Episode 34: JGP Courchevel and Lake Placid - Transcript


Transcribed by Maryam (@luckyyloopss), Gabb (@tegomass), Becs (@becsfer) and Gina (@4atwizzles)

Yogeeta: You're In The Loop. We're here to discuss the ups, downs, and sideways of the sport of figure skating, and maybe give you plus give GOE along the way. Let's introduce this week's hosts.

Evie: Hi, I'm Evie, and I've been running on basically no sleep for the past two weeks, and I am loving it. You can find me on Twitter at @doubleflutz.

Niamh: I’m Niamh and I’m using this time before the Senior events start to adopt children from everywhere. You can find me on Twitter at @rivrdance.

Yogeeta: Hey all! I’m Yogeeta and I am here to support every single one of these children! You can find me on Twitter @liliorum.

Evie: So guys, guess what? The season started properly! Woohoo, children! I'm just so glad we finally have some competitions to watch.

Niamh: Worlds feels like yesterday!

Evie: It really does. This off season, I don't know if it was just that our perception of time has shifted or something weird is going on in the universe, but it just feels like it's breezed by so freaking quickly. It's so weird that we're now two whole competitions into the season.

Niamh: Yeah, there wasn't the same space of time with no content.

Evie: But yes, we've had the start of the Junior Grand Prix and lots of kids have returned to us, and we've got lots of new kids.

Yogeeta: All the kids.

Evie: And we want to talk about them today. So in this episode, we are going to be talking about the first two stops of the Junior Grand Prix for this season, which were the Junior Grand Prix in Courchevel, France, last week, and then the Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid, which just finished up today as we're recording this. So, we'll be talking about all the events there and some common themes that we saw and, of course, we're going to be talking in detail about some of our favorite performances across both competitions in all the disciplines.

Niamh: So for this Junior Grand Prix Series we are going to be making playlists on our YouTube channel for each event which will contain all the programs from the medalists and some of our favorites from the team. So if you didn't have the chance to watch the event, and you want to catch up, you know where to go.

Yogeeta: We also have some special interviews from Juniors both at this competition and the next on our website, inthelopodcast.com. We have interviews from [Katarina] Wolfkostin and [Jeffrey] Chen, Joseph Phan, and Gabriella Izzo out now. We have more in the works, so please stay tuned.

Evie: And they're really, really cute interviews too. I highly recommend going to check them out, get to know them a bit better. I know, especially, when I was listening to Joseph's and Gabbie's, that I was just like, "Oh I liked them last season," but now I've kind of built up that personal knowledge of them that I'm like, "Oh great, I have adopted them. They're now my kids. I will protect them."

Yogeeta: In this season, we adopt every single child.

Evie: This is going to be the first of three JGP episodes that we’re going to do this season, the second will be coming out in a few weeks and feature our discussion on JGP Latvia, Russia and Poland, and then the third episode will be covering Croatia and Italy. Even though we’re doing less episodes than last season, we’ve still got so much bonus content planned for you guys in the meantime, so keep your eyes peeled on our Twitter and our website for updates.

-end segment- 3:32

START: Pairs

Evie: Alright, so let's start off by talking about the pairs, and of course, there was only one pairs event out of the two events, because some of the Junior Grand Prix's don't have pairs competitions, but Lake Placid did. The podium was all Russian, which is not a surprise.

Yogeeta: Yeah. Last season it was, what? 14 out of 15 medals went to the Russians?

Evie: The only non-Russian team that medalled last season at the Junior Grand Prix was the US pairs team was Sara Feng and TJ Nyman, who split up a few weeks ago. The podium here in Lake Placid, in gold we have Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov. In second, we have Kseniia Akhanteva and Valerii Kolesov, and in third, we have Alina Pepeleva and Roman Pleshkov.

Yogeeta: Good on you for being able to say all the Russian names in one go.

Evie: Oh, thank you.

Niamh: It only gets harder from here.

Evie: Unsurprisingly, like we said, the entire podium here was Russian, and that's a common theme throughout pairs in juniors. Although the field here in general in the Junior Grand Prix is a bit different because [Anastasia] Mishina and [Alexander] Galliamov, who won the Junior World Championships last season and the Final, went Senior this year. We also have [Polina] Kostiukovich and [Dmitrii] Ialin who were missing from a lot of the assignments the first couple of Junior Grand Prix's. They do have one, it's Croatia. That's the second last one.

Yogeeta: Everyone is at Croatia.

Niamh: Yeah. The Croatian men's lineup is terrifying.

Evie: So we have changes in the Russian pairs field in this Junior Grand Prix. Again, I'm really surprised that Kostiukovich and Ialin weren't in earlier assignments. The only thing that I could possibly think of that would set them back is the possibility that maybe they got injured in the offseason, which I really hope isn't the case. But we had Panfilova and Rylov win a Junior Grand Prix, which is really, really nice because I think the general consensus in ITL is that we love and cherish them.

Yogeeta: Yes, they are amazing. Who needs triples? Not us.

Niamh: What are triples?

Evie: Who needs triples when you have Skating Skills and extension like that, am I right?

Niamh: Yes.

Evie: And even though the other two Russian teams did have triple side-by-sides, the level of consistency that Panfilova and Rylov have not just in the double jumps, which, even though Dmitry did make a mistake in the Free on his combo, their consistency in their throws - which are absolutely gorgeous-

Yogeeta: Oh, their throws are so high.

Evie: Apollinariia's extension on the landings and how long she keeps that running edge is just extremely good food.

Yogeeta: She could teach the Russian ladies how to hold a landing edge.

Niamh: Teach them how to hold positions.

Evie: But even though their technical content is lower, the problem is that at this competition, Akhanteva and Kolesov, and Pepeleva and Pleshkov both had problems landing either side by sides or the throws, in both programs, even though their tech content was higher in the Free. That's really where Panfilova and Rylov's grade of execution and overall consistency does them good, because they're landing everything most of the time, and they're just so good at it that they can get those really, really high scores.

Yogeeta: And they're components are in a league of their own too, so even if say, they got beat on the technical side, they probably will still win because of their components.

Evie: And deservedly so. I really liked that choice of Short Program for this season. They're skating to music from "The Matrix," which is very much a departure from what they had last season, when they had the jazzy Short Program. They had the traditional, classical, Free Skate, which they still kind of have this season, which definitely works for them. But "The Matrix" is a very dark, edgy soundtrack and I think they really suit that kind of music.

Yogeeta: I'm excited to see them explore more music, because I feel like I'm just tired of seeing classical lyrical pieces. I want to see people experiment and try new music choices, because there's so many more music choices.

