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

  1. #16
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    All I've been hearing the past couple of months is how great Gao and Zawadki(sp) are and how they'll take over US skating in the coming years- no wait, months.

    THE WAIT AND SEE approach cannot be stressed enough...I've seen many come and many go just in the past 8 years. Hyped to the hilt and then fall flat. And at the other end of the spectrum, skaters that come out of nowhere and amaze. I think in the coming season we will still have our current crop of Nagasu, Flatt, Zhang, Wagner, and (I suppose) Czisny. Assuming, of course, they can stay healthy. Everyone else would either be newcomers or old-timers who are long past their prime. But come 2012 who knows.

  2. #17
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Well- Kimmie was another skater who was slain by the UR and edge rules, combined with not making the transition to adult size smoothly. The recent changes to the UR rules may help her. AFAIR, Kimmie had a lip that needed to be fixed, and got slammed with UR's on her triple/triples and triple axel, just as she had made some improvements to her arms and posture. And then she had a rash of injuries. The new rules may get her back into the top 3 at nationals.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    All I've been hearing the past couple of months is how great Gao and Zawadki(sp) are and how they'll take over US skating in the coming years- no wait, months.

    THE WAIT AND SEE approach cannot be stressed enough...I've seen many come and many go just in the past 8 years. Hyped to the hilt and then fall flat. And at the other end of the spectrum, skaters that come out of nowhere and amaze. I think in the coming season we will still have our current crop of Nagasu, Flatt, Zhang, Wagner, and (I suppose) Czisny. Assuming, of course, they can stay healthy. Everyone else would either be newcomers or old-timers who are long past their prime. But come 2012 who knows.
    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.

  4. #19
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    Perhaps. But think of Meissner, Em Hughes and Zhang as counterexamples. Two were supposed to lead us through to this year and the other was supposed to become the next MK. What happened?

    sorry I'm so skeptical about all this. I've learned very quickly in my time here not to buy into hype very easily. Only skaters I can think of that actually lived up to it were Mao Asada and to a lesser extent, Miki Ando. I don't remember even Mighty Yuna getting as much hype as these two did and look where she is.

    Kostner was hyped around 2004, especially after 2005 when she beat MK. Been a headcase ever since.

    Not saying you'll be mistaken but I prefer to wait and see. You never know what can happen.

  5. #20
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    Here is a nice article about Agnes Z.
    Interesting hearing she is about ready to add a triple axel to her repertoire of jumps.

    http://www.gazette.com/sports/zawadz...sek-agnes.html

  6. #21
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    Wow, Kimmie Meissner is still at it. Wonder what the 2.0 version will look like?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Perhaps. But think of Meissner, Em Hughes and Zhang as counterexamples. Two were supposed to lead us through to this year and the other was supposed to become the next MK. What happened?

    sorry I'm so skeptical about all this. I've learned very quickly in my time here not to buy into hype very easily. Only skaters I can think of that actually lived up to it were Mao Asada and to a lesser extent, Miki Ando. I don't remember even Mighty Yuna getting as much hype as these two did and look where she is.

    Kostner was hyped around 2004, especially after 2005 when she beat MK. Been a headcase ever since.

    Not saying you'll be mistaken but I prefer to wait and see. You never know what can happen.
    Yeah but Kimmie has no artistry, I'm sorry, she really just doesn't, and she had even less when she was first starting out, and her flexibility isn't great and her spins average. Plus her edge calls and URs were always there, she was just lucky her success came before the judges started cracking down so hard on edges and under-rotations.

    Caroline had awful technique from the getgo, people knew that, she's been getting dinged for edge calls and no speed since the very beginning she just used to be able to make up for it with increased technical difficulty, landing all her jumps, and her spirals and spins.

    Emily, IMO, was kind of generic and bland, a bit like Rachael but without as much technical content. She was pretty consistent and had good speed and that's essentially why she did well for herself.

    As for Kostner, Gao and/or Zawadzki could turn into headcases in coming years, but right now they both seem like pretty good, reliable competitors. I don't think I have ever seen either girl have a complete meltdown before.

