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Thread: Senior Ladies Free Skate at 7:00 pm EST.

  1. #406
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    Ashley certainly deserved to win, although I must say I'm not a huge fan of her skating style. Her little talk with Agnes was very sweet of her, though.
    Best moments for me were Rachel's free skate and her emotions afterwards, as well as little Leah Kaiser - just adorable!

    In the meantime, I'm wondering what both Kimmie and Katya Gordeeva (haaaaa, haaaaa, don't even answer about Katya, yuck!!) are doing now?

  2. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    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.
    I love your level designations!

    I have to say, though, that I never think of Kristi as she appears here, principally because of her long and storied pro career. She maintained her skills so beautifully that I have trouble associating the words "for a short time" with her. I understand that you mentioned her that way in a discussion of Olympic-eligible skating, of course. But I'm thinking that Tara alone should serve as an example of this level.

    Other than that, you gave everyone their due, I think. Sarah and Kimmie were always ready to go for it, no matter what the situation. This was indeed their most admirable quality as skaters and why they tended to land their more daring jumps. Sasha and Nancy had such excellence in their skills. Each one was a distinctive skater of her time, with beautiful lines and a particular unusual quality (power and flow for Nancy, exquisite positions for Sasha), but each was lacking that last ounce of killer instinct that would push her over the top. Though I have to say, Nancy did skate a winning program at Lillehammer, and it just happened that the judges narrowly preferred Oksana. It could have gone either way with the change of a tenth of a point or so.

    And then Michelle on her own. Well, that's what made her Michelle. She had just about every good quality a skater needs (lacking only in flexibility): artistry, beautiful fundamental skills, presence, steadiness, and the will to win. The farther away we get from her years of dominance, the more amazing she looks, especially in contrast to the drought we're going through right now.

    It's almost as if Michelle bequeathed a single piece of her talent to each of the younger skaters. Rachael got her steadiness, Caroline her ability to achieve early, Mirai her sparkle, Alissa her artistic maturity and charisma.... And several of them got Lori Nichol. Let's hope someone shows up with the skill, the grit, and the inspiration to put it all together.

  3. #408
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTnoona View Post
    I agree with one of the posters about how Sandra was being a bit harsh about Mirai. Whenever Alissa would bomb her jumps a couple of years back the commentators always found something positive to say about her like her spins are beautiful, she's a beautiful skater if only she could put it together. It sounded like Sandra was angry and frustrated at Mirai.
    A lot of posters are angry and frustrated at Mirai too. Gee, I know you guys work SO HARD at being a Mirai fan and she has ruined your lives and all, but could you find a little respect in your hearts for the former US Champion and 4th place finisher at the best Olympic ladies event anyone can remember?

    So what if she isn't doing her best these days? Is that a reason to rip her to shreds like Furies? To paraphrase Balanchine, if you don't like what she's doing, well, she takes up a very small corner of the world and you don't have to watch.

  4. #409
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    Scott Hamilton: Horrible horrible jinxer. My mother asked, who is that commentator who occasionally sounds like he's constipated and trying to push out a big one?
    During Mirai: "She's doing a triple lutz, double toe, double t-ARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!"
    During Agnes: "This flip coming up is a thing of beauty, wonderf-OOOOOOUUUGHHHHH."


    So happy for Caroline, so happy for Ashley.

  5. #410
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    I'd be surprised to see anyone even at the Sarah/Kimmie level (flawed, but fierce competitors who got kind of lucky)
    I actually think Wagner could reach this level if she continues on her upward trajectory, is successful in getting the international judges to give her some love...and adds 3/3s.

    As for everyone else, nah, don't see it happening.
    Last edited by R.D.; 01-29-2012 at 11:32 AM.

  6. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    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.

    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.
    I think this is pretty apt too. With work Mirai and Agnes could break out and do something more special. Would love to be surprised by the others

  7. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    A lot of posters are angry and frustrated at Mirai too. Gee, I know you guys work SO HARD at being a Mirai fan and she has ruined your lives and all, but could you find a little respect in your hearts for the former US Champion and 4th place finisher at the best Olympic ladies event anyone can remember?

