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Thread: Caroline Zhang - Is She an Oly Contender?

  1. #91
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    I brought up Alissa to make the point that if gifting in PCS can occur nationally, so can it internationally, for whatever reasons (reputation, favouritism, etc.). Cases in point: Rochette and Kostner, the latter especially at this most recent Worlds.
    But I never said I couldn't. Nor did I say I want it to happen.
    Well I've complained over and over again about Kostner scores to at times. My rant about 2008 Worlds!!!. And I think Kostner should have gotten very lowly scored for Performance/Execution. I also think Laura's PCS were high too.

    I'm not naive enough to believe that it can't happen.. .But as for Joannie being overscored and used in the same sentence as Kostner makes me well quite made. Joannie if anything for most of her career has been ridiculous underscored. Maybe she's getting some generous scores now, but not to ridiculous levels. To be frank if Yu-na is getting 76 for her short program, then Joannie did deserve at least a 67 for hers.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    I'm not naive enough to believe that it can't happen.. .But as for Joannie being overscored and used in the same sentence as Kostner makes me well quite made. Joannie if anything for most of her career has been ridiculous underscored. Maybe she's getting some generous scores now, but not to ridiculous levels. To be frank if Yu-na is getting 76 for her short program, then Joannie did deserve at least a 67 for hers.
    Joannie wasn't on my radar before this season because she hadn't achieved anything of note up until then, and what I saw of her before that had left me totally unimpressed. So, I won't comment on her scores before that...on whether she was overscored or underscored or not. Imagine to my surprise, then, when she emerges this season reaping huge scores left and right for what I perceive to be bland programs...bland artistry, bland technical difficulty, bland spins and spirals...and bland everything else. Perhaps it's only me who feels that way, but there was at least one competition she did this season (I'm blanking out on which one it was), in addition to the WTT, that had more than a few wondering how she got such huge PCS for a program that hadn't been well skated.

    I'd imagine my beef (and perhaps a few others, too) with Joannie's scores is akin to the variety that you have over Patrick Chan's scores.

  3. #93
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man
    Too early to make predictions? Maybe... but I don't agree with people's "unexpected" factor. Unexpected happened under 6.0, but we've only had one winter Olympics under CoP so far. I'm not sure if you can call the results of '06 unexpected, I mean Sasha usually psyches herself out and blows something, unfortunately. Irina - same thing, she certainly wasn't a lock for gold, she had a history of making just enough mistakes to rob herself of the gold. Arakawa was a bit out of nowhere but who else was really expected to win?
    I think you've got the time of year wrong in your stroll down memory lane.

    The proper comparison is the state of the sport in April of 2005, heading into the 2006 Olympic year.

    Slutskaya had just completed a season in which she won Cup of China by 23 points, Cup of Russia by 27 points (over Arakawa), and the Grand Prix Final by 20 points (over Arakawa), and her record-tying 6th European championship.

    At 2005 Worlds she gave the definitive performance of her career scoring over 130 points in the LP (Arakawa was 9th). For comparison, Yu-na Kim just scored 131 points at 2009 Worlds.

    In April of 2005, anyone who thought Irina would have any competition at all at the 2006 Olympics would have been laughed off the stage.

    Arakawa? She finished third at Japanese Nationals in 2003, third in 2004, withdrew in 2005, and was third again in 2006.

    Stuff happens. 2010 is not 2009.
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-19-2009 at 06:56 PM.

  4. #94
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    I'd imagine my beef (and perhaps a few others, too) with Joannie's scores is akin to the variety that you have over Patrick Chan's scores.
    I had no beef with Patrick's very high scores at Worlds. When Patrick's technical difficulty completed is around the same as the other men, I've got no issue with Patrick's scores.

    In the case of Rochette, I don't think Joannie's scores are ridiculous at all. Joannie has great skating skills, she's what you call a skater's skater. And no Joannie doesn't have a triple axel or a 3flip/3toe that Kim Yu-na does.

    But what Rochette does have is a 3/3 sequence and a double axel/double axel sequence which is nothing to sneeze about. Not to mention that Rochette has all the triples with correct entries too.......

    When Asada and Kim skate well, Joannie is going to lose to both. If Miki Ando could get some more choregraphy, and/or starting hitting her 3/3 in the short. Joannie will lose to Ando too. But Ando is very inconsistent etc If Kostner could start skating consistently, Joannie might be on the outs as well with Kostner's difficulty.

    But the facts are that right now Asada, Ando, and Kostner are a bit all over the place.. Mao's not consistently hitting 2 triple axels a long program, her 3lutz and her 3/3's are MIA. And her program this year was blah. That's whats given Rochette some help. But when Mao skates well she starts beating Joannie again.

