I mean, seriously?!
I've met Ashley before at a small local competition and she was just as sweet as pie to everyone participating/volunteering/watching. This was when she FIRST moved up to Seniors. She DID walk around very confidently, as if she owned the rink and when she took the ice she DID own it...
i am still a fan, as well, and i too believe mirai is the most talented skater among the US ladies. what i don't see though, is why quite a few people seem to see mirai's programs as 'michelle kwan programs.' what about them scream michelle kwan to people? i just want to understand it--is it because MK has skated to spartacus before? which MK program resembles mirai's tango short?
a program may be unsuitable for mirai without that program necessarily being an 'MK' program, IMO.
lori has choreographed plenty of lackluster programs for other skaters--some of whom were coached by frank. i don't recall the accusation that they were MK mold programs being thrown about quite as frequently with other skaters. or is mirai just more interesting and worth-talking-about than frank and lori's previous students/clients?
This was my experience as well, but it was at a show (not a competition).I've met Ashley before at a small local competition and she was just as sweet as pie to everyone participating/volunteering/watching.
I have nothing but good things to say about her, from my experience...then again, as always YMMV.
I have met Ashley at a competition that she did not do too well at and she was very, very nice and easy to talk to. She acts like a normal person her age. She has a wit, too.
And I found her ducking from and hopping over the tossies being thrown for Caroline Zhang when she took the ice very cute as well. Seemed to have given her a little something to chuckle about and lighten up the nerves a little.
I saw Mirai looking up to the audience at one point. Later when I got home, and watched the recorded show to see if I miss anything, and Sandra pointed out that someone called her name and she lost focus. I thought she was just like Rudy Galindo, acknowledging someone in the audience. Sandra was a tad harsh there. A lot of skaters do it. Rudy did it on this ice years ago. Rudy mentioned that he was waving to some girl in his group who was mad at him because he didn't acknowledged her in the SP. So he made sure he waved to her.
What isn't apparent on TV was her speed. She was much faster in the first minute. Then after the first mistake, her speed reduced so much, it was like a different skater.
Mirai has always had problems with nerves going back to 2008. Has she ever gone to a sports psychologist? Gracie Gold went to one last year and it looks like it did wonders for her confidence. If she hasn't that's on Frank because he knows how she psychs herself out.
Think back to the signature pieces of Kwan’s. Salome. Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos. East of Eden. Lyra Angelica. Song of the Black Swan. Tosca. Just about the only piece of music Kwan skated to in her amateur career that wasn’t either classical or classically-inspired was Peter Gabriel’s “The Feeling Begins,” which is hardly anyone’s idea of a frothy pop song.
Now think of Mirai’s most successful pieces, which are undoubtedly her short programs. Pirates of the Caribbean. The Witches of Eastwick. Fun. Effervescent. Mischievous. Flirty. Spunky. Michelle’s competitive programs could be described many ways, but I doubt the words “spunky” and “mischievous” would appear high on the list, if at all. And Mirai’s off-ice personality can be equally fun and bubbly (there’s a reason why she was just recognized as one of the funniest people in sport—she has a delightful sense of humor).
So what does Frank have her skating to this year? A tango and a ballet suite. Now tango can be flirty—and should be—but it is a dangerous flirtation, not a bubbly one. And the classically-inspired ballet suites would fit right in—with Michelle’s repertoire. But they do nothing to highlight the special qualities that Mirai can bring to the ice. She’s an imp, not a diva. And imps have their own particular charm.
Part of the problem is the unspoken rule that balletic programs will always win over other types of programs (the same way that dramas almost always win Best Picture Oscars over comedies), but that’s another, and far more complicated, issue. But Frank is not doing Mirai any favors by having her skate to music that creates a weird kind of disconnect to her particular strengths as a performer. Mirai is not Michelle.