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Thread: Who will rise and who will fall in 2012-13?

  1. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    Unlike the US, China has never had a single male skating star. So far, Han's record shows he's on his way to being the first. I think as raw as Han Yan is artistically, there are some fundamentals in there. He has a basic feel for the music, and I see glimpses of artistry and flair trying to come out. However, full musical expression is like a language he doesn't quite speak yet. And the time to learn languages is when one is young. He needs to be immersed in musical and dance training on a regular basis. The Chinese skating program does not appear to have any facility for that. If his family is as rich as some say, I wish he had the option to fund his overseas training himself. Barring that, competing in seniors would at least expose him to skaters who are more mature and complete artistically.

    My frustration isn't just for Han's sake. I mean, I'd hate to see skating talent squandered anywhere. But for a country that hasn't had a breakthrough success in that discipline, it's especially frustrating. The rise of one trailblazer usually unearths a glut of other stars. Shen/Zhao paved the way for the other Chinese pairs; Midori Ito/Yuka Sato presaged the explosion of Japanese ladies, etc. If the Chinese federation cultivates Han into a star, that will lead to others. It's not just Han's potential they're holding back here.
    These are two significant points. I agree with both of them.

  2. #167
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    The problem with saying that Han Yan's family is allegedly rich and should pay for his training expenses is that they don't have the option to! The Chinese federation isn't going to let them. As the saying goes, he who pays the piper calls the tunes. If Han Yan and his family pays his own way, then he gets to do things his own way. The Chinese fed is having none of that. The organization wants total control over their athletes' major decisions. Recall the horrific breakdown of relations between Lu Chen and the organization when Lulu wanted a bit more control over her skating. The federation insists on calling the shots and to do that, they must also hold the purse strings.

    Blaming this on Han Yan and his family is ludicrous. It's a situation, an institution and really a whole culture that was firmly established before they ever had a say. One skater's family, no matter how supposedly rich, will not buck it. If you feel Han Yan should pay for his own training expenses, then your quarrel should be with the Chinese federation. If, like me, you feel the Chinese federation is holding Han back and keeping him from necessary training, once again, the problem is still the Chinese skating federation. If Han's family is indeed that rich, then both wishes result in the same thing: Han Yan living and training in Canada with Lori Nichols (or possibly with Patrick Chan's new team).

    There's a tendency in Chinese social media to focus displeasure and rage at individuals when the real problem is the institution at large. This is, of course, the direct result of the Chinese government's strict control of the internet that tolerates very little overt dissent about the government. The masses still has plenty of frustration they need to vent, given the many intractable and glaring problems in China. With the government itself being a rather unsafe target, most of that venting is visited on people instead (and also, occasionally, foreign nations). This is ultimately ineffectual in achieving anything besides temporarily quelling mob anger. Those of us outside the purview of China's media censors should try not to fall prey to their scheme. Recall the ancient proverb: hate the game, not the player.

  3. #168
    On the Ice Wildstorm's Avatar
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    I agree with you 100% I realy wish I could go see worlds or the olympics because of the vast mens field! But if Yu-Na Kim is coming back that should definately add some excitement to the Ladies, not to mention that the Japanese women are prety kick ***.

  4. #169
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    Liza also has a lot of potential and will be a pleasure to watch!

  5. #170
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Welcome, SparkelyOnsie. Thanks for joining us. Post often, post long!

  6. #171
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    I think we have the deepest Men's field ever. There are so many quality skaters right now that watching the Men is a joy and a treat, unlike the Ladies field which is generally weak. Chan and Takahashi are at the highest level, but the rest of the top 10 are none too shabby either and with Plushenko, Lysacek and Weir coming back next season, it only gets more difficult to make the podium.
    I don't think the ladies' field is particularly weak. It may not have a skater as dominant as Patrick Chan, but like the men's field where Chan and Takahashi clearly lead the pack, two women absolutely dominated in the last season: Carolina Kostner and Suzuki Akiko. Kostner was first or second in every event she competed in, same with Akiko, until Worlds where she only came in third thanks to a surprise charge by Alena Leonova. And just like the men's field, after the two leaders, there are a bunch of women who are potential challengers (and even spoilers, as Leonova showed). The up and coming Russian girls alone make the discipline a formidable place. Then there are the returns of Yuna Kim and possibly Miki Ando. There's the international breakthrough of Ashley Wagner, and the American upstart Gracie Gold. None of the female skaters I just mentioned can rest easy for a second in a field like this.

