How many women do we get to send? Is it only two?
I am pulling for Wagner, Zhang, and Cohen. Those are my favorites of the American women by far.
Originally Posted by Nadine
I can see your point about Mirai - but unlike Ashley, Caroline and Rachael,
Mirai has already won a US Ladies championship.
I am hoping for a breakout year from Mirai and looking at Yuna and Mao I see Mirai as the only US lady who seems to have anything close to their athletic ability. Mirai jumps higher and skates much faster than Rachael or Caroline and also can show some personality on the ice.
If Mirai can show consistency and fix up her jumps she has the spins, spirals and laybacks to compete with the best in the world.
It is still early and I haven't seen Ashley yet but I will pick Mirai and Rachael to make the Olympic team.
Ashley has two fabulous programs that grab your atttention right away. Lots of tension and changes in tempo. She also has a rocking triple flip triple toe . Spins are FAST . She is not a boring skater. I hope she has a great comp this week!
I actually agree with this. We need to send Rachael because she is consistent and reliable and can probably place 5th like she did at Worlds, but we also need to send someone who can actually medal if she skates clean. That would be Alissa.
Originally Posted by cornell08
However, if Mirai manages to make it through her GP events and U.S. Nationals without underrotation calls, I would opt to send Mirai instead. Although Mirai's choreography this season is disappointing compared to the past two seasons, she has great skating skills and has proven she can get high scores when her jumps aren't downgraded.
I attended Worlds in LA last year. It is so different seeing skaters live. I got both Rachael and Alyssa's autographs (while others were off chasing Yu-Na). Rachael is so pretty in real life--her skin and hair just glow--and her skating is more interesting to watch live, fast with good jumping ability, whereas Alyssa is so slow and her jumps so underrotated that her great spins and (slow) spiral cannot make up the difference.
I haven't totally given up on Caroline, since she is still so young, but after watching her (on TV) at the Paris grand prix, I have great doubts. SOMEONE WHO SKATES, please help me understand!!!!!!! Why can't she change the mule kick? Geez, just think about it and don't do it. I took piano lessons as a child and was pretty good, but gave it up for other things as an adult. I started piano lessons again a few years ago, with an excellent teacher who helped me change some bad technique that led to much better playing. So I know changing technique is possible.
Now, the other problem, the lack of speed. Again skaters, what is it? Is it lack of strong thigh muscles? Oh, I despair, she is so musical.
sorry, I meant Worlds this year (2009)
Really? No offense to Alissa, but I don't think she could make any world podiums by herself even IF she skates clean--she needs quite a few mistakes from multiple top ladies like Kim, Asada, Rochette, Ando, Nakano and even Kostner if she wants to be anywhere near the podium. And really, even if skaters like Kim and Asada make one or two mistakes and Alissa skates clean I have a hard time ever imagining the judges putting Alissa over them.
Originally Posted by cornell08
Seriously, Alissa's personal best score ever was a 168.32, which would place her in 8th place at last year's worlds. Mao, with a popped jump in her SP and a fall and 4 downgrades in her LP at TEB last weekend, still scored 173.99. Alissa, as pretty a skater as she is, simply doesn't have the technical jumping power to put out monster scores even if she's squeaky clean--that's skaters like Carolina Kostner.
Last edited by evangeline; 10-19-2009 at 02:59 PM.
I'm a professional musician too and was skating for 6 years when I was a teen. Now I'm trying to skate again and it's extreamely difficult to change my technic on 2T. I just end up doing it wrong way although I know how bad it is. I think it something to do with anxiousness and the habit of your body. It is different from technic on the musical instrument where you can try without fear to injure yourself or fall. I know I think about it from my point of view, but skaters like Caroline probably have additional issues like not wanting to miss any competition etc.
Originally Posted by Penny
I wonder how Emily Hughes is doing.
I just saw the results for one of the regional competitions and she scored around 52 points for her SP which actually isn't too shabby. That said, I don't know how the scoring is like at national regional events like this, but maybe she's on the right track.
If she wants to be on the olympic team, 52 ain't gonna do it.
But you have to start somewhere I suppose. (More important is how she does in the freeskate.)
Well, yea it definitely won't do it. I am surprised that she did manage to get that score based on reports on how she was skating over the summer. I expected her to flop big time.
Originally Posted by R.D.
I guess we'll see. Hope you does respectably and makes it to nationals at least.
I think Rachael Flatt is our best hope this year. Of our ladies, she is best able to dependably deliver solid performances when the stakes are high, as shown by her fifth-place finish at Worlds. I am not excited about, nor inspired by, Rachael's skating, but no one can deny she's a very strong competitor.
I don't feel optimistic about the chances of the other U.S. women.
Caroline Zhang really didn't look good at all at TEB. She just has so many hurdles to overcome, what with her lack of speed and poor jumping technique. And, despite her lovely positions, she just doesn't seem to have a strong presence on the ice.
Mirai Nagasu is such a big question mark. After last season, it's just hard to imagine that she'll be able to recover her confidence and fix her underrotation problems sufficiently to succeed on the international level. I think she's the most talented of the current U.S. ladies, but I just don't know if she can pull it together in time for this season. Although switching to Frank Carroll is a step in the right direction.
Ashley Wagner seems to have both underrotation and consistency problems. Unless there's a really major improvement in her artistry this season, I just don't think she will be competitive.
I don't expect much out of Alissa Czisny either. Lovely skater, but Alissa had her shot last year at Worlds, and she blew it. Frankly, I think the only way the USFSA would name her to the Olympic team is if she had an absolutely perfect performance at Nationals, and we all know that's extremely unlikely.
It doesn't sound like Sasha Cohen is really back in competitive shape. I think she may well drop out before Skate America. That said, if she does make it to Nationals, she has an excellent shot at making the team based on her past success, the lack of alternatives, and of course her superlative artistry.
I think the Olympic team will be Flatt + Cohen. Or, if Cohen drops out, Flatt + Nagasu.
It's not as simple as that, if it was no-one would have bad technique! I agree completely witht he poster who said that the blame for allowing the mule kick must lie with the coaches now for letting her carry on with the poor technique. The reason it's so difficult to correct is because muscle memory is the hardest to correct, and even if you do manage to correct it, in pressure situations old muscle memory sometimes kicks in. The problem she has with picking technique would require a complete rework - right back to the single and building up to the double and triple with good technique. She would certainly lose the triple for at least a season if not two (look at Joannnie Rochette when she reworked her lutz).
Originally Posted by Penny
That is a lot of time to take out of a skaters short career - worse so if the Olympics are coming up. The best time for Zhang to work on this would be at the end of this Olympic season - she'd have a couple of seasons to rework technique and then come out fighting for the pre Olympic season.
Most things in skating are rarely about raw muscle but much more about technique. For speed it is about using your edges, lean, correct stroking and knee bend and flexing. That is what generates power and speed.
Originally Posted by Penny
Thanks, Ant, especially about the insights on speed. I've taken ballet and know how hard it is to master correct technique and to fix bad technique, but good teachers insist on it. At 16, I think Caroline should just stop and fix it; her chances of getting to Vancouver are small, and if she does go, her chances of medaling are nil. Of course, maybe she just doesn't have the spring for jumping and never will.
Caroline has lovely lines, like Sasha, but her jumps are just so teeny, and yes that mulekick has to go.
I can't wait to see what Ashley does this weekend. She's quite dynamic.