Monday, September 22, 2014

Split Post Part 2

The comments section in the post below this one is getting hefty again, so the post has been split to open a new comments section. There should be a new post at some point this week.

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P.S. - About twitter sightings and other social media fakery:

Who has Jessica Dube dated since her sham stint ended after Worlds 2012? She's not sharing on her facebook, when her facebook used to chronicle every step she took with Scott Moir. Even after it was restricted, her profile picture did the job. How come when she was "dating Scott Moir" she was spotted thither and yon according to fans, not just with Scott, but in full make out? Since her sham stint terminated, she's been on Battle of the Blades, a program that has more of an audience than any single program Jessica ever skated in her competitive career. She works at Journey to Excel, in the  high profile city of Toronto. She attended fashion week last year. Are we to presume Jessica Dube hasn't been on a date since she was replaced in the sham by Cassandra Hilborn? She's invisible now? Where are the lower ranked skaters who admire her, where are the people whose aunts know her sister and are at the same wedding as Jessica, what happened to various fans who claimed to recognize her in bars or restaurants or airports? Where were the sightings around the BOTB venue and the Journey to Excel facilities?

David Pelletier has a womanizing reputation thanks to getting with Jamie while still married to his first wife. Has he become a monk? He's been on BOTB as well, as a competitor (and won) and on the sidelines. He's on twitter. Did he have plastic surgery to change his appearance? Is there a vow of celibacy? How come he hasn't been "spotted" with anyone since Tessa moved on with Ryan Semple? For that matter, how come all of those people who "spotted" Tessa and Pelletier never had their phones or cameras with them, but the people who "spot" Tessa now so often do? Who is David dating?

Then there's Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They wore gold medals in Sochi and stood on top of the podium. They were stars of one of ABC's top-rated programs and Meryl Davis was announced as the winner. The program had fun keeping Davis fans guessing about her relationship with Maks (and boy did Maks bolt from that the second the show ended, even if it meant people had to think he was getting with JLo). Thanks to frequent close-ups of her in the audience and frequent shout-outs by Charlie, Tanith Belbin's profile rose as well. They're publicly engaged. Where are all the tweets telling us that Charlie and Tanith are right here in this restaurant? Meryl Davis and Charlie are such stars, the paps stalked them to the group vacation they took with the DWTs pros and papped Charlie/Tanith's engagement canoodling. Is Meryl in the same religious order as David Pelletier? She's never out with a guy. Nobody ever sees her with Fedor.

I think she's not seen with Fedor because fans don't WANT her to be with Fedor, so they don't make it up. And because thus far, her relationship with Fedor is by implication only, not ramped up like Tessa and Scott, so Meryl isn't causing it to be done (unlike how the pap stuff on the post-DWTs vacation was - a set up).

I just find it amazing that Tessa is spotted out and about so consistently with Ryan Semple, when she went years without ever being spotted by people on social media, not even when she "dated" Ryan Semple in the past. She gets a twitter account and - voila! She's spotted with him all the time, and it's documented with photos. Was she just not famous enough before she joined twitter?

Has Scott, the guy who partied so hard he was said to be a creepy, coked up hooligan this past spring, reformed so much he never goes out anymore? How can he go so long without being "spotted" #greatpeople, #goldmedalistsx2, #staycool. Or is he just so in love he and Kaitlyn never leave the hotel?

Tessa gets a twitter; suddenly it's Tessa who is being spotted left and right. Before she got twitter, she must have been invisible at every wedding, restaurant, bar, and next day event at both TIFF and fashion week. She gets twitter, suddenly every random on the street can spot her blocks away. Scott's facebook worked the same way. So did Jessica's.

I'm also curious about when Ryan Semple became more famous than Scott Moir. Someone tweeted that her sister was at a wedding, seated at the same table as Scott and Tessa. Why didn't the sister whip out her phone and commemorate the honor, since it was exciting enough to pass on to her sibling? How come this only happens when it's Scott/Kaitlyn or Tessa/Ryan? 

202 comments:

  1. Guess you had better adjust the pictures on the front of the blog, it was wrong.....like a few other things on this blog

    """Although eligible, they have declined their funding available from Sport Canada and Own the Podium, thereby allowing several other athletes to benefit.""


    http://www.skatecanada.ca/2014/09/virtue-and-moir-announce-plans-for-2014-2015-season/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I love when people come in and post things who obviously haven't bothered to read anything....

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    2. yes so do I.....She knows who I am she can check the IP of the posters.

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    3. Hey 6pm, it's Skate Canada that's wrong. Read below.

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  2. 6:28 in the last post, I'm replying here: "5:50 How can you tell?" There's a clock under each photo with a date. Other photos link to a twitter or insta account but Scott's doesn't. It also seems users can upload their own photos (probably screened before posted) so I don't think Roka is necessarily an official sponsor.

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    1. I don't see the clock/date under Scott's photo, but I do see the legend "Customer photos by Olapic" so I imagine we're to believe Kaitlyn Lawes was inspired to send Roka Scott's rear view.

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    2. What is Olapic?

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    3. Link please, that includes the legend and clock? Thanks.

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    4. link to the picture from Part 1:
      http://www.rokasports.com/collections/mens-sim-shorts/products/mens-sim-pro-shorts#opi525257821

      I don't know about the other stuff.

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    5. 6:47 here, Hmm I'm on mobile and see the clock. In another photo of another person it shows "2.08" and is also on instagram from 32 weeks ago so I believe it shows an accurate upload date. That doesn't mean that's when it was taken however (well we would know it's not taken after).

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    6. Is it just me - does the general background look suspiciously similar to Tessa's first twitter profile picture?
      http://oi62.tinypic.com/i5nhnk.jpg

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    7. I don't have the answer to anyone's questions other than looking at that bikini picture again shows how strikingly different she looks now.

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    8. Hah, 8:03, good catch.

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    9. Doesn't Olapic take from various social media sites, using mentions and hashtags to find pics featuring a brand? Scott's pic (if it's even him) doesn't have a source from a social media site, how did it even end up on there.

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    10. 8:03, I don't know. Tessa's pic looks more like a coast line, whereas Scott's supposed pic looks more like individual islands, but I've never been there, so I can't really comment on what it actually looks like. Could be two different vacations they've taken (together) this year, or the same one.
      What I can say is if that really is him their kids have no chance of not having freckles.

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    11. 7:54, thank you for the link. I'm still wondering where or how people are seeing a clock or any upload date. I don't see any of that. Oh well.

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    12. 8:17 anon
      I only see it on mobile... underneath the picture is a little clock symbol and next to it is says 02.28.

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    13. If it really matters: https://38.media.tumblr.com/c453e3bc9552e203be8aa0f301908658/tumblr_ncc41mwL2n1r3lqvro1_500.jpg

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  3. Apparently you can upload from your hard drive so no social media culling was necessary. Interesting.

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  4. How did the original poster find this picture in the first place?

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    1. Twitter: https://twitter.com/shawnkummer/status/514201019983486977

      Weird spam link twitter, it seems.

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  5. So they are not competing
    they are not on the payroll
    technically not representing canada in any official way


    I guess you can back off now? Shut er down?
    throw the towel in? Move on? Call it a day?

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    1. Why - have they stopped shamming?

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    2. :) I am going to cover the season as much as possible. Like many blogs, this one's lens has widened to cover subjects related to and around its original focus, and that includes the competitive figure skating season, particularly in ice dance, and how it's judged compared to what was actually done on the ice.

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    3. ^Apologies - I inadvertently deleted the post to which my comment at 7:50 AM was replying. I was deleting my original reply to correct a typo, and clicked the wrong comment. I'm extremely sorry. :(

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    4. Don’t worry about the comment. It was for you and you read it. Like I said…love the thought process, style of writing and dry wit. I, for one, am looking forward to future posts. “Why – have they stopped shamming?” – Come on people – FUNNY! #hatersgonnahate ;)

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  6. Lol at all the relentless daily comments calling blogger names and in many other ways attempting to force blog to shut down. How is it these blog haters spend so much time here? They end up giving lots of importance to a place that's supposed to be so awful.
    *rolleyes*

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    Replies
    1. The blog started in early 2011. I personally love when someone new comes in and decides they're going to arbitrate whether it should continue or not. They always end up having a complete conversation with themselves, always, and then want to know what the blog is going to do about it.

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  7. VM should retire now and never come back. They ended the Olympics on a high with pretty much everybody but die hard Americans agreeing that they deserved the gold over DW.
    If they continue to skate they'll get screwed over again. But this time it'll be by lesser teams like CL or WP.
    They have their legacy and if they aren't careful the ISU will take it away from them as well.

    I like WP but the thought of them winning GPF or worlds makes me sick.

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    1. A lot of unremarkable skaters have won Worlds in between Olympics. Sometimes it ends up being a career consolation prize.

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    2. I'm curious who you would deserve to win instead, 11:37. I'd say maybe P/I, B/S on the right day.

      Even so, I totally get being sick about a team winning a competition if they *clearly* don't deserve to. I don't really understand being sick about a team winning just because the field is weaker than the year before. World Champions are never equal. The requirement is who's the best at a particular competition - not who can fill V/M's shoes. I've seen several comments (and I don't mean this is necessarily your viewpoint) about how there's no point in watching ice dance if V/M retire. I find that bizarre. It's like saying there's no point in watching hockey once Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews retire. These people are the best - why does that even matter to people if they don't love the sport itself? ("Sport", I mean.)

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    3. as if dw arent a lesser team like wp or cl

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    4. I think, this year, WP or CL winning the big titles will probably be the correct result. However, I think WP will be passed by HubbellDonohue and PI before too much longer. The two younger teams are more talented and on an upward trajectory with their skating while WP, IMO, are skating about as well as their level of talent will allow. I think on a good day, BS could deserve to win it.

      Talking about who should win based on skating and who will actually end up taking home medals when politics and agenda factor in are two different things though. PI and HD are,IMO, the twin teams of their respective feds and both have problems with their feds supporting inferior teams (GP and CB). PI did beat GP at nationals, but GP ended up ahead at worlds and SC has their love affair with Paul Poirer. The US ice dance team for the big events was all wrong last season--they had the two teams that should have been definitions competing with each other for the third spot on the team and the two teams that should have actually been competing for the third spot locked into the 1st and 2nd places. PI and HD both should and hopefully will hold off GP, but USFS is pushing CB as DW's heirs. They're going to try to push them onto the world podium, so I'm hoping CL, WP, and BS can hold them off at the end of the season.

      I think I understand where 11:37 is coming from though. It's not so much about the skating, but it's about what the placements and narratives will actually be once politics factors in. VM should have 4 GPF titles, instead they have none. We know how the narratives work, and that if WP win, it's going to be spun as if they were able to accomplish something that VM never could. We all know the truth. VM got it done on ice 4 times, but it's not reflected on paper and neither the press nor many people who follow ice dance care about what happened on the ice. The cite the protocols and what's on paper. I have nothing against WP, but it's a situation that would be tough to swallow. Same if they win worlds. As long as they're winning, they'll be interchangeable with VM to many because of what's on paper, although many of us here know that WP are no VM.

      We know that PCS in reality is not being used the way it's supposed to be. Instead of marking to the standard in the CoP, it's being used like ordinals were under 6.0. Once some of these other teams start getting 9's and 10's in PCS because it's used as an ordinal right now, it's not going to go back the other way, even if VM come back. We'll have multiple teams getting inflated PCS, and that makes it easier to slip in a higher number of teams ahead of VM. Reality is that the judging isn't going to magically start adhering to CoP now. A lot of damage was done to the "sport" in order to hand DW that undeserved, unearned OGM in Sochi. That damage is going to continue to be reflected in the judging because the wrong teams being held up and the better teams being held down is not over with yet.

      I think if VM had won everything they should have in the past and if narratives and protocols didn't count more than the actual skating itself, no one would be saying they felt sick about a team that wouldn't have won other wise winning because the field is weaker than in the past. Which, in reality, I think the actual state of the field is that it's in a bit of flux right now where we have several younger teams who are almost but not quite finished baking, but who should be extremely good by 2018, and a set of teams at the top who are capable, but not as capable as what we've seen at the past. It's a situation that should be temporary and correct itself on ice in a season or 2, but whether that's reflected in placements or whether narrative and politics triumph and inferior teams end up being pushed to the top remains to be seen.

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    5. I didn't make the comment at issue here (I'm just entering this convo now), but I can explain why *I* no longer feel ice dancing is worthwhile. I'm not asking everyone to agree or even understand, but since the issue was raised, I'll give my POV. It's NOT because I was just a fan of VM, and didn't love the sport itself. I have loved the sport since way before VM came on the scene. I'm a fan of figure skating and ice dancing used to be my absolute favorite discipline of figure skating.

      It's because I love the sport of ice dance that I can no longer watch. It's changed dramatically, and not for the better, IMO. VM were one of the last threads to what old ice dancing used to look like, and now they're gone too. The "sport" is moving in a different direction. It's not just oh, I was a fan of VM, and VM lost, so I can't watch. If they had lost to another good team, I would hate it, it would be political, but at least ice dancing would still have some kind of acceptable criteria of a certain standard that had to be maintained. But they lost to DW, a non-skating, non-dancing, non-anything team. DW winning the Olympics is a game changer, even if VM weren’t there. Results in the past may have been debatable, and definitely were political, but there was still some standard required to get on the podium. The teams on the podium were good ice dance teams, even if the right one didn't win. Now we have a team who probably shouldn't be in the top 10 winning the Olympics, and not just winning, but with the highest scores ever, a two year winning streak. It's over. This would be like Yao Bin & his partner from the 1984 Olympics winning the gold. It’s a complete joke.

      It's not so much that I am going to "stop watching" because VM retired, but that I should have stopped watching years ago and stayed in because of VM. Look at the podium from 2010. There was VM, but the rest of the podium was garbage. This didn't just happen. This is a process that has been in the works for some time, with the ending of CDs and the elementization of the sport, moving away from the dance as a whole, or even penalizing dancers for having too many transitions or too much skating. The ISU seminars basically taught that GLIDING ON AN EDGE IS BAD. But at least if it was made all about elements and that were strictly enforced, there would be some sort of standard for the sport. But DW even shook that up. They were promoted as a team who had rock solid twizzles, great level 4 lifts and footwork, but it WASN'T TRUE. Their elements were shit, the in betweens were shit, there were no standards at all. It's never been that bad.

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    6. And that should be that we're going to have problems at least in the short term with inferior teams being held up but it remains to be seen if the situation will resolve itself over the seasons as we march towards PyeongChang.

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    7. 10:21 AM cont
      IMO a sport can't come back from that. Watching another couple of years of VM would have kept me in the game because they're all time greats. Without them, I can't do it. 2014 Worlds was the biggest farce, and I'm not even saying it's because of corruption. It almost felt like the judges forgot how to judge, so they decided to just give everybody the same scores and let it fall on the technical side (and fans call this "exciting" because you don't know who will win). IK blanked out and missed a twizzle so they end up fourth, even with their “amazing FD” (9.71 for interpretation, LOL) PB to me had the best FD, and they were a close second in that segment, but since the judges didn't give them any meaningful cushion in the score (essentially giving everyone else the same score), it couldn't pull them up. If you followed the score ticker with the TES, WP were world champions for a minute there, until they weren't (downgrade). I have no idea if that downgrade was legitimate or not, because we will never get to see that footwork sequence from the correct angle nor will we ever get an explanation of which steps weren't credited. It could have been legit, or political, or down to incompetence and we'll never know. I guess you could say the same was true about 6.0, but at least 6.0 wasn't pretending to provide a measure of accountability that it doesn't, and ice dancers under 6.0 weren't sacrificing transitions and the finer points of skating to hit some "level" that no one even knows how and why they got the level that they did, or if they know, it's imperceptible and unexplained to the audience.

