Can Gracie Gold handle the pressure?
There was much fanfare on this board last season/over the offseason about Gracie Gold's potential. She was being talked about as best technical skater in the world. But her results since moving to the senior level have been disastrous. She has 7 horrible skates to 1 good skate (Skate Detroit SP) this season. That ratio shows that her mistake-filled performances are a trend and not an outlier. She can skate her programs very cleanly in her practices, but she seemingly can't handle her nerves in competition. The doubling/singling of jumps in her latest free program performance illustrates that. I hope she sorts out her issues, because she has too much ability to finish 7th in a Grand Prix event, losing to the likes of Ksenia Makarova and Elene Gedevanishvili.
very familiar thread) We'll see...I hope both Adelina and Gracie live up to the hype
LOL, at your comment koatcue.
For the record, I don't think she's had 7 horrible skates. Skate Canada was truly her worst performance, both the SP & FS
But in SLC, she had a decent LP, hitting both of her 3-3 combos. And Skate Detroit she did fine too, again a few little mistakes in the LP, but she also hit her 3-3 combos there as well.
So not great: SLC SP, SC SP + FS
OK: SLC FS, Skate Detroit FS (2), Skate Milwaukee (haven't seen it, but it sounds she stayed upright)
Great: Skate Detroit SP
I'm not sure what's going on with Gracie, but I think it's way to early to declare anything except that she's going through senior debut jitters.
lol ok Ksenia and Elene have been in the top 10 at Worlds three times each. Losing to the likes of them isn't a travesty.
Originally Posted by Selene
I disagree. Seven of her eight skates this season have been filled with multiple jump errors. They were all bad performances. For instance, how can you call her SLC LP a decent performance when she messed up four of her seven jumping passes? She was held up by the judges because the event was held in the US (and still was beaten by Zawadzki.) She wasn't afforded the same courtesy in Canada, and the judges hammered her in PCS for her mistake-filled performances.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
For whatever reason, she can't execute her jumps in competition. We've seen her land her jumps in her practices, so I think her issues are mental. And her performances are getting worse, not better as she becomes more familiar with her programs. She landed only two clean triple jumps in her free skate today (the triple lutz-triple toe to open the program.) That is abysmal. I think she needs to think about changing her jump layout. She should go back to last year's jump layout for her long program. Putting two triple flips (and two triple-triple combos/sequences) in the program looks to have been a mistake, as she's been consistently receiving edge calls on her flip this season (automatic negative GOE.) And she should think about replacing the triple flip-triple toe combination in the SP with triple toe-triple toe (or triple lutz-triple toe and the triple salchow as her solo triple jump, as the triple loop is not a good jump for her.) Her mistake-filled performances clearly illustrate that she's not capable of executing her current jump content in competition.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
I said early in the week that everyone's expectatiosn for Gracie at Skate Canada were far too high. Its her first event as a senior, i don't know why everyone expects her to win eveyrthing right out of the box. She's very very talented, but i don't find her that much more so than Christina Zhao, to name one name was at her first season as a senior. She didn't win her first event as a senior either. and still hasn't i might add. Did even yu-na kim win her first senior GP? I don't think so. Mao did (i think) but she's hardly unbeatable now. Gracie has the technique to be great--but she won't be a champion for another season or two. give the girl some time.
That's why I say they are OK -- not great, but not meltdown. And I don't dispute she doesn't have jump errors.
Originally Posted by Selene
That said, I don't agree with changing the jump format. She has received the edge call on the flip, but I don't think it's a severe edge call. In the FS, she only received a -.30 for the 3F-2T and the -.21 for the 2F. And looking at the video, it looks like it's borderline. And we've seen from other skaters that changing your jump content to make it easier doesn't always work. In fact, for someone like Gracie, who tends to make silly mistakes on things like a 2A, I think it would actually be worse for her.
The judges, I think do like her skating. She still got a 99 despite only clearing 2 triples, as you pointed out. In contrast, Caroline Zhang got a lower score for a slightly better tech performance.
I honestly am really sick of these threads. I mean no disrespect to anyone but I said the same thing in the Ladies S thread today.
Almost every year, this exact thing happens. Some poor, unsuspecting junior seems to be talented. We are all in awe and declare her (it is almost always a her) the next big thing. We are excited. We are enthusiastic. We love her to pieces.
Then, shocking us all, this girl dares to put out some disappointing performances on the senior circuit. They need not even be bad. A medium sized mistake or two will suffice (see Sotnikova). Suddenly, this girl is not 'living up to her potential'. She is a 'headcase'. We bang our heads against the hypothetical wall and bemoan the fact that she can't get it together. This is one reason I try to stay off the junior bandwagon.
However, I will admit I am on the Julia L. bandwagon and I know the same might happen to her. But, when and if it does I won't be posting in threads about how awful it is and how she is doomed forever. I will say what I am saying about Gracie now- give her a break, she is young. I will say that I still like her and think she can be great.
We don't know what Gracie's future will be (or anyone else's). Let's be excited to find out instead of posting in ominous threads about if she will ever live up to her 'potential' as declared by us.
I apologize in advance if this comes out sounding nastier than I intend. I just really am frustrated with this today.
Does a thread like that always have to pop up if a young girl shows she's human and has problems with handling the enormous pressure?
It's just understandable she has some problems, look at how she gets hyped from the american fans. I'm sure she just needs time to adjust, at least wait till the season is over to decide if she's a good competitor or not (she's definitly no headcase, she didn't bomb - she just had some mistakes).
I definitely share in your frustration! But I hope that it doesn't keep you from enjoying the junior skaters. My philosophy is enjoy them where there and for what they are. For example, Angela Wang has been really good this JGP and let's just say, she's been good at the JGP and leave it at that.
