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Thread: Caroline Zhang - Is She an Oly Contender?

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Caroline Zhang - Is She an Oly Contender?

    I don't believe spoilers are needed any more.

    Caroline Zhang did well in the Tokyo Invitational. Is this enough to put her in the class of Mao, YuNa, Joannie, and to a lesser extent to Carolina, Sarah?

    ( Aside:Will she have any problem medalling gold or silver in US Nats?)

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    Of course she is. I figure she will turn in the best performance at next year's nationals, then get screwed down one spot ( going by past history here ). So I expect silver for Caroline, and probably gold for Rachael or Mirai. That will be our Olympic team. Where they place will depend on how they improve over the summer.

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    Caroline is no Olympic contender simply because she has been consistently getting low PCS during her whole competitive career on the senior circuit.

    This means that her best possible finish at the Olympics (or Worlds) is 4th or 3rd, even if her TES beats everyone else's by several points.

    If her best possible performance nets her a 3rd or 4th place, an imperfect performance from her would bring her down to 6th or 7th place.

    From my vantagepoint, all three of Nagaso, Wagner, and Flatt have better scoring potential at the Olympics and Worlds.

    So If I were the USFSA, I would choose Flatt and Nagaso or Flatt and Wagner for the Olympic team and leave Caroline home. Of course, all of this thinking goes out the window if Caroline's PCS suddenly goes up.

    If Caroline's PCS is quite a bit higher, she will be unbeatable. She could even get Olympic silver. But I don't anticipate this.

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    Potemtial Olympian vs. Olympic Contender

    An Olympic contender at this point in her career? I doubt it. Given her flutz, toe pick jump issues and lack of speed, she has a lot to work on. That doesn't mean that she isn't a beautiful skater who can bring me to tears. But she still doesn't have the skating skills of Kim, Asada and Rochette.

    A potential Olympian, I should hope so. She has been very consistent over the past few years with the exception of her SP at 4CCs during which she had the flu. I think that if she can start to correct her issues, that she could be a contender for 2014 in Sochi.

    Andalusia, you and I were writing similar responses at the same time. Are you sure that you're not my Doppelganger?
    Last edited by efreedman; 04-18-2009 at 09:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by efreedman View Post
    Andalusia, you and I were writing similar responses at the same time. Are you sure that you're not my Doppelganger?
    It'd be a compliment to me if I was.

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    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    I think she can contend for a medal. Who knows? It would disasters from others for gold, but a medal, maybe if Ando, Kostner, Rochette screw up, and that is not THAT unlikely either.

    Maybe four years from now she can attend.

    As for Nagasu having more potential, that depends on if Mirai can start rotating her freaking jumps, but even she if clean, i think it would go to Mao/Kim.

    At this point Zhang/Flatt have to be the frontrunners for the team... At the very least both girls have to have more respect from the USFSA judges now....

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    As for Nagasu having more potential, that depends on if Mirai can start rotating her freaking jumps.
    Ah, but that's the definition of potential. Seeing the raw talent. Nagasu actually JUMPS when she jumps. One of Caroline's problems is that she doesn't really jump. She just skids off the ice and tries to twist her body as tightly as possible to get around. It doesn't look good. Tara Lipinski had small jumps but they had a snap. She didn't have to wind up her body into the rotations, they simply happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    At this point Zhang/Flatt have to be the frontrunners for the team... At the very least both girls have to have more respect from the USFSA judges now....


    Flatt/Zhang both have not only the potential (everyone has the potential if they are already the top USA ladies at senior level), but also the good tracking record to bank on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    From my vantagepoint, all three of Nagaso, Wagner, and Flatt have better scoring potential at the Olympics and Worlds.
    Uh, neither of those three get much higher PCS than Zhang. All of their PCS are around the same range, which is typical for young skaters who have only just begun their senior careers. Zhang even beat Flatt in PCS at Nats in the LP, which is actually quite shocking, considering the national judges don't like Caroline.

