^ Which interview was that? Don't think I saw it. I'm always a bit confused when I hear people say she "acts like a child".
Perhaps people [in general] are less willing to cut Nagasu a break because of her talent?
I think if you have the talents, its doesn't matter which countries you are from. Look at Yuna Kim, she bursted into junior scene out of nowhere.
I'm of the party that thinks things are all relative. We took having a contender all the time for granted for so many years...and it is frustrating many American fans that since Kwan/Cohen left, no one has really stepped up to fill their shoes. Nagasu COULD be the one to do it if she gained some confidence and self-esteem, but she won't even be at the World Championships next week to do so. Shame. Instead, again we're stuck with hoping the tried-and-not-true team of Flatt and Czisny can place well enough to barely eek out gaining back the third spot.
(of course, as I mentioned before, it's Nagasu's own fault she's not going to this year's worlds, really...blowing it last year really ended up coming back to bite her in an unpleasant area...)
ETA: What I just said may sound a little harsh to a select few...but I mean it with ADR. Come on, we're talking sports, aren't we?
Last edited by R.D.; 04-21-2011 at 11:36 AM.
If Mirai wants to be a champion, she needs to get the champion mentality ASAP. Yuna has it, Mao has it, Miki has it, etc and that's why they are World champions, that's what sets them apart from Mirai. Mirai is as talented as those three and has the right looks and personality to be on top if she really wanted it, but that's a decision she needs to make. Right now, it seems like she's not sure if she wants it.
I agree with you about both your exemplars of champion mentality (Mao, YuNa, and Miki) and your evaluation of Mirai. The kind of luck that Kimmie Meissner had in 2006 only comes along once in an eon--where you show up, are pretty good and are at your peak besides, and all the big guns have stayed home, and bingo, you're World Champion. This will not happen again for awhile. Mirai has to have the force of an open acetylene torch to face up against what's out there, or all the talent in the world won't matter an iota.
In fact, it's more frustrating than that. It's not as if she's going to Worlds and must face off against three current or former World Champions. She didn't even make it out of the kiddie pool this year. She was topped by one of America's weakest jumpers (whom I adore, but let's be frank) and by one of America's less sparkling artists (whom I admire, but let's be frank). She'll be watching from her couch at home. Why is that?
MiRai can do it, if she wants to and no chit chat amongst fans, natural ability or a coach is going to give that to her. Its an internal thing that she will need to harness and control. And she does need to grow up, get those emotions under control and decide what she wants.
Why did Miki lay one of the biggest eggs ever seen on Olympic ice back in '06?
Why didn't Miki bring it last season at the Olympics or Worlds? She was beaten by Mirai and then Laura yet Miki is a world champion.
Sometimes these things are hard to rationalize let alone explain.
Why didn't Irina win in '02 or '06? I doubt if it wasn't for trying.
Mirai started slowly this season and by 4CC seemed to be getting back close to her best. Her best of the year might have come at Worlds. Or maybe not!
We will never know so there is always next season.
Mao won her first WC at 17 and Yuna at 18. Mirai is still 17 so I am willing to give her a couple of more seasons.
If she never wins I will still like her because of the way she moves over the ice. And just for being Mirai, a free spirit who brings her own unique brand of charm and grace to the ice.
Last edited by janetfan; 04-21-2011 at 04:20 PM.
Your defense of Mirai is admirable. I'm sorry if I sounded hard on her. I think we're all just frustrated wandering around in the wilderness here in the U.S., with everyone being "almost" or "not yet" or "guess she wasn't the one" or whatever. We want some of what Japan has, I guess.
You're right about why many of us love particular skaters, though, and it's not necessarily for the point scores. I'd love Alissa no matter what, for example, and if she never wins a world medal, her spins will be no less breathtaking. I love Sasha despite the fact that she (like Janet Lynn) never won a World or Olympic gold. (I love Janet Lynn, too.) And you know I adore Michelle, now and forever, OGM or no OGM. (The same goes for Kurt on the guys' side.)
It's true that Mirai is wonderful on the ice, and that she's just seventeen. I will therefore be more patient and await developments.
Mirai actually turned 18 this past weekend, I believe. You know what? She's still young. I remember being 17/18 and now that I look back on it - I was a total idiot (and that wasn't even that long ago!). I understand that Mirai is in a different situation, being a top athlete in her sport - she has to project maturity and grace on and off the ice. That being said, I do find her charming and believe that she'll learn from her past mistakes. Maybe not going to Worlds this year WILL be that "kick in the butt" she needs. She should now know that if she doesn't work hard enough for her goals - she won't achieve them. Contrast that with someone like Rachael Flatt. She's someone who doesn't necessarily have the same amount of talent and charisma as Mirai, but everyone knows that she's a hard worker.
To emphasize again - she's still young. Take someone like Joannie Rochette, for example. While I acknowledge that Joannie is an entirely different skater from Mirai in terms of style and aesthetic, Joannie didn't win her first world medal until the age of 23. She won her Olympic medal at 24. If she were to actually announce her retirement, no one would deny that Joannie had a successful career. She just peaked late. Some skaters reach peaks at different times. Heck, there's Alissa Czisny, who I think a lot of us discredited until this season. She's 23 and has the chance to be on the World podium this year. So with regards to Mirai - someone who has absolutely every capability to do well and to win major titles - she has time. I hope she uses it to develop and to work hard and battle any demons that may be preventing her from reaching the top.
Kwanford Wife, what you say about Miki is why I think Christina has a chance to make it to the top someday. She reminds me of Miki in some ways - started skating late, strong jumper/technical skater but not particularly great in the spinning and flexibility department. But Miki is a hard worker and has worked on her weaknesses to the point where they no longer hold her back in competition. I think Christina could undergo a similar transformation in coming years. She just seems capable of taking the good with the bad and staying motivated regardless of the result.
While I could persuade myself last year when she was just 17 (if you know, know what I mean...) that she was still young, she no longer is, at least by comparison to the modern great champions. Putting on my green eye shade to settle into this insurance adjuster's perspective, if we refer to the Ladies Skaters Actuarial Tables circa the last couple of decades, it seems to me that the ladies who achieved sustained greatness (eg Michelle, Yuna, Mao) basically proved they were winners on the senior level by the time they were 15 or 16 years old, and won their first international championship before their 18th year had passed. There is reason to think (and the supporting evidence) that the statistical "peak" for ladies now tends to come earlier than for more historically distant champions, given the increased emphasis on athleticism.
Again, just fitting the data using Mk.1 eyeballs, a notion that strikes me is that Mirai's career trajectory more closely resembles Sasha's, another skater from whom much was expected early, but who did not win her first senior titles until she was around 18, and never won an international championship.
Admittedly, such fiddling around with statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt. There is always individual variation around the mean, so outliers are always possible. But this I take to be true on general principles: great ladies champions in skating will tend to show their colors early, and it gets increasingly more difficult to break through with every year that passes without crossing the finish line first (particularly given their relatively short competitive lives; the equivalent of a Phil Mickelson, who was well into his thirties before winning his first Major, is inconceivable).
I'm of the opinion that next year is going to be the acid test for Mirai. Why comfort yourself with the relatively low odds of being the (positive) statistical outlier if you can get the job done now? What I sincerely hope does not happen is that Mirai is brooding over the same conclusions and puts too much negative pressure on herself, which could prove counter-productive. I would love to see the contrary, that she channels a soul-cleansing anger at herself and her doubters, and transforms it into a burning desire to come to this forum in 12 months time so that she can gloat to her heart's content .
Last edited by Robeye; 04-21-2011 at 05:44 PM.