Last edited by Sylvia; 05-16-2009 at 08:48 PM.
Once again I enjoyed reading janetfan's comments, especially her analysis of the USA Ladies.
IMHO the potential they showed at 2008 US Nationals was out of this world, so much so that that particular Nationals is one of my all-time favs! The excitement & awe & tears was on par (for me personally) when Sarah Hughes won the 2002 Olympic Gold Medal. I had such high hopes for all of them, and still do, but must say I was disappointed to see that none of them have lived up to that potential since, except Rachael & Caroline to a certain degree. IMHO, of course. In particular, I was heartbroken for Ashley Wagner when she finished so low (15th?) at the subsequent Worlds, after having hit a homerun at Nationals just a month prior, complete with 7 triples & a 3/3 combo. In fact, she's the one I would have had National Champion that year, as she reminds me of a more advanced Emily Hughes in terms of style, joy, physique, spins, spirals, power, and passion. However, having watched her carefully since that time, my POV is that she wants it *too much*, as evidenced by the tears she shed after the SP. It's like her life depends on it, and I don't know if that can be changed. There has to be a balance. Rachael Flatt has that mindset. It's like what Kitty Carruthers said once: Figure skating is like golf. It's 95% mental. If you're strong mentally, you'll be strong on the ice. The rest is talent & hard work.
As for Sasha, ah, she reminds me of Steve Prefontaine so much (especially when they both started out) ~ both cocky, beautiful, knowing how great they were, small, powerful, medalling in everything they entered when they first hit the scene, and both finished 4th in their first Olympics ~ then came a break from the scene, time to mature a bit, evaluate, reflect, grow up, become humbled, and get ready for a comeback to the Olympics. It's just too bad that Steve never got his chance, having died in a car accident at the age of 24 just before the Montreal Olympics in 1976. But it's not too late for Sasha.
I love underdogs, and I love a good comeback story, I'll be cheering her on all the way.
P.S. If Mao does what she did at WTT in the SP (which I hope she does again), she'll put herself in the lead by a good margin, at which point it's up to the rest of the pack to try to outrun her. I'll be watching with baited breath & excitement, there's nothing like a great race to the finish!
Great Quotes from a Great Runner ~ Steve Prefontanie.
"A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. Nobody is going to win a 5,000 meter race after running an easy 2 miles. Not with me. If I lose forcing the pace all the way, well, at least I can live with myself."
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift."
"I don't just go out there and run. I like to give people watching something exciting."
"Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,' and I just took off."
"What I want is to be number one."
"Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it."
"I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it."
"How does a kid from Coos Bay, with one leg longer than the other win races? All my life people have been telling me, 'You're too small Pre', 'You're not fast enough Pre', 'Give up your foolish dream Steve'. But they forgot something, I HAVE TO WIN."
"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."
Thanks Nadine. I also enjoy reading your posts. FYI, I am a fan of Janet Lynn - and a "he" and not a "her"
I think you are right about 2008 Natls and sometimes wonder if the bar has not been set too high by Yuna and Mao. For the next year or two they look hard to beat. I hope the US ladies will keep improving and that we dont get too hard on them if they don't meet our expectations in 2010.
I don't know what it is about Ashley but her skating does not move me the way Caroline and Mirai do. Rachael may develope more artistry to match her solid technique and that would give her a chance to make future intl podiums.
But looking to the future I think the young US ladies have championship potential.
It may take until they reach 18 or 19 - which coincidentily is the age that Yuna and Mao appear to be peaking at. One thing for sure I expect a new crop of talented US girls to be appearing in the next year or two. Things don't look as hopeful in Japan or Russia as their younger skaters are not doing so well.
I enjoyed your comments about Chen-Lu ("Lulu") even if I thought Michelle won the Gold in Nagano. I would have given Lulu Silver and Tara 3rd. I was lucky enough to have seen Lulu skate at an exhibition and her beautifu, lyrical skating was even more impressive in person.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-17-2009 at 04:13 PM.
My apologies, I just automatically assumed you were a female because of the moniker. From now on I will refer to you as a "he".
Lol, I honestly haven't posted this much in years, especially after one of my all-time favorite female skaters (which include Sonja Henie & Oksana Baiul btw) Sarah Hughes unofficially retired from skating after the 2003 Worlds. Also, the implementation of COP had me posting about once or twice per year.
Still, I am a fan of skating, not just of particular skaters & teams, so I made sure to sign up for www.icenetwork.com when it came about. Also, I still make sure to watch US Nationals, Worlds, and of course the Olympics!
That said, what actually brought me back to skating was Sasha Cohen's phenomenal FS at the 2006 OIympics, which I wrote about on GS at the time. She made me cry. I've always recognized her talent from day one, but could not really appreciate her until my fav Sarah Hughes unofficially retired.
I may be projecting, but it seems to me that Sasha Cohen has changed as a person as well. She just seems more mature, most notable in the a few of her performances at SOI these past two years. She truly has grown as an artist in the most subtle of ways, a look in the eye, a turn of the wrist, the way she moves her head, undefineable. I like this new Sasha, so different from the little baby ballerina from long ago. It's called growing up, lol, and gathering more life experiences along the way. Still, I would never want to see her spirit broken, which I'm sure she still has in spades, but which is more harnessed, more controlled. I hope to see her fiery spirit once again on the ice!
