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Thread: The state of U.S. Figure Skating

  1. #16
    Spiral Lover tulosai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    i say it wasn't fair. czisny did not deserve 2nd. i have plenty of problems with a skating judging system that gives partial credit, but even by this system it wasn't fair. and nobody expects it to be fair, either--they all know the game. while i'm no mind reader, it appears to me that caroline and her coaches were surprised she managed to outscore mirai's SP.

    and to mathman's comment, it clearly isn't the case that 'everyone' wants fair judging at nationals. the people with the power to make it fair have chosen not to make it so for a number of years now.

    whatever. i try to refrain from spitting into the wind, as they say. i only speak up in this thread because i read an opinion (tulosai's) that so blatantly disregards every other US lady outside of czisny--disregards their present *and* future.
    Oh come now. I care about all the US skaters. My only point was there is no use in throwing stones at Czisny. She is just as hurt by her poor performance this year as anyone, as frankly, the third spot she was trying to get was very probably her own. All that I said was that we have been unable to get the 3 spots; that Alissa is not solely to blame; that IMO no one had a better shot than Alissa really at getting the 3 spots (especially as USFSA made Agnes first alternate) and that IMO people should calm down. I really think you have twisted my comment beyond all recognition.

  2. #17
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    I probably don't know enough about technique and judging to say anything cogent. But just speaking in terms of logic, why would the judges favor Alissa over any skaters who are better than she is? They don't deliberately want to send someone to Worlds who will make us look like chumps this year and take away a spot from next year. Alissa's record, both the good and the bad of it, is very well known. She's 25 years old and didn't show up yesterday. She imploded at worlds one year, she imploded at Nationals another year, and this year she had difficulties in one competition or another. Unless the American judges are, say, in the pay of the Japanese Skating Federation, why on earth would they want to send someone who was worse than anyone else they could send? I have to assume they marked everyone according to what they saw on the ice at Nationals. After all, Mirai (who can be wonderful) did not skate well that day. Caroline (whom I love and have hopes for) just didn't deliver enough in the long program. Rachael took herself out of contention in the short program. Agnes took herself out of contention in the long. Gracie has never skated a long program to senior specifications.

    I really don't see how judging malfeasance comes into the issue. Sure, I've known times when "wuzrobbed" is every fifth word I utter. (Usova/Zhulin at the 1994 Olympics.) But is that as much of a temptation at Nationals, when patriotic chauvinism isn't a factor?

    Yes, I love Alissa's skating very much. But believe me, if there had been some goddess with a steady temperament and brilliant moves who had shown up, I'd have been just as happy as everyone else for her to get the spot on the worlds team instead of Alissa. This year, I think there wasn't anyone, except of course Ashley, and she won. Thank goodness for Ashley!

    There's a French term, faute de mieux. It means roughly "for lack of a better one." This year, I fear that Alissa was faute de mieux. Last year, she was as close as she can come to divine. That's the breaks in American singles skating right now.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I probably don't know enough about technique and judging to say anything cogent. But just speaking in terms of logic, why would the judges favor Alissa over any skaters who are better than she is? They don't deliberately want to send someone to Worlds who will make us look like chumps this year and take away a spot from next year. Alissa's record, both the good and the bad of it, is very well known. She's 25 years old and didn't show up yesterday. She imploded at worlds one year, she imploded at Nationals another year, and this year she had difficulties in one competition or another. Unless the American judges are, say, in the pay of the Japanese Skating Federation, why on earth would they want to send someone who was worse than anyone else they could send? I have to assume they marked everyone according to what they saw on the ice at Nationals. After all, Mirai (who can be wonderful) did not skate well that day. Caroline (whom I love and have hopes for) just didn't deliver enough in the long program. Rachael took herself out of contention in the short program. Agnes took herself out of contention in the long. Gracie has never skated a long program to senior specifications.

    I really don't see how judging malfeasance comes into the issue. Sure, I've known times when "wuzrobbed" is every fifth word I utter. (Usova/Zhulin at the 1994 Olympics.) But is that as much of a temptation at Nationals, when patriotic chauvinism isn't a factor?

    Yes, I love Alissa's skating very much. But believe me, if there had been some goddess with a steady temperament and brilliant moves who had shown up, I'd have been just as happy as everyone else for her to get the spot on the worlds team instead of Alissa. This year, I think there wasn't anyone, except of course Ashley, and she won. Thank goodness for Ashley!

