Oops, and I would have to include Miki Ando in that hard worker category, she has come a loooong way since she first debuted years ago. SHE proves that with hard work you can always improve ~ she went from a pure jumper into an ethereal beauty on the ice ~ lost weight, which improved her lines & figure as well, now she has hands down the very best S-T-R-E-T-C-H out of all the ladies, and that includes the Americans, et al! BRAVO! BRAVO!
And I know for a fact that she or someone close to her reads the boards, at least here at GS, I'll never forget the song "Micky, Micky" I suggested years ago, and tada there it was! On that score, if she's reading, I apologize for making assumptions about your & your coach's relationship. You two look lovely together. I'm sure it's love and not a Svengali relationship, my apologies, I only wish the very best for you, Miki Ando. Arigato!
Back to the Americans, in particular Rachael Flatt, her FS at Skate America was unfettered, joyful, unadulterated. Here it was conservative & careful, and it showed. Her SP is genius, but her FS (when skated so conservatively) is not. Also, she needs to work on fully rotating her jumps. But knowing how hard she works I have faith she will improve, just as Miki Ando has! Though it will take her more years to get to Miki's status, totally understandable, it doesn't happen over night, as Miki proves, it takes hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and staying in for the long haul (at least a decade).
p.s. still waiting for Mao's FS on youtube, it is definitely going into my FAVORITES folder.
My last word:
THIS WAS THE ABSOLUTELY "BEST" COMPETITION, AS I ALWAYS SAY THE VERY BEST COMPETITIONS ARE WHEN EVERYBODY SKATES THEIR BEST AND YOU WIN!!!!!
But I don't mean to take away from Miki's win. Her improvement is incredible. I was watching the competition being broadcasted in Chinese & the commentator said that she has improved very much in the performance department, her previously feng kuang (frenzied) StSq is now gan jing (clean, crisp) and she seems to really like her SP music. I was one of the first people to note that she's gaining great momentum heading into Worlds & mark her one of the biggest contenders for gold. Yu-na's definitely not striding in to clench the Worlds title.
I was in love with Mirai's performance. Best of the night, IMHO. I'm one of her biggest doubters, but performances like these remind me of her immense talent and sparkling charm. The program itself isn't impressive, but the skater definitely is.
I think I like the changes Mao's made to her LP, esp. the opening. She's two-footing a bit, but I'm guessing her tech will be dealt with and be in spectacular shape come March. I actually think her 3As are gaining greater ice coverage than before, reminiscent of her 07-08 season jumps (awesome quality, esp. at 4CC) Can't wait to see two perfect performances in March.
Oh, but don't get me wrong. I think Miki deserves high GOE, esp. since she's one of the few skaters with a true lutz (love the long entry, just like back in the old days). I'm just doubting that the sudden jump will continue into March.
OK, I'm rewatching Mao's LP at the moment, and seriously love the new opening! Much more nuanced and soft. I thought her arm waving looked forced before, but this, absolutely gorgeous. I must look out for some more new changes
WOW, Nagasu´s freeskate was awesome! Beautiful programme and I love her costume, very elegant... Such a pity that she is not going to Worlds.
Last edited by wallylutz; 02-20-2011 at 04:08 AM.
I am extremely ANGRY about the changes to Mao's program. The program she showed at Nationals was magical. This was not. The spread eagle is gone, the gorgeous spiral sequence is gone (replacing it with a lackluster one at the end that had almost no speed), the jumps were more frontloaded, the footwork was shortened and just randomly tapers off now, the final spin wasn't as well placed...ugh. The program no longer flows with the music. Just...UGH.
i admire your passion in declaring this. i too prefer it in its original form but if this format makes her feel more comfortable so she can skate with more confidence...
someone said lori went through the trouble of rearranging it so i doubt mao's team will change it back before worlds.
If Mao keeps her program like this, and Alissa doesn't skate well, and Miki continues to play it safe...
All I can say is DEAR GOD, Yu-Na Kim MUST win Worlds.
Well, I like some of the changes made to the Mao's LP, esp her beginning and ending poses! I do miss the spread eagle and the original spiral section but the new spiral fits in with the ending. I actually prefer the step seqence to be shortened because I'm tired of seeing long drawn out step seq under CoP. The original program was lovely but I felt it was a bit slow and drawn (which in a sense kind of fits with Leibestraum) but the new one has a faster pace and thus a better fit for a skating program.