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Thread: Championship Ladies FS

  1. #826
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    Oh well, it seems as if the difference between 1st and 2nd is simple Cop nitpicking. If Wagner had not fallen in the SP, she'd have been going, but then again, who knows if she would have skated the FS with the same level of attack (The X-Factor).

    I hope Nagasu can fix her UR problems by Vancouver. But assuming there's not enough time to do so, where do you think she finishes in the pack? A lot of people thought she should have medaled at SC- that field contained Rochette and Lepisto. One can say Ando, Asada, and Kim have the advantage which puts Nagasu somewhere in the lower top 10? Anyway I don't see her doing any worse than Czisny did at Worlds (I mean this with all due respect)

  2. #827
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    I have to say just one thing-lucky you(US) because your Championships are most interesting,incredibile and with great skating levels!
    http://worldskating.blogspot.com

  3. #828
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKFSfan View Post
    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.
    Thanks for pointing out some of those facts.

    I guess it is because I can't take CoP seriously.
    I don't see why there is almost no difference between beautiful spins and laybacks and very bad looking ones. Same for spirals, flow over the ice, height and distance of jumps, posture, positions, and stretch.

    I can accept Rachael won under CoP but I won't accept that she is a better skater. Not when one considers the "whole package."

    The truth is that urs I can't see are meaningless to me. I prefer higher and less labored looking jumps with faster entrances and more ice coverage. I prefer Mirai's jumps and by a lot.

    Rachael may deserve to win under CoP but for the things I value most about skating Mirai won in every category. Like you, I would have placed Ashley second and Rachael third. I do have to give Rachael credit for landing those jumps and for being such a determined competitor. And like Evan, she plays the CoP game very well. She is a very good CoP skater.

    But there is no law that says I have to find her skating pleasing or enjoyable to watch. That part is still subjective and we are all entitled to have our own preferences.

    I think Rachael has a cute and effective SP. I think Mirai's SP is cuter and more effective. Ashley had the most original SP of the three.

    I think Rachael is musical and expressive enough but am not able to take her choreo in her LP seriously. There is just so much I don't like about it with some of her positions and movements ranging from comical to just bad.

    I prefer Ashley's LP and also Mirai's LP.

    I really think Rachael's team could have done a much better job with the music /choreo of that LP. The point is that Rachael has enough abilty, skill and work ethic to show something much more attractive. That program is full of icky moments and silly looking positions. If I didn't think Rachael and her team could do better I wouldn't mention it. The fact that her SP is a winner sort of proves my point.

    It is not personal and there is so much to admire about Rachael. That is part of why I feel so disappointed. Watching this with my sister, a former skater who had alot of Dance lessons growing up makes my opinions sound NICE.

    She couldn't believe that Rachael got that score and was shocked when Ashley and Mirai were placed under Rachael.

    I realize it is just my opinion and that others see it differently.

    Congratulations to our new champion and her exceptional abilty to skate well under pressure is something to applaud. I also think Rachael deserves her spot on the team and will represent USA exceptionally well in Vancouver.
    Last edited by janetfan; 01-25-2010 at 11:51 AM.

  4. #829
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    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.
    Mrs. P, I nominate that we frame or at least sticky this beautiful post. I totally agree with every word. Wonderful and positive!

  5. #830
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    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?
    The place where skaters get credit for better spins and spirals is in the GOEs for those elements. Mirai did indeed have the better spins and spirals.

    Rachael's GOEs

    Flying camel 0.43
    Upright 0.47
    Flying change combination 0.36
    Spiral 0.71

    Total 1.97

    Mirai's GOEs

    Flying sit 0.43
    Layback/sit 0.93
    Change combo 1.07
    Spiral 1.57 (!)

    Total 4.00

    So yes, Mirai dominated those categories.

    The problem is that because of the lower base values for spins and spirals compared to jumps, the GOEs are pro-rated accordingly. For instance, on Mirai's layback the judges' GOEs were

    2, 2, 3, 2, -1(?), 2, 2, 2.

    But this tour-de-force translatred only into 0.93 total GOE for the element.

