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2013 World Junior Championships

Bukin Listens to His Babushka, and the Rest is History

 by Alexandra Stevenson





(2 March 2013)


1.Overall 150.17; 1.FD 85.52 (40.21+45.31) Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin dominated the ice dance championship winning by nearly seven points. The son of Andrei Bukin, who won the 1988 Olympic gold after taking silver in 1984 with the flamboyant Natalia Bestemianova, doesn’t talk about the sport to his father.

“I don’t think he wanted me to go into the sport. I actually didn’t want to skate. It was my grandmother who sent me to swimming and skating, because I was a very active child. I actually did quite well in swimming when I was little. My parents didn’t really want me to skate but my (maternal) grandmother insisted and, since she was quite tough and she said, ‘Vania WILL skate!’ And so I am skating and I am here right now.”

They are skating to a different version of Ravel’s Bolero to that used by the British 1984 Olympic champions, Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean. “To be honest, I don’t know who suggested this music, but it seemed to us that this music was a winning choice. We all agreed on it and liked it. It is a great arrangement. It has nothing to do with my father’s time. We did not think about that at all.

“We don’t know if we will move up to the senior level or not. In order to be successful at the senior level we’ll have to work four times as hard as in juniors.”

His partner agreed. “We have one more year of junior eligibility. We have to work on the technique in order to get close to senior-level skating, to show grown up, confident skating. We’ll have to work on our physical strength as the senior level free dance is a little longer than in junior and we’ll have to work on our mental strength to feel more confident.

“I like that in dance, there is a relationship, that you tell a story and there is always an idea behind it. To be a team means there is always a support. Your partner always will support you when something happens.”

They were well above the standard of their rivals in some aspects, with two judges in the panel of nine, awarding their first element, Level 4 twizzles, two of the maximum +3 Grades of Execution, which is reserved for top world (senior) class couple. One judge also gave them a second +3 for their Level 3 circular steps. However, they did have flaws.

Although their straight line & rotational lifts and the combination spin were worthy of the maximum Level 4, their curve lift and the diagonal steps were only Level 2. But Bukin said, “It is a great feeling right now. We had a good performance and did everything we could do and we are very happy.”

2.Overall 143.26; 3.FD 1.68 (37.82+43.86) Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron, France, did not skate on the practice session before the Free Dance so rumors circulated that they had withdrawn. Later it was discovered she had sprained her ankle in their off-ice warm-up preparation. However, they were determined not to withdraw and began their routine interpreting “Money” and “Hey You” by Pink Floyd.  She had her right leg strapped so it was obvious there was a problem.

They almost got through the routine, but, as she later explained, the pain became unbearable and they stopped at the 2 minute 52 second point of their routine which was scheduled for 3 minutes 30 seconds. She went to the referee, Rossella Ceccattini, who explained to Papdakis that she would be allowed a three minute medical break.

After that they were able to execute the rest of their program. They were awarded the third highest marks but stayed second overall. She was delighted, saying, “It is our first medal at Junior Worlds and it is the same ranking as we had at the Junior Grand Prix Final.”
3.Overall 139.33; 2.FD 82.44 (39.64+42.80) Alexandra Aldridge & Daniel Eaton, USA, interpreted “Fidler on the Roof”. He said, “We were honored to compete at our second Junior World Championship and to compete against such great athletes throughout the entire field. It’s been a wonderful season. We performed our program to the best of our ability today and I don’t think I can ask for a better experience.” All three lifts and the twizzles were Level 4; the spin and the diagonal steps were Level 3. The circular steps were Level 2.

They will be in senior competition next season. He said, “I definitely think that’s an exciting step in our future. We train with some of the best in the world (at the Detroit FSC ). Their passion, their abilities will definitely drive us to push ourselves more to compete at high levels.”

4.Overall 132.17; 4.FD 76.35 (37.06+39.29) Valeria Zenkova & Valerie Sinitsin, Russia, moved up a place to fourth with a routine set to music from the show “Cats”.

5.Overall 128.79; 7.FD 72.91 (34.07+38.84) MacKenzie Bent & Garrett MacKeen, Canada, presented a Tango routine, dropping a place.

6.Overall 126.19; 5.FD 75.55 (37.01+38.54); Evgenia Kosigina & Nikolai Moroshkin, Russia, pulled up three place with a Michael Jackson number.

7.Overall 124.35; 6.FD 74.72 (37.39+37.33) Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker, USA, pulled up four places with a light-hearted routine to “Singing in the Rain”. She said, “We’ve only been together for eight months (training at the Detroit FSC). It’s unbelievable that we’re here after such a short time together. We’re just delighted.”

They earned Level 4 for both parts of their long lift, curve to rotation and for the straight line lift and their twizzles. Their circular steps were Level 3. Their spin and the diagonal steps were Level 2.

8.Overall 121.71; 10.FD 71.12 (34.58+36.54) Shari Koch & Christian Nuchtern, Germany, had the good luck of finishing 8th despite placing 10th in both sections of the event.

9.Overall 121.27; 11.FD 69.47 (32.98+36.49) Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter, USA, presented an enjoyable Romeo and Juliet routine, and, although they dropped a place from their Short Dance standing, they were not complaining. He said, “It was a great experience for us. We’re thrilled to be at this level.”

She said, “We’re learning so much. I think maybe our footwork could have been a little better. I can’t wait to get back to work.” They both started skating very early and have been partners since 2005.

10.Overall 120.07; 12.FD 67.88 (30.86+38.02 -1) Anna Nagornyuk & Viktor Kovalenko, Uzbekistan, dropped from seventh after the Short Dance.

11.Overall 119.15; 9.FD 71.12  (34.27+36.85) Alexander Nazarova & Maxim Nikitin, Ukraine, advanced a place from their Short Dance standing.

12.Overall 117.65; 14.FD 62.73 (31.01+35.71 -4) Madelaine Edwards & Zhao Kai Pang, Canada, were devastated to drop from sixth after the Short Dance. During a lift he was leaning too far back, slipped and fell, bringing her down on top of him. Then they both fell a second time.

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