Wanted to share the above. It's a typically terrific piece from Smith, profiling two appealing, easy-to-root-for figure skaters, and it's worthwhile also for what it says about this team's funding situation.Without revealing numbers, Smith's article reinforces how expensive it is to train for elite competition.Thank heaven Tessa and Scott gave up the funding they were entitled to receive for not training and competing this year, or even more figure skaters would have found themselves up a financial creek this season.
Trophee Eric Bompard 2014 Short Dance Results:
Trophee Eric Bompard 2014 Free Dance Results
Look at that lockstep.
It's fascinating how dance has regressed to the old model on the heels of Davis White's results in Sochi. The legacy of that team is the garbaging of entire sport. It's also notable how the conversation has switched off. Back in 2010, there was nothing the figure skating media liked better than to sit back, wax morally superior, while breaking their arms patting the sport on the back about how really really real ice dance had finally become now that North America had produced a team that couldn't be denied. Officials and coaches from both the USFSA and Skate Canada were liberally quoted. Fake drama was amped up about Domnina and Shabalin - would the Evil Russians steal the gold in Vancouver as they'd been allowed to do at Worlds 2009?
In the olden days, everybody pretended that scoring corruption existed only on the eastern side of where the iron curtain used to be, and the English-language-speaking "experts" in the broadcast booths would hold their noses when the scores came up. We can hear the pickle juice in their tone of voice. Now that the Western side of the sport has corrupted ice dance beyond what any Russian or Eastern bloc Federation ever dreamed about (I don't think those Feds ever elevated absolute crap non-dancing, non-skating teams to the top of the international podiums as the Western side of the sport prefers), it's gotten so the comment booth simply instructs us to ignore what's happening directly in front of our eyes on the ice, and listen to what they tell us instead. Even fans who purport to have followed figure skating for years examine the protocols instead of the skating, and that's precisely how the sport wants it. The sport wants to and has succeeded in taking the skating out of the equation, literally.
On the figure skating, if not ice dance, bright side, for me anyway, there's this:
Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA/ Dylan MOSCOVITCH WARSAW CUP short program:
Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA/ Dylan MOSCOVITCH WARSAW CUP long program:
Dylan Moscovitch was dumped by his partner for somebody younger, because Kirsten Moore-Towers couldn't have continued on to 2018 with Dylan, and after that switched to a new partner to work towards 2022. Pairs skaters can't switch partners after one Olympics and expect to get anywhere by the next Olympics. Just ask Maxim Trankov. It takes at least eight years to get yourselves together.
I used to get put out when partners would split, if my favorite member of the pair was the one who got dumped. That reaction wasn't and isn't compatible with my overall perspective, which is that ambition will trump friendship/history just about every time (taking married couples out of the picture), and that's okay, because it's supposed to be a sport, and that's what elite athletes do. So I get it. There's also the reality that an individual skater's judgment isn't infallible, and that judgment is up for scrutiny.
I can't help but root Dylan and Lubov on, and hope when they meet MTM V.2, they defeat MTM V.2.
At the Warsaw competition, Lubov struggled with her salchow, but remember, she and Dylan are working with Bryce Davison. You know Davison is simply bursting with all kinds of "how to get the girl to nail her salchow" stuff stored up from years of Jessica Dube deciding that how she did the salchow was just fine.
An additional difference between Lubov and Dube is, when Lubov makes an error, she instantly recommits to the program, while Dube would close up.
At the moment Dylan looks as if he may have possibly come out ahead in the partner shuffle, primarily because his partner is as mature in her skating, and as experienced in competition, as he is, and they skate that way. MTM V.2 are suffering from the puppyish Marinaro's eagerness appearing to outstrip his security on his feet, and from his relative lack of experience in taking adjustments on the fly. He appears to be extremely reliant on Kristen, looking towards her for cues. He had deer-in-the-headlights moments in both programs at TEB. When they're clicking, he's graceful, he's smooth, but I can't tell what kind of consistent depth and power he's got in his blades. He's a little tight. Their split twist is also pretty beat.
I make fun of Kirsten's thinking re the split - or at least her reasons as she expressed them - but it's true that the girl is usually considered the indispensable component of a pairs team. That's why Maxim Trankov said a "thousand hands" reached for Volosozhar when her first partner retired. It was considered that she'd take whatever skater she chose as her new partner straight to the top.
It appears as if, after her results with Dylan Moscovitch, Kirsten rated herself a top pairs girl, which she is, but Volosozhar said she chose Trankov because she felt "safest" in his hands, and Lubov certainly appears to completely trust Dylan in lifts, throws and everything else. I'm not the biggest Duhamel/Radford fan in the world, but I don't think Meagan has any worries out there about Eric. (He might worry about HER, as she has a track record of bloodying up her partners, but world medals can sooth a lot of aches and pains.)
Despite some creditable attributes in his singles skating, Jessica Dube never appeared to trust Sebastien Wolfe 100% out there, and Kristen appears to have some of the same issues with Marinaro, and for good reason. He's not yet able to support her at the level she herself can execute. An issue like that not only brings down the team's overall level of execution, it's a distraction for the woman, which further impacts execution. It suggests to me that a first attribute a pairs girl might consider looking for in a new partner is security, and never mind how young he is, how graceful, or how malleable he may be if that's not there from the start. As pairs is a discipline where it's still permissible to notice what's being done on the ice, you want a partner who facilitates your best, not just a partner who can physically last to 2022.
This post was brought to you by this Tessa:
Who seems to have borrowed someone else's smile, but okay. Duly noted: Tessa has always advocated fresh-scrubbed, un-made-up, all-natural beauty when it comes to her instagram output, disdaining sliced and diced, hyper-feminized, anime-style photo trends. This face doesn't even come off looking much like Tessa, but the important point is there's no false eyelashes, and her cheeks are round. I wonder how she got her freckles to disappear.
And these Tessas, too:
|Sam Chouin is so flexible he can |
change his height and proportions when he dances.
Tessa sure has stuff wrapped around her midsection.
I wanna see that wasp waist.
and by Party Tessa, her robot:
|How much do these things cost?|
Do you think the event organizers ever
get confused when the Tessa who shows up
is a completely different size than the
Tessa they know in the daytime?
Canadian ice dancers looking sharpThat's very informative, P.J. The winners get a tiara and sash when done, am I right?
In ice dance, I like what both Canadian teams have to offer. Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam exemplify perseverance and dedication. They're a beautiful match and make the most of their outstanding chemistry. Fellow Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier are able to push themselves and get noticed artistically.
It's like when she distinguished Tessa's Latin from Meryl's Latin by saying only Tessa could move her hips. The people who work in figure skating are intentionally throwing trash at the public. As the blog and many others have always said, the best way for a sport to be perceived as legitimate is to BE legitimate. Figure skating thinks the best way is to hide the corruption with narrative smoke and mirrors.