I have to disagree on some points.
1. It doesn't matter if there are three places or not.
Actually, I think it does, if you have a bunch of people who are about equal. Look at the men's. Evan Lysacek was 3rd in the US in 2009. If Johnny hadn't gotten the 3 spots with his bronze, maybe Evan wouldn't have even gone to worlds. Would they have bumped Brandon Mroz for him? Who knows? They wouldn't bump him for Johnny.
The person who would have been our third is Ashley Wagner. She is no slouch--she is the only woman to make the GPF, and she did pretty well there, she came in fourth. Arguably, she's the 4th best woman in the world, since in a way the GPF is more indicative of who's skating well than the worlds, (because it's based on many competitions, not just one.) It's quite possible she would have done better than 7th or 9th. Or maybe not. It's true she blew her chance by not skating well at the Nationals, but had Alissa not had a complete meltdown last year, she would have been there anyway.
Next year, it could be Mirai or Caroline or Christina who has an off day at nats and loses her chance. Probably nobody here would be too upset if it's Rachael, except for Flatt Fan!
2. Look at Mirai, she did so well. She'll be really good for the next four years
I hope you're right. We don't know if this is a fluke, if she's the next Sasha (good short, problems with long programs, but still manages to do well) or if she's showing herself to be a terrible choker who disappears into the woodwork. I have a terrible worry it's the latter. If she came in like 5th or 6th in the long and wound up 4th overall, it would be one thing. But 11th, falling to 7th? It also seems the judges don't really like her much, and won't give her the benefit of the doubt--although they were tough here, even on Queen Yu-Na.
Every year since 2006 it seems there is some "up and comer" who is about to show some star power and be in international medal contention, in all disciplines. Except for Davis and White in dance, nobody has panned out. Not Brubaker and partner in pairs, not Kimmie Meisner, not Beatrisa Liang, apparently not Rachael or Ashley or Caroline, not Stephen Carriere or Brandon Mroz. I thought Mirai would be the one to break through--and maybe she wil be--but I'm a lot less confident about that now.
I think people need to cut Mirai some slack. I mean did you watch the ladies event at Worlds? I did, and it was a complete splatfest. I don't think it is a coincidence I think it just shows that it's been a long season and most skater's focused most of their attention on the Olympics and not Worlds.
Originally Posted by Poodlepal
Mirai can handle pressure, she handled it at nats when she was in the lead and had to skate last, she handled it at the Olympics when she had to skate last after Mao made history, Yuna shattered a world record, and Joannie performed the most emotional performance of the Olympics. I really don't think she made mistakes in her LP here because she "couldn't take the pressure" I think she made mistakes in the LP because it's the end of the season and she's tired.
Mirai had seemingly clean LPs at SC, nationals, and the Olympics, that's three competitions back to back. It's easy to just assume she'll go clean again but I know she'd likely make mistakes and not be on the podium here, it's just like how many perfect performances can one skater have in a row? Yuna usually has mistakes in her programs, Mao this season has been making huge mistakes until recently, Sasha never skated a clean LP in her life, for Alissa a LP with 2 falls is pretty standard, Rachael actually often misses her 3-3 if you pay attention, etc.
Skaters make mistakes, the ice is slippery, Mirai is consistent but it can't be her night every night. I mean look what happened to poor Oda here! Or Joubert in Vancouver. Mirai delivered when it was most important: at nationals when there was an Olympic spot on the line, and at the Olympics to prove herself worthy. Worlds after the Olympics kind of just seems like another competition - during any other year, it's a big deal and that's what you train for - but during an Olympic year, not so much. Just because Mirai scored 105 in the LP here doesn't mean she's gone back to her old ways, if she hadn't changed and improved, she would have never scored that 126 she got in Vancouver. After SA did people think Yuna was suddenly bad or wouldn't be able to win in Vancouver? No, they thought she got nervous and had a bad competition. This is no different.
I think the pressure came after her great SP. The gold was within her grasp because the others faltered to an extent. Mirai knew she could win this if she skated perfectly and that probably gave her a lot of pressure. She was not in a position to win at the Olympics. This was a first time for her at an international event, so it's understandable she felt pressure.
Mirai had quite a season - and aside from her poor LP yesterday there is a buzz in the skating world about her right now.
If she continues with Carroll and remains motivated I see a great future for her.
I say this because I see such talent in Mirai. She is athletic and artistic and seems blessed with natural charisma.
I think next season, with more maturity and time with Carroll we will see her make a mark in the GP series and perhaps a place on the Worlds podium. I think the World bronze medal was right there for Mirai - and she knows she let it slip away. I think she will learn from this experience and turn it into something positive.
I beg to differ. Neither Miki or Akiko are guaranteed to end up on the podium.
