But - I was maybe hoping that the next gen of US Ladies will be better!
Maybe coaches are considering some of the problems our current group has and are making adjustments.
And we do have a couple of very good young'uns whose presence will be felt at next season's Natls.
Yoshie Onda had her best year ever, getting a first and a second. But then she came down with an injury and had to withdraw from the final
Ann Patrice McDonough won silver at Skate America and was scheduled to compete in Cup of Russia. But when she got as far as Paris they didn’t let her get on the plane to St. Petersburg because her visa was not in order. There was quite a bit of finger-pointing among the USFSA and Ann Patrice’s mother, her coach and her advisors as to who dropped the ball.
New Olympic champion Sarah Hughes withdrew from her firt event (Skate America) with an injury and did not compete again that year. Maria Butyrskaya and some other strong contenders retired or took a post-Olympic break.
Plus, back then it was permitted for a skater to compete in three events. Only two counted in terms of points for the grand Prix final, but if they placed well in their third event, this took some points off the table that other skaters might have earned. (The motivation for the skaters was that they could win prize money -- $30,000 for first place, etc. – even if it didn’t count towards making the GP final.) Elena Liashenko and Fumie Suguri both had three events, as I recall.
All of these factors took points off the table and allowed people to qualify with a lower number of points than usual. Plus, the tie-breaker was best placement, so Michelle had the first tie-breaker over anyone else who got the same number of points in two events as she got in one.
Because of all this confusion, the next year the ISU changed the rules. First tie-breaker was that two events were better than one, and no skater could appear in more than two events. Except for pairs. There weren’t enough good pairs teams to go around, so they still let pairs teams compete in three events. Zhang and Zhang did so in 2003-04, I believe.
All of this was before the ISU came out with rigid rules about which skaters would go where. Back in those days each event organizer pretty much invited whomever they wanted.
For Michelle personally, it gets even weirder. She had planned to take 2002 off (and maybe to retire for good), as she had taken 1998 off after the Nagano Olympics. For Skate America, Sarah Hughes was the big draw. The USFSA poured all their PR efforts into hyping Hughes. Then when she withdrew, they were up the creek. Yagudin and Sale and Pelletier and Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze also withdrew after having been advertised.
So they begged Michelle to come back just for Skate America and save the day. She agreed, with the understanding that she would not have to do a second GP event or the final..As Michelle put it, “I felt like Michael Corleone in the Godfather. Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!” There were a lot of rumors flying about that the USFSA had made Michelle an “offer she couldn’t refuse.” (A financial offer that is – I don’t mean that they put a horse’s head in her bed. )
Anyway, it worked. Michelle skated and won, Skate America set the all time and still standing attendance record, and Michelle was so encouraged that she decided to go to Nationals after all…and then Worlds in Washington D.C.…and the rest is history. That is why Michelle’s Aranjuez program (= Tosca = Bolero) was so spare. She hadn’t really expected to perform it except at cheesefests. (The three U.S. cheesefests back then paid $50,000 apiece to the winner, which was always Michelle, except one time they gave it to good soldier Irina. )
Last edited by Mathman; 11-11-2009 at 08:10 PM.
I think our current group of ladies will only improve after these Olympics. They will keep getting better until the next Olympics roll around.
Wow.. what are the odds?
This is more like a movie than history
BTW how can you remember all these stuffs?? A true Mathepedia you are
Anyway, your whole posts about history has been a *huge* help for me.. thank you very much
Mirai, I think, especially has room for improvement ... if she can stay healthy and motivated.
As I recall, the three medalist at Turin were all over 20. I believe Sasha was the youngest.
I completely agree with this. In terms of the "brownie" points some of the ladies supposedly have, they are all only mildly impressive and, IMO, kind of cancel each other out.As all the ladies are, more or less equal, they will pick the top two to avoid the HUGE outburst that will follow if they don't.
Rachael Flatt - made last year's world team. Finished 5th. Very respectable for sure but it's not amazing. Her coach said they are aiming to win Nationals because that would definitely guarantee her a trip to Vancouver, suggesting, I guess, that finishing second would not. But frankly, if Flatt wins silver, I don't see how they can deny her, even if she bombs at Skate America, which i doubt.
Caroline Zhang. Fourth at Four Continents. I just don't see that as much of a brownie point, sorry. I mean good for her and everything but if Zhang finishes third or lower at nationals, are they going to say yeah, America, but we're sending Zhang anyway b/c she finished FOURTH at four continents? I seriously doubt it.
Alissa Czisny. No matter what anyone says she IS the reigning national champion. If she wins or manages a silver, I don't see how they can deny her either.
And Mirai and Ashley are simply just as good or even better than all the above if they perform to their potential, as Ashley has already shown this season at the GP.
p.s. to "I love to Skate" about Sasha Cohen. I do know that among my friends, none of them has the faintest idea who any of the above mentioned ladies are. Heck, they don't even know who Kim Yu-na is. But they DO know who Sasha Cohen is ... I don't know if that means she would draw casual viewers to the TV but just thought I'd mention it.
Sasha IS one big brownie point. I don't have much hope of her making it to nationals. But if she does and if she wins, no WAY are they not sending her.Edit : The point is that Sasha does not have any brownie points - zero, zip, nada, nichts, arc cosine of 1. Even if she wins Nats, she may, and may not, make the Olympic team.
Last edited by Layfan; 11-12-2009 at 12:29 AM. Reason: addition
I don't think Rachael will be around for 2014. She is intellectually brilliant and will almost certainly start college, if not next year, then shortly thereafter.
Mirai has to also fix problems but I think she has a chance. Same with Ashley.
If we have three spots back is it really unrealistic to think a couple of spots will be taken by a newer group of ladies? Is our future so bleak a skater better than Ashley or Mirai will not emerge in the next 2-3 years?
Gosh, I really hope not/
I don't mean that in any way to promote young gilrs being better - I strictly am talking about technical problems so apparent in our current group of ladies.
Sorry, Janetfan, I don't agree with this. Skaters more talented than Ashley and Mirai? I think they're two of the most talented and most fun to watch in the world, and they have a lot of skating left in them, since both are healthy, if they want to. And I hope they do. I really don't think they come a lot more talented than this.
There are other factors too, after all - work, money, injury, the competition, etc.
Czisny has been around FOREVER it seems...she's definitely been a late-bloomer thus far (or is it that there are no more consistent skaters to keep her back??) She had a disaster in the 2006 Nats after a breakout GP season. This year, it's just been OK- we'll have to see how she does at SC- but (assuming Cohen is out for good) I think her Olympic chances will never be this good ever again...that's a lot of pressure that she can't handle.
But I look at Yuna - and see that as the direction to shoot for. I would be disappointed if Mirai and Ashley were the best we can hope for.
I say that remembering when US ladies set the standard and were not chasing it - and from so far behind.
Maybe Yuna is one of those once in a generation skaters that comes along and not the best skater to use for a comparison. But i think Dick Button pretty much said the same thing......our current Ladies are just not in the mix. I don't want to base my hopes on Yuna retiring, Mao remaining in a funk, etc. I would like to see the whole level of quality greatly advanced so that is why I look to future skaters.
I support our girls, I actually admire and love them .....but see nothing wrong with hoping for an impact skater to come along soon.
Tenley, Carol, Peggy, Janet, Dorothy, Kristy, Michelle, I will throw Sasha in.
At the moment it feels out of place to add Ashley and Mirai or the others to such a list.