Niamh: That's just kind of the theme of Pairs, though, as a whole. It's just classical pieces.

Evie: Yeah. Especially because last seasons, their Free Skate to "Charms" was one of my favorite - not just Junior Pairs programs - but I think pairs programs in general. It was really, really pretty. I was definitely impressed by what I saw here and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it grows. But it's going to have a hard time beating their previous Free Skate for me, and just general classical skating.

Niamh: The triple twist in their Short Program...

Yogeeta: That was amazing.

Niamh: It's what started the program, so after that you were like, "Oh my gosh."

Evie: It just grabs your attention straight away because it's just so perfect. And their positions in the lifts, Apollinariia always hits a good position, and the ice coverage that they get on all of them is just so much faster and they cover so much more distance than the other teams. I love them so much, you guys.

Yogeeta: They're great. A small shout out to Huidi Wang for completing the Free despite injuring herself during warmup. She had a really bad fall during the warmup, and it looked like she had hurt her foot, but she went on, she tried her best, and honestly, they did really well considering the fact that she was injured a few minutes before they skated.

Evie: Although we couldn't really see what caused the injury because the pairs stream during Lake Placid was a bit of a glitchy mess at that point, I'm glad she persevered and I hope that she manages to get treatment if she was seriously injured by that fall.

Yogeeta: Yeah, I like to think that that team, too, has pretty strong potential. They could potentially podium if they go clean.

Evie: Yeah, definitely. They were really, really close behind Pepeleva and Pleshkov in the Short Program.

Yogeeta: This also just: Pairs Ladies, man.

Niamh: You have to be strong to be a Pairs Lady.

Evie: You sure do.

-end segment- 9:48


Evie: Alright, let's go on to talking about the Men's competition at both of these events.

Yogeeta: Oh god.

Evie: Yeah, I mean, they have been all over the place, but shockingly both of these events had the same countries on the podium in the same exact order. Both times.

Niamh: Oh my god. I never actually noticed. We had, from Grand Prix Courchevel, Yuma Kagiyama, in first place, from Japan, in second place, we had Aleksa Rakic from Canada, and Andrei Kutovoi from Russia in third place. From Lake Placid, we had Shun Sato from Japan in first, Stephen Gogolev from Canada in second, and Gleb Lutfullin from Russia in third.

Evie: Yeah, so, both of these podiums: same countries and positions - which is crazy. And we had two Japanese Men win at both events, which is refreshing.

Yogeeta: Also crazy.

Evie: Yeah.

Yogeeta: I've been so used to Japanese Men being super inconsistent every time they're in the Free Skate.

Evie: Last season, especially, was a bit up and down.

Yogeeta: Yuma being mostly clean was so refreshing.

Niamh: Both events were very different though, like Courchevel was a lot cleaner than Lake Placid.

Yogeeta: Well, Lake Placid also had more quads.

Evie: It did, yeah, because Yuma was the only one doing quads at Courchevel.

Niamh: Yeah, because Adam [Siao Him Fa] had withdrawn.

Yogeeta: Yes. And Yuma did two quads in his Free, two quad toes, and he rotated them and landed both of them on one foot.

Evie: That's all we can ask for at the end of the day. Both of these events were kind of weird in the fact that we had two major withdrawals from pretty well known junior men. so like we said, Adam Siao Him Fa at France withdrew from Courchevel a week before the competition started and we also had Petr Gummenik of Russia, who withdrew from Lake Placid. So it was kind of a bit of a shock, and it leads to the question of who was going to rise to the occasion. Although, we still did have some big names at both of these events that everyone was anticipating.

Yogeeta: And it's really sad to hear when Petr withdrew, I adopted him last season because he was the tiny Russian pixie boy.

Evie: He was at the Russian test skates a couple of weeks ago and he was looking pretty solid, although he has also gone through a growth spurt. He is still pretty tiny, but he's just slightly less tiny than he was a couple of months ago. I hope it's just a case of his programs maybe not being ready yet, and choosing to withdraw and go to a later assignment rather than something going wrong physically.

Niamh: Russian assignments will be interesting, because Andrei doesn't have a second assignment either.

Yogeeta: Well, Andrei will probably get one now that he's in a podium position.

Evie: Let's go and talk about some of the programs from both competitions a bit more in-depth. We wanted to talk first about the winner of Junior Grand Prix Courchevel, Yuma Kagiyama, who won the event by over 30 points. Again, he was the only one doing quads, and the fact that he landed them...

Niamh: We love that for him.

Yogeeta: Yeah, he rotated and he landed, and so that's the power of quads, man.

Evie: Especially in the Short Program, when he landed his first triple Axel right out of the gate, it was perfect.

Yogeeta: That was so smooth, his knee bend.

Evie: It was so good.

Yogeeta: His triple Axel reminds me a lot of Shoma's triple Axel.

Evie: Yeah. It's really, really smooth, and he's got a lot of speed going in and out of it. It definitely reminds me of Shoma.

Yogeeta: Well, Yuma just has a lot of speed.

Evie: He does, he goes nyoom. But I think that in comparison to last season when he was quite new and slightly unpolished, I think he's really gained an awareness of his upper body. Especially his hands, I noticed his hand movements in both programs were really quite refined this time, and it was really good to see because that's what we hope for. We hope that Juniors, as the season goes on, get way more refined.

Niamh: Especially because the choreography in the Short Program especially, his arm movements could've come across as flaily, if that's the word? Just the way the choreography is laid out, but it was fine, because he has pretty good control over his arm movements so it didn't come across like that.

Yogeeta: He also has really good posture as well. [Evie: Yeah, he does] He just, in general, has really good control over his body, and he's grown into a very musical skater.

Evie: I think once he gets a handle on expression in his performance, because I think sometimes his face kind of disengages with the program in general while he's skating. Which isn't unusual in Juniors, that's definitely a skill that grows over time. So I really hope going forward that he works a little bit more on outwardly expressing, trying to match the intensity of the programs a little bit more, but I am so impressed by him here.

Yogeeta: I think his Free Skate is very, very fun. I think it's really going to test his ability to actually perform, because he actually has to perform and be active and engage with the audience for that one, versus his Short Program, which I think is a little more refined, so you don't have to be as engaged for those types of programs. I'm really excited to see how he evolves his Free Skate as the season progresses.

Evie: Alright, so should we go on to talk about one of Niamh's newly adopted sons? Andrei Kutovoi of Russia, who was kind of the surprise breakout hit of this competition. I think he was definitely a surprise to a lot of us in the team while we were watching it. Niamh, I think we should let you take this one away, considering he is your son.