    There's a French term, faute de mieux. It means roughly "for lack of a better one." This year, I fear that Alissa was faute de mieux. Last year, she was as close as she can come to divine. That's the breaks in American singles skating right now.
    to each his or her own--you and mskater and others who don't see anything wrong with this travesty... i respect your right to differ.

    i also do not believe that the USFSA *intends* to shoot itself in the foot. just mis-read the tea leaves as they have in previous years.

    again, were it not for one post that really galled me i likely would have said nothing in *this* thread. not while the pairs are skating at least, LOL.

  4. #19
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    The writing was on the wall with Alissa. She's always been a poor jumper with poor technique, but her disastrous performance at the Challenge Cup should have sent out alarm bells to the USFSA. They should have replaced her, as many posters here saw her meltdown coming. She is embarrassing herself and the federation at this event by her inability to land a single clean jump. I honestly believe she was very lucky to qualify for the free skate. The judges gifted her for the dreadful performance she delivered.

    A lot of posters turn a blind eye to Alissa's faults because of her beauty, elegance, and spins. But I refuse to believe that she was the best competitor for this event, not when her recent performances indicate that she is unable to land clean triple jumps. I hope the USFSA has learned their lesson from this debacle.

  5. #20
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    skfan, I understand your concerns that you feel Alissa was gifted, but go and look at the US Nationals protocols for ladies and explain exactly WHICH marks you disagree with and for which skaters instead of making blanket statements that Alissa didn't deserve her silver medal and spot on the World team. As I said in my initial post in this thread, sometimes you get unintended results under IJS because of the adding of the sum of parts instead of judging the whole. (Just go look at the year that Lysacek and Weir tied (I think it was 2008) even though Lysacek skated really crap-tasticly because Weir forgot to maximize his jump combinations when he did only 2 and even a single toe loop on any other jumping pass would have been enough. Everyone cried foul but even the judges were even surprised with the outcome.) Czsiny, Zawadski, and Zhang all had good and bad that got weighed and it wasn't like the scoring between the three was really spread out and Alissa was 20 points higher with three falls (like many posters here complain about Chan's scores) than the other 2 and that the other 2 had skated lights out good and she skated REALLY poorly.

    Selene, in her (and Jason's) defense, Alissa had made great strides in her jump take offs and air position enabling her to be more consistent in the 2011 season and early parts of 2012. At the GPF, she injurred herself and suddenly those improvements disappeared and she's back to the crap-tacular air position and cranked take offs she had been using under Julie Berlin that caused her so many issues. I don't turn a blind eye to it, I see what the issue is, and I am not sure what USFS should have done after the Hague - should they have sent Zawadzki (1st alternate)? Would she have done any/much better or would people be crucifying her for finishing 13th or wherever her (probably) 52 something would have placed her.

  6. #21
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    Figure skating has always been an expensive sport. Yet for 50 years, the United States always had someone in medal contention in two disciplines. So why is it so bad now? I'm sure someone has an opinion!

    My multiple choice suggestions:
    A. It has something to do with economics. Either costs skyrocketed suddenly, other countries started subsidizing their skaters more.

    B. The popularity shot up in other countries all of a sudden in the mid 00's, giving the skaters a lot of commercials and endorsements to earn money with. (Japan?) So the US skaters can't buy ice team or whatever else they need.

    C. There is just a vacuum after a very good skater dominates for years. So, we're just in the post-Sasha vacuum and post Evan vacuum. However, I don't remember a post-Kristi vacuum or a post-Nancy vacuum, so I don't know if I buy this.

    D. It has something to do with the new judging system and age requirements. Either there are so many requirements that promising people are being injured, or they are losing their jumps before they get to the age where they look sophisticated enough to get enough PCS points. We'll see what happens with Gracie and the Russian girls.

    E. I hate to say this, but it has something to do with anonymous judging. Anti-American (or anti-any country) judges can chip away at subjective criteria like skating skills and choreography, and never get called on it. This wouldn't account for meltdowns, though, or Davis and White's success.

    F. It's just a run of bad luck, with competitors who flamed out and didn't live up to their potential, and it will end soon. I'm not sure I believe this either.

    G. The worst case scenario: figure skating is over in America. Once the US dominated in diving (or was in contention), synchronized swimming, and tennis. Now, no more. Sports do fade away from countries and I hope that's not what we're seeing here. But I'm not sure I believe that it isn't.