    And Yuna did have a lot of hype as a junior, it's just that she was overshadowed a little bit by Mao and her triple axels she was doing at 13-14.
    Last edited by silverlake22; 05-09-2010 at 12:27 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Post #22
    Silverlake, my point is this: despite the apparent shortcomings of the skaters I mentioned, certain expectations were put on their shoulders, due to either past results, future potential or both. They have fallen short thus far- by running into problems like injuries, setbacks, and/or slumps. And let's not forget Cohen back in 2002, she was expected to win all these titles "if she could just stand up". That day never came. (Although I will say she did very well for herself.)

    For Gao and Zawadki, certain expectations are now being put on THEIR shoulders. "Can they be the American skaters who FINALLY rise up to the challenge of Mao and Yuna?" people are basically insinuating. And we can't say "yes they will" or "no they won't". It can be debated how likely that is (which, I suppose, is what off-season banter is for) but that's conversation I'm simply not that interested in, at this point.
    Last edited by R.D.; 05-09-2010 at 12:56 PM.

  9. #24
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    All I've been hearing the past couple of months is how great Gao and Zawadki(sp) are and how they'll take over US skating in the coming years- no wait, months.

    THE WAIT AND SEE approach cannot be stressed enough...I've seen many come and many go just in the past 8 years. Hyped to the hilt and then fall flat. And at the other end of the spectrum, skaters that come out of nowhere and amaze. I think in the coming season we will still have our current crop of Nagasu, Flatt, Zhang, Wagner, and (I suppose) Czisny. Assuming, of course, they can stay healthy. Everyone else would either be newcomers or old-timers who are long past their prime. But come 2012 who knows.
    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.

    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.

    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.

    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...

  10. #25
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    When you lay it out like that, Layfan, it makes what Michelle did seem even more impressive. She showed up at thirteen, carried the country on her shoulders in Worlds in 1994 when no one else delivered (and several didn't even bother to show up) by skating to I think eighth place and earning us two spots for the following year, kept her place on the podium (often at the top) through thick and thin, persevering for over a decade. Never mind her technique or her artistry; that takes a mental toughness that seems not to be as commonplace as one would hope. (Certainly Tara had it by the bucketful, as well!) If I could wish that trait on anyone, it would certainly be Alyssa!--so we could watch those exquisite spins attached to some jumps as well. And also on Mirai, who seems to have just about everything else going for her. Also on Miki--just because she seems to have so much possibility that we rarely see in competition. I generally don't give up on anyone, because life circumstances will do a fine job of weeding people out without any help from me, but it would be nice to see all our skaters able to perform up to their highest potential.

  11. #26
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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.

    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.

    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.

    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...
    Nice post. ITA. The thing new rules will also put Caroline at a disadvantage in addition to Alissa, though I have heard some very promising reports about Caroline recently, who is apparently now doing 3f with no mule kick, 3lo 2a sequences, and even 2a-3t

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    ...though I have heard some very promising reports about Caroline recently, who is apparently now doing 3f with no mule kick, 3lo 2a sequences, and even 2a-3t
    yes but we were told all of that last year, too, IIRC, and yet when the pressure was on...

  13. #28
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Nice post. ITA. The thing new rules will also put Caroline at a disadvantage in addition to Alissa, though I have heard some very promising reports about Caroline recently, who is apparently now doing 3f with no mule kick, 3lo 2a sequences, and even 2a-3t
    Didn't we hear that last year about Caroline?

    But seriously, I hope you're right. If Caroline could fix her speed and mule kick she'd be an astonishingly gorgeous skater, I think most people would agree...

    Isn't she also capable of a 3-3 despite her bad technique? So the new rules may not be such a disadvantage for her if she improves. On the other hand, tt's hard to see Alissa pulling a 3-3 out of nowhere. If I were Alissa, I'd focus on the quality of the jumps she does have. Then she could hope for high GOEs, which helped Joannie, for instance.

    Come to think of it, the new rules might also put Ashley Wagner at a disadvantage, no? But maybe only on the international stage....

  14. #29
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    So does Gao remind anyone else of a cross between little Michelle and little Yuna?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RqDWcvo5b0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVSpow1HEBQ
    This girl is going places.

  15. #30
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    No, Christina does not remind me of a young Michelle. She lacks the charisma that Michelle already had at that age. Christina has potential but she also has a long way to go.

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