Yogeeta: Yes, go sell your son.

Niamh: He's so round!

Evie: He is round.

Yogeeta: He is a tiny round boy.

Niamh: The first thing I noticed during Steven Gogolev at Lake Placid was just that I got really sad because I realized Andrei was going to grow.

Evie: I mean, puberty is a thing that happens, Niamh. You have to come to terms with it early!

Niamh: He's only 13 and I swear his expression and presentation would challenge half of the Senior Men.

Yogeeta: Oh my god, when I saw his Short Program, my first thought was, "Oh my god, this kid can perform."

Evie: His expression is so mature for his age. I was really, really shocked.

Niamh: And even his “Les Mis[erables]” - “Les Mis” can be very boring but I didn't even notice it was Les Mis, I was too busy jamming to the music and the choreo.

Yogeeta: He gives those programs 110%. And he's just 13.

Evie: His expression is so good, his performance level considering his age is so good. I'm really glad that he managed to get on the podium here considering his Short Program wasn't completely clean.

Niamh: Speaking of the podium, can we just do a mild conversation about the mess of the Men's podium?

Yogeeta: So at Courchevel, the French federation decided it was going to be a great idea to give all of then Junior skaters wine decanters? Because obviously Junior skaters drink wine.

Niamh: (sarcastically) 13-year-olds need wine.

Evie: Well it is France, guys. But yeah, they gave them all these giant wine decanters and then they had the flowers as well, so it was just a juggling act of having those things and then having to shake hands with the referees and the organizing committee. Which is never a good thing whenever there are multiple things to give to the medalists at any event. I always worry that they are going to drop something.

Yogeeta: Also Yuma's decanter had a handle but this boy did not want to hold the handle of this decanter.

Niamh: Was he scared of the handle?

Yogeeta: He held that decanter in every way you could - except by the handle.

Niamh: There was a period when all three of them were at the top part of the podium and I genuinely feared for all of their lives.

Evie: We've got some shoutouts from this men's event here in Courchevel. We have Yudong Chen from China, who had a really fun jazzy Short Program to "No Man No Cry." I think we all very much enjoyed that here. We also have Maxim Naumov of the USA with very very good music choices in both programs. He skated to Muse in his Short Program and in his Free to "Who Wants to Live Forever?" So yes, good job with the music picks I very much appreciated those.

Niamh: Continue with the good music choices.

Yogeeta: So let's move onto Lake Placid Men's and talk about our other Japanese gold medalist, Shun Sato.

Evie: Shun!

Yogeeta: This was his Junior Grand Prix debut, guys.

Evie: Honestly, JSF is dumb for not giving him an assignment last season. I know that was definitely a topic of contention in the fandom in general last season that Shun didn't get an assignment even though he was age-eligible. I'm just like "send him places, please JSF!"

Yogeeta: When does JSF ever send anyone that should be sent [to any competition]. Send Ayaka [Hosoda] somewhere, please!

Evie: Honestly. He attempted 3 quads in his Free Skate here, which was more than impressive to say the least. His quad toe..."Wow" that's all I can say. It's really really nice. Although Salchows continue to be snakes.

Niamh: The Salchows’ are banned until further notice. Further notice is never.

Yogeeta: I adopted Shun last season and was on the bandwagon of people yelling at the JSF for not sending him to a Junior Grand Prix. But I'm kind of happy that they didn't because last season he was so very very unrefined. He was extremely focused on the jumps and had no real components to speak of and so I think he's definitely grown a lot in the off season and has been trying to improve his components. You can definitely see that in his skating, He's still extremely jump focused so hopefully, he will continue to spend more time being focused on improving his components. But I also hear he's trying to jump a quad loop.

Evie: Oh boy. I think that this competition was really the competition where Shun really won me over. I watched him last season at a couple of the competitions he was in and I really didn't get any solid connection from his skating. I think it was mainly just down to him being so new, [and] his expression being a little bit unrefined in his programs last season. But I think here he really won me over. He has clearly improved over the off season, like you said Yogs. I'm just really excited to see how the rest of the season will go for him, how he will do in his second assignment. I think especially with his Free Skate, his Romeo and Juliet Free Skate-

Yogeeta: We don't speak of Romeo & Juliet in this house.

Evie: I know, but I think it actually suits him quite well. I don't actually mind his Romeo & Juliet.

Evie: Alright let's go on to talking about Stephen Gogolev of Canada.

Niamh: Oh my god, growth spurt.

Evie: I know, he's so much taller than the last time we saw him. It's a shock.

Yogeeta: This is his first season under his new coach of Rafael Arutunian.

Evie: Yeah! I think a lot of us were quite interested to see how it'd go having this big coaching change and he's definitely taller - and he didn't bring a Free Skate costume this time. I'm guessing his Free costume just wasn't ready in time.

Yogeeta: Why not just wear one of his other costumes, or just wear your Short Program costume [again]?

Evie: Well he's gone through the growth spurt, Yogs, you can't really expect any of his old ones to fit him anymore!

Yogeeta: Well let's talk about Stephen's jumps because that's the most interesting part of his move to Raf is that he's retooling his entire jump kit. You can definitely see Raf's hand in a lot of his jumps now. Like how he doesn't have an axel anymore.

Niamh: The true Raf initiation.

Yogeeta: He only did one quad attempt in the free. Last season he was pulling around a quad Lutz so I'm happy to see that Raf actually took that out and is retooling his Lutz so he'll hopefully have a better Lutz in the future.

Evie: You notice in both programs when he did do his triple Lutzes that his toe picking is a lot cleaner than it was last season. There's not as much prerotation. There's still a little bit, but there's a bit more of an acceptable amount on it this time rather than last season where it could get to half a rotation before he actually left the ice. It's really good to see. I'm wondering, while they retool his jumping technique and get his toe pick cleaner, if we're going to see the quad Lutz return maybe halfway through the season. Maybe at Canadian Nationals or Junior Worlds, it'll make a comeback. I'm glad that it's out of there at the moment because with all the changes going on in his life I don't think he needs to be going for all the crazy quads right now.

Niamh: Yeah.

Yogeeta: Well I also think he's grown a lot, he also has to just get used to what his body is like again so I'm sure we'll see Gogolev landing successful quads in his future and hopefully he'll land a triple Axel again. I like his Free Skate so I am excited to see how it grows in the future. Gogolev really needs to work on his expression, it was an issue last season, it's still an issue now. I don't think it's something that Rafael Arutunian is a good coach for so hopefully he has someone else helping on that regard.

Niamh: And we'd like to give other shoutouts to Harrison Bain for his Johnny Weir “The Swan” tribute.

