Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
I must take issue with this statement. She went because she took advantage of rules that were already in place, and that had been used before, which specifically addressed options open to injured athletes, who were unable to compete at U.S. Nationals. I guess technically you could say reputation had something to do with it, but that would be looking at her past accomplishments and deciding on what she could currently do. What panel in their right mind would turn down an opportunity to send to the Olympics an athlete with her abilities and experience?
Originally Posted by Ladskater
And to the second part of your statement ... are you saying she planned the injury ... that it was staged? That she wasn't re-injured ... but she just suddenly chickened out and made the whole thing up so she could leave?
I have to tell you ... if that was the case, she's wasting her time on skating. She should get herself to Hollywood pronto!!! The distraught young lady I saw at the rink that first day seemed to be in obvious distress! If that was an act, she deserves an Oscar!
I think Michelle has been skating hurt for some time now.
Michelle absolutely loves competition. She thrives on it. Yet in the last couple of years she has hardly competed at all, for the most part saving herself just for U.S. Nationals and Worlds, with a couple of cheesefests thrown in.
I think she went to Torino hoping for a miracle. It didn't happen, so she had no realistic choice but to withdraw.
As it turned out, I think everyone came out smelling like roses. Michelle comported herself with dignity, grace and class. Emily made the most of her opportunity. Sasha stepped out of Michelle's shadow and won silver. And Team USA looks solid for the future with Kimmie leading a pack of promising youngsters.
Yes, the future looks good. But I hope people won't feel let down should Kimmie, et al. lose their edge or get injured. In other words, you just never can predict the future...at least on the ladies end
Do you feel that way about all skaters who are injured and withdraw? Just curious.
Originally Posted by hydroradi
S&Z did pretty well and they had been out injured all season.
Originally Posted by Ladskater
There are different types of injuries and skaters are at different points in their healing process. I had wished that Michelle had waited a little longer before withdrawing, but she is the best judge of her body. So I won't question her decision. Had she been even 90 percent fit, she could have won the gold.
Originally Posted by Piel
I don't understand this. I remember there were 2 reporters present at the test, if she was not up to satisfactory level, do you think the reporters would have refrained themselves from saying the truth, given how Michelle was hounded by the media since she applied for the bye?
Originally Posted by Ladskater
Creative Compilation Compiler aka 3axel
No, Michelle did the right thing
Michelle wasn't able to skate, couldn't train and couldn't compete. Period
I agree Mathman, I think Michelle has skated thru an increasing amout of pain in recent years.
Last edited by tripleflutz; 02-25-2006 at 03:04 AM.
To answer the title question of the post, no, if she wants to continue to tour and possibly skate competitively in the future.
As far as getting a bye on reputation, reputation is built into the selection rules for any spot beyond the one earned by the top eligible finisher at US Nationals; by definition, selection for those spots was based on results at:
2006 US Nationals
2005 Grand Prix Final
2005 World Championships
2005 Jr. Grand Prix Final
2005 Jr. Worlds.
You are absolutely right about groin strains, which is a varying tearing of one or more of the hip adductor muscles (the muscles that pull the legs together at the hip). The tear can vary from microscopic tears in a relatively small number of muscle fibers (in the hundreds) to a full blown ripping apart of the muscle(s). Skate Sandee referred to with absolute accuracy that "Groin pain wildly varies in intensity." Groin injuries also vary wildly in severity. None of this shows up on x-ray and even MRI can only show so much. And because jumping puts an incredible amount of stress on the groin (adductor muscles), even if they had given Michelle Olympic approved injections to dull the pain, the muscle(s) just would not have worked to pull her legs together with the necessary snap and their contribution to all the mechanics of triple jumps.
Originally Posted by Skate Sandee
Also, being injured at 21 and injured at 25 is a BIG difference. I can't tell you the number of dancers and skaters I worked with who would come into the clinics I used to work at and at the age of 24-25 say, "But I'm one of those people who's never been injured. We all work through aches and pains, but I've never, ever been out with an injury!" It's heartbreaking because they are so genuine in their belief that they will have to stop performing, if they're dancers, or stay off the ice for up to three months depending on the severity of the groin strain.
