I Don't Get Caroline Zhang
Here is my "I don't get Caroline Zhang" thread since obviously iloveaxel can't handle other opinions in its own threads.
What is the big deal about Caroline Zhang? Yeah, she's bendy, we get it, sot beating us over the head with it. Yes, she lands her jumps but her technique is odd and could she POSSIBLY flutz just a little more, please? And telegraph it a bit longer while she's at it. That would be great. She chooses the same type of music all the time which shows how unversatile she really is, she has only one style of skating: slow and careful. As for expression, she has as much as a blank chalkboard. All that fist clenching and arm flinging doesn't really tell a story. And to be just a little superficial, has she ever heard of hairspray? Of hair gel? Even with a bun, her hair is whipping all over the place when she skates, and she looks a mess.
No, I really don't have Caroline THAT much, but I'm sick of the hype already. She does have some great qualities, but she also has a LOOOOOOOONG way to go to become the kind of skater people are saying she is, and she might never make it at all. Remember, she WILL hit puberty and it may not be pretty. Thats all I'm saying.
My admiration of her stems from mostly personal opinions. I like her skating style, I like the music she chooses, I like her 'universatile' interpretation that only a handful of skaters in the world can pull off, I like how she skates with her entire body so we don't have to depend on close camera shots to see what she's trying to emote and I like how she 'arm-flings' at the high points of the music. I like how she spins so fast her hair flies apart from her bun and we're reminded that this is a 13-year-old girl who is still a child (even in her sport) and yet has such a graceful maturity to where you can't take your eyes off her.
If you personally don't like her on any level, then there's nothing anyone can do. For me, she's a beautiful skater right now in the present and that's what I'm enjoying. Whether or not the puberty monster crushes her will be for another time. At this moment, I'm enjoying the skating she's putting forth, and as of yet, she has not disappointed.
Caroline is also an amazingly consistent skater. All of her performances this year, including two from summer competitions, have scored about the same. These scores would place her above many of the Senior ladies who skated in the GP, and that is without the inflated PCS scores that some of those ladies get.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Caroline is "the new kid on the block" from Japan. Another Japanese phenom, however I still think Sasha out classes her. Sasha is just coming into her own as far as maturity and presentation go, Caroline has some work to do in presentation. It's great to be flexible, but she skates without feeling the music. It will be interesting to watch her develop her musicality. Sasha is already there.
- That's my two bits on the subject.
Gadfly and Bon Vivant
I think Zhang has a _huge_ amount of potential but she's what 13? not through puberty and still juniorish. My particular problems:
- extreme flexibility is _not_ a skating skill and should not in and of itself get extra points in anything
- that position gets boring after awhile
- she raises the hip of her free leg in the spiral, I like classic spiral positions with both hips at the same level
- flutz flutz bo flutz banana fana fo flutz...
- she's inherited Sarah Hughes' Missouri mule kicking technique for the pick in the flutz, not very graceful, the free leg actually goes above the hip level! yikes!
- skittery non-use of edges (probably a function of size)
- there's something jerky and jarring about her landings
I _do_ like the blurred crossfoot spin though, a classic skill that's all but lost nowadays.
But you're comparing a 13(?) year old to a 22 year old. The real question is how will Caroline be at 22?
Originally Posted by Ladskater
Is Caroline originally from Japan? The last name - Zhang- sounds more Chinese to me. I do know she skates for the US, though.
Last edited by R.D.; 12-12-2006 at 04:27 AM.
She is of Chinese descent, and she's American.
She's born in Boston, Massachusettes!!! She's all American!!!
Some fans go for flash, where the skater goes after the audience.
I go for understatement like Caroline's skating. Just do it with the music and she does. Draw the audience into it. She does. She is, at this moment in time, an absolute perfect basic skater. Her edges are those of an accomplished Senior.
I think Caroline has at 13 what Sasha still hasn't found at 22. She is just breath taking and I hope she continues to do well. She will be the next darling of America that the USFSA has been looking for to replace Kwan.
Originally Posted by Red Dog
MY TVC 1 5
It is kinda funny how this thread got started. Silly that there can't be both sides of opinion voiced, kinda sad acutely. I like how this thread is getting both negative and positive comments about Caroline. Much more open minded on this one then the one that said start your own thread. I guess some might be forgetting that once you post it is every members, you don't own it just 'cuz you started it.
On to CZ
Besides having one of my favorite names (Caroline) and showing great promise, I have to agree with comments such as Ladskater. She lacks music and connection. I think the only reason people feel she connects with the crowd is because she is still a little girl, and it pulls on peoples heart strings to see little kids performing. Other than that, bland, self centered and blanks out the crowd to stay focused. Which worries me for when the time come that the "cute little kid" thing fades, is she going to be able to connect without loosing focus. I think the vid in question showed what happened when she started trying that.
She has no connection via her own actions, only her age. As a matter of fact, I find her expression to be much like a "I am better than you" type of girl. All I see is her going through the motions - very well but - And getting a big chip on her shoulder from all this premature "complements" she is getting. At this point she is in her own little world and could likely be comparative to a beauty pageant kid. IMO
I see no resemblance to Kwan (YET) as far as audience connection and think her skating skills SEEM TO ME as any other promising 13 yearold skater. I think it is desperation to be thinking so much of someone who has so many things to learn and grow. 2 to 3 years and I think there will be a good amount of "proving" to happen. Then I think the time to "count chickens" will be viable. As for now, she needs to grow and we'll see. Shows great promise, but I have heard so many of those storys here before.
Don't get me wrong, I see mucho possibilities! But I think the presumptuous attitude is not necessary or truly valid at this point in her career. Just wishful thinking at the moment, That MAY OR MAY NOT obtain fruition. I hope so, but to much "dreaming" going on that I think people are putting more on her than she really is. JMO
Last edited by SeaniBu; 12-12-2006 at 01:30 PM.
Bottom line: Zhang has accomplished the same thing that Mao Asada and Yu-Na Kim did: win her JGP events and the JGPF with consistent high-level skating at a very young age. But she is YOUNGER than Mao and Yu-Na were when they did it (Mao was 14 and Yu-Na, 15).
Of course Caroline has much growing and maturing to do. So do Mao and Yu-Na. But at least let's respect what Caroline and the others have accomplished, and not expect them to be more than they are at such a tender age.
MY TVC 1 5
I don't think I have ever heard a flutz described quite this way before. I almost choked on my sandwich.
Originally Posted by Mafke
Thanks to whoever updated the title.
Caroline, Mao and YuNa are early teenyboppers. I think if fans can not see the potential for these ladies and the ensuing alocades they have gotten or are getting, they are not really interested in figure skating.
I would suggest these fans stay with the active senior group of skaters for the sake of arguing about who should win the Worlds this year. BTW, two teenyboppers will be included in that grouping. And both of them got quite a bit of buzz the last two years and they are not even American.
If you don't want to read the buzz about Caroline, my other advice is DON'T. I understand your feelings. I had the same when Tara was buzzed ad infinitum as the youngest this and the youngest that. bleh. And her camp arranged for media hype. I haven't heard any media hype yet about Caroline. It's just forum buzz.