Evie: The direct copy of the costume, which was crazy to see.

Niamh: It was just kind of a moment where is it going to be “The Swan?” Is it not? Also Gleb Lutfullin for being a happy podium Russian.

Yogeeta: When Gleb skated and he just did a quad literally me and like everyone else were like "Did he just do a quad? Where did he come from? How did we not know he existed?"

Niamh: Also Ilia Malinin's triple Axel for being great.

Yogeeta: An American man having a good triple Axel sounds like a fake story, but oh my god.

(hosts laugh)

-end segment- 23:36

START: Ice Dance

Evie: Alright moving on to Ice Dance! Our podiums for both of these events, for Courchevel in gold we have Elizaveta Shanaeva and Devid Naryzhnyy of Russia, in silver we have Loicia Demougeot and Theo le Mercier of France, and in [bronze], we have Ekaterina Katashinskaia and Aleksandra Vaskovich of Russia. Then, for our Lake Placid podium, we have Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnin of the USA [in first], in second, we have Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin of Russia, and in third we have Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler of the Czech Republic. So this was the first couple of events where we saw the Tea Time Foxtrot pattern, which is the required pattern for this season in action.

Yogeeta: It's so long! Why is it so long?

Evie: It is extremely long. Of course, that means we have to return to the pattern technical corner once again for the second season in a row. Hello, everyone, welcome to the pattern technical corner. We're going to talk about the Tea Time Foxtrot quickly because - yes, it's a long and complicated boy.

Niamh: Why is it so complicated? They're Juniors. They're only babies.

Evie: It's definitely a lot. This pattern is pretty brand new, this is the first time that this pattern has been used as an assigned pattern in a competitive season. It was actually adapted from Natalia Kaliszek and Maksim Spodirev's 2015/2016 Short Dance step sequence. Yes, it is quite long and pretty complex in comparison to Argentine Tango, which was last season's pattern. Not only is it long, there are a lot of steps, it's quite fast, and there are a lot of changes of hold in this pattern.

Yogeeta: It's really interesting to watch but it's also very long.

Evie: I think it's a really good differentiator between teams that are younger or inexperienced with one another. Because, especially in regards to the changes of hold and position, you can tell when a team isn't comfortable skating together because all their arms become noodle-y and flaily. We didn't have any clean performances of the pattern in either competition, which you know I'm not expecting considering this is the first and second major Junior competition of the season. Especially considering this is a brand new pattern, it's gonna take probably awhile until we get some clean ones I think.

Yogeeta: Honestly, I never expect a clean pattern.

Evie: True, we also kind of had some technical difficulties at Courchevel in the Rhythm Dance.

Yogeeta: Well it's France. What do you expect?

Evie: I know, but the music kept skipping. For a couple of the performances, it stopped and skipped for a couple of seconds right at the beginning and it didn't affect the teams cause they could just restart the music again. But when the US dance team Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen were skating it stopped right in the middle of the last couple key points in the first section of the pattern and so they had to completely stop the program, go over to the referee, then they restarted the music where they were up to. I just felt so sorry for them at that moment.

Yogeeta: Yeah, that must have been so terrible.

Evie: It must have been a really big hit to their confidence, especially since this is their first Junior international event together as a team.

Niamh: They're a new team aren't they?

Yogeeta: Yeah.

Evie: Let's go on to talking about some of our favorites at both the competitions. So starting at Courchevel we have the winners Elizaveta and Devid. Their music choices this season, I am a complete fan of.

Yogeeta: They're so good. I support them, their Rhythm Dance and their Free Dance.

Evie: They're so good. Their Bonnie & Clyde Rhythm Dance is just a really really fun piece of music. Then their Free Dance which is to "River" by Bishop Briggs is way more modern than we've seen them skate to. This is their second Junior Grand Prix Season and last season they had a pretty traditional free - they skated to “Samson and Delilah.” So this season they're going a bit more modern, a bit more fun, and I think it really suits them as a team. Plus their elements are just so nice.

Yogeeta: Oh my god! Their lifts!

Niamh: Their rotational lifts.

Yogeeta: Their lifts are so good. In their free, their combination with the rotational lift was stunning.

Evie: Not only the positions that they hit are really really good but the speed and ice coverage they get on them is really awesome. I'm not surprised that they have such good lifts considering they do train in the same camp as [Alexandra] Stepanova and [Ivan] Bukin, and also [Sofia] Shevchenko and [Igor] Eremenko.

Niamh: Their free did give me Stepanova and Bukin vibe, very similar to the same style.

Yogeeta: The costumes did a lot for me as well.

Evie: Although, can we talk about the weird choreographic slide in the Free Dance where she full-on slides on the ice on her back?

Yogeeta: Yeah, I thought that they would get a deduction for that?

Evie: I'm really surprised that didn't get any sort of deduction because I thought that kind of slide would have constituted as a fall, but I guess not?

Niamh: I guess as long as it's clear it's meant to be the choreographic slide?

Evie: This might also just be a thing that might differ from panel to panel. We could maybe see a judging panel give it the choreography restriction violation maybe down the line.

Yogeeta: They have a lot of really unique choreographic elements throughout their programs as well. They really stand out to me and they do a really small lift at the center of the Free Dance, and I remember that because I was like "Oooh are you going into a lift?" and it was just not really a lift but it was really interesting. That was a really cool element that they had and they had a bunch of those throughout the Free Dance, so I really like that they're playing around with the choreography and doing more interesting things than other groups are.

Evie: We love variety. We want to talk about Emmy Bronsard and Aissa Bouaraguia of Canada. I think we all kind of enjoyed their Free Dance music choices because they were skating to David Bowie. Which we don't see a lot of David Bowie programs.

Niamh: I can always get behind a David Bowie program.

Yogeeta: It was just so fun and they looked so happy in the performance, that I couldn't help but to love it with them.

Evie: They had really cool lifts and definitely fun choreographic elements and stuff. It was just a really fun time all around for this program. Also, honestly, I'm not expecting their Skating Skills to be fantastic and stellar, but I think that Emmy could use a little more knee bend and just using the force of her knee bend to really power through on her stroking because I think sometimes she gets a little bit slow. I think maybe that [because of the] height similarities between both of them [that] sometimes to compensate for that Emmy has to kind of...it looks like she's almost slouching her shoulders forward in some of the movements - especially when they're doing their step sequences in hold. So that might be something they might want to be a little more conscious of because it kind of disrupts the cleanliness of their lines overall. But still hella fun program! I appreciate David Bowie.

