The road to the top is usually a long and winding one for ice dance teams on the international stages, but Caroline Green and Michael Parsons are proving to be an exception. In just their third season together, the upward trajectory for the Maryland-based duo has been swift.
Green and Parsons — who were born on the same day eight years apart — previously competed with their respective siblings: Green with brother Gordon and Parsons with sister Rachel. When both retired at the end of the 2018-2019 season, neither Green nor Parsons was ready to hang up their skates and a few months later announced they had formed a new partnership.
Green, who was fresh out of the junior ranks, and Parsons made their senior international debut as a team in the fall of 2019 at the Challenger Series event Lombardia Trophy, finishing in fifth place. In late October they made their senior Grand Prix debut on home soil at Skate America, followed by Skate Canada, finishing seventh at both competitions.
Their first international medal (bronze) came at Warsaw Cup, their second Challenger Series event that season, and they closed out their first year with a fifth-place finish at the 2020 U.S. Championships.
With the coronavirus bringing life to a halt two months later, the duo competed at just two events the following season, finishing fourth at Skate America (a domestic competition that year) and the U.S. Championships.
When figure skating got back on track in the summer of 2021, Green and Parsons were impressive from the outset, capturing the title at the pre-season event Lake Placid Ice Dance International. A month later they won bronze at the Challenger Series competition Autumn Classic International, finished fourth at their first Grand Prix assignment, Skate Canada, and fifth at their second, Gran Premio D’Italia.
Green, 18, and Parsons, 26, then set their sights on a top-three result at the 2022 U.S. Championships with the goal of earning a berth at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. But the team finished in fourth-place overall and were named as first alternates.
“We are a such new team, we have only been skating together for three years, and so we are just trying to take in this experience and how exciting it is,” said Green who noted the energy at the national championships was “very exciting and something I have never experienced before. We are just taking this season as a jumping off point. I am really excited to see where this journey takes us.”
Two weeks later, after days of interrupted travel and redirected flights, they were in Tallinn, Estonia, competing at the Four Continents Championships, initially without their luggage.
Green and Parsons laid down a strong performance in the rhythm dance, earning a personal best score of 80.62, which gave them an 8.19-point lead over Japan’s Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi heading into the free dance. Parsons said it was their best performance of the season. “Everything went smooth, it was very powerful and we felt great. It was good to put out a strong program after three days of traveling and lost luggage.”
The duo’s innovative free dance set to Ezio Bosso’s “Violin Concerto No. 1 “EsoConcerto”: II. Adagio and “Clouds, The Mind on the (Re)Wind” impressed the judges who rewarded the performance with 119.97 points, a new personal best. Green and Parsons scored a decisive win with 200.59 points in total to capture their first Championships title.
“It’s just been incredible. This week has been amazing. Having such a quick turnaround from nationals was definitely difficult but definitely so worth it,” said Green. “I feel like we grew so much as a team just from the last competition and coming into this one so much more confident. I feel like we’ve learned so much about ourselves and will come out of this season with a renewed sense of confidence.”
“I think the senior level Championship title definitely means more to me and more to our career,” added Parsons in reference to the 2019 World junior title he won with his sister. “I’m so proud, so happy and so thankful that we were able to skate our best and to skate against such great teams. This was a great event. Here you saw some very unique programs – both in the short and the free – and from so many different teams. It was a wonderful competition to watch.
“Our goal this year was to do all we could to make the Olympic team. We knew it was a long shot so even while not making the team, we set ourselves up very well for the next four years and this is a great starting point right here.”