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Thread: Shawn Sawyer and his place in men's figure skating history

  1. #16
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Shawn won because of his GOE. In his LP, he got plus GOEs on all the elements but the URed 3A. All of his jumps but 3A got plus one or greater GOE, including 1.6 on 3Lo and 1.8 on 3S+2T+2Lo. Likewise, he got level 4 on all of his spins with high GOE. His TES was like 10 points higher than the base value, which means that he is technically superb in the elements that he did.
    I hope that he will become a bit faster in his skating so that he can get better PCS and will increase the levels on his steps and hopefully land 3lz more consistently so that he can have two of them in the program instead of two 2As.
    Last edited by Bennett; 11-10-2008 at 06:42 AM.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladskater View Post
    And no, I don't agree with the statement that a skater like Shawn depends on the melt down of other skaters because he lacks the quad. Shawn is in a class of his own. Don' t forget a program does not only consist of jumps.....
    I've studied Shawn's career quite thoroughly, and I'm afraid that he can only get ahead when his competitors mess up. He would've finished 3rd in the free skate at SC if Chan and Ponsero didn't stumble in their LPs.

    I've already shared this on the Skate Canada thread, but I'll repeat it just in case anyone missed it:

    "This is Shawn's story at almost every competition. Firstly, he screws up at least the 3-Axel, usually the 3-lutz as well, so he always has a bad start in the SP. He'll then make the similar mistakes in the LP, but he's a well-trained athlete and he stays on his feet for the rest of the performance. Depending on how the rest of the field does, he can move up quite nicely in the rankings.

    The 2008 Nationals is a good example. In the SP, Shawn 2-footed (but fully rotated) his 3-Axel and singled his lutz, leaving him in 6th place. However, 3 out of the 5 guys ranked above him had meltdows in their LPs, and he was able to nab the bronze."


    If Mabee, Chipeur and Andreev hadn't bombed their LPs, Shawn would've remained in 6th place over-all. Those are the cold, hard facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    I hope that he will become a bit faster in his skating so that he can get better PCS and will increase the levels on his steps and hopefully land 3lz more consistently so that he can have two of them in the program instead of two 2As.
    Yes, that is my biggest wish, as well! Who knows how far Shawn can go when those jumps are solidly under his belt!!! My only worry is his age; he'll turn 24 in January, and it's highly unusual for a men's singles skater to not have mastered them this late in the game. I'm not saying that it's impossible, but you have wonder why he has not been able to fix the Axel and the lutz much earlier.
    Last edited by siberia82; 11-11-2008 at 12:35 AM.

  3. #18
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    Yes, that is my biggest wish, as well! Who knows how far Shawn can go when those jumps are solidly under his belt!!! My only worry is his age; he'll turn 24 in January, and it's highly unusual for a men's singles skater to not have mastered them this late in the game. I'm not saying that it's impossible, but you have wonder why he has not been able to fix the Axel and the lutz much earlier.
    I suppose that they are difficult even for many men, especially the Axel. The Axel has become even riskier to try after the rule changes so that I guess some ppl in Shawn's situation might avoid risking it. But I suppose that he would land the lutz much more often than the Axel, doesn't he?

  4. #19
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    I suggest people posting in this thread take a look at the thread on The Lost Edge and post their reactions.

    Given his high GOEs (thanks for pointing that out, Bennett) and low jump content, he sounds like a textbook example of what C. D. Rusch is trying to bring skating back to. But people in this thread are saying he MUST add a 3A and preferably a quad. Interesting.

  5. #20
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    I suggest people posting in this thread take a look at the thread on The Lost Edge and post their reactions.

    Given his high GOEs (thanks for pointing that out, Bennett) and low jump content, he sounds like a textbook example of what C. D. Rusch is trying to bring skating back to. But people in this thread are saying he MUST add a 3A and preferably a quad. Interesting.
    Thanks for your link. But I wonder if Shawn and his team also believe that he must have a 3A given that he always seems to have it both in SP and LP despite that he is said to have never landed it cleanly at any comp.

    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    It's true that Jeff had consistency problems, but at least he was able land them cleanly sometimes. Shawn has NEVER done a clean 3-Axel in competition (although I did see him land a couple of wobbly ones in the warm-up), and he misses his 3-lutz very often. He'll turn 24 in January, so it's worrisome that those 2 jumps remain quite elusive.
    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    Shawn always goes for a 3-Axel and a 3-lutz in his SPs, but he never does more than 1 of each in his LPs (you'll notice that he doesn't do them in combination and must include two 2-Axels after he runs out of triple jumps.) This is how the story goes for him at almost every competition. Firstly, he screws up at least the 3-Axel, usually the 3-lutz as well, so he always has a bad start in the SP. He'll then make the similar mistakes in the LP, but he's a well-trained athlete and he stays on his feet for the rest of the performance. Depending on how the rest of the field does, he can move up quite nicely in the rankings.