    In contrast, my beef with Chan is the fact that he's getting huge PCS, huge GOES and getting away with technical difficulty that is way less difficult than not just a couple of the men. But essentially all of the men. When Patrick skates well and lands his 3 axels, I've got no beef with him beating a quadless Oda or Kozuka.

  5. #95
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    yeah, what MM said...

    and while the men's champion might have been expected... no one really knew what the others would do... there were some impressive showings during the LP... some major comebacks... and some majorly disappointing fails.

  6. #96
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think you've got the time of year wrong in your stroll down memory lane.

    The proper comparison is the state of the sport in April of 2005, heading into the 2006 Olympic year.

    Slutskaya had just completed a season in which she won Cup of China by 23 points, Cup of Russia by 27 points (over Arakawa), and the Grand Prix Final by 20 points (over Arakawa), and her record-tying 6th European championship.

    At 2005 Worlds she gave the definitive performance of her career scoring over 130 points in the LP (Arakawa was 9th). For comparison, Yu-na Kim just scored 131 points at 2009 Worlds.

    In April of 2005, anyone who thought Irina would have any competition at all at the 2006 Olympics would have been laughed off the stage.

    Arakawa? She finished third at Japanese Nationals in 2003, third in 2004, withdrew in 2005, and was third again in 2006.

    Stuff happens. 2010 is not 2009.
    Irina imploded in 2006. Period. If Irina had skated like she skated in 2005, in 2006. Irina would have won. But Irina didn't do this. I think that with Irina people had felt after 2005 worlds that Irina finally had learned how to compete and lay things down......We were wrong. The sad thing about Irina's skate and it was similar in 2002, was that it was safe. Irina only attempted six triple jumps and no 3/3s like she attempted at Worlds.

    The difference between Irina and Yu-na is well I really don't see Yu-na going out there and not even bothering to attempt a 3flip/3toe or her double axel/3toe. Yu-na could mess up, she has in the past but I think Yu-na and Mao will at least go for it.

    As for Arakawa, she had some issues in 2005 and in 2006. She had downgrades on her 3/3's with the new system. Injuries in 2005, and a coach that was giving her jammed packed choregraphy etc. In 2006, you could see improvement and she was averaging 5 triples in her longs, but got stuck with some hard competitions. As for placing 3rd at Japanese Nationals well some of that one as political (Fumie had to win, in order to mathematically make the team) Then add in Mao with no pressure on her etc... It's not like Mao didn't beat Sasha and Irina earlier too. :lol:

    What happened with Arakawa was the switch to Morozov who gave her a long that was easier. And also the fact that she didn't even attempt her 3/3's although they were looking good. Arakawa essentially went out there and performed a program with 5 clean triples.. And Irina/Sasha imploded. Arakawa's ability to calmly land 5 triples under pressure shouldn't have been doubted. She was a world champ and doing it all season long in 2006. And Arakawa was still a recent world champ...

    The idea that Irina/Sasha might have meltdown shouldn't have been that surprising either. I mean Irina threw away the gold in 2002.

    But really Arakawa had a bad season in 2005, that doesn't mean she should have been counted out.

    To me Yu-na is most certainly not a shoe in.....
    Last edited by bekalc; 04-19-2009 at 08:23 PM.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    let's just call a spade a spade and tell it like it really is. Cop was MADE for both Kim and Asada. 'Nuff said.
    But they both would have excelled under ordinal judging, too.

    I think the skaters that benefit most from the CoP are skaters like Buttle and Chan, who can pick up enough points here and there to offset the quad guys, and also skakers like Sasha Cohen who also could score like crazy under a system that does not penalize falls and stumbles very much.

  8. #98
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    But they both would have excelled under ordinal judging, too.
    Yep. They would have had less difficulty and so both would probably have cleaner skates as well. If they weren't attempting such jam packed programs.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think the skaters that benefit most from the CoP are skaters like Buttle and Chan, who can pick up enough points here and there to offset the quad guys...
    ...or (especially in the case of Buttle) rotate four times and fall on their butt and get credit for a quad.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think you've got the time of year wrong in your stroll down memory lane.

    The proper comparison is the state of the sport in April of 2005, heading into the 2006 Olympic year.

    Slutskaya had just completed a season in which she won Cup of China by 23 points, Cup of Russia by 27 points (over Arakawa), and the Grand Prix Final by 20 points (over Arakawa), and her record-tying 6th European championship.