I'm just really rambling as I await to read little tidbits of info. leaked out about practices, music, costumes, et al. And not just Sasha, but all the skaters. There's simply nothing comparable to the excitement & anticipation of an Olympic Season!
Personally, without an American contender, this Oly season is not going to have even half the anticipation that 2006 did. JMHO.
Not for me, I'm like a child when the Olympics come about, whether it be Winter or Summer (though I do miss when there was no distinction, rather they were one).
It's been like this for me since 1976, and that exquisite summer of Nadia Comaneci, as well as Dorothy Hamill. The former is whom I was always compared to as a child, as I looked exactly like her, but younger, and also both of our names began with the letter N. Lol, though it was Dorothy Hamill's famous hairdo I had as a child.
The magic of the Olympic Games has never left me, and I hope it never does, as I like being a child at heart.
I can understand your feeling. Whether it is misguided or not, I think that is why there has been so much buzz about Sasha's return.
Personally, I think Caroline has the best chance to make it to the Olympic podium if:
1. She can win Nationals - which seems to be an obstacle for her, (my biggest fear is that Sasha may come in 3rd at Natls and the 2nd place skater may get bumped. I am a Sasha fan but would feel bad if they do that).
2. Caroline has grown and has been doing off-ice training to get stronger. Kurt Browning has said Caroline just needs to get a little stronger and to skate a little faster into her jump entrances to give her higher scoring marks on her jumps. He said she is on par with and even better than Yuna or Mao at certain other elements. Her spirals and laybacks are unrivaled imho.
Of course I don't know if what I am saying will happen but it is a scenario I could be very excited about.
To get to your point: It probably will end up being worse- Cohen will be held up so SHE gets 2nd and the other skater gets bumped off. (We saw what happened with Alyssa- if Cohen can put down a clean short, you bet they will have her ahead of the field by several points no matter what the others do). But this could be a moot point because I'll be surprised if she makes it to Nationals. And on that topic, I wonder if she would be in a position to petition for an OLY spot. It would be deja vu all again - Kwan in 2006
Honestly, I hope the right two get sent to Vancouver and both EARN their ticket.
What matters is not what Browning thinks, but what the judges think.2. Caroline has grown and has been doing off-ice training to get stronger. Kurt Browning has said Caroline just needs to get a little stronger and to skate a little faster into her jump entrances to give her higher scoring marks on her jumps. He said she is on par with and even better than Yuna or Mao at certain other elements. Her spirals and laybacks are unrivaled imho.
I doubt whether Sasha or Caroline will be in any of the "B" comps. Too bad Campbells dropped figure skating for a quck glimpse of comparison purposes. So we have to wait for the GPs.to get a glimpse of what the Nationals may turn out.
I don't think one can judge the outcome of how they may place in the Olys but we certainly can tell which of the two has the better Tech. As for that old magic word battered about during the early days of the decade, Caroline's flexibility is as stunning as is Sasha's.
It will be truly a Flexibility on Ice! contest.
Quote: red dog
"if Cohen can put down a clean short, you bet they will have her ahead of the field by several points no matter what the others do). But this could be a moot point because I'll be surprised if she makes it to Nationals. And on that topic, I wonder if she would be in a position to petition for an OLY spot. It would be deja vu all again - Kwan in 2006"
I am not so sure if I understand - or agree regarding Sasha's return.
From Sasha's pov, competing again is probably a more welcome change/challenge than continuing on for another year on SOA. In addition, if she does anything, it will only help raise her profile (which is second only to Michelle.
So I see it as a win-win situation for Sasha. If she doesn't make it back she can continue as the "star" of SOA. If she does make it to Natls and then Vancouver she will be in a better position to do whatever it is she wants in the future.
I can only see injuries stopping her return. I can also see a possibilty that she will be outclassed at Natls and NOT be named to Olympic team.
Is your point that this is all a bluff - and Sasha will pull out due to a lack of competetive fire or diminshed skills?
ETA: Of course, it's always possible. But she sounded fairly determined to me during the teleconference. Given her history, however, I'd be very surprised if she doesn't pull out of at least ONE competition citing some sort of injury. (could be SA, or even Olys) And if she finds herself in the same position as Meissner did last season (i.e. falling from world-class to C-level skater) I think she may just retire.
Last edited by R.D.; 05-18-2009 at 04:41 PM.
This is totally irrelevant to the discussions going on in this thread, but I found a nice cute montage in Youtube about Kim and Asada. I guess it was put together a few years ago but still fun to watch.
Last edited by vlaurend; 07-01-2009 at 07:47 PM.
I did love her Tango Gala !! Thought it was so entertaining.
I really only saw Mao at Worlds this season and I know she did not skate her programs very well there. I saw clips from WTT and there she was so much better.
I like Joannie's skating and hope she has a great season. Her skating has become very polished and she finaly seems to have learned how to compete.
She skated well at Wolrds and WTT. But she only beat Caroline by a 3-4 points at WTT. So we will see what happens this season. I am a fan of so many of these ladies I root for them all, just root harder for some.
Since I am American I give my #1 support to Caroline. And I love her skating alot. Did you see Caroline's Gala , "Lullabye " A very beautiful Gala program!