I was very happy for Carolina. I'm a reformed Carolina Kostner hater! I really enjoyed her skating and she is by far the favorite heading into worlds. In terms of outfits, I actually liked her unitard. It completely accentuates her long limbs and lithe figure. I thought she looked lovely.
I'm happy for Akiko too. It wasn't her strongest performance but it was still very good. I love her new dress! The deep pink color with all of the sparkles...very pretty on her. She was wonderful to watch, as always.
I'm not a huge fan of Alena, but her LP is probably her best one to date. She's much more controlled throughout most of it which makes her less of an eyesore to watch. I'm glad to see she's holding her ground even with the younger Russian girls moving up through the ranks.
I like Liza T, but a lot of her skating irks me. I think her jumps are fabulous--first rate, as Uncle Dick would say, her speed is nice and she performs well (I don't feel bored watching her)...but she has a lot to work on. Her extreme front-loading is bothersome. The first minute and a half is literally skate-jump-skate-jump-skate-jump-skate-jump. I'd like to see some more balance to her programs. Additionally, her terrible ice coverage is also a problem. Essentially, she skates on one side of the rink...she has got to fix that. Her spins actually looked a bit weaker here than normal...that's something else she needs to work on. And her posture...it needs work.
I think she has a great future in the sport, but she still has a lot of work to do...oh, and yeah, Liza T's outfit was not right. WAAAAY too much make-up and that dress was a little too revealing for a 14-year old. I get that they're trying to make her look more mature, but someone needs to explain to them that wearing heavy makeup and showing a ton of "skin" does not equal "mature"...:sheesh:
I feel sorry for Alissa. She struggled quite a bit out there. To be honest, she hasn't been very good all year. She's still very much a question mark in my book. I'm wondering how much of a shot to her confidence this injury will be? Will the US judges pull a 2009 Nationals this year and still give her the title even if other skaters out-skate her? I wouldn't put it past them...
The entire event was a disappointment for me. And while I wasn't expecting Czisny to be perfect or even great, she has not had a performance this awful since her coach change last year. Obviously she has still not shaken the "inconsistent" demon and likely never will. At least the difference is that here she looked upset with herself afterward and hopefully this will push her to do much better at US nationals. As you can tell, I hold her to a higher standard than I used to (partly because of her own words).
^ Unfortunately, I don't think that pushing yourself. training harder, gritting your teeth, rachetting up your determination, etc., helps when the problem is runaway nerves.
Now, suppose she does just ok at Nationals...not that the other ladies are doing any better, anyway- and she eeks out the title much like she did in 2009. We could very well have a repeat of '09 where Czisny underperforms at worlds...but I don't even think any of the other ladies could end up 5th. Only Nagasu has the capability, but she's just as big of a risk as Czisny is IMHO. And forget about sending Flatt any more...even if she picks herself up, her rep is destroyed and she'll never get good scores again. Unfair, yes, but it's the nature of a judged sport.
I admire the progress Wagner has made...but she does not get the respect internationally for the same reasons mentioned above. At this point, I'd still send Nagasu over Wagner even with the inconsistency because when she does hit, she is one of the world's best.
Last edited by R.D.; 12-12-2011 at 12:18 PM.
Agreed. There's too much uncertainty this year (again). Alissa isn't as strong as she was last year. Last year there was a confidence about her that made her seem stronger, more sure of herself...this year, we're back to 2009/2010 Alissa--fragile looking, tentative and nowhere near as confident. It's not been a clean road for her. If she doesn't completely implode like she did at the GPF, she probably still has a good shot at the podium. She's the top US lady right now. But sending a shaky Alissa over a more solid competitor might come back to bite the US in the @$$...again
Mirai worries me but even when she zombie-skates, she's capable of scoring better than most. She usually skates well at nationals and goodness knows she's still the most complete skater the US has...if only she'd skate like it. Ashley would be my front-runner and best bet IF she can get thru the SP. But then again, she's not quite there with the judges yet. If she had a couple of good performances she could place well. She made visible improvements to her skating this year and everyone knows she's hungry for a medal.
Rachael is finish IMO. Last place in one competition, 9th of 10 skaters in another...I really don't think she'll continue to skate after this season. I say this b/c the judges have turned their backs on her and once that happens it doesn't matter how well she skates, she'll never get the scores she needs. I wondered whether her decision at worlds would come back to haunt her and it's clear it has. Even if she skates well at nationals, the USFSA would be stupid to give her one of those spots on the world team...they thought she finished badly last year...I bet she'd be 15th or lower if she went this year. The judges do not like her anymore.
Hey guys, please remember that at GS we don't approve of gossip/rumors that go against a skater's right to privacy (or their coaches for that matter).
In spite of everything, IMHO nothing has changed. Our best shot for high placement at worlds is Alissa and Mirai. Even with a fall or two Alissa has her non=jump elements and PCSs to stave off utter disaster. And Mirai might conceivably hit the jackpot. Getting both cylinders to fire at the same competition is a long shot, but better than no shot at all.
^ I think at this point I have to agree. Bottom line is, US ladies have never looked more dismal. The fact that Czisny and Nagasu maximize our chances says it all. Both skaters are quite hit-or-miss at competitions. Even our newcomers are struggling (Gao and Zawadzki didn't exactly light up the scene at their GPs). And I remember them being hyped as the Next Great Ones. That's why it is so important to let these skaters grow up and adjust before anointing them. No one can live up to the ridiculous expectations placed on promising American youngsters after Kwan.
R.D., I couldn't agree more about the state of U.S. ladies. And it seems like there's little hope on the horizon. Our top entrant in junior ladies here could only manage 5th, I think, the same as Alissa in seniors. Meanwhile the Russian junior ladies sweep the podium! I haven't seen Gracie Gold skate yet; maybe she can provide a ray of light. But I agree with you that we need to give our juniors time to mature and develop. Experiencing too much success and hype and pressure before your mind & body mature is not a good thing. The very special and talented (Kwan, Lipinski, Hughes) can sometimes handle it; but most can't.
Congratulations to the medallists.
As it has since been revealed that Alissa apparently injured her calf this may explain her performance in the LP.
(12/10/2011) - Alissa Czisny competed through pain during her programs at the 2011 Grand Prix Final, having suffered an injury to her left calf during a practice session.
The injury contributed to a disappointing free skate performance and a fifth-place finish overall.
I hope she is fully recovered by Nationals and that both she, and Mirai are at their best-I want them on the Worlds team. I only wish there was a third spot so Ashley could go too but I think the international judges have given the nod to Alissa for sure and more so Mirai than Ashley when they're both at their best.
Last edited by Sasha'sSpins; 12-12-2011 at 02:51 PM.
pretty please, stay on topic,
I'm sorry for Alissa who injured herself at practice and believe she will do well again as soon as she feels better. After all she has been quite consistent in a lot of competitions including GPF and worlds.
But Mirai, Flatt and all the other US skaters has nothing to do in this tree