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Thread: The American Ladies Leading Up To Sochi.

  1. #16
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    You are probably right about Ashley, I guess I just feel like she has a lot of raw talent, which makes me think she maybe has a chance. At the same time though, she has a lot of issues and they are holding her back. Maybe with a complete overhaul she'd have a shot, but if she's considering going that route, she better get on it soon, as there isn't a whole lot of time left.

    The other thing regarding Christina, and maybe it just seems this way to me, but the youngsters on the JGP this season seemed unusually strong. Zijun is quite impressive, and she even only beat Christina once in their 3 head-to-heads this season, but even more so Polina Shelepen and Risa Shoji. I think because of Liza and Adelina this season, people sort of wrote off those two and Christina as nothing special, but really they are, and in other seasons, they'd be dominating the circuit.

    Polina had some growing pains and some issues with her terrible LP this season, but she still improved a whole lot since last season and maintained her impressive jump arsenal, and last season she was the undisputed #2 lady on the junior ranks (a close second behind Kanako, really). So really, if she was one of the best last season, and improved a lot, and this season was like the 5th or 6th best, it really shows how deep the field was this season.

    Risa is only 14 and beat Polina all 3 times they competed against each other this season, and her PCS are consistently high, really high when considering how young she is. She has all the triples too and consistent 3s-3t and 2a-3t combos. No one really paid much attention to her this season because Adelina and Liza were better, but in other years, she'd likely be dominating the circuit. And I'd say she and Christina are pretty evenly matched, Christina probably heavy edge even but considering she's more than 2 years older, Risa maybe comes out on top. So basically, there are two 14 year olds that are better than Christina and another one who's about equal, but honestly, the 3 skaters we are talking about here could potentially be the 3 medalists in Vancouver, so I'm not sure it's fair to say Christina is never going to be good enough just because she's had some fierce competition on the junior ranks this season. Also, puberty could still give those girls trouble in coming years which could allow someone like Christina to pull ahead.

  2. #17
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    As much as I like Risa Shoji (I prefer her style over Kanako's), she has UR issues that she will need to sort out in the future.

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    Thumbs up

    I personally think Wagner was robbed bigtime at the 2008 Nationals. She should won with Nagasu's problems in the long program. And Flatt finishing above her that year was a huge joke.

    I think if she had won there her whole career might have been different. Instead I think there is the underlying feeling after that event even her best would never be good enough even in the U.S, never mind on the World level. I mean at those Nationals she skated out of her mind with a triple lutz-triple loop combo in both programs (I cant imagine today she ever did that when she struggles so much with solo triples) and didnt put a foot wrong other than one tiny error and still it was only 3rd place when the others were junior skaters. So what hope does she have now.

    BTW Silverlake why do you keep overlooking Agnes Zawadzki. You are aware she has regularly beaten Gao in head to head meetings the last 2 years now, even if they have never been on the Junior Grand Prix together, she did at Nationals this year, and twice in a row at World Juniors. So she is younger than Gao too. Personally I think the most likely U.S threat in Sochi (which I think quite possibly/probably there wont be any btw) would be Nagasu or Zawadzki at this point.
    Last edited by pangtongfan; 04-19-2011 at 02:07 AM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    BTW Silverlake why do you keep overlooking Agnes Zawadzki.
    You must have missed this part :
    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    This is just my opinion but I think Christina has better odds of becoming a medal contender internationally than Agnes does. Agnes is on a faster track for right now, which is why she's beating Christina, but I sort of feel like she's as good now as she's ever going to be, and could potentially regress. With Christina I don't feel the same way. Agnes has the quintessential Tom Z flaws - slow, a little generic, etc and if she stays with Tom I feel like those weaknesses won't be addressed. Christina, OTOH, has Orser and Wilson on her team, and has already improved tremendously under that team. The other thing about Agnes is her height. She towers over the competition, and for now she can still pull the jumps off because she's thin as a rail, but that might change in coming years and she could end up like Kostner or Phanuef, very talented, but very inconsistent. I know Christina got a lot taller this season too, but she's still a lot smaller than Agnes so I don't worry about her as much. If Agnes leaves Tom Z, then I think she still has a good shot at making the Olympic Team in Sochi and becoming a medal contender, but if she doesn't, I don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    You must have missed this part :
    Maybe he chose to overlook it because it seems full of questionable statements.

