Houston, We Do Not Have a Problem. Is This Okay with Y'all?

If only......

If only......

We have never really had a properly competitive pairs team from the States make it to the top of the podium. Never really. Ina and Dungjen are trying their best. But not yet.

I've got more hope for these kids. Not even old enough to be sent to the Olympics. And am I correct that that is at least part of the reason they were held back at Nationals this year?

That's what I thought.

No, the conventional wisdom is not lying on these kids either. I also get Katia Gordeeva flashbacks when I see this kid skate. And her brother can handle her.

I get these flashbacks on a regular basis when I watch these kids. Regular. Ooooee. This is going to be fun.

And they are probably in the hands of the only coach alive who can handle them. Some kids require some people to coach them.

Irina Rodnina is now working in the States. Let's go!

Whip them into shape on positions, Irina. You can see they need it. Get him to hoist her up a little further.

Then they'll be just fine.

Really, they're just fine now, but you always need that little extra to get them noticed well and proper.

You notice I leave room in my pairs predictions for Salt Lake. Lots of room. These kids are one of the reasons. There are other kids scattered around the world who could "pull the improvement" in that magical four years' time.

But let's not rule these kids out.

At all.

They are in the hands of one of the finest Soviet-trained coaches on the planet. I don't think there'll be any problem technically.

Let's just see what happens.

Oh, kids, thank you! This is so nice to see....

Will a true championship pairs team that didn't come from Russia or somewhere else be acceptable to the American public?

We have four years to find out. I'm betting on yes.

For once. For goddamn once.

Let's roll it!

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Look at 'em go! This is great!