Competition Update: August 16, 2013

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This past weekend there were two big summer competitions in Canada: Wild Rose and Quebec Summer Skate. I welcome BP with some extra thoughts 🙂 Additionally, I finish this post with a look at some upcoming events.

Wild Rose

Kaetlyn Osmond debuted both her programs last weekend in Calgary.

BP: I like both programs and enjoy the contrast between the two. Obviously need more work. I’m hoping that the emphasis was on getting the program out there, and that’s why the jumps didn’t work too well.
PB: I do like both of Kaetlyn’s programs. I do think they need a lot more work before the Grand Prix season begins. It’s good she got her programs out there and she’s getting early feedback. I’m sure the jumps will come, she peaked super early last season so hopefully she’s on a different trajectory this season. At the moment I don’t think her short is up to last years standard, I do think it will grow on me though. It’s interesting she upped the difficulty in the short when she was so successful last season. We’ve seen her land these hard combinations in practice so hopefully they can now transfer to the competition stage. Her long is still rough, I’ll wait till Skate Canada to give fuller thoughts. I am still interested to see her jump layout, with all the mistakes we didn’t really get to see what she had planned.

Quebec Summer Skate


Amelie Lacoste

BP: SP- I think her short program is the same as last year if I’m not mistaken. It seemed quite polished – jumps didn’t go well – good to see her try triple/triple.
FS: I quite liked the program – music & choreography. First two jumps went well (3lutz; 3sal2loop) and then rest fell apart. Only tried one other triple (flip that was underrotated and fell); ended with three singles. The performance quality fell off then also. But it has potential if she could get some consistency…
PB – I really like her long program. It’s very mature and nice smooth skating. Love the Amelie music! (one of my favourite movies). I hope she skates this program to it’s potential, I doubt she’ll make the Olympic team but I hope she at least has a decent season.

Julianne Seguin:
BP: Won the freeskate with 6 triples (not all totally clean); program not as sophisticated as Amelie or Katelyn, lacks transitions, etc. but still good potential
PB: Julianne has come out with all she’s got so far this season! I’m excited to watch her development. Very good freeskate with lots of triples. Amelie is going to need those jumps to compete with these young ones.

Véronik Mallet:
PB: Veronik just recieved her first international assignment from Skate Canada: Nebelhorn Trophy.

Meghan Duhamel and Eric Radford debuted their new short program and we got the competition debut of new team Natasha Purich and Mervin Tran

BP – Thought it was skated well for this time of year. As always, they looked intense before skating – even at this non-event competition. Knowing the back story to the program, I think the emotion will be quite overwhelming and I hope that doesn’t cause them problems on the big stage.
PB – I loved this program so much for being so early in the season. The program looks so difficult, ridiculous transitions, that entry into the death spiral is beautiful! This program seemed to tame the pair, I’ve never seem Meghan so smooth and soft before. Beautiful program, made even more beautiful knowing Eric composed this music after their late coach. I can’t wait to see it grow this season.

BP – Great potential. Still look like a new pair working on finding each other (which is to be expected), but I think it’s a good match. Not sure if I’m crazy about the music for them for a short program….. something a bit zippier might suit them better, but perhaps they are looking for a more mature look.
PB: I’m so glad these two formed a pair. Mervin is super talented and Natasha was always that little girl at the Ice Palace with those easy triples who could never find a decent partner. I think these two have great potential and I can’t wait to seem them grow as a pair.

Junior Pairs was won by Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau. This is a new team, formed since Nationals last season, and they are super good! Their freeskate include solid triple throws and smooth side by sides. Julianne seems to be the real deal! I’m curious if she’s going to be choosing singles or pairs in the next few years….

Scott and Tessa debuted their short dance in Quebec!

BP – I love the program. I think it is classic Virtue/Moir and I think that’s where they shine the best. There were a couple of rough spots as expected. As always, they make it look so easy that I worry that they need more difficulty – but I’m sure it is very difficult and I don’t have the expertise to know that…. Love the finnstep.
PB – I love the program as well. It’s just clean beautiful skating. It’s what I love best about Scott and Tessa.

Recap Article (focusing on Virtue/Moir and Duhamel/Radford):

Of note:
– Scott and Tessa displayed their free dance, set to selections from Russian composers Alexander Glazunov and Alexander Scriabin, in a private monitoring session. “We wanted opinions on [the music] we chose, because it has never been used in ice dance before,” said Marina Zoueva, who coaches the skaters in Canton, Mich. “I wanted to see the judges’ expressions before competition. They were very favorable; they think it is very suitable and a good style for them.”
-Their music, entitled “Tribute,” is an original composition by Radford, a pianist since the age of 8. It is dedicated to Radford’s former coach, Paul Wirtz, who trained Radford from age 16 and oversaw the skater’s early partnership with Sarah Burke. Wirtz died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2006.
Radford is one of just a few international competitors to compete to a self-penned composition. Ukrainian Dmitri Dimitrenko, the 1993 European champion, did so in the 1990s. “[The program] is also dedicated to all of the people who helped us to have such a wonderful skating career,” Duhamel said.

Jr Grand Prix Circuit

The first Junior Grand Prix event starts on August 27!!

Some notes on who’s already been given Canadian assignments (I’m still unfamiliar with most of the junior competitors from other counties). The entries for the first three events have been listed.

