As the 2015-2016 season approaches, some of us are feeling like we need a trip down memory lane, and others of us are feeling a little antsy for skating competition. In the next couple of weeks, I'm bringing you some of my favorites from last season (in no particular order).
What were your favorites of last season? Sound off in the comments section below!
The only skaters to go undefeated last season, Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford had a year that was just out of this world. They won their first Grand Prix competition (really??), their first Grand Prix Final, and their first World title. And they did it doing what they do best - pushing the technical envelope in pairs skating. Already with a side-by-side triple lutz that no other team does, they introduced a throw quad salchow into their repertoire. Just as Tuktamysheva was the catalyst of the triple axel in ladies skating last season, Duhamel/Radford seems to be doing the same for the quad throw. They, along with the Chinese pairs, are altering the landscape of pairs skating with quad elements.
Duhamel/Radford's winning free skate at the Grand Prix Final was the best that they skated this program - it was powerful and a clinic on the big tricks. They also have a dynamism about them that is perfectly showcased in this program. Their free skate at Canadians, which gave them their fourth consecutive Canadian title, was also spectacular,
Now comes word that Duhamel/Radford are adding a *second* quad to their free skate, a throw quad lutz, which they have been practicing during the off-season. The throw quad lutz (9.00) gives them a 3.50 bump from their throw triple lutz (5.50). If the other pairs don't up their game, the addition of this element would render Duhamel/Radford unbeatable if they skate clean. Even Volosozhar/Trankov's stronger PCS would not make up for their deficit in now three different elements.
So watch out, skating world, this season may very well be remembered as the one with the first clean throw quad lutz.