A few years ago, "disappointing" skates from the top US ladies didn't keep them off the podium at Worlds or Olys. Yet, their best effort at Vancouver Olys couldn't even get them ON the podium. Says it all. But I suppose it's a "half-full, half-empty" situation.
Most comments about Czisny last year were not personal, so I assumed most were directing their frustration at the judging.
I'm not so sure about that. Wasn't scoring at 2010 worlds inflated compared to last year?
Leaving the numbers aside, Alissa's flawed skating was good enough for 11th at worlds. Rachael's flawed skating was good enough for 9th, not much better. I don't know what Alissa's best skating would be good enough for at worlds, since she has never done it. But I do know that Rachael's best skating was good enough for 7th at the Olympics. I don't know if that gives me all that much hope for the future of the U.S. skating. But we'll see.
In terms of the funding, I'm not fussed at all. The U.S. nationals judges decided that Rachael was our best lady skater and U.S. figure skating must act accordingly. The rules don't think that a 4th place Olympic finisher/7th place world finisher deserves equal or more funding than the national champion. I don't think those rules are ridiculous. Obviously, people making that argument dislike Rachael's skating but don't want to come out and say it.
Not sure where Ando stands but do we know whether Rochette or Kim
Until 2010, has any US champ (lady) did this bad at the Olympic Games?
If not, why would they have rules to reward off-podium finishers at the big intl events? The history so far has told the officials that if a US champion is going to be on the podium at the Oly or WC, so there's no point in awarding non-champ who doesnt' get on the podium.
This is the reflection of how weak the U.S. ladies are right now. The rules made PERFECT SENSE until now.
So I think it's unfair to diss Rachel b/c she just did what she did and got the funding. And I'm not sure if I'd call it unfair to Mirai. She had a shot at getting the same level of funding that Rachel gets at WC. All she had to do was beat Lepisto, but that didn't happen.
Last edited by Nadia01; 05-12-2010 at 02:43 AM.
What kind of money are we talking here about? I mean, what is the difference between Envelope A tier one and two moneywise?
Although S.Hughes won the Olympics, it doesn't count for 3 spots. None of the 3rd place ladies were necessary to place high in top ten at Worlds. While it is nice to see 3 American ladies skating in a competition, it doesn't matter if the top two qualify for a third the next year. A third skater has never been needed.
As for Zhang at the 2011 Nationals, we have to wait and see if the speed has increased and probably the mule kick has disappeared. If so she is a very talented challenger for a podium finish.
In the last analysis, are we convinced that Mirai and Rachael are shoo-ins?
I for one do not see Mirai or Rachael as shoo-ins to make the next US Natls team.
Perhaps one of them will skate well enough at Natls next season - but Ashley could earn a spot and since ice is slippery maybe Christina or Caroline could do it too. Or possibly Alissa.....
The "three spots" comments are actually very accurate. I think you are right that it only takes two - but what seems disappointing is that we don't have the TWO that have been good enough to earn three spots. Forgetting the third spot because you are right that often the third skater winds up 15th or whatever. But when we don't have two good enough to qualify the third it shows the two are not up to the former standards set by US Ladies for the last half century.
1948, Gretchen Merrill was 8th (and the top US finisher, Yvonne Sherman, was 6th). That's more embarrassing because it was right after WWII and several of the skaters who beat them were from Europe, which had been more affected by the war than the US.
Of course, Olympics only happen every 4 years so there aren't a lot of examples to choose from.
Before Czisny in 2009, the worst finish for a US ladies' champion at Worlds would probably be Jill Trenary's 7th place in 1987. And the other two US ladies took silver and bronze that year.
I agree with Nadine. The USFS criteria for top funding tier are about winning. You have to win U.S. Nationals or medal at worlds or the Olympics. Skaters who do very well and show a lot of potential for the future, that should be their goal next year.
...the remarkable exception being Sarah Hughes who snuck into the 2002 Olympics as the third-place U.S. skater behind Michelle and Sasha.Originally Posted by janetfan
I shouldn't say "snuck," though. Sarah helped earn that third spot by winning world bronze (Michelle was first) in 2001.
At 1991 Worlds, Nancy Kerrigan (third at U.S. Nationals) also won third at Worlds, behind Kristi and Tonya.
I think the main reason we feel this way is because we had Michelle Kwan for a decade. Michelle, good skate or bad, made the podium at eleven straight world championships and Olympic games.A few years ago, "disappointing" skates from the top US ladies didn't keep them off the podium at Worlds or Olys. Yet, their best effort at Vancouver Olys couldn't even get them ON the podium. Says it all. But I suppose it's a "half-full, half-empty" situation.
Now the "Michelle Kwans" are Kim and Asada.