01-29-2012, 05:55 AM
I haven't seen all the programs from all the ladies, but from what I saw:
First of all, really happy for Ashley Wagner! Well deserved! I was rooting for her to make the team, every year she is somewhere near but never in, she is one of the most succesful US skaters at the Grand Prix, but Nationals just never went well for her. And now she is a National champion, hopefully it will give her confidence and motivation. I really like her LP, nice choreography.
Alissa... Well, she is a beautiful skater and all, but I guess I'll never really like her because I can't stand these jumps. They are painful to watch even when she lands them. Loooong entrances, no transitions, very low and barely rotated. She also seems slow to me, but I've never seen her live, so I'm not sure. Another reason why I don't like Alissa is her programs. I hope she will at least try something different, all of her programs are the same for me.
Agnes Zawadzki is a powerful jumper but she still needs a lot of work on her PCS. I don't really like her programs and costumes. Still, nice jumps when she lands them.
Caroline Zhang was a nice surprise! She lost some weight and looks much better now, and obviously she's been working a lot on her jumps. Way to go! Her spins aren't the same they were when she was a tiny teen, but at least she still has her wonderful layback. I think if she'll continue to improve it's possible for her to make the team next seasons.
Mirai... Oh, what can I say? She has really nice SP and I hope she will keep it next season, but that's one of the programs that look brilliant only when performed good. And she needs to forget that LP and change it as soon as possible. Maybe she should work with different choreographer, I'm not impressed by Lori's works for her so far. But obviously, the programs aren't her main problem. She looks a bit out of shape. Maybe she needs to train harder, it's hard to say, but she is probably the most talented of all the ladies, such a shame to see her skating like this.
01-29-2012, 06:08 AM
There are many problems with the US ladies, particularly when you look outside of nationals and place them in an international context.
The only lady capable of a world medal and even GOLD is Nagasu. If she produced the short from 2010 Worlds, and the Free from 2010 Olympics that would definitely medal....possibly win. But she is a giant headcase and her technique is such that it would require an absolute miracle to do the above.
The most consistent skater, Ashley Wagner, will never win a world medal. She has edge issues, rotation issues and lacks star quality. 5th or 6th is her limit, which is excellent, but not what you;d expect from a US champion.
Alissa is capable of a bronze, a silver if others have a meltdown. Her technique is jarring, jumps tentative, small often UR but she has everything else. However, I feel like the her 'beautiful skating' is no longer enough and her PCS will never be as high as they could be because of her tentative and inconsistent skating.
The fact that Zawadski can win the short is sad IMO. The state of US ladies is sad too. I remember when all three medalists had legitimate shots at a world title. Now they only have a chance of top 10 top 6 at best.
Hopefully it can be turned around, soon.
01-29-2012, 06:20 AM
01-29-2012, 06:26 AM
Believing in Mirai
01-29-2012, 06:41 AM
01-29-2012, 08:39 AM
Let's hope some youngsters who haven't been mediocre of the World stage the last 4-5 years rise up in the next two years because if we have to depend on Alissa or Ashley or Mirai or Caroline come 2014 we will get killed at the Olympics. They had there time we don't need holdovers from the last Olympic cycle who haven't gotten it done. Agnes does have potential and hopefully gained some much needed experience on what she needs to do to win and Gracie has a ton of talent but we'll have to see about that too. But i would much rather they get the chance then the vets. Besides usually halfway to the next Olympics usually new stars have come on the scene to challenge the veteran skaters from the last Olympic cycle but the same skaters that we've seen for years are the top contenders. That's not a good sign for US skating.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
Last edited by Jammers; 01-29-2012 at 08:57 AM.
01-29-2012, 09:53 AM
I think the last thing Mirai needs is to work with another chilly, "legendary" coach like John Nicks. I think she should work with Karen Kwan and Peter Oppegard! And she should definitely ditch Lori Nichol. Her programs this year were terrible. Mirai is capable of so much more in terms of artistry--why, for instance, did Lori de-emphasize her spiral in the long program. Mirai has a spiral that is among the best of the current ladies. It should be placed for maximum impact. (And she should also ditch the ugly boot covers).
01-29-2012, 10:09 AM
This! I agree she deserved to win in this weak field, but I am sure she two-footed at least two of her jumps. I haven't had a chance to go back and look. I love her choreo, however, and if she can skate clean--a big if, I know, she should score pretty well. (She also needs to ditch the boot covers).
