On most days with news such as Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran breaking up, the mourning would be all for them. They’d become a little pair that could even before they bagged the bronze at Worlds last year, and that there seemed no way for them to make it to the Olympics together seemed to be something we all thought they’d accepted; they knew that when they paired together, after all. And now of course they insist that wasn’t the reason they split, though the reason Takahashi gives doesn’t seem plausible(and Tran confirms it was her who made the decision, though she doesn’t make it sound that way). I’ve heard it suggested it was actually the Japanese federation’s decision rather than hers, and it seems all too plausible. Given there are three world-class senior men who will go home disappointed after Japanese Nationals this week, it makes sense they could talk one of the taller singles guys there into switching disciplines . But one thinks of the words of Tanith Belbin: would they rather have World Champions who don’t go to the Olympic, or a pair that does go and finishes in last place? Is a Japanese pair at the Olympics worth the price of a highly successful Japanese pair? Even taking the wish for a pair for the team competition into account(in which Japan will be hindered by weak ice dancing as well), it doesn’t seem like it.
But today, I mourn more for Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Pojé. The loss of the rest of the season is bad enough, since even if they’re not giving up on Worlds, they don’t seem likely to make it. The loss of momentum is worse. Plus the loss for the ridiculously strong Canadian ice dance field, if Gilles & Poirier can’t finish high enough to preserve their three spots for Sochi(and that brings the nightmarish prospect Gilles & Poirier might then end up put over Weaver & Pojé, and they just miss the Olympics again. It’s frighteningly possible, especially with speculation the Canadian federation favors them). And so I close with what looks like it’ll be the last we see of them for a while: