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Thread: State of American Ladies: 2012-13 Season

  1. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Who knows, it may actually work to her benefit. It may lower expectations and when people are no longer expecting her to be the savior of US skating, it will be easier for her.

    I do wish someone else (besides Wagner) would step up though because we need TWO solid, consistent skaters to get us that 3rd Olympic spot again. As we saw last year, Wagner cannot do it on her own
    I certainly hope that, able to train outside of the searing spotlight, she'll find the confidence that made her so reliable last season.

    If there's any US lady who we can pin half of our Olympic hopes to, I would still call on Gracie Gold. She's a virtual powerhouse of talent and stands a better chance of grabbing the eye of the National Olympic Committee than Czisny, Gao, Zhang, or any other skater who may emerge from anonymity between now and then. Ashley, assuming good health, is all but guaranteed one of the spots. Here's hoping that Gracie will find her comfort zone in the senior field later this season.

  2. #272
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    Love seeing Ashley so strong and confident. I like that she has found her own identity on the ice and is now so confident and consistent under John Nicks and with Philip Mills on her team as well. I'm looking forward to taking each competition as they come and not getting too far ahead of myself, just as the athletes likely try to do as well.

    Clearly, if Gao skates as well at TEB as she did at SA, she should place well, whether or not she makes it to GPF. I love Gao's skating, which reminds me a bit now of Lu Chen at her peak. Nice to see that Gao's decision to continue skating while going to school has been the right one for her. With the help of her new coaches, I hope she continues to do well and build in confidence. Debi Thomas was another athlete who continued going to school while skating. At some point, a decision might have to be made re school or skating if Gao continues to succeed and achieves a level of success where she decides she wants to give it her all to make the Olympic team.

    At this stage, I think Gracie needs more time to develop artistic maturity and strengthen her competition nerves. Ashley should secure the top spot at Nationals if she continues with the confidence and success she has been showing. She has great programs, and I like her spunky more edgier style (less pretty princess) and more fiery diva mixed with resilient grounded and polished athlete.

  3. #273
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    I know Gold didn't skate all that well, but I still think NBC should have shown at least her (entire) freeskate. They showed Liza after all and she was in group 1...

    I don't know Harvard's policy but if Gao wanted to make a SERIOUS run for the Olympics, she might be able to take the next school year off (or at least lighten the load sufficiently). I will say it's probably too soon to conclude whether Gao's decision to try to balance the two is the right one; let's see how she does in France first. Again, I can't see how she could be much better than she was in Seattle.

    And re. Wagner, I like where she is going but I will be careful not to pin all (or even most) hopes on her. I still think she is untested as a defending champion. She thrived as the underdog last year but what happens this year at Nationals (for instance) when she will be the FAVORITE? Plus, she still needs the help of a solid teammate and that help is nowhere to be found (currently).

  4. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    I know Gold didn't skate all that well, but I still think NBC should have shown at least her (entire) freeskate. They showed Liza after all and she was in group 1...

    I don't know Harvard's policy but if Gao wanted to make a SERIOUS run for the Olympics, she might be able to take the next school year off (or at least lighten the load sufficiently). I will say it's probably too soon to conclude whether Gao's decision to try to balance the two is the right one; let's see how she does in France first. Again, I can't see how she could be much better than she was in Seattle.

    And re. Wagner, I like where she is going but I will be careful not to pin all (or even most) hopes on her. I still think she is untested as a defending champion. She thrived as the underdog last year but what happens this year at Nationals (for instance) when she will be the FAVORITE? Plus, she still needs the help of a solid teammate and that help is nowhere to be found (currently).
    Agree to your first point. Unfortunately, I don't see Gao taking a gap year from Harvard, since she put school ahead of her skating career for a considerable amount of time this summer when she considered retiring. Unless I'm mistaken, I think she's studying medicine, which as we all know is no frolic through a field of daisies. Either school or skating will have to go soon, and if she doesn't do as well as she wants at Nats this season, I'm putting my money on skating.

    As for Gao at TEB, she'll have to be better than we've ever seen to beat out the likes of Lipnitskaia, Wagner, and Tuktamysheva (who we know Mishin will be pushing even harder after her less-than-stellar show at Skate Canada). Being the Skate America pool wasn't the toughest in terms of consistency, Gao still hasn't proven anything aside from her ability to skate a clean program, which is like second nature to the Russian girls.