    For comparison, Rachaels' GOEs given by international judges at Skate America were

    Rachael at SA

    FCSp4 0.20
    CUsp4 0.07
    Last spin did not count -- too many steps before the change of direction.
    Spiral (level 2) 0.50

    Total 0.77

    Comparing Rachael at Nationals with Rachael at Skate America, the GOEs on these not-jump elements added up to a difference of only 1.2 points. Yet if you look at the actual protocols, at Skate America Rachael got almost all straight zeros across the board on all elements, while at Nationals she got a nice sprinkling of +1s and a few +2s.

    So I guess what people are arguing for is that greater weight should be given to GOEs on non-jump elements.

    As for speed and flow across the ice, Mirai scored 7.75 in skating skills, to Rachael's 7.57. So the judges did rate Mirai higher in this category. It's just that all of these differences in the judges' scores (GOEs and PCSs), all of which favored Mirai, do not add up to even one jump downgrade given by the technical specialist.
    Last edited by Mathman; 01-25-2010 at 12:02 PM.

  6. #831
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    I have to say just one thing-lucky you(US) because your Championships are most interesting,incredibile and with great skating levels!
    http://worldskating.blogspot.com

    Vlad, I love it that while we are all having this argument you have been saying how impressed you are with the American women. I like Caro and Laura but I have to agree that the Americans are deeper than the Europeans and in some ways better then Caro and Laura. And I was more impressed with the American girls at nationals than I have been in a long time. Mirai, Rachael and Ashley were the best I've ever seen them. The Olympic year really pushed them, rather than derailing them and that is impressive.

    However, it's not really the Americans that the Euro girls have to worry about but the Asians. Sad for both U.S. and European figure skating but both regions will overcome the slump, I'm sure of it.

    Something just hit me about Ashley. She's such a beautiful skater but I always get a tad bored during her LP. Less so at nationals because she was so intense. But still, I feel I'm not as enthralled as I should be for a skater with such great lines and performance quality. Then it hit me that her choreography was pretty and packed with stuff but it was not memorable. I seem to remember that her spiral sequence, which is beautiful, did not come at any high point of the music but at a point that just seemed random. Therefore the emotional impact was muted. Am I remembering that correctly? (I can't see the NBC replays from outside the U..S. )

    Who does her choreography? Could be better.

  7. #832
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    ^^ Here's Ashley's FS on Youtube. Not the best quality though

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEnLfOp_BMc

  8. #833
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    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?
    Rachael landed more triples than Mirai and Sasha in the short program but was in third.

  9. #834
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Thanks for pointing out some of those facts.

    I guess it is because I can't take CoP seriously.
    I don't see why there is almost no difference between beautiful spins and laybacks and very bad looking ones. Same for spirals, flow over the ice, height and distance of jumps, posture, positions, and stretch.

    I can accept Rachael won under CoP but I won't accept that she is a better skater. Not when one considers the "whole package."

    The truth is that urs I can't see are meaningless to me. I prefer higher and less labored looking jumps with faster entrances and more ice coverage. I prefer Mirai's jumps and by a lot.

    Rachael may deserve to win under CoP but for the things I value most about skating Mirai won in every category. Like you, I would have placed Ashley second and Rachael third. I do have to give Rachael credit for landing those jumps and for being such a determined competitor. And like Evan, she plays the CoP game very well. She is a very good CoP skater.

    But there is no law that says I have to find her skating pleasing or enjoyable to watch. That part is still subjective and we are all entitled to have our own preferences.

    I think Rachael has a cute and effective SP. I think Mirai's SP is cuter and more effective. Ashley had the most original SP of the three.

    I think Rachael is musical and expressive enough but am not able to take her choreo in her LP seriously. There is just so much I don't like about it with some of her positions and movements ranging from comical to just bad.

    I prefer Ashley's LP and also Mirai's LP.

    I really think Rachael's team could have done a much better job with the music /choreo of that LP. The point is that Rachael has enough abilty, skill and work ethic to show something much more attractive. That program is full of icky moments and silly looking positions. If I didn't think Rachael and her team could do better I wouldn't mention it. The fact that her SP is a winner sort of proves my point.

    It is not personal and there is so much to admire about Rachael. That is part of why I feel so disappointed. Watching this with my sister, a former skater who had alot of Dance lessons growing up makes my opinions sound NICE.