  7. #22
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    As awful as Alissa was who else would you send to Worlds? Agnes can't seem to skate a clean LP and isn't there yet Mirai has been uninspiring to say the least and is unreliable and Caroline still has to many weakness to challenge the top Ladies. That leaves Alissa. Finding one american lady who is consistent is becoming almost impossible let alone two. Which makes what the US Ladies have accomplished having in the past having 3 spots year after year more impressive. It also seems like the US coaches haven't been teaching these girls the proper jump technique either and they were not prepared for COP which demands more then simply being pretty or graceful. Gracie might be what the US needs since she's a powerhouse jumper with great technique.
    Last edited by Jammers; 03-30-2012 at 07:18 PM.

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    I'm 100% for nationals being THE test skate (MM has said it best already so I won't repeat why). And, I really disagree that nationals was too 'early' or too 'way before' worlds ....the skaters plan their season knowing when they have to do what to then do the next thing...

    And, I don't think Alissa was held up this year, i just think she didn't skate great...it's really a darn shame that she also tanked her SP at worlds; I'm hoping she nails the LP. If she doesn't, oh well. And I don't think that someone doing poorly anymore than someone doing extremely well should be the basis of how we decide rules like how we decide the world team. And to bring Jeremy in, he nailed nationals yet flubbed his short using the non-quad lay out that he should have nailed; yet what 'test skate' would have shown us that; he has at times excelled at GPs, he has more than once 'killed' nationals...what would be the test (past worlds?? that seems really unfair to me).

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    Not going to read & wade through all the lamenting, but will instead address the topic. And that is I'm hopeful for American skating.

    Seriously, there's GG coming up next year, a rejuvenated Caroline Zhang doing the only 3R/3R combo. in the world!, titans Denney & Coughlin, hopefully some rejuvenated & inspired brand new skaters that have improved leaps & bounds and want to be on that Olympic Team as well as the World Team before the Olympics, and last but not least there is Evan Lysacek. All my hopes lie with him when it comes to the American Mens skating...

    As Scarlett O'Hara so famously said, "tomorrow is another day".

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    Figure skating has always been an expensive sport. Yet for 50 years, the United States always had someone in medal contention in two disciplines. So why is it so bad now? I'm sure someone has an opinion!

    My multiple choice suggestions:
    A. It has something to do with economics. Either costs skyrocketed suddenly, other countries started subsidizing their skaters more.

    B. The popularity shot up in other countries all of a sudden in the mid 00's, giving the skaters a lot of commercials and endorsements to earn money with. (Japan?) So the US skaters can't buy ice team or whatever else they need.

    C. There is just a vacuum after a very good skater dominates for years. So, we're just in the post-Sasha vacuum and post Evan vacuum. However, I don't remember a post-Kristi vacuum or a post-Nancy vacuum, so I don't know if I buy this.

    D. It has something to do with the new judging system and age requirements. Either there are so many requirements that promising people are being injured, or they are losing their jumps before they get to the age where they look sophisticated enough to get enough PCS points. We'll see what happens with Gracie and the Russian girls.

    E. I hate to say this, but it has something to do with anonymous judging. Anti-American (or anti-any country) judges can chip away at subjective criteria like skating skills and choreography, and never get called on it. This wouldn't account for meltdowns, though, or Davis and White's success.

    F. It's just a run of bad luck, with competitors who flamed out and didn't live up to their potential, and it will end soon. I'm not sure I believe this either.

    G. The worst case scenario: figure skating is over in America. Once the US dominated in diving (or was in contention), synchronized swimming, and tennis. Now, no more. Sports do fade away from countries and I hope that's not what we're seeing here. But I'm not sure I believe that it isn't.
    I vote for a combination of B, C, D, and F.

    I don't remember a post-Kristi vacuum or a post-Nancy vacuum
    Have you blanked out the splatfest that was the ladies event at 1993 Nationals, which Kerrigan won with three triples (still, cleaner than the four that she managed at Worlds that year)?

  11. #26
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ I don't completely understand (b). If skaters in Japan make a lot of money off commercials, how does that prevent U.S. skaters from buying what they need?

  12. #27
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    I can't speak for Poodlepal, but I don't think it's about the money or the ice time. Rather, skaters in Japan have more media attention and performance opportunities, which may include money as well, so they're more formidable opponents to the US skaters than was the case 20 years ago. (Ito was, and then Sato, but they didn't have more top skaters than the US for another whole skating generation).

