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Thread: The Returning Skaters for the Olympics

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    [W]ho gets the Ladies TBD at Skate America? Please tell me it isn't another "comebacker", Emily Hughes.
    I wouldn't mind seeing her again :o

  2. #32
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    But why would Emily deserve that SA spot over ladies who have competed at Nationals the past two years, had good international results, and have already done one or more summer preps? Alexe Gilles and Becky Bereswill have just one GP event each, they both medaled in the JGPF, and they both have competed already this summer with good results. Seems to me these ladies are more deserving of the SA spot than Emily.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    But why would Emily deserve that SA spot over ladies who have competed at Nationals the past two years, had good international results, and have already done one or more summer preps? Alexe Gilles and Becky Bereswill have just one GP event each, they both medaled in the JGPF, and they both have competed already this summer with good results. Seems to me these ladies are more deserving of the SA spot than Emily.
    I'm not saying that Emily deserves the spot, just that I wouldn't raise a stink if she did get it.

    There's also a flip side to this- Emily Hughes is a MUCH more recognizable name overall than either Gilles or Bereswill, and one must keep in mind that this is a televised event, and the more big names available for promotion, the more eyeballs that can be drawn. I mean, I don't even really know who those two are- all I know is that Becky's a fellow Houstonian

    Anyway, in the big scheme of things, it's probably only fair to give the spot to any of the American ladies who currently have only one GP event and do well in it (assuming they can be ready on short notice).

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by delobelfan30 View Post
    Yes I think the mens field is weak now. A skater like Lysacek becoming World Champion is not sign of a strong field,...
    I think the word "weak" is largely measured by the technical abilities - jumps, spins, and footworks. A tiny portion of the idea of "weak" is related to artistic abilities. one of the most important tech abilities is the quad jumps. Without quad, it does seem to be weak. That is why I have said in another thread that the last two year world championship produced sad results. Without the come back forces, only Joubert is relatively consistent in the quad jumps. The next can be considered a quad skater is Verner. But he is not reliable so far. Many skaters could manage a quad or two from time to time, but the quad did not do much good for them because it either failed in the attempt or if it was successful, it drew too much energy from them and messed the rest of their programs up.

    However, the quad bunch, Plushenko, Lambiel, and Takahashi are coming back. The younger generations are a year more mature and are chasing their dreams too. The up coming season will be packed with high technical skills and high level jumps.

    On the artistic side, Lambiel's artistry is more and more polished, and near the top. Plushenko would go all the way out to bring the fire on ice (at least I believe so). Takahashi was a natural artistic skater. Joubert might finally put on his A level artistry. The only skater in about top 15 who is a bit weak on artistic abilities is Lysacek. But he has his strength, consistency, and determination.

    Such field can hardly be called "weak". No, the coming season is strong for men. So strong that I couldn't even figure out who will be the strongest competitor. I just love it!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennylovskt View Post
    I think the word "weak" is largely measured by the technical abilities - jumps, spins, and footworks. A tiny portion of the idea of "weak" is related to artistic abilities. one of the most important tech abilities is the quad jumps. Without quad, it does seem to be weak. That is why I have said in another thread that the last two year world championship produced sad results. Without the come back forces, only Joubert is relatively consistent in the quad jumps. The next can be considered a quad skater is Verner. But he is not reliable so far. Many skaters could manage a quad or two from time to time, but the quad did not do much good for them because it either failed in the attempt or if it was successful, it drew too much energy from them and messed the rest of their programs up.

    However, the quad bunch, Plushenko, Lambiel, and Takahashi are coming back. The younger generations are a year more mature and are chasing their dreams too. The up coming season will be packed with high technical skills and high level jumps.

    On the artistic side, Lambiel's artistry is more and more polished, and near the top. Plushenko would go all the way out to bring the fire on ice (at least I believe so). Takahashi was a natural artistic skater. Joubert might finally put on his A level artistry. The only skater in about top 15 who is a bit weak on artistic abilities is Lysacek. But he has his strength, consistency, and determination.

    Such field can hardly be called "weak". No, the coming season is strong for men. So strong that I couldn't even figure out who will be the strongest competitor. I just love it!
    So your hopes of a "strong" field are based largely on skaters who were not even around at all last season- Plushenko, Lambiel, Takahashi, and who are making "comebacks" that we have no idea how will pan out for any of them. Pinning th hopes of a return to a strong field so much on such a hypothetical which had nothing to do with last seasons field, and is purely conjecture to panning out at all this season is not exactly reason for optimism.

