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Thread: U.S. Ladies Prediction & Speculation Thread

  1. #31
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolymerBob View Post
    I do agree that the Olympic scores were inflated, as are National scores in various countries. I don't really see that as a problem as long as all skaters are inflated equally. A problem may arise if judges are told to overlook something, like slight underrotations. Those skaters who UR are helped, while those who do not receive no help at all.

    Another thing I've noticed is that ISU judges seem to ignore national results. Evan Lysacek was the 3rd man at 2009 Nationals, yet he won Worlds.
    Did Evan winning the GPF help him win Natls?

    We can all cite examples to back up a point - ex: Ashley was the top girl for US in last season's GP. She was beaten at Natls by two skaters who did not make the GPF. Ashley's superior showing at ther GP did not help her place ahead of Mirai at Natls.

    It is more complicated, reputations still carry too much sway but ultimately how you skate at Natls is what determines your fate.
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-04-2010 at 09:13 AM.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolymerBob View Post
    So the end result of all this is that battle for Nationals begins at the Grand Prix. The skaters can not just shrug it off as pre-season cheesefests. In a close contest, GP results will be a factor.
    I think that's only natural, even if it's a subconscious decision (remember, judges are human).

    And I also hoped the Cop would "lessen the reputation factor" but maybe that would work only if you had a large enough "judge pool" that you had a COMPLETELY different panel for every event, from season to season. No one judge judges more than one competition unless the field is completely different. Even then, you may still see patterns. But definitely, all the ISU did was change the scoring system, instead of the judging community. Of course you will still see the same biases.

    Anyway, I don't want to go too deep into "judge theory" here in this thread. As for Zhang- I'd rather see her skate at least once before having any real opinion on her. All I've heard is some posters saying she's fixing her technique, and a poster or two using that news to suddenly declare her a major contender again. I think the real wildcard(s) this season will be the up-and-comers, though.

    ETA:
    We can cite examples to back up a point and Ashley was the top girl for US in last season's GP. She was beaten at Natls by two skaters who did not make the GPF.
    But Wagner flubbed the SP. Nagasu and Flatt nailed BOTH parts of the competition. And Nagasu was hit hard enough with DGs than Wagner almost got on the team anyway. If Wagner went clean, you bet the Olympic team would have been Flatt and Wagner and Nagasu would have been the one missing out.
    Last edited by R.D.; 09-04-2010 at 09:14 AM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Anyway, I don't want to go too deep into "judge theory" here in this thread. As for Zhang- I'd rather see her skate at least once before having any real opinion on her. All I've heard is some posters saying she's fixing her technique, and a poster or two using that news to suddenly declare her a major contender again. I think the real wildcard(s) this season will be the up-and-comers, though.
    I agree about Caroline. She might struggle at the start of the season and not show her best until later in the season. We saw that from Mirai last season. New coaches are not miracle workers and skaters need time when making changes....

  4. #34
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Wagner are going to Worlds.

    Flatt might still finish 3rd at Nationals but her career is essentially done.
    Nagasu and Gao are the future of the US ladies for now - I expect them to go 1 and 2 at nats.

    Flatt and Wagner are on the cusp of greatness, if they can improve, they could really be a factor internationally, but if they regress at all, I feel like they may be done.

    Emily Hughes, Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner are all done.

    Czisny is getting a little old to have her breakthrough, and with Zhang it's too soon to tell, but if she can overhaul her technique than she might have a shot.

    Gilles and Zawadzki are probably too tall, but could surprise and do really well at nationals this year.
    You peeps are so bold with your predictions

    I secretely feel the same way but I'm too whimpy to make those predictions because so much depends on injuries and if one of those girld has an off-night... But assuming clean skates, I agree that the the top three will be Mirai, Ashley and Gao.... I said this a while ago in another thread. Gao for sure needs more polish. She's young but not that young. I mean, she's not that much younger than Mirai and Mirai looks way more polished. And if you look back to Michelle, Sasha and Sarah at that age...

    I'm curious to see how much room for improvement Ashley has. I think she definitely can improve her technique and cut down on the little things like two-footed jumps. But does she have it in her to pull of a 3-3. With Mirai, you can sort of see that she does. her jumps are big and you sense that there is room for more. But she has these injurity problems all the time...
    Also, I wish Ashley was sharper in her footwork. The difficulty is there _ Rachael too _ but somehow she doesn't quite sell it as much I would like. But I actually really love Ashley's spirals - her positions are nice, they are sort of underappreciated, I think.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    But Wagner flubbed the SP. Nagasu and Flatt nailed BOTH parts of the competition. And Nagasu was hit hard enough with DGs than Wagner almost got on the team anyway. If Wagner went clean, you bet the Olympic team would have been Flatt and Wagner and Nagasu would have been the one missing out.
    Thankyou RD. My point exactly. Had Ashley won the bronze at the GPF last season after the way she skated at Natls she still would have been watching the Olympics at home on TV.