      Then you have CL as World champions, with a 4th in the FD, because, meh, whatever, and with a totally underwhelming performance. Their skating skills are not even close to what I consider world podium worthy (nevermind the champions), yet they're a million times better than DW because at least they have some rhythm, a sense of line, smoothness... and DW are the Olympic champions! It's all so nonsensical, especially since even with all their flaws, CL might actually be the best in the world after all - at least I don't see anyone outstandingly better in all areas. And respectfully, though they’re pleasant enough to watch, if they are the best in the world, it's probably not the sport for me.

      There’s nothing prevent a podium of full on crap like Chock/Bates, Giller/Poirier, and Commes/Buckland. That is very scary. Those teams aren’t even good enough to medal on the GP.

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    8. ^ I value DW a little higher than you do but otherwise I agree with everything you said. Ice dance has sacrificed most of what made it great to supposedly make the scoring more objective but in reality nothing has changed. A team like P/I is never going to be on the world podium unless they start skating like C/B or G/P, that's the direction the sport is going and frankly I'm not interested.

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    9. 9:40 here, thanks for your perspectives, 10:13 and 10:21.

      That makes more sense re: the concern about W/P. I don't think it will bother me, just because the number of titles that V/M unfairly lost makes it so obvious their record is screwed up, and taking it the context of this season alone, W/P winning sounds like a great outcome - for it not to be Ch/Ba, Co/Bu or G/P. But I understand your point.

      I'm sorry you feel that way, 10:21, but your stance is certainly one I can respect. It just seems that there are some V/M fans who like to pretend they care about skating, but clearly are and have been only in it for V/M. Then no, you care about V/M and their spellbinding romantic connection and analyzing their behaviour for shipping, not the various aspects of what they were able to do on the ice. On a different note, many more recent fans have only ever been serious about CoP-ice dance. We *like* things about the new style, just not the bastardized version that D/W presented. But it's certainly valid if it's changed enough to no longer be your thing.

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    10. 10:21 am, I'm not an ice dance historian or anything near, but this caught my attention:

      "It's because I love the sport of ice dance that I can no longer watch. It's changed dramatically, and not for the better, IMO. VM were one of the last threads to what old ice dancing used to look like, and now they're gone too."

      As I understand it, prior to Torvill & Dean, ice dance was ballroom-focused, albeit a competition consisted of a zillion phases of pattern dances, not just one cd, and far less weight was given the free dance. Torvill & Dean had an abstract/modern free dance in 1994, which was considered ground breaking. If you review "Bolero" though, it was authentically modern - deep in the knees, low center of gravity, and completely blade-centric. It wasn't crap two footed skating and a lot of posturing and pantomiming. Torvill & Dean's skating, while slow compared to VM, is as pure as it gets, and their unison and flow was sublime. However, the "style" of Bolero - abstract, seemed to send ice dance towards a bastardized modern style, which, in ice dance in the 1990s means theatrical, etc., not really dance. Going "modern" meant skaters no longer danced their free dance, although, thankfully, most of the top teams did at least skate their free dance. The rise of Virtue and Moir, actually meant a throwback to the days ice dance was ballroom-centric. It also made the skating very visible. It appeared to me that the ISU couldn't stand it, did a job on VM, and encouraged ice dancing to return to the non-dancing crapfest it had become after Torvill & Dean (speaking very generaly, of course.)

      "DW winning the Olympics is a game changer, even if VM weren’t there. Results in the past may have been debatable, and definitely were political, but there was still some standard required to get on the podium. The teams on the podium were good ice dance teams, even if the right one didn't win. Now we have a team who probably shouldn't be in the top 10 winning the Olympics, and not just winning, but with the highest scores ever, a two year winning streak. It's over. This would be like Yao Bin & his partner from the 1984 Olympics winning the gold. It’s a complete joke."

      Yep. I think the sport has done itself in. It's not going to recover from this. We're going to get a lot of strenuous narrative, but there's no going back, no re-setting that legitimizes ice dance. Every single word out of the comment booth, out of a coach's mouth, out of a skater's mouth, has now become a complete lie, because every standard was thrown out the window for DW. They can NEVER legitimately explain to us again why "this" ice dance team deserved to win over "that" team, because it didn't when it came to DW, and they can't pretend that never happened.

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    11. 11:46 AM, while I am not the Torvill & Dean uber some are, they are synonymous with Olympic gold in ice dance, and are always cited as the legends. They won a single gold medal in ice dance and a bronze ten years later. I don't think Grishuk/Platov (who were legit skaters) are spoken of in the same breath, and they won two successive gold medals. Similarly, while Katerina Witt was a stellar competitor, she doesn't have the legacy of several other singles skaters who don't have one Olympic gold, let alone two. Virtue and Moir's resume is jacked up because of corruption. Davis White should have no World titles (or even World podium finishes after 2010) and certainly no Olympic medals. The golds they have from Words and Sochi were earned by, and belong to, Virtue Moir.

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    12. 10:21 here. Interesting conversation!

      11:46, I do understand why some people like the direction of COP ice dance, although I don’t. I think *in theory* it could work, but it would HAVE to have completely honest judging. On the other hand, there’s the school of thought that ice dance is a whole and it cannot and should not be graded as just a collection of elements. Sometimes I lean that way, otherwise I think COP if applied correctly could work. The way the COP Is written, a dance team with superb basic skating, who skated close together, had their program packed with multi-directional turns, with great unison, technically demanding elements that flow seamlessly in the program, skated to the beat, created elements that actually enhanced and interpreted the music, and executed the program in an effortless way would be winning. And who wouldn’t want that? Teams who lacked in any of those areas would work on those things so their scores could go up. As written, it pays lip service to everything I want to see in the sport.

      In practice of course it’s different. You don’t say we’ll go for the level 3 twizzles and do them really well to try to get the +3 because it’s better than getting the -3 on our slow poorly executed level 4 twizzles. Nobody does that because you know if you’re at a certain political level you won’t be getting negative GOE. You’re probably going to get your pre-determined +1, 2, or 3 no matter how well or badly you execute. You also know your PCS will all be on the same level, so you don’t *really* have to bother with everything on the list – you can basically just skip having any interpretation of the music or any skating skills or any transitions. I think IK are a perfect example. I always thought they perfectly matched the way that people described DW (until 2012 when DW started being described as VM) – blazing speed, exciting, charismatic, a little reckless, but sacrificing the transitions, posture, and close holds to get there. They cut so many corners in their programs that they didn’t really have programs. And Bobrova is a perfect example of how extreme it can be: hit that key point edge, even if you have to get your back parallel to the ice to do it! *cringe* Transitions can actually be bad, because they could trip you up going into an element, and then you’ll lose the element; whereas if you omit the transitions, you won’t lose anything on the transitions score. Skating with speed, looking pretty, and doing the elements was enough and everyone knew that.

      And to be fair, it isn’t just the COP, because they already started dropping the CD to one and adding required elements, twizzles, and dance spins by the early 2000s. COP just sped it up to the point where the dancers can just repeat the same elements every year as long as they get the level.

      OC, I can imagine that there were people in 1984 who felt like ice dancing was being changed into a more modern vision that they didn’t like. And that would be perfectly valid because it did change. To me the best years in ice dance were 1984 and the next 20 years after. The CDs dropped from 3 to 2 to 1 but they were still there and the OSP/OD had more dancing than the SD. Then in the FD most couples did modern stuff, and I liked that – that you had to have mastery of both ballroom styles and a more balletic or modern style, as opposed to just ballroom. That made ice dance stand out for me.

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    13. cont

      “Going "modern" meant skaters no longer danced their free dance, although, thankfully, most of the top teams did at least skate their free dance.”

      I don’t necessarily agree with this. I can’t look at KP and say they were not “dancing.” They were the epitome of dancing. They worked with Shanti Rushpaul, a modern dance choreographer, and she said that although KP had never danced modern, she was amazed at how quickly they picked everything up because of their ballet background. Their skating held to the highest standards of rhythm, timing, balance, extension, and posture – it was pure dance, and with superb skating skills backing it up. UZ were also very balletic. GP were less classical but they actually did a lot of ballroom style stuff in their FD and their CDs and ODS were superb, so I definitely classify them as dancing at a high level. AP were outstanding dancers when it came to modern dance as well as their ODs. Ditto KO. Fusar-Poli could dance the hell out of any rhythm although her partner couldn’t skate.

      “The rise of Virtue and Moir, actually meant a throwback to the days ice dance was ballroom-centric. It also made the skating very visible. It appeared to me that the ISU couldn't stand it, did a job on VM, and encouraged ice dancing to return to the non-dancing crapfest it had become after Torvill & Dean (speaking very generaly, of course.)”

      Let me preface this by saying IMO VM are the best dance ice dancers of all time. But I don’t see that what they were doing was so much more like TD, and less like KP, UZ, AP, GP, KO, etc. They’re an extension of that style IMO. They combine the best of all of these teams, and I would never describe ice dance between 1994 and 2010 as a non-dancing crapfest. I’m not saying you’re doing this, but since you did say you’re not an ice dance historian I’m politely going to point out that if you weren’t watching carefully at the time you may have come away with the typical North American commentator talking points. It even made it into the wikipedia article on ice dance, and IMO it’s complete bullshit:

      “”In the 1970s, top Soviet dancers began to develop a more theatrical style of ice dancing incorporating elements of ballet and often based on narrative program themes.[8] The Russian style of dance emphasized extended line and speed, rather than difficult rhythmic footwork.[9] In some cases, elaborate choreography for the upper body was used to camouflage fundamental deficiencies of skating technique.[10]”
      It was described that way for many years. North America and Britain = real dancing. Russia and the rest of Europe = non-skating crap. The narrative was supposed to be that the Russians just skated around making faces and waving their arms (I think BK said that pretty much verbatim), while North Americans “really danced.” In VM’s case it’s true, they really danced, as well as anybody ever has on the ice. But I can remember the same arguments being made about BK and BA when they hit the scene, and I’m sorry, no one is going to convince me that they epitomized the intricacies of dance fundamentals better than the 1980s-90s Russians. It’s ludicrous, IMO. And then VM and DW, together, were credited with bringing the “dance” back into ice dance, when it was clearly just VM, and IMO the reasons why VM are such superb dancers are the same reasons that KP were great dancers. They have that true sense of dance AND it’s grounded in fantastic edges. That underlying blade power and effortless speed was lacking in many of the top NA couples, and the Russians and VM had it while keeping everything pretty to boot. That’s what makes them special. They could fly over the ice.

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    14. cont
      I was so happy when VM won in 2010 and drew all the comparisons to Bolero and TD (I also am not the biggest TD uberfan, but you’re right that they and that FD are considered “it” in ice dance), but I was also really pissed off that the media was saying it in a way that implied everyone in between didn’t exist. Really, Tracy Wilson, you didn’t see any good or real ice dance after 1984? Sharing the ice with Klimova & Ponomarenko was lost on you? They were shitty skaters or they were so forgettable that they weren’t worth mentioning? “Russian” was good to mention when it was time to note that VM and DW had Russian coaches and choreographers who taught them all the finer points (and the same fluffs were made about BK when they were with Dubova), as if this alone lent credibility to their skating, but somehow, all of that wonderful teaching never stuck when those Russian coaches were coaching their Russian students. Those Russian coaches taught the Russian skaters to flail around on the ice, but they taught their North American students to dance!

      “They can NEVER legitimately explain to us again why "this" ice dance team deserved to win over "that" team, because it didn't when it came to DW, and they can't pretend that never happened.”

      Exactly.

      “They won a single gold medal in ice dance and a bronze ten years later. I don't think Grishuk/Platov (who were legit skaters) are spoken of in the same breath, and they won two successive gold medals. Similarly, while Katerina Witt was a stellar competitor, she doesn't have the legacy of several other singles skaters who don't have one Olympic gold, let alone two.”

      A lot of this depends on where you are though. TD were beloved worldwide, and it’s true that GP are not spoken of with the same reverence in North America (but I think part of that was a lot of petty bullshit about their personal lives and Wilson’s years of destructive commentary). But I remember this season when VM were interviewed by the Russian fans at TEB (?) and Scott asked them, besides VM, who their favorite skaters were, and almost to a person they shouted “Grishuk & Platov!!!” Obviously, it’s the *Russian* fans, so they’re going to go for their own, but it’s not like the Russian fans want for great ice dancers or skaters from their own country. Out of all the great teams, that team which hasn’t skated together in 15 years is what they chose, and these are diehard VM fans. Similarly, I think if you asked someone in Europe, Katarina Witt would absolutely have that legacy and the idea of Kwan or someone being superior would be a joke to them.
      “The golds they have from Words and Sochi were earned by, and belong to, Virtue Moir.”

      More and more I’m convinced that even VM’s 2010 gold was not really about Virtue Moir. It was about opening up the world of ice dance to North America, pretending to legitimize it, and making it “finally become fair”… all so that they could set up a stolen gold medal for the US in 2014.

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    15. "Similarly, I think if you asked someone in Europe, Katarina Witt would absolutely have that legacy and the idea of Kwan or someone being superior would be a joke to them. "

      In Germany Witt is considered to be the greatest skater ever. Everybody knows her, even non skating fans. Michelle Kwan is pretty much unknown and never mentioned, not even by skating experts. In North America Kwan may be seen as the epitome of artistry but in Germany that title will always belong to Witt.

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    16. "The CDs dropped from 3 to 2 to 1 but they were still there and the OSP/OD had more dancing than the SD. Then in the FD most couples did modern stuff, and I liked that – that you had to have mastery of both ballroom styles and a more balletic or modern style, as opposed to just ballroom. That made ice dance stand out for me."

      I totally agree with this. When they still had to perform CD's, incorporate more dancing technique into the OD, (while still having some freedom), and also explore other types of dancing during the free dance, it showed which teams really knew how to dance/had talent because the diversity and ability was forced. They couldn't pull the same program, elements and choreography shit year after year (or programs within the same year).

      "Fusar-Poli could dance the hell out of any rhythm although her partner couldn’t skate."

      Oh my goodness, people talk about Charlie being unstable and not skating edges... I sometimes marveled that Maurizio was able to even stay standing up for over 4 minutes. Talk about basic, entry level skating. I truly don't know how they were able to do some of the things they did. I would not have wanted to skate that closely to him, let alone let him lift me. He was one of those you watched blade placement in horror behind your fingers, waiting for the trip.

      "...the reasons why VM are such superb dancers are the same reasons that KP were great dancers. They have that true sense of dance AND it’s grounded in fantastic edges. That underlying blade power and effortless speed was lacking in many of the top NA couples, and the Russians and VM had it while keeping everything pretty to boot. That’s what makes them special. They could fly over the ice."

      Yes to this.
      Both teams also benefited from genuine chemistry, in addition to superb skating/dancing.

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    17. 3:49, thank you for your reply. I was going to write something similar, but you beat me to it.