Yogeeta: They came in fourth, I would have honestly put them in the bronze position. But hopefully, we'll be seeing more of them as the season goes on. Shoutout to [Xizi] Chen and [Jianing] Xing's mismatched but cool costumes in the Free Dance. I stand by my belief that he was wearing the costume for the first half of the program and she was wearing the costume for the second half. [Lara] Luft and [Stephano Valentino] Shuster's edges because we do love some good edges in this house. Also Wolfkostin and Chen for coming back after their sad mess of a Rhythm Dance and came back with a beautiful Free Dance.

Evie: Alright, let's go on to talking about Lake Placid and starting off with our children Avonley and Vadym who won their Junior Grand Prix here.

Yogeeta: Won so handily. There was no doubt.

Evie: There wasn't any doubt.

Yogeeta: They were skating to “Aladdin” and “Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2,” so obviously they have amazing music choices this season. Oh my god.

Evie: Honestly, their Rhythm Dance was so fun.

Yogeeta: It was so fun! I could just watch that Rhythm Dance all day - even with the twizzle mistake. Vadym please, child.

Niamh: Her dress was so beautiful.

Evie: Yeah, her dresses in both programs were so nice. Although I think Vadym was wearing the same shirt that he wore in last season's Free Dance for the Free Dance here. So I don't know if that's just a temporary thing.

Yogeeta: Listen, they spent all the money on Avonley's costumes.

Evie: I mean that's valid. Their lifts in both of these programs though. Oh my god, guys, they were so beautiful!

Yogeeta: Their flow into all of their elements is perfection. For a lot of the Junior teams, you can tell when an element is coming up. You can see them slowing down to start on their lift. You can see them getting ready to start their twizzles but with them, everything seems to be coming out of nowhere. It's so in-sync and flows through the program to well. It's all so well choreographed.

Niamh: Just cancel the music theatre Rhythm Dance now. No one can come close [to them].

Evie: They talked about in interviews how their goal is to win everything they can. They want to win both their Junior Grand Prix, the Final, US Nationals, and Junior Worlds. I commend them on being so goal oriented and honestly, I would like nothing more than to see that happen.

Yogeeta: Their expression and their components are at a Senior level.

Evie: Completely deserved.

Yogeeta: They set the technical score records with their Free Dance.

Niamh: It's what they deserve.

Yogeeta: Which is amazing right? Out of the gate of the Junior Grand Prix, they reset a record - that is amazing. I look forward to them setting the actual Free Dance record as the season progresses.

Niamh: US Ice Dance is in good hands.

Evie: I especially think with their Free Dance, I think Rach 2 is a classical piece of music that could easily be a program that could be boring if it isn't skated by a team that had that kind of skills in performance and expression like they do. I think it's a really good choice for them. I'm looking forward to seeing how that program develops over the course of the season, there is definitely room to grow.

Yogeeta: I disagree with Rach 2 because I think Rach 2 is an exciting piece of classical music. It's one of those pieces that people tend to skate to rather than skate with. However, they are very clearly skating with the music here. Speaking of skaters that are amazing performers, let's talk about Utana Yoshida and Shingo Nishiyama from Japan. They placed sixth at Lake Placid.

Evie: They did so well! I was so shocked considering they are a brand new team. They've only been skating together for six months yet they've already got that level of performance and they feel so connected as a team.

Yogeeta: Shingo was a single skater last season so this is his first foray into Ice Dance as well and he's such a good Ice Dance boy.

Evie: I know! His edges and overall basic skating skills are very strong. He's got good posture and really partners Utana really well. I really appreciate that he matches her level of enthusiasm in their performances. You kind of look at both of them rather than focus on one of the skaters which I feel happens. Especially when I watch Ice Dance I focus a lot on the lady. Here I didn't have that problem, both were just infectiously joyous.

Yogeeta: You can tell they're both having the time of their life. They're so happy to be skating together. They both really enjoy the music and it's just so much fun to watch them skate. You have Avonley and Vadym who are very polished and gorgeous flows and then you have Utana and Shingo who you enjoy watching because they are so happy to be here.

Evie: They are! I'm so happy that they came out so strongly for their first proper international competition as a team. I think they probably deserved to be placed a little higher, but I'm not that surprised [that they didn’t] considering they are a brand new team and Japanese Ice Dance teams don't garner those high marks that other bigger feds with a stronger presence in the discipline do. I'm interested to see what the trends in their scoring will be like if they perform better than they did here in future competitions. I'm very excited. I want them to do better.

Yogeeta: This goes back to my issues with component scores altogether because sure their Skating Skills and some of their other aspects of components are not as strong, but they are probably one of my favorite performers at this event. I will argue they deserve higher in their Performance category at least. They didn't really get that.

Niamh: They have nice synchronicity for a team so new. You'd expect them to be a bit rougher I guess.

Evie: They seem like they're already pretty comfortable with one another despite the short time they've been skating together. It's really refreshing to see. Although I do have a little note that their Free Dance to Don Quixote was very similar to Alina [Zagitova]'s music cut. All I could think of was that program in my head!

Niamh: “A Chorus Line,” is a really good choice for them, I think.

Evie: It's really upbeat and matches them well as a team. I'm so excited for them. I need Asian Ice Dance to rise and I think they might be the team to help it do that.

Yogeeta: Slightly related, they train at TCC so I was really excited to see Tracy Wilson in the kiss and cry with them because I love Tracy Wilson.

Evie: Yes! They had a really good Kiss and Cry too. A little shoutout to Gabb and Maryam, who were both at Lake Placid, and Gabb gave them both some plushies that were wearing their Free Dance costumes. It was really cute to see in the Kiss and Cry. I love seeing stuff like that.

Yogeeta: Yes!

Evie: Another shoutout in general at this competition is to Miku Makita and Tyler Gunara of Canada for their really fun “Hairspray” Rhythm Dance. Unfortunately, I think the video has been taken off YouTube because of copyright issues - it might still be on the original stream videos. It was really fun and upbeat. I just love Hairspray so much. It's what we need - we need fun choices in the Rhythm Dance this season and this was one of them.

-end segment- 38:01

START: Ladies

Yogeeta: Okay let's move onto our Ladies. At Courchevel, we had Kamila Valieva from Russia in first, Seoyeong Wi of Korea in second, and Maiia Khromykh of Russia in third. At Lake Placid, we had Alysa Liu of the USA in first, Yeonjeong Park of Korea in second, and Anastasia Tarakanova of Russia in third.

Evie: This was kind of a crazy competition in Ladies.

Yogeeta: That's true in any Ladies competition.