They will be doing rehab exercises and keeping the rest of their bodies in shape as much as possible, but for many of them, it's the first time they have to walk with the rest of us "humans." I'm not being sarcastic in the least because I know how hard and how long I trained and both the disbelief I felt when I had my first knock-out injury, but also had everyone telling me "Think positive thoughts! It works!" Staying positive about rehab and recovery is great, but hoping for a "miracle," as Mathman can cause not just disappointment but depression--I'm not saying Michelle is; I don't know--if not balanced with an understanding of the realities of an injury such as groin pull, which is what Mathman says, basically, with different wording.
ITA and think Michelle also showed both maturity in pulling out ASAP and courage early in the season when Tarasova first choreographed her programs. I remember Michelle saying in an interview, "I am the tightest skater ever!" The flexibility she developed for her Y spin and height of her free leg were developed when she was quite young, 14 to 16 years old. In August-September '05, she was trying to do Biellman spins, which her body just isn't built to do.
Originally Posted by Mathman
Michelle's chronic "aches and pains" include her back, according to an article I read, but can't recall the source. A lot of big point getters in the COP are catch-foot positions, as we've seen ad nauseum, and I have no doubt Michelle tried to increase her flexibility to do these positions. But she's not 16 anymore. But I admire her courage in trying.
Finally, IMO, there is no way any of us can say Michelle woulda, coulda, shoulda won gold, unless we saw her do her SP and LP at the committee session to decide on her bye. Otherwise, the most we saw was a truncated version of her SP at the "popularity" cheezefest. I hate to admit I agreed with Sandra Bezic, lol, but after Irina did not rule out competing in the 2010 Olympics, Bezic said something to the effect of how difficult it is to let go of the Olympic dream. I think that's true not only of skaters, who have to be in the best shape with the most natural talent with the best training at just the right time in the Olympic cycle, and then get only one 2.5-minute and one 4-minute shot at putting it all together at a time when the sport is as difficult as if ever has been due to the NJS, IMO, but also of the fans who are as devoted to Michelle as so many of her fans are. So many things have to come together in such a small window of opportunity that perhaps that's why the best skater doesn't necessarily win gold.
At least this time, the best skater did win, IMO, but only once she pursued and got the right coaches, which included a change of coaches in November. Slightly off-topic, but not one of the experts on "Olympic Ice," including David Pelletier who said a number of times that Arakawa was his favorite, predicted she would win the OGM. Anyway, IMO, Michelle was the best skater in '98 and '02, but by '06, I felt she had lost her edge. I've liked and enjoyed her skating more since '03 USN, but with a World bronze in '04 and off the podium in '05, IMO, her best competitive days were behind her.
However, as I've said before, I feel many skaters' best days as an overall skater came when they stopped competing, eg, Kristi Yamaguchi, Yuka Sato, Paul Wylie, Kurt Browning, to name just a few. I realize Michelle has said she may never turn pro and with her dedication to the founders of COI, I can't see her skating for SOI and the much higher performance workload their star female skater gets.
OTOH, Michelle has also said it's not about the medals. She may find a way to compete without being so concerned with whether or not she medals, as long as she skates het best. Of course that gets into the issue of the next generation, but that's another thread.
The topic of this thead is "Did Michelle Withdraw Too Soon" and I say no. I say she handled it just right and wish her all the happiness and satisfaction in her creative expression in the future.
One thing Michelle's withdrawal did for the Olys was that it gave Emily such unprecedent hype in New York - not just on NY based NBC but throughout the NY media.
Overhearing remarks such as 'She should have won'; 'Better than her sister' 'Wuzrobbed', etc. I don't think they knew who won but that didn't matter.
It was Emily, Emily, Emily, the Newyorker.
Hometown pride -- ain't it grand? Here in Detroit the newspapers are all over themselves claiming Shizuka as a hometown girl. (She trained here for a brief time with Richard Callaghan.)
Originally Posted by Joesitz
There was even a big front page interview with the Japanese-American family than she stayed with while she was here. (This was arranged by Yuka Sato, who helped Shizuka with language and culture shock problems.)
Edited to add: "Give me Kimberly!"
Last edited by Mathman; 02-25-2006 at 10:04 AM.
Arm Chair Skate Fan
Great post, RGirl and somehow, to me a long time Michelle fan, very comforting............ 42
To answer the question, no, I think she did the right thing. She knew in her heart of hearts that she couldn't do it, and gave Emily a chance. Both made us proud.