      I have felt that a lot of fans who are newer to the sport since the introduction or who did not follow ice dancing closely between TD and VM are often quick to dismiss the entire post-TD 6.0 era with a hand wave of "it was all non-danced crap" when that couldn't be further from the truth. There were some crap programs in that era, sure, but there are also crap programs now under CoP. There were teams that get held up for being "creative" and who their choreographer was, like the Duschenays. However, this is the era that also brought us KP, IMO second best of all-time only behind VM, UZ, GP, KO, and AP. Almost the entirety of KP's work, save a modern FD and a lyrcal/ballet FD at the end of their competitive career, was firmly grounded in ballroom. UZ's FD's tended to be classified as modern in style, but they more than proved their capabilities with ballroom styles and rhythms in the CDs and the OSP/OD segments. All four of the OD's they did in 91, 92, 93, and 94 have stood the test of time as ice *dance* pieces. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we also have programs like Wilson and McCall's 1988 ragtime FD. KO's 94-95 Flamenco FD. GP's 94 FD--sloppy execution should have kept them off the top of the podium, but that program was certainly full of dance. There's actually a good point to be made that while GP could get sloppy, a fair number of their FD's did tend to have a more ballroom-style slant to them.

      I also thought the point about their being a heavier emphasis on the CD's and OSP/OD's in the past was a good one. Because there was more emphasis on those segments which were rooted stylistically in the ballroom, the teams were able to show ballroom-on-ice in those segments. Post TD there was a high frequency of FD's that were modern, lyrical, or balletic in style with more of a theatrical presentation. I understand that a lot of people do have a preference for more ballroom, but in the FD segment, even in the olden days, modern, ballet, and lyrical were just as valid and legal as a stylistic choice as they were in more recent times when VM did programs from those categories of dance. With more weight given to the CD and OSP/OD's in the past and the ballroom focus, I can actually see the appeal of doing something modern, lyrical, or balletic as the FD in order to have a contrast and show wider range. Ice dance has undoubtedly advanced technically over the decades, but to dismiss everything that happened between Bolero and Valse Triste is to dismiss some incredible skaters, outstanding ice dancers, and some truly wonderful ice dance programs.

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    18. 8:20, continued:


      I do agree that if strictly adhered to that CoP does work for ice dance. My thought has always been that CoP needs to be tweaked some for ice dance. I don't think that using only 4 levels to evaluate levels in ice dance is enough to truly separate out the teams. I feel like only having 4 levels to assign for something like footwork is tantamount to judging in binary when you need a scale that's more of a continuum. There needs to be more separation than what barely earns a level 4 now and the stuff that VM were doing that smashed right past level 4 when it comes to difficulty. As one example, I think that the non-touching step sequence in VM's SD last season could have and should have easily netted something higher than a level 4 if the system allowed for it. The problem with all PCS marks needing to fall within a certain range is also problematic because if a skater is weak in one area, it tends to get overlooked instead of getting dinged. There's no reason why they shouldn't be able to mark a hypothetical team who deserves 9 for skating skills but a 4 for transitions with a score that reflects both of those aspects properly because sometimes you do have a skater or team with WIDE discrepancy in what they're capable in with one PCS category compared to another.

      "The narrative was supposed to be that the Russians just skated around making faces and waving their arms (I think BK said that pretty much verbatim), while North Americans “really danced.” In VM’s case it’s true, they really danced, as well as anybody ever has on the ice. But I can remember the same arguments being made about BK and BA when they hit the scene, and I’m sorry, no one is going to convince me that they epitomized the intricacies of dance fundamentals better than the 1980s-90s Russians. It’s ludicrous, IMO."

      Amen. I'm someone who enjoyed BA and have felt they were somewhat underrated by some when it comes to the great continuum of ice dancers spectrum, but they certainly did not epitomize the intricacies of ice dance fundamentals better than the Russian teams we saw in the 80s and 90s. No way, no how.

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    19. It makes me sick that now forever in icedance history DW's names will be listed next to these great icedance teams of the past, as if they were "equals." I hate this skating culture that calls something bad as good. Just because. Regardless of what your own eyes are watching. (Imagine that. A whole lot like what VM do. I wonder where they ever got the idea that saying something is real, when it is not, is ok. Oh, that's right. They're figure skaters. Mentored by Skate Canada and the ISU.)

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    20. There were definitely some teams in the 90's and early 2000's that I didn't care for and/or were severely inflated, but the majority of the field could skate AND dance. Two different, but equally necessary components, imo. Even some teams that undeservedly made podium at that time, I would rank higher than many of the more recent World/Olympic medalists, whether I stylistically cared for them or not.

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    21. 5:55: I'll reread your points much more closely later (I've read them through, but will address more of the points later) but, for now, and very very generally:

      I guess I'm talking in very general terms about a skater's legacy, which actually I'm probably translating as "enduring fame (of a kind) for their skating in North America and western Europe." Virtue and Moir's resume doesn't reflect what they did on the ice - in their case, they are out two World Championships and a second Olympic gold because these medals were awarded to an inferior team in a blatant and thuggish exercise in corruption. But, for those who lament that about Virtue and Moir, I'm noting that a skater's legacy isn't necessarily tied to the number of titles they hauled in, as there are skaters with less hardware whose reputations are more lasting and who were huge draws here and overseas.

      "It was described that way for many years. North America and Britain = real dancing. Russia and the rest of Europe = non-skating crap. The narrative was supposed to be that the Russians just skated around making faces and waving their arms (I think BK said that pretty much verbatim), while North Americans “really danced.”

      No, I don't agree with that (the sentiment, not your report that this was said). As I said in my original post, at least the top skaters SKATED their programs, and back then, the top ice dancers were mostly Russian - meaning, far and away the best skaters. (And rolling my eyes right out the door over Bourne & Kratz calling out anybody.)

      It has always pissed me off that Russian dominance in pairs and dance was side-eyed in the North American Narrative when they were far and away the best dancers and pairs skaters over many years. It pissed me off even further when Davis White did it for some fluff piece - Davis White, who wouldn't know good skating or ice dance if Jeff Gillooly clubbed them over the head with John Curry's skates.

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    22. "More and more I’m convinced that even VM’s 2010 gold was not really about Virtue Moir. It was about opening up the world of ice dance to North America, pretending to legitimize it, and making it “finally become fair”… all so that they could set up a stolen gold medal for the US in 2014."

      I wouldn't dismiss it; in fact suspect it myself. Virtue and Moir/Davis White's results in Sochi were celebrated almost as if it was a four person gold. Davis White were always hitched to Virtue Moir as few silver medalists were ever hitched to the winners. Virtue and Moir's margin of victory, which was substantial, was almost always described as whisper thin, while later on, when Davis White would defeat them, a similar margin of victory would be described as decisive. Virtue and Moir's Vancouver victory and first Worlds victory was teamed with Davis White's results and almost described as their victory as well, but when Davis White began to defeat them, Virtue and Moir were treated like shit. In terms of the narrative, it's clear Virtue and Moir were used. I also recall something Igor said back then, which set off an alarm in me, even though I dismissed it. All he said was that Davis White really REALLY want Olympic gold (he meant Sochi). Maybe it was the context, or how the quote was inserted into the rest of what he was saying, but for me the tone didn't sit right. This was even before I started seriously looking at Davis White's skating.

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    23. ^I think Igor's tone either came off as a warning (even though I got the impression he endorsed the idea) or sort of a "we're not fucking around anymore, next time they're not playing sidekick - they intend to get it." He didn't talk about their skating developing or anything - it was all about getting that gold, period. They wanted that notch on their record.

      8:31PM:" It makes me sick that now forever in icedance history DW's names will be listed next to these great icedance teams of the past, as if they were "equals." I hate this skating culture that calls something bad as good. Just because. Regardless of what your own eyes are watching. (Imagine that. A whole lot like what VM do. I wonder where they ever got the idea that saying something is real, when it is not, is ok. Oh, that's right. They're figure skaters. Mentored by Skate Canada and the ISU.)"

      Yes, it's been apparent for some time that what happened with DW on ice and what VM do off ice are two sides of the same coin, spawned from the same culture. We all know how corrupt many sports are off the field of play, and that the public are considered wallets with feet. But other sports can't game the outcome once play has commenced. Figure skating can simply ignore the skating right in front of us. Figure skating also, on and off the ice, appears to rely on disparaging and patronizing the public. Whenever skating is discussed in the media, they talk over our freaking heads ABOUT us, never to us. A lot of entertainment and sports journalism has the interviewer acting as a conduit. In skating, the entertainment "journalist" and Virtue and Moir enact a narrative about the fans. Has ANYTHING respectful ever been said about the figure skating public by anybody connected to Virtue and Moir? Hell, forget respectful - that sets the bar too high. Anything that doesn't implicitly put skating fans down as delusional, immature, three sandwiches short of a picnic nitwits?

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    24. "There’s nothing prevent a podium of full on crap like Chock/Bates, Giller/Poirier, and Commes/Buckland. That is very scary. Those teams aren’t even good enough to medal on the GP."

      I'm really looking forward to Paul Islam's programs, on the hopeful assumption that 2013 was the best thing to ever happen to them. It was a crushing disappointment and they came back and made the Olympic team the next season with two fantastic skates. I haven't seen them skate in person, so I don't know how they stack up in run of blade/ice coverage with other top teams, but I was extremely WTF on their Worlds finish, particularly vis a vis GP.

      Recently, when Ice Theatre was being discussed here, I watched some youtube video, which included Coomes Buckland skating in Bryant Park, NYC. They're terrible. Watching competitions, I got the impression they had some power, but were a mess. Even though exhibition skates are exhibition skates, the basics are visible. They're just a mess.

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    25. "The ISU seminars basically taught that GLIDING ON AN EDGE IS BAD. But at least if it was made all about elements and that were strictly enforced, there would be some sort of standard for the sport. But DW even shook that up. They were promoted as a team who had rock solid twizzles, great level 4 lifts and footwork, but it WASN'T TRUE. Their elements were shit, the in betweens were shit, there were no standards at all. It's never been that bad. "

      The seminars appear to have been conducted in contradiction of the rulebook, and nobody was fussed that the two didn't match up. You can't be "tight with your music" when you're gliding on an edge. I also recall Tanith Belbin dismissing Virtue and Moir "gliding on an edge" as if it were the simplest, most basic thing in the world and they made something easy look more than it was. The corruption of fucking LANGUAGE and meaning in this whole thing was revolting.

      I still recoil from DW's twizzles. These are twizzles teams who aren't competing senior can execute. These are twizzles teams that aren't competing internationally can execute. These are the same damn twizzles done the same damn way for years and half the time they swerve, get out of sync, don't match, slow to a near standstill in the second set, and exit on a toe pick. Who cares. Best in the world, those are. I think even some commentators were reduced to saying "because the rulebook says these are level four" and because DW didn't fall down - although Charlie would have balance checks - naturally it's +3. I think I hate the twizzles more than the lifts, and the lifts are from a mini-mall tumbling class.

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    26. OC, my absolute favorite comment on the topic was that of our beloved Doris Pulaski. When pressed about how not difficult that set of twizzles with the dance hop was, she said it was good that it was level four because a lot of teams did it and if it weren't level four it would be unfair to all those teams.

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    27. "A team like P/I is never going to be on the world podium unless they start skating like C/B or G/P, that's the direction the sport is going and frankly I'm not interested."

      I think the direction the sport is going is to legislate corruption, and because of that, teams that actually do it aren't going to succeed. That's against the self-interest of a game that's rigged. What P/I do, what H/D do, isn't achievable by every skater. It's a lot of hard work, but there's also natural ability both athletic and dance-wise, and a connection between the partners and all that that brings to the skating. Those attributes are out of the control of a system that has decided reward based on things other than skating. Bastard skating helps teach the public and instructs the judges to ignore what's going on with the blades, ignore the relevant sections of CoP, and just reward the narrative everybody's been fed about a particular team. If teams like P/I and H/D do well, it reinforces that in ice dance, skating is important, rhythm is important, and that's not where the ISU, and the Feds who are on board, want to take ice dance. Ice dance, and particular teams, are just pieces on a game board reflecting what's been negotiated, traded, swapped, determined behind the scenes, and we're meant to pay attention to the narrative only. Yes, there's always been deals made in skating, and different kinds of corruption, but I wonder when there's ever been a systematic reconstruction of the entire sport before, which is what we have here. This is how it works. Here are the teams we've chosen, here's the narrative, the team is always going to be a team that doesn't skate, because rewarding skating dis-empowers TPTB and they want the freedom to designate a top team completely free of considerations such as actual performance.

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    28. IOW, I think the sort of skating that is being rewarded - bastardization - is an outcome of corruption. Corruption exists, what kind of skating is convenient and facilitates corruption? Well, not really good skating where there's an obvious connection between execution and real standards and criteria. They want to get as far away as possible from that, and get to narrative-based skating.

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    29. "OC, my absolute favorite comment on the topic was that of our beloved Doris Pulaski. When pressed about how not difficult that set of twizzles with the dance hop was, she said it was good that it was level four because a lot of teams did it and if it weren't level four it would be unfair to all those teams."

      Yes, of course, the sport is all about being fair to inferior teams executing inferior elements, because it's only fair that these teams win as well. Everybody gets a turn, regardless of performance. That's the new sportsmanship. Ice dance medals have become participation trophies.

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    30. I actually have a slightly different take than OC on this. I disagree that the judges are going to reward bad skating for the sake of it. I think it’s more like anarchy right now. On the world podium last year, there was a mix of skating and non-skating. I totally agree that it’s about a narrative and pushing the chosen ones at all costs. I don’t believe having good skating skills or well-built programs is a hindrance per se – if the chosen team happens to have those qualities, that will be used to their advantage. But if they don’t, no problem. My issue is that IMO, the skaters are being chosen *without regard* for their skating and programs at all. I don’t think that if PI or HD start skipping around and doing junk lifts, that will raise their scores. Even that would have some kind of internal logic: skate like DW if you want to win. It would give the teams something to shoot for. But the truth is, if you don’t have political power, you have nothing to shoot for. It doesn’t matter how you skate at all. IK had good basics, but terribly easy and open programs, so good skating skills was pushed, and the rest ignored, to get them on the podium. VM are outstanding skaters in every respect, and commentators had no problem saying so. At the moment when VM were skating, edges were important, the ease of their lifts was important, their musicality was important – and these things were credited both in the commentary and in the scoring. And then the next minute DW would come out and do the complete opposite, set a world record, and everyone was quite satisfied. No one said, wait, didn’t we just say certain qualities were important, and DW don’t have those, yet they’re in first - nope.

      That’s how little they respect the audience. It goes in one ear and out the other. We’re not meant to compare scores across competitions, we’re not meant to compare skaters within the same competition, and we’re not meant to compare what we see to what we hear to what we can read in the rulebook. We’re just supposed to accept whatever the result is because it comes in super fancy protocols that have numbers and weird abbreviations and stuff that “no one can understand.” So as to this comment, “the team is always going to be a team that doesn't skate, because rewarding skating dis-empowers TPTB and they want the freedom to designate a top team completely free of considerations such as actual performance” I agree with the latter part, but not the former. If the team they want to win is good, they’ll reward it and hype it up, and then they’ll forget about it two seconds later or two years later or whenever it is that they want to reward a crap team. And they won’t expect us to have remembered or cared what happened. They don’t need to reward bad skating to legitimize DW’s wins, because they don’t expect us to a) know that DW were bad skaters and b) remember and compare whoever wins next year in a larger context. You need brains to do that. They have no need to try to legitimize anything because they have zero respect for our intelligence. And THAT is why I can’t watch anymore. If DW come back and DW are not meant to win, the same arguments from VM will be used about how they’re not the same and others improved; if they are meant to win, then it’ll be how lucky we are to see an all time great team back on the ice (snort).

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    31. 10:24 - well, when you put it that way ....