    At 2005 Worlds she gave the definitive performance of her career scoring over 130 points in the LP (Arakawa was 9th). For comparison, Yu-na Kim just scored 131 points at 2009 Worlds.

    In April of 2005, anyone who thought Irina would have any competition at all at the 2006 Olympics would have been laughed off the stage.

    Arakawa? She finished third at Japanese Nationals in 2003, third in 2004, withdrew in 2005, and was third again in 2006.

    Stuff happens. 2010 is not 2009.
    Best post in the thread. ITA.

    I myself made the mistake of being a vocal part of the "Give Irina the Gold already and don't even bother to hold the competition" crowd. Now, it's easy to do the same for Yu Na. Give her the gold already, she's got no competition, etc.

    But there's a major difference this time around. Slutskaya wasn't getting 15-20 point leads in the SHORT program. Her strength was outperforming everyone by a mile in the FREESKATE. So, in this case, Yu Na seems extra invincible. But MM said it right...this is 2009. The Olympics happen in 2010. Completely different year. Completely different circumstances. The Skate Gods are listening to/reading every word said on the forums looking for a way to surprise the masses. Who'd have thought Mao Asada would finish OFF THE PODIUM at WORLDS??

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    But they both would have excelled under ordinal judging, too.
    Definitely. But in that system you controlled your own destiny in BOTH rounds. in Cop if you ace the short, you can sleep through the long and still win.

    Disclaimer: I'm not asking we return to the old system. Just pointing out pros and cons here.

  12. #102
    mmmmm....Donut spin :) Kimmie Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Best post in the thread. ITA.

    I myself made the mistake of being a vocal part of the "Give Irina the Gold already and don't even bother to hold the competition" crowd. Now, it's easy to do the same for Yu Na. Give her the gold already, she's got no competition, etc.

    But there's a major difference this time around. Slutskaya wasn't getting 15-20 point leads in the SHORT program. Her strength was outperforming everyone by a mile in the FREESKATE. So, in this case, Yu Na seems extra invincible. But MM said it right...this is 2009. The Olympics happen in 2010. Completely different year. Completely different circumstances. The Skate Gods are listening to/reading every word said on the forums looking for a way to surprise the masses. Who'd have thought Mao Asada would finish OFF THE PODIUM at WORLDS??
    There is always a first time...and what irony it would be if Yuna semi-bombs her SP at the olympics?
    Instead of the 15 point lead, what if she only had 3 point lead?
    All of sudden, she won't be so automatic

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think you've got the time of year wrong in your stroll down memory lane.
    No, not really. I was outlining why '06 (under CoP) wasn't really a surprise in the same way that '02 and '98 were under 6.0. My point, which I probably buried as usual, was that CoP has less surprises. The point advantage Yun-a has is too hard to overcome. If people want to say it's in the "quality" of her skating that's fine, that's as good an explanation as any. But all Yun-a has to do is what she's been doing, and even if a Tara or Sarah comes out (for instance, say it's Caroline) and has the skate of her life, lands 7 triples and doesn't fall -- well then you have edge/UR calls probable, and the underlying point deficit, and I just don't see the upset happening. What if you picked apart all of the edges and URs for the finishers in '02 and '98? I can't be totally sure but I'd say neither Tara nor Sarah would have won.

    Similarly, I don't see anyone else building the points to match Yun-a. Not even Mao at this point. It isn't Fall/Winter 2009 -- and? Yun-a has been steadily building, and is stratospheric at the moment. She'd have to have a major calamity for next season to even be interesting...

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by gio View Post
    Zhang has a lot of potential, but skating 4 minutes to Ave Maria doesn't help her, considering how slow she is.

    Maybe next year she will come with a more interesting LP.
    I just read Miki Ando's journal.
    She said Caroline should skate faster, fix her mule kick .................

    ........ and get rid of that damn Ave Maria program.

  15. #105
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    My apologies if I'm restating what has already been said - but I didn't have time to read the whole thread...

    Here's my two cents:

    1) based on the skating of US ladies, I am figuring on a US team that includes Caroline. She's got the talent and should have that fire to move up the ranks for 2010 nationals - I don't see her as a "what awesome potential" skater but as a "despite early set backs, she has shot up the ranks" skater.

    2) I'm a Kwan fan, so I understand that when it comes to the olympics, you simply don't know what's gonna happen when the front runners hit the ice with the pressure to win & be perfect vs. some upstart teenybopper whose just having a grand ol' time - hits the ice, has the skate of their life and then wins...

    I look to Worlds results to identify the best skater and the Olympics to be entertained...

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