Well, Nagasu IS sitting on the sidelines missing worlds for the 2nd year in a row...she is being passed by more and more skaters, even watched her old junior rival Caroline Zhang rise from the ashes to bypass her. If that doesn't kick her, what will?
As for Czisny, she just does not have the nerves for competition. Frankly, I'm surprised to hear her saying she enjoys it...looks can be deceiving!
Yeah you're probably right about Mirai and Alyssa. I still just think for these really naturally talented skaters, they know that just skating clean is enough to medal. They don't have to stretch themselves technically or do anything special. I just think back to Lipinski and Hughes who both had their best skates at the Olympics, particularly Lipinski who also had pressure as a co-favorite for gold. A superior rival forced both to go out and do more technically than they might otherwise have. Lipinski's 3L/3L wasn't all that solid; she missed it a few times during the season and fell on it at the Olympics LP run-through practice. Hughes had never done 2 3/3s. Yet both pulled off the big moves, I think, because they knew they needed to; simply skating clean wasn't going to do it.
Czisny skated almost as well as she could at Worlds last year, only one missed jump in both programs. She did not even medal, beaten out by Kostner who had mistakes and lesser content, and also by Leonova. Far behind winner Ando and a 55% Kim who took silver (and nearly gold). This was in argaubly the worst year of World ladies competition in decades too.
So should either of these ladies have a myth that skating clean with what they have now guarantees them a medal at the World level, they are already operating off track with reality. With Wagner, Gold, and possibly Zhang above them in the UFSA's viewpoint going into next season, they may have to add things just to make the U.S World team should they skate clean, unless the others falter.
Kwan boosted her career in many ways being 8th at the 94 Worlds. I guarantee if she doesnt make it to the 95 Worlds (which without being top 2 and gaining the U.S 2 spots for 94 she wouldnt have been) she doesnt come close to winning the 96 Worlds, quite possibly not even medalling. It was her experience at the 95 Worlds, skating so unbelievably well and still coming 4th, that gave the push for the Kwan transformation next year. She also wouldnt have ever entered the 95-96 season with enough reputation if she didnt even compete at the 95 Worlds.
It's true that having strong rivals brought out the best in Kwan. But she also had extraordinary drive and coolness under pressure. You don't find her particular combination of skills under every tree. I'm still waiting for another one on the American team.
A lot of skaters are like Mirai and Alissa, who are far better in practice than they are when the crowds come. Angela Nikodinov used to win all the practices. So did Maria Butyrskaya...
I've heard reports that Czisny is inconsistent in practice, too...
I don't know about Nagasu though.