      You're absolutely right. My thinking was too connect-the-dots - if the ISU recognized and rewarded skaters who adhered to CoP, that connection between what happened on ice and the rules hampers them politically. And of course, I'm wrong, the ISU doesn't feel any need to be consistent.

      "My issue is that IMO, the skaters are being chosen *without regard* for their skating and programs at all. "

      Yes, and when you describe the scoring and the commentary,

      "If the team they want to win is good, they’ll reward it and hype it up, and then they’ll forget about it two seconds later or two years later or whenever it is that they want to reward a crap team. And they won’t expect us to have remembered or cared what happened. They don’t need to reward bad skating to legitimize DW’s wins, because they don’t expect us to a) know that DW were bad skaters and b) remember and compare whoever wins next year in a larger context. You need brains to do that. They have no need to try to legitimize anything because they have zero respect for our intelligence. And THAT is why I can’t watch anymore."

      and

      "That’s how little they respect the audience. It goes in one ear and out the other. We’re not meant to compare scores across competitions, we’re not meant to compare skaters within the same competition, and we’re not meant to compare what we see to what we hear to what we can read in the rulebook. We’re just supposed to accept whatever the result is because it comes in super fancy protocols that have numbers and weird abbreviations and stuff that “no one can understand.”"

      That's how it is, and you reasoned from these realities better than I did.

      And pointing out, this is how the sham is conducted, with the same mentality, and the entertainment media conducts itself precisely as the comment booth handles itself. In putting their sham across, Virtue and Moir are capitalizing on the same culture of disdain that screwed them out of the gold they earned in Sochi. It's almost an exact mirror.

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  8. http://www.8tuffmiles.com/2014_8TM_TOP_100c.htm
    44 Scott Moir swimmer not skater

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    1. @2:39
      This sounds more likely. I thought the man in the Virgin Islands picture had the elbows of a much older man, not someone in their 20's. Probably what looks similar is the way any very fit athlete looks. If it weren't for those elbows I'd swear it is SM the skater.

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  9. Anon at 11:37 pm - I have no doubt that physically Tessa can go ahead and continue to be competitive. However - after seeing what happened to VM at the GPF and the Olympics (actually over the last quad)- compounded with the uncertainty of lack of support from Skate Canada and then their coaching situation - I think Tessa has mentally checked out.
    As for Scott - even if he has the competitive fire to continue, even with a half decent partner - does he skate for Canada - I don't think there is enough support within Skate Canada to get him where he would want to go and secondly the ISU and particularly the USFSA (icenetwork, Jacqui White etc) will just bury him...this isn't pairs and the Aliona Savchenko situation...unless Scott is willing to skate for another country and basically be a Daveidas Stagnuinas....

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    1. I find it hysterical (and incredulous) that people think Scott skating with someone else is even a remote possibility...

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    2. 4:28pm, I completely agree, and apparently one of the most noted proponents of this idea is back at it. I think, though, she knows better, and believes she's being a good fan by helping them keep up the sham. If she's just pissed they're not skating and blames Tessa, talk of another partner isn't going to endear her.

      Although come to think of it, that is one sacred area they've never violated. Maybe they both should start openly speculating about skating with another partner some day.

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    3. Also, I wish people would stop thinking they can tell what Scott and Tessa are thinking in particular, such as Tessa being burned out. You really can't.

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  10. Ditto on the WP comment...a good team but not a great team...I've said this before I prefer Hubbell/Donohue to them...

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  11. Wow, this made the front page of my Yahoo this morning...who would have thought NBC would care about two Canadian ice dancers?

    http://olympictalk.nbcsports.com/2014/09/22/tessa-virtue-scott-moir-to-sit-out-season-ice-dancing-figure-skating-canada-olympics/

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  12. I just want to wish Scott and Tessa well for the upcoming few months. If you read between the lines of their latest interview, it sounds very much like they're looking forward to settling down and preparing for their new arrival.

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    1. They're without a rationale for the sham at this point. If they continue it's because they've lied and are continuing to lie to protect previous lies.

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    2. I'm going to listen in to a podcast they just did where Scott apparently said he had no idea the reality show wasn't going to be a documentary. Anyone listen yet - is that true? He had no idea, sitting on the coach with a fake girlfriend, that this wasn't the documented truth going out there?

      W sold it as a documentary just recently, a syndicated package overseas. Maybe Scott should protest.

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    3. 12:54
      Scott said that? What bullshit.
      Someone should write out all their talking-head narratives. That would show clear as day they knew they were filming crap and were totally on board.

      Scott is really treating the fans like morons. What, he thought acting out "hot and heavy" AND saying "hot and heavy" = documentary ?

      Yeah right. Give me a freaking break.

      To say nothing of course of "documentary" gems like setting up a scene to make it look like Tessa is arriving to be effusively greeted by Scott, but Ta-Dah! Fooled ya! It's Cassandra!

      Assholes.

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    4. The more they talk about "Tessa and Scott" the more it appears the ratings must have been shit, since they can describe it however they like and nobody says boo to them, because they know nobody saw it.

      OTOH, there's evidence all over the web how they lied through their teeth about the so-called rift and it doesn't matter; they still talk about it and nobody questions them.

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    5. Did I hear him right that he's going to get back to his Twitter next week? (Yay.)

      At least he admitted they weren't very good with updating their website/social media.

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    6. 1:57. How interesting they suck at updating their official VM website -- a very important online presence related to their CAREERS -- but Tessa has time on her hands for inane shallow (lies) posts on twitter.

      Their priorities are in order. *rolleyes*

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    7. Man that interview was something else. But I am delighted to hear that Baby Moir is getting some renovations in their honour.

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    8. Why were they even doing an interview? They were plugging CSOI next year? LOL. I'm pretty sure the whole thing was a setup to plug their twitters. "So, is there any website or anyplace on the web we could find out about the dates?" So subtle! We should have some good stuff coming up - groan.

      OC at 1:41 - they will never be asked. Jennifer Lawrence had a truckload of nude photos leaked recently and no one has said boo to her. All of her media interviews are the same as usual fluff. You'd think that would be a question someone would be dying to ask - "you're an Oscar winner, and now these embarrassing photos of you are out there? How do you feel about that? What do you think of the privacy debate this has launched?" Instead they pretend they don't exist, even while the whole world is talking about it. And then this weekend a ton more pics were leaked, and these are even more explicit. They never asked her about it, and they never will ask her about it. Depending on whether it blows over, she might decide, on her own terms, to mention it in an interview or book, referring to it as something in the distant past. Otherwise she'll pretend it never happened. I mean Britney Spears has never once been asked why she shaved her head, and the whole world saw that.

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    9. Yep, and I actually agree with Lawrence, they were stolen, and she doesn't have to address something that got out there through illegal means. However, of course the media would want to ask her, but they don't, because otherwise they can't interview her. And that just demonstrates again these interviews aren't interviews; they're publicity, and the rules are set by the subject of the interview, never the journalist.

      Maybe Scott and Tessa thought all the drag queen make-up, neurotic meltdown, co-Sondra cuddling and lying stuff was for the gag reel and were so so shocked the W network made it the main event. Is that the story?

      Delete
    10. @2:51, I was wondering why they were doing an interview too, but I guess it was the official "out for the season" confirmation interview?
      I will say I was definitely amused by some of it, although, I'm sure not in the way they were trying to be amusing. They're some funny people...

      Delete
    11. Oh the "unique, special relationship".

      I love the interviewer talking about people always wanting the love story between them...
      "they [the fans] want that, but that's NOT going to happen."
      It's a definitive statement made before they even have opportunity to answer. I've found that most of the interviews that bring this up always are sure insert the part about, "but of course we know you're not really a couple", or "we know it isn't true what fans think", before the (equally supportive) lie even comes out of VM's mouth. I presume it's because most of the interviewers actually know it is true and are "helping" them out, *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*. And hey, it's not just them that's saying it, there're all these other "respectful" journalists saying it too, so it must be legit.
      Nevermind the part where she then goes on to compare their relationship to a marriage? Really? Or is that the wink-nudge inside joke to them that she really knows, and they think it's all so funny. Hilarious.

      Delete
    12. "But I am delighted to hear that Baby Moir is getting some renovations in their honour. "

      That's exactly what I thought, too! It did feel like they were kind of playing it both ways - "we're obviously not going to admit that by 'we're going to take it easy for the next few months' we mean that we're going to nest for a while and then adjust to having a toddler and a new baby, but that's what we're saying, and we know that you know".

      Keep it up, guys. Cool choices; good job.

      Delete
    13. @10:26, I agree. Amazing once you separate the actual truth from the frame of *their* "context", how domestic and normal and responsible they sound.
      Contrary to her social media, she's not out partying like the young, ditzy college student on the town... but instead feels not fun and old, baking a pie at home, while he works on the house. Over the next few months, they'll skate a little to develop some new programs, she'll finish up her degree, while he finishes whatever he's working on, and spend most of his time at home quietly relaxing with his family (a.k.a. Tess and kids). Yeah, that sounds more like the real them.
      (Im sure their social media will later inform us of all the other things they're "actually" doing...)

      Delete
    14. Oh, and did you notice when Scott says he's coming in next week to Twitter, so follow along, Tessa says, "Oo-kay", through her laughter. Lol... don't hold your breath.

      Delete
    15. @4:51, outside of some basic facts, we really don't know the "real them".

      Delete
    16. I didn't say it *was* the real them. I said it "sounds more like the real them" (based on information I personally know), as opposed to the other blatant lies they often purport.

      Delete
    17. What is the interview u guys are speaking about?

      Delete
    18. The one being discussed above is here:
      http://blackburnnews.com/london/2014/09/23/virtue-and-moir-take-a-break-from-competition/

      Apparently they also did another one with CBC that I have not heard or seen posted anywhere yet. From the recap is sounds like nothing new and more BS, except for Scott says he's in school now, as well.

      Delete
    19. You know what I'm "afraid" of, for want of a better word, is that Tessa launched her twitter with Scott. It seemed so uncharacteristic - guess who is my caddy, for no particular reason except he's the one I wanted! Scott didn't have a "reason" to be her caddy; it wasn't a joint corporate event, they weren't there as Virtue and Moir. She just let it be known she wanted him there. And then there was her super enthusiastic response to his ice bucket challenge, and her huge praise for his caddying effort.

      Everything after that was "Who says it's okay to talk about Scott when you tweet me? I am too busy flitting here and there with Ryan Semple, living the transcontinental high life. Birthday - don't bother me with that noise - what am I, his messenger service? I'm just going to ignore you bitches." and like that, because she was too busy focusing on the unveiling of her red carpet walk. It was a set up. You don't walk into twitter knowing that's where your fans are, engage fans with the main thing that interests them (you and your partner) and then act like their interest is their fault.

      Scott mentions his renovating his home with his brother and that day or the next Tessa posts a photo of herself on a forklift, outside a residence.

      I don't want to think it's phase II of the same fucking thing, but Grandma's dinner plates made instagram for a reason.

      Delete
    20. 6:11 PM
      No one wants to think it's phase II but we all know it is. These people are as predictable as rain when rain clouds appear.
      Did someone say assholes?

      Delete
    21. The funny thing is all I could think was in my family, no one would get grandma's dinner plates until they were married off. It doesn't scream hot date night with your fuckbuddy, that's for sure.

      Delete
    22. 8:47
      Right? You get the family dishes whenever you get married. Or that's the historic tradition.

      Oh, I'm sure Tessa has a plan for making the family dishes scream fuckbuddy.

      Delete
    23. Per Tessa's instagram Scott doesn't exist. Just the way Tessa doesn't exist in Scott's sham life. I wonder why does this game appeal so much to Tessa? She is focused on this. You can tell it excites her, she loves this. She's so messed up it's not even funny.

      Delete
    24. It's late and my brain is being slow right now. What do we think is going to happen in phase II?

      Delete
    25. I honestly hope they do up the ante. With Cassandra there was such hope - fake engagements, sex tapes. This year is going to be dead boring with them not skating and Tessa's twitter is really grating. They need to do something interesting to keep our attention.

      Delete
    26. I disagree @ 9:00PM re:Scott. There are some things on there that make that one less sham actually (for now).
      She's definitely playing back and forth games though. The initial video *implied* both guys. Then silence for how long? Now all the sudden she decided to re-visit it with some things that were/implied Scott... and then some things that implied RS... and then Scott again...
      Bait and switch.
      Who's it gonna be?
      Guess we'll all have to just keep watching on the edge of our seats!

      Delete
    27. I don't think it's bait and switch in the sense of Scott ever presented as the possible or potential lover.

      For all practical purposes Scott is invisible...his presence on her social media is strictly as the (necessary and unavoidable) business partner. Think of recent reports where they were together off-ice, such as at HPC or that wedding during TIFF weekend. Not a peep about that from Tessa's social media. As far as her social media persona, those instances where she's with Scott didn't happen.

      It's only the sham SO's who are VM's "companions" off-ice on social media.

      Delete
    28. Yes, but what I'm saying (at least on her Instagram), is that to fans watching, RS is as much of a presence on there as Scott. Neither are mentioned. Half the pictures are taken to be related to her life with RS, and half are taken to be related to her life with Scott. (Or, that's my observation of how the perception is going from others).
      I do agree that she *almost* always only mentions Scott in a work capacity on Twitter, but he is still actually named and pictured, whilst her supposed bf is merely inferred (as it's definitely intended) based off of stuff that's not actually on any of *her* social media accounts. At this point.

      Delete
    29. I keep wondering at what point, though, they are going to start playing that game. Once they've been apart for several months, will Tessa start hinting that maybe something is up with Scott? I just keep thinking of him dropping that stupid line about, "Oh well, we'll have to see how our relationship progresses in the future!" in the Hello! interview and Alma's comment on the show about after a year, maybe they might realize how much they miss each other.

      Delete
    30. 9:58
      Maybe next year when they're off touring together for 5 months, they'll "realize"...

      I think they're waiting to see if they're really done or not though. If they truly don't know/think there's a chance they may come back, they'll keep it up. Although, I get the feeling they're leaning towards not based on how they're talking in these interviews. I know they still keep sticking the caveat in there, and maybe that's just because they know themselves and know they could change their minds and want another shot at it in a year or two (I'm taking independent of scoring here, just their personal drive). But some other things they've said have implied finality. Therefore, they'll have to keep everything "up in the air", providing they want to keep the same narrative if they return.

      Delete
    31. "I don't think it's bait and switch in the sense of Scott ever presented as the possible or potential lover. "

      That's not what she did with the fork lift. Scott interviews that he's renovating his home, immediately following Tessa instagrams a photo of herself on a fork lift outside a residence, with a beaming smile. That's bait. That's not business partner.

      What I think was intended with Grandma's dinner plates is somehow Ryan is present at a private family close friend dinner party that includes the sacred plates. It suggests an emotional and familial intimacy. You don't break out Grandma's dishes for a cocktail party with acquaintances/business connections, wider circle of friends. That's for people who are really close.

      I joked that it was her version of Quinn Moir. The Moirs had Jessica Dube get her rear end to the damn hospital where Quinn Moir was born, so she could produce a profile picture of herself holding Scott's just-out-of-the-oven niece. Don't we all, after having just given birth, fork the child over to our brother-in-law's long distance girlfriend first thing. What else could we take away but that Jessica was legit.

      Delete
    32. "That's not what she did with the fork lift. Scott interviews that he's renovating his home, immediately following Tessa instagrams a photo of herself on a fork lift outside a residence, with a beaming smile. That's bait. That's not business partner. "
      Exactly. And the pictures of the farmer's market and red plaid shirt (strikingly similar to multiple we've seen Scott wear, that make up about half of his seemingly limited wardrobe), right after she relaunched with the artsy one of the two of them "alone" together again on the ice...

