As for the ladies, it will be interesting to see if we see a new push toward "you need the 3x3" and all the other goods too OR not (right now, looks more like not...but remains unclear).
I think Kozuka has finally learned how to bring it at the big event and will step up from here on. However, though he may challenge Chan and keep him on his toe, he will have a hard time beating Chan who is two years his junior. His innate talent and mindset are both just a notch below Chan's. Chan's impact on the sport will be mostly on the up and comers. So many of them have been modeling him now, or even gunning for him as little Nam, I suspect, may be preparing to do. The most important part is what is now believed to be achievable, a new standard to aspire to or to surpass. I believe Patrick will dominate for a few years if he wishes to, getting chased, but the next wave of new talents will be closer to the bar he sets and there will be super talented ones to challenge his standard, though I suspect his records will stand for a while, and by his records I mean his future ones as well. He is his own biggest challenge right now. He is a one man show, but there will be other one man shows in the future.
The Ladies, though it's frustrating right now in the US, the Junior fileld in the World is extremely rich with talents. Of course, for girls, the future is more unpredictable due to the impart of puberty on their bodies. That's why it's great to have so many pickings. Besides, often a super girl emerges from nowhere to dominate even as some shine much later in their careers after years of hard work and determination. Their projectories are more varied and less predictable than those of Men.
Yes, I am optimistic and think it's a pretty exciting time for figure skating, though I understand it's difficult to feel this way in the US.
I think fundamental changes are needed in the US to produce a nice crop of World medalists, but as it is, there is neither will nor resources to dedicate to the future of figure skating in this country.
I am going out on a limb here, but the only way to end this silly war of words is to bring back the figures portion of figure skating. Then we will see a new "trend"...
SP: Chan (4T+3T), Oda, Verner, Bradley (4T+2T)
Fernandez did both 4T and 4S in the LP. (Reynolds attempted both 4T and 4S but was not successful.)
One good thing about barrel jumping -- it's a real sport. No sequins, no music, so prancing and posing. And best of all, no judging controversies. If I jump 20 barrels and you jump 21, you win!
CoP should have rules that punish bad choreography, it should allow skaters to create great programs with a certain amount of freedom, and it should precisely reward difficulty. CoP is currently failing at all of those things (partly because of the rules themselves and partly because judges are not scoring correctly).
The fact is that doing a 3Lutz+3Toe and then a solo 3Toe is harder than doing a 3Toe+3Toe and solo 3Lutz. The system currently rewards them equally. That is wrong. The same goes for combinations with a 3Loop at the end. A 3Lutz-3Loop is of greater difficulty than just 1 point over a 3Lutz+3Toe and in actuality the current CoP sometimes doesn't even give the skater that extra point. Because, again, if someone executres a 3Lutz+3Toe and solo 3Loop in their Long Program, they receive the same amount of points as someone who executed a 3Lutz+3Loop and solo 3Toe. Plus 3Loop combinations are more prone to downgrades, making it even less desirable to try one (even with the new rule of a jump being called as underrotated not hurting as much).
The system needs to be tweaked to specifically rewarding jumping passes for their exact relative difficulty. The system needs to grade spins and footwork on quality more than the amount of positions/turns a skater can cram into them (and judges need to be trained better to understand which spins are the most difficult and best executed, because they are doing a terrible job at it right now). The SHORT PROGRAM needs to go back to being 8 required elements. If the required Footwork sequences took up less time, but were graded more on actual quality than how convoluted you can make them, then there would still be room to have all 8 required elements in the SP under CoP without the programs becoming too cramped.
The LONG PROGRAM needs to go back to being a Free Skate where skaters have optional slots about which additional technical elements they want to include in their programs on top of the minimum requirements. And those minimum requirements should be:
*6 jumping passes, with 2 of them being a two-jump combination (7 jumping passes for male programs)
*1 footwork sequence or spiral sequence
From there, skaters would have 3 optional slots available. They can use these flexible slots to add anything they want to the program - spins, footwork sequences, spiral sequences, jumping passes, or extra jumps done in combination (doing a 3-jump combination instead of a 2-jump combination would count as a slot and a total of 3 jumps would be a maximum a skater can attempt in a single combination...additionally note that something like a 3Toe/half loop/3Sal would count as a 2-jump combination).
The limitations would be as follows:
*No more than 3 footwork sequences in a program (skaters may not repeat the same type of footwork pattern and could do 1 circular, 1 straightline, and 1 serpentine at most).
*No more than 2 spiral sequences in a program (that are of sufficient duration to be scored) and a footwork sequence must also be included in the program if the skater has 2 spiral sequences.
*A maximum of 2 slots can be used to add additional combination jumps to the program (and only 1 three-jump combination may be attempted).
*A maximum of 2 slots can be used to add additional jumping passes to the program. If 2 slots ARE used for extra jumping passes, then the lowest scoring jumping pass will receive a 40% penalty to its base value (adding this many extra jumping passes can make it too easy to gain points, so there has to be a balance).
These changes would allow for more variety within the Long Programs, letting skaters set themselves apart from each other a little more and have greater control over what elements they can include in their programs to best interpret the music. I firmly believe individual programs would look better, competitions would be more exciting, and entire seasons would be more dynamic if these rules were in place. We need to be left guessing what a skater will do next. We need to see different skaters doing different technical layouts. We need to see programs change more throughout the season, as skaters experiment with different elements and ideas. CoP currently does not allow people to make as many choices as they should be able to. Choices are interesting.
I agree with BoP about tweaking the scoring to reflect actual difficulty, and I like the suggestion about having the "optional slots." I'm so tired of skating competitions that look like everybody crafted their program from the same recipe book--especially the singles' programs. I'm tired of slow, contorted spins in ugly positions that go on forever, and I'm tired of overwrought footwork sequences.
I see only one trend- If you want to win, be head and shoulders above, like 20-30 points above. Then, there will be no questions, no controversies.
Good for Fernandez. What he needs is serious choreo.
I used to know a barrel jumper and he told me that the audience wants to see blood. They love it when the jumper misses the leap. He was quite the womanizer and made good money in those by-gone days.
btw. Would you say, competitors now need a quad for a possible medal? I kind of think that the Jump is now mainstream.
In this championship Patrick Chan scored a total 38.9 points for his two quad combos and one solo quad. Pretty hard for any skater without a quad to catch up.
^^^^The real difference to make up for is between the quad's value and the value of what another skater does in its place. It's not lke they let the jumping pass pass.
A quad is worth over 5 points more than most triples but only 1.80 over a 3A or less than a point more than a 3A with 10% bonus. The additional advantage for a good quad jumper is the corresponding high value of its GOE, each translating into 1 point in total score. However, GOE for 3A has the same value.
Taking everything into consideration, Chan is still the skater who can win without a quad. That is why he is almost unbeatable with his quads, which usaually also earn high GOE points. Other quad specialists are non contenders. Quads are most valuable as additional arsenals. Outside the complete skaters, the high PCS achievers are the more memorable more reliable and more enjoyable ones, with possibility to seize a medal when a contender falters, usually on jumps .