    Correct about Wagner--I just hope she can hold up under the pressure, since her programs still need a lot of work. There was certainly some political bias in awarding her a 127+ for her free skate. What I'm hoping is that Gold will step up to the plate, motivated by her Skate Canada defeat, and become that reliable teammate in time for Nats or Worlds.

  5. #275
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    You know, I think it was kwanatic or kwanfan1918 or kwan------ (whoever runs the Naked Ice Blog) that mentioned this, but Wagner is just radiating confidence this year. She's got the full support of her federation (skating in the discipline they want the most), an interest in self improvement, a desire to win and work ethic. I think she's thriving on the pressure, actually. And THAT is what's making her a force this year more than any other.

  6. #276
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    Now if only Caroline Zhang could increase her skating speed....

  7. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    As for Gao at TEB, she'll have to be better than we've ever seen to beat out the likes of Lipnitskaia, Wagner, and Tuktamysheva (who we know Mishin will be pushing even harder after her less-than-stellar show at Skate Canada). Being the Skate America pool wasn't the toughest in terms of consistency, Gao still hasn't proven anything aside from her ability to skate a clean program, which is like second nature to the Russian girls.
    The Russians are hardly invincible - just ask Miss Osmond.

    Back to the Americans, though - Gao skated THE BEST SHE POSSIBLY COULD and still couldn't top an imperfect Wagner in the FS. She's just not on Wagner's level at this point. Odds are Gao won't skate that well at TEB (she might, but a betting man might not take that chance), so I do not think she can win the event. A repeat of SA COULD put her on the podium if one or more Russians mess up...I still think she got lucky, but hey, I like surprises.


    Correct about Wagner--I just hope she can hold up under the pressure, since her programs still need a lot of work. There was certainly some political bias in awarding her a 127+ for her free skate. What I'm hoping is that Gold will step up to the plate, motivated by her Skate Canada defeat, and become that reliable teammate in time for Nats or Worlds.
    There was some campaigning for Gold last season but I pointed out that she was untested under pressure. After SC, she herself admitted to being caught up in the moment and said she needs more senior experience. The transition to the highest level is not an easy one, and it may come with growing pains (in her case, it HAS already come with such pains).

    Yes, Wagner's score was a bit high. But that was SA, home crowd and all.

  8. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    Agree to your first point. Unfortunately, I don't see Gao taking a gap year from Harvard, since she put school ahead of her skating career for a considerable amount of time this summer when she considered retiring. Unless I'm mistaken, I think she's studying medicine, which as we all know is no frolic through a field of daisies. Either school or skating will have to go soon, and if she doesn't do as well as she wants at Nats this season, I'm putting my money on skating.
    Perhaps Christina could simply take a reduced class schedule at Harvard next year, instead of having to choose either skating or school. Meryl & Charlie have both taken reduced class schedules at Michigan, and it's worked out well for them. I don't know if Harvard's rules permit that option.

  9. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    Perhaps Christina could simply take a reduced class schedule at Harvard next year, instead of having to choose either skating or school. Meryl & Charlie have both taken reduced class schedules at Michigan, and it's worked out well for them. I don't know if Harvard's rules permit that option.
    Someone noted before that Harvard requires all students, including student athletes, to take a full load of courses. I don't think it's possible. I go to the University of Michigan right now, and you can enroll as part-time students, which is what Meryl/Charlie likely did, but I don't think Harvard has that option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    The Russians are hardly invincible - just ask Miss Osmond.

    Back to the Americans, though - Gao skated THE BEST SHE POSSIBLY COULD and still couldn't top an imperfect Wagner in the FS. She's just not on Wagner's level at this point. Odds are Gao won't skate that well at TEB (she might, but a betting man might not take that chance), so I do not think she can win the event. A repeat of SA COULD put her on the podium if one or more Russians mess up...I still think she got lucky, but hey, I like surprises.




    There was some campaigning for Gold last season but I pointed out that she was untested under pressure. After SC, she herself admitted to being caught up in the moment and said she needs more senior experience. The transition to the highest level is not an easy one, and it may come with growing pains (in her case, it HAS already come with such pains).

    Yes, Wagner's score was a bit high. But that was SA, home crowd and all.
    Gao still has a triple-triple she could put at the front of her free skate. She lands it consistently well in practice and I'd be unsurprised if that's her next step, since she's proven she's got her current program down. She could also work on expressing just a bit more and carrying just a bit more speed. There is some room for improvement there (just a bit), as there always is. I also think the international judges might give her a tad more respect now that she's shown what she's capable of.

