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Thread: What is missing with Fumie?

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    What is missing with Fumie?

    Fumie Suguri has had a very fine career, quietly working her way up the ranks, until almost without notice entering the contenders ranks around 2002. She has scored some noteable achievements, including two World bronzes(2002 and 2003)and a World silver(2006), along with two top 5 finishes at Olympics. However she has yet to win a World title or an Olympic medal. She also has had experiences like at the recent Olympics, where skating close to her best, and almost error free, she was still judged inferior to a badly flawed Cohen and badly flawed and tenative Slutskaya. Whether just or not, that type of thing must be ego deflating to a top skater, along with a big dissapointment. So what is missing for her to take the next step that her countrywoman Arakawa, who is far less consistently successful then Suguri, but able to rise to the peaks that Fumie cannot, has taken?

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    Without a physical makeover, she will never match Arakawa's posture, effortless way of gaining speed, line, stretch, finish, soft crossovers, and soft knees.

    She did not have major flaws like Slutskaya and Cohen, but Suguri has many small flaws that add up. In her Olympic LP, she started her camel spins with a straight (for her) leg, bent her knee on the first rotation as a check, and then re-straightened to what, for her, is full extension. Her knees are rarely straight, in spins or spirals. Her leg position in the layback -- knee bent and facing down -- is a fundamental flaw, and avoidable by leaving the back leg straight and parallel to the spinning leg. She undermined the speed she got in her first combo spin by adding a weak catchfoot to the end that slowed down, and not to the music. She had week landings on two of her combinations, the 2F/2T and 2A/2T. Her SL footwork did not cover the entire length of the ice -- she started early -- and she was off the music, visibly loosing energy and crispness towards the end. She ended late, off her music. She usually has a pronounced flutz, but if she did in this LP, it may have been a small one on the 2nd, solo lutz.

    Musical interpretation is not facial emoting after musical breaks. It is full-body expression.

    What she needs to do to be competitive technically is to clean up her skating: stretch her knees and not give away GOEs through sloppiness and attempting positions that undermine the entire element (like in her combo spin). She's not a diva, and having choreography that brings her entire being into the interpretation, like "Pink Panther" is key. I even liked her Carmen better than most of her programs, not because she's a convincing Carmen, but because she stuck to a character from end to end. She cannot compete with the divas.

    Arakawa had "It" from the first time I saw her. It was just a matter of all pieces falling into place, which for her, meant graduating from college. Suguri was one of the biggest disappointments I've ever had seeing a skater live for the first time; it shattered all expectations I had from seeing her on TV, and even then, she won the World bronze.
    Last edited by hockeyfan228; 07-09-2006 at 08:40 PM.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    We were talking about this kind of thing a while back, it is nice to see the thought revisited. http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...t=shortcomings
    About the only thing I would add now to the topic would be I don't think Lori has Fumie in mind - even though the choreography of Fumie is some of the best IMO. I haven't seen impovement, JMO. She also needs extension and attitude improvement - but that is all mentioned in the other thread.It also could be some old bias of the judges liking Frank and not wanting to see Lori succeed - yah that's a little far fetched . I also wonder if the Beilmann of hers is really a Bielmann at all. And I think DEE said something to the fact she was timid - sorry Dee if it wasn't you - which doesn't seem all to far off there. Particularly when you view it as an observer or getting a general impression when she is on the ice. Everything I like about her in some ways seems to be a downfall for her not being able to stay consistently in the top 3.
    I would like to note; Four Continents 1st, 2005 - National Championships 1st, 2005 - Grand Prix Final 1st, 2003-04.
    I hope my "Dream Test Baby" has a run this coming season! Over all I judge myself as not being that great of judge of her because I love every thing she does - except fall (rare as that is, still to much for me).
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 07-09-2006 at 08:53 PM.

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    Awesome post hockeyfan228!

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    The only thing missing Fumie is missing is having Sean as her boyfriend. Once they hook up those gold medals will start pouring in.

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    I had the opposite experience from Hockeyfan, the first time I saw Fumie perform live (her fan number in COI two years ago). I was transfixed.

    MM

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    Fumie doesn't have Arakawa's talent and I don't think straightening out her legs is going to do a whole lot more for her. Fumie's main strength is her passion and love for the sport and performing. I downloaded Fumie's performances at 2005/2006 Nationals this year and they were spectacular. Fumie really puts her heart and soul into performing her programs and she strongly desires to improve herself artistically. I just watched Fumie's Olympic LP on youtube and it was so sad how she barely missed a medal. You could see how bad she wanted it and that desire enables Fumie to "skate better" than she really can.

    I would say that there isn't a whole lot missing with Fumie. She has average skating talent and I think she has done all that she can with her skating. She has achieved a lot for the talent she has.

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    MM, didn't you say you were a sapasauris like me about Fumie? I always wonder if I just have the "Sugrui Goggles on." And did you say you saw the "red ball" prof. live too. I am going crazy being stuck with the TVC15 when it come to her.


