Ice Skating World Logoby Katherine Ruch

It has taken me a few days to write about the Pairs because each event of the skating has had so much drama involved that it’s been hard to catch my breath! I wonder if you feel the same way?

Let us begin with the short programs: Duhamel/Radford of Canada had one of my favorite short programs out of all the pairs. While they had the highest start value, a couple of stumbles and a weird landing on the side-by-side triples caused them to lose some points. I think they were underscored personally but I’m no technical specialist. I did enjoy the music which Eric composed himself and they had awesome entrances and transitions in and out of their elements.

Savchenko/Szolkowy of Germany recently created a new program to old music. Supposedly in practice, some of the elements requiring unison had been a little off, but they performed it the best they had in Sochi according to the commentary. They have won the Worlds four times and vowed to come back and win Gold after getting the Bronze in Vancouver. Not exactly underdogs but how can you not root for a team that had been fighting to get to the top for four years? They were in second place after the short. I am still trying to recover from her very brightly colored pink unitard. I’m not sure my eyesight is ever going to quite right now…

Volosozhar/Trankov of Russia were probably the favorites going into the competition seeing as they are the reigning world champions. They competed against each other in Vancouver, and together they are what the commentators referred to as a “dream team.” They have the technical experience, artistry and pressure from Russia all in their favor. They appeared to be flawless and got the highest score ever by a pair in a short program. They were leading after the short. Maybe they are robots, too…

Pang/Tong of China were competing in their fourth Olympics! After this, they plan to retire and get married after twenty years of skating together! They had a great emotional connection after working really hard on their artistry. They got the Silver in Vancouver. I think they should get extra points for being 34 because that’s about 104 in ice skating years!

Castelli/Shnapir of the the U.S. hope to crack the top 10. They had a better skate than they did in the team event achieving their personal best. I love their music because it seems unique and fresh, you really can’t go wrong with Santana right? They will definitely be a pair to watch in the future.

Zhang/Bartholomay of the U.S. really are surprise Olympians and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them! Why were they so prepared to rise to the occasion at Nationals you ask? They started doing run throughs of their program in March of last year. Achieving their personal best, this team is one to watch in the future as well!

In terms of the long: Castelli/Shnapir skated their James Bond program which I love. They had a step out on the side-by-side triple toes and a step out on the quad Salchow, but they did get credit for it being fully rotated which is definitely something to be proud of! They achieved another personal best and with some more time together they should be able to accomplish great things.

Stolbova/Klimov of Russia were in third place after the short. I didn’t find their program all that impressive. I can’t even seem to recall what they even skated to to be perfectly honest. They didn’t have any mistakes, but their program didn’t seem that special to me.

Volosozhar/Trankov, aka the favorite Russians had one of my least favorite programs! They skated to music from Jesus Christ Superstar and had costumes that were orange in color. I don’t care what shade of orange you wear, it makes me think of traffic cones or the University of Tennessee, a hated place when you are a UK basketball fan. They were once again virtually flawless with a hand going down on a triple loop.

Pang/Tong were the last of what I saw on the Telly. I have to admit, I had to skip a good portion of their program. The music from Les Mis is beginning to make me feel a little insane.

Volosozhar/Trankov finished first, Stolbova/Klimov finished second and Savchenko/Szolkowy finished third. I felt really bad for Savchenko/Szolkowy. They had trained for four years and yet they found themselves in the same spot as they were in Vancouver. I was very happy for Castelli/Shnapir who cracked the top ten (9th), just as they had hoped.

NBC did something that I found to be a bit lousy. They didn’t even bother to show the long program of Zhang/Bartholomay. It doesn’t seem very supportive of a U.S. pair team for one of their programs to not even be shown on the television in their own country. I wonder what their rationale was with that decision. I guess we may never know. Next up, the Mens event!

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