Well, I love Mao. What she does on the ice when she wants to just show joy is amazing. When I think of Kwan's Lyra, I think of a young, joyous MK who was really skating with love, joy, no fear and in another world. Mao has the capacity. She is little, etheral creature, beautiful to watch. I really am so tired of a system that puts so much emphasis on Mao under rotating her triple axels. They are amazing to watch, and I am sick to death of jumpers winning with rotatated jumps, in once case, then someone who rotatates and falls then wins for superior skating skills, and the scores are just rediculous. Before CoP and slo mo replays, skating was more enjoyable. These are hard triples and combos and I hope the system finds balance in the scoring. I have no idea what the judges are trying to promote in elite skaters as the scoring seems crazy. Carolina wins on beauty, Chan wins on rotations, speedy skating skills and great transitions and can fall twice and mess up a jump. ? What is a girl to think without a detailed protocol sheet? It is what it is. So glad for youtube to watch so many great skates past present and future. I can hope, anyway.
So Cop wonks can crunch the numbers to explain it all, but it still is so flawed, confusing to many. I wish the sport would make up its collective mind what they want to be. That is why a long while back i asked if there could be a program that was judged soley on tech merit, and free skate judged on classical lines, beauty, the choro, costumes, etc. I say It's an artistic sport. That being said, I am Ok with Carolina winning as she was just so beautiful all year and in the zone. Fast, free, joyous. Others did harder jumps, but what she did do was lovely, inspiring. If it were sport first, I guess Leonova would have gold in 2012?
Skating does not seem to know what it should reward, and it was much more clear under 6.0. Yes, these CoP programs are requiring skaters to try much more re footwork, transitions, choreography, but the total programs are suffering from the judging system. In terms of men, only Jeremy has moved me this year, and in terms of ladies, I think Akiko has an amazing LP. There is much I have not seen. Skating must define what it wants to reward, and therefore teach at earliest levels. It seems to me, the emphasis must be on technical achievement to be taken seriously. That would not be my own personal wish, as I am attracted to the beauty and the balletic lines. This is why I am a Yu-na fan but not her uber. Leg lines, spirals, pointed toes, etc matter more to me than high speed 3x3's with slo mo proof they were exactly rotated to the nth degree. I suspect Sarah flutzed at Olympics, but it was an amaziningly joyous freeskate that won her gold with harder attempts than anyone there. It was joyous, memorable, even inspiring for me at least. I honestly don't care if someone under rotates a bit. If they land the jump with decent flow it should be a minor deduction, not calling it a double.
Splats ruin a program for me, even if I am enthralled with the quality of the skating skills, etc. The tech callers are making or breaking careers. I just wish they'd decide what mateers most-technical prowess or overall beauty of the program. We can't have it both ways, unless the scoring system and the competitive events are changed a lot, thus changing how all is taught from earliest levels. So I am hoping to see more skaters who can do what Lyra does for me, or Jupiter or Elegie from Chan. If it leaves you bored, untouched or worse annoyed, then why watch? I guess I have come to being a reductionist in what I want to see. I will keep watching, but I am in search of magic. Am I alone in these feelings? A bit OT at times, but most threads are, and many posts. I close with the line I opened, I love Mao Asada the skater, and hope she will be true to her gifts and damn the results. Carolina Kostner got to that point and she was never better to watch. Even won a WC. Go figure.
For Gold, I am going nationalistic this time. If Ashley can bring it, then her. We have not won in a long time. If it's time for a little Russian gal, so be it. But somehow I think it will be another Asian lady who wins, regardless of country she skates for.
I personally would rather watch Mao with her lines and ethereal joy doing whatever than a jumper who rotates with ugly legs, flexed feet, and bad spirals. Mao epitomizes the beauty we look to for ladies skating. She won silver at Olympics, she is capable of gold. judges still like her and she has a lovely LP this year, as evidenced at Japan Open. I don't care if Mao gets another medal. She has proven she can compete. Why not ask what makes her special? So she will try for Sochi. I have a few I'd like to see win. In the end, win or lose, she is in a class by herself over years of great skaters. The scoring system, favoritism, politics can take all the fun out of skating at the elite level. It is a wonder anyone wants to skate. I must say I'd rather watch the Japanese skaters or Asian skaters in general as they try to do the impossible and often succeed. The body types are a huge advantage, as well as the work ethic. If skating is dying in the west, it just shows how hard elite skating is under CoP, and the sacrifices are too much for most people and their families. Whether it is Asian from Asia or Asian from North America, the dominance is truly remarkable.
