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Thread: What happened to Shelepen and Gao?

  1. #61
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    I understand your point, but I mean the same can be said about people living in different countries. If Jenna McCorkell lived in the US, she likely wouldn't make it to nationals, but because she is from Great Britain, she's been national champion several times and always gets to skate on the grand prix and other big international competitions. Why do you think Ksenia Makarova skates for Russia and not the US? And I actually think the level of difficulty at all the US sectionals is pretty comparable, as a lot of skaters hail from the northeast, midwest, california, and colorado. The system maybe isn't super fair but it's just the way things work. In the US, it's tough to make nationals and really difficult to make World and Olympic teams but that is just the reality of being such a strong skating nation. In countries where skating isn't very popular (Austria, Germany, China, eastern Europe apart from Russia all come to mind), the standards are not quite so high, but you can't chose what nationality you are or if you live in Colorado or Boston so really I think the system will just stay the way it is, because it is so hard to get to nationals it means the skaters that do make it there are of very high quality.
    First of all the system is unequitable there are sections where its easy to qualify and sections where its not easy to qualify. That's just a fact Silverlake.

    Second the issue with Murakova representing Russia not the US has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Russia has its own system to determine who is best to represent them for international competitions.

    What I'm talking about is the US system. Where, perhaps if the US wants to be highly competitive with rest of the world, its smart to develop a system where the best US skaters can get the international experience necessary to succeed on the international stage. Especially for ladies-which has been dire for the US. It was clear the situation at Junior Nationals was dire last year, and we haven't had a medal at worlds in four years. A system based on where you live, is not the "best way" to ensure the "best" US skaters represent our country. Marta Karoyli understands this for gymnastics. Her goal is to ensure that the US wins medals at the Worlds and the Olympics. Not to ensure that every section from every part of the country gets representation at Nationals-Karoyli could care less about that.

    Once again why should the USFSA care if it was fear that Nakano didn't go to the Olympics. (They might even be glad about that one). But they should care about making sure that the best US girls get international experience at a young age, so that we can be competitive at the international stage. The fact that in the past 4 years two of our Junior National champions didn't make it to Junior Nationals the year before-really shows that especially when your talking about 12 to 13 year olds, one competition may not be the best way to determine who gets international JGP spots or not.
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-15-2010 at 11:45 PM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    First of all the system is unequitable there are sections where its easy to qualify and sections where its not easy to qualify. That's just a fact Silverlake.

    Second the issue with Murakova representing Russia not the US has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Russia has its own system to determine who is best to represent them for international competitions.

    What I'm talking about is the US system. Where, perhaps if the US wants to be highly competitive with rest of the world, its smart to develop a system where the best US skaters can get the international experience necessary to succeed on the international stage. Especially for ladies-which has been dire for the US. It was clear the situation at Junior Nationals was dire last year, and we haven't had a medal at worlds in four years. A system based on where you live, is not the "best way" to ensure the "best" US skaters represent our country. Marta Karoyli understands this for gymnastics. Her goal is to ensure that the US wins medals at the Worlds and the Olympics. Not to ensure that every section from every part of the country gets representation at Nationals-Karoyli could care less about that.

    Once again why should the USFSA care if it was fear that Nakano didn't go to the Olympics. (They might even be glad about that one). But they should care about making sure that the best US girls get international experience at a young age, so that we can be competitive at the international stage. The fact that in the past 4 years two of our Junior National champions didn't make it to Junior Nationals the year before-really shows that especially when your talking about 12 to 13 year olds, one competition may not be the best way to determine who gets international JGP spots or not.
    Agnes just won JW silver though, so doing regionals and sectionals for another season instead of the JGP does not really appear to have hurt her in the least. She is a very good skater and people know that now and that's what really matters. If a skater is really that talented, he/she WILL make it to nationals and do well enough there to get assigned to international events, which is what Agnes showed us this year. If a skater is really that good so that they should be getting international assignments, regardless of if they are in the hardest or easiest sectional, they should be able to make it to nationals, especially considering the top skaters are not even AT sectionals because they have international assignments.

  3. #63
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Agnes just won JW silver though, so doing regionals and sectionals for another season instead of the JGP does not really appear to have hurt her in the least. She is a very good skater and people know that now and that's what really matters. If a skater is really that talented, he/she WILL make it to nationals and do well enough there to get assigned to international events, which is what Agnes showed us this year. If a skater is really that good so that they should be getting international assignments, regardless of if they are in the hardest or easiest sectional, they should be able to make it to nationals, especially considering the top skaters are not even AT sectionals because they have international assignments.
    Yes Agnes won JW Silver. But whose to say she wouldn't have done even better if she was given more experience. Maybe she wouldn't have fallen on her triple flip, if she had been a bit more seasoned. Maybe she would have gotten higher PCS in the short and long program and even skated her long program better. If she had more experience. Then there's the talk of keeping Agnes back in JGP next season because she "has no international experience, no international resume, and so might get lost on the international Senior GP circuit." And this is a skater who just might be good enough to make the world team next year. So because of this decision, the girl might be set back for one whole year. Because the USFSA couldn't display a little more foresight and think to themselves, whose more likely to be successful on the international stage...