  7. #172
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    I would also add Elizaveta to that list for winning both her Grand Prixes, Ando and Kim for returning next year, and Julia Lipnitskaya for her technical ability. The ladies field next year is going to be extremely crowded and exciting.

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    There's a tendency in Chinese social media to focus displeasure and rage at individuals when the real problem is the institution at large. This is, of course, the direct result of the Chinese government's strict control of the internet that tolerates very little overt dissent about the government. The masses still has plenty of frustration they need to vent, given the many intractable and glaring problems in China. With the government itself being a rather unsafe target, most of that venting is visited on people instead (and also, occasionally, foreign nations). This is ultimately ineffectual in achieving anything besides temporarily quelling mob anger. Those of us outside the purview of China's media censors should try not to fall prey to their scheme.
    Nicely said! When Chinese citizens live in that totalitarian society and are forced to pay a high proportion of their income for many things they don’t like, they get angry, and they need someone to vent to. Since they’re not allowed to blame the government, they can only blame the individuals who enjoy privileges and exemptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    Recall the ancient proverb: hate the game, not the player.
    But hatred for certain players is maybe part of human nature, as seen on almost all forums. I still feel that you’re biased. If you think Chinese low-income families should blame the institution and not blame the rich guys like Han Yan and his family, but when Patrick won a competition that you felt he should not have won and got high scores that you felt were vastly overmarked, you also did not just blame the game, but you blamed Patrick himself more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    I don't think the ladies' field is particularly weak. …… The up and coming Russian girls alone make the discipline a formidable place. Then there are the returns of Yuna Kim and possibly Miki Ando. There's the international breakthrough of Ashley Wagner, and the American upstart Gracie Gold. None of the female skaters I just mentioned can rest easy for a second in a field like this.
    I think the ladies’ field will be deeper next season with the Russian girls reaching eligible age, Yuna and Miki returning, and Ashley and Gracie breaking through. However, it was relatively weak this past season, especially if you compare it to the men’s field. While about 16 men tried quad at the worlds, none of the top 10 ladies did 3lz+3t or 3f+3t in their LP. Like some other fans, I am tired of watching 3t+3t and am expecting ladies to push themselves toward greater technical challenges.

  9. #174
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    But hatred for certain players is maybe part of human nature, as seen on almost all forums. I still feel that you’re biased. If you think Chinese low-income families should blame the institution and not blame the rich guys like Han Yan and his family, but when Patrick won a competition that you felt he should not have won and got high scores that you felt were vastly overmarked, you also did not just blame the game, but you blamed Patrick himself more.
    Several points here:

    The reason people shouldn't blame Han Yan and his family is that they don't have much power. If they did, Han Yan would be training where he wanted! As another ancient proverb goes, with great power comes great responsibility. The corollary being that with little power comes little responsibility. It is always the people in power who should be blamed.

    I don't hate Patrick Chan. I have said over and over that I am a Chan fan, and thought he earned his win in Nice. What I also say though, is that I can sympathize with people who are displeased with Chan's win, and think there's enough displeasure to prompt the ISU to change the rules/judging. Even if I thought Chan's win was undeserved, I'd never blame it on him, but on the ISU and the judges!

    And the last point I have to make is one I didn't get the room to go into in my previous post about Han Yan: when I refer to the Chinese social media going after individuals, I am strictly referring to the Chinese middle and upper class. The poor and downtrodden in China are almost always rural-born (the rural-born in China receive far less basic rights and opportunities by law). And there are a great many of them, and almost none of them even have the internet (or have even heard of it) to be using social media. And their grievances are a lot more immediate: factory workers who aren't paid, farmers who are forcibly moved to make way for developments. And very often, when they vent, they don't have a choice but to go after the government directly. This has led to very dramatic strikes and outright sieges all over China. I don't mean to give the impression that the Chinese people only ever vent on the internet and only about non-government targets.

    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    I think the ladies’ field will be deeper next season with the Russian girls reaching eligible age, Yuna and Miki returning, and Ashley and Gracie breaking through. However, it was relatively weak this past season, especially if you compare it to the men’s field. While about 16 men tried quad at the worlds, none of the top 10 ladies did 3lz+3t or 3f+3t in their LP. Like some other fans, I am tired of watching 3t+3t and am expecting ladies to push themselves toward greater technical challenges.
    I didn't compare the jump ambition of the women's field in the past season with previous ones, or what might be expected of them, because I think the current crop of women are still adjusting to the stringent under-rotation calls of the modern IJS. Many of these skaters would be attempting more difficult 3/3s, just like the ladies of yore, if the laxer rules were in place. But those 3/3s, like the 3/3s that many past women's luminaries have done, would not pass muster under the current system. So I don't see it as a regression, but just an avoidance of past elements that are now deemed unacceptable.