    It is the reutation scoring that is a problem - not the GP series or the selection process for Natls.
    Ashley finished third and USA could only send two girls. Ashley's stronger GP season did not help her earn a spot on the Natl team, nor should it have.

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    To play DA- if Nagasu had NOT gotten as many DGs during the GP- would she have gotten the benefit of the doubt at Nationals? It was the difference between her winning and nearly missing the Oly team...food for thought, but that's for another time.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    To play DA- if Nagasu had NOT gotten as many DGs during the GP- would she have gotten the benefit of the doubt at Nationals? It was the difference between her winning and nearly missing the Oly team...food for thought, but that's for another time.
    Good point - but again it is about reputation scoring. Did Mirai rotate all of her jumps better in Vancouver than at Natls?
    Or was the tech panel more lenient? Maybe some of the experts here are better qualified to answer that than I am.

    I did not see much difference, but I am not looking at slow-mo replays the way the judges are.

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    Also, had Ashley made the podium at the GP Final, would that have been worth another 2 points in her National short and another 3 points in her free? I think just possibly.

  9. #39
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    Well, sometimes skaters make it impossible for the judges to dismiss them - Paul Wylie making it onto the '92 Olympics team, for instance. It's possible that Alissa could do this. If she skates perfectly, if she skates amazingly, it will be hard for the judges to leave her off the team.
    I think R.D. and Janetfan are both kind of right. The judges won't just get together and decide to leave someone like Alissa off the team if she skates brilliantly. On the other hand, I believe she will have to be amazing. They are going to be hard on her mistakes, so she can't have too many.

    But as for taking another "chance" on Alissa, what is the big deal? Last year people went on and on about how Rachael had to be on the team to get those three spots back. She and Nagasu were not able to pull it off any better than Alissa was. Ashley has proved time again that she flubs under pressure and she was on the team that lost the three spots in the first place so I do not understand why some people are so determined that she MUST be on the team.

    I guess I don't belong to U.S. skating and maybe that is why I think this way: But how boring is it to watch worlds just to see if our girls can get three spots, rather than actually root for them to get a medal or two. I'd rather watch good competition and that means sending the two who skate spectacularly, not just serviceably.

    If Alissa does something like this at nationals:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq8knstUZls

    I would certainly hope she'd be on the podium.
    Last edited by Layfan; 09-04-2010 at 09:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PolymerBob View Post
    Also, had Ashley made the podium at the GP Final, would that have been worth another 2 points in her National short and another 3 points in her free? I think just possibly.
    Somehow I don't think so. I think it would have turned out the same. After all, the skater still has to deliver on her end, and Wagner got outskated by Nagasu, Flatt AND Cohen in the SP. She dug herself too deep a hole. The only way she could have fought back is if she nailed the FS while two of those three skaters made major mistakes. She nailed the FS, but, unluckily for her, two of the other three skaters did as well.

    Now, if Nagasu had a stumble or fall, I think Wagner would have made the team. But Nagasu made it very difficult for the officials to leave her off the team- even with the DGs she still came out ahead.
    Last edited by R.D.; 09-04-2010 at 09:52 AM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Somehow I don't think so. I think it would have turned out the same. After all, the skater still has to deliver on her end, and Wagner got outskated by Nagasu, Flatt AND Cohen in the SP. She dug herself too deep a hole. The only way she could have fought back is if she nailed the FS while two of those three skaters made major mistakes. She nailed the FS, but, unluckily for her, two of the other three skaters did as well.

    Now, if Nagasu had a stumble or fall, I think Wagner would have made the team. But Nagasu made it very difficult for the officials to leave her off the team- even with the DGs she still came out ahead.
    ^Yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    It's possible that Alissa could do this. If she skates perfectly, if she skates amazingly, it will be hard for the judges to leave her off the team.
    I think R.D. and Janetfan are both kind of right. The judges won't just get together and decide to leave someone like Alissa off the team if she skates brilliantly. On the other hand, I believe she will have to be amazing. They are going to be hard on her mistakes, so she can't have too many.
    She'll have to pull off a Mirai Nagasu and be solid in BOTH the SP and FS, as well as rely on mistakes from the others. She'll have to CLEARLY outskate her competition and leave the judges with no choice but to award her with a team spot.

    But as for taking another "chance" on Alissa, what is the big deal? Last year people went on and on about how Rachael had to be on the team to get those three spots back. She and Nagasu were not able to pull it off any better than Alissa was.
    It's true, I'll give you this one. But if it wasn't an Olympic year, who knows what would have happened. Maybe their Olympic performances would have been their World performances? The problem with Czisny is that she doesn't really excel in either one segment of the competition or another...unlike someone like Cohen (an SP skater) or Wagner (a freeskater).