  •  Alaine Chartrand will be at the first event in Latvia. A lot of people did not support Skate Canada’s decision to only send 1 lady to this event as we qualified two last season and have so many young ladies.
  •  Good to see little Nam and Roman getting their events. I enjoy how Canada’s up and coming men are so little 🙂
  •  Hope Julianne Seguin can nail those jumps in her event! She should be getting another, along with Alaine.
  •  Interesting, all of the Jr Canadian ladies podium from last year has not been given a Grand Prix event at this point. Various other girls who finished lower have performed better at summer competitions and have been given the events.
  •  Sandrine Martin, Roxanne Cournoyer and Marianne Rioux Ouellet are all unknown and I’m so glad Skate Canada is sending these young girls to international events at this stage!
  •  We have some really talented junior dance teams!

Questions: I wonder if Gabby Dalemen will be getting an event? Or is she favourited to get the TBA at Skate Canada? Will Julianne and Charlie get an assignment? Would Julianne compete both pairs and singles on the circuit? Will Skate Canada continue to use all their ladies spots?

US Senior International Classic (September 11 – 13)
• Some highlights from the competition announcement: To provide an opportunity for athletes that have competed at the national level in intermediate, novice and junior, but have not yet competed internationally, to experience what it would be like to compete at an international competition, through following the same event format as an international competition, observing the senior competition, and being part of a team.
• Team USA has been announced: Ladies – Samantha Cesario, Gracie Gold, Courtney Hicks, Agnes Zawadzki, Men – Max Aaron, Stephen Carriere, Joshua Farris, Evan Lysacek, Pairs – Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea, Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay Dance – Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani
• Team Canada has been announced: Ladies – Amelie Lacoste, Men – Andrei Rogozine, Pairs – Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers and Dance – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams.
• Wow! Some big names have already been announced. It must be an Olympic season; so many skaters are getting an early start on the season. I still don’t think Evan will show up, just can’t get behind this comeback, I have to see it to believe it!
• I’m excited to see who else makes an appearance.

Nebelhorn Trophy (September 26-28) – Olympic Qualifying Event!
• Summary of the Qualifying process (via FSU) – In the 2014 Olympic Games, the total number of competitors per discipline will be 30 men, 30 ladies, 20 pairs, and 24 ice dance teams. The numbers of berths that have already been allocated are 24 men, 24 ladies, 16 pairs, and 19 ice dance. That means that there are at least 6 spots for men, 6 for ladies, 4 for pairs, and 5 for ice dancers that are still open. These open berths may only be allocated to federations that have not already qualified for a spot at the Olympics, so (for example) the USA cannot gain a third Olympic berth for its pairs teams. The number of available berths may increase if any skating federations decide not to send as many skaters as they are eligible to. Some federations set qualifying standards that are different from the ISU standards, so (for example) if the German federation (which may send two ice dance teams) determines that only one German ice dance team meets the standard to go to the Olympics, then the other berth will be “returned” to the ISU and will become available for some other country that has not already earned a spot in ice dance. The Nebelhorn Trophy is open to all federations, but only those federations that have not earned a spot in the Olympics are competing for the available berths. Thus, there is a competition within the competition. The top 6 men (at least) at Nebelhorn from federations that have not yet earned a berth at the Olympics will qualify their country for an Olympic berth. These men may hypothetically finish 2nd, 5th, 9th, 11th, 16th, and 21st, but as long as all of the other men who finish higher are from federations that have previously earned Olympic spots, then they’ve earned the berths. That does not mean that the individuals who skate at Nebelhorn will go to the Olympics; that decision is still up to their respective federations. It is possible that some of the skaters who compete at Nebelhorn may not meet the citizenship requirement to compete at the Olympics, but they are still eligible to earn an Olympic berth for their federation. Also, even after the berths have been earned, the skater(s) who are sent to the Olympics must meet the minimum technical score requirements that have been set by the ISU, so it is conceivable that one skater will earn an Olympic berth at the Nebelhorn Trophy without meeting the requirement and another skater from the same country will subsequently meet that standard and be sent to the Games.
• Unlike previous seasons, countries who have already qualified an Olympic spot are only allowed to send one competitor.
• There is a lot of speculation as to who will attend, both those too qualify their spots and those who want an early competition
• Canada is the only country who has officially announce their team: Ladies – Veronik Mallet, Men – Jeremy Ten, Pairs – Natasha Purich and Mervin Tran, and Dance – Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam
• I’m loving Team Canada! This is Veronik Mallet’s first international assignment. I applaud Skate Canada for giving this spot to someone new, I’m sure it will be a great experience. Yay for Jeremy Ten and Paul and Islam, I have a bit of a soft spot for them and would love for them to snag those final Olympic spots. I’m glad Natasha and Mervin are getting another outing before their Grand Prix event. They were a little rough this weekend but there is so much talent there, they just need experience together and time to grow. Excite to seem them! Interesting fact: Team Japan still has to qualify their Olympic Pairs spot, Mervin will be competing for the first time against his former partner, both teams in their international debut together.

Finlandia Trophy (October 4-6)
• Yuzuru Hanyu, Akiko Suzuki and Virtue and Moir are planning to attend.
• I like that so many skaters are competing not once but even multiple times before the Grand Prix series starts. I hope this trend continues! I like the early look at programs and the ability to see development between the pre-season and Olympics/Worlds.

That’s all for now. This post turned out longer than I expected.
This coming weekend is BC Summer Skate and Thornhill, featuring Patrick Chan.

Thanks for reading.

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