    Wagner's score seemed very deserved to most if not all of those in the arena. She took the ice by force, and I'm not sure if television or video could show the whole of her performance. Overall (with the exception of Adelina's short program), I felt the scoring was fairly good.

    Edit To Add: Gao also does that final spin better in practice, and perhaps she and her coaches can cook up a better position to leave a great final impression. I never understand why skaters put the "turtle" position or the A-frame position in their final spin. Is that really an attractive bit of skating? Very rarely if ever.
    Last edited by MoonlightSkater; 10-29-2012 at 12:28 PM.

  11. #281
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    Harvard may not let students go part time, but Gao could definitely take next year off from Harvard if she wants to make a serious run at the Olympic team. Emily Hughes did the same thing in 2010, they might not allow Gao to take a "reduced" course load, but I don't think they can ban her from coming back if she wants to take a year off, she should be able to do so without being penilized or having to reapply, that's standard procedure for most universities these days. I suspect her decision regarding next year will depend on how she skates and places at TEB, Nationals, and potentially 4CC and/or Worlds this season should she be named to those teams, along with how others are skating.

  12. #282
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    I'm just glad that Wagner has FINALLY found a way to channel her intense nature onto the ice. I knew years ago she was fiercely competitive and had high motivation, but somehow she just couldn't really manifest it into her skating. For her, seems like Nicks is what the doctor ordered! This season we'll see how she handles pressure, and if she wants to be an international champion, this element is critical. It's what makes or breaks so many talented skaters.

  13. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    The Russians are hardly invincible - just ask Miss Osmond.

    Back to the Americans, though - Gao skated THE BEST SHE POSSIBLY COULD and still couldn't top an imperfect Wagner in the FS. She's just not on Wagner's level at this point. Odds are Gao won't skate that well at TEB (she might, but a betting man might not take that chance), so I do not think she can win the event. A repeat of SA COULD put her on the podium if one or more Russians mess up...I still think she got lucky, but hey, I like surprises.




    There was some campaigning for Gold last season but I pointed out that she was untested under pressure. After SC, she herself admitted to being caught up in the moment and said she needs more senior experience. The transition to the highest level is not an easy one, and it may come with growing pains (in her case, it HAS already come with such pains).

    Yes, Wagner's score was a bit high. But that was SA, home crowd and all.
    Mmm, you may be right about Tuktamysheva, but I have the feeling she'll rally after missing the podium by .04 of a point at Skate Canada. Lipnitskaia, though, is a tougher nut to crack. It seems as though she hasn't been hit with the full brunt of puberty issues yet--huge potential there, and she was undefeated last season but for a second-place finish at the Russian Nats. She isn't perfect--more maturity would be desirable--but her massive score at the Finlandia Trophy this year should have even the veteran skaters shaking in their boots, and she seems to have tackled most of the consistency issues that plague her teammates.

    If Gao ends up on the podium at TEB, I will be just as surprised. Remember that she was also behind Wagner after the short, though, and rallied enough to top Sotnikova. I'm just unconvinced for the reason you mentioned and because the field at Skate America was most definitely not on top of their game. As far as beating out the Russians, if Tukta shows the same exhaustion she did at Skate Canada, Gao could have a window of opportunity, but whether or not she can outskate an imperfect defending champion is questionable.

    True, the pressure on Gold at the senior level is in an entirely different class than what she experienced as a junior. She'll be out for blood at the Rostelecom Cup for sure.

    Exactly, which is why I mentioned the political bias. But no matter--she still would have been the undisputed champion, as she won by more than 14 points.

  14. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Harvard may not let students go part time, but Gao could definitely take next year off from Harvard if she wants to make a serious run at the Olympic team. Emily Hughes did the same thing in 2010, they might not allow Gao to take a "reduced" course load, but I don't think they can ban her from coming back if she wants to take a year off, she should be able to do so without being penilized or having to reapply, that's standard procedure for most universities these days. I suspect her decision regarding next year will depend on how she skates and places at TEB, Nationals, and potentially 4CC and/or Worlds this season should she be named to those teams, along with how others are skating.
    I think for someone like Gao, having the full course load might help reduce the pressure of competing. A lot of these girls nail their practices but crumble in competition, and knowing she has school Monday morning to fall back on may help her take a better perspective on competing

  15. #285
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    Christina Gao. Angela Wang on the junior front. I don't see the Gold hype. Love MiraI and Caroline but Caroline seems to have lost...something. The spring in her step maybe. Is Czisny retired officially? *sad*

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