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Thread: Can Gracie Gold handle the pressure?

  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    For Gracie, what I'm most worried about is her ability to manage her nerves. It's obvious she doesn't have that innate ability a la Michelle, Tara or even Rachael Flatt for a while there. They were able to focus in high pressure situations and deliver strong performances when it mattered.

    When Gracie gets nervous, she goes blank in the face. You can almost see her thinking herself through everything. She rushes her take offs which leads to falls and doubles. She is going to have to learn to manage those nerves...assuming she can. It's not a skill everyone can master.

    This is exactly what worries me about Gracie. Everyone is saying she has time, she'll learn how to compete. But as you point out, Kwanatic, the fact is not everyone can or does learn this skill. I mean, when you think about great champions--Kim, Asada, Kwan, Yamaguchi, Lipinski, Witt, Yagudin, Plushenko, Stojko--was there ever a time when those champions DIDN'T know how to compete? Was there ever a time when they were routinely crumbling under pressure and falling apart in their programs? Yeah, it happened to all of them once in a while (Kwan 1997 Nationals, Kim 2009 Skate America). But those times were the exception, not the rule. You look at those skaters, and nearly all of them were winning national/world medals very, very early in their careers.

    Of course, there are exceptions to this. Carolina Kostner, Akiko Suzuki, Ashley Wagner. These are skaters who really only learned to compete in their 20s. But again, they are exceptions. In many cases, it seems like great champions are just born knowing how to compete--that's part of what makes them great. And I don't know if Gracie has that quality or not.

  2. #227
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    There certainly was a time when Tara Lipinski & Elizabeth Manley, not to mention Joannie Rochette, didn't know how to compete. It is a skill that some possess always (Michelle), some can learn Liz Manley), and some never can learn (Rohene Ward ).

    (Tara was supposed to cream everyone in US Juniors in 1995, had a disastrous competition, and lost to Sydney Vogel of Alaska.)

  3. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    (Tara was supposed to cream everyone in US Juniors in 1995, had a disastrous competition, and lost to Sydney Vogel of Alaska.)
    I would not say that Tara had a disastrous competition.

    I think Sydne won because she had bigger and cleaner jumps including a triple lutz, which Tara did not have yet. (Or ever if you're a purist about takeoff edges )

  4. #229
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I was there in Providence. Tara looked really, really bad; memorably so, over a span of 18 years ago, still shockingly bad.

    Of course, there had been such a hype, even in the Providence papers, about her, that we expected a lot (the impression was left that Tara was going to be a better skater than the seniors); but even with some significant overscoring, she still couldn't win juniors..

    It's true that Vogel had some great performances. But if Brittney McConn hadn't had a few .problems, Tara could easily have been lower than second.

  5. #230
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    Doris: I remember Sydne Vogel....I thought she was going to be the next Big Thing, but then she just disappeared....whatever happened to her?

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    She couldn't make the American team and I believe her family was blessed financially so she skated for I believe Germany but never made it out of there and for some reason her skating stopped growing and she had trouble with her jumps. Sad. I hope she is happy wherever she is.

  7. #232
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    Again, isn't this thread about Gracie Gold?

    Of course, we have the four words that should strike fear in every US fan hoping for that 3rd spot back: Gracie Gold Short Program.

    She is 1 for 4 (FOUR) in that segment. 25% shot.

    I think that's all that needs to be said, really.
    Last edited by R.D.; 02-21-2013 at 01:07 PM.

  8. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Again, isn't this thread about Gracie Gold?

    Of course, we have the four words that should strike fear in every US fan hoping for that 3rd spot back: Gracie Gold Short Program.

    She is 1 for 4 (FOUR) in that segment. 25% shot.

    I think that's all that needs to be said, really.
    1 for 4? Eh, I guess if you're insisting on clean programs then yes. But she did OK at 4CC -- she still got 60+ there and did her 3-3 there. I think it's more practical to say she's 50 percent as far as getting a decent SP.