    So what if she isn't doing her best these days? Is that a reason to rip her to shreds like Furies? To paraphrase Balanchine, if you don't like what she's doing, well, she takes up a very small corner of the world and you don't have to watch.

    People may be angry and frustrated at her but just imagine how she feels. No one wants to finish to like that and it doesn't help that the skating community has seemed to turn their back on her. I believe that Sandra's words have some effect on the way the public views skaters especially those that tune in just for nationals. When Kimmie bombed that one year, I don't believe any commentator said something like that to her.

  8. #413
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    I actually think Wagner could reach this level if she continues on her upward trajectory, is successful in getting the international judges to give her some love...and adds 3/3s.

    As for everyone else, nah, don't see it happening.
    I think with hard work and consistent performances she can get there. I believe she said it herself in the post skate interviews. Four Continents will be really interesting for her. I think to build momentum going into Worlds she will need to skate as well if not better than she did here. I also must note that I don't think Leonova is a better skater than Ashley and she finished 4th last year at Worlds due to support from her Federation and a few solid results. I don't think it unrealistic for Ashley to aim for top 6 with an outside shot at a medal. It's not like most of the other ladies are all that consistent either.

  9. #414
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    Wdoes 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.
    Miki Ando hardly has much artistic talent, beauty, or specialness and she is a 2 time World Champion. It isnt impossible to become a Champion even if you arent as talented as Kim and Asada.

    I dont exactly call Suzuki a beautiful skater either, an interesting one yes. Up to date she hasnt achieved anything that great, barely more than Wagner really, so not sure why she is thrown to such a high stratosphere though.

    She made her case immediately that the next 4 years would be HER years (and in many ways, they were).
    Not to detract from your overall point but how can you "in many ways they were" with regards to Sasha. She failed to win a single major title, and only won one Kwan-less Nationals.

  10. #415
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Miki Ando hardly has much artistic talent, beauty, or specialness and she is a 2 time World Champion. It isnt impossible to become a Champion even if you arent as talented as Kim and Asada..
    Ando has beautiful/stunning jumps and has excellent basic skating skills. Jumping wise in her the last quad one could argue only Kim was the better jumper and that's more due to Kim's 3/3 rate... It was obviously Ando was going to win Worlds because she was the only top lady left who could jump. But remember that Ando won Worlds with a 7 triple program and very difficult 3/3s in 2007. And is the only lady to ever land a ratified quad.
    To compare Ando and Ashley is a bit ridiculous because Ashley neither stands out artistically or jump wise. Ashley's hardly a great jumper, Ando at least had that. Now yes it was sad that she was able to sleep walk her way to world title due to the other ladies lack of ability to do the jumps.
    Last edited by bekalc; 01-29-2012 at 12:29 PM.

  11. #416
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Ando is a TECHNICALLY special skater. She has very good basic skating skills and has huge high quality jumps. One could make the argument (although her 3/3s) aren't that she's a better jumper than Kim/Asada. Sure she won worlds pretty easily last year with 5 triples due to the sheer issues with the rest of the field. But Ando won 2007 worlds with 7 triples and a very hard 3/3 in the short and long program.

    Its laughable to compare Ashley to Ando (even though I prefer Ashley artistically)

    Ashley's jumps really aren't that great; they can be two footed, underrotated etc.
    I agree Wagner does not have the jumping talent of Ando, I was just pointing out beauty and dazzling artistry isnt required to be a ladies champion. Kim at her best is definitely a better jumper than Ando at her best btw. Ando would never gain as many points from jumps as Kim did at the 2010 Olympics for instance.

  12. #417
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    I agree Wagner does not have the jumping talent of Ando, I was just pointing out beauty and dazzling artistry isnt required to be a ladies champion. Kim at her best is definitely a better jumper than Ando at her best btw. Ando would never gain as many points from jumps as Kim did at the 2010 Olympics for instance.
    Ando though wasn't really trying to go for big combinations nor trying the flip. Nor did she seemingly have the difficult transitions. But her jumps were very high quality, and unlike Kim she could do ALL of them.