    So instead, I look more towards consistency. I also have in mind the comparison between men and women's tennis, where men's tennis is now consistently dominated by the same top 4 players, while current women's tennis is universally criticized for being weak because any dozens of players could win major tournaments on any given day. And then I look at women's skating, where it is pretty clear that we have very strong and consistent skaters at the top who are always podium challengers.

    The jump content in the women's field will absolutely improve as the upcoming generation of skater is one that lived and breathed the UR-calls from the word go. Is the current women's field weaker compared to this future generation? Sure. But any previous generation of skaters would also be weaker compared to them in this regard. Sports evolve and that's a good thing.

  10. #175
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    With regard to the Ladies, I don't think Yu-na will be a force without Brian Orser. She had lost a lot of speed, flow, and just general polish in her last visit to Worlds and she's been out of competition ever since so she's unlikely to have maintained her competitive skills considering she's been going to school, etc. Yu-Na was a much better skater with Orserr than she was before, or since. Dumping him was not Team Kim's best idea.

    I'm not a big Miki fan and I've never been much of a Kostner fan. Mao Asada is my favourite of the current crop of Ladies and I do hope she's back with a vengence this season. She's had a tough couple of years but I'm glad she made the effort to fix her technical.

    The Russian superbabies are not quite soup yet but it's fun watching them grow up. Julia S. is the one to watch this season, I think. Her growth issues are (hopefully) behind her and her jumps are still intact as we saw at the end of last season. Elizabetha T. is a wonder, but I have heard she has grown so I'll wait and see how she's doing. I'm glad to see that she'll be getting real choreography this season. Her LP was truly dreadful last year. She really deserves better than that horrible program.

  11. #176
    Yuna's Ice Rink cooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    With regard to the Ladies, I don't think Yu-na will be a force without Brian Orser. She had lost a lot of speed, flow, and just general polish in her last visit to Worlds and she's been out of competition ever since so she's unlikely to have maintained her competitive skills considering she's been going to school, etc. Yu-Na was a much better skater with Orserr than she was before, or since. Dumping him was not Team Kim's best idea.
    well, you can also argue about yuna's skating during 2010 worlds and 2011. she was with orser in 2010 and yet she had the most awful skating on her sp. her speed, flow, etc are fine, she just need some motivation to get back.

  12. #177
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    The season has not started yet, guys!

    Let's see how well YuNa performs without Orser but with Wilson's (probably) gorgeous programs, and with her reportedly 'newly found' motivation (competitive fire) within herself and her 'unchanged' love for skating. Let's see how much Javier and Yuzuru will progress under Orser and how higher both can go up in the mix in the new season, shall we?

  13. #178
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    Very interesting vids from the Liberty Open comp this past weekend in Philly !

    Ross Miner is attempting a quad sal in his FS! Brandon Mroz attempted a quad loop!

    I've always thought Ross needed a quad to get him to that next level internationally, apparently he agrees! Not only that, but from his stroking pattern, it appears that the second jump, a triple sal, is also intended to be a quad eventually! If he can land one or two quads in his FS, and keep the rest of his jumps at his usual level, Miner could be a formidable force!

    Brandon Mroz, whose skating I'm less sanguine about, is apparently determined to enter the record books again as the first skater to land yet another kind of quad jump. I can't even hate. I say good for him and I hope he succeeds. I don't see him making much of a dent in higher level comps unless the rest of his skating catches up considerably, though.

  14. #179
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    I do think Brian was great for Yuna and I will be interested to see how she does without him. In fact I will be interested to see how Orser's students do in general - he has some great potential actually all the big names he have really have huge potential - even Phaneuf if she can regain her jumps, up her speed and power.

  15. #180
    Custom Title EricRohmer's Avatar
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    Dragonlady, you should have not brought the Orser-Yuna thing up, unnecessarily.

    By the way.. One who dumped seems to be Orser, not Yuna.
    Yuna felt a sense of betrayal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    Dumping him was not Team Kim's best idea.
    Last edited by EricRohmer; 07-25-2012 at 10:14 AM.

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