If not for Japan and countries coming up like Korea and China, the sport might die out altogether. Fortunately, we can still see pairs from many countries as male size and strength is a plus, and ice dance seems to be amenable to a variety of body types and heights. Singles is different. I know Mao wants gold as a point of honor and to live up to Shizuka. She is such a fighter. But the Mao I love is the one who skates the way she wants and jumps her triple axels and lands them with joy. She is so unique, and sadly, she was diminished by so many fans who compare her to their favorite Korean skater, or to Shizuka, or to Miki or Yuka or Midori.
When Carolina stopped being concerned about skating for CoP points entirely, she won because she is beautiful, airy, free, fast. We could debate if it is fair without the most difficult jumps, but I think the judges are saying that beauty of line is very important and that the program as a whole must me a thing of beauty, a work of art. With all the frenzied, unnatractive programs out there, it is nice to have a Mao Asada. Japan has also Akiko Suzuki who is joyous and special, among other great skaters. Ladies is clearly being judged, always has, different from mens, though I see big changes in that too since the days of the Brians. Would Dai be so successful in the 80's? I think not. Would Johnny Weir even have a career pre the 90's? Not the Johnny we see in the last 6 years or so.
I am not sure, given the results and podium placements what the judges are saying about who should win or place or show and why. I hope the judging criteria will changes in some aspects. In the meantime, we have to watch for those few programs or parts of programs that move us, and the few skaters who are quite special regardless of hardware. I will never understand the overscoring of a certain few skaters, but this is the sport, take it or leave it.
I guess I am saying Mao has nothing to prove in my book. She is a skater for the ages, and CoP or competitions don't always show her off to advantage. Her Jupiter program-if that does not leave one awed, what would? It is nice to discuss will she win or is she past her prime, but she is one of the most beautiful figure skaters in my memory. She is a treasure, and the only Japanese lady right now in her league is Akiko. I would love to see Akiko win an Oly medal-any color. She gives me great joy to watch as well. Michelle Kwan was the world's most consistent jumper, but it was her joy and beauty on the ice that won so many hearts.
ETA forgive such a long post. I guess I am a frustrated watcher who wants the sport to clarifiy what it is now, who should win based on that clarity and apply it evenly without the blatant favoritism or the cheating politics. I ask a level playing field and unbiased, fair judging. I know, the sun the moon and the stars. I will continue to watch what skating I can access or stomach as the case may be. With dwindling skating, it is great to have so many ubers and young fans who are into the "now" newness of CoP. Great board-Thank you!!!! Every poster has something to add and that is nice. Can't believe SA is finally coming, sans Evan sadly, but so it goes. Looking for the magical moments to begin!
Last edited by skateluvr; 10-13-2012 at 11:48 PM.
Sorry, I missed that part.
It's true that those were the only 2 higher than Mao Worlds 2010 before Vancouver. I think I trying to get at Yuna's possible ceiling for her 08-09 and 09-10 performances, which if performed cleanly, would have been over 210 for sure, maybe in the 212 range for 08-09 and 215+ for 09-10. (there was inflation at Vancouver, but I think it was for everyone, not just her)
No judging system will ever satisfy everyone either. There are significantly different opinions as to how each element or component in a program should be weighted in the judging. And there are so many elements/components to consider--both on the technical side and the artistic side.
But in any case, let me get back on topic. I will reiterate that we should wait until after the World championships to determine Mao's chances of winning in Sochi. If she gets the World title, Sochi is hers as long as she is relatively clean. History is strongly on her side on this. If she does not win the World title, it will be a struggle. Only very few have won the Olympics without being the reigning World Champ, and it was only when the favorites faltered (SLC and Torino). She'll need a splatfest to win in Sochi if she doesn't win Worlds next year.
This. Too early and Worlds in fake London will be likely a beacon, perhaps not exact one, though, of who'll be rising and falling. Although with the way she showed herself in JO, I've got a really great feeling this time, she'll make something happen!But in any case, let me get back on topic. I will reiterate that we should wait until after the World championships to determine Mao's chances of winning in Sochi. If she gets the World title, Sochi is hers as long as she is relatively clean. History is strongly on her side on this. If she does not win the World title, it will be a struggle. Only very few have won the Olympics without being the reigning World Champ, and it was only when the favorites faltered (SLC and Torino). She'll need a splatfest to win in Sochi if she doesn't win Worlds next year.
BTW, thanks for that wonderful post, skateluvr. It really showed your heartfelt affection for the sport and Mao, it almost teared me up and got me excited for this season even more, if that's possible!
Last edited by l'etoile; 10-14-2012 at 10:42 AM.
Skateluvr, thanks for that post. I think you really get at the heart of what is so frustrating for so many of us about the sport today and the scoring system. What is the standard that the COP and judges want the skaters to hold themselves to?
I don't have time to rewatch the ladies LP at 2012 worlds but I went back to look at the protocols thinking it would clear things up for me. It sort of did. What was clear was the judges really loved Carolina. And they should have. She was the essence of everything a great skater is. Light airy jumps that look so easy, beautiful artistry on the ice (words I would have never equated with her in '06), lines, originality, edging, someone that makes you want to get on the ice and skate with her.