      Then we follow it up with the dinner plates to spark curiosity... but just in case one is now thinking *Scott*, we get the "reminder" pictures from her little trip in the south of France with Ryan and TIFF, (even though he's not in either, he's already been associated with both).

      Then back to the forklift, (whether it's really at their house or not, it's all association), so Scott again.
      Back and forth.

      Delete
    33. Thanks to this blog, there's a public place to call out the lies. VM are going to do what they're going to do. Come hell or high water they're sticking to the sham. I think sometimes the blog has made them tweak strategies, but stop their hoax? Not a chance.

      Please don't stop pointing it all out and calling it what it is. Hopefully more and more fans will stop falling for these asinine games. They're extremely mocking towards the fans.

      We can love VM the skaters while at the same time not getting sucked into their hoax off-ice.

      Delete
    34. " I just keep thinking of him dropping that stupid line about, "Oh well, we'll have to see how our relationship progresses in the future!" in the Hello! interview and Alma's comment on the show about after a year, maybe they might realize how much they miss each other."

      They've been dropping lines like that since 2008. "I wish" "I'm trying" "Maybe" "I'm working on it." After Vancouver, Scott stating that the lack of romantic connection in the past wouldn't rule out romantic connection in the future. Scott telling a post-Sochi interview that the question about their relationship now that they were presumptively done competing was an "interesting question."

      It's bait, bait bait. I think even many of the people around them (outside their families), who must be as jaded as we are by this point, took some of that crap as table setting for a future reveal at one point, but it's long since been exposed as chain jerking. Instigating. Virtue and Moir and their enablers in the media setting bait for fans to tell Tessa and Scott how really really really cool it would be if they got together and how super supportive they'd be. Virtue and Moir basically set up fans to show what they think is THEIR (the fans') asses, but on a real time platform like twitter (the tweets themselves) it's Tessa/The Sham showing its ass. It's also a good ploy to pull right before an interview spate where the "journalist" is going to be talking about how desperately fans want them to be a couple. Get twitter agitated and speculating.

      Even more distasteful is how complicit the media CLEARLY is in mocking fans. Here's Ben Mulroney, his fashionista wife Jessica Mulroney all buddy buddy with Tessa, acting all Mike Wallace in that interview a few years ago, then everybody smirking and collapsing in laughter after the audio was off and the credits rolled. There's articles starting "Scott Moir has cut the cord."

      oc

      Delete
    35. One thing that is somewhat of note is the Moirs (extended family) are lying low on social media platforms. Their role has gone background, similar to how the Virtues used to play it. I wonder if they got any backlash from their community, particularly as their big star celebrity trophy kids were looking at backing off the sport for awhile, and the Moirs intend to retain their presence and influence in Ilderton (and wave Scott and Tessa around as lures) for a long time to come. Of course there are plenty of people in Ilderton who are on board, but we all know there are also plenty of people, not visible on social media, who are pissed off and disgusted and that number might grow while Virtue and Moir themselves are absent from elite competition.

      As to the blog- I'm going to point out again that apart from the AAP posts, which were tangential to actual skating, the recent actual posts have all been about the sham. And look at the conversation in this comments section. Many people moved off the sham and onto skating itself.

      These people, who love skating, know about it, want to talk about it, want to treat it like a real sport, want to share what they know - are fans the sport DOESN'T WANT and completely ignores. These are fans the sport - and Scott and Tessa - proactively discourage. These fans, and even fans who just have eyes and can see that Scott and Tessa are miles above everyone else even if they are unable to break down why - are fans Scott and Tessa themselves find inconvenient. Imagine that. The passion these two have for what they do, their absolute brilliance, courage, competitive will, ability to execute when it counts - THESE are the skaters that don't want a public that appreciates their skating. It's amazing, but maybe not. They're a bit elitist. Like a lot of people, the public is a necessary evil, but as far as an appreciative audience, the appreciation that counts for them are other skaters, other high performance athletes (like Babcock), people THEY respect. Our appreciation isn't really worth anything, and they don't really care what reasons make people appreciate Virtue and Moir. It doesn't matter to them if FANS appreciate the skating - in fact, it's inconvenient. Fans are for ga ga-ing over the chemistry. Everyone else - people who have some sort of status, people they think deserve their respect - THOSE are the people whose respect and appreciation for the skating matters.

      oc

      Delete
    36. Anyone who thinks she doesn't know exactly what she's doing on social media...she can be such a little shit, lol.

      Delete
    37. I figure she thinks she's being a "brat" (as she called ElishaCuthbert on twitter) - which makes it cute/adorable, not mean and bitchy.

      Delete
  13. Did Scott explain why he LEFT his twitter after one tweet, other than "My birthday was coming up and I make it a policy to ignore happy birthdays from the supporters of my skating. However, if they want to spend their hard earned dollars on CSOI, I'm happy as always to take their money. That's what the twitter is for."

    ReplyDelete
  14. Funny that Tessa has retweeted Emma Watson's speech. Tessa herself could have done speeches like Emma's. She has the profile (at least within Canada), to do something quite like this. Unfortunately, she has chosen a different path.

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    1. I'm more interested in the content of Emma Watson's speech, which resonated with respect for others. As with most public figures, no doubt there's not an exact match with Emma Watson the private citizen and Emma Watson the public personage, but she addresses the public, even the vast and seriously invested Harry Potter fandom, with respect. Tessa retweeted the speech, which is, notably, about feminism. And here Tessa and her husband, and her friends, and her wide circle of acquaintance, and her family, and her sport, are treating supporters of their skating, and their fans, like garbage, manipulating the shit out of them, mocking them and setting them up, largely because of who they're perceived to be (low status), and their demographic (female). Lovely.

      Delete
  15. https://twitter.com/beepaulin/with_replies

    She's a retired Canadian pairs skater. Not at the international level, but still, I wonder what inspired that Tweet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She could be genuinely expressing her admiration but the way she phrased it was weird, either a plant or sarcasm. Is it just me?

      Delete
    2. Agreed... knowing nothing about her, I can't tell whether that's a plant or sarcasm.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, "respectable" isn't the word if you're going to be gushing.

      Delete
    4. And for Skate Canada to say "they have declined their funding available from Sport Canada and Own the Podium, thereby allowing other athletes to benefit" is the most pusillanimous, sanctimonious, outright LIE. The funding isn't available to Scott and Tessa. It's not "their" funding. If they are opting out from competing this season, that's IT.

      They are available for renomination if they haven't permanently retired, and they remain eligible to compete in eligible figure skating if they want to come back. They are NOT eligible for Sport Canada funding or Own the Podium funding if not training or intending to compete this cycle, and it's not their funding.

      Delete
  16. So there are some serious renovations going on at Casa Moir: http://instagram.com/p/tVFLPglVFb/

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    Replies
    1. Between that picture, the one from yesterday and the ones from SC, (not even counting the TIFF blue dress with fans prior), I'm pretty sure the workout picture is the outlier.
      Did anyone get a chance to listen to the interview today? Is there a link?

      Delete
    2. Sportsnet:
      http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/brady-and-walker/

      CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Ontario/Afternoon+Drive/ID/2529375505/

      Delete
    3. So out all the projects and "corporate events" they did all summer, Tessa only mentions TIFF by name. I guess she wants people to google it. She must be unsatisfied with the amount of attention that she got, considering how rare it is for her to actually appear in public with the fake SO.

      Delete
    4. 10:45 - I've said before, that red carpet move was so up its own ass it's a wonder we could see her and Ryan there at all. The triumphant self-congratulation was coming off it in waves. I think in consequence, it had about the same impact as coSondra on the reality show. Let's pretend it didn't happen. Both appear to be executed as slam dunks, but when this stuff actually materializes, it's just uncomfortable. I feel as if it's like "Look what I did there! Even Scott never appeared on the actual red carpet with a date besides me! Look! How made of win is that!"

      At least they never tried to extend the shelf-life of the Cassandra gambit in the reality show. I'd have anticipated a lot of what's going on with Tessa's twitter now - a lot of HEY, did you see Scott on the sofa KISSING a girl on television! Call him married now bitches! Ha!

      I think maybe they just expected more impact from TIFF. But fake is fake. Even red carpet fake. Also, it was a blatant flipping the bird after the whole Scott's birthday thing, and IMO fans prefer to pretend not to see that side of Virtue and Moir. Forget about Scott's birthday - look at me on the red carpet with Ryan Semple! How bad ass am I?

      And I think people were still, yeah okay, but it would have been nice if you'd deigned to notice fans were saying happy birthday.

      Also, please notice that when the interviewer brings up the "fact" that they're not a couple, somehow Ryan's existence, promoted all over twitter, is forgotten. Why's that. It's just like when "Well, I've been with Jessica Dube for three years" would have neatly shut down that "annoying" question about them being a couple, and Scott could even have fished out that "respect" word he's fond of when it suits his purpose. "I don't like to play into that off ice because it's not respectful to my girlfriend Jessica, even though she's in the sport and understands." Nope. the question is annoying but the info that could prevent it being brought up again or shut the door is never part of the conversation.

      Delete
    5. @ 10:45 anon, yes the TIFF mention definitely stood out... because that's more important that actually using this opportunity and platform to plug some of the wonderful charities she was involved with, (even if they were all golf-related).
      The rest of that interview was fairly benign though, insofar as theirs go, so whatever.

      A few things about the CBC interview; apparently he's starting classes because he tells kids it's important to stay in school, and he needs to take his own advice. Think we can get him to tell kids lying is bad?

      I also wanted to listen to what he said regarding them not spending as much time together, to see if the implication given matched his actual words. It did not. The only thing he really said in terms of their interaction was, "...it's been a little bit of an adjustment not being together so much".
      Which I think it most likely true depending on schedules with the house, classes, their kid, etc. When they're in competition mode, it's inevitable there is very little time they're not with each other. Obviously, they're still spending a lot of time together now, or in close proximity, but there's a natural change in routine they have to re-acclimate to.
      It's just interesting to read perspectives on his statement from those who know the truth vs those who don't know or believe it.

      I also like the implication that they're going to be on the road for 4-5 months starting Jan 1.

      Delete
  17. "Davis White should have no World titles (or even World podium finishes after 2010) and certainly no Olympic medals. "

    OC, do you mean they did deserve a medal in 2010, or that they definitely didn’t deserve a medal after 2010 but you haven’t reviewed and analyzed 2010 and prior?

    IMO, they did NOT deserve the podium at Worlds 2010. They didn't deserve any one of their Worlds placements. It started with the top 10 placement in 2007. They piggybacked VM's scores every year.

    I think it’s important to challenge narratives like “well the field in 2010 was weak [which I agree with] so I guess DW deserved the podium” (and I’m not sure this is what you’re saying, but a lot of people have said this, so I think it’s worth getting into). I don’t think DW were fairly marked until 2010 and only when they first beat VM at Worlds did the judging become unfair. It was systematic, a constant game to see how much they could get away with, and it went through to Sochi.

    Of course VM were better. What did DW do to merit the podium? Faiella Scali (bronze) bored me to tears, but they really skated that program and extended it through their bodies. Pechalat Bourzat (4th) also skated rather well. Did DW have better CDs than them? Was Bollywood more skating-centered than their ODs? Were their elements in the FD more difficult?

    Going into 5th and 6th there are two ehhhh teams, the Kerrs and the Zaretskys. I think both were probably ranked too high as well, but I’m not necessarily going to say, well, those teams are not that good, so let’s assume DW were better.

    That’s basically my whole problem since 2007: why does the ISU always make it appear as if we have to start DW from where VM are and then work down? Why the automatic assumption both teams were equally skilled? This is where I think training with DW hurt VM the most. Does being young North American teams who train at the same rink and entered seniors at the same time automatically mean they have equally good components, that all their elements are equally difficult and well performed? This was going on from the start, and then it became that all things equal, if VM have a slip then DW should win, and then it morphed into if DW have a slip DW should still win – after all, they improved since 2010 and they were already equal then!

    The FD scores at 2010 Worlds are outrageous. DW won the FD with 53.70 TES vs VM’s 53.10. The next best team was PB with 48.70. I guess the judges had enough shame back then not to have DW win the PCS, so that was won by VM with 57.93 followed by 56.79 for DW and then 50.74 for FS. Amazing how DW get a 5 point TES cushion and a 6 points PCS cushion over EVERY COUPLE except VM… and for what? That’s a huge number! They beat FS overall by TWENTY-SIX POINTS. Whoa. What makes DW 26 points better than FS, but this year CL were only .02 points better than WP? What does that even mean?

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    Replies
    1. 10:05, cont

      So instead of going top down with DW, I’m going to start from the bottom up. I know that I could directly compare VM with any couple from that Worlds and be able to make the case why VM were better. Can that be done with DW? http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc2010/CAT004RS.HTM

      I’ll give them that they’re better the Turkish couple in 26th and the Austrians in 19th. I’ll give them the Reeds (15th). I start to get stuck at Navarro Bommentre of the US in 14th. I don’t remember their skate at Worlds (I think they had mistakes there), but their skating quality generally, while not great, was not worse than DW’s. I know CL had some mistakes. Hoffman Zavozin in 10th… hmm, Hoffman was a better skater than either Davis or White but the team was a mess. DW were more cohesive in whatever the fuck it is they do.

      Where it starts to get clear is at 9th – Samuelson Bates. What the hell did DW do better than SB? SB’s program was dullsville (not like POTO was anything special either) but that’s not in the criteria. SB skated with deep edges, matching extension throughout, they interpreted the music, they had footwork, their lifts flowed from their blades… I would love to see a DW fan break down what was better.

      How about Bobrova Soloviev in 8th place? For most skating fans, not just DW fans, Bobrova will get hand-waved away: “posture.” Her posture sucks, now someone explain to me how Meryl’s was better. At least Bobrova compensated with great toe point, stretch, and a flexible back. Meryl just scooched around on the ice like a cro-magnon. And tell me how Dmitri is less steady than Charlie.

      Well, it must be because of DW’s superior technical elements. Nobody, save VM, could compete there, right? Nope. BS had better levels. They had the highest base value in the competition. That means the 21 points by which DW beat BS *in the FD alone* were all down to their execution of their elements and program! So what was so much better? Did Davis White have deeper edges than Bobrova Soloviev? Did Phantom have more transitions? Was there more multi-directional skating? Was DW’s skating more secure and flowing over the ice? I’m not here to say BS were anything special. I’m saying I don’t see what DW did that was above them – because I know that the first reaction from a DW fan, or even any skating fan would be, “oh, but Bobrova and Soloviev ______ (list flaws).” Which is true, they’re a very flawed team in some areas. What I want to know is why DW are less flawed, rather than assume they start from par (par being VM). In fact, tell me that DW had deeper edges than the obscure Russian team in 11th, Rubleva Shefer.

      Delete
    2. 10:05 cont (last part)

      BTW, about base value (the famous Teflon Level 4 Elements). The lowest BV at that Worlds FD (I scanned quickly, so I hope I didn’t miss anyone) was 38.40. DW and VM had 42.40. It’s not about who’s hitting the levels. That’s only a four point spread in base value in the entire FD. Remember, DW already got an 11 point cushion on TES and PCS alone, just cause that’s what VM got. I don’t doubt that their levels were padded too, but even if they weren’t, you can deduct those four points in base value, giving them the easiest FD in the entire competition, and they STILL win comfortably over everyone else except VM! This is why it’s bullshit that lost levels are blamed for VM losing competitions. They should have that kind of GOE/PCS cushion over everyone else.