Evie: Mood! We definitely had some very much anticipated debuts at both of these competitions of brand new Junior skaters. We had Kamila at Courchevel, we had Alysa at Lake Placid - both of them are age-eligible this season. They've both been kind of hyped up for various reasons in both the general and in the fan communities. I think going into these weeks everyone was kind of all eyes on them to see how they'll do. Obviously both of them ended up at the top of the podiums. Something went right in both cases.

Yogeeta: We had the unfortunate withdrawal of Kseniia Sinitsyna from Lake Placid due to travel document issues. I was really excited to see her.

Evie: Both she and her coach reportedly had issues with their visas and couldn't attend the competition here. I really hope she gets reassigned to another Junior Grand Prix really soon. I hope this doesn't knock her plans off, you know... the rhythm of the season and all of that.

Niamh: Although her travel document issues are quite interesting considering she was in America not too long ago for choreography and coaching. The alternate couldn't get a visa in time either.

Evie: So we only had one Russian lady at a Junior Grand Prix, which we haven't seen in quite a while. It's definitely a weird sight to see. We had the two highly anticipate Juniors, and we had a huge crop of brand new Junior skaters across both competitions of Ladies' fields. That's a general trend considering we have had so many Junior Ladies who were prevalent in the last couple of seasons all move up to Seniors this season because they all became Senior age-eligible. We talked about this when we covered Junior worlds, how there was going to be a sort of a power vacuum in Ladies considering how so many of the top ones have left. We have both Kamila and Alysa coming out here with highly technical programs and making their argument to say "Look we deserve to be at the top of this next crop of Juniors."

Niamh: It will be interesting to see.

Evie: It was also interesting to see that we had no Japanese Ladies on the podium for either of these events here.

Yogeeta: I was really excited for the Junior [Japanese] Ladies, especially for Tomoe who had a great Junior season last season to come back and try to break through now that the top Juniors from last season have moved on to Seniors. It's unfortunate that jumps are important.

Evie: At Courchevel, we had both Tomoe and Nana who were both present in the Junior seasons of the past. Then at Lake Placid, we had Azusa and Mana and they are both new in the Junior scene. This is their first season they are age-eligible and they're both trained by Mie Hamada. Both of them had issues with their jumps in both of their programs, unfortunately. It's very strange to see Japanese Ladies having struggles in these events. I really hope it's just early season woes and as the competitions keep going they might gain a little bit more consistency and be able to medal.

Niamh: I'm just interested to see how Kamila and Alysa will fair against each other because their scores were very similar. I wonder how it'll go when they are being judged against each other rather than across different events.

Yogeeta: Let's move on to talking about some of our favorites from the events.

Evie: Let's talk about Kamila Valieva first, our winner at JGP Courchevel. She was talked about a little bit in the general Russian fan circles last year when she was still competing in Novice. She also trains with Eteri Tutberidze in Russia, so she's got that kind of expectation of what her skating, her programs, and her technical content is going to be like. I think that she's got the most amazing extension and flexibility overall.

Yogeeta: Oh yes!

Niamh: Her spin positions!

Evie: This is the thing - I have a thing where I really don't like I-spins most of the time. I think they look really ugly, but hers are so nice!

Yogeeta: She's just so flexible and she has such nice positions. She just needs to hold them.

Evie: I wish they would give her choreography that would show off her extension better. This is a common thing between most programs choreographed by Daniil. Especially her Short Program where it seems like, instead of choosing to selectively highlight little bits of the music, she's hitting a different position and changing at every single beat of the music. As soon as it changes and hits a different note she's hitting different positions. It seems a little bit rushed to me.

Yogeeta: It seems overly choreographed. I'm always in support of skaters hitting their musical accents but you don't need to hit every single note.

Evie: There was that really nice spiral she does in the Free Skate halfway through where she is going into one of her last jumps.

Yogeeta: She holds it for half a second.

Evie: It's a part of the music that would really work if she were able to hold it and I really wished she was allowed to show off her beautiful extension and hold that edge. Please, Daniil. Give her some choreography that shows off her beautiful lines more!

Niamh: I just wish that for one season all of Sambo just got no Daniil choreography.

Evie: Let's talk about her quad Toe though. In my opinion, it's the best Junior Ladies, or Ladies in general, quad we've seen done in competition. It's beautiful.

Yogeeta: It's really nice. I really like her positions throughout it. She rotates it fully. It got high GOE and I thought for one second she deserved that GOE. It's a surprise to me.

Niamh: I feel like there was a moment where everyone was like "Oh, that's high GOE." and then after a few seconds when we processed the jump we were like "You know what? It's fine."

Evie: Once we saw the replay and saw that there was minimal pre-rotation and she fully rotated on the landing, I think all of us were like “No, okay, that's fine, we're okay with that.”

Niamh: It was just the whiplash of everyone being like "That's high," and then thirty seconds later everyone being "It's fine.”

Evie: I'm interested to see how her scores will increase if she skates cleanly - because she wasn't clean here. She fell in both programs and she didn't have a combo in the Short Program. I just want to say, in the Short Program, as soon as she finished and looked like she was about to burst into tears on the spot, I felt so bad for her. I just want to tell her that it's alright.

Niamh: I just want to protect all of the children.

Yogeeta: I also would like to say that she is skating to two pretty heavy pieces of music, which is also signature from that camp, that they don't really like fun. Just give her something fun! She's a Junior! Give her something that lets her stand out from all these other Juniors trying to skate to really serious music but not having the expression. She has the components, she is a good performer. But I feel like, this is my view on most Eteri girls, is that we only see them skate to one type of music and that one type only, then they just get stuck with it for the rest of their careers. If you let them skate to more fun things as a Junior they will continue to experiment as they become Seniors.

Niamh: Kamila whips out a “Mambo Number Five” [program]. (hosts laugh)

Evie: I'd really like to see them give her some variety in expression whether that's in giving her different programs next season that allow her to different sides of performance. I think that could really help her. Again, she's thirteen, I'm not expecting the world when it comes to performance because she's so young. That's something that will hopefully build in time. I definitely would like to see her have a bit more varied expression further down the line rather than just sticking through the one facial expression through the whole program. Let's have a talk about Seoyeong Wi, who came in second here in Courchevel. I saw her last season in the Junior Grand Prix and I didn't really, immediately, adopt her. I think that her costumes are beautiful - they were beautiful last season and they're still beautiful this season. She was somewhat lacking in the performance department last season, again, same with Kamila, they both stick to the one same facial expression throughout the whole program. That kind of put me off. I saw her perform here and her jumps here were so beautiful and clean in both programs. I really fell in love with her Short Program the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," I think it's a really good choice for her.

Yogeeta: Yeah.