    Also you even concede Lysacek is "a bit weak on artistic abilities". The guy also didnt do any quad in either program in winning last years Worlds though, he rarely hits one in the first place, has a dicey triple axel, and far from the best quality jumps you will see either. Yet this guy is World Champion last year. Need I say anymore. "strength, consistency, and determination" as your only real assets should not be enough to make a World Champion if it were any kind of decent field with any sort of strong and reliable leaders.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by delobelfan30 View Post
    So your hopes of a "strong" field are based largely on skaters who were not even around at all last season- Plushenko, Lambiel, Takahashi, and who are making "comebacks" that we have no idea how will pan out for any of them. Pinning th hopes of a return to a strong field so much on such a hypothetical which had nothing to do with last seasons field, and is purely conjecture to panning out at all this season is not exactly reason for optimism.

    Also you even concede Lysacek is "a bit weak on artistic abilities". The guy also didnt do any quad in either program in winning last years Worlds though, he rarely hits one in the first place, has a dicey triple axel, and far from the best quality jumps you will see either. Yet this guy is World Champion last year. Need I say anymore. "strength, consistency, and determination" as your only real assets should not be enough to make a World Champion if it were any kind of decent field with any sort of strong and reliable leaders.
    Your analysis was based on the history from last year (which I agree it was weak.) and last year alone while the geographic distribution of the men's field of next year will change dramatically. It will shape a can't-be-ignored, totally different field. So different that every skater will have to, and I believe they will, change their strategies on how to approach next year's competition differently, such as adding a quad in their programs. Also, the current skaters are more mature after another year. Generally speaking, especially the up comiing generation skaters, what they couldn't do last year, they might be able to do it this year. It is an Olympic season. If they don't put on their A game, what are they waiting for? How can your assessment be accurate if you disregard all those changes?
    Last edited by jennylovskt; 07-31-2009 at 09:29 AM.

  7. #37
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    It is a stink if Emily were to get the spot, and I have nothing against her personally. But Alexi and Becky are part of the next wave, and should have two GPs to encourage their progress. Emily will do her usual 'stop the music. and take a long straight entry into her toe jumps' She will not or maybe she can not do transitions into jumps. Also she has a history of URs. Nothing special about the rest of her skating, imo. She has her work cut out for her at Eastern Sectionals. If she shows marked improvements, then she deserves a crack at the US Nationals. Who knows? she might make the Oly Team. I think she may just be a sweeheart for some fans, but that is not enough to win championships.

    Meanwhile let us build up our stock pile of talented skaters and allow Alexei or Becky to nab that TBD at SA.

  8. #38
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    One thing that we can all agree on, I'm sure, is that Em has a lot of work to do to become competitive with America's best once again. I like her show skating but was not at all impressed with her one showing last year. In a way she fell just as far down as Kimmie- may as well have taken the year off for college (where her focus was, and should have been).

    Curious to see what happens this year with her- hopefully she'll actually be able to compete at Nats this time.
    Last edited by R.D.; 07-31-2009 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Typos...exactly what happens when you try to post on an iPhone

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by delobelfan30 View Post
    Yes I think the mens field is weak now. A skater like Lysacek becoming World Champion is not sign of a strong field, sorry. Lysacek's performances to win this years Worlds would have probably put him only 6th at say the 2004 Worlds, or only 5th at say the 2002 Olympics and even 2001 and 2002 Worlds. There are many events in history a skater without a quad, without remarkable jump quality, and without top notch artistry or overall skating skills, wouldnt even be on the podium even skating perfectly. The last Worlds he would have won with the same performances would probably be 1992 or 1993 maybe. A skater like Joubert last season was skating with zero artistry, horrible programs, weak spins and footwork, and his jumping which used to be his greatest strength was way off and making alot of mistakes on. Last years Worlds he had trouble landing his quads and triple axels cleanly and even fell on a freaking double axel. The scary thing is even with his all limitations of his current skating he would have won Worlds had he one or two less of all his mistakes.

    Ever since 2004 the field has increasingly and gradually weakened with injuries, the inconsistency of some talented skaters, the underachieving of some talented skaters, retirements and not enough newer stars filling their shoes, and it is left at what it is.