Originally Posted by tulosai
So tulosai, enjoy Julia! She's not my cup of tea, but I can see why people do like her.
And also, while her tech wasn't up to snuff, it seems everyone has ignored the non-jump improvements that Gracie showed this week. Her spins were A LOT better and besides that wonky combo spin in her SP, she received level fours and a solid level 3 on her steps for both programs. And she does have a lot of speed between the elements.
I think it is far too early to say one way or another. She needs experience. Once she shakes off the nerves and hopefully shakes off these wonky performances, I think her skills will become much more evident. She has skated some minor senior B's, a junior nationals and (although it is prestitigious) Junior Worlds. Junior Worlds is perstigious, but it is still a junior event, and has a different air to it. Give her some time. I have faith.
Also, keep in mind that when a mainstream newspaper writes about a young skater, the reporter is likely to pump it up, because otherwise why would the paper feature an article about a skater when that space could be used to cover, say, a ball player. Or a Kardashian. Think about it: when was the last time you saw any article about any skater in USAToday? So I think this hype can be excused as being extraneous to the skating dialogue.
Besides, as Mrs. P. points out, it's fun to get excited about a new skater. The skater may or may not pan out, but at that moment she may be extremely exciting, which isn't peanuts. Also, isn't it nice to give a skater fans? The encouragement may actually give a skater the incentive to work harder and become a better skater than she (or he) would otherwise become. If this skater doesn't pan out, well, that's life.
An example: Naomi Nari Nam. This kid made a huge splash at the age of thirteen at Nationals. In those days, great skaters were so plentiful that one more or less didn't make a difference, but this one was really special. Her Nationals programs that year are still exciting to watch. Because of a serious injury, Nam's career didn't last very long. But this doesn't negate the very real excitement she generated as a skater so young that she didn't qualify for Worlds. I have no regrets being a huge fan of hers then, and I remain happy about her achievements now.
Another example of a different kind: Michelle Kwan. I first found her, as many of us did, when she was twelve and promoted herself to senior skating. I thus got to witness her entire trajectory, from promising kid to bright and enduring star. If I had held back and said, "I'm not risking disappointment until I see what she can do," I would have missed that extraordinary, though still immature, performance at 1994 Worlds when Michelle carried the future of her country on her back. Her eighth place finish assured us of the extra spot on the following year's team.
So go, Gracie, Iulia, Liza, and Angela! May they flourish on and off the ice.
um, why is angela's name being brought up? i don't see USA today visiting. there's no comparable hype.
USFS made angela the 3rd alternate to junior worlds last year. in contrast, pat st. peter said USFSA is considering sending gracie to SENIOR worlds and 4 continents, even after gracie declined to turn senior and compete against czisny, nagasu, wagner, instead faced her stiffest challenge from ashley cain and hannah miller. of course it's gracie's prerogative--there's nothing wrong with her choice to pace her career her way. i was against the idea of a senior world spot being awarded when she hasn't beaten the prime contenders in competition, but it did not turn me against gracie or her skating in any way.
i like gracie's skating, she's an absolute knock out looks-wise and i see improvements in her artistry. i just don't understand bringing angela into this because i do not see where she has been 'hyped.' a thread with 14 replies on GS doesn't count the same as an article from USA today, does it?
back to gracie, i think she did extremely well. she did not have a melt down--she even had her kiss and cry reactions (mostly) under control, IMO. i see great things in her future.
adelina's also one of my favorites and i also see great things in _her_ future--i think she's plenty great already.
Last edited by skfan; 10-27-2012 at 06:04 PM.
Her performances this season have been very poor. She makes so many jumping errors. She doesn’t show half of what she does in practice sessions in competition (people who watched the Skate Canada practice sessions thought she was as impressive as Katelyn Osmond - and then she totally bombed when it came time to compete.) What’s the use of her practicing a Rippon Lutz and difficult 3-3’s when she doesn’t even show a stable double axel in competition? I think her technical content is too ambitious. She may be able to land those jumps in practice sessions, but she can’t execute when it counts. Her nerves clearly get the better of her, as they did today with the doubles/pops. I didn’t think she could be worse than she was in the short program, but she delivered another messy performance with only two clean triples landed (both in the first jumping pass) in the free skate. The skate was far below the level of her performances last season.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
As for the judges liking her skating, I don’t think that’s true. She got a lower PCS score than all but two competitors in the free skate (the bottom two finishers.) The judges hammered her with low component scores. She’s clearly doing damage to her reputation with her error-filled performances.
I mean, I do enjoy Juniors- I didn't mean to say I don't. However, the heart of why I try hard not to get too excited about them is in what you say about fans. I think I'm kind of unusual but take being a fan of a skater pretty seriously. To me it's different than just liking or enjoying the skater. Once I consider myself a real fan of a skater it's pretty much for life, and I do not just give up on them or start criticizing them like some are doing to Gracie/Adelina/Mirai and whoever else. As an example I am a Mirai fan and though I sometimes am frustrated with her I really can't bring myself to give up on her and probably never will.
Originally Posted by Olympia
Of course it is awesome to watch a skater's evolution, but I guess this is why I don't tend to get super excited about a skater after just one year... for me, watching the evolution is what makes me a fan. I'm seldom sold immediately. Exceptions for me in 'recent' history have been Sasah Cohen, V/M, and now Julia L. However, most of the skaters I would really call myself a fan of grew on me over time- and I prefer it that way. It reduces a lot of the anxiety we see over the Gracie's and Adelina's when you can enjoy their evolution without feeling obligated to crown them instantly.
I'm not sure I am explaining this exactly correctly, but there it is.