    In the case of Mirai, maybe Mirai would have actually WON Junior worlds over Zhang if the international judges would have known her better. Maybe she would have had a little more experience going into her first Senior GP season too. I wouldn't say keeping them back had "no effect'. It absolutely had effect-their international competition got more experience and exposure in front of the international judges.

    You don't think two full years of international competition before they became age eligible didn't help Miki, Yu-na, and Mao?
    Last edited by bekalc; 03-16-2010 at 12:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post

    As for Polina, her legs are so long I wonder how tall that girl is going to get. She has beautiful lines but if the rest of her body grows to become well-proportioned to her legs she could easily be Kostner height. That might not be an issue but it could effect her consistency, though I tend to think Kostner's inconsistency is due to more than just her height.
    Polina said in her interview they think her legs look not very proportional to her corp because of growth spurt she had last summer. Her bones grow faster than muscles so her legs look pretty skinny. That's why they decided not to use dresses for some time.

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    The problem with girls who go into puberty unusually long-legged is that when they start to fill out, their jumps are affected more than the girls who grow proportionately. Cynthia Phaneuf in particular was hard hit, and it took her years to get some of her jumps back, and even now, she has major problems with consistency.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fashionista View Post
    Polina said in her interview they think her legs look not very proportional to her corp because of growth spurt she had last summer. Her bones grow faster than muscles so her legs look pretty skinny. That's why they decided not to use dresses for some time.
    Interesting. I actually think the pants accentuate her skinny legs but her outfits are cute so it doesn't really matter, just something I noticed. It looks like she gets taller at every competition this season, which may explain some of her recent struggles. Is there a certain height for which it becomes harder for an elite female skater to be competitive? It seems like there are no top female skaters above 5'7" (170cm), but I don't know if that is just a coincidence. Polina looks like she potentially could be taller than 170cm when she is done growing.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Yes Agnes won JW Silver. But whose to say she wouldn't have done even better if she was given more experience. Maybe she wouldn't have fallen on her triple flip, if she had been a bit more seasoned. Maybe she would have gotten higher PCS in the short and long program and even skated her long program better. If she had more experience. Then there's the talk of keeping Agnes back in JGP next season because she "has no international experience, no international resume, and so might get lost on the international Senior GP circuit." And this is a skater who just might be good enough to make the world team next year. So because of this decision, the girl might be set back for one whole year. Because the USFSA couldn't display a little more foresight and think to themselves, whose more likely to be successful on the international stage...

    In the case of Mirai, maybe Mirai would have actually WON Junior worlds over Zhang if the international judges would have known her better. Maybe she would have had a little more experience going into her first Senior GP season too. I wouldn't say keeping them back had "no effect'. It absolutely had effect-their international competition got more experience and exposure in front of the international judges.

    You don't think two full years of international competition before they became age eligible didn't help Miki, Yu-na, and Mao?

    USFSA let Mirai chose if she wanted to do JGP or SGP the year after she won the title, and Mirai chose JGP. They will probably give Agnes the option of doing either and so if she wants to do the SGP next season she will be able to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    The problem with girls who go into puberty unusually long-legged is that when they start to fill out, their jumps are affected more than the girls who grow proportionately. Cynthia Phaneuf in particular was hard hit, and it took her years to get some of her jumps back, and even now, she has major problems with consistency.
    I know, that's what worries me. Cynthia is trim now and never got heavy going through puberty, but because she's tall, that alone was enough to result in inconsistency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Interesting. I actually think the pants accentuate her skinny legs but her outfits are cute so it doesn't really matter, just something I noticed. It looks like she gets taller at every competition this season, which may explain some of her recent struggles. Is there a certain height for which it becomes harder for an elite female skater to be competitive? It seems like there are no top female skaters above 5'7" (170cm), but I don't know if that is just a coincidence. Polina looks like she potentially could be taller than 170cm when she is done growing.
    Well, height itself doesn't affect sportsmen's jumps. it's a question of height-hips proportion. Talking about Kostner if her hips were an inch wider she would havedefinitely had better jump consistency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fashionista View Post
    Well, height itself doesn't affect sportsmen's jumps. it's a question of height-hips proportion. Talking about Kostner if her hips were an inch wider she would havedefinitely had better jump consistency.
    Yeah, Kostner doesn't really have hips and neither does Phanuef. Polina looks like she will never have hips either, but hopefully being tall/thin/with no hips won't cause her as much trouble as it has caused those two. Her teammate Anna also looks tall and is even younger (today is her birthday! so now she's finally 14 ), so could potentially be in the same boat, and actually, a lot of those young Russian girls are pretty tall for their age (not Agafonova obviously).
    Last edited by silverlake22; 03-16-2010 at 11:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    The problem with all the Russian girls is that they are young and have not been bitten yet by the puberty bug. Many times in the past, young Russian girls have romped in the JGP and JW and then disappeared from the scene entirely.