    She couldn't believe that Rachael got that score and was shocked when Ashley and Mirai were placed under Rachael.

    I realize it is just my opinion and that others see it differently.

    Congratulations to our new champion and her exceptional abilty to skate well under pressure is something to applaud. I also think Rachael deserves her spot on the team and will represent USA exceptionally well in Vancouver.
    This competition really did more to turn me off from CoP than any other. There have been other skater known for their athletic ability than artistry who I have enjoyed watching. Midori Ito. Irina Slutskaya even Tonya Harding at the 1991 nationals (though not really from then on.) In Midori Ito and Irina's case, especially Irina's, I feel like they had enough grace and energy to make them very watchable, exciting at their best, even while you were mostly waiting to see their awesome jumps. In Tonya's case, not so much. But in 1991 she was very watchable and she had the right choreography to show off what she could do and not what she couldn't.

    I don't know what it is about Rachael that I find so much harder to watch than a skater like Midori or Tonya. But Aunt Joyce had some interesting things to say about Rachael's LP choreography and how there were some spin position that Rachael gets into that made him absolutely hate her skating. Yet those spins earn her enough points under CoP to pull ahead. I dunno. I guess CoP is good for Rachael's results at competition. But I don't think it's necessarily good for her skating. It'd be better if she didn't have to show off her weaknesses so often. She does actually have good musicality. I've never thought boring was really the right word for her skating.

    You could argue that CoP has stringent requirements so that a skater like Tonya would not have been able to get away with doing easier spins and spirals. True. But a skater like Rachael is able to get away with doing difficult spins and spirals very poorly. i don't know what the problem is. I don't know if URs should not be so seriously deducted or if bad spins and spirals should count for more or what. But something is wrong in my book.

    I'm sure the judges probably made the right decisions under CoP I think Mirai's UR problems are a serious issue under CoP and are bound to hold her back internationally so I suppose the U.S. judges should be just as harsh.

  10. #835
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    So yes, Mirai dominated those categories.

    The problem is that because of the lower base values for spins and spirals compared to jumps, the GOEs are pro-rated accordingly. For instance, on Mirai's layback the judges' GOEs were

    2, 2, 3, 2, -1(?), 2, 2, 2.

    But this tour-de-force translatred only into 0.93 total GOE for the element.

    For comparison, Rachaels' GOEs given by international judges at Skate America were

    Rachael at SA

    FCSp4 0.20
    CUsp4 0.07
    Last spin did not count -- too many steps before the change of direction.
    Spiral (level 2) 0.50

    Total 0.77

    Comparing Rachael at Nationals with Rachael at Skate America, the GOEs on these not-jump elements added up to a difference of only 1.2 points. Yet if you look at the actual protocols, at Skate America Rachael got almost all straight zeros across the board on all elements, while at Nationals she got a nice sprinkling of +1s and a few +2s.

    So I guess what people are arguing for is that greater weight should be given to GOEs on non-jump elements.

    As for speed and flow across the ice, Mirai scored 7.75 in skating skills, to Rachael's 7.57. So the judges did rate Mirai higher in this category. It's just that all of these differences in the judges' scores (GOEs and PCSs), all of which favored Mirai, do not add up to even one jump downgrade given by the technical specialist.
    Thanks for taking time to post that info, it is appreciated.
    Unfortunately it points out very clearly what I can't stand or accept about CoP.

    You used the word "dominate" but I don't think Mirai's speed is hundredths of a point better. It is clearly better and their score does not reflect a true or fair difference. It feels the same for the other things you pointed out.

    I wonder how you would have scored them under 6.0?
    Would Rachael have still won by such an incredible margin?
    I don't think she would have won at all under a purely comparitive system of judging.

    In a system that is rewarding 200 points it is easy to see that polishing elements such as spins and spirals is not very important. It is why we see such ugly spins,

    Why should Plushy respond to his critics about spins when all he has to do is change edges and not fall over to remain highly competitive in that area?

    The UR penalties are not only too harsh - they are taking the sport backwards.

    It is why we don't see more quads from the guys and why we are seeing fewer 3x3 atempts from the Ladies.