  9. #234
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    Actually you are right. I was thinking about the freeskate. 1 for 2 would be more appropriate- but still, that's flipping a coin- probably a weighted one considering it's Worlds...hardly any assurance.

  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Well, to put the thread on topic...

    For Gracie, what I'm most worried about is her ability to manage her nerves. It's obvious she doesn't have that innate ability a la Michelle, Tara or even Rachael Flatt for a while there. They were able to focus in high pressure situations and deliver strong performances when it mattered.

    When Gracie gets nervous, she goes blank in the face. You can see she's thinking herself through everything. She rushes her take offs which leads to falls and doubles. If she is to be the next star in the US, she's going to have to learn to manage those nerves. With her abilities, people will be looking at her as a medal threat if not gold medal favorite; she has to learn to deal with the pressure...assuming she can. It's not a skill everyone can master. If she can't get a grip on her nerves she will be relegated to headcase status and that would be unfortunate. So many of our immensely talented skaters bear this stigma.

    Gracie has time (of course) but I'm less concerned with what she can do in the next four years of her skating; I'm looking more at the next few weeks.
    Exactly. Right now Gracie skates with a "deer in the headlights" look on her face instead of a confident look. Nothing comes naturally (despite being a natural jumper), she is always thinking. We just don't know what we'll get from her at this point in time. Maybe she'll grow out of it as she matures and gets more comfortable as a Sr lady, but all we know for sure is where she is right now. What will happen to Gracie at Worlds seems to be rather unpredictable.
    Last edited by gold12345; 02-21-2013 at 01:32 PM.

  11. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Actually you are right. I was thinking about the freeskate. 1 for 2 would be more appropriate- but still, that's flipping a coin- probably a weighted one considering it's Worlds...hardly any assurance.
    No of course not. But as I always say regarding life --- sometimes it takes only one good performance. So.....my hope is that she makes the most of it at Worlds.

  12. #237
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    There certainly was a time when Tara Lipinski & Elizabeth Manley, not to mention Joannie Rochette, didn't know how to compete. It is a skill that some possess always (Michelle), some can learn Liz Manley), and some never can learn (Rohene Ward ).

    (Tara was supposed to cream everyone in US Juniors in 1995, had a disastrous competition, and lost to Sydney Vogel of Alaska.)
    Kwan was supposed to win Juniors the year before Lipinski (or 2 years, maybe) but also ended up either second or third. Frank C wanted her to stay in Juniors another year to win but that was the summer she took her Senior FS test without his consent while he was out of town, so she also didn't ALWAYS know how to compete. And didn't she lose the title in 1995 when she came in as the favorite to Nicole Bobek because she made mistakes? She learned very quickly from there, though....

  13. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    There certainly was a time when Tara Lipinski & Elizabeth Manley, not to mention Joannie Rochette, didn't know how to compete. It is a skill that some possess always (Michelle), some can learn Liz Manley), and some never can learn (Rohene Ward ).

    (Tara was supposed to cream everyone in US Juniors in 1995, had a disastrous competition, and lost to Sydney Vogel of Alaska.)
    Seriously having to go back to when Tara was 12 to say she didn't know how to compete it s bit of a stretch. Tara was just one tough skater who wasn't intimidated even when she was skating against the most clearly dominate skater of her time. She had nerves of steel which many skaters just don't have.

  14. #239
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Seriously having to go back to when Tara was 12 to say she didn't know how to compete it s bit of a stretch. Tara was just one tough skater who wasn't intimidated even when she was skating against the most clearly dominate skater of her time. She had nerves of steel which many skaters just don't have.
    LOL, I totally agree.

  15. #240
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The point is that she learned how to compete quickly; that's all I was trying to say.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tara_Lipinski#Eligible

    She was 4th at Jr. Worlds in 1995, 5th at Jr. Worlds in 1996, 15th at Senior Worlds. She had not quite got the hang of this competing thing in her debut year on the Senior Circuit.

    The 1996-1997 season, she figured it out and never looked back.

    She was, indeed, one tough cookie, but it didn't mean she won everything she entered. And strange, but true, she never medalled at Jr. Worlds in 2 tries.

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