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Thread: U.S. Figure skaters announce off-season changes

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    yes but we were told all of that last year, too, IIRC, and yet when the pressure was on...
    Couldn't have said it better. And as I said on FSU...show me a practice video, or better yet, show me in competition.

  2. #32
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    The thing about Gao and Zawadzki:

    1.) They aren't headcases like Czisny
    2.) They don't have awful technique like Zhang
    3.) They aren't as bland and un-artistic as Rachael

    That is why they are hyped so much and I tend to think they will live up to the hype. Nagasu and Wagner will still be up there for at least a few more years, but Czisny, Zhang, and Flatt have a lot of things they need to work on, and I actually think Gao and Zawadzki, though juniorish they may be, are more complete skaters than those three.
    Anything can happen, but I have to go along with R.D. on this one. Let's wait and see what happens.

    Christina Gao is sixteen and Agnes Zawadzki will be sixteen in July. Kimmie Meissner was world champion at sixteen. Mirai Nagasu was U.S. champion at 14. At 13 Caroline Zhang won her junior grand prix events by 53 points and 33 points, won thejunior grand prix final by 20 points, won the junior world championship, and was heralded as the second coming of Sasha Cohen for her positions, spins and spirals.

    I think wait and see is all we can say at this point.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    Well, I agree. All we know for sure is that US skating will be exactly the way it was this year except the highest expectations will be on Nagasu instead of Flatt. She'll have more respect from the international judges, too. Let's hope she deals with it like she did at the Olympics and not at worlds. Nagasu has the potential to be a worlds medalist more than the other U.S. ladies. But fulfilling that potential is another story.
    Exactly. There are shades of hope in Nagasu. She has what it takes in her skating, and she showed signs of mental toughness in 2009 Nats and 2010 Olys. Let's hope the Worlds was just an aberration- an outlier if you will (for the data analysts out there)- and she can get herself back on track. It's not often that mental toughness and true skating talent come hand in hand.

    As for Gao, I'm excited about her but I think she needs a transformation like Michelle Kwan's in 1996 to be a world medal contender. Not saying it won't happen this year but we'll just have to wait and see. Judging from the results last year though, she already is a U.S. championship medal threat.
    Agreed. You see, I think she has potential but I get the sense she's just a tad bit overhyped (is it her coach?)

    I'm not surprised to hear Alissa is not retiring. Ever since I read that Brian Boitano urged her not to leave competitive skating with any regrets I expected to her to at least keeping training through the summer... I'm glad because I always love watching her. But it's hard to have any expectations. Quite apart from her nerves, I think she'll be at a total disadvantage with the new rules. She'll be able to rely even less on her spins and spirals to compete against much better jumpers. But I"m glad for her that she is not throwing in the towel. Good for her.
    It was great to see Czisny come out of nowhere and have the skate of her life during 2007 Nats to become the surprise bronze medalist. Her first National medal, and most thought it would be her only one. She usually has good GP results but has never been able to hold it together at Worlds (or Nationals, with the exceptions of 2007 and 2009). Can't see how staying in longer will change that, but more power to her if she wants to continue. It's not always about the medals after all.

    If I had to make a very early prediction, I see these three ladies medaling at US championships: Nagasu, Wagner, Gao. Always assuming they skate clean...
    Generally I agree, but I would replace Gao with Flatt. Gao, maybe 4th place. She would have been 4th this year if it hadn't been for Cohen's "return" (albeit, a distant 4th).

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Anything can happen, but I have to go along with R.D. on this one. Let's wait and see what happens.

    Christina Gao is sixteen and Agnes Zawadzki will be sixteen in July. Kimmie Meissner was world champion at sixteen. Mirai Nagasu was U.S. champion at 14. At 13 Caroline Zhang won her junior grand prix events by 53 points and 33 points, won thejunior grand prix final by 20 points, won the junior world championship, and was heralded as the second coming of Sasha Cohen for her positions, spins and spirals.

    I think wait and see is all we can say at this point.
    Fair point, but Mirai, Kimmie, and Caroline all dealt with the dreaded puberty monster AFTER those accomplishments, so really Christina and Agnes aren't at a disadvantage because likely their big successes will come after puberty considering they are 16 now and still have work to do. Christina also doesn't have a problematic body type, she is built just like Yuna at that age and will likely end up being built like Yuna now. As for Agnes, the only worry I have is will she get too tall, but I guess she can cross that bridge when and if she comes to it. The other thing, Agnes and Christina have great technique, high jumps, and ALL their jumps are always rotated. Meissner's and Nagasu's jumps have always been cheated they just didn't get dinged for them when they won worlds and nationals, Zhang's technique has always been awful and her flutz has always been a flutz.

    You can say what you want, but Kimmie was imploding just one year after she won worlds, Mirai was imploding in the 08-09 season due to her growth spurt, and Caroline imploded this season (save 4CC). The culprit? Growing pains. This is why in some ways Agnes and Christina aren't really at a disadvantage - sure if you're amazing as a 13 year old, 4-foot-8, 70 pound mite then you'll get a lot of hype, but chances are you'll grow half a foot and gain 40 pounds before you stop and then your body is so different that it has to readjust. I mean, Mirai is 17 and she just became a force again recently. In the 08-09 season, she was the same age as Agnes and Christina and was much worse (really, really low GP scores), so technically Mirai's progression in the past year could be compared to a unknown skater the same age who was fairly mediocre and then had a big break aka Agnes or Christina.

  5. #35
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    Nagasu was able to bounce back this season. It remains to be seen whether Zhang can do the same next season, or even if Nagasu can keep up the momentum and not let her Worlds slip-up trip her up.

    Meissner has had a strain of bad luck lately but honestly I think she is past her prime. Wouldn't mind seeing her put down some skates she is happy with though.

    The key for these young up-and comers is to KEEP IMPROVING. Be the best you're capable of and let the chips fall where they may. Unless your name is Mirai Nagasu, keep an eye on that rear-view mirror.
    Last edited by R.D.; 05-09-2010 at 10:19 PM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Nagasu was able to bounce back this season. It remains to be seen whether Zhang can do the same next season, or even if Nagasu can keep up the momentum and not let her Worlds slip-up trip her up.

    Meissner has had a strain of bad luck lately but I think she is past her prime. Wouldn't mind seeing her put down some skates she is happy with though.

    The key for these young up-and comers is to KEEP IMPROVING. Be the best you're capable of and let the chips fall where they may.
    KEEP IMPROVING.....I think Agnes and Christina have that down. Agnes didn't even make it to nationals last year and last year Christina was very awkward and gangly and fell a lot, the year before she finished last at nationals in the novice division, and the year before that she was 13th at REGIONALS. So yeah I think both girls are on the right track. Plus Agnes says she is inspired and pushes herself to work harder due to training alongside Rachael Flatt and Christina obviously gets the same drive from skating with Adam and Yuna. Plus I also have the feeling that with Kwak skating at the Cricket Club Christina will be working extra hard, I think having someone her age and approximate ability level to train with will be good and make both girls work harder and become better (hopefully).

  7. #37
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    I wasn't aware that Agnes trained with Rachel Flatt. I knew about Gao and Yuna though. Nothing like having someone better than you around to push you and motivate you.

    It was great that NBC took the time to show Gao last year. Even if these skaters DO turn out to be all they're cracked up to be, I don't see it happening next season. Possibly the 2011-12 season at the earliest.

    What's more interesting to me is:

    Can Nagasu can build upon her stellar season (save Worlds)?

    Can Wagner conquer her SP demons?

    Can Flatt take it to the next level now with more time/attention to devote to skating?

    Will Zhang take the time to try to improve her basics so she can get back in the game?

    Will Czisny be able to redeem herself after the crushing defeat at 2010 Nats as the reigning champ?