    The issue of penalizing a good looking triple jump with a clean landing but slight UR and rewarding a rotated but sloppy triple jump goes against everything I believe in. It is aesthetically unacceptable to me and will struggle to attract new fans to the sport because it makes no sense in a "sport" that is using music and costumes. Either beauty and art count or they don't.

    Let them try and take more of the art out of skating and you will see even more fans running away. Is barrell jumping the direction the sport is headed for?

    People can feel free to thow the rules at me but they have realize I just don't accept such nonsesnical rules. I accept they need to be followed - but for pete's sake they need to be adjusted ,,,,,again.

    It is time to admit that a system that must be changed every year has alot of problems. I hope they wil get it right one of these days.
    Last edited by janetfan; 01-25-2010 at 12:59 PM.

  11. #836
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    ^^ Here's Ashley's FS on Youtube. Not the best quality though

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEnLfOp_BMc
    Thanks!! I haven't been able find any of the ladies' LP myself.

    Well, that was gorgeous. No, I guess I do like the choreography, although i keep my slight criticism of the spiral sequence not coming at a particularly special part of the music. However, I loved the way she nailed that double axle right after her spirals and right in time for the music. It is SUCH a bummer that we can't send 3 girls to the Olympics.

  12. #837
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    Let them try and take more of the art out of skating and you will see even more fans running away. Is barrell jumping the direction the sport is headed for?
    Snicker.

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    Thank you MM for that breakdown. I was considering doing the same earlier to show where it was that Mirai earned/lost points. If she rotated those three UR triples, her base TES mark would've started at 59.28 (instead of 49.65), compared to Rachael's start base mark of 62.41. The biggest reason for this is the difference in jump layout: Rachael's jump layout starts at 46.61 Vs Mirai's 43.93.

  14. #839
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I wonder how you would have scored them under 6.0?
    Would Rachael have still won by such an incredible margin?

    I don't think she would have won at all under a purely comparitive system of judging.
    That's a good question. If Scott Hamilton had been the judge, Mirai would have won hands down.

    My impression is that in 6.0 judging jumps counted even more heavily than they do now -- especially giant elements like triple-triples. On the other hand, I think underrotations were not treated so harshly -- a double footed jump was worse than a cheat or a flutz, at least according to the commentators.

    As an "armchair expert" (I know nothing about art, but I know what I like ), I think it could have gone something like 5.9, 5.8 for Rachael (her presentation wasn't that bad, just not quite as strong as Mirai's.) Then if we give Mirai 5.8, 5.9 Mirai wins.

    But what about the real judges? The closest CoP equivalent to the 6.0 "second mark" is the total of the three program components Performance/Execution, Interpretation, and Choreography. In these categories they were about even, but Rachael edged Mirai by 18 hundredths of a point, 23.50 to 23.32. You and I might have thought Mirai exhibited the better performance skills and carried out her choreography with greater grace and elan, but the judges didn't. They might have gone 5.9, 5.8 for Rachael and 5.8, 5.8 for Mirai.

    So who knows what might have happened? There are also intangibles like whether or not the judges are on good terms with Frank Carroll, whether or not they feel sorry for Rachael because she came in second twice before and has "earned it," whether or not they think Rachael is the better bet for a steady performance at the Olympics. etc. To me, it is not so easy to guess how it might have all played out.
    Last edited by Mathman; 01-25-2010 at 01:57 PM.

  15. #840
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That's a good question. If Scott Hamilton had been the judge, Mirai would have won hands down.

    My impression is that in 6.0 judging jumps counted even more heavily than they do now -- especially giant elements like triple-triples. On the other hand, I think underrotations were not treated so harshly -- a double footed jump was worse than a cheat or a flutz, at least according to the commentators.

    As an "armchair expert" (I know nothing about art, but I know what I like ), I think it could have gone something like 5.9, 5.8 for Rachael (her presentation wasn't that bad, just not quite as strong as Mirai's.) Then if we give Mirai 5.8, 5.9 Mirai wins.

    .
    My scores (keeping Michelle and Irina in mind)

    Rachael - 5.8 and 5.6

    Mirai - 5.7 and 5.8

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