I found this Sokolova quote fascinating. It's from the article about the Russian nationals that's linked on the frontpage:
Following the performance, Sokolova admitted that she hadn't skated as well as she had hoped. She added that her actual performance did not matter much in the end, because it's clear that Russian Figure Skating Federation has made a decision to promote younger skaters.
Funny, ain't it? There she is, saying it loud and clear, the Russian Federation wants to get rid of me and promote the younger skaters. Apparently she believes that had she skated a brilliant SP + FP, they would have still placed her in third. Isn't she a bit too bitter? But then again, who knows? Maybe she is right.
Sokolova may be right but she still had to put it all on the ice and she has a history of falling apart in big competitions. Perhaps it is time to let the younger ones have a shot.
Well, if she actually did well she might have had a case. But it's only a theory now.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
That is strange because in years past Russia was known for their more mature skaters staying around for quite sometime - for instance the famous Irina Rodnina skated for many years and dominated the sport in her country. I guess times are changing. That's quite a statement.
Here is more info about the famous Rodnina:
She is right
She definitely smells some right. The Russian federation is hungry for 'new face'. In pairs, M&T are the team they are going to promote, and O&S get the kick.
Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
Originally Posted by Red Dog
Exactly, Red Dog.
With the way she has been skating, she'd probably be better off keeping quiet.
I think ithe Russian (skating) Federation has decided that it's important right now for some of the younger and less-lauded coaches, particularly the developmental coaches, to have success, and that's where Tarasova and the Russian Fed has put it's emphasis, and it's clearly great for overall morale. The veteran singles skaters are with Kudriatsevs (Klimkin, Sokolova, Volchkova), who do not seem to be where the emphasis is right now. Mishin is too important to be cast aside, with Plushenko and Gatchinsky, the Carolyn Zhang of Russia (), in his camp. (If Mishin were dissed in Russia, he could make a fantastic living doing developmental and coaches training camps across the world, which would bring up the level of skating in the rest of the world, and spend the rest of the time at a dacha, sipping mint juleps.)
The Velikovs are an interesting pair. One of the common threads among the younger pairs they've coached is that Mr. Velikov is a top-notch, gold standard coach for junior pairs, but that Mrs. Velikova is a disappointment as a coach for senior pairs. There's been a lot of griping about the supposedly sub-standard choreography they did for Kawaguchi/Smirnov, but apart from the music, which I agree is a little heavy, it reminded me a lot of the programs Moskvina did for Borzenkova/Chivuyaev, and I think the classicism of the programs shows off the classic Russian style much more than the tripe Moskvina did for Obertas/Slavnov; it is the classicism and cleanness that distinguishes K/S, in my opinion.
The other emphasis of the Russian Fed is re-building towards Vancouver and beyond, which is another developmental effort. Sokolova has had her chances, and apart from some injuries, has rarely delivered on the world stage. There is a logic is saying that she's on her own -- she can make a good living doing shows; she's included in Averbukh's, among others -- and that the focus should be on the younger skaters, especially if Sokolova does not deliver on the national stage.
Originally Posted by Ladskater
I agree that they kept their skaters around as long as they were winning, but they weren't sentimental about it. When the Protopopovs started to slip, they got rid of them fairly quickly. What the Protopopovs wanted didn't figure into it.
Thanks for the analysis, Hockeyfan. Outstanding post.
Elena skated like c**p in the GP this season---nary a lutz nor a flip in sight. Her performances at Nationals were only slightly better, but not much.
And I don't think the Russian judges were putting her down at all, if anything they held her up. Here's why:
Alexandra Ievleva was placed first in the SP. She landed 2L+2T, 3T, 2A --- all clean as a whistle. Two of her spins were level2 and one was a level3, her footwork was level3, and she had a Level4 spiral sequence. She got +GOE on every element exept the footwork section. I saw her SP on Youtube and she has lovely lines, smooth movements and great expression, and her high PCS scores were well deserved.