Originally Posted by Olympia
There is a difference in the mental strength department between the 19-year olds Mao & Yuna, vs. a 16-year old Mirai. It comes from experience and battle scars.
There is no question nerves and pressure got to Mirai after her unexpected lead in the SP at Worlds. She is a very self-aware young lady, she knows it is the same demon that haunted her at the Cup of China. Her challenge is to work towards conquering that demon. It is not easy, as you can't easily simulate such pressure and expectation in another setting. Most of the learning has to come from real experience. Unless you are fortunate enough to be born mentally tough without even working at it, you have to deal with it the hard way. I certainly know my limitation when I was 16.
Look at it this way, the glass is mostly full, not a little empty. There is little question Mirai has the raw talent, presence and personality on ice. When she is relaxed enough to let her considerable charisma show, the judges and audience find her irresistible. She needs to get to the point when she is in the lead in a major event, she is no longer in shock, but be relieved and consider it a nice cushion going into the LP.
With Frank's help and her natural spunk, she has a good shot at getting there. And trust me, she will go into the LP at major events with a lead again, and again.
Last edited by autounion; 03-28-2010 at 02:21 PM.
I hope you guys (silverlake, etc.) are right about Mirai. I like her a lot, and I know how anyone can have a bad skate, like Carolina and Brian at the Olympics. I don't mean to disrespect her, but I still worry that this might become a pattern she can't beat, of having a great short but losing ground in the long, like Sasha and Johnny.
Time will tell, I'm sure. By next year, she could be the World Champion, my fears will have amounted to nothing. I hope!
Maybe not, but Kanako could! Love that adorable little cutie !
Originally Posted by krenseby
Thank you very much. I totally agree with you. I have a feeling that Mirai is the one. I mean she has everything to be a whole package skater. She will keep on improving and I know one day she can be a world champion. US has Rachael who still is the most consistent skater. And I am excited about Agnes and Christine. They have a great potential. Caroline may surprise us. It is really exciting. I just can not wait for the next season to start!
Originally Posted by autounion
Next season will sure be interesting! If Alissa and Rachael aren't competing, which I have a feeling they won't be, especially Alissa, it will be very different from these past few years. I hope more than one US lady makes the GPF this time around and I'm curious to see if Caroline can come back with a vengeance next season after this very disappointing year she has had. Also, Agnes and Christina - JGP or GP? Depending on which they chose, that could be interesting too. Then there's Amanda Dobbs, I really like her too, hopefully she stays in singles and gets some of her harder triples, she is just so beautiful! And I'm guessing no Bebe next year either. I think things are really starting to change!
Originally Posted by PROKOFIEV
What this means is that the large pool of US Ladies will have to fight it out at Nationals. It can only be an advantage to the US when this happens. In the meantime the promising ones will be given some international experience. My own country simply holds up one chosen skater with support and funding and even if they skate terribly,don't allow the up and comers an opportunity to replace them,and don't give any international experience-then they wail over the state of Ladies skating.
Originally Posted by krenseby
If I may clarify, I didn't mean Miki or Akiko specifically. The point I was making is that Japan has such a deep field that there's always someone new coming along to excel on the world stage. The next Japanese world champion may be Miki or Mao again, but it's equally likely to be someone we haven't even heard of yet. By comparison, a country with just one great skater might have a long dry period before the next world-class champion comes along.
Mirai fixed her lutz and took off from the slight outside edge from the slow mo on Universal Sports. Both her lutzes were bad. I'm afraid she's like Mao, spent so much time fixing the lutz and it became an unstable jump.
Next season, we'll see if she still has the lutz. Too early to tell for Mirai.
You're right about Japanese deep field of skaters. On the other hand, I don't see anyone besides Mirai who is able to carry the torch for US in the next couple of years. Christina Gao is promising and she has Orser but not all of his students may turn out like Yuna, so she's still a question mark. It's unfortunate that Caroline Zhang has so many technical issues because she does possess the maturiy and polish that Kwan had at her age.
Until you Fix the bad Caoching on the womens side get real Leadship Us Figure Skating Org. , and Put some one in Charge Like Marta did for Gymnastics Get that Figure head in charge of the program you will not see any American on top of the Podum period. Just look after BeJING in Diving got three Medals at Worlds. US Figure Skating needs some one to lead not some who know nothing about the sport of Figure Skating be President of US Skating. I would likie see Tara's or Sarah Former Coaches in charge help to devolop young Skaters into the next Tara, Kristy, or even better. I don't Blame Rachael Flatt nor Mirai don't anybody blmae them either they both weren't prepare for this one and other they were worn out from long season. We need to get rid of the bad Leadership in the US Figure Skating ORG.
Originally Posted by fairly4
Last edited by ms9421; 03-28-2010 at 02:37 PM.