In my opinion, had Sasha avoided injury and skated the whole of the 2009/10 season, she would have qualified for the olympics. The grand prix events would have removed all of the rust as it were. Shame
Your point about Sasha is interesting. I wonder, however, how realistic it is for ladies over 25 years old to really be able to compete in Olympic level figure skating. I plead ignorance here, but it seems that some Olympic sports, especially gymnastics and figure skating, that require great flexibility cater to really young competitors these days.
As for the age thing, Irina was 26 I think when she won the 2005 world championships and 27 when she was the Olympic bronze medalist. But she hadn't taken three years off competitive skating.
You will note that only 2 skaters over the age of 25 have ever won the Olympic title - the very first two (Madge Sayers and Magda Julin) when figure skating was a completely different sport and far less athletic than it is today (with most of the marks being awarded for the old fashioned 'school figures' segment as they used to be called - hence, the name 'figure skating'). As time has gone by and as the sport has become far more athletic (with the school figure segment being dropped altogether), the age of the winners has fallen to the point where only 1 winner since the second world war has been over the age of 22 - Shizuka Arakawa in 2006 (24 years 2 months). Indeed, 3 consecutive winners between 1994 and 2002 were all 16 and under. Looking at the statistics, I think it safe to say that beyond the age of 22, its extremely difficult to win an olympic title - probably due to the inevitable accumulation of injuries and the reduced suppleness/flexibility of the body as you get older. As I pointed out the other day, given that, a skater only realistically has two shots at winning an Olympic title given these statistics, the age eligibility rules should reflect that by reducing them by a year to "turn 14 on 1st July the previous year" instead of 15. Because of the rules, Mao Asada was unable to compete at the Olympics in 2006 and that left her with only 1 realistic chance at winning the Olympic title - which was unfair. She will find it very difficult to win 2014 when she will be 23 years 5 months old. As Michelle Kwan found to her cost when she tried to have one last shot at the Olympic title in 2006 at the age of 25, she could well find that she is unable to compete due to injury. Unfortunately, in figure skating, the older you are the more likely you are to be injured. That's why what happened to Mao was so unfair.
Last edited by oksanafan; 03-08-2011 at 07:01 PM.
Shizuka might have had a fair chance even if she had been over 25 in 2006. This is a clip from this summer, her practising for ice show performance. She was 28 then and still managed 3Lz-3Lo, and her bielman position has improved since her competitive days, I reckon. Also she has grown as a truly artistic skater since her gold medal 5 years ago - that could have been an advantage she'd had over younger skaters in PCS.
So there's hope that there might be someone like her in the future, and why that cannot be Mao?
Shizuka Arakawa 3Lz-3Lo
her Yugao programme performed last October
(she hasn't lost any of her flexibility, looking at her signature layback inabauer too.)
No one can predict the future. Shizuka's win is a prime example of it. And we must remember that careers can have different sorts of satisfactory endings. It doesn't always have to be a Olympic gold medal.
I didn't realize we were strictly talking about Sasha's chances of winning Olympic gold last year. I thought the discussion was about her making the team. If she had managed her comeback better I think she could have made the team and performed well enough at the Olympics. But I would have considered her a long shot for the podium, maybe an outside medal contender. The way things actually played out, no way would she have beat Yuna and Mao probably not Joannie, even if she had been perfect. Or Mirai for that matter. Well... MAYBE if she had been PERFECT she would have edged out Mirai and Joannie but I'm talking perfect.
It does seem that 17-22 is the prime age for women. But if you look beyond the Olympic gold medal list there more success stories of women in their mid 20s.
Shiz's SS is amazing. Look at her deep edge. Everything is so effortless.
If Sasha was serious about any kind of comeback she should have come back in the 08-09 season and skated at the 2009 Nationals and possibly (probably given the skating at the 2009 Nationals) Worlds. She probably could have helped the U.S to 3 spots given Flatt's solid showing at Worlds. And she would have been much more competition ready and fit. Even if she still got injured and missed the 09 fall, and as it is she probably wouldnt have felt rushed to get back in top technical shape and gotten injured so badly in the first place.
One thing I think Cohen forget and was a bit delusional about was the technical level of womens skating was light years beyond what it had been when she left in 2006. Her silver medal skate at the 2006 Olmypics wouldnt have even made top 5 in Vancouver probably. So if she was a realist and at all smart she would have come back realizing she had to be a better skater than ever, atleast from a technical standpoint, and the only way to do that was to start preparing for her comeback atleast 2 years out from the Games.
25 isnt neccessarily too old. However when you come back in the Olympic season itself after 3.5 years just focusing on Stars on Ice, and are a suspect technical skater who contended but without winning a major title in what was a previously weak period of womens skating and are trying to come back in a much stronger one, then in that case yes 25 does become a bit too old.
Agreed, but this stuff is WAY in the past.
Yeah some skaters who are unusual late bloomers find success in their mid 20s. However they are the vast minority, one shouldnt assume without there being evidence for that particular skater one is "likely" to be in their amateur prime at that age, unless shown otherwise.
No offense to Shizuka, she was the best thing about the 06 Olympics but she was lucky to win that one much less another one. She did a great job at the Olympics but she didn't exactly put her name in the books like some of the other ladies.