I don't think this should matter or have anything to do with marking but I think Akiko is very cute and so animated and attractive on the ice.
I never considered how pretty she is in a traditional sense because her skating and personality won me over. I am sure the judges noticed this and since she won the competition it sounds a little ridiculous to think her looks hurt her score.
Last edited by janetfan; 11-01-2009 at 11:43 AM.
I also think that Akiko is very animated and attractive on the ice.
I especially love the interaction she has with her coach before she takes the ice--I've never seen such joy and enthusiasm like that from a skater.
Compared with a proper toe loop from Joannie. Her body does not turn forwards before she jumps:
Here's Mirai's performance:
If you watch the combination at 6:03, you can see the fluidness of her body and pick.
If you watch Kimmie's after I think you can see a difference (same clip as before):
I finally got the chance to watch Suzuki's free skate. Wow! What a delight to see. I hope she retains that buoyant personality and those sharp skills through a long and productive career. One thing that took me by surprise was how fresh and new she made that old war-horse West Side Story sound and look. It's one of my favorite musicals, but even I must admit it's been done to death in skating....Yet Suzuki and her creative team have turned it around. One thing she did that I don't think I've seen before is to use the "dance at the gym" material for the footwork sequence. Her program also interprets the music, with its jazzy rhythm, rather than the downbeat dramatic characters or storyline from the musical. I think this interpretation is ideal for her personality. What a lovely addition Suzuki is to international skating! She reminds me a lot of Yuka Sato--same musicality and sense of enjoyment.
As for the discussion of looks, to me beauty is so much broader and more varied than what is implied by some of the remarks made here, and I'm glad to see that I have company on this thread. I defy anyone to look at Suzuki and not feel happy. She may not be glamorous, but that's only one category of beauty. Certainly a lot of skaters look like beauty pageant winners or fashion magazine cover models, but that's only one way of looking good, at least to me. Expressiveness and grace of movement, as well as enthusiasm, are very important to beauty. Perfectly symmetrical features can actually be boring if the person behind the eyes doesn't connect with life. (Not that I can think of a skater who typifies that statement, but we've all seen models and starlets who do!)
I don't think I have a ever seen a "toe Axel" downgrade called on a solo toe loop. As the second jump in a combination, sometimes the skater makes almost a compete revolution on the ice before she actually gets up into the air for the second jump.
As I recall Mao Asada had to stop doing 3Lz and 3F combinations with a 3T as the second jump for this reason, in 2005 or so.
I personally like Suzuki a lot, and I mean no ill-will, I was simply stating my opinion of how I feel the judges may view her in comparison to other skaters.
A toe-axel is when the skating foot (not the toe-pick foot) also stays on the ice a half-rotation into the jump. Watch Mao Asada's LP at 2005 Junior Worlds...her 3Flip-3Toe combination.
That is a toe-axel.
A different kind of toe-axel can also be when the toepick leaves the ice way past the 1/2 turn mark into the jump (this is what Kimmie did). It is not as serious of a technique issue if the jump is being full rotated, though (such as...it leaves the ice 3/4 of a rotation into the jump, but if the skater lands completely backwards or even past the mark of where the jump started, then it is fine).
Last edited by Blades of Passion; 11-01-2009 at 02:27 PM.
I'm a huge fan of Mirai, but her 3Lo and her 3T in the 2A+3T combination seemed very obviously underrotated. I was doing PBP at FSU, and I wrote that those two looked obviously short in rotation in real time, and that a lot of the rotations were questionable in general.
I'm rewatching the LP as I'm tying and,
In the 2A+3T, we don't get a clear look, but the landing has that hooked looked to it that many UR jumps do. In the slow-mo, it looks like she cheated it about half a turn.
The 3F is borderline in real time. In the replay, it looks 1/2 turn cheated.
The camera angle is perfect for the 3Lz, and the landing is just about over a quarter turn cheated. Same for the second 3T.
The underrotation of the 3Lo is really obvious, hence the fall.
I don't think the caller was being unfair. Like I said, I love Mirai, and I found her performance the most enjoyable after Suzuki's but it isn't really hard to spot the under-rotations. By her look in the Kiss and Cry, I think Mirai knew that, too.