Monday, February 22, 2016
"The Olympic champions, two-time world champions, six times Canadian champions, and parents of three..."
I missed this completely this weekend. I'd planned to celebrate the Shibs at the 4CCs, put it off until today, then saw this on youtube.
I will fill this out later with the 4CCs, which seems a little irrelevant now that these two are returning. Does the sport have the gall to pretend Papadakis/Cizeron or Chock/Bates are remotely competitive with them? Did awareness of this decision impact Weaver & Poje's performance at the 4CCs?
Edited from earlier:
I hope to God Virtue and Moir have received a clear green light from the ISU and an absolute promise they will not be ratfucked in 2018. Watching the sport pretend anybody else is in the same universe would be unbearable.
took me aback when I saw it. It may be down to thin-slicing, but the way they moved even in this tiny instagram clip is not how show skaters move. The condition they're in is not show skater condition. At the time, I thought maybe they were doing it for themselves, but we all know show skating and tour skating is no real format to sustain, let alone develop, an athletic/technical peak. They weren't moving like retired skaters, but who knew if it was leading to a comeback, or if they couldn't help themselves.
I wonder if Virtue and Moir's comeback has any bearing on what happened with the Shibutanis on the back half of this season. Their fortunes completely reversed themselves even though they have always been the best of the post-Sochi competitive ice dancers. What happened? Is the sport preparing the way for VM's return by creating a new climate in which the authentically best ice dancers get the best scores?
During the Grand Prix series, I was pleased that the Shibutanis were suddenly being scored on par with the A team instead of the bench, but after the Grand Prix final I was sure that any impulse towards fairness had been squelched. I never anticipated everything would flip at the US Championships, that the Shibs would outscore the same basic Chock & Bates effort that had defeated them over and over in the past.
Virtue and Moir should be competing. Of the show programs I've seen, Tessa Virtue is even better than when she left. I am not looking forward to protocols claiming Gabrielle Papadakis got her key points and levels while Tessa Virtue did not.
P.S. - while maintaining every impression of amicability, Kaitlyn Lawes has appeared to vanish from the Virtue Moir narrative. I'm wondering if a new Olympic-cycle girlfriend has been chosen, or if the entire post-Sochi extension of the sham was intended to last only as long as it took Tessa to have two kids. The woman is a machine.
I'm very excited, but also unsettled. I don't want to see ice dance re-buried and Virtue and Moir humiliated, which is exactly what we'll have if they don't win everything from now til 2018 as soon as they step foot on competitive ice.
P.S. Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon? They suck. Maybe it was part of the deal Skate Canada hammered out when allowing Virtue Moir back. Train with Canadians at a Canadian training center and we won't screw you over at Canadians. Maybe they'll secretly pay Marina to choreograph. A whole lot of bullshit has always fueled Virtue and Moir's public persona; perhaps "training in Montreal" is the Jessica Dube/Cassandra Hilborn/Kaitlyn Lawes of this new phase of their competitive career.
Random from the skating season to date:
I still can't fathom WTF with Chock and Bates. They're on par with Davis White in sucking the oxygen out of an arena. The extreme artificiality of their performance personas, the rote execution of skating skill workarounds, and the same slowing down before and after elements that we saw with DW. The Shibs do not skate a great deal in close hold either, but they're skating, not taking turns skating a la Chock & Bates, and, before C&B, Davis White. The Shibs' unison is wonderful, they have "the same rhythm and knee action" in them (quoting Peggy Fleming) and they have tremendous speed, flow and ice coverage. Chock and Bates skate as if they're underwater. Not as if they live underwater - as if they've been forced to do a program underwater.
Duhamel Radford aren't really world champion calibre now? I agree, but when was that decided? I guess Trankov can move onto something else to critique - his work there is done. I'd read that DR had revamped their program so they didn't telegraph the quads as much, but I saw little improvement there. I also don't know when Megan's range of motion became so small and so tight.
I think Illyushechkina and Moscovitch need to go to a pairs coach, even for a clinic, even if it means asking the group at Gauthier's make room. She has her jumps. Their skating skills are strong. They just continue to have weird problems skaters at their level shouldn't be having, problems which make them more cautious than they should be when exiting lifts, for example. It's stupid.
Kirsten Moore Towers: What strikes me about her is she seldom talks about figure skating the way the best skaters do. I never read or hear her talking about the skating side, the athletic side. Never squeezing more points out of a program or growing GOE. It's always Moore Towers and her personal experience/gratification working with somebody, it's always the program, it's the packaging. She'd fit right in at the skating forums with where she puts her emphasis. It's just mystifying to me that she's as ambitious as she represents herself to be, that she changed coaching centers, but getting herself into the same fitness and strength level as other podium-contending pairs girls isn't an avenue she considers. Even when she's in reasonable/decent shape, as she was at Canadians, she's not remotely at the same strength and fitness level as those on the podium. When I look back at Sochi or Worlds, she and Dylan could have easily made the podium if it weren't for the incremental accumulation throughout the programs of small sloppiness-es, unnecessary wobbliness (down to not having the same core strength and full body stretch of podium skaters) and lack of finish. That, also, seems stupid.
P.S. I hope someone had words with Tanith Belbin White after her US National Championship commentating effort and told her to put a lid on it. I can't watch the Shibutanis winning performance because she's squawking all through it, taking two paragraphs to make a point that contains less than a sentence's worth of observation or perspective.
Posted by oycanada at 11:02 AM