The way I like to put it is, she wasn't worried about reinventing her skating but reinvesting. She reinvested in what she does and suddenly she was transcendent. I think the one season Michelle was more focused on reinventing over reinvesting was the '02 Olympics. People thought she needed to reinvent herself but she never needed to do that. I can't count the number of competitions where the commentators would make some remark about how she was trying to reignite her competitive fire, and she would do just that. And we saw those magnificent programs. I think this point was even clearer post '02 when every nationals without fail we saw a renewed investment in who she was and what she was doing out on the ice. In the '02-'03 season she was untouchable and her Tosca at '04 nationals was revelatory. There was nothing new there, other than her own investment and belief in what she was doing.
Evan, was invested in Worlds and the Olympics is a way he was not with Nationals and look at him, he didn't need a quad. The last time there had been a mens Olympic Champion with no quad was 1994 (I think) but he didn't need it because he was so invested in the moment and his other elements were so transcendent.
It's funny looking at the sp protocol from lat year. Had Mao just gone for a plain double axel, she would have at least been in third. I hope this Swan Lake fs will allow her to reinvest in herself and her skating. It's a beauty and stands a chance at brining her another world title.
The men certainly seem invested in the quad jump and what seemed like a rare feat four years ago is everywhere today, and that's great. The women don't seem so invested in triple axels or even triple/triples at this point. I kind of feel like that's ok. If we sacrifice death defying jumps for Carolina's fs I'll be fine with that. And the women who truly see their strength as a jumper, they should invest in that.
This will be my 17th season watching the sport, and I'm tired of waiting for skaters to reinvent the wheel. Or watching them do something they think is important because in their mind that's exactly what they're doing. If start seeing more reinvesting, and less attempts to reinvent, what I think people will find, is a lot of skaters will start developing their own unique voice. Originality in skating will return. Why do you think so many of us are charmed by Akiko? Because at one point in her life, she had to make the conscious effort to reinvest in herself and in her life and that included her skating. And what it lead her to is a skater that for my money has one of the most unique and charming styles I've ever seen. No one could have pulled off last years sp the way she did, (except maybe Yuka Sato!!) and I think her new FS will prove to be a signature piece of the season.
So for me it's all about reinvestment. I'll say it again, r e i n v e s t m e n t. I think that's all the judges ever REALLY want to see and no matter what scoring system you out out there that's what will be rewarded, give or take a placement . My question then is, how do we get this concept to be conveyed to the skaters? Which ones have a reinvestment in themselves and which ones are searching for it?
Yeah sometimes when you stop training jumps that give you a lot of trouble you can focus on easier things for you and make them better. No lutz or no quad and it can turn out really well for you as consistency can improve and whatever. I do not celebrate reinvestment with technical regression.
Thanks for pos comments on my too long post and sweet pm.Answer is 'Yes of course!.'
I realize I was asking for sun, moon and stars, and skating will always have results that some hate or all go "HuH?" collectively. I was just wishing on a star. And thanks for seeing my heart.
I like the 'reinvestment as opposed to reinventing' way of looking at a skater's style/essence on the ice. It's very interesting POV. For example, every season Leonova reinvents at least her look and I am not sure who this skater really is at heart and are we seeing her presented to best advantage? She won silver at worlds so that says she is doing CoP well and the judges approved of her offerings. She is not my favorite skater because I hate most of Morozov's choreography. I grew to like her SP by the end of the season, and she performed it well. But I hated her LP though she skated it well. I do not remember if I watched her skate from Japan Open or if she was even there. I watched many programs and i don't recall her at all. So I guess that says two things-bad memory or it made no impression.
But back again to topic, it does seem that the 2013 champion historically has the edge to win gold at Sochi, but it is not a given. I disagree that Mao has to be WC to hope to win Sochi. Or hope for a splatfest if not. Ladies Torino and Vancouver were the expected results-no surprises there, and fair, but SLC and Sarah Hughes isn't totally rare in skating and under CoP, we might see more 4th or 5th place skaters after SP grab the gold. Alledgedly, it is more possible now. I would never bet against Mao Asada, especially having seen her debut Swan Lake at JO.