    The field is deep in a certain way in that there are alot of very good skaters, but no great ones in their primes. It is like a bunch of skaters that other years would be fighting for places 3rd to 6th and there are about 10 to 12 of them which makes a very deep and unpredictable field but not neccessarily a strong one as far as championship quality.
    Oh this post is very negative I am glad I watch theese great guys with my own naive(?) eyes. To me the men competing in olympics are strong and really exciting, not weak. And IMO comparing skates from 6.0 with skates from COP is not possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    The men's field is weak? Are you serious? There are at least ten guys who could medal, and not be default. Lambiel, Joubert, Takahashi, Plushenko, Oda, Verner, Abbott, Lysacek, Weir, Oda, Chan, Kozuka - some of them may have consistency issues, they have different strengths and styles, but not one of them is a weak skater. The men's field is shaping up to be the strongest and deepest of all the disciplines next season.
    and D. Ten, Berntsson, Brezina, Javiez, Voronov, Lutai and others in this discipline will glue me to the telly :

    I am not a deep analyser of FS, but I know what I like and admire what these men are doing well with my COP-eyes.
    Last edited by snowflake; 07-31-2009 at 01:57 PM.

  10. #40
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    I have to confess that the first person I think of when I look at this thread is Elvis Stojko. If anybody defines mental toughness, perseverance, longevity, the true heart of a warrior/gladiator/champion/dog soldier/et al, it is he! Competed in 4 Olympics (finishing 6th, 2nd, 2nd, 8th), while injured no less.for the latter two. In fact, if it had been up to me he would have been a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist. But, alas, I'm just a mere mortal.

    Elvis is the one that set the Quad Standard, it is because of him that we had such great skates from Kulik, Yagudin, and Plushenko. I often wonder if Elvis had been born in Russia if things would have turned out differently. But fate is fate, and so it is written.

    My other favorite, Evgeni, reminds me of Elvis so much. My hope is that he can continue where Elvis left off, do what Elvis was unable to do, become a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist! Follow in the footsteps of legendary skaters Dick Button & Gillis Grafstrom - the former is the only man to have won 2 Olympic Gold Medals & the latter is the only man in history to have won 3 Olympic Gold Medals - also Evgeni would be only the second man in history to have won more than 2 Olympic Medals. I will be cheering him on all the way to make the impossible possible!

    I love it when records are broken - it's historical - aka Michael Phelps breaking Mark Spitz's record last summer was one for the ages!!!!!!!!! I can still feel the goosebumps, to have lived to see that, wow.

    Needless to say, such historical moments are rare and far in between (e.g. Katarina Witt still holds the record of being only the second woman in history to have won 2 Olympic Gold Medals; Sonja Henie holding the record at 3; it took 52 years for that feat to happen).

    Once again, I take my hat off to all these remarkable Titans of this sport I love so much.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by delobelfan30 View Post

    Shen/Zhou have never done better than bronze at the Olympics and legends because of their caliber of skating, World titles, and other titles. So it would be hard to diminish themselves in their comeback. The pairs field is so weak they will probably win atleast bronze if they are in half decent shot, have a good shot of silver, and even have an outside shot of gold if they come back stronger than expected given their ages and the Germans still have consistency problems. Either way they will probably be on the podium and they are well into their 30s now. I think them diminishing themselves in their comeback is nearly impossible if they make it.
    Don't forget a lot of people expected S/Z to win gold and then were just hopeful for a medal when Zhou tore his Achilles. They had very little training time before Oly's and still managed to pull off a bronze medal.

    I think part of the comeback is for the gold. I do think they have more than just an outside shot at World's. They might not be the outright favorites, but I'd definitely rank them at 2nd if not 1st for medal placement. Other than the Germans, I don't think the other teams have the same performance factor of S/Z. For whatever reasons, the other 2 Chinese teams have not broken the performance barrier and they have not looked nearly as elegant as S/Z or the Germans. To be frank, I really don't remember the 2nd and 3rd place teams' performances at the last few Worlds for pairs. I definitely don't see any of the American pairs teams on the podium.

    I guess we'll wait and see what shape everyone's in a couple of months!

  12. #42
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    In honor of one of my favorite male skaters of all-time ~ Elvis Stojko ~ I repeat what Al Sharpton said about Michael Jackson at his memorial (& which applies to Elvis as well):

    Elvis never stopped...Elvis Never Stopped...ELVIS NEVER STOPPED!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYlV-V6rfHQ (4 minutes into his fantastic speech)

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