      Finally let’s look at Crone Poirier in 7th. I’m not a huge supporter, but their FD was absolutely jam packed with difficult choreography. There was a lot of dancing in between the elements. Their carriage was better. They changed directions and used their edges in interesting ways. It was a real program with high level skating skills on display, and they had solid elements. What did DW do that was so much better than CP? CP’s OD also had a better level of difficulty. Davis White beat them overall by FORTY-THREE POINTS. I’m blushing as I type it, because that is obscene. I actually had to double check my math a couple of times. How were DW better than CP at all, nevermind by that much?

      Delete
    3. "OC, do you mean they did deserve a medal in 2010, or that they definitely didn’t deserve a medal after 2010 but you haven’t reviewed and analyzed 2010 and prior?"

      I mean the latter and should have made it clear. I have seen their pre-2010 skating and observed clear issues, but not measured it against the teams they were up against at the time, and it's been awhile since I've looked at DW vis a vis the non-Virtue Moir field in Vancouver and Torino.

      I was going to say ANY of their World podium finishes, but realized I needed to actually re-watch Vancouver's skates, and DW's prior skates vis a vis the other teams. In my mind was the observation some have made that DW's skating has actually declined over this past quad - the actual engagement of their edges with the ice - so I hedged on putting 2010 under the umbrella without verifying for myself.

      I know I didn't need to check Vancouver's cd placement, as I'd reviewed that more recently. At the time, both DW and VM were getting a lot of publicity for having the tango romantica creator personally tutor them in the cd. IMO Virtue and Moir ought to have been in first place after that cd, and by miles. D/S sold the hell out of it, but at blade level, I'm not sure how close they ought to have been if they had been placed where they deserved, which IMO was second. DW's was their usual ridiculous. Face acting, and teensy, tiny skating.

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    4. ^I remember Crone and Poirier's program very well. I side eyed them so hard the next year when they went to Dean, because Lane's own choreo (hers and her husbands?) was fantastic for that team that year.

      It's so painful to review YOUR review, because you're correct - DW's scores were simply piggybacked onto VM's almost since they both came on the scene. The narrative that they were virtually equal was about deafening by Vancouver, where we were to understand Virtue and Moir deserved their gold, but DW pretty much deserved it too, and it was just how the cookie happened to crumble in Vancouver, Canada, that year that had VM go away with the win. Not that VM weren't deserving, but DW were EQUALLY deserving, and what good sports and great friends these equally wonderful ice dance teams were! When we look back at that narrative, that USED VM - used the training mate story, used the bff story, used the everybody is happy for everybody story, and then as soon as it was time for DW to have their own "turn" it was turn around and dump on VM and treat them like garbage. If they made a visible mistake (unlike DW's built-in deficits that were treated as legit features) - the DW partisans and connections went after VM hammer and tong. If VM skated well, VM were ignored or damned with meh reviews. DW took and took and took, used and used and used. Of course, not possible without their families, $$$, Dore, Benoit Lavoie (VM's own Fed), but DW's enthusiastic embrace of it was grotesque, particularly after 2012 and onward.

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    5. I do wonder how patsified VM were in this scenario. When their own Fed threw them under the bus two years running, what did they think? When their own Fed had its mouth zipped or went AWOL when they interrupted the 4CCs, when they got royally fucked at the 2013 GPF, what did they think? Their narrative is they went to Marina with their "WTF" but is Marina really the proper person to ask, or was she a scapegoat? Why didn't they ask their FED WTF, and ask "Where are you - why are you silent? Why not get some articles out there about how screwed we're being? Call some journalists, plant some observations and quotes. Say something yourselves that shows plainly you know the outcome is dubious." Because the content of their programs wasn't the problem. It was the narrative, and every step of the way their Fed helped the DW narrative.

      I don't recall DW, when they'd wax sanctimonious about their two whole losses to VM after Vancouver, acting like maybe the coach had missed something. They acted like maybe the SPORT had missed something, or got very pious about implying the judging was mysterious somehow. There are things their Fed is supposed to do when a skater gets screwed - did VM not wonder not just why their Fed was silent, but why their damn scores at Canadians were barely holding off bench warmer teams?

      DW were blowing up the scoreboard early on in 2009-2010, outscoring VM in the GP series and prior to the Olympics, but of course, we're not meant to compare scores from different competitions. DW just happened to get high scoring panels their entire freaking career and VM just happend to run into strict panels even at home. It was simply a big coincidence. I do recall at some point Slipchuk saying he had every confidence that the scoring would be correct in Vancouver (I honestly can't recall for certain if it was him or Thompson). I don't know what prompted that remark but I remember thinking, maybe he knows something, and that's why these ridiculous DW scores don't bug him (I knew they were ridiculous back then even though at the time I thought DW were legit podium finishers.)

      When we look back at the narrative that worked against VM this past quad, and how Skate Canada showed its complicity at Canadians, one does wonder where were VM? Simply expecting that things would play out properly when it counted, as it had in Vancouver? But there were too many signals along the way that it wouldn't, and prior to the GPF. They've been in skating their whole lives - Scott's family has been in skating longer than he's been alive. What did his family think was going on? What did they? The railroading seems completely obvious so one wonders if they knew, and thought they could skate so decisively on the day that no pre-planned outcome could be pulled off, or what. Maybe that's what it was. Maybe they knew the game was rigged, but believed if they skated their absolute best on the day, the sport wouldn't be able to pull off the heist. Scott looked as if he felt that's what they'd done, after the short program in Sochi. They HAD done it. That face and that reaction didn't read to me as if "Thank God we skated our best". That looked to me as if he felt as they'd skated, they couldn't be denied.

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    6. "Scott looked as if he felt that's what they'd done, after the short program in Sochi. They HAD done it. That face and that reaction didn't read to me as if "Thank God we skated our best". That looked to me as if he felt as they'd skated, they couldn't be denied." It still breaks my heart to see Scott's reaction at the end of that magical SD - knowing what we know now. Hell, knowing what WE knew at the time - it was a million miles ahead of anyone else.

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    7. 10:05 - want to add something else to your take down of ice dance scoring - DW's non-clutch performances. At the time of Worlds 2011, I didn't really watch DW. I didn't enjoy them, so just assumed they were the second best team in the world, but not on VM's level. I watched VM's performance and saw they were a bit gassed at the end, assumed DW did their usual and thought, okay, that's fair. I even did a blog post about it, calling out some complaining on Moir facebooks. I HAD seen early iterations of DW's tango that year, and read the once-in-a-lifetime admission that they had chosen it to improve some details in their skating. The early outings of that program were less than impressive. I assumed they'd fixed it and had skated clean, fast and with attack at Worlds. When the blog started looking at the non-skating, non-dancing, bastardized horror show of their actual skating in all of their programs, I went back and actually watched the Worlds tango. VM were gassed? DW were labored, sloppy, could barely get their freaking hops and skips out. They crawled. They barely covered ice and every step was short, tight, unfinished and rough. That was not a great program and they're not great skaters but their first Worlds win was possibly the worst performance of that tango they'd given the entire year. This is not new with them. They flatten out during the season and are muscling through by the last competition, visibly pushing, nothing but to just hit whatever the next piece of choreography is, and never mind the HOW, just blow through it and into the next thing. Don't stop, don't breathe, but still look slow.

      The Olympic effort in Sochi was similar. It was labored and desperate. All they were doing was pushing and rushing through every piece of choreography, not finishing anything. This is over and beyond the non-skating nonsense at blade level and their bodies miles apart.

      I love how when that program was first presented, they didn't even try to fake skating close together by hustling together before and after stuff, or rushing together after posing apart. They were yards apart every step of the way - why bother.

      But anyway, the titles they were unjustly handed are even more objectionable because they couldn't even do whatever it is they do (which isn't skating or ice dance) well by the end. They could barely push through. And it didn't matter.

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    8. It really is fascinating how DW manage to lose momentum by the end of the season each year. Taking talent out of the equation, wouldn't anyone improve on something if they practice that exact thing every day for 9 months? No matter how good or how bad of skaters, it would become easier no? Of course someone can have a bad day at Worlds (PB in 2011) but with DW it's a pattern. I remember particularly that when they first skated DF they looked so crisp and fresh, for them, and as the season went on it flatlined. Sochi was possibly their slowest performance ever.

      Or is it just another mirage? In 2011, 12, and 13 they had to change at least one program right before the season started. So does subliminally make us more impressed when they debut, because the even though the new program was put together so quickly, they still look relatively fit (because the program is always made up of years-old moves)? And then by the end of the season, it looks bad in comparison, because the other teams are skating better with more mileage, while DW skate the same?

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    9. Sochi was incredibly slow. It put the gold medal fix on blast, that's for sure. They crawled across that ice.

      I don't think it's a mirage. Yes, they've had to change at least one program prior to the seasons you mention, but every program contains the same damn elements, skipping, hopping, b.s. they've drilled for years. I think they've been doing the same thing forever, and so when they start the season, they're rested, relaxed, and it all looks good, whatever it is they're doing. I think when Worlds comes around, they want to deliver that Worlds or Olympic performance, and show some sort of difference or growth between the beginning of the season and Worlds. But there's none. They've already started out at their maximum, because everything they do at the start of every season is stuff they can do in their sleep. Plus, they're fresh. By the time it's the end of the season, they of course, have nothing new in their arsenal, they can't kick it up to another level, so they just desperately flail and lunge through every piece of the program without pausing for breath, all the phrasing and detail falls apart, and I guess everyone just agrees that the desperate, frantic, winded performance = bringing it. Would they be so last-gasp, unsteady, wheels-coming-off the bus if they weren't giving their all? We know that's what the judges are looking for.

      oc

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    10. Thinking further about what did Virtue and Moir know, and when did they know it: - back around the time Virtue and Moir won in Sochi, I read some Marina quotes about when Virtue and Moir first entered the senior scene. It was clear their Fed had high hopes for them, and Vancouver gold was already the target. The Fed asked Marina how high she felt Virtue and Moir could finish at their first Worlds - I believe this would be in the Valse Triste season. I think Marina said sixth, given what she understood, I take it, about the positions of the other teams, politics, etc., and what Virtue and Moir still needed to do.

      In that story, the salient point is that Skate Canada went to the coach to ask about VM's prospects/results.

      After Sochi, Scott and Tessa talked about going to Marina to change/fix the program after the GPF, as if the whole freaking problem were the content of Seasons wasn't "answering" the brilliant content of Davis and White's incredible free dance, no matter how brilliantly Virtue and Moir executed. They portrayed themselves as all heated up about it, but what smells to high heaven about their entire account of the post-GPF stock-taking is only they and their coaches were involved, their portrayal that they thought somehow something in the program itself was the issue. They're not that stupid. Not when it comes to skating. I don't care if they pretend not to watch Davis White - they know exactly what a crock that Davis White free dance was. There's nothing "Seasons" could have done to answer what Schez was doing, because Schez was bullshit. They were completely different things. If it WAS a program content situation, this is where the Fed talks to the coach and the Fed works relationships in the ISU, because that's their job. You don't leave it entirely up to the skaters, no Fed does, especially when the most brilliant skaters a Fed has ever had on its team is in the middle of getting hosed.

      Yet Scott and Tessa portray their Fed as a bunch of people who sort of mustered up and pitched in to help out Scott and Tessa on the mechanics of their program that was somehow not getting the job done, but otherwise had no job to do in their road to the Olympics.

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    11. ^first sentence should read "Vancouver" not "Sochi".

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    12. The Fed has a political job as well, we all know it. But Skate Canada was much too busy helping the ISU and the USFSA association get Davis White their gold medal.

      What I want to know is, what did Virtue and Moir think the story was here? Best case, I think perhaps, as I said in an earlier comment, knowing that the ISU always, always fucked with them, they felt the ISU was continuing to raise the bar for them and them alone, because, as Marina would say (and I always took this as code) "more" is expected of Olympic champions. Virtue and Moir had been fucked around with six ways from Sunday from before Vancouver, to Torino Worlds, to every subsequent Worlds, so maybe they thought GPF 2013 was upping the ante like high stakes poker. Would VM choke? If VM DID go to Marina and put the post GPF travesty at her feet, maybe they wanted her to tell them what the ISU wanted, not vis a vis DW, but from THEM, before the ISU would allow the judges to acknowledge that VM kicked DW's ass every time they entered the building. In the past it's been "Well, we want you to change this exciting dismount lift right before your Canadians. It's the highlight of your program, so we're taking it out. You MIGHT lose points." Basically, what the ISU always wanted from Virtue and Moir before they'd let them win is they wanted Virtue and Moir to let them bust their balls and break their chops while VM sucked it up. Every time VM went along without complaint. They'd do it, nail it, the ISU got the satisfaction of busting chops, breaking Virtue and Moir's balls, and so in Vancouver they got gold. In Torino it was "Oh hey, that final move in the OD that you did even in the Olympics - it might be illegal. Take it out."

      Because you know, it seemed the ISU was a bit addicted to breaking their balls. They did it the next year, and the next, and in Sochi. What I want to know is, what did Scott and Tessa think when their own Fed started breaking their balls in the free dance at their own national championships? Didn't that seem a little different to them?

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    13. The job of addressing ISU fuckery, of putting it on the table, of figuring out what was going on, was Skate Canada's. As long as, in the end, Virtue and Moir won, I guess everybody played along, but when it was clear Virtue and Moir were getting screwed no matter what they did, and the ISU still fucked with them, where was Skate Canada? Skate Canada was right alongside the ISU, helping it fix trip wires on the ice when Virtue and Moir took their opening pose.

      For Virtue and Moir to pretend this was a situation between them and their coach makes them complicit in the whole thing, even if they don't want to be. This isn't a situation between two skaters and their coach and they know it as well as the rest of us do. For Christ's sake, all the people who count at Skate Canada have known David Dore since he was in diapers. These directors (and the president, Benoit Lavoie), know Dore a hell of a lot better than Marina Zoueva knows Dore. He's one of them.

      You know how figure skating fans are always hyper sensitive to connections and relationships? OMG, the tech caller at the GPF is the wife of the head of the Russian Fed! Oh shit, Judy Bloomberg is assigned to the ice dance competition at Worlds!

      Well fuck us all, David "Skate Canada" Dore is vice president of the ISU, the highest ranking ISU official who knows an inside edge from a toe pick. Tessa and Scott are, by any objective measure, the best ice dancers in the world by many fathoms, but Scott and Tessa are reduced to going to their coach and asking her to suss out what in their brilliant skating of CoP-perfect Seasons program wasn't getting the job done, even when they blew Davis White off the ice at the GPF? I don't think so.

      Skate Canada officials/directors/notables know how to have off the record conversations with the ISU vice-president. In terms of access, it's like rolling over in bed and there he is on the adjacent pillow. They have his digits and his email. After Sochi, they honored the shit out of him.

      All we got from Skate Canada was radio silence on what was happening to Virtue and Moir, and shutting down of, or ignoring, fan questions and complaints about the scoring, and repeated touting of the Davis White/Virtue Moir "rivalry".

      While Virtue and Moir were clearly, IMO, in the position of having to swallow a massive disappointment (even if the writing had been on the wall) after Sochi, how they've discussed it afterwards doesn't make sense. Skate Canada isn't just a collection of helpful technical specialists, coaches and lift experts who can step in where Marina's choreography didn't cut the mustard, as Scott and Tessa sort of pretended before they doubled back and told us every inch of Marina's choreography was hand-crafted by Marina and themselves and they wouldn't change the placement of so much as a finger. Skate Canada is a political organization with closer ties to David Dore than any other Federation. Virtue and Moir and their families know it. They know HIM.