    Piel, I couldn't agree more!!!!!!! I would help her feel so good and confident about herself she would be able to fly!!!! Ah to slide down that rainbow

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    I have always liked Fumie. She skates like no other skater, with a quiet intensity. Since 2001, she has never placed lower than 7th at Worlds, and has three World medals, three 4CC titles, and a GPF championship, as well as 3 National titles. A late-season bloomer, her only inconsistency is in the GP.

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    Actually, I became a fan of Fumie by the route of being first a student of the choreography of Lori Nichol. Nicole's forte, IMHO, has always been music selection. Sometimes she would blend just a few bars of something else into a piece just to bring the music into conformity with her vision for the choreography.

    For Fumie, Lori N. took the opposite route that she did with Michelle. For Michelle she deliberately chose music that was out of the mainstream and that presented an intepretive challenge. For Fumie, for a while there it looked like Lori was working her way down the list of the top twenty all-time blockbuster classics, from Bach's Tocatta and Fugue to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. When she started to "break out," with more "dancy" short programs like the Pink Panther, this was a deliberate step on Lori's part, in her overall plan for Fumie's development.

    I would love to be able to sit down with Ms. Nicole and discuss what it was that she saw in these two different skaters that guided her to take that route.

    Nicole also did marvelous things for Tim Goebel (relatively speaking) and, of course, for Sale and Pelletiere during that period. (She sent me a preview CD of Sale and Pelletiere's planned short and long program music for the Olympic season, Tango and Orchid -- one of my prized possessions )

    MM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piel
    The only thing missing Fumie is missing is having Sean as her boyfriend. Once they hook up those gold medals will start pouring in.
    I think you have something there

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    I liked the choice of Jesse Cook for Fumies SP, had anyone else used his music before? I think someone had but I can't recall.

    I have heard "headbutting rumors" about Nichol and Sato, isn't that reminiscent of her and Frank? Or do I have my facts screwed up again?

    As far as a straighter leg, I don't think that is going to cut it - although I am sure it could hlp as well as a really good sit spin that wasn't transitional - and was not really what I meant by extension per say. It seems that there is not to much of a "outside of the center of gravity positions" and most of her routine seems so close to her center - maybe I just said the same thing twice but that isn't getting points. e.g. JR's dog to fire hydrant posse, ugly but a point getter. It would appear the judges don't seem to feel the same importance of choreography and expression (other than "bubbly little girls") that I look for in FS, they want the athlete WAY MORE the an artist. I know not many of you have read my Poems, but the line "...to see a dance take life—where no footsteps could belong" sums up a great deal of my emotions toward FS. And FS is the epitome of that in FS to me.

    Anyway I put her well above average and feel that when I do see her skate live somethings may come to light in tech, but I am sure the pres will be that much more defined. And there is something to be said for a woman to "reach through the Telli" and get a grip on someone, BION, I am not that easy to please, but value personality more then skill. I would rather embrace then be an admirer. OK TMI!!!!

    I guess I shouldn't try to place any blame on Lori or even Nobuo (18 years is a long time to have the same coach and who knows) but I have a hard time believing that the most decorated Japanese skater is anything close to second rate. But that "nice and anti-confrontational" attitude could, could be something that stops the whole team from going one step further. That slightly new aproch to Fumie that Lori is bringing back to Lori, could be a question to Fumie's subconscious - "am I only now becoming a good enough skater for her to take the same approach as with MK?"

    BTW, could you make me anymore jealous MM.

    Piel, you might not be to far off either, maybe not me (or maybe ), but a quality relationship with a man might be good for her too. I am sure it has been trouble for some yet it has been good for others. Being loved for who you are as a whole, by someone intimately, can give you a different outlook on yourself. When you let someone see "inside you" without the "faces" and they love you even more....the heart takes flight and the feet will follow. Probably not the issue but a thought.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 07-09-2006 at 10:51 PM.

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    I was flipping through the Ladies' LP TiVo recording last night, and because it was late, watched with the volume turned down very low, so that it was barely audible. I watched Slutskaya's Olympic LP, and she had weak to poor execution on every jumping pass until the last combo (3T/2T): a tilted landing on the 3Lz which caused her to abandon the planned combo, titled air position and not a great landing on the 3S and no flow out of the 2Lo at the end of that 3/2/2, a more marked titled landing on the 3F, a weak 2F and no flow out of the 2T in that combination, and a fall on the 3Lo. The 3T/2T was quite fine and, in my opinion, underscored, and the last 2A was landed without flow. (She saved it by exiting quickly.)

    In scoring, Suguri got 0 on her opening 3L/2T, which wasn't discernably flawed, while Slutskaya earned .14 on her faulty 3Lz. I'm not sure Suguri could have made up the gap from the SP had both been marked to code in the LP, but I think it would have been closer.

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    If Slutskaya had been marked to code she would not have gotten all those 8's in program component scores.

    It was a battle royal between Irina and the judges. Irina did everything she could possibly do to get herself off the podium, but the judges would have none of it.

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    It's rigged still man, rigged I tell ya!!!!

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