by Klaus Reinhold Kany
(8 March 2020) The level of the ice dance competition was excellent. There was only one fall in the Rhythm Dance and no fall in the Free Dance. As usual, the ice dance competition is the most successful of the four categories for the USA.
Avonley Nguyen & Vadym Kolesnik are the tenth U.S. team in the last 22 years to win a gold medal at Junior Worlds. After being third in the Rhythm Dance they moved up to the first position with 177.18 points. They train in Novi, Michigan with Igor Shpilband and Pasquale Camerlengo. 17-year-old Nguyen was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and 18-year-old Kolesnik came from the Ukraine three years ago because he wanted to be trained by Shpilband.
Skating to Rakhmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, all eight elements were excellent. Their Stationary Lift at the beginning even had two GOEs of +5 and four GOEs of +4. Their levels were very high and their components around 8.4. The whole program had a stellar flow and was a masterpiece. They can do special lifts because Kolesnik has a lot of strength and Nguyen is not too tall and very light. Before going on the posdium for the victory ceremony, they performed their Stationary Lift once more for the spectators.
Kolesnik said: “Honestly, it's the biggest moment of my life happening right now. We'll have to discuss with our coach if we are going to move to seniors or stay junior. We wanted to do something amazing that everybody will remember. Classical music is just amazing. People from all over the world know what it is and it has history behind it. We felt like this is something that we need. If you look at the champions from the past years, World Champions and Olympic Champions, they skated to classical pieces. We just try to achieve the same goals and we felt like classical pieces are perfect for this. I left my parents and my friends that I had over there and I moved to the USA when I was 14, by myself. It was a little hard, but I have my partner, I have my coaches who really helped me and I really appreciate that and want to say thank you one more time to them. I feel I'm already used to American life.”
Nguyen added: ”We and our coaching team picked this classical piece by Rachmaninov together. Vadim is like the melody and I'm like the harmony. Together this is what makes it special, because no song is complete without one of those aspects. It's a really challenging piece to skate to, because the notes and nuances are very subtle. We have to match them perfectly with the movements and the story we want to tell, but we wanted to show a more sophisticated side of our skating this season. We really felt the connection with this music when our coaches helped us to pick it. We're really glad that it worked out, because we really love this music and this program. I've dreamed about this moment for so long and to know that our work finally paid off. We're so happy, we're elated, we're just overjoyed.”
Maria Kazakova & Georgy Reviya from Georgia won the silver medal with 176.19 points, just one point behind the winners. They used the modern music “In the End” by Tommy Profitt and impressed by their energy, their pep, some spectacular elements and the emotions they show on the ice. Their levels were a bit lower, but they had even a little bit higher components than the U.S team. GOEs of +3 and +4 dominated for their elements.
Reviya said: ”We skated well, we're basically pleased. We did everything that depends on us. The most important thing is that people enjoyed how we skated. We gave it our all, the audience was very supportive, a big thank you to the spectators who came to watch. We felt that we can project the power and the charisma of this music and we've worked on that the whole season. In short, we are like two crazy people, trying to get out of a difficult situation in life, at first everyone for himself, not accepting each other. Then we understand that we cannot do that alone and so we unite and continue together. After returning to Moscow, we’ll compete at Senior Worlds in Montreal and then build new programs for next season, already in seniors. I'm getting too old for juniors. The next year will be very important for us, because we need to qualify for the Olympic Games.”
Elizaveta Shanaeva & Devid Naryzhnyy from Russia took bronze with 175.17 points. Their levels were almost as high as those of the winners, but the GOEs a bit lower and their components 8.2. Shanaeva commented: “We still have a junior year left and we want to work on and polish what did not work out here.” Naryzhnyy added: ”We really liked it here, it was an incredible experience for us. We are newcomers, it is our first season at this high level.”
Arina Ushakova & Maxim Nekrasov from Russia are on fourth place with 169.18 points. Dancing to “Mylord” by French singer Edith Piaf, all their elements were at least good.
Diana Davis & Gleb Smolkin from Russia, also coached by Igor Shpilband, came fifth with 165.22 points. Davis’ mother, the Moscow star coach Eteri Tutberidze, had decided to send her daughter not to one of the Moscow ice dance schools, but to Shpilband in the USA.
Loicia Demougeot & Theo Le Mercier from France are sixth with 162.52 points.
Shpilband’s second U.S. couple of Katarina Wolfkostin & Jeffrey Chen finished on a very good seventh position in their first season together. They had mainly GOEs of +2. This championship was a huge success for Igor Shpilband, teaching three couples in the top seven. The third U.S. team of Oona Brown & Gage Brown are trained by Inese Bucevica in Dix Hills, New York. They finished on tenth position with 152.05 points. All their elements were good and had mainly GOEs of +2.