Niamh: I think the choreography helps a lot in the performance - just the way the choreography is set out, it kind of forces her to perform to some extent.

Evie: And the fact that the music is quite a serious piece of music, I think that her natural facial expressions - that she's used to using in her performances - I think they suit the program really, really well. Not so much for “Amelie,” I don't think, but...

Yogeeta: I love “Amelie.” I will stan anyone who skates to “Amelie,” it's one of my favourite soundtracks. It's why I stan Kaori Sakamoto. But, yeah, I like Seoyeong. She has amazing jumps - God, the Korean Ladies and their jumps, someone needs to take those jumps and give them to the Japanese Ladies. (Evie laughs)

Niamh: Jumps and nice dresses just encapsulate the Korean Ladies.

Yogeeta: Really, the Korean and Japanese Ladies should just have a training camp together where the Japanese Ladies teach them expression and the Korean Ladies teach them how to jump.

Niamh: I think you're on to something.

Yogeeta: Back to Seoyeong's “Amelie:” she has some really cute moments in the choreography; like a couple of times she sends kisses to the audience but she just does that, she doesn't perform the act of sending the kiss. It's just “Here's a touch of the lip” and then she moves onto the next move. It's not performing enough for me.

Niamh: “Here's something my choreographer told me to do.”

Yogeeta: So, she's very focused on her elements; her jumps are great, I like her spins.

Evie: Her layback is so nice - her Beillmann is really, really good. She gets great extension on it. She has really long limbs and I think she uses her leg and her arm movements really effectively. She has really good lines. I hope she works a bit more on her expression because if she works on that it's going to give her the edge that she kind of needs.

Yogeeta: And I think that's true of all the Korean Ladies that we've seen at these two competitions. They're all great technicians, some of the best technicians I think I've seen in the past two weekends both in the Ladies and men, but their expression - they all stick to the same facial expression throughout their entire program, they're not performing with the music. Obviously they're Juniors, they're young and I hope that they, in the future, get better at actually performing.

Niamh: It's really nice to see the Korean Ladies in Juniors getting the medals. It's nice to see more variety in the podiums.

Evie: The prevalence, especially in the last couple of seasons, of the Korean Ladies - obviously we've had skaters like Young You and Eunsoo [Lim] and Yelim [Kim] and now this season we have Seoyeong [Wi] and Yeonjeong [Park]. I think this is definitely an effect of something like “The Yuna Kim wave.” Now we're getting all the skaters that were influenced by her or inspired by her when they were younger and now these kids are becoming age-eligible. Especially at Lake Placid with Seoyeon Ji - her Yuna tribute skating to “Danse Macabre,” with basically the same costume in her Short Program. That's a pretty good example of the influence Yuna has had on all of these new Korean Ladies and it's really, really cute to see.

Yogeeta: Before we move on to Lake Placid, let's give a shout out to Tomoe Kawabata’s beautiful Short Program and also her sweet, sweet Lutz.

Evie: We also have Nana Araki with her really beautiful Nausicaa ballet of the wind Free Skate, which is really, really pretty.

Yogeeta: Also her amazing spins.

Evie: And lastly we also have Cheuk Ka Kahlen Chang from Hong Kong being just so cute in her Short Program. I think a lot of us immediately adopted her when we saw her.

Yogeeta: Yeah, she was so adorable.

Evie: Okay, let's move on to Lake Placid. Starting off with our champion, Alysa Liu - oh boy!

Yogeeta: Her Junior Grand Prix debut in which she is the first US lady to win gold in a Junior Grand Prix event since 2013.

Evie: I think, just in general, there was so much pressure on her going into this event. She won Senior Nationals last season, this is her first competition internationally that she's going to be competing at, she's got her technical ability which we already knew from past competitions. There was, obviously, so much pressure going into this event. And she managed to pull it off! Even though she did had a problem in the Free Skate, where she did fall on that one Axel, overall she skated really well, considering. And, yeah, it was a lot to process.

Niamh: I want her mental strength.

Yogeeta: Yeah, Alysa's one of the strongest people ever for having to deal with US media. [Evie: Yeah] Literally, everything they've been pushing on her for the past year, it's insane.

Niamh: Ever since Nationals - even before Nationals.

Yogeeta: She's definitely improved performance-wise. She has this presence on the ice, I can't fully explain it but when she's on the ice you pay attention to her.

Evie: She's really, really charming. She captures your attention, especially in her Short Program, which I'm really glad she recycled from last season. It's really, really cute, she's all smiley and happy and you automatically smile when you see her, which is something I really enjoy. I think that, overall, her Skating Skills have also improved over the off season. She looked a little bit faster than she did the last time I saw her at US Nationals.

Yogeeta: She's adorable, but we must discuss the quad Lutz.

Evie: We, unfortunately, have to. It would be a disservice if we did not talk about the quad Lutz, because there was definitely a lot of discussion going on about it and her tech, in general, going into this event. Yes, she landed the quad Lutz in the Free. It's the first quad landed by an American woman in international competition and the first time a lady has ever landed a triple Axel and a quad in the same Free Skate, so that's a big achievement. But, yeah, her quad Lutz - it still does have problems with both the take-off and the landing. She does pre-rotate quite a bit on the ice before she leaves it and during this competition, even though it wasn't called, you can see clearly in the replay that she did land on the quarter and finished the last quarter of rotation on the ice.

Yogeeta: Yes, She really only did three rotations in the air. [Evie and Niamh: Yeah]

Evie: Most of the time when I see her jump, Alysa tends to slow down quite a bit before she actually jumps. She really does rely on the fact that she is a really quick rotator in the air and that could possibly become a problem later down in the track post-puberty when that might suffer. A lot of Ladies do have problems with their rotational speed once they hit puberty and I am worried that because her jumping technique is so rooted in that, it could become an issue further down the line and cause her problems - which I really don't want.

Yogeeta: She also doesn't get much height or distance from her jumps, they're pretty small. But, no, it's the tech panel[‘s fault]. The job of the tech panel is there to help the skaters realize what they need to improve on and tech panels that aren't strict, that let skaters get away with under-rotation issues and edge issues and stuff like that...It's not helping the skater. It's making it worse for them in the long run and it's a disservice to the sport itself.

Evie: I'm interested to see how her marking and judging overall will change when she's not competing in the US. Because up until this point, in National level competitions, we've only seen her compete in the US and now in the Juniors, this is her first competition as a Junior, internationally, and it's in the US. So I'm interested to see if anything will change going forward.

Yogeeta: I doubt it. I feel like it would have been different if her first Grand Prix event wasn't Lake Placid.

