Category: Feature

Biechler and Dodge Find Calm in Senior Ranks

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Any move up from the junior ranks in skating to senior can mean upheaval. For U.S. ice dancers Julia Biechler and Damian Dodge, bigger transitions were in the works. Though the team has long been based at Aston, Pennsylvania’s IceWorks, changes at that elite rink, where coach Natalia Linichuk once trained students…

Top Teams Ready for Battle at Canadian Tire National Skating Championships

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Ottawa is no stranger to a Canadian championships; chosen this year in part to recognize 2017’s Canada 150 celebration, it’s also hosted the national skating championships 14 previous times—including, most recently, 2014’s Olympic qualifying event, where several of this year’s top skaters then contended for a spot to Sochi. Chief among those…

TFTI’s 2016: A Look Back

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Subscribers to TFTI’s Weekly Protocol, and those who follow Twitter closely, will have heard by now many an opinion on certain of this season’s programs. But with this and with the diminution of the middle ranks particularly in dance since last season, it’s also difficult to present any “favorite programs of 2016” list that offers…

Transitions in Progress for Gingrich and Brown

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by Jacquelyn Thayer It’s common enough for skaters with neighboring levels of success — she a 2014 national novice champion with her previous partner, he 2015’s novice bronze medalist with his — to forge new partnerships as prior ones conclude. For Canadian juniors Keelee Gingrich and Parker Brown, such a match has also meant another…

Aaron and Settlage Seek to Flourish

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview was conducted on June 27 and published July 24, to approving response from both partners. On August 10, Aaron and Settlage announced the conclusion of their partnership. This feature stands to capture their comments and perspective as they initially stood in this off-season. by Jacquelyn Thayer For two-time U.S. pewter medalist…

Connection Key to Creation for Kayne and O’Shea

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Last season offered one particularly key lesson for 2016 U.S. national pair champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea: choose the music with which you connect and which, then, can connect with the audience. It led them to a successful free in skating warhorse “Music of the Night”; it led them further off…

Time and Life Shape Return Perspective for Arnold and Williams

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by Jacquelyn Thayer One could say that the reports of Canadian ice dancer Thomas Williams’s retirement were an exaggeration. “I planned on continuing—that was my original plan all along,” said Williams, who split from partner Nicole Orford in early 2015. Certain reports, however, suggested that he had publicly concluded his career. “I never announced anything…

With Past as Prologue, Paul and Islam Carry On

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by Jacquelyn Thayer It was a classic quote of much-debated origin — “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts” — that concluded the ice dance team’s reflective Facebook post, a season wrap-up tradition begun in the wake of a devastating Canadian Nationals, where an element error…