Mirai's long program
I was re-watching the ladies long program and I thought that Mirai's long program was really well done. I don't understand why Sandra and Scott were saying that Mirai did not have the polish or sophistication of Joannie Rochette or the other top skaters. I thought Mirai's spirals and spins showed much more flexibility than Yu-Na or Joannie. I thought that if Sasha would have skated like that 4 years ago, she would have won the gold medal. Well, I don't understand where Mirai can develop more sophistication.. can anyone explain what I am missing, because to me her program looked very fast, stylish, and error free. I did not see much different between her skating and Joannie's.
Joannie is mature and really expressive in her face, and has great transitions. Mirai I feel like is very sophisticated in her SP but her LP is still a bit "cutesy" like her programs have always been. She was great, and I think next year will have more grown up programs to avoid being seen as a "juniorish" skater.
Originally Posted by Maribelle
Mirai has lots of ways she can improve, and I think she will. She's nowhere near her maximum abilities, and some of that is just growing up and maturing. This will be exciting to watch over the next few years...
Joannie to me has a bit of a robotic quality which is why she has never moved to the top of the podium. dont get me wrong, she's excellent in many ways which is why she is the bronze medallist but she has got no x factor to make people see her as world champion or ollie champ. She tends to skate without much phrasing to the music- it doesnt sing like Yu Na.
As for Mirai she has definitely the potential to be a lot more expressive- I think from just looking at her at the kiss and cry she is not mature enough to move anyone with her skating just yet.
Mirai's LP has a few artistic problems in my opinion. Her interpretation of the music is not great yet. There obviously are issues concerning flow of music, facial expression, etc. Her immediate concern, however, seems to be the upper body movement, more specifically shoulders. Her shoulders (and waist in addition) are stationary, which makes her arm movement look a bit awkward and her overall expression rigid (I am not talking about physical flexibility). But, all these issues are common to skaters of her age. With time on her side, she will improve with resepct to feeling the music and owning it.
Mirai has improved her jumps. They are not yet in the same class as Yuna's or Mao's in terms of quality. But, her jump mechanics are fine. So is her speed. She will be alright in that department.
Mirai is a work in progress as she is just 16. Nevertheless, I think she is a true contender. Without Yuna and Mao, she may very well be the one to beat in Sochi.
I agree ! And Mirai does kinda have swimmer's shoulders which sometimes make her look a little awkward in certain moves but I think she is still just growing into her body at this point. She has the "it" factor and the jumps, speed, flexibility, and spins needed to be at the top so I think it is just a matter of time now. I'm really interested in what her new programs will be!
Originally Posted by key65man
Though Mirai has beautiful positions on spiral seq & spins, she looks stiff when she's skating around and setting up for jumps, etc. It's as though she's not comfortable with her programs, and not fully expressive.
Originally Posted by Maribelle
Also I don't think she truly understands Carmen to perform it the way it was meant to be performed. Yuna performed Carmen at jr, and it was totally wasted on her too back then. (I'd love to see Yuna re-do Carmen, although I highly doubt she'll reuse old program music.)
The only reason why Sasha would've won with Mirai-like performance is because back then there was no super-talented and super-polished ladies competing at Turin. The only thing Sasha needed to do back then was not fall, nothing more -- which is exactly what Mirai managed to do in Vancouver.
But when you're competing with skaters like Yuna and Mao, you need more than just "not falling" or "pretty positions on spiral & spins".
I agree! I think Mirai was probably a little stiff because she was nervous though, at nationals she seemed less stiff. If you actually compare Mirai to Mao and Yuna at 16, I would not say that any one is really way better than the others.
Originally Posted by Nadia01
She was injured and that probably explains some of the mistakes but still with the blip in the spiral sequence and messy fall on the 2a-3t and step out, Mirai is visibly stronger and more polished than Yuna at 16, though Yuna even at 16 had a special something about her you can sense in this program.
This was more mistakes than she usually makes, but she is pretty cutesy during this program as opposed to mature, and her spins look a bit sloppy in comparison to Mirai's and she doesn't really attack the footwork here.
I think Mirai could very well become as good as Yuna and Mao by the next Olympics, Yuna and Mao, Yuna in paritcular, have both improved a lot since they were 16.
I found that Mirai's program components were a little more like junior skater than a senior skater. The elements are all there but the expression is still a little immature. It will come with time. MIchelle Kwan had to 'mature it up' after she first came onto the scene and started wearing more make-up and going with more mature programs and costumes.
As for Yu-Na and Mao, I saw them both at their Jr Worlds and I was blown out of the water. I am not blown out of the water by Mirai.
Mao was amazing at 14 and 15 but then became pretty inconsistent. Yuna also was incredible at 14 and 15 then struggled as a 16 and 17 year old before becoming way better than everyone else. Mirai was awesome when she won the junior and senior US title then had a very rough season last year, so this year has been an upward swing for her. Though Mao and Yuna both grew up gradually over the course of a few years rather than all at once like Mirai, I think their struggles a few years ago were the result of "growing pains". Mirai has just recently adjusted physically to her new body, it will take longer for her to emotionally adjust, but she is getting there and has plenty of time to achieve this. I can already tell just from the way she talks in interviews and acts in the kiss and cry that she has grown up a lot this year, it will only be a matter of time before this translates to her skating.
I'm not sure how Yuna's inconsistencies when she was 16-17 can be compared to Mirai's since as far as I know Mirai doesn't have a back injury.
Originally Posted by silverlake22
Mao's main problem is her coaching situation. Again, Mirai doesn't have the same coaching issues. But they both have some jump technique problems and UR issues.
I don't think we can say, "Mirai is going to be as awesome as Yuna or Mao because they all had inconsistencies when they were 16" or whatever, because the cause of their problems is different, as well as the individuals involved, so we don't know how they'll cope.
I think many fans can hope for something great from Mirai, but ultimately we'll never know until she delivers more programs.