Junior Worlds generally follows patterns these days. We typically get three overtalented and underage Russian girls who either sweep the podium or at least dominate it. We get other ringers from overcrowded countries who make a title or two impossible for any actual juniors to win. We get said bigger countries winning most of the medals, Russia especially.
But this year? I suppose two of those Russian girls spraining their ankles could be a freak incident, or Lorriane McNamara & Quinn Carpenter actually having to fight to get their title just an illustration of how deep American ice dance remains(I was seriously hoping for a sweep at one point, but the Russians are still able to prevent that, it seems). You might even point out that two of the men’s medals did got to the bigger countries, although not to the skaters from them that *anyone* saw coming, and Anna Duskova & Martin Bidar’s win actually wasn’t that surprising; they’d been trending up all season, after all. But all of it combined? This weekend was just plain bizarre.
Not that any of this was a bad thing. It was nice to have someone else win the ladies competition for once, it was very nice to see how far Rachel & Michael Parsons have now come. It was gratifying to see Daniel Samohin come through, because boy is he great to watch when he does. It’s especially good to see a strong pair from an unusual country from it.
Although it was a little painful to see how many third spots were lost. The American ladies especially, because it would’ve been so easy for them to grab it back with two girls that would’ve certainly beaten them out(at one point I even thought poor Tennell could’ve medaled had she stayed on her feet, but then Higuchi skated; she wouldn’t have beaten that anyway). Especially when we managed a 15-pair field; it’s not going to be that big next year, I fear.