Well, off we go to the Olys!
This is the first time in my life that the THOUGHT of actually not watching the competition at the Olys has crossed my mind! I can't believe this. But I think when the Games start, all that will change and I will at least try to catch the ladies' competition to cheer on Team USA. I just probably won't plan my schedule around them like I did for '02 and '06...
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This snippet addresses what Mirai was thinking.
"I know my last toe felt shaky, but the rest felt really secure," Nagasu said. "I made a slight mistake on my layback, and I'm really mad about that. It's my best element, and it's what makes me stand out."
So I guess she didn't sense anything wrong with her other jumps.
Last edited by Mathman; 01-25-2010 at 09:30 AM.
Like I said, I recorded the event and watched her jumps in slow mo and she definitely underrotated the 3 jumps. Her flip is also questionable. She's really lucky they didn't go after that one as well or she'll be the one sitting at home in Feb.
The girl is over the moon with her score when she realized she was in 2nd place. Why not leave it at that?
Maybe someone should start a thread "Ashley wuzrobbed" to see how it feels to have "experts" "feel" each program.
So I've been reading this thread all day on my cell phone, but obviously did not have the chance to write. (Too difficult.) But now that I'm home, I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions.
1.) First of all, congrats to both Rachael and Mirai for making the team. You both will represent our country well and I happy that you guys did your best. Also props to Ashley Wagner for giving it her all. I think her time will come, just wait! Also props to Sasha Cohen. I was skeptical of her comeback. But the fact she did it and went for it, well I was really glad for her. And I was also really refreshed by her sportsmanship and her kind words toward the other skaters.
2.) I am amazed at how much people are ripping a new one on Rachael. I'm not saying that you're not entitled to your opinions or share why or why not she should have won (I think people have shared very interesting points of view.) But some people have been nasty, and I have found that appalling. And I know I will get some argument that Rachael needs to be willing to take some heat, but I also believe that one can cross the line.
3.) Someone pointed on this thread about how basically casual people would be turn off by skating cause Rachael doesn't have "it" or isn't as graceful, etc.
I will point out that I have an example that doesn't support that. My husband, Mr. P, does not watch skating as seriously as I do. He does not know the scoring system or about the skates' back stories. He has, however, been watching Grand Prix Events and other events with me all season. So who caught his eye? Rachael.
I asked him what he admires about her. "She's strong. She's just goes out there and does the job. I love how athletic she is. And she's spunky and cute." Later on, he also pointed out, "I also like that she's having fun out there."
And I explained to him that so people don't like his skating because her spins and spirals weren't as great as the other skaters. His response: "Well, that's obvious. Her body is different from the other skaters. It's pretty obvious that she's not able to bend that way."
And I think everyone is using the "but the audience roared more loudly for Mirai" argument as a diss on Rachael." I think that's far from the truth. I bet there were viewers like my husband who really loved Rachael's style. Personally, I too thought Mirai had a great skate and though that she might have won.
4.) Which brings me to another point -- what Rachel's style is. I think that there are clear weaknesses in her skating-- I agree her spin positions are very weak. But I love that she can do a seven-triple program. I love that she's willing to just go for it. And I also like her consistency. And I think that she knows that perhaps she can't do the other non-jump skills as well as the other skaters, so that's why she works on her jumps. In life, you do what it takes. And she's shown that in every aspect of her life. (I've taken AP classes, and those were hard enough. To do that and be a top skater? Well I think that's amazing.)
5.) I also think that a lot of people misread Scott's quote in the NYT. It was clear that while he was amazed by Mirai's performance, he also respects Rachael's ability to do the job when it counts. And she has. She's not perfect, but for the last three years...she has stayed up on top and worked on staying competitive.
6.) As for Mirai, I think she was happy she made the Olympic team. Maybe she has the same disagreements that you all have about the judging, but she certainly didn't show that. One thing that struck me was that she said the following during the press conference"We're just going to blow them away! Bam! Bam! Bam!" She has a respect for Rachael and it shows. Her coach might disagree with the judging, but that doesn't mean his skater will change her mind about a fellow skater. Yes they will compete against each other, but I think they will also inspire the other to do better.