  6. #21
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    I'm sure he and his team do believe he needs the big ones. But that is Ms. Rusch's point. All these young skaters are destroying their bodies with the COP-driven ice-pounding multiplication of jumps. I'm sure they are all dying to do the jumps. I'm trying to imagine telling Miki Ando that she is not permitted to do the quad. "Yes I can! Nobody else can do it - just me! I'm GOING to do it. So stuff it and leave me alone." I'm sure she would never talk like that. Mao either.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    But I suppose that he would land the lutz much more often than the Axel, doesn't he?
    Yes, he lands a clean 3-lutz once in a blue moon (it's usually 2-footed). The beautiful one we saw in his LP at SC doesn't occur often in his career. And we're still waiting on the 3-Axel... *sighs*

    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    Given his high GOEs (thanks for pointing that out, Bennett) and low jump content, he sounds like a textbook example of what C. D. Rusch is trying to bring skating back to. But people in this thread are saying he MUST add a 3A and preferably a quad. Interesting.
    Shawn doesn't require a quad (and I never said that he did), but he DOES need a clean 3-Axel and a consistent 3-lutz. As much as I'm proud and happy of what he accomplished at SC (that's the reason why I started this thread in the first place), he MUST improve those jumps if he wants move up on the world scene. If he hadn't made the costly mistakes on the Axel and the lutz in the SP at SC, he would've nabbed the bronze medal. I hope you're not implying that Shawn should remain complacent and allow fate to determine whether or not he gets on the podium.
    Last edited by siberia82; 11-12-2008 at 11:39 PM.

  8. #23
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    The CoP is good in a way that it pushes the skater back by giving lower points to a failed attempt in a difficult jump compared to a well-excuted easier jump. If cheated landings were allowed as much as they were in the past, more guys would have gone for the quad. Even a champion like Stephane sometimes avoided 3A when he was having a hard time with it. Even though avoiding 3A itself might have looked embarrasing in a way for anyone who would like to be considered a contender, it is nice that the COP tells that having a well-excuted easier jump can be a wiser option. Morosov often tells the skater not to risk a difficult jump. I think that Miki's shoulders are more or less protected by the CoP.

    ETA: I understand that landing difficult jumps would be more effective in terms of getting points. Another area where he could earn more points would be PCS, of which scoring tends to be rather mysterious in many ways. On his part, perhaps he could be a bit faster in his skating, which may help the other scores on PCS? Also I feel that skating in the last group would help in terms of impression. I also feel that these two strong LP performances at both GP events this year may have left judges a good impression and may help his PCS in near future.

    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    Yes, he lands a clean 3-lutz once in a blue moon (it's usually 2-footed). The beautiful one we saw in his LP at SC doesn't occur often in his career. And we're still waiting on the 3-Axel... *sighs*.
    Thanks for your info! Does he usually get downgrade on his two-footed lutz or is it usually just two-footed?

    ETA: I checked his past elements sheets and it looks like he often got downgrade on his lutz.
    Last edited by Bennett; 11-11-2008 at 02:16 AM. Reason: ETA

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    Normally when somebody wins with low technical content there is an outcry. But it seems that everybody recognized how special his skate and program were despite the low jump value. Now THAT is amazing.
    That is unusual, but I am so happy about it!

    On the other note - I have been wondering for quite a while, that winning LP without 3A and Quad is possible in men, but why it is impossible in ladies competition to win without 3-3?? Or is it?? It is bothering me that, for example, a beautiful, clean program from Sarah Meier would never beat Mao's or Yuna's programs with some flaws from their side. It seems that technical base value in ladies weighs much more than in men - see for example Kostner's silver in 2008, the technical base value was what took her so high and it somehow bothers me. Is it good for figure skating?
    I would want to see 'female Shawn Sawyer' too!!

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinga View Post
    That is unusual, but I am so happy about it!

    I would want to see 'female Shawn Sawyer' too!!
    ITA!

    Regarding ladies, it may be perhaps because Mao and Yuna are just too strong right now? Both are consistent enough to always medal. Esp, Yuna gets huge GOEs like Shawn did at LP so that she is less affected by a couple of mistakes than anyone else. Besides, both get really high PCS. Although I do feel that they sometimes receive inflated scores on GOE and PCS, it is safe to say that they are outstanding talents.

    But I could imagine a situation where a clean Sarah beats Carolina, Miki, Yukari, or Rochette when the latter skaters have a bad day.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    The CoP is good in a way that it pushes the skater back by giving lower points to a failed attempt in a difficult jump compared to a well-excuted easier jump.
    I forgot who mentioned this on the Skate Canada thread, but someone suggested that Shawn should substitute the 3-lutz for a 3-loop in the SP. Unless he miraculously masters the lutz between now and the Canadian Nationals, I think that's a very good idea because it's too much of a risk for him to include 2 inconsistent jumps. I'm always horribly anxious when Shawn performs his SP (the music should be called "Another Head Banging Against the Wall" :banging: ) because I know this segment of competition is frequently his undoing.

