Liza is competing at a time where the current world champion is missing.
If Liza came in during the 2009-2010 GP, defeated Yuna Kim, reigning world champion at the time, at the 2010 GPF right before the Olympics, then she's equal footing to Mao. This girl came in during the weakest transitions, and you think she's the second Mao Asada? Seriously? What kind of logic is that? That's like saying all World Champions are equal, Kimmie is the same as Yuna and Mao.
As for Caroline and Alyssa - today was an eye opener for me... I truly enjoyed their skating and marveled at the end of each program that I wasn't anticipating their falls - I just dug the programs... This is definately their year and I hope that each embraces that throughout the season...
I was there in Paris.
Liza is so exciting to watch. On top of great jumps, everything about her screams of joy and excitement of being able to perform and show what she can. Mesmerising. Having said that, especially in free skate, especially after watching skaters like Caro, it made me worried about how very small portion of the ice she utilises. I don't know whether it was intended so choreographically (some skaters have preferred locations for certain jumps) or due to her relative lack of power and speed in skating. Anyway, she's so young and it was actually encouraging to see a room to grow.
Caro's power and speed across the ice was simply breath-taking. Not matched by anyone in the competition, I thought. Watching her skate is like watching men skate! Her speed going into the doubled flip was so much that I held my breath as I somehow knew she wouldn't make it.
Alissa was gorgeous. The way she subtly but surely picks up nuance of the music through her movement is wonderful. I just wished she had done a little more skating-wise in-between elements. But that might come once she settles more with her jumps.
Overall, it was great to have three skaters with rather different qualities up on the podium. For me, that is a triumph of IJS. Varied ways of rewarding skaters with different strengths.
I read Kanako has a very serious boot problem this season, like Jeremy last season, in Japanese source. I thought she skated a lot better than at COC, and her smile at K&C said it all. There is something enchanting about the way she performs - like I could see herself, her emotions, personality, time and efforts she has put in, etc, through her performance. (Or is that because I am Japanese and naturally sympathetic to Japanese skaters? I cannot tell myself.)
History (particularly Olympic history) has had it's share of child prodigys. Why punish a child with some artificial means of keeping them out of senior competition? If they're the best athlete they're the best. At the 1936 Olympics 13 year old Marjorie Gestring won the springboard diving event, at the 1952 Olympics 15 year old Barbara Pearl Jones won gold with the relay team in track, 14 year old Nadia Comaneci took AA gold in gymnastics in 1976 and of course Oksana Baiul and Tara Lipinski took their respective Olympic golds as teenagers. Injuries can happen at any age and most junior level athletes are doing the same number of jumps as the seniors. I think it's a crime that Mao Asada could not compete at the 2006 Olympics and the same for gifted gymnasts in the summer Games who did not make the age limit. I think they're should be an exception to the rules for children who are clearly exceptional. A country should be allowed to send their best athletes to the Olympics. Period.
The person that questioned the third jumping pass (how do you know it was intended as 2A+3T): look at the practice threads here. Also, you could see Alissa's brain already working about the 3T when she stepped up into the Axel which made her Waxel it a little bit.
As for Liza, she's a 14 year old precocious jumper with a little skill at selling a program for her age. At 14, your ability to just go out and do things without questioning yourself is different than your ability at 15, 16, 24...that, more than anything, is the difference (the level of self-conciousness that creeps in with puberty). Even if she doesn't grow much or put on much weight, whether she can handle that level of self-conciousness will be interesting to see. Kwan had one bad season (97) where she grew a little and filled out a bit and went through that self-conciousness, but she got her competitive mindset back after the stress fracture recovery in 98. It's how you handle that stage when you get past your precociousness that separates a good skater from a champion.
^OT, but I read the interview of Yuna today and although she is much much older than a 10 year old, I found depressing that what she wanted was disregarded by the others who decided about her.
I dont agree about a ten year old competing in seniors anyway because it cant be a complete athlete in any sport I think. But just I find the conversation irrelevant to TEB and unfair to Tukt -who is almost 15 now- because she won. Adelina, Liza, and before them Mao and the rest started competing at juniors and are going by the rules of ISU, and passed from juniors to seniors when they were allowed.
No, you're not biased. I find Kanako absolutely delightful too and I love her programs this year. I am hoping to high heavens that she will continue to develop successfully. Is the boot her only big issue? I hope so, as it's fixable. She looked so distressed after her SP. She has that mule-kick on her lutz (or is it her flip?) but it doesn't seem to affect her ability to land it. I'd like to hear more discussion of her skating by people who know more than I do.
Spun Silver, I am glad to know that her charm reaches beyond cultural boundaries!
According to this article (in Japanese), Kanako skated with what I assume her old boots (as her coach is quoted to be saying it had become so soft that it did not hold its original shape any longer, and she used many rounds of tape to keep it in shape). Another article says her boot problem has persisted since September and that was also a chief reason behind her poor performance in China. She was quoted to have thought about withdrawing from the both competitions due to lack of preparation, and reported to be crying everyday.
The article however concludes on a brighter note; she was satisfied with herself for not giving up and having given what she could. She felt encouraged, and above all, she found the fitting boots in a shop in Paris.
She was delightful to watch in the exhibition. She was quietly expressive, smooth on ice and above all, smiling throughout the programme. The crowd cheered when she finished her performance much louder than when she first came on the ice. (I guess it was her performance, not the crowd's expectation from a known popular skater, that brought the round of applause.)
I also think she is struggling with her new programmes this season. She's dropped the short choreographed by Tat reasoning it was too difficult. The last season, her coach Machiko Yamada said it was her team's strategy to play on her strength - her youthful charm, energy and love of dancing. This season, however, her team decided to present more grown-up Kanako. (But she's just turned 17 and her off-ice personality seems still very much a typical girl in a school uniform.)
According to this article, she (or her team) is also considering changing programme(s) though.