    Will any old-timers (e.g. Meissner, Hughes) try to stick it out at least for another year or two?

    That and more, coming up next. Stay tuned.
    Last edited by R.D.; 05-09-2010 at 10:57 PM. Reason: organize post.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    I wasn't aware that Agnes trained with Rachel Flatt. I knew about Gao and Yuna though. Nothing like having someone better than you around to push you and motivate you.

    It was great that NBC took the time to show Gao last year. Even if these skaters DO turn out to be all they're cracked up to be, I don't see it happening next season. Possibly the 2011-12 season at the earliest.

    What's more interesting to me is:

    Can Nagasu can build upon her stellar season (save Worlds)?
    Yes, I think she can. Her growing is over, Frank will continue to push her to work her hardest, she has all that international experience now, she was inspired by Evan yet also had a rough time of it at worlds so we know she won't be resting on her laurels thinking she has conquered her demons

    Can Wagner conquer her SP demons?

    I hope so. I think she will certainly try. If she is trying to rework her lutz and land 33 combos that might mess with her consistency, especially at the start of the season but the 1/4-1/2 rule will help her.

    Can Flatt take it to the next level now with more time/attention to devote to skating?
    hmmm. we will wait and see. Racheal's mom said something about looking at coaching possibilities, so maybe she is looking to change coaches and/or move to CA. Honestly I don't see her making leaps and bounds in the PCS section due to her less-than spectacular olympics and worlds (in the judges eyes), and I don't see how flexiblity and toe point can really improve that much in one summer.

    Will Zhang take the time to try to improve her basics so she can get back in the game?
    If i was a betting girl I would say no. I think she will try and re-work her lutz and try and fully rotate her jumps. She will try and skate faster like she did this past year, but revert back to the slow scared deer when the pressure is on. I think she will improve her jumps but not her skating skills.

    Will Czisny be able to redeem herself after the crushing defeat at 2010 Nats as the reigning champ?

    No.

    Will any old-timers (e.g. Meissner, Hughes) try to stick it out at least for another year or two?

    They will try, but i don't see any of them showing up in Greensbourgh

    That and more, coming up next. Stay tuned.
    my answers are in bold!

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    I wasn't aware that Agnes trained with Rachel Flatt. I knew about Gao and Yuna though. Nothing like having someone better than you around to push you and motivate you.
    She does and ITA. Agnes said Rachael and Alexe are her best friends at Broadmoor. Gao loves Yuna and despite the age difference they are very good friends. She also tweets a lot to Adam Rippon so he may be another source of inspiration.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    It was great that NBC took the time to show Gao last year. Even if these skaters DO turn out to be all they're cracked up to be, I don't see it happening next season. Possibly the 2011-12 season at the earliest.
    You may be right. Those two will be making their senior international debuts this season (Agnes maybe not even if she does JGP) so I think this season will be a learning experience for both girls. Further, both Christina and Agnes still have that gangly tween look about them and though I assume most of their vertical growth is over, they likely will fill out over the next season and will need some time to adjust, but the good news is that once they look more grown up they are likely to be taken more seriously by the judges. They both have a lot of potential but we'll need to see how they handle the senior international pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    What's more interesting to me is:

