Spit Takes from Junior Worlds 2019

Roman Savosin’s jump technique confuses and vexes me

This is a triple lutz triple toe combination, according to Savosin’s protocol sheet, and earned 0.84+ GOE:

I feel like I’m watching a baby bird tumble out of the nest for the first time and land upright by complete fluke. Savosin’s knees come unglued on the way up and his centre of gravity is nowhere to be found and yet he lands on his feet. This combination defies physics, which might explain the positive GOE: someone needed to tip the miracle.

Camden Pulkinen has the best Piazzolla Oblivion program

It’s no news to anyone who even half-watches the junior men that Camden Pulkinen is something special, but his short program has been the junior short program to watch all season. Teenagers rarely muster more than a tepid tango, feigning sophistication slick with cheap lipstick and unease. Pulkinen, however, finds the romance in the music that’s neither cheap nor naive.

PS: if the Junior Worlds video disappears, here’s the Junior Grand Prix Final version as a (most excellent) backup.

Alexandra Trusova’s programs are Nightmare Fuelâ„¢

Of all the choreographic faults committed by Team Tutberidze, the opening of Alexandra Trusova’s Fifth Element program (!) is the most egregious. Nothing says “winning music for a 14 year old Junior World Champion” like the soundtrack from a movie where the female wardrobe choices were inspired by electrical tape.

If you think this is lone poor choice, note that Trusova’s team saw fit to pair this free skate with selections from the Kill Bill soundtrack for the short, and an exhibition program to “Hey Big Spender.” It’s such an outrageous combination of inappropriate and hackneyed music choices that the only logical explanation is that something is lost in the translation to Russian. Worse, it obscures what a stupendous athlete Trusova is, one who, if given the right program, could develop into an equally compelling performer.

The future of Canadian ice dance will be filled with sparkles, mesh, and victory

Maturity is an elusive quality in many skaters, regardless of rank. Most skaters are racing against time and puberty to peak during shrinking window of competitive relevance. Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, at 18 and 19, respectively, are relatively old in Junior terms, but they’re proof that ice dancers improve with (relative) age. The skate with speed and confidence, throwing themselves into the tricks with abandon. Best of all, they skate with the conviction that they’re going to beat those long competitive odds to become champions.

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Lajoie and Lagha lingered in the Junior ranks to practice and prepare for the transition to senior competition. Their patience paid off with a Junior World title in Zagreb. When they do move up to senior competition they will face one of the deepest ice dance fields in living memory. They’ll have the support of an excellent coaching team (they train under Dubreuil/Lauzon/Haguenauer) and the experience of training alongside the best dance teams in the world as they establish themselves as the next generation of ice dance in a country steeped in excellence.

Tomoki Hiwatashi: K&C Legend

The spit take to end all spit takes:

I started touting Hiwatashi as this year’s Junior Men’s champion, but clearly he didn’t quite believe it would happen until the very end. Well played, sir, well played.

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