^ Nice post. In an Oly year, 2nd at Nationals is a victory in itself because you're (most likely) on the Olympic team. Normally, 3rd would be as well, but not this year
Rachel is not the most exciting skater (I do like her SP though), but she is dependable and can handle pressure well. That is VITAL for an Olympic team. Someone who can carry the torch and set an example. I'm very glad that she made it.
Nagasu got here on the strength of her short program, and the unfortunate SP from Wagner which put her too far behind to catch up. Of course, her FS was good too, but those URs, man... I dunno. Still, it's great she's going to Olys because it gives her a great experience and who knows- maybe it could lead to bigger things in Sochi
Even though I thought Mirai should've won nationals I'm glad Rachel's on the team too. Her nerves of steel are superhuman. And kudos for her for setting the technical standard so high for the U.S. women. The truth is, the U.S. women need to be able to do 3-3 to truly be competitive on the world stage so American judges should certainly reward a skater like Rachel who is doing them and doing them so consistently. Of course, Rachel isn't truly competitive on the world stage for other reasons and that too is a problem. Anyhow, I think Rachel and Mirai definitely won the intense battle for the two Olympic berths and that we are sending the right girls. Go team!
The loss of skating's popularity is unquestionably due to major defects in the IJS.
Casual fans have NO interest in seeing ugly spins and are smart enough to know that a jump that is rotated - and then goes splat - and still receives points is absurd.
The systeme is still new and to their credit ISU realizes it has many weaknesses which is why they have to keep changing it every season. Sooner or later they might get it right but code of points or not - it is and always will be not only subjective but also comparitive.
Therein lies the problem - as many can't compare Mirai and Rachael's skating without favoring Mirai.
Last edited by janetfan; 01-25-2010 at 07:56 AM.
Hamil's comments on skaters' bodies also say a lot about what is possible and impossible to do on skates. We're just not born equal when it comes to skating.
That seems to be the bottom line and puts the refinal result in perspective. (Ironically, that is exactly what happened in 2009.)For those who were shocked that Flatt beat Nagasu, looking at the judges' scores provided an instant reality check. The only surprise ending in this event would have been for the woman who landed seven triples to lose to the woman with three.
Go Rachael!But while the audience at the U.S. national figure skating championships held its collective breath for Cohen and leaped to its feet for Nagasu, it finished the evening Saturday by lauding Flatt as both the new U.S. national champion and the country's best hope for a medal in the marquee event of women's figure skating at next month's Winter Olympic Games.
Akiko landed 7 triples and lost to Yuna and Miki who only landed four at the GPF.
I am sure there are many more examples of this.
I thought the whole point of the CoP was that the one with the most jumps would not necessarily win as the other elements would count for more.
When the CoP rates the skaters as equal in the other elements then the one with the most jumps will win.
But CoP doesn't always show who has better spins, speed across the ice, spirals, etc - does it?
Last edited by janetfan; 01-25-2010 at 09:58 AM.
I don't understand how you can't look at the protocols and see why Rachael won. I was rooting for Mirai. I am THRILLED Mirai is going the Olys. I was most moved by Mirai's program, and wish she had won. BUT looking at the protocols, and then rewatching the top 3 LPs with protocols in hand, I can see why Mirai was 3rd in the LP and why Rachael won. OK, she doesn't have the uber flexibility or gorgeous spin positions, but she more than meets the requirements for level 3 on FW and 4's on spins/spiral. She also started with a higher base value, and rotated 7 triples.
For the record, I enjoyed Mirai's program(s) the most, Ashley's 2nd and then Rachael's. But how can you ignore the fact Rachael DID land 7 rotated triples, no two foots, no URs, no "e" or "!"? This sport is about all the parts, but those 7 triples are a big factor. If she had all Level 1's on non-jump elements, she would not have been Champion. Mirai did receive higher +GOEs on all non-jump elements save FW, which I think is correct. As Frank said, two wonderful skaters with different strengths.