The Long Road to the Pairs Podium

Nov. 20, 2009, 12:34 p.m. (ET)

They were wearing big smiles during the victory lap after standing on the podium with Silver Medals in Senior Pairs., But, the road to the podium at the Messe Freiburg Convention Center in Freiburg, Germany has been a long one for Aubrey Orcutt and Robert Hines. In a generation that looks for instant gratification, these young adults set a goal and and traveled the road long enough to get there. Pairs requires the grace of dance, the strength and precision of freestyle and incredible unison and timing to execute the required and optional lifts, throws and other content elements. Coaches Lorry Orcutt and Kadu Paiva should be commended for providing an incredible support and training system to help keep them focused.

What a journey they have had. Aubrey Orcutt has quailfied to be a member of Team USA every season since the year 2000. A many-time National Champion, she has been on the World podium as a 3rd Place Junior World Pairs Champion in 2000, a 2nd Place Senior World In-line Freeskating Champion in 2002, and a 1st Place Pairs Pan American Games Champion and 3rd Place Pairs World Games Champion in 2005. Robert Hines has gone to the World Championship for USA Roller Sports every season since 2001. He has a ton of National placements and titles in both singles and pairs before skating World Class. His World level accomplishments include a 1st Place Pairs Pan American Games Champion and 3rd Place Pairs World Games Champion in 2005. As a pair, Orcutt and Hines have been 4-time 4th place Senior Worlds Pairs  in 2005, 2006, 2007 and  2008.

They needed every ounce of previous experience to carefully select the content items that would be risky on the slippery floor and prepare for these items during the warmup. The items that they prepared for were the ones that helped separate them from other teams... when it really mattered.

World medals are not easy to earn. Let's encourage our talented new pairs - Alexander Poland/Mackenzie Wriedt who finished 8th and Eric Hadley/Siobhan Boismier who finished 9th in the senior pairs - as well as all Team USA members to stay on the road long enough to realize their dreams.