      Yes, it was possible for Virtue and Moir to go into denial, believe they were being fucked with as per usual, only the ante was upped even more due to the Olympics, and if they skated so as not to be denied, they wouldn't be. However, getting their balls broken by their own Federation at Canadians was new, and they can't not have noticed. It certainly can't have been Skate Canada wanting Virtue and Moir to be super duper perfect so as to be bullet proof at the Olympics, because Skate Canada started hosing them at Canadians at their first post-Vancouver competition. What's supposed to happen when you have Olympic and World Champions at your national championships is you dole out fantastic, send-a-statement scores, and if there are any tweaks or issues with the program, you address those behind closed doors. What Skate Canada did in 2012 onward was tell the world it was open season on Virtue and Moir. And Scott and Tessa didn't notice?

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    14. It now looks to me as if the ridiculous scores for Gilles/Poirier's first Canadians competition wasn't about lowballing VM so the next generation's chosen could look good. It was about Davis White, and Skate Canada's collaboration/signing off on Davis White getting gold in Sochi. Gilles/Poirier were a very Davis White-like team, and a new team, with a female partner who kind of sucked. The scores shouldn't have been anywhere near the same ballpark, but I think VM's were closer to GP's than their scores were to the numbers Davis White put up at their own championships. Considering all that Skate Canada did to pave the way for Davis White in Sochi, and how the fix seems to have been in even prior to Vancouver, it makes sense to score VM so close to a perceived "DW-lite" team even when Virtue Moir skated very well. It's just setting the table.

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    15. The more there's digging around in the ice dance results from before Vancouver till now, the more unbelievable it is how everything was to the benefit of ONE ice dance team -- DW. And yet, there are the scores and the videos to support these thesis, as difficult as it is to believe the magnitude of what they pulled off. This is corruption to the core.

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    16. While some DW partisans dismiss the so-called conspiracy theories, the primary evidence, the original source, is on the ice. Everybody can see it. Something has to explain DW's podium finishes, World finishes, Olympic finishes, and we can all see, and therefore KNOW, that it was not the skating. We have to look elsewhere for a reason. That's the whole problem faced by anyone who thinks this discussion is far-fetched - DW's skating. It's visible. We can see it. We can't look at the skating to account for their resume.

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    17. Further supporting the opinion of the person in the comments section who suspects that Virtue and Moir's Vancouver win was simply the set up for Davis and White - the fact that even in the season leading up to Vancouver, the ISU targeted Virtue and Moir's showcase elements, fucked with them, tried to strip the so-called "wow" factor from their programs. They were setting a pattern. In 2009-2010, the ISU went after the Goose (just before a Canadians where Virtue Moir were going to be in a blazing spotlight) and at Worlds, after the element was just fine at the freaking OLYMPICs, the ISU decided the "wow" finish of the OD was iffy, and let it be known VM were better off taking it out. 20 minutes or so before the performance. This was setting it up. In 2011 they had only one performance of the Latin free, but still we were all quickly informed that the most spectacular feature of that dance, the lift where they're side by side and Tessa rolls onto Scott's back - wasn't up to snuff.

      Right. Funny Face was lowballed throughout the season, although I don't recall a specific feature being targeted, but the ISU (and Skate Canada) was back at it with Carmen. Who was surprised when, just before the Olympic free in the ice dance competition, the ISU decided the most jaw dropping, spectacular moment in Virtue and Moir's Seasons program was negatively impacting their step sequence? And then of course I don't think the step sequence got the level anyway.

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    18. VM had all level 4's in the FD in the individual event in Sochi: http://www.isuresults.com/results/owg2014/owg14_IceDance_FD_Scores.pdf

      DW "won" the FD over VM on GOE and PCS. Tee hee hee.

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    19. You know what's even more hilarious? Despite them "winning" on PCs and GOE, the narrative about them is that they're "technical". So the narrative implies they're more technically on point, and the fastest, and the freaking SCORES juice them to the win on PCs and GOE, not their supposed on point technique.

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    20. I find it interesting that any defence of VM ended when the first Thompson left. Coincidence? Maybe....or maybe he was causing problems with the plan to shaft VM so he had to go or couldn't take it anymore? For whatever flaws, he did seem to care about the athletes...

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    21. Thought of that myself, bet we're not the only ones. He's such a pompous ass, and complicit himself in in-house Virtue and Moir sham b.s., that it's easy to throw him in with the crowd that got VM robbed, BUT, there are signs that this might not be the case, and the main sign is he left the sport not just prior to the Olympics, but prior to the London Worlds that he had been overseeing. It seemed a bit of an abrupt U-turn, to say the least.

      As insufferable as he could be, he did seem to care about figure skating and be proud of it, and he did make that silly, but I guess sincere, post on fsu about how up and up everything was with the judging at Canadians, citing his credentials as a former judge at the elite level. Nothing about his deportment running up to London Worlds suggested he was about to do a bolt. He was out there. OTOH, we never heard from Lavoie, who was in the shadows, to say the least.

      Benoit Lavoie left prior to the Olympics, and, I believe, prior to London Worlds as well, which was very mafiosa of him - be on the other side of the world when the hit takes place. Furthermore, Skate Canada thought it fitting, in an Olympic year, to leave the CEO and president positions open for a puzzlingly long period of time, only to hire someone as president who was going to do the job remotely (and who is figure skating culture up to her eyeballs) as president, and someone from outside the sport, a marketing exec with their primary sponsor, as CEO.

      Thompson appears to have left the sport, while Benoit departed Skate Canada for the bosom of the ISU. So yep, we may have to give him credit for not signing onto this rip-off. Of course, the people who object are silent. That's how it always goes.

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  18. ^^the WHOLE stinking thing breaks my heart....outside of this blog NO ONE questions it --freaking ridiculous ....even when people say "gold in iur hearts" it sounds like a feeling thing...it's not gold in our hearts it's freaking straight up STOLEN GOLD

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    1. Me too. For all that the blog justifiably calls out the sham, and for all that it's pointed out the sham and DW's stolen gold are pretty much twin consequences of the same culture of corruption, a culture that doesn't think any rules, even its own, apply to it - the Sochi results break my heart. As 10:05 pointed out, DW fans, when challenged, go after other teams perceived flaws, but have consistently been unable to point to any instance of superior skating by DW. It's not there, and it can't be done. That an absolute fraud of a team was pushed to the top of a podium and the greatest team the sport has ever seen was used merely as fodder to legitimize them, then thrown under the bus, is an absolute travesty for anyone who cares about and loves figure skating. Anybody who has learned even a little bit about the sport knows what it takes to skate at elite level, and when it comes to skating how VM skate, that won't be repeated. I don't know if I've ever seen a team with that much talent max out that talent to the degree these two did. They were untouchable. That the sport did it to itself and for WHAT? For Dissan shows? Because the White and Davis families spread the money around one way or another over the years? Because they thought they could somehow force Davis White into the cash cow slot previously occupied by Michelle Kwan?

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    2. It makes me want to weep. Such corruption that gave such an inferior team like DW the accolades and hardware that rightly belong to VM, the greatest ice dancers ever.

      It's astounding to read in the above posts the clear trajectory of predetermined placements for DW. I wish those exact comments could be given to every so-called skating journalist and make them read them on the air and explain themselves. It's one of the greatest travesties in the history of figure skating.

      VM have at least another two Olympic cycles in them. Their talents and skills are so astounding, so superior. They were just getting started with their potential. The ISU doesn't want to reward that kind of mastery. Idiots.

      Like it was said, this blog is the only place so far that dares say these truths and allows discussion about these things. It's the greatest irony that here are VM's staunchest defenders, but Tessa and Scott direct their efforts towards giving this place the finger. Go figure.

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    3. I am heartbroken that we will no longer see them skating in a competition because corruption wins. What happened to them leading up to Sochi and in Sochi was criminal but no one (ISU, main stream journalists, so called fans of skating) bats and eye at it.
      In my opinion they are hands down the best team to ever skate. What they did on the ice was pure magic and their skills are untouchable.

      My pipe dream is that they come back and skate after a season off and make a push towards another Olympics, but I know that probably isn't in the cards anymore and that is a hard pill to swallow.

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    4. 6:21, we can hardly be surprised Tessa and Scott give this *place* the finger, considering the opinions it has expressed about Tessa and Scott and their families. However, people who love figure skating, are knowledgeable about figure skating, and care more about that than anything going with these people's love lives or p.r., and who don't necessarily endorse the blog's style, so to speak, not only comment here, but exist, period, and their existence is ignored. There was one figure skating fan who also happened to be a writer, and she wrote an article complaining of the disparaging way figure skating fans were written about, spoken of, and generally treated, but I don't recall a follow up.

      On the one hand, you have a minority we might call the "fandom." Although they're a minority, they're the only demographic recognized by the sport, on and off the ice. By recognizing only what the sport considers the lowest of the low (fans), the sport, and skaters like Scott and Tessa, are justified in treating them poorly. They don't want to recognize the existence of any other sort of fan, because that would - seemingly - require that they alter their own behavior, and they don't care to do that.

      When it comes to Scott and Tessa, I've always thought how you treat people says something about you, not about the person or group with whom you're engaging. Skaters such as, to name two outstanding examples, the Shibs and Paul/Islam, no doubt understand the score with *fan* type fans, just as clearly as Scott and Tessa believe they understand it. However, neither team considers that license to be a dick. I imagine that's because they were raised to know better. How you treat people, even people you consider beneath you, reflects on you, not on the people you consider *less than*. This isn't just a product of people's upbringing - it seems to be instinctive with some people regardless of their upbringing. In order to understand that poor treatment of other people reflects on you and not on the people you're treating poorly, empathy is required. It's always struck me as extremely strange and "off" that Virtue and Moir appear so deficient in that area.

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    5. BTW, I don't think that treating people decently, which to me means treating them fairly = pandering, sucking up, or being a phony. It appears to me that the Shibs and Paul Islam are so profoundly decent that they treat the public they way they do - with kindness, appreciation, courtesy, intelligence - because it's not in them to treat people any other way, because despite their accomplishments, they haven't been raised to believe they're the exception, or incredible special snowflakes, and because each team has an inherent understanding of fan/celeb dynamics, and consider themselves on the fortunate side of that relationship.

      However, I've seen celebrities complain, be cranky, bitchy, call fans out, and it works, it's okay, because they're not two-faced.

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  19. IceNetwork is spitting out the propaganda at regular intervals now.

    First up, we learn about how GP and their romantic FD (LOL) and how they're going to compete against Islam and Paul and Orton and Williams at the Autumn Classic.

    http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2014/09/23/96003380

    Today, we have an article on DW 2.0. US Nationals is going to once again be a swell event when CB are handed the national title after being outskated by HD, Shibs, and most likely HB as well. Why does the USFS perpetually have no desire to give the actual best-on-ice ice dance team the national title? I surmise that CB will be given scores and titles they didn't earn this quad as a consolation for Igor because he was ousted from the Arctic Edge and DW stayed with Marina. HB are young enough to ride this out, but although young themselves, HD and Shibs may be just a bit old already to last through to 2022 in hopes they might finally get a chance to not be screwed over by an inferior team.

    http://www.icenetwork.com/news/2014/09/23/95435280

    Once again, I'm incredibly grateful that SV are now skating for Great Britain and USFS won't be able to play games with them at the national level in the future.

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    1. 1:52 again.

      This part of the CB article was especially charming:

      ""They always handled everything with such grace," Chock said of Davis and White. "We are trying to learn from that. They are beautiful examples for us."

      "I really admire the way they won, and the way they lost," Bates added. "Especially in those years when they finished behind [Virtue and Moir]. I never heard any complaints. They won and lost with class.""

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    2. What a shithead.

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    3. Fuck him. Complaints? They were dragged to the podium by Virtue and Moir's scores alone. What the fuck does Bates think Davis and White have to complain about?

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    4. He's just trying on the same sense of false modesty that DW had. It's a set up from assnetwork. First a glowing review of all CB's "accomplishments," demonstrating how they are the favorites for the US title, and then:

      IN: Chock and Bates are hesitant to take that role.

      "That's definitely been a common topic," Chock said. "We're trying not to think about it too much these days. It's up to us to have good competitions."

      and at the end

      "I don't want people to think that we're assuming anything this season," Bates said. "We have to put out our best performances at the national championships to be the national champions, and that's the way it should be. We're working harder than ever."

      It's totally false humility and it's straight outta the playbook. You read this and they want you to think these kids are so grounded. But there's an implication there that doesn't add up: that as long as CB skate their best, they will win. But who says THEIR best skating is THE best in the United States? The Shibs and HD has quite close scores on the GP last year. What if THEY skate THEIR best? It's all a setup, because they know they have that USFS support - Bates knows that as long as they don't fuck up, they'll win, regardless of whether they are outskated by any other team. It's similar to the way DW "brought it" in Sochi - they were outclassed by several teams, but they didn't fall down, so they win.

      And this is just funny: They said they chose their An American in Paris program as a departure from their routines the last two seasons, which were both very dramatic.

      There's no other reason, right? You didn't prepare an FD to that music with some other chick, and skated in exhibition, and then after she sat out the season waiting on your injured ass, you dumped her and pretty much said it was because she was fat? Nope, it doesn't ring a bell to me either.

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    5. I know skating has always been like this among the skaters and the families - all thinking they're owed at some point, all wanting the medal, the title, the placement, and fuck everybody about the actual skating. They deserve it! That's a mentality - they just want it. I understand that.

      The sport is not supposed to sell the placement and the hardware. The sport itself is not supposed to be about that. And now it is.

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    6. Wow.....an arrogant skater trying to sound humble...I despise that quote about how DW won and lost so well...they're probably part of that die-hard American group who believe that DW actually won. Ludicrous

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    7. "So, IOW, they're shoo ins."

      That's the only conclusion that can be taken away from the article.

      "It's totally false humility and it's straight outta the playbook. You read this and they want you to think these kids are so grounded. But there's an implication there that doesn't add up: that as long as CB skate their best, they will win. But who says THEIR best skating is THE best in the United States? The Shibs and HD has quite close scores on the GP last year. What if THEY skate THEIR best? It's all a setup, because they know they have that USFS support - Bates knows that as long as they don't fuck up, they'll win, regardless of whether they are outskated by any other team. It's similar to the way DW "brought it" in Sochi - they were outclassed by several teams, but they didn't fall down, so they win."

      THIS.

      We know this playbook and the setup. No matter what happens on the ice in Greensboro, we know that CB will be national champions. It's a done deal. CB are being presented vis-a-vis HD and Shibs in the same way that DW were presented vis-a-vis VM in the past several recent seasons.

      On the GP last year, at Skate America, HD had 60.71 and the Shibs 61.26 in the SD. In the FD, the scores were 93.21 for the Shibs and 92.27 for HD.

      A week later at SC, HD had 60.92 in the SD and 92.28 in the FD. Pretty consistent for a week turn-around with no time to do anything to the programs and with Madi's already in serious pain with her hip. (Not to mention the 6+weeks they lost in the off season with Madi's concussion.) The close timing is probably what meant that HD got to do both of their events, but it's a good time to point out that the reason why they had two back-to-back GP's is because the USFSA screwed them over at 2013 nationals, and with no trip to 4CC and Worlds, they only ended up being assigned one in the initial selection for last year's GP.