    Christina looks as tall and is probably taller than Agnes. I don't think Agnes has grown at all in the past season but Christina has been growing like a weed.

    She forgot to mention that Agnes is a better spinner than Christina, has better stretch and appears to be a more natural performer.

    I hardly know anyone that is too crazy about Wilson's "Yuna copycat choreo" for Christina. It really is not very original looking IMO.

    Sometimes results have to be considered. Agnes, not even skating her best keeps beating Christina. Let's not overlook that part, OK
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-19-2011 at 08:30 AM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Christina looks as tall and is probably taller than Agnes.
    Christina looks tall because of her long limbs but she's definitely not as tall as Agnes who's listed as 5'6".

    Anyway, I think Christina has made progress in many areas this season, and I look forward to seeing both skaters improve in the upcoming one.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Christina looks tall because of her long limbs but she's definitely not as tall as Agnes who's listed as 5'6".

    Anyway, I think Christina has made progress in many areas this season, and I look forward to seeing both skaters improve in the upcoming one.
    Agnes has been 5'6 since she was 14. I don't believe that Christina is not already taller than Yuna and Mao, but so what?

    I like both girls and can't predict who will do better in the future. But as P/T pointed out so far Agnes has an edge over Christina and she is a year younger.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-19-2011 at 08:59 AM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Maybe he chose to overlook it because it seems full of questionable statements.

    Christina looks as tall and is probably taller than Agnes. I don't think Agnes has grown at all in the past season but Christina has been growing like a weed.

    She forgot to mention that Agnes is a better spinner than Christina, has better stretch and appears to be a more natural performer.

    I hardly know anyone that is too crazy about Wilson's "Yuna copycat choreo" for Christina. It really is not very original looking IMO.

    Sometimes results have to be considered. Agnes, not even skating her best keeps beating Christina. Let's not overlook that part, OK
    Christina is no way as tall as Agnes. Agnes might be more like 5'7" now and Christina is probably about 5'4". In the skating world that makes a big difference. Christina is also much smaller boned, built more like Yuna or Mao, whereas Agnes has quite the big bone structure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idhlbVNqnCk Look around the 27 second mark and you see Agnes and Christina right next to each other, and Agnes is way taller. Christina has shot up this season, but last season she was really tiny.

    Anyways I mentioned this before that I think Agnes is on a faster track than Christina, which is why she is beating her now. Christina I think is more of a late bloomer, she started skating when she was 7 or 8, which is pretty late, and didn't have much success until nationals in 2009, and has improved rapidly since then. She's playing catch up a little bit with some of the other skaters like Agnes, who is only a few months younger so really the age difference is negligible, and the younger girls she's been competing against these past two seasons, but she is holding her own and keeps improving, so who knows what could happen in another 3 years if she keeps improving at such a quick pace.

    Also, I mentioned that Agnes will probably be one of the top US ladies going into Sochi, I think that both she and Christina, and probably Mirai too, will all be . Right now she's beating Christina, but I don't expect that trend to continue. Of course, I could be wrong, but there was a time when Caroline Zhang was beating Mirai Nagasu, and that certainly isn't the case anymore. A lot of people draw comparisons between Christina and Yuna Kim, Michelle Kwan, and Shizuka Arakawa so I think that's significant. People compare Agnes to Tonya Harding and Cynthia Phanuef. I'm not saying Agnes doesn't have a shot at making it to the top, I just think that Christina would probably have an easier time of it.
    Last edited by silverlake22; 04-19-2011 at 11:55 AM.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    As much as I like Risa Shoji (I prefer her style over Kanako's), she has UR issues that she will need to sort out in the future.
    Yeah I'm hoping she can address them like Mirai did. The one upside is that, also like Mirai, she usually lands her jumps, even when they are cheated. She definitely has things to work on I was just pointing out that for her age she's really good, especially in the way of program components.