    However, I think he should leave in the 3-Axel in both programs and the 3-lutz in the long because PCS tends to be proportional to the difficulty of the planned jump content. If Shawn waters down his programs too much (and I guess one can argue he's already pushing the lower limit for a senior-level athlete), I suspect the judges won't take him seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    ETA: I understand that landing difficult jumps would be more effective in terms of getting points. Another area where he could earn more points would be PCS, of which scoring tends to be rather mysterious in many ways. On his part, perhaps he could be a bit faster in his skating, which may help the other scores on PCS? Also I feel that skating in the last group would help in terms of impression. I also feel that these two strong LP performances at both GP events this year may have left judges a good impression and may help his PCS in near future.
    I think Shawn's PCS will increase if he skated a little faster. I'm not saying that he's slow, but his speed is nothing special (unlike, let's say, Chan, who practically zips across the ice with no apparent effort---he should consider a career in speed skating if he ever gets bored with this sport! ). I cross my fingers that the international panel now recognizes what a great "artiste" Shawn is and they will give the points he deserves in the future. Unless his rivals screw up big time, he can only hope to be in the final flight if he has a clean SP, which has never happened yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    Thanks for your info! Does he usually get downgrade on his two-footed lutz or is it usually just two-footed?

    ETA: I checked his past elements sheets and it looks like he often got downgrade on his lutz.
    I haven't actually counted the number of times his 3-lutz has been downgraded, so I'm not sure about Shawn's actual success rate, but he does fully rotate it far more often that his 3-Axel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinga View Post
    On the other note - I have been wondering for quite a while, that winning LP without 3A and Quad is possible in men, but why it is impossible in ladies competition to win without 3-3??
    Please remember that Shawn's achievement at SC is highly unusual. As I pointed out earlier on this thread, he's the first male skater to win a free skate at a major event in a quarter of a century. I don't expect this will happen again in the near future! Sure, Patrick did win the competition without a clean 3-Axel (although they were all fully rotated), but he was VERY lucky that he had a strong lead in the SP and that Yannick suffered from a meltdown in the LP. The boy even admitted on an interview on CBC that he didn't feel he deserved to the gold medal.

    Oh, and for those of you who may not know this, some of Shawn's Canadian fans nickname him "Flexy" , although I do hope "Shawn Sexy Sawyer" catches on! (I think Wrlmy gets credit for that one.)

  12. #27
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    However, I think he should leave in the 3-Axel in both programs and the 3-lutz in the long because PCS tends to be proportional to the difficulty of the planned jump content. If Shawn waters down his programs too much (and I guess one can argue he's already pushing the lower limit for a senior-level athlete), I suspect the judges won't take him seriously.
    I think it's a good point, but also is a mysterious thing about figure skating. If we see the CoP system just as it is, points are just points and, perhaps it's better not to risk the 3A if he's never landed it cleanly in any of the competitions and often underrorates it. The chances are that two 3As would hurt him more than it would help him in terms of the base value and GOE given that his 2A could get a high GoE. But you are talking about the overall impression on judges that seems to play a role in a covert manner, which sounds a likely story. Although it shouldn't affect his GoE on each element, I could imagine the situation where his jump layout might affect his PCS as I have seen skaters with difficult jumps getting higher PCS than more artistic skaters with better transitions.
    ETA: Yet, I still wonder if this mysterious effect of the jump layout on PCS still exists when the skater attempts but fails in the difficult jumps.
    Last edited by Bennett; 11-14-2008 at 09:26 AM. Reason: ETA

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    I think it's a good point, but also is a mysterious thing about figure skating. If we see the CoP system just as it is, points are just points and, perhaps it's better not to risk the 3A if he's never landed it cleanly in any of the competitions and often underrorates it. The chances are that two 3As would hurt him more than it would help him in terms of the base value and GOE given that his 2A could get a high GoE. But you are talking about the overall impression on judges that seems to play a role in a covert manner, which sounds a likely story. Although it shouldn't affect his GoE on each element, I could imagine the situation where his jump layout might affect his PCS as I have seen skaters with difficult jumps getting higher PCS than more artistic skaters with better transitions.
    ETA: Yet, I still wonder if this mysterious effect of the jump layout on PCS still exists when the skater attempts but fails in the difficult jumps.
    PCS is indeed one of the greatest mysteries of our time! Shawn has to find a balance between getting extra points for executing his elements perfectly and not suffering from a PCS penalty because his programs are too "easy" jump-wise. I would draw the line at switching the 3-lutz with a 3-loop in the SP, but obviously the final decision is up to him and his coach. Shawn has always gone for 3-lutz in the past, so it's doubtful that he'll change his current plan.

    I know this is slightly off-topic, but I just wanted to say that I'm REALLY touched by the warmth and affection that you guys have shown to him on this forum. I've been "attacked" by a handful of posters (all of them Canadian, interestingly enough ) on another message board for defending him against their criticisms. My tone wasn't even aggressive; I just disagreed with their assessment of Shawn's potential, but I guess it's a "crime" there to hold an opinion which goes against the majority.

    Anyways, I'm glad there is one place on-line where I can safely gush about Shawn's wonderful skating. His haters don't believe he can make it to Worlds (some even went so far to suggest that he wouldn't make the National Team and that he should seriously consider retirement :sheesh, but I know our love and support will help him achieve his goals, and those naysayers will be forced to eat their ugly words!!!
    Last edited by siberia82; 11-14-2008 at 11:55 PM.

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