    A few examples:
    Yelena Ivanova - won 1995 JW silver, 1996 JW gold, 1997 JW bronze, 1998 JW silver and then was not seen again
    Yelena Pingatcheva - won 1996 JW silver, was 5th at 1997 JW, then disappeared
    Nadezhda Kanaeva - won 1996 JW bronze and then disappeared
    Yulia Soldatova won JW gold in 1998 and eventually won World bronze, but then was left off the Russian team. She skated for BLR with no success and tried to return to Russia, but never competed again due to injury.
    Viktoria Volchkova won JW bronze in 1998 and had some success in the GP, but never won a World medal.
    Kristina Oblasova won JW in 2001, but never had any successes after that.
    A few Russian ladies won medals in the JGP but never went on to success elsewhere: Veronika Kropotina, Arina Martinova, Ksenia Doronina, Olga Naidenova, Ekaterina Kozireva, Margarita Tertichnaia, Oksana Gozeva.

    The only Russian ladies who had great junior success and went on to bigger and better things were Slutskaya and Sokolova. Butyrskaya was never a star as a junior.

    Russian ladies tend to mature a bit later, just when they should be achieving success in the GP. Even Irina Slutskaya went through major problems between the ages of 18 and 20 due to physical growth and maturity.
    ITA. I'm going to be totally un-PC and say that it's because Caucasian girls tend to "fill out" more noticeably than Asian girls when they hit their late teenage years.

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    Who is Caucasian among those girls listed in your quote?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjl View Post
    ITA. I'm going to be totally un-PC and say that it's because Caucasian girls tend to "fill out" more noticeably than Asian girls when they hit their late teenage years.
    But most of Russian girls are not Caucasian! And I don't know any Russian skater who is Caucasian, except maybe 13 y.o. Nikol Gosviani. Elene Gedevanishvilli is Caucasian, but not Polinas or Anna or Irina, etc. It's individual. There are no differences between Russian girls and, for example, American girls

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    "Caucasian" in this case refers to race (as opposed to Asian-, African-, or native-American), not a regional European nationality. Some American girls are "Caucasian-American" (e.g. Zawadzki, Flatt, Wagner, etc.), some are "Asian-American" (Zhang, Nagasu, Gao, etc.) and some are "African-American" (Musademba).

    Actually, "Caucasian" is probably too general a classification. 'Caucasians' come from a large number of areas in the world, and the physical characteristics of girls from northern Europe are quite different from those of southern Europe or Mexico/South America. In addition, most American 'Causcasian' girls have a heritage derived from multiple geographic regions of the world.
    Last edited by chuckm; 03-16-2010 at 12:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Star View Post
    But most of Russian girls are not Caucasian! And I don't know any Russian skater who is Caucasian, except maybe 13 y.o. Nikol Gosviani. Elene Gedevanishvilli is Caucasian, but not Polinas or Anna or Irina, etc. It's individual. There are no differences between Russian girls and, for example, American girls
    I think he just meant European and not Asian. I used to live in China and compared to most teenagers their age in Asia, Mao, Yuna, Christina and even skinny little Min-Jung Kwak would not even look that thin. I mean certainly they are thin but so are most Asian women. Yuna is 5'5" and only weighs 104 pounds and yet she does not look like a little girl and even super-thin Laura Lepisto who is the same height as Kim weighs 112. Cynthia Phanuef is listed as 5'6" and 132 pounds and she has no fat on her body. Asians I think definitely have the advantage in this sport because they are so light but still strong without building up heavy muscle like a lot of the European skaters.

    Also, this is a gross generalization but it seems that Russian females come in two builds - tall and thin or short and sturdy, with very little in-between. And because it's hard to be tall and hard to be sturdy in figure skating, I think that is why so many Russian girls disappear once they go through puberty. The other thing I think is a factor is money, most of these little girls in Russia aren't wealthy and skating is very expensive so they cannot afford to train abroad in better facilities and without sponsers it is very hard to afford this sport.

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