Saturday, 23/6/2018 | : : UTC-7
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Wednesday evening at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Volosozhar+Trankov resurrected Russian pairs’ skating with a passionate interpretation of Jesus Christ, Superstar. At the conclusion, the exhausted, but emotional Trankov, fell to his knees and kissed the ice. Voloxozhar covered her face and watched silently while her tears flowed freely.

“It was our obligation to bring the gold back to Russia.  The whole country was expecting that,” offered Trankov. ”I was crying because I felt so many emotions, nerves, concentration,” sniffled the Ukrainian-born Voloxozhar.

The gold medalist’s training partners, Stolbova+Klimov, took the Addams Family for a skate and came home with a silver medal. The 2014 Russian Champions punctuated their near perfect performance with a climactic 3S that brought the raucous crowd to their feet, screaming, “Ro-ssi-ya, Ro-ssi-ya!”

“It was important for us to perform well in the Olympics that are in Russia,” said Klimov. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The German team skated last with full knowledge of the standings. The deafening cheers from the partisan Russian supporters had carried back stage with an ominous warning.

After the fall on the sbs 3T sequence, Savchenko+Szolkowy probably had flashbacks of deja vu to Vancouver, 2010. For the second straight Olympics, the four time World Champions skated helplessly while their desired gold medal turned into bronze.

The curtain closed on the final scene of The Nutcracker with Savchenko springing up from the ice like a boomerang after a failed 3A throw. Faint smiles conveyed their disappointment.

Pang+Tong, CHN, made their final competitive appearance, skating a memorable performance to “I Dreamed a Dream”, from Les Miserables.  The 2010 Olympic silver medalists received respectful applause from the appreciative Russian audience both for the program and the 20 years the team has skated together.

Moore-Towers+Moscovitch vaulted over their Canadian teammates, Duhamel+Radord, into 5th place.  Their skate to a Fellini medley placed 4th in the Free Programs. The Canadian National silver medalists earned Level4 on their spins and lifts.  One television commentator said, “Her smile and personality lights up the ice”.

Every thought everyday every practice for four years had been about Sochi for Duhamel+Radford. Their opening elements looked spot on, but a fall on the 3S cast the first shadow over their dreams. The disappointment was written on their faces as sat the team in the Kiss & Cry. They placed 7th.

Castelli+Shnapir, USA, went for the 4S throw. She was oh so close, two footing the landing.  The 2013 and 2014 US National Champions scored a personal best in both the Free Program and the Total Score of 187.82. They placed 9thZhang+Bartholomay, US National silver medalists, skated a second clean program and placed 12th.



 In the Iceberg Skating Palace audience watching the Pairs Free Programs were:

  •  Ludmila + Oleg Protopopov, 77 and 81 respectively. The 1964 and 1968 Olympians won the first two of 12 consecutive gold medals for Russian pair skaters.
  • Tamara Moscovina, 1969 World silver medalist with partner Alexei Michin, and legendary pairs coach for Olympic and World Champions.
  • Irina Rodnina, 1972, 1976, and 1980 Olympic gold medalist with two different partners.
  • Artur Dmitriev, 1992 and 1998 Olympic medalist, with two different partners.

The last time two Russian pair skaters stood atop the Olympic podium, was 1998 in Nagano, Japan.

  • 1st Kasakova+Dmitriev / 2nd Berezhnaya+Sikharulidze
  • (GER) Savchenko+Szolkowy’s, coach, Ingo Steuer+partner were 3rd.
  • (ITA) Berton+Hotarek,’s coach, Jason Dungjen+partner were 4th,
  • (CHN) Pang+Tong’s coach, Hongbo Zhao+partner were 5th
  • (CAN) Moore-Towers+Moscovitch’s coach, Kris Wirtz+partner were 12th

Eric Radford, CAN, composed the original piece of music he and his partner, Meagan Duhamel, performed for their Short Program. Radford dedicated it to his former coach, Paul Wirtz, who passed away in 2006. Paul’s brother, Kris Wirtz coaches fellow Canadian team mates, Kirsten Moore-Towers+Dylan Moscovitch.

Marissa Castelli+Simon Shnapir, USA, share the same birthday, August 20.

Italian Pairs’ skater Stephania Berton is engaged to Rockne Brubaker two-time US National Pairs Champion.

Simon Shnapir, USA, was born in Moscow, Russia, but moved to the US as an infant.  He speaks fluent Russian.

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