The winner(s) take it all, the song says – and the three Russian pairs travelling to Graz did take all set of medals on the table.
In their second Europeans, after the bronze medal last season, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii won the gold in commanding fashion, while the silver medal went to the two-time European champions (2017 & 2018) Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov. 2020 European bronze medalists Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin, in only their second season in seniors, are a great, promising team for the future.
Atop of the podium, singing the anthem on a voice, they all felt like winners.
…and this is us showing you some little parts of the pairs event at 2020 Europeans.
THE SHORT PROGRAM DAY: January 22
Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini: “The program is fun and happy, and we skated well, the public was behind us (on the music «Let’s Shut Up and Dance»). We love dancing, the coaches wanted us to have fun on the ice”. And they surely did.
Minerva Fabianne Hase and Nolan Seegert’s skating is even more impressive seen live: long, beautiful lines, as if they were two doves in the air. Seizing the opportunity here in Graz. People on their feet, flags and drums and all.
Home favorites Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer are ready to take the ice. It’s gonna be loud – and it is indeed loud. Utter joy – on their faces and in the audience as well. Miriam: “I am just super happy. It was indescribable. After midday, we felt some stress coming up, but as soon as we took the ice and heard the people cheering and screaming, it was such a great feeling and this gave us wings. Obviously, the quality of some of the elements could have been better, but nevertheless this was the best short program of our season and in our career”.
Zoe Jones and Christopher Boyadji: “Our goal is to skate the best we can. Today we were happy with the overall performance, we gave everything and did our job the best we could”. Zoe: “I always wanted to be a pair skater, even when I was younger. I always wanted to share this with someone, so for me it is pretty special”.
That was an impressive skate from Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov – up until that lift. But one thing is sure – they made the “Bolero” theirs, and some of those elements were stunning. Evgenia in the mixed zone: “It was really a shame, we skated the first part of the program so well and then there was this stupid mistake. I was not frightened – Vladimir held me tight. It’s an annoying mistake”.
No red dress this time – but a hot skate (in the cold winter of the Europeans) from Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise in Graz. Nicole: “It was not an easy start this season because I had an injury, I dislocated my shoulder during practices mid-July. It took us almost three months to be back on the ice. We did the Grand Prix anyway, even if we knew we were not fully ready. When we came back from the Grand Prix, finally the pain was not a problem anymore and we were able to prepare ourselves for the championships. Now it is back to normal”.
That final move, right on the music. A flowing, powerful skate from Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin at 2020 Europeans – and a pair that we are very fond of. They seem to rely on each other a lot and they seem genuine friends as well.
This program has been such a good ally for Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii this season – and they embody it to the fingertips, to every flutter of Aleksandra’s dress. They are an impeccable pair these two – and they deserve all the very best. Coaches shake hands at the end, people scream “Molodets”.
THE FREE SKATING DAY: January 24
Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel: “There were so many German fans cheering, so it almost felt like a competition at home. Skating at such a big event gives us a lot of self-confidence and motivation for sure”.
Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini: “It wasn’t our day, unfortunately it didn’t go as planned. Maybe we will have some competitions before Worlds, we still have to check it. Until now, all we were thinking about were the Europeans”.
Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nolan Seegert’s free skate looked a bit fragmented in parts – but, boy, oh boy, she can sell the story; Minerva is a real star.
Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer’s packaging – from music to costumes to overall air of the program – is absolutely exquisite. A couple of mistakes here and there, but the program was about creating beautiful shapes in the air. And they did just that. (And the pressure on their shoulders, to deliver greatness on home ground, must have been bigger than they thought).
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are the perfect pair skaters. They are. The amplitude of their elements, the power they have, their stunning lines in the air. And this free skate has the potential to be a masterpiece – if they put their heart into it. Vladimir: “Today it was hard to skate. The good thing is that the arena was full and we could feel the support”.
This soothing music works so well for Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise – unfortunately, the program suffers a bit due to their errors here and there. But she does rock that bodysuit – and, in their blue-green colors, they look like two birds in the air.
This partnership, Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin, grew on us over the last two seasons – and it really became something special. And this intriguing, futuristic long program has been one of our highlights in the pairs’ event. We like them. We do.
Power, focus, explosion. This is what this pair is about. And Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii’s time has come. And St. Petersburg wins just another gold medal at these Europeans – after Dmitri Aliev the other day. And they bow to their coaches, as always.
A pair of (Mickey Mouse) ears, made of gold, for Dmitrii
MORE TO READ, MORE TO SEE:
2020 Europeans: Russia takes all the gold in Graz
Photo-stories from Graz (Part One): the men’s event