    Can Nagasu can build upon her stellar season (save Worlds)?
    I think so. She is already starting to become so much more mature, both physically and emotionally, that I think next season she will make a splash once again, but this time with more sophisticated programs and packaging. If she can break away from her signature cutesy image and continue skating as well as she has been recently, I think Mirai will be top US lady and an international threat for quite awhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Can Wagner conquer her SP demons?
    I think there is a good chance. Ashley is VERY motivated and I think just missing Olympics and Worlds has lit a fire in her belly. I think next season with the new rules we'll see Ashley consistently go for the 3-3 and improve her basic skating.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Can Flatt take it to the next level now with more time/attention to devote to skating?
    Maybe. I think Flatt is the kind of skater that maybe there's only so much artistry she can develop. I will say though that I found her quite lovely and musical in her younger years when she made her senior debut and won junior worlds, those programs were really nice and suited her well. If she can go back to her old musical self and not focus all her attention on only the jumps, I think she will make progress. Flatt will never be a human pretzel but I think of skater's like Joannie who were mainly jumpers and not very flexible and still managed to become lovely and artistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Will Zhang take the time to try to improve her basics so she can get back in the game?
    I think she is trying, and I think at the beginning of the season she will look better. When the pressure is on, who knows, but I tend to think at least her speed will be better, and that alone should help her jumps even if the technique stays a bit wonky. She is a good competitor though and I think that will help her.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Will Czisny be able to redeem herself after the crushing defeat at 2010 Nats as the reigning champ?
    I'm gonna guess she'll medal at SC, have a solid GP season but just miss the final, and then go back to her usual self at the end of the season. She always seems to do better earlier in the season, and if she manages to make the GPF this year that would be nice for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Will any old-timers (e.g. Meissner, Hughes) try to stick it out at least for another year or two?
    Hughes I think is done, Kimmie I think just wants to compete for at least one more season before she leaves. I think Kimmie's best years are already behind her but it will be nice to see her skating again. If she can get her URs under control she can likely place respectfully internationally.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    That and more, coming up next. Stay tuned.
    Can't wait! Also looking forward to Amanda Dobbs, I know she doesn't have all the jumps but she's so pretty and powerful .

  10. #40
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    Castile/Okolski and Navarro/Bommentre are also retiring per Ice Network.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by silversprings77 View Post
    Castile/Okolski and Navarro/Bommentre are also retiring per Ice Network.
    here's the release from the USFSA on Brooke and Ben - http://www.usfigureskating.org/Story...619&type=media

    I'm so bummed. I love their skating.

  12. #42
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    ^^
    It's sad to see them go, but they will always be US Champions (C/O) and Olympians (N/B). Best wishes to Kim and Brent, and Brooke and Ben, and thanks for all the beautiful skating.

    Does anyone know what Wester and Barantsev are doing? They didn't do well last time I saw them, I think they were coming off injuries (?) but a couple of season ago I thought they were great.

    What about Kristine Musademba? I saw she's listed for some USFSA funding but how's she doing? I know she was injured.

  13. #43
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Jennifer and Daniil were in a show in China recently per Jennifer's facebook... I know she's working very hard with designing costumes for skaters as well as her figure skating couture line. I think they may have moved on, but I hope not. I really love watching them skate.

  14. #44
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Nice! I didn't know she did costumes. What's the diff between costumes for skaters and skating couture? Has she done costumes that I would have seen at Nats or internationally? Thanks for the update.

  15. #45
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    I don't speak out much about the Ladies. So much of what they do, all their competitors do. Only Mao has the jump and Carolines has The body contortions None of these show me great skating as they do great tricks. However, everybody for their own tastes. Sitting through 30 female skaters and be assured you will see double axel, 3x2, and assorted 3s. (Maybe Mao should win). And also see the invevitable Bielman spin, layback spin, and Camel spin. There is also the convoluted spins (Maybe Caroline should win)

    There is also the change edge spirals and the ever popular catch foot spiral. (so many win that.)

    All these tricks are not done with much Flow between them and their transitions appear to me to be standard. No lady is able to skate like Magnuson or Fleming today (I omitted Kwan so as not to change the subject).

    Sitting through 30 Men is somewhat better because, in general, they are more musical, more speedier, and they seem to defy the CoP and [COLOR= A"red"]TAKE RISKS[/COLOR]
    Of course, this is what I see in the Events and I think it shameful that the compulsory dances are omitted. I wont go into the acrobatics of Pairs although it is easier to watch once you get into those BIG CONVOLUTED LIFTS with no rapport.
    Last edited by Joesitz; 05-28-2010 at 11:30 AM.

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