      At NHK, Shibs had 63.09 in the SD and 94.49 in the FD.

      Chock and Bates GPs were CoC and CoR. At CoC, they had 56.77 in the SD (a good 4 points off HD in their events, 4.5 off Shibs at SA and 6.5 off of what they had NHK). Their FD score was 93.67. At CoR, they had 57.80 in the SD. Keep in mind BOTH of CB's GP scores for their SD were well below both scores of both HD and the Shibs. Their FD score was 95.57, which was a little high.

      The total scores from the GP:
      HD: 152.98, 153.20, Average: 153.09
      Shibs: 154.47, 157.58, Average: 156.03
      CB: 150.53 ,153.37, Average: 151.95

      Coming out of the GP series, CB have the lowest average total score of the three teams.

      Then we get to nationals. Remember by just how much HD and the Shibs outscored CB on the GP circuit in the SD? Suddenly, CB are getting 73.41 while the Shibs get 68.00 and HD 66.69. In the FD, CB get 108.03, Shibs 102.44 and HD 101.58.

      The total scores from nationals were:
      CB: 181.44
      Shibs: 170.44
      HD: 168.27

      Now, HD were dealing with the hip problem and could not train fully. They were managing maybe a full runthrough a week. Their nationals score was 15.18 points higher than their GP average. The Shibs score was 14.41 points higher than their GP average. CB? Their total score was a whopping 29.49 points higher than their GP average. Basically, their nationals inflation was TWICE what HD and Shibs got. We harp on SC a lot and they deserve it, but when it came to their Olympic team in ice dance, they got it exactly right. The USFSA got it exactly wrong because the placements in the scores in absolutely no way reflected at all what happened on the ice.

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    8. 7:49 part 2

      Internationally, HD went on to 4CC. Madi had a problem on the twizzles due to her hip in the SD. They ended up with 61.05. One thing I find interesting is that before the judges took the downgrade for the twizzles, right when they finished skating, their TES was 34.25. Hypothetically, skating exactly the same two months later at worlds except hitting the twizzles, that would have been the second highest TES in the entire SD segment. Their FD score was 97.20 with a TES of 50.44--which was the highest TES out of both 4CC AND Euros AND was higher than CB's TES at Worlds. That TES would have been fifth highest in the FD at worlds behind IK, PB, WP, and CL (and it was very close to CL's 50.57). CB's total score in the FD at worlds was 99.88. Shibs were 95.02. In the SD, CB's total was 67.71 (34.79 TES) and Shibs were 63.55 (32.00 TES).

      Total Scores for 4CC and Worlds (two months apart)
      HD: 158.25
      Shibs: 158.57
      CB: 167.59

      CB, thanks to their absurd inflation into the #2 spot at nationals, sent them into Worlds as US #1 in the absence of DW. They got a PCS boost from that. There is an entry on the wonderful Two for the Ice blog about PCS and national ranking correlation: http://www.twofortheice.com/pcs-connecting-the-dots-1-a-question-of-ranking/

      In the complete farce that was held in February, Shibs had 64.47 (33.36 TES) and CB 65.46 (32.78 TES) in the SD. Black Monday, Shibs had 90.70 (43.42 TES) and CB 99.18 (49.01 TES). Total scores were 164.64 for CB and 155.17 for the Shibs.

      Back in January, HD said they'd be going for the national title this season. More recently, they said they hope for the top two. Realistically, because of USFS politics, it is the best they can do, no matter how well they skate on the ice. It's terribly sad to me that it was all decided months before nationals or before the season even began. The poor Shibs should have multiple national titles at this point, but they're once again locked out of competing for the top spot because of politics.

      The US has some excellent ice dance teams. They're just not the teams who have been rewarded in the past, and seemingly, not the ones who will be rewarded in the future.

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    9. Thanks, 7:49... I had remember the scores between the three teams were close, but had forgotten that CB actually had the lowest average on the GP. Really interesting when you break down those numbers, especially the bit about having twice the nationals inflation.

      Another thing is the commentary with CB. Johnny and Tara made a big deal about them. No substance of course, but lots about how fabulous and flashy they were. And in particular I remember the most ludicrous one being that you could send everyone out in the building and they'd still do the same performance because they perform for each other (when I really can't think of a team that has less connection or chemistry than them). It was really DW-type stuff, just the complete opposite of reality.

      HD don't seem to get any positive buzz at all. The only skater I have noticed lauding their talent is Morgan Matthews, who is long retired and not part of the commentary scene. In fact I doubt she's part of the scene at all, so she can speak more frankly.

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    10. You're welcome.

      I had also forgotten how close they were since I was a lot more focused on how VM and DW were getting scored. I hadn't looked too close at the US nationals numbers before, but getting twice the inflation is absurd.

      I've noticed the same about commentary for CB. It's the same things of no substance and non truth.

      "HD don't seem to get any positive buzz at all. The only skater I have noticed lauding their talent is Morgan Matthews, who is long retired and not part of the commentary scene. In fact I doubt she's part of the scene at all, so she can speak more frankly."

      I'm sure Matthews position in the skating world allows her to speak more freely than others. Her comment that HD are the most underrated team currently competing in ice dance is spot on. Ironically, they got more attention their first year together when they were so rough and unpolished. They clearly spent the summer of 2012 putting in a lot of work on their basic skating and other components and come out with two dance-based programs, including taking on the challenge of Flamenco on ice, including the Farracus, undeniably one of the toughest pieces to skate to, as one of their cuts for their FD. They were set up after that first year so they could have taken the easy road like DW and CB, but they did not, have not, and I don't think have any intention to. In a lot of ways, it feels like they've been punished by trying to adhere to the standards in the CoP. They actually had some decent momentum heading into 2013 Nationals. They were less than a point away from a medal at TEB. They were second in the FD there, and actually had a higher base value for their FD than PB did. (That outing of the FD actually had the third highest base value (39.7) of all FD's from the GP that Fall. (which makes it even more absurd that GP got to do two numbers in the gala there and HD weren't invited to do even one.) The only two higher were BS at SA and PB at CoC, both 40.20. It was kind of a nice follow up to having the highest base value in the SD at worlds in 2012, including the only level 4 non-touching step sequence in the whole event and being 1 of only 2 teams to get level 4's on both rhumba sequences. I've seen the SD's and FD's from all of the final group at US nationals in 2013. HD got totally screwed there, and I feel like that event sucked a lot of the wind out of their sails through no fault of their own. The concussion and hip injury last year didn't help matters, but given how they skated and how much they did accomplish with what was stacked against them poltics-wise and health-wise is remarkable, IMO. I saw a comment on Golden Skate that of all the US teams, HD, despite not being an Arctic Edge team, were hurt the worst by the Igor and Marina split. I think there's a lot of truth to that. DW stayed with Marina and they weren't going to be left off of any teams. The Shibs were rightfully earning their spot on the team. As a consolation, Igor got a spot for CB on the team. I think if there hadn't been that split there, Igor and Marina together would have had DW and Shibs and HD wouldn't have been left off the 4CC/World's teams in 2013 and the Olympic team in 2014 (and technically world's, but I'm guessing if they had made it to Sochi, they might have still declined world's so Madi could have had the surgery when she did in early March so as not to set this year back any more than necessary).

      They just seem to go completely unnoticed and unrecognized. It's a shame.

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    11. "In a lot of ways, it feels like they've been punished by trying to adhere to the standards in the CoP. "

      I think this is very true.

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    12. ^8:44 - Damn straight. Look at the teams getting pushed. Fake teams. No standards met. That allows the ISU and complicit Feds to decide who to reward, disregarding the rules, standards and criteria in CoP. If results were determined by who adhered to CoP standards, the ISU and complicit Feds wouldn't have the same leeway to make deals, swap favors, set up predetermined outcomes. They're looking for skaters who can execute a lot of non-skating crap, because then it doesn't matter how they dance or actually skate - crap is crap - make it a feature and you're always going to have a winning performance.

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    13. i wouldnt call this losing with grace look how pissed meryl looks http://cs624229.vk.me/v624229263/3700/dhSCrdamCpI.jpg

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    14. What a bitchface on that one.

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    15. sometimes i wonder if her face is permanently stuck like that like her face was like that trhoughout the whole ceremony

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  20. Does anyone remember that press fact sheet the USFSA put out last year that showed how damned some of those skaters (Mirai, Shibs) really were? Is there one of those out for this season? I'm not savvy enough to know how to find it myself.

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  21. I remember it, but haven't searched for a current one. Holy Mother, that was a piece of work.

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    1. I think it might have been special for the Olympic broadcasters. Not sure if it's an annual thing. I wonder if the ones from 2010 or 2006 are online.

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  22. Virtue-Moir are now scheduled to appear in Japan Stars on Ice in January. Instead of competing, it's going to be, "They can't possibly have a new baby and a 4 year old! They're touring in Japan/Switzerland/Canada!"

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    1. How do rock stars ever go on the road?

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    2. And Davis White are also on this tour(?). Please let them do "Try" so there's a direct comparison of the two teams on ice. Though based on the last JSOI tour, we won't get any fan videos.

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    3. Especially as they just did a tour with fellow skaters who clearly had their babies along with them.

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    4. but it can not be that Tessa has already given birth?

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    5. So she skated heavily pregnant in Sochi ? Or in addition to carry differently than 98% of women she's also capable of giving birth after only 5 months.
      Or Maybe she wasn't pregnant at all *shock*gasp*

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    6. I don't think she's given birth already - as pointed out, she'd have to have been pregnant prior to Sochi.

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  23. Has anybody seen WP's Nebelhorn SD ? I heard it got pretty bad reviews from the audience.

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    1. http://youtu.be/ahKReWUYwZw

      It's so basic and boring tbh. The only other one I've watched is Hawayek/Baker and they had a small fall but I still thought their program was more interesting.

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    2. Shut it off after 20 seconds. The sniveling nose choreography from Poje. OMG. Please.

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    3. I'm going to put up a post about these skates by the weekend, along with a sham post.

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    4. Of what I've seen, I thought from an overall enjoyability stand point that HB were most enjoyable. CB's PCS and GOE were too high. WP fairly won the segment with the best skating and execution in that field, but at the same time, there was nothing overly remarkable about the skate.

      So far, none of the SD's I've seen this season have stood out in any way.

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    5. What I see in Chock/Bates is they are super slow - in fact, the deliberation of the sd highlights the snails pace ice coverage. They do appear to be using the DW/Sochi template. Skate far far apart. Make every movement extremely deliberate. "We're slow on purpose. It's an indicator of quality! We're taking our time with this stand still moment! Clearly, it's not filler! It's of great importance!"

      As far as improvements, Maddie has a lot of not-seen-before stretch, extension in her body, and carries her weight. But, everything is extremely slow, and very basic. There are times they are more than slow - they crawl.

      WP have obviously superior run of blade compared to C&B. I'm going to watch their sd a few more times. I've read/heard a lot about their music being impossible, but it didn't bother me.

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    6. I think CB skate further apart than DW, which is quite special.

      I noticed how slow they were too. It's going to be awesome when HD and Shibs smoke them off the ice in speed and power in Greensboro and CB win!

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    7. Hahaha, I rewatched WP on mute and enjoyed their program much much more. I still need to watch the others.

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    8. I didn't get a chance to watch C/B yet, but I did watch W/P and thought they were s-l-o-w. And boring. In fact, so boring that I looked at the clock to see how much time was left since it seemed like they'd gone over... Not good. Especially for a first watch. I'm not their biggest fan, but I like them well enough, and they can both actually skate.
      Also, I know they're friends and VM are putting their support behind them because they want them to do well (both for them and as representatives), but it's clear after watching this VM are lying through their teeth (again) when they act like the teams in Canada are on par with them and would give them a run for their money if they stayed this year (politics aside). Even just their Paso CD from over 4 years ago was not close to the same league as these teams now. I understand why they aren't skating this year, and it's probably the right decision for them/their family, but I really would have loved to see this SD. Oh well.

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    9. I watched WP, CB, HD, and some Korean team...all did three-twizzle passes, all with varied and creative arm movements in character of the dance. Imagine that...a 16 year-old Korean ice dancer doing a three-twizzle pass in character of the dance. For shame, DW, for shame.

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    10. Watched it. While this is probably just grief talking I’m going to stick by it - there will never be another Farrucas. Choreography and music – dismal. This will be a painfully long season.

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    11. What made Farrucas, Farrucas was, of course (I know you know) the skating, and of course, the performance qualities of Virtue and Moir individually and as a unit. At the moment, the od's seem pretty uninspired, but IMO a lot of the "flat" impression comes from what appear to be basically rehearsal clothes, tinny sound, and the programs needing more mileage. I don't think the choreography is as dire as all that.

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    12. OC, YES…YES.. “flat”.. perfect word! I’m just being a bit of a drama queen. VM have talent. We all see and agree. But then there is that extra – pure magic (thanks Anon at 7:41). Their extensions, shapes, facial expressions : story is always conveyed. There are other talented teams out there, I’m still rooting for PI, and you are absolutely right, programs will develop as the season progresses. I chose to believe that VM saw potential in Canadian teams and didn’t just spout generic fluff. Or it can be a giant finger to SC “you made your bed, now lie in it”. Good luck with medal count. We’ll have to wait and see. Side note: wonder how sales will be affected now that BIG names aren’t there to draw crowds in?

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    13. Tessa said she watched the FDs only so any compliments she gave may not be lies just yet. I do wonder if they gave their honest opinions to the teams or just spouted off compliments and then had a laugh later...

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    14. As if Tessa and Scott would ever say something negative about a Canadian team. Tessa even manages to say she idolizes B/K with a straight face. And last year Scott said GP are challenging them.
      Whatever WP produce this year will get praised over the hills. Patriotism comes first for VM.

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  24. To add to how far back DW's rise started and the corruption - in the last quad in competitions vs VM - if memory serves me correctly - they have the majority of the time skated after VM - which gave the judges more wiggle room. And that couldn't have been more blatant in Sochi for the individual event for both the SD and FD...

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    1. The draw in Sochi was blatant.

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    2. What I can't figure out is how they fixed the draw.

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    3. Are the draws held live in open view?

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  25. Anon at 7:24 am - totally agree. Farrucas is a masterpiece from start to finish. And what a translation of movement to ice from both Tessa and Scott - pure magic.

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  26. Listened to V/M's interviews and random question: is it common in North America (US or Canada) to refer to contractors, construction workers, or other "blue collar" workers as "in the trades?" Just curious.

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    1. No. But they're "internationals" at this point in their lives, to be sure. Not mere North Americans or Canadians.

      They kind of fucked it up because per this Jane Austen webpage:

      "Someone in trade is not part of the gentry. You might act like a gentleman and even be treated as such, but you were always a step below."

      and includes solicitors, a/k/a attorneys like Tessa's dad, and it basically means your money comes from business, not income from land (and as many novels inform us, those who have income from land often also have a separate, whopping sum in the bank, such as Emma Woodhouse's 40,000 pounds in addition to her position as heiress to her father's Highbury estate).

      I think they mashed it up. You know the old expression "learn a trade" and that usually means blue collar stuff. "In trade" means the other stuff - you earn your living or made your money in business OR one of the professions, instead of inheriting land/title or a $$ inheritance.

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    2. I watch Property Brothers on HGTV (set in Toronto with Canadian hosts and crew) and I've heard that expression used on there.

      I've never heard it used in the States though.

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    3. I'm in BC and it's very common to just refer to "the trades" as a blanket for electricians, plumbers etc.

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