie's edges and alignment. These two (Meryl and Charlie) are a real chicken-and-egg situation.

      But we know what a "great male/problematic female" look like, and it's Tanith & Ben. When there's a significant gap in the abilities of a team, you can tell who's weaker. This isn't as common a situation as maybe people think.

  3. "I'm not as good at describing this as the blogger... but Charlie hoists Meryl in the air, legs up, then flips her downwards - following the same trajectory, the same arc - then she collapses down his leg as he supports her by dangling, until she finally falls out of it (the "dismount")."

    Yes. As she falls down his leg he's got her arms yanked back at the shoulders because apparently she can't keep a position while in motion. Even still, it appears as if her toe pick hits the ice on the descent.

    The 'position' she's in features her pelvis riding on Charlie's skate boot. There's no position variation - it's as elementary as it gets - face down, legs behind. Lest this is too complex, Charlie continues to keep her chest/head/torso open and elevated by yanking back her left arm(and thus obviously nailing Meryl's pelvis in place - she's not doing it herself, unlike Tessa).

    It's remarkable - the ordinary positions Meryl and Charlie achieve and how much bracing and buttressing they require even to manage those.

    I think anybody who's taken a yoga class knows just how "tough" it is to follow a single trajectory until you land on your pelvis and balance there. OMG, I think Grandma needed a massage after class last week.

    Then their idea of an exit is to have Meryl just slide off Charlie's foot, the length of both legs splayed on the ice, then have him haul her to her feet. And she still needs to kneel.

  4. tessa's blade never touches the ice before she is put down? also this is the closest ice dance can get to throwing their partners up in the air. isu cannot appreciate the difficulty

  5. I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I'm voting for toe pick touchdown. As 6:41 pointed out, there's a bounce. Do we seriously think Meryl would have enough control and presence of mind to not let it go until it hit something?

    This lift makes me the most angry of anything you've put up I think. Seriously ISU, why don't you just allow piggybacking as an option?

    1. I think Meryl's toe pick did touch down. There's definitely a bounce. I'm not sure it could be for any other reason.

      Geez, could the judging have been more blatantly fixed?

    2. It's obvious Meryl doesn't feel any need to control her legs - the knees wildly bent, no control at the hips, and her trajectory is muscled by Charlie who has her in a complete girdle grip every time, every lift. Apparently all the judges care about is that Meryl eventually punches into her pose and sticks an arm out. How she gets there and how she gets out and how she's being supported and how hard it actually is is not something that factors into the scoring.

      The curve lift in particular is a freaking insult - flip her upside down only after not just putting your arm between her legs and the other completely encircling her trunk, but pasted to your own torso. Then when she's flipped, just drop her the hell down on your boot while you keep her upper arms yanked back (I mean look at that - shouldn't the woman keep her own freaking chest open for that part?). Maybe she'll keep the boot of her toe off the ice, maybe not (she did at the US Championships, I think she obviously didn't at Worlds - and got better GOE than VM). Her pelvis is stuck on your boot, and to "exit" just have her slide off onto the ice the full length of her leg. She gets up on one knee is hauled up. Even the one knee part is a what the fuck. Does she have no core at ALL?

      It's not just the toe pick. It's her shoulders being forced/yanked back by Charlie. It's just letting her drop the last few inches - thunk. Then the exist which is slide on the ice and be dragged to your feet.

      It really is Skating While Davis White. It doesn't matter how simplified your elements are. It doesn't matter how careless the execution.

      It's an insult to every ice dance team out there, not just Scott and Tessa.



  6. I do not want to sound coarse here, but the way Meryl bounces on Charlies leg is reminiscent of a bunch of teenagers getting to know each other.

    1. When I was reading the biometrics and biomechanics of figure skating articles linked earlier on the blog, there was a section on the mechanics of a basic pairs lift - the press lift (I think the most elementary press lift has the partners facing opposite directions (counter balancing), and a more difficult variation has them facing the same way.

      The reason this is a basic lift is because the woman's pelvis is balanced via her hands pressed directly in front of her pelvis onto her partner's hands. The pelvis, this physics article tells, is where her center of gravity, center of balance resides. It's her strongest point.

      Here Meryl and Charlie's lift is rated equal to Scott and Tessa's - Jesus Christ. So it's a matter of being clean and then the GOE.

      Meryl is what - 3 inches off the ice? Her pelvis riding on Charlie's skate boot. He's got her arm yanked back to hold up her trunk and nail her pelvis to his boot. The exit is her sliding onto the fucking ice the length of both of her legs, crawling into a genuflect position (with Charlie's help) and getting hauled to her feet.

      Mother of God, this sport is DIRTY. And everybody knows it. All those (in the US or Canada) commenting who know better - the Eurosport guys, Tracy Wilson, PJ Kwong, Kurt Browning, Tanith, Andrea Joyce - act like someone has threatened to kill their dog if they don't play along.

    2. "Mother of God, this sport is DIRTY. And everybody knows it. All those (in the US or Canada) commenting who know better - the Eurosport guys, Tracy Wilson, PJ Kwong, Kurt Browning, Tanith, Andrea Joyce - act like someone has threatened to kill their dog if they don't play along."

      Makes me wonder when precisely during the season Scott and Tessa realized DW had been awarded the season, in spite of the brilliance of Carmen.

      I'm positive by Worlds they knew. They knew they were not going to win. Bravo to Scott and Tessa for putting it all out there and then going around with smiles and kind words.

      I'm so angry at the commenting. So angry to see the same-old corrupt judging that I thought was a thing of the past. So angry the exceptionally exquisite skating of VM is being called equal to such inferior elements and skating as we're seeing in DW.

    3. Did anybody see Robin Cousin's commentary for the BB? He's usually a good judge of quality...I would be interested to see what he to say about the two performances at Worlds.

    4. Make that Robin Cousin's commentary for the BBC...

  7. it should be impossible for an inferior team such as d/w to beat our olympic champions. fucking usfs and isu

    1. It should be impossible for an inferior team to even be in the top ten, what with their total absence of basic skating skills. They're like the Surya Bonaly of ice dance: big "tricks", but they can't even do something basic like stroking. Disgusting.

    2. That's a good analogy - they're the Surya Bonaly of ice dance.

      Except even the supposed big tricks are the Emporer's New Clothes. Think about it. What big tricks are they doing?


    3. Exactly...their so-called tricks are cheated, in the same way Surya Bonaly always cheated her jumps.