    Caroline has an advantage in TES in that if she's completely clean, as all the others are, there's a strong likelihood she'll score higher than them because her spins and spirals are amongst the best in the world and get huge +GOE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andalusia View Post
    Uh, neither of those three get much higher PCS than Zhang. All of their PCS are around the same range, which is typical for young skaters who have only just begun their senior careers. Zhang even beat Flatt in PCS at Nats in the LP, which is actually quite shocking, considering the national judges don't like Caroline.

    Caroline has an advantage in TES in that if she's completely clean, as all the others are, there's a strong likelihood she'll score higher than them because her spins and spirals are amongst the best in the world and get huge +GOE.
    But Flatt and Nagaso's skating is dynamic enough, especially Nagaso's, that they are likely to see their PCS grow with increased exposure.

    Ditto for Wagner, whose basic skating skills and transitions were, dare I say, breathtaking this season.

    Caroline has already had a lot of exposure on the GP circuits and her lack of PCS is not due to her being not well known but is rather linked to real issues with her skating.

    The point is Caroline keeps on skating and her PCS keeps being low. How will that change?

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    But Flatt and Nagaso's skating is dynamic enough, especially Nagaso's, that they are likely to see their PCS grow with increased exposure.

    Ditto for Wagner, whose basic skating skills and transitions were, dare I say, breathtaking this season.

    Caroline has already had a lot of exposure on the GP circuits and her lack of PCS is not due to her being not well known but is rather linked to real issues with her skating.

    The point is Caroline keeps on skating and her PCS keeps being low. How will that change?
    I wouldn't be too sure that their PCS will improve with increased exposure - I'll believe that when it actually happens. Flatt's speed is about on par with Zhang's, and all her elements besides the jumps are average at best (and her jumping ability isn't close to being the best in the world, either) - I don't see how she warrants much higher PCS than Zhang. Some say Flatt is more expressive and artistic, but that is subjective. Nagasu has good basics, but her UR issues have existed even before this season, and it remains to be seen if she can clean those up. Wagner is faster than Zhang, but she's inconsistent and has jump issues, not to mention the fact that her non-jumping elements do not garner huge +GOE.

    But you are right, Caroline's PCS have not increased dramatically, because yes, her basic skating skills are not quite up to snuff yet. I see some improvement in those areas, but she'll have to improve much more before she sees a rise in her PCS. Who knows, though - judging can be fickle, and we might see Flatt and Zhang receiving higher PCS next season for having 'paid their dues', so to speak.

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    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Wagner more scoring potential than Zhang. Please, Wagner has been clearly having issues with rotating her jumps. I would seriously hope by now that the USFSA is over the whole "scoring potential" crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Wagner more scoring potential than Zhang. Please, Wagner has been clearly having issues with rotating her jumps. I would seriously hope by now that the USFSA is over the whole "scoring potential" crap.
    The word potential means that if Wagner would rotate all of her jumps, she would clearly be ahead of Zhang.

    I do not claim that Wagner is more consistent or a better jumper than Zhang. But if she puts it all together one day, she will leave Zhang behind in the dust.

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    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    The word potential means that if Wagner would rotate all of her jumps, she would clearly be ahead of Zhang.

    I do not claim that Wagner is more consistent or a better jumper than Zhang. But if she puts it all together one day, she will leave Zhang behind in the dust.
    I seem to recall at Junior Worlds Wagner going clean in 2007 and the judges going with Zhang....And this wasn't the case of this is a new skater we haven't seen before like Nagasu.

    It's not like Wagner even if clean is going to get HUGE Goe's on her jumps....And PCS wise they get about the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    I do not claim that Wagner is more consistent or a better jumper than Zhang. But if she puts it all together one day, she will leave Zhang behind in the dust.
    Oh, please. And if Zhang gets much faster and improves her SS, she'll be far ahead of Wagner, too. One can argue about it back and forth all you like.

    Stuff potential - actually delivering when it matters is what counts the most.

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