Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons: “We know each other probably even better than we know ourselves”.

Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons
Photo by David W. Carmichael

Rachel  Parsons and Michael Parsons are a sibling ice dancing team that paired up  in 2010. Together, they are the 2017 World Junior champions, the 2016-17 JGP Final champions,  and five-time US junior medalists .  At the Internationaux de France in Grenoble 2018  they came fifth with  171.17 points ahead of Marie-Jade Lauriault/Romain LeGac (FRA) on 170.64.


We’re really happy with how we skated in the short dance. To be honest, we didn’t get the score that we wanted – we felt like we skated better here than in Japan, but ended up with the lower score. In Japan, we said our main priority is to improve the levels going into France and we got higher levels this time, we got better key points and better footwork levels. So, we’re feeling pretty good.


At the end of the day, we’re competing against ourselves as our main priority, and I feel like this was a good step forward in terms of levels and in terms of expression.

As for our free dance, I think that that wasn’t the best program we could have put out, but it was clean, which is what we were trying to do.


Speaking of free dance, we fixed some levels and we lost some levels, so I can’t say that we had a net gain. I don’t think our energy level was where we wanted it to be today. But it was still a clean skate and it was really fun to skate in front of this crowd here in France, so we’re really happy about that.

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Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko: “We want to show that we can compete with confidence”

Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko
Photo by Maria Kateshova

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko paired up in 2014 and have since won two World Junior Figure Skating Championships medals, silver at the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final and their first junior national title at the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. This season, their first on the senior level, they’ve already won bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy, which was held last week in Oberstdorf, Germany. After the short dance, Christina and Anthony commented on their performance.

You had a fantastic skate, very confident, very strong out there. How do you feel about your performance?


I’m really happy with how we skated. I think it was a little bit better than what we did in Salt Lake. We hadn’t had that much time in between to improve a lot, but I think we did a good job today.


I think we did really well. We had a lot more confidence than we did in Salt Lake City. For sure, there’s always much more to work on, but we’re really happy with how we skated today.

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Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier: “It felt like we hadn’t competed in years”

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier
Photo by Maria Kateshova

The ISU Challenger Series Nebelhorn Trophy 2018 opened on Thursday with the Short Dance, Ladies and Pairs short programs in Obersdorf, Germany. Canada’s ice dancers Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier took a confident lead in the short dance with 77.40 points.

How do you feel about your skate today?


I felt a little nervous before practice, but the moment we got in the arena, it felt like we were ready for this, we just had to figure out a way to settle the nerves. Actually, this is the first time we really had to wait that long to do our program. Usually we’re second or third in the group, so this time we had to teach ourselves how to maintain our energy and don’t get stale and stiff during that break.


I think for the first competition this was a really good performance. Coming out of a full Olympic cycle, this off season felt really long for the two of us. When we got here it felt like I hadn’t competed in years, even though it hadn’t been that long. So I think, as far as the first competition goes, we’re very happy.

On the other hand, we know there’s a lot of work to be done on this program. We know where we want this program to be, we missed quite a bit of training during the off season and that slowed us down. We know where this program can be, we know how good we can be and that’s where we want it to get further into the season.

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