I could be wrong now, but I don't think so. (Monk fans will recognize this line!) From what I've read, Yu Na's success doesn't represent talent alone. There is a vast amount of single-minded work. I'm not sure any American skaters work that hard.
I think that if either Ashley or Mirai dedicated herself singlemindedly to skating, with the team effort and national pressure and support that Yu Na has (and let's not forget her amazing, single-minded diet ), their results would shoot up too. But American parents tend to want their children to be happy as much as they want them to succeed. JMO.
But then of course there's Kwan. How the heck did she do it? Talent or work? Or both? Or something else?
Janetfan, I agree. Maybe YuNa is a once-in-a-generation skater. But it's entirely fair to compare our skaters to her. After all, what do we want? If we want skaters who are "good enough," we have that already. If we want a skater who will stand above the others (there's a podium-position pun in there!), shouldn't we see excellence like YuNa's as a goal?
Your comment about not basing our hopes on YuNa retiring, or Mao remaining stagnant has another angle. In a very real way, YuNa and Mao are our skaters, too, because skating fandom transcends national pride. (Look at all the Yagudin fans from almost every corner of the world.) Sure, we'd like "the best in skating" to be from (fill in your country's name here). But when skaters as spectacular as YuNa and Mao (at her peak) show up, they belong not just to a country but to skating itself. So although I'm a proud backer of American skaters, I fervently hope that YuNa will NOT retire, and that Mao will once again float like a butterfly, as another sports legend once said. (But to very different music next year!)
By the way, Mathman, thanks for the glimpse into skating history. I had forgotten all that, but now that you mention the way she saved the day in terms of audience and ticket sales, it rings a bell. I suppose it's one more reason Michelle is so popular in skating: she was always a good sport and never seemed to mope about "the one that got away"--either in 1998 or in 2002. Whatever crown she had in the Kingdom of Skating, she wore it graciously.
Button did point at the USA Ladies work ethic which he found lacking.
There is also a thing called "talent." Something given by God, in Yuna;s case, the skating Gods
Is doesn't matter how hard Michelle worked, she would never have achieved as much without a certain natural aptitude for skating - or perhaps something else that requires similar gifts.
I will never shortchange the hard work skaters put in. Surely there are skaters who work so hard (Evan) and maybe don't have as much natural talent (Yagudin) as others.
Also, I think what the USA must address now is all the 3x3's little girls can do without proper technique. It comes back to slap you hard once you grow - and that is why I am hoping the next gen will be trained better and with this in mind.
I think Yuna could do most of the triples when she was very young. She has managed to keep them and that has to do with good technique and not just training hard or having a special diet. It also is reflective of a special talent.
That's why I move to sheer work to explain why they don't have Yu Na's results - esp. since we know how hard Yu Na has worked to get where she is.
And I think Mirai is an absolute charmer on the ice.
It is also easy to see Ashley has improved and I think she is looking more like a senior skater than our other young Ladies.
Ashley could have won both of her GP event's this season and I am disappointed that she seems lacking in competitive nerve or concentration - or whatever it might be. I think she might do the same thing at Natls and if she does she won't make the Olympic team.
I have no idea which of the Ladies will emerge at Natls and skate well enough to nail down the coveted trip to Vancouver. I doubt that whoever it is will be much of a factor unless they are able to raise their game..
I've heard an interesting quote from an old coach of Yuna; he said the weakness of many gifted skaters is that they're lazy because it comes easy to them but Yuna had both talent and tremendous drive for perfection. While I think Mirai Nagasu is very talented, I don't think she has the drive like Yuna. I also don't know how serious Sasha is about her come back. She should have started much earlier if she was serious. I agree with people who say she might be having injury problems because she trying to do too much in too short of a time period. It will be interesting to see if she shows up at nationals. I just hope that she doesn't ask for a bye after missing the nationals.
Wow prettykeys. You have the distinction of being the first one I've ever put on "ignore."
Even I'm not up for a Sasha countdown right now. :boohoo:
I'm sure I'll get my wind back soon.