Elena was placed 2nd. She landed a very good 3Z+2T, but then she doubled the 3L and double-footed the landing on it. Her 2A was good. Elena had a level3 spiral sequence and a level 4 combination spin, and a level3 flying camel spin, but her layback was just level1 and her footwork, only level2. Her spinning is not very good, as she got 0 GOE on the flying camel, and only +0.07 on the level1 layback.
Elena lost to Ievleva in the SP because Elena doubled and two-footed the loop, which cost her 4.5 points, and her non-jump elements were worth 1.66 points less than Ievleva's. And she had the gall to complain that Ievleva was doing easier jumps!
Alexandra Ievleva skated a squeaky clean program, and she skated it with spirit and expression, grace and flow. Elena's program was lackluster by comparison, yet her PCS scores were 2.92 higher than Ievleva's. IMO, Elena was held up in the PCS because she is Elena Sokolova.
Arina Martynova was 3rd in the SP, and IMO she was held up slightly also. She did 3Z2T (two-foot), popped an axel and fell, and then singled the flip. However, her non-jump elements were nearly all level3 and 4 and she got +GOE on all of them. She had the second highest PCS score after Elena, but I have to say having seen the SP that everything except the jumps had good flow and expression.
Ksenia Doronina struggled but landed the 3Z2T, stepped out of the 3F, and had a good 2A. Presentation is not her strong point, nor are her non-jump elements. She was 4th in the SP. I saw her SP on YouTube and it was slow, and her spins traveled quite a bit. She was not impressive.
Ksenia Doronina unexpectedly came back and won the FS. she landed 3Z, 3F, 3L (ur), 3T+2T+SEQ, 3S, 3Z+1T, 2A. Her non-jump elements were mostly level 1s and level2s, except for the combination spin (3) and spiral sequence (4).
Elena Sokolova was 2nd in the FS, but she was almost 7.5 points behind Doronina. It's odd that she complained about the lack of difficulty in Ievleva's SP because Elena's FS didn't have much more. She landed 3Z (2 ft), 1L, 2A, 2S, 3T+2T (the only combination), 3L, 2T. All her non-jump elements were only level1 and level2. Once again, she received the highest PCS score in the FS.
Ievleva struggled a bit in the FS, but she finished only 1.82 points behind Elena, which enabled her to pass Elena for the silver medal. She did 3L2T, 1Z, 3L(ur) fall, 2S (ur), 3T+2T, 3S+1T, 2A. Her non-jump elements were mostly level1 and level2, except for the spiral sequence (4). However, she did receive +GOE on all of them, and the 2nd-highest PCS score after Elena.
The final scores were:
The fact is if Elena had landed the 3L in her SP and if she had done the lutz combination in the FS, she would have won the competition hands down. Or she could have brought her non-jump elements up a level and skated with speed and flair, as she once used to do.
The Russian federation isn't pulling any "tricks" on Elena. The judges gifted her with high PCS scores despite the lack of content in her programs and her lethargic performances. But Elena must have thought that since she was the last of the world-class Russian ladies she could coast on her laurels this season, and she was brought up short.
I hope she wakes up and smells the coffee, because if she doesn't her career is about to come to a screeching halt. She has the ability and talent to beat the younger ladies, she just has to be committed to working hard to do so.
Last edited by chuckm; 01-07-2007 at 11:19 PM.
She can make up for it at the Europeans.
She has less than 3 weeks to make up for all the work she hasn't done all season. Can she do it? Maybe. Will she do it? Who knows. I guess we'll all just have to wait and see.
I agree with everything except this statement. I think that her career as a show skater in Russia and Europe will not suffer. She has the personal relationships, she's a delightful performer, plus she has a 2003 silver medal that many worldwide should have beaten Kwan in DC. (I don't agree with that, but there's nothing more that will make someone beloved than being allegedly wuzrobbed.) I actually preferred her to Slutskaya in Malmo, but that competition was under 6.0.
Originally Posted by chuckm
Frankly, I don't know why she bothers with eligible competition.
3A? This must be a typo. She can do 3A? This is the first time i heard of it.
Originally Posted by chuckm
I don't think she has the talent to beat the young skaters. Her jumps are extremely unstable, all the non-jump elements are almost non-existent just like most Russian female skaters. Time for her to go.