Evie: Yeah, if it set a different precedent for her marking, I suppose. I'm really charmed by Alysa, I think she is the most adorable kid and I really like both of her programs. I just really want the best for her and I'm worried that with what we're seeing, overall, that's not going to happen and we're seeing things that could potentially become problems later on down the line in her career.

Niamh: I just want to cuddle her up in a burrito blanket and protect her from everything wrong in the world - which is mostly the ISU and the USFSA.

Yogeeta: Okay, Yeongjeong [Park].

Evie: Yes, Yeongjeong! Let's talk about her. She did really, really well here. This was her Junior Grand Prix debut and she came in second - which is amazing! Like Seoyeong, they both have really strong jumps, really good extension, and beautiful costumes.

Yogeeta: Just such a lovely skaters. She has amazing jumps, as you said, lovely flow on the ice, such great extension. I really enjoy watching her. But, once again the issue is that the expression isn't really there. Once again; they're Juniors, this is her Junior Grand Prix debut, there are so many things that could be causing her to not being as performative as she could be. And, obviously, she will continue to grow as the season progresses.

Evie: And she looked so happy in the Kiss and Cry when she received her scores.

Yogeeta: She was so surprised! She and her coach were so adorable.

Evie: That was just so heart-warming to see because she really did deserve this medal. She did such a good job considering it was her first international Junior assignment. I'm really, really impressed. I want to see how she'll do in her second assignment later on in the season. Korean Ladies rise! I love the rise! This is something I can get behind! Our other shout-outs for Lake Placid include Azusa Tanaka who has really good basics and body awareness for her age, despite only being 13 and at her first Junior Grand Prix event, I'm really hoping in her next assignment, if she gets one, she'll be a little bit more consistent with her jumps because they were a little bit all over the place here.

Yogeeta: Seoyeon Ji, as we mentioned earlier, for her Yuna tribute. It's so brave to go out and skate to a program that Yuna Kim skated to and is so famous for and to do a tribute to her and she did so well.

Niamh: And speaking of tributes we also had Jessica Lin with a Hope and Legacy tribute.

Yogeeta: Oh my God, I was crying throughout that entire program!

Evie: And we also have to give a big shout out to Anastasia Tarakanova who medalled at this event, she had quite a tumultuous offseason, splitting from her previous coach Evgeni Plushenko and moving back to her old coach Svetlana Panova. she's managing to keep it all up and even though she didn't do quite as well in the Short Program, she managed to skate a pretty damn good Free and get on the podium so good on her! I think these past couple of weekends I've just been watching so much Figure Skating I'm glad that it's back but my body needs time to recover for a couple of days, I need to get some sleep!

Yogeeta: These competitions were not kind to your time zone, Evie.

Evie: No, it wasn't. I was up until 4am last night watching the Pairs, and then went to sleep and I was up at 9am to watch Alysa. I'm glad I'm getting my vitamin skating but at the same time, I would like some sleep.

-end segment- 59:12

START: Shout Out of the Week

Evie: Okay. Our shout out of the week this week is to Harshita Rawtani and Vansh Bhatia of India, who are an Ice Dance team who competed at Lake Placid. They came in last place but I think all of us here at In The Loop were very charmed by their performance, even though they got a total score of 10 over both the Rhythm Dance and Free Dance. It's just so important for these Junior Grand Prix events not to have TES minimums, to let these skaters compete.

Yogeeta: It's so important for these teams from smaller feds to be introduced to a global audience and if it means that they'll get more recognition and have a wider audience, that they can ask for help for funding - and I'm waiting to help them get funding, honestly.

Niamh: Yes! Where is their crowdfund?

Yogeeta: And it also just means you have more people supporting you. For these skaters, just being able to send them messages on Twitter and Instagram like “Congratulations, you did so well,” that's such a boost to their happiness and gives them a reason to want to keep skating and to keep going forward because not only are they doing something they love, but they know other people are loving what they're doing.

Evie: Yeah, and Ted was saying in his commentary, and again with his interview with Harshita that they actually have to drive like two hours on the weekend to get to an ice rink.

Yogeeta: And they only get like one hour each time they go there.

Evie: With is a massive commitment just to keep training and, seriously, if you haven't watched it already, go find Harshita's interview with Ted on the ISU Junior Grand Prix Youtube channel because it is so heartwarming and uplifting to see her talk about how much skating means to her as a skater from India and from such a small federation. I'm just...Every time I see someone make the argument that Junior Grand Prix should have a technical minimum I go “NO!” If we had those kinds of restrictions we wouldn't have skaters like Javier Fernadez, who started off in the Junior Grand Prix, who probably wouldn't have been able to compete back then because of his technical ability when he started out. It's so important to give skaters of all backgrounds the opportunities to advance in the sport and compete internationally. It's so important.

Niamh: And also, for representation purposes. If you see a smaller federation skater skating on an international scene, it's going to inspire people from similar countries to say they can do it too. How many skaters in Spain do you think have been inspired by Javi?

Yogeeta: I was so excited to see a skater from Malaysia competing at the Junior Grand Prix because I know that they're probably super inspired by Julian [Yee], who is amazing. And for people who don't know his story, he was originally just training in rinks in malls because he didn't have an actual rink he could train at, and he went to the Olympics.

Evie: It's just, it's really important for skaters like them to get that international experience and I really hope that we get to see them later in the season, maybe at another Junior Grand Prix, because they deserve it.

-end segment- 1:02:25

START: Outro

Yogeeta: Thank you for listening, we hope to see you again for our next episode!

Niamh: Thanks to our transcribing and quality control team, Evie for editing, and Gabb for graphic design.

Evie: And for the amazing banners she put together for Lake Placid!

Yogeeta: Yes! She put together the “Thank you Ted and JGP Crew” banner.

Evie: If you want to get in touch with us, then please feel free to contact us via our website inthelopodcast.com or on Twitter or Instagram. You can find our episodes on Youtube, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify - or wherever you get your podcasts, we'll be there!

Yogeeta: If you enjoy the show, and want to help support the team, then please consider making a donation to us on our ko-fi page, and we’d like to give a huge thank you to all the listeners who have contributed to our team thus far - shout out to Neel and Cammy who donated in the last couple of weeks! Thank you guys so much it means so much to everyone on the team!

Niamh: You can find the links to all our individual social media pages and our ko-fi on the website. And also our interviews with the Juniors, that we mentioned earlier, will be on the website.

Evie: Yes! Go check those out! If you’re listening on iTunes, please consider leaving a rating and a review if you enjoyed the show. Thanks for listening, this has been Evie, Niamh and Yogeeta.

All: Bye!

Evie: Stay tuned for more children!