    Yes, ice time is expensive, but I don't think that is a new problem in the US. I do think but don't know for sure that there has been some mitigation of the problem of finding ice time for figure skating in Japan through building of new rinks.

  13. #28
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Thank you for editing! I understand all kinds of strong emotions at this point, but I appreciate your self-restraint nonetheless.

    I still have fingers crossed for the ladies and men. You never know.

    I know that because the U.S. doesn't subsidize skaters, it's really hard to attract kids to this expensive sport, and there's little incentive for individuals to remain in competition, let alone pairs. It can't be that we have a smaller talent pool than, say, Canada or even Japan. (Population-wise, we do have an automatically smaller pool than Russia.) We clearly have wonderful athletes in this country, of all sizes and shapes. What is it we need to do to attract kids with the right combination of strength, grace, and drive to skating? When they show up, what is it we need to do to keep them there?
    Money, Olympia, you know there is talent everywhere but no money for training. It will clearly shrink back to maybe fewer events for elites as economies worsen. It is an Olympic sport for the gifted -gifted with mega sacrificial (Asian disproportionately now in NA) parents or kids with rich parents.

  14. #29
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    There's a French term, faute de mieux. It means roughly "for lack of a better one." This year, I fear that Alissa was faute de mieux.
    'fraid I have to agree.

    As awful as Alissa was who else would you send to Worlds? Agnes can't seem to skate a clean LP and isn't there yet Mirai has been uninspiring to say the least and is unreliable and Caroline still has to many weakness to challenge the top Ladies. That leaves Alissa. Finding one american lady who is consistent is becoming almost impossible let alone two. Which makes what the US Ladies have accomplished having in the past having 3 spots year after year more impressive.
    this is what I keep saying- yes, Czisny is terrible but the alternates really weren't any better. I pointed out that Zawadzki's freaking SEASON BEST score was only a few points above Czisny's Challenge Cup "splatfest". Is she who you guys REALLY wanted to send to worlds in place of Czisny?? After all, she was alternate #1. So if Czisny was kicked off or WD, that's who would have gone in her place.

    Zhang may have had a strong 4CC but there is a huge key point here that I think people are missing: there was no pressure. This is someone working her way up from the bottom with absolutely nothing to lose. The X-Factor would kick in in a BIG way if you then sent her to worlds to deal with the pressure of regaining 3 spots and putting US ladies skating back on the map. That's a LOT to ask of someone on the upswing who was planning on peaking in January as opposed to March. Look what happened to Wagner- solid skate at 4CC, then pressure got to her in Worlds SP.

    I suppose there's really no need to mention Nagasu as we know where she stands. Bombed a superb chance in 2010, deals HORRIBLY with pressure ESPECIALLY when she is in leader position. (She's typically better when she has to come from behind.)

    So, I ask again: who would you have sent in place of Czisny? No one was any better- I'm afraid it was basically "pick the best of the worst" this time around...
    Last edited by R.D.; 03-31-2012 at 02:16 AM.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    'fraid I have to agree.



    this is what I keep saying- yes, Czisny is terrible but the alternates really weren't any better. I pointed out that Zawadzki's freaking SEASON BEST score was only a few points above Czisny's Challenge Cup "splatfest". Is she who you guys REALLY wanted to send to worlds in place of Czisny?? After all, she was alternate #1. So if Czisny was kicked off or WD, that's who would have gone in her place.

    Zhang may have had a strong 4CC but there is a huge key point here that I think people are missing: there was no pressure. This is someone working her way up from the bottom with absolutely nothing to lose. The X-Factor would kick in in a BIG way if you then sent her to worlds to deal with the pressure of regaining 3 spots and putting US ladies skating back on the map. That's a LOT to ask of someone on the upswing who was planning on peaking in January as opposed to March. Look what happened to Wagner- solid skate at 4CC, then pressure got to her in Worlds SP.

    I suppose there's really no need to mention Nagasu as we know where she stands. Bombed a superb chance in 2010, deals HORRIBLY with pressure ESPECIALLY when she is in leader position. (She's typically better when she has to come from behind.)

    So, I ask again: who would you have sent in place of Czisny? No one was any better- I'm afraid it was basically "pick the best of the worst" this time around...
    agreed, people spit on vile venom on Czisny when even her alternates are even worst
    had Zawadzki competed instead of Czisny , even with minor mistakes, she'll score in the mid 140's and the USA could be down to 1 spot

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