CoP is purportedly more fair and less involved in wait your turn. Hanyu's rise is an example of what's good about CoP. Mao lost her mother last year. She was devastated. She has work to do. But anyone who writes her off now does not admit how much she wants this win. She has been said to be a shadow of Vancouver Mao, but I don't think the detractors have seen her Swan Lake, and it is brand new. Kim Yu-Na was unbeatable coming into Vancouver with her win expected by 30 points at least. She too went downhill after the Olympics and many saw very little of Vancouver Kim. But she is another clutch, coldblooded killer skater. She will be formidable. I can't imagine she would even return unless she felt sure she could do technically what she did in Vancouver. But ice is slippery. We shall see. Meantime, I am happy to see Mao skating to Swan Lake and not Bells of Moscow. She did well and is versatile, but her essence is very balletic and I am glad to see her reinvesting in her true persona on the ice and not looking to be something she is not. I think that is an example or reinvesting and not trying to reinvent. Going with her style and strength is a far better idea. She must have thought about Wagner and thought she could do the role justice and compare well to Oksana Baiul, or Shizuka or anyone who has used this ballet music. Perfect fit, I think.
Can gmyers or another CoP afficionado tell us how Mao's Swan Lake stacks up as a "winning " LP or not? I have not seen her SP, so there is something to look forward to. I will scan the thread to see if Mao's LP has been picked apart yet by GSers for technical prowess if I missed that. Thanks in advance. Never having been a skater, it is hard to assess what transitions are the most difficult and "pointworthy" under CoP. And I understand your point gmyers about not wanting to see the sport regress technically.
But can you give examples (sticking to singles) of how every Oly Champion has done better than the one before? With huge changes in the scoring system and tweaking on going, and limits to technical prowess, which results have made you feel the sport is regressing if that is what you meant? Should Timmy Goebel have beaten Yags and Plush? Would he have under CoP? I personally thought he skated a great LP in SLC. HE hunches a bit, but his skating was really quite good and I would have had no problem to see him in second if technical prowess is first.
Always the question, still not clear to me after the last season especially. Technical acumen should beat artistry? Or not. I say not, but maybe Men's skating should reward landed hard jumps above all else to reinvigorate the viewership. I prefer artistry, but I love ballet. I guess I could support either direction the sport could take, as long as it strives to be safe and fair to all four disciplines as they evolve (or devolve). I am glad that ladies skating is still judged differently than mens. I don't think as a rule women should train a 3a, too much abuse to the body. And I would rather see a beautiful 3/2 than 3/3's consistently getting edge calls or Ur calls and not getting the points. Should women try to do more than one 3x3 in the LP? I think one is enough, and pushing them causes too many injuries to small boned ladies who dominate the sport. I think the men at elite level should train a quad, a quad triple, and a triple axel in the long. I think emphasis should be on doing the jumps well. Some will do a more difficult quad or combo, but if the first triple axel is done very well, why must there be a push to do two? Is this regression? Or does it allow the man to practice cleaner, faster spins (and attractive positions please). And how about footwork sequences that are done to accentuate the music? In life, isn't it often two steps forward, one step back? Skating is the same for each individual.
Last edited by skateluvr; 10-15-2012 at 01:51 AM.
Cop aficionado lol. Leonova was 4th in the lp. Got second because of the sp which she won.
Mao needs to do all technical elements and not leave out a spin and she needs a 3/3 but should avoid the 3a! She lost to Wagner and might lose to Kim but definitely needs to avoid things that give her trouble. Kostner talked about lutzs but never did one in competition 2011 2012 because she knew it wasn't necessary.
Miki's awful LP in Vancouver was due to lousy program, uncomfortable -had to be, cliche costume, and nerves. She did well with that mess of an LP. Mirai had the better vehicles and no pressure-sadly we have seen her best. She peaked in 2010- Mirai. Miki is done. Morozov gutted that poor lady who can't find a coach. ? Her heart is broken. She has accomplished all but an OM. So what -Browning has none. Miki's current state is sadly due to the dastardly Mr M. I think she will never be back. She has been a great champion who never gets credit for being a lovely skater. People talk like she moves like Irina or Surya. She is beloved in many countries and here on GS, too.
Amazing women...Miki, Mao, Akiko-now that's a team to beat.
Mao chances are slim for OG. But a medal maybe possible if she lands all her jumps. What holding her back is her obbession wither 3A (which she will never able to fully rotate again). Maybe land a < 3A on a good day, which still give her about 3Lz value point wise. But knowing her she will still gamble with 3A, 3F+2Lo and 3Lo in SP for sure. If both Yuna, Kostner (50/50) and Ando (confirmed) don't come back she may have the PCS cushion, but her TES will dig her grave when you compare to smart layout like Tuks from last year.
Mao Asada has demonstrated tremendous effort in trying to improve her skating to become a consistent champion. Over the past two seasons, and now going to a third, her flaws in her jump techniques and mental inconsistency have not improved that much. The judges and fans are aware of her flaws and unless these change dramatically and quickly and surprise everyone, she will be judged, in part, by reputation. She has developed a reputation as a skater with many flaws in jumping (wrong edges, UR, not mastered all triples) who also crumbles under pressure from time to time.
Her chances are SLIM and NONE. She can win the OGM by default if we have a splatfest a la 1992.