    The choice to award Czisny the championship in 2009 was controversial at best. If she is to make the team again, I think she will have to CLEARLY earn it this time, with no ambiguity.

    Ashley has proved time again that she flubs under pressure and she was on the team that lost the three spots in the first place so I do not understand why some people are so determined that she MUST be on the team.
    I wasn't one of those people, but I must say if Nagasu (or Flatt for that matter) is out of contention, she's the next pick. Yes, Wagner got sent once and blew it, so she's 0 for 1. But if I had a choice between 0/1 and 0/2, I'm more willing to give Wagner a second chance than I am willing to give Czisny a third...just saying.

    The ONLY exception I can see is if one of the up-and-comers totally blows me away at the GPs and at Nationals, and shows more potential than Wagner showed. But as far as pre-season analysis goes, it's Wagner until someone else can take her place.

    I guess I don't belong to U.S. skating and maybe that is why I think this way: But how boring is it to watch worlds just to see if our girls can get three spots, rather than actually root for them to get a medal or two. I'd rather watch good competition and that means sending the two who skate spectacularly, not just serviceably.
    Oh yes. Don't get me wrong, a medal would be great. It would put less pressure on the teammate if one of them could pull off a medal. That said, I think there's only one skater who has shown she is capable of doing that, and that skater is Mirai Nagasu.
    Last edited by R.D.; 09-04-2010 at 10:09 AM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Oh yes. Don't get me wrong, a medal would be great. It would put less pressure on the teammate if one of them could pull off a medal. That said, I think there's only one skater who has shown she is capable of doing that, and that skater is Mirai Nagasu.
    Well, it's true. With Alissa, she's never really given the international judges a chance to show how they would place her when she performs her best. I think Alissa would do well against Laura Lepisto or Akiko or whoever else out there who isn't Mao or Yuna. But we don't really know because she has always messed up at worlds.
    You can sort of see with her SC performances that she would be well-received but it's not much to go on.

    And to go back to my point earlier in the thread, it's possible that Alissa will be held back even she doesn't falter, if she doesn't step up her difficulty. She could suffer from the Johnny Weir fate - she could pull off awesome, clean, crowd-pleasing performances and still not place as high as she would like because the difficulty isn't there.
    But that depends much on what the other girls do. Really, only Yuna and Mao have hugely more difficult content than Alissa. Other girls have more difficult jump combinations than Alissa, like Miki and Rachael. But Alissa can still potentially hold those girls off because the other parts of her skating are vastly superior. But if skaters like Mirai, who match or outdo Alissa on spins and spirals and footwork, get 3-3s under their belts, Alissa could really struggle to stay near the top.
    Last edited by Layfan; 09-04-2010 at 10:20 AM.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    If Alissa does something like this at nationals:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq8knstUZls

    I would certainly hope she'd be on the podium.
    Lovely skating

    I think too much is made about the 3x3. Not saying it doesn't help but Joannie showed us that technically strong skating with a pleasing blend of artistry can still win medals at Worlds and the Olympics. Maybe that will change in the future but it was not the case at 09 Worlds or in Vancouver.

    Is a clean Rachael with a 3x3 a better all-around skater than Joannie? I don't think so, atleast not yet. That is one of the things about CoP I do like. Recognizing the overal quality of a program and not just one jumping pass seems to not only be more fair but does tend to make skaters work on their weaknesses, hopefully producing better skating.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Lovely skating

    I think too much is made about the 3x3. Not saying it doesn't help but Joannie showed us that technically strong skating with a pleasing blend of artistry can still win medals at Worlds and the Olympics. Maybe that will change in the future but it was not the case at 09 Worlds or in Vancouver.

    Is a clean Rachael with a 3x3 a better all-around skater than Joannie? I don't think so, atleast not yet. That is one of the things about CoP I do like. Recognizing the overal quality of a program and not just one jumping pass seems to not only be more fair but does tend to make skaters work on their weaknesses, hopefully producing better skating.
    Kind of the point I was trying to make above, but much more succinct There are really very few girl who have a 3z-3t or a 3f-3t AND have the overall quality to match a skater like Alissa. Last year, it was really only Mao and Yuna and, of course, that made them unbeatable unless they beat themselves. (Well, Mao had a 3a, not a 3-3 but u get the point) Mirai could become like that but she's got work to do.

    I think one of the things I love most about Allissa' skating is that it's never frantic or labored. Her footwork sequences and choreography looks calm and deliberate, not like she trying to throw in steps to meet COP requirements. You sort of forget you are watching a competition or a COP program. It's a peformance art. It's so rare. Aside from Alissa, only Kim Yuna did that for me last year, and Mirai to a lesser extent.
    Last edited by Layfan; 09-04-2010 at 10:33 AM.

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