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Thread: Favourite veteran skaters of 2019-20

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Favourite veteran skaters of 2019-20

    For celebrating the uncles and aunties of figure skating who might not be top contenders anymore for World or Olympic titles, but nevertheless are still going strong as of this season!

    It's hard to set a distinction, but I might suggest including ladies at least 25, men at least 28, and pairs/dance members at least 30 years old who are still ISU-eligible and getting internationally-competitive TES scores. You could include examples outside this range if you think the skater is doing exceptionally well for their age

    Some examples that spring to mind:

    Ladies:
    Alena Leonova

    Men:
    Michal Brezina
    Alexei Bychenko
    Sergei Voronov

    Pairs:
    Vanessa James
    Zoe Jones (has three children too!!)
    Della Monica/Guarise

    Dance:
    Guignard/Fabbri

  2. #2
    GS Supporter ladyjane's Avatar
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    What a lovely idea for a thread!

    I would like to include Deanna Stellato who until this season had quite some success with Nathan Bartholomay. And what about Ksenia Stolbova who has just jumped back onto the scene with a new partner? She's 27, and fits the bill.

    I'm not sure about Carolina Kostner (she may have finished with competing now) but she skated competitively until her 31st.

    Past success: Aljona Savchenko who won an Olympic Gold at 34. Yay! I know she's not part of the 2019-2020 scene, but I admire her so much that I want to name her anyway.

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    Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps el henry's Avatar
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    My gal Deanna

    Chris Knierim is 31, but it’s hard to think of him as an uncle, I don’t know why

  4. #4
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Daisuke Takahashi is 33 and still skating brilliantly. As if this were not enough, he’s also decided to challenge himself by preparing to compete in a new discipline.

  5. #5
    Medalist DenissVFan's Avatar
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    Interesting fact: there are only two female singles skaters on this year's GP circuit who fit these criteria: Mae Berenice Meite and Veronik Mallet, both 25 years old (b. 1994). The next oldest are Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Mariah Bell, Laurine Lecavalier and Nicole Schott, who were all born in 1996.

  6. #6
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    May I suggest Nikolaj Sorensen?

    I'd also like to include Karly Robertson who represents Great Britain and participated in Nepela Memorial last month. She turns 30 in November!

  7. #7
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer57 View Post
    May I suggest Nikolaj Sorensen?
    !
    It’s great that ice dancers can stay competitive into their thirties, because it gives us all more time to enjoy them. Evan Bates is also in his thirties, as are Weaver and Poje, who may or may not be retired from competition but are nonetheless both off killing it on the Battle of the Blades.

    Sean Rabbitt is also pushing 30, and still going strong.

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    GS Supporter ladyjane's Avatar
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    Keegan is nearly 28 too, though somehow I don't see him as an uncle yet. Andrew Dodds from Australia is 28 and manages to compete in two disciplines! What about Matteo Guarise? Isn't he 31 or 32? Still going strong as well.

  9. #9
    Rinkside
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    Great suggestions from everyone! I was surprised that some of the singles skaters mentioned are actually that old (Keegan, Karly, Mae Berenice, Veronik). Keegan particularly seems to be coming into his prime now - maybe he's just a late bloomer

    Indeed, looking forward to seeing Deanna Stellato and Ksenia Stolbova (and Daisuke) in competition again with their respective new partners!

    Carolina and Aliona have certainly enjoyed exceptional longevity and success. If we include other past veterans too, then certainly Evgeni Plushenko is worth a mention (plus his lesser-known compatriot Konstantin Menshov).

    I wonder what the secret to a long competitive skating career is... apart from becoming a cyborg like Plushenko of course

    And another thing: why do we see older pairs skaters than singles skaters? I can understand why many ice dancers can still compete into their 30s, since they aren't subject to repetitive pounding from jumps. Might this have to do with having fewer jump elements in pairs than singles, or easier jumps due to grade of execution generally outweighing base value of SBS/throw jumps?

  10. #10
    On the Ice
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    Alas, so many of my favorite ladies skaters are considered veterans at the ripe old age of 20! All the women skating over 20 are my favorite veterans.
    And special mention to Voronov, Brezina and Bychenko.

  11. #11
    Bona Fide Member iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interspectator View Post
    And special mention to Voronov, Brezina and Bychenko.
    Oh, yeah! & Sean Rabbitt!

    Deanna Stellato -definitely!

    I really like Elizaveta "Tuk-Tuk," too!

  12. #12
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    I remain completely charmed by Alexei Bychenko, and in particular his current piratical incarnation. Especially as he does the occasional drunken Captain Jack Sparrow reel in there. Next year the Dread Pirate Roberts perhaps?

    And always a ton of respect for Zoe Jones.

    Re pair skaters and longevity, even though pairs has the highest rates of acute injury of all the disciplines, I suspect male pairs skaters are able to keep skating for longer because the requirement for partners to do matching elements means that they're not forced to attempt quads and 3As that their bodies might not be well conformed for in order to be competitive at the highest levels, protecting their hips and knees, and likewise female pairs skaters are able to keep going because they're not pushed into doing layback spins and Biellmann positions that wreck their backs if they don't have ultra-flexible lower spines to start with (again, because they have to match their partners). It's like they get a trade-off - one more sustainable set of elements that they can do for longer, set aginst another set (throw jumps and lifts) that's more likely to do worse and more acute types of damage. It balances out in the form of longer careers.

  13. #13
    Praise our Little Bear Coryocris's Avatar
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    Valtter Virtanen!! He's 32 and a medical doctor and still on the competitive ice.

  14. #14
    Making rhinestone vest and tie combos cool anonymoose_au's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Feijoa View Post
    Great suggestions from everyone!

    ...

    If we include other past veterans too, then certainly Evgeni Plushenko is worth a mention (plus his lesser-known compatriot Konstantin Menshov).
    Old Man Menshov! He was a fave...he's going into coaching now

    Quote Originally Posted by Coryocris View Post
    Valtter Virtanen!! He's 32 and a medical doctor and still on the competitive ice.
    Dr Finland! He's awesome

    Sergei is my favourite, especially since his own Fed gives him no love and credit. Looking forward to his GPs this season.

  15. #15
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coryocris View Post
    Valtter Virtanen!! He's 32 and a medical doctor and still on the competitive ice.
    Not just a doctor, he is also a Phd.

    My favourites are just everybody, who are able to compete at Euros and worlds, at the age mentioned in the first post. My secret hope is that older skaters do well and perharps some of them could even medal.

  16. #16
    Forever respecting the sport Ic3Rabbit's Avatar
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    Liubov Ilyushechkina is 27 and will be 28 in a few weeks.

  17. #17
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by TT_Fin View Post
    My secret hope is that older skaters do well and perharps some of them could even medal.
    Your wishes and hopes have already been fulfilled, given that 30-year-old Sorensen and his only-slightly-younger partner, Fournier Beaudry, medaled at Skate America last week!

    I don’t think they are done yet, either...

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