We reported about Vice-President James "Jim" Fraser getting his "Caring Canadian Award" back in 2014 (he is pictured left). Now we are proud to announce that a second honour has been bestowed upon him very recently: Jim received the "Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers" from the Governor-General of Canada in recognition of the services he rendered to DanceSport.
"I do not wear a medal every day," Jim told us jokingly about lapel space getting scarce on his jackets, "and this one is a follow-up on the earlier award. Still, I am very proud!" So are we! Congratulations!
Here is the video of Simone Segatori and Annette Sudol, GER, putting an end to the first part of their career. Immediately following the awards ceremony of the 2017 World Standard on 10 September in Chengdu, CHN, the two Champions announced that they would continue their dancing in the Professional Division.
A private initiative seeks to draw the attention of the media and the government to the achievements of Russian athletes in DanceSport. By listing the achievements of the dancers representing the All Russian Federation of DanceSport and Acrobatic Rock 'n' Roll over the course of one single weekend a strong case is made.
Think about it: in Chengdu, CHN, Dmitry Zharkov - Olga Kulikova won gold in Standard, Anton Aldaev - Natalia Polukhina gold in the World ShowDance Latin, Fedor Poliansky - Dina Akhmetgareeva bronze in the same event, and Dmitry Pleshkov - Anastasia Kulbeda won silver in World ShowDance Standard. That's quite a medal haul already. But then there were major championships held in Bratislava, SVK, too. German Pugachev - Ariadna Tishova and Ivan Reshetnikov - Elizaveta Kharinova won gold an silver, respectively, at the World JUN II Standard. And Maxim Pugachev - Kira Oxas won silver at the European Youth Standard.
No international Rock 'n' Roll competitions were held over the past weekend, otherwise we would probably need to add to the list.
For a petition to the media, the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, initiator Irina Filip seeks to gather 1,000 signatures on change.org to bring the attention of Russian mass media and government to "champions who are worthy of attention too."
Sign the petition: Петиция "Обратите внимание на танцевальный спорт РФ"
The plan was drawn up well in advance, devised to apply to every scenario imaginable. Simone Segatori and Annette Sudol had their minds set on retiring from competition in the A … – no, you won’t read the “A” word here: hence, in the “Adult” age group. Immediately following the 2017 World Standard in Chengdu, CHN! Win or lose, World Champions or whatever rank they were to end up in, this was to bring the first part of their hugely successful career to a conclusion.
In the end, the title went to Dmitry and Olga – deservingly so – but right behind them were Simone and Annette, not even two points off the Russians’ pace (193. 54 to 191.56) and definitely within striking distance in one of the five dances (Waltz). It was pretty much what had happened all year, in four legs of the GrandSlam Standard Series.
But with everything prepared well in advance, the WDSF First Vice-President read out the following statement on behalf of Simone and Annette right after the awards presentation.
We would like to thank all of you for having supported us from the very first moment we started to dance together until now. This night is very special for us as we danced our last competition as A …
Like everybody else, we had ups and downs in our career, but we kept focussing on what we think is important and on what added value to the principles of dancing. If we had to start everything all over again, we would do everything exactly the same. Not necessarily because everything was necessarily right, but because we did from our heart – and because it felt right at the time.
We are very happy that we reached the top, but what was even more important to us was the journey to get there, with all its experiences and challenges. We tried to be a good example and to promote the things that mattered to us.
A big thank-you must go to our families and friends, who stayed with us during the good as well as the difficult moments. We shall see all of you again next time we enter the floor, opening a new chapter as professionals.
Thank you all!
Simone and Annette
When Dmitry and Olga came off the floor after the Quickstep of the final – after acknowledging their score of just over 39 points and a close embrace – they both went separate ways, each trying to get a grasp of what had just happened. Crouched and with the head between his hands, Dima seemed to take longer than his partner, who stood with her head bowed and the hands at the waist in the doorway to the corridors. It was a scene much in contrast to what everyone had come to expect after recalling Dima’s exuberance in Vilnius, back in 2015, and Olgas composure last year in Vienna.
When we asked about this subdued reaction to what was their third consecutive World Champion title, Olga tried to put it all into perspective. “All that the spectators - even you - get to see is what we do on the floor,” she said. “Nobody knows what is behind it all and can hardly appreciate the emotions of a moment like this.”
That is probably why both triple champions were very much reluctant to answer our question whether they would keep at it, trying to achieve what no other couple in WDSF history had done: winning a fourth title.
Dima and Olga will take it one step at the time. The next two times when we shall see them will be at the GrandSlam Moscow and at the Series-ending “Final Showdown in Shanghai.” We are sure that they will miss Simone and Annette on both occasions!
Dmitry Zharkov - Olga Kulikova, RUS, win their third consecutive World Champion Standard title in Chengdu, CHN. They prevailed over their eternal opponents Simone Segatori - Annette Sudol, GER, with 193.54 to 191.56 in what was a memorable final in terms of quality of dancing as well as emotions.
The Russian couple thus joins a select group of couples that have also won three titles in all of WDSF's sixty years of history.
We will report in more detail about it in a few hours.
See the full time table on the organzier website.
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