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

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Interview with Castelli/Tran (June 2017)

Last season was challenging for American pair Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran. They struggled with injury and inconsistency during the fall of 2016. And although they regrouped to win the silver medal at U.S. Nationals in January 2017, the U.S. Figure Skating Association did not name the couple to Four Continents, Worlds, or World Team Trophy.

However, when I spoke with Castelli/Tran recently, they said there was “a silver lining” to the challenges they faced last year. Because their season ended early, they’ve had lots of time to think about their direction for the future and what they need to work on. Castelli/Tran now look forward with a renewed sense of purpose. Recently, they took some time to chat with me about their thoughts on last season, their training since U.S. Nationals, their new long program, and their goals for next year. Check out my new interview with them for Figure Skaters Online!

Castelli-Tran-FSO

http://figureskatersonline.com/news/2017/06/07/marissa-castelli-mervin-tran-were-skating-for-us/

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Ice Crystals 2017

Last Saturday, it was my pleasure to see Ice Crystals 2017. For those not familiar, Ice Crystals is the annual club show for the Colonial Figure Skating Club. Colonial is one of the biggest clubs in New England; it has more than 400 members and operates out of a well-appointed 3-rink facility in Boxborough, a western suburb of Boston. Colonial will host New England Sectionals in November 2017.

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Ice Chips 2017: Review

All photographs by Marni Tyson Gallagher

I went to Ice Chips this past weekend–the annual club show from the Skating Club of Boston. This year’s show had a Broadway musical theme, lots of great skaters, and bedazzled costumes to spare! It was fun to watch. Continue reading

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Worlds 2017: Pairs Review

The pairs event at Worlds 2017 was projected to be a close and intense competition. And it certainly lived up to that expectation. There was drama to spare: Injuries, accidents, quads, spectacular crashes. Chinese head coach Hongbo Zhao recently commented: 2017 Worlds, it’s the qualifying event for the Pyeongchang Olympics. We can say it’s the ‘heaviest among heavy’ World Championships.” I think all the pairs felt that weight, to some extent.

The short program at Worlds was one of the most intense I can remember. With 28 pairs all trying to make the cutoff for the top 16, the level of competition was very high. We saw many teams put out season’s-best performances–while a few others unfortunately succumbed to the pressure. The final team to qualify for the LP scored 62.03; a much higher standard than we’ve seen the last few years. Continue reading

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Worlds 2017: Pairs Predictions

So, it’s time: The World Championships start this week in Helsinki! And, while all World championships are important, this is the big one: The pre-Olympic Worlds. The final Worlds before Pyeongchang. What happens in Helsinki will  help set the stage for the Olympics.

How important is the pre-Olympic Worlds? Well, let’s look back at the last one: 2013 Worlds in London, Ontario. Of the 12 medalists in London, 8 reached the podium in Sochi. Of the 4 gold-medal winners in London, 2 were also gold medalists in Sochi. So yeah … This event is pretty important! Continue reading

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The Top 6 Pairs Marathon (2017)

It’s a little over 2 weeks until the pairs competition starts at 2017 Worlds in Helsinki. With that in mind, I thought I’d put together my second consecutive Top 6 Pairs Marathon watchlist! (Some of you may remember last season’s Top 6 Pairs Marathon.) Continue reading

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Preliminary Moves in the Field

So, I haven’t posted about my adult skating for a while. Guess it’s time for an update. 🙂

The last time I wrote about my skating, I had passed my first USFSA tests: Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field and Pre-Preliminary Freestyle. I took those tests in October 2015. Last month, I started my second round of tests, passing Preliminary Moves in the Field on February 24. Continue reading

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Four Continents 2017: Pairs Review

Prior to the event, the pairs competition at this year’s Four Continents looked a bit unpredictable. For three of the top pairs, it was their first international event of the season after time off due to major injuries/illness. Another question was how World champions Duhamel/Radford would rebound from their bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final. Ultimately, it proved to be a great competition overall, with many strong performances. Here’s my look at what happened. Continue reading

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Europeans 2017: Pairs Review

This year’s European Championship was easily one of the best pairs competitions we’ve seen since Sochi. The event was star-studded, with Savchenko/Massot, Stolbova/Klimov, and Tarasova/Morozov the top contenders coming in. However, other Euro pairs were determined to make their mark this year. And none more so than French couple James/Cipres, who unexpectedly took the bronze with two career-best performances. The level of competition among the top teams was incredible—we saw one personal-best score after another. As a pairs fan, it was a joy to watch! Let’s look back at what happened.  Continue reading

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