The thing is, I don't look at Rachael and think, "Here's a skater who's going through a tough spot, and she'll recover soon." I see nothing in her skating, either technically or artistically, that leads me to believe she's going to improve. Her best years are clearly behind her, and she doesn't seem to have the time or energy to devote to practicing or even to staying in condition. So it does seem as if she's not making the best use of a GP spot, and she has so much else to absorb her in terms of studying and so forth that she'd be better off devoting herself to that. Of course it's not my place to tell any athlete that she or he has reached the end of the road, but maybe this is really it for Rachael, unless she takes a leave of absence from college and really buckles down to her skating. Even then, I fear, she couldn't catch up with the world and help boost the international standing of U.S. ladies.
She doesn't even seem to be bothered by her low placements, as if she's just happy to be there participating. It really does seem like a waste of a spot at our country's premier international event. Having said that, I blame the USFSA for making this decision. She basically delivers what she has been in the past few years, so the placement is no surprise. It's a shame because the USFSA lost a great opportunity to showcase Gracie at one of the only skating events with network coverage.
A few things:
1.) Rachael revealed her injury before the competition. It was not as if she waited until the result to reveal the injury. Lynn Rutherford tweeted this information as early as Thursday.
2.) Consider that Rachael, while injured, still scored a 92 in the FS and did five non UR triples. What hurt her ultimately were a lack of +GOE in those jumps (I think she should have gotten some more, the jumps were quite solid) and the low levels on spins. Compare that to Caroline Zhang, who was not injured, could not break the 90 mark in 2010 or 2011 Skate America.
3.) That said, Rachael may be done simple because of a lack of recovery on those lingering injuries.
Also regarding Skate America being a coronation for Ashley: This was a good competition and I'm glad I could catch it live. I can honestly say that every skater there, Leonova notwithstanding, actually was able to skate their best. And 9 out of 10, including Rachael, were able to at least complete four clean, non UR triples (though some were edge calls) in the FS. And the the top 5 competed six triples in the FS. (Though for Adelina the sixth one didn't count due to combination rules). Ashley deserved her win for sure-- she was fast, great ice coverage and her jumps were clean as a whistle. I'll give more comments in the Ladies thread when I have a chance.
Didn't Gold have two OTHER events - and THAT's why she wasn't at SA?
I felt it a bit suspect of USFS to give Gao the SA slot, but in retrospect she showed that she fully deserved it. You never know, really.
Perhaps it's worth it to wonder why Flatt didn't WD after her injury, but we all know she will fight through whatever even if she can barely manage being on the ice...this behavior isn't unique to Flatt though, so the intent is not to single her out. (i.e. we remember other(s) doing this last season)
Again, to play DA with all this Gold stuff...again, there is no need to push her. Yes, I understand the desperate need for a star, but that is NOT how you go about doing it. Why push gold when you have other skater(s) actually producing RESULTS and gaining international REPUTATION which will hopefully lead to world medals again? Sorry but I just don't see the need to rush yet ANOTHER young phenom to the spotlight and watch her crash and burn under all the pressure like a broken record, etc.
Soon, Wagner is going to be feeling the pressure of being the top American. Someone else needs to step up and join her.
It could be good that Ashley is doing well right now and is a solid number 1 in the US. Gracie might not feel now like she has to be the savior of the US women and can just go out and skate and get better. But i'm sure she will still feel the pressure.
This doesn't explain why they couldn't work something out for Mirai, though.
I think we will be seeing more & more of skaters skating injured. Here's why:
The new minimum TES rules for 4CC's, Worlds & Europeans pretty much assure that all skaters who have a single assignment from their Fed, whether to a Senior B or a GP, pretty much have to skate regardless of their physical condition. They have to take advantage of that one assignment to try to make their qualificaiton.
For example, Pang & Tong were skating injured at Skate America (Tong has knee problems), as was Jeremy Abbott (who is having a serious back problem). P&T were absolutely lovely, particularly in their exhibition program. Jeremy was not particularly lovely, and someone else could have used the spot...however, Jeremy needed it himself to get the qualifying TES for Worlds and 4CC's. He got the SP score for both Worlds & 4CC's, but not the LP TES for Worlds.
Douglas Razzano got the LP score, but not the SP score for Worlds. His SP did not qualify for either event. I have no idea whether he was injured, but he skated a dreadful SP.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 10-22-2012 at 07:41 PM.
OT -- Hey, Toni, cool new avatar!