Originally Posted by FlattFan
01-29-2012, 10:19 AM
Mirai needs to find out if she really wants to skate or she should just quit. I don't see any joy or fire in her at all. She just looks miserable and no coach can fix that. It's all up to her now. Frank isn't a miracle worker if someone doesn't want to work hard and do what it takes to get better then maybe he needs to drop that skater. I'm tired of Mirai not taking her skating career seriously. I mean really finishing behind Flatt?
Originally Posted by jenaj
01-29-2012, 10:35 AM
I agree. She still has huge potential but she should either give 110% or quit now and stop wasting her time. Her PCS in the short program show U.S judges are even about ready to give up on her.
Originally Posted by Jammers
01-29-2012, 10:48 AM
Yeah, but the problem is that they are all about the same, stuck at what I call the Angela Nikodinov/Jenny Kirk/Tania Kwiatkowski level. In other words, they are all pretty good, but they are not at the world medal level. They may get as far as 5th (as Rachael and Alissa did) in their best year, but that's it. If Rachael gets her triple triples back, I'd throw her in that group, too.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
As for Gracie, I would not be surprised if sometime between now and next year, she has a growth spurt/eating disorder/stress fracture, and she winds up in the pile, too.
I'd be surprised to see anyone even at the Sarah/Kimmie level (flawed, but fierce competitors who got kind of lucky), or the Sasha/Nancy level (never wins, often medals), never mind the Kristi/Tara level (best for a short time) or the Michelle level (world dominance for years) in the next few Olympic cycles.
01-29-2012, 11:04 AM
I would take Nancy Kerrigan in a heartbeat. Yes she had meltdowns also but she also medaled at Worlds and almost won the gold medal in Lillehammer and has two Olympic medals.
Originally Posted by Poodlepal
01-29-2012, 11:31 AM
I think its only matter of time before the US gets SOMEONE who is capable of competiting at the highest levels.
Originally Posted by Poodlepal
01-29-2012, 11:42 AM
I agree that the motivation has to come from Mirai herself, but the right coach might be able to help her find that motivation. Frank is very good with inherently self-motivated skaters like Evan or Michelle, but maybe not so in helping skaters find that motivation within themselves. I am not willing to give up on Mirai yet. She is the most talented of the US ladies, including the newcomers. It just isn't working with Frank for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that he has moved to Palm Springs. She needs to make a coaching change and find a rink where she can train consistently. And a new choreographer--how about David Wilson? Only then, can she fairly judge if she can find the self-motivation to continue.
Originally Posted by Jammers
01-29-2012, 11:43 AM
Why are Sandra & others harsh with Mirai? It's because she's falling so far short of her potential. All you can ask of a skater is that they perform their best and achieve the potential that's within them. Not every skater has the potential to be world champion; if the best they can hope fo is 3rd or 6th or 10th at Nationals, then you're happy when they do that. Take Caroline, for example. She certainly can't hope for a World medal right at this point; but she COULD realistically hope and dream of a national medal, and everyone is thrilled that she achieved that last night.
Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy
Mirai Nagasu is another story entirely. This is a girl who came into the Olympic season with almost no expectations and still finished FOURTH at the Olympics. Then, the next month, she was FIRST in the short program at Worlds. Those placements spoke volumes about her potential, especially the short program win at Worlds. That meant the judges viewed her as a contender, one of the best in the world, with potential to be world champion. Just to compare, does anyone think Ashley Wagner realistically has a shot at winning the short program at Worlds and beating Mao, Carolina, Akiko, even Yu-Na if she were still competing? No, it will probably never happen, because as good as she is, Ashley just doesn't have the artistic talent, the sheer beauty on the ice, the talent to win at that level. Mirai DOES. All she has to do is skate to her potential and she could be world champion, even Olympic champion. It's all possible.
Not only does Mirai have the talent, she had the opportunity. With Yu-Na not competing much, Mao rebuilding, and Joannie semi-retired, Mirai had a great chance the last two years to establish herself as one of the top skaters interntationally, one of the favorites for Worlds. That's what Sasha Cohen did in 2003, after she finished 4th at the Olympics. Sasha came out the next season trained, ready, on fire, and with excellent programs. She made her case immediately that the next 4 years would be HER years (and in many ways, they were). That's the kind of approach Mirai needed to take last season. Instead she came out flat and unprepared and unmotivated. She had a great opportunity and she let it slip away.
People are disappointed in Mirai only in proportion to her talent. With talent comes expectations. There is still time for Mirai to right the ship; as people keep saying, she's only 18. But the reality is that for many ladies skaters, those years from 17 to 21 or so are the best of their career. The time is now for Mirai; she doesn't have forever. So sad to her skate the way she did last night. I miss the old Mirai.