Pairs Season Preview 2021

It’s hard to believe that another Olympic season is here already. Thanks to covid-19, the last four years have been unlike any other quad in figure skating. The sport saw the unprecedented cancellation of the 2020 ISU World Championships at the start of the pandemic, then a truncated 2020-21 season that ended in a World Championships without an audience (Stockholm 2021).

Now, 20 months after covid-19 first impacted figure skating, the sport is trying to get itself back on track with what will hopefully be its first complete season since 2018-19. That’s right; we have had only 1 complete season of figure skating since Pyeongchang. No wonder this Olympics feels too soon, in some ways. 

What does it all mean for the pairs discipline, as the athletes look toward Beijing? The landscape of pairs has changed substantially since 2018. There are different faces at the top; different elements being performed, in many cases; and different types of programs, with the new shorter timeframe of the free skate. A lot has changed. Let’s take a look at where pairs skating stands now, with less than 4 months remaining until the 2022 Olympic Games.

Continue reading “Pairs Season Preview 2021”

A Shadow on the Sport

Why the war on figure skating YouTube is a no-win battle

Another figure skating season is winding toward a close, with the World Championships starting next week in Saitama, Japan. Like most, I’m looking forward to Worlds with anticipation.

It’s been a year of great skating and great memories. Yet all along, there’s been a shadow over this season. I’ve loved all the special performances and moments, including those yet to come in Saitama. But I’m also sad because we lost a lot of memories and moments this season. How so? When thousands of figure skating videos were deleted from YouTube. Continue reading “A Shadow on the Sport”

Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2017-18

So the new figure skating season has already started this week, with the first Junior Grand Prix … and I realized I still hadn’t finished my end-of-year wrap-up for last season!! Here it is finally. Because it’s so late, I’ve tried to keep this edition a bit shorter than usual. Hope you enjoy this look back at some of my favorite programs, performances, and costumes from last season! Continue reading “Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2017-18”

Remembering Denis Ten 1993-2018

A couple days ago, I was reminded again of all that we lost on July 19, when Denis Ten was killed in Kazakhstan.

Russian skater Sergei Voronov announced that Denis had choreographed his new short program. Usually I love it when gifted skaters try their hand at choreography; it’s wonderful to think of their artistry carrying on, even after they’re no longer skating. But this …. To know that Denis Ten’s first year as a choreographer was also his last, just left me with an ache inside. Continue reading “Remembering Denis Ten 1993-2018”

The Significance of Trusova

A week and a half ago, 13-year-old Alexandra Trusova won Junior Worlds in Sofia, Bulgaria, with a record-setting performance in the free skate. New world records in ladies’ skating have become fairly common in recent years, due to the technical brilliance of Russian ladies. In senior ladies, Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova have taken turns setting new world-record scores over the last 12 months.

Yet, as common as new records have become, Trusova’s long program at Junior Worlds 2018 is particularly significant. It may even be among the most consequential events in the history of the sport. Continue reading “The Significance of Trusova”

Is the ISU on the Wrong Course?

It’s unclear what problems they are trying to fix with recent rules change proposals

In the last 6 months, the ISU has passed or proposed significant changes to the competition format/judging system of figure skating. The scope of these changes could be far-reaching. Yet, their full purpose and effect remains unclear.

Change can be a good thing–but it should happen for a reason. The trouble with the ISU’s changes is that often, it’s not clear why they are happening or what the expected results are. In this case, I have serious doubts that the new proposed changes will benefit the sport. Continue reading “Is the ISU on the Wrong Course?”

U.S. Classic 2017: Highlights from Ladies, Men, Ice Dance & Pairs

I had a great time last weekend attending the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City! I covered the event for Figure Skaters Online. It was my first time going to U.S. Classic, and my first time attending any Challenger Series event.  Continue reading “U.S. Classic 2017: Highlights from Ladies, Men, Ice Dance & Pairs”

Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2016-17

Welcome to my third annual round-up of the best, most, and worst in pairs skating!! Included are my picks for the top 10 long programs and top 10 short programs of the season (with videos). As usual, all opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. (And possibly more idiosyncratic than usual.) So feel free to agree—or disagree!  Continue reading “Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2016-17”