  10. #25
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    Ask again in 2013 -- too soon too say.

  11. #26
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    Does any one know what's going on with Kiri Baga ? I haven't heard anything about her in a while.

  12. #27
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    Kiri Baga is back on the ice and frequently tweets updates : http://twitter.com/kiribaga

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    A lot of people draw comparisons between Christina and Yuna Kim, Michelle Kwan, and Shizuka Arakawa so I think that's significant.
    Yu Na Kim and Michelle Kwan were no late bloomers if that is what you are thinking. Kwan won her first World title at an age she would be ineligible to compete at Senior Worlds today. She also never improved as a skater from where she was at ages 15-17 (Phil Hersh said it best, she hit her technical peak in 96 and her artistic peak in 98) but because she is so outstanding, and had such a good combination of consistency, reputation, and determination to back her she remained very successful. Yu Na Kim would have been a big threat for the 2006 Olympic Gold if she wasnt underaged to compete, so no late bloomer either.

    As for being like Shizuka, that would basically be lucky that you somehow were able to get noticed by your federation again when it looked like you had already been dumped for good, get lucky to hit your peak in a very weak interim era with a mix of past their prime greats with serious health problems (Kwan, Slutskaya) and half would be greats (Cohen, Suguri) and to have the 2 performances of your life in the midst of splatfests, and voila be transformed from career journeywomen to World and Olympic Champion. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but really Shizuka's career is the strangest path to greatness ever.

    People compare Agnes to Tonya Harding and Cynthia Phanuef.
    Since Harding is absolutely nothing like Phaneuf I dont even know what to make of this one.
    Last edited by pangtongfan; 04-19-2011 at 06:58 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jtsmith123 View Post
    Does any one know what's going on with Kiri Baga ? I haven't heard anything about her in a while.
    I think her injury is healing, but to be honest, I don't think she has much of a chance in singles. She'd be better off switching to pairs, IMO.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Also, I mentioned that Agnes will probably be one of the top US ladies going into Sochi, I think that both she and Christina, and probably Mirai too, will all be . Right now she's beating Christina, but I don't expect that trend to continue. Of course, I could be wrong, but there was a time when Caroline Zhang was beating Mirai Nagasu, and that certainly isn't the case anymore.
    I like both Agnes and Christina. I can't see Agnes as Caroline Zhang and Christina as Mirai...

    The big difference for me between them so far, other than their respective strengths and weaknesses, is that Agnes has been better in bigger competitions--Nationals and Junior Worlds--than Christina has so far. That goes a long way in my book. Whether it's mental strength of peaking at the right time...you've got to get it done. If you want to be a champion, you gotta show up in the big competitions, and you have to do enough to grab some hardware. Agnes is a two-time medalist at junior worlds, a US Junior national champ, and a medalist at US senior nationals. Christina ended up empty handed in her big competitions this season, contrary to pre-season expectation, where she herself set the lofty goal of making the US worlds team...senior. Something which still baffles me.

    Agnes very likely could have fallen into the trap of a letdown at Junior Worlds this season, after having competed as a senior all season. But nope. Under the pressure of skating last in the final group, she put out her best LP all season long. I was thrilled for her and impressed. I think she deserves a bit more credit for her mental strength as a competitor, which she'll be able to rely on in the future.

    But after all, I do agree that Christina has the potential to improve in the future. She is a lovely girl. I hope both Agnes and Christina continue to improve and develop in their skating and I look forward to seeing them compete in the future.

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