    The point though is you normally need to have something in order to be world champion. Sure the very best skaters have both the jumps and the artistry. But someone like Kostner with her fabulous basic skating skills can get away without having a lutz (and Wagner flutzs so I don't see why that's so much better). Especially when others aren't producing astounding jumps. And someone like Ando can get away with winning when others are lackluster due to her high quality jumps.

    But if you have well neither. Its difficult to not be seen as a bit mediocre. And with Polina K (for example starting to land 7 triple repeatedly) I have a feeling that might be someone the judges might be more willing to rise up. Than lets say Wagner.
    Last edited by bekalc; 01-29-2012 at 12:34 PM.

  13. #418
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Ando though wasn't really trying to go for big combinations nor trying the flip. Nor did she seemingly have the difficult transitions. But her jumps were very high quality, and unlike Kim she could do ALL of them.
    Ando never has, and never could gain as many points from jumps as Kim did at the 2010 Olympics, even if she skated her best. Thus Kim at her best > Ando at her best even in jumping. Kim's 2010 Olympic performances would outscore anything Ando could ever do or has ever done in her whole career in every department of scoring.

    Anyway back to the main topic of discussion I can think of skaters who werent a standout either technically or artistically who won major titles. I never considered Debi Thomas a standout in either, since Ito and Manley were doing much harder jumps than she was ever trying, and artistically she was far from the best. She was just solid all around, yet she was one of the favorites to win every event in her prime. Maria Butyrskaya was not a standout either technically or artistically and won a World title, nearly won again the next year, medaled at numerous Worlds, won 3 Europeans during the Slutskaya era, and barely missed an Olympic medal with one of her weaker performances. Yuka Sato was a standout for her amazing basic skating but not either technical or artistic skills really and won Worlds, and numerous World Pro titles. I am not saying Ashley will do these things, but it isnt impossible she could become a podium skater at one point despite her lack of standout abilities. The womens field isnt that great right now, and whether it will become is purely a guess at this point.
    Last edited by pangtongfan; 01-29-2012 at 12:37 PM.

  14. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Ando never has, and never could gain as many points from jumps as Kim did at the 2010 Olympics, even if she skated her best. Thus Kim at her best > Ando at her best even in jumping. Kim's 2010 Olympic performances would outscore anything Ando could ever do or has ever done in her whole career in every department of scoring.
    Well I don't know if Ando went out there and did some of her harder combos cleanly, she might very well outscore Kim on the jumps. Not on anything else though. But a 3lutz/3loop, double axel/3toe and doing the 3flip would have given Ando a higher jump base value than Kim. Although Ando had issues rotating the jumps. This doesn't mean Ando would ever beat a clean/cleanish Kim though because Kim is the better skater. It felt like Nicolai's strategy was never to have his skater go for the hard stuff in competition.
    Last edited by bekalc; 01-29-2012 at 12:37 PM.

  15. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Well I don't know if Ando went out there and did some of her harder combos cleanly, she might very well outscore Kim on the jumps. Not on anything else though. But a 3lutz/3loop, double axel/3toe and doing the 3flip would have given Ando a higher jump base value than Kim. Although Ando had issues rotating the jumps. This doesn't mean Ando would ever beat a clean/cleanish Kim though because Kim is the better skater. It felt like Nicolai's strategy was never to have his skater go for the hard stuff in competition.
    If Ando didnt outscore Kim's top performances in jumps with either her 2007 Worlds LP or 2011 Four Continents LP then it would never happen IMO. Kim gets higher GOE on average on her jumps than anyone, including Ando, and Ando has URed most of her 3/3s she even tried since 2007. Anyway you are entitled your opinion, it is a silly discussion anyway as it doesnt relate to the main point either way, which I get what you are saying regards to Ashley which is that Ando is a standout jumper and Ashley is not. The person I was responding to though said nothing about jumps.

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