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Thread: Mao Asada and Kim Yuna Junior Years?

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    Custom Title Minze2001's Avatar
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    Mao Asada and Kim Yuna Junior Years?

    Does anyone compare to Asada and Kim during their junior years. For example, when you see Mao skating at 14 at the GPJF you know this girl will be a force to reckon with. Kim Yuna also you could see she was going to be a star. Do you feel this way about anyone in the junior circuit now?

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    When Mao won the gpf in 2005 how could anyone have not been like Mao is the future?!?

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    They had one of the most amazing JGP to GP transitions record in ladies

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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    They had one of the most amazing JGP to GP transitions record in ladies
    They also had an amazing transition from Junior Worlds to Senior Worlds. First year as seniors and they're already on the Worlds podium, which either one would have won had it not been for some huge mistakes (Yuna in the long, Mao in the short).

    I'm not seeing anything like that in the current field. Liza and Adelina were hyped up as the next great rivalry, but I'm doubtful either one of them will be standing on the podium at Worlds, let alone both.

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    Custom Title Nadia01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krislite View Post
    They also had an amazing transition from Junior Worlds to Senior Worlds. First year as seniors and they're already on the Worlds podium, which either one would have won had it not been for some huge mistakes (Yuna in the long, Mao in the short).

    I'm not seeing anything like that in the current field. Liza and Adelina were hyped up as the next great rivalry, but I'm doubtful either one of them will be standing on the podium at Worlds, let alone both.
    This.

    I was very surprised to see both of them do so well. The fact that Yuna set WR score in SP on her sr. worlds debut really stunned me and made me pay close attention to her since so many promising junior-level skaters just don't do very well once they graduate.

    The thing is I'm just not seeing any promising junior skaters, OR even if they did well as juniors, they just aren't doing that well as seniors.

    As I mentioned before here and other forums, I don't really buy into a lot of hype about junior girls because you never know what kind of shape they're going to be in once they hit puberty. And now w/ the age requirement for the Olympics, you aren't going to see 14, 15 year olds winning OGM anymore.

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    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadia01 View Post
    And now w/ the age requirement for the Olympics, you aren't going to see 14, 15 year olds winning OGM anymore.
    Luckily! It was so sad to see Oksana/Sarah/Tara winning the Olympics and retiring immediatly after!

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    Custom Title Nadia01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    Luckily! It was so sad to see Oksana/Sarah/Tara winning the Olympics and retiring immediatly after!
    It is beyond irritating that Sarah Huges won OGM. Ugh. And then she retired more or less. She remains one of the few OGM winner who hasn't won anything meaningful BEFORE or AFTER OGM (no GPF, Worlds or US Nats). I consider her one of the least accomplished OGM winners.

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Just looking at the ladies from 2000 to 2012 who medaled at the Junior World Championships, nobody really came close to those two as far as the transition from juniors to seniors. Some of them fizzled once they got seniors (looking at some of the names, I'm like "who?"), some of them managed to medal on the GP series or 4CC the following year, but nobody really really close to the podium at Worlds the following season.

    It will be interesting to see how Adelina and Liza do (I consider them the class of 2011, their last-full year in juniors) this year and Lipnitskaia next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadia01 View Post
    It is beyond irritating that Sarah Huges won OGM. Ugh. And then she retired more or less. She remains one of the few OGM winner who hasn't won anything meaningful BEFORE or AFTER OGM (no GPF, Worlds or US Nats). I consider her one of the least accomplished OGM winners.
    She retired because she knew she wasn't going to win anything major after her fluke victory at the Olympics.

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenaj View Post
    She retired because she knew she wasn't going to win anything major after her fluke victory at the Olympics.
    She did compete in Nationals and Worlds the following year, placing 2nd and 6th respectively.

    Yes Sarah didn't win any other titles, but she also has a World Bronze (from 2001), two bronze GPF medals and several GP medals. In today's terms, it would be like Akiko Suzuki winning OGM in Sochi -- though even in that case she's slightly more decorated.

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    I don't think we have ever seen two more talented Ladies come up at the same time who were also the same age and made their debut at Worlds in the same year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krislite View Post
    They also had an amazing transition from Junior Worlds to Senior Worlds. First year as seniors and they're already on the Worlds podium, which either one would have won had it not been for some huge mistakes (Yuna in the long, Mao in the short).
    It's true that their transition was amazing, and well-deserved--both upped their game technically and artistically for the senior level. However, it should be noted that part of what aided their success was the retirement of the entire 2006 Olympics podium. The last time that an entire Olympics podium in the ladies retired after the Olympics was 1988--and even there the comparison isn't the same, since the 4th and 5th place finishers were eventual world champions Jill Trenery and Midori Ito. After every other Olympics, you had Olympic medalists/top 10 skaters who continued on and were competitive for world/Olympic medals throughout the following cycle--Nancy Kerrigan at the 1992 Olympics; Lu Chen after 1994; Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, Maria Butyrskaya at the 1998 Olympics; Sasha Cohen, Michelle Kwan/Irina Slutskaya again, Fumie Suguri, after the 2002 Olympics. New challengers obviously came in but veterans continued to win medals.

    At the 2006 Olympics, the other top 10 notable skaters all fizzled out for the following quad, with the exception of Joannie Rochette, who still took until the 2008-2009 season to become a top contender. The others just never challenged for the top: Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes due to injuries/puberty/college, Fumie Suguri declined; Sarah Meier and Elene Gedevanishvili had some moderate success but never had the consistency at worlds to become a medalist. Carolina Kostner is a unique case, but she's had far more success this quad than the previous one; she never truly proved to be a roadblock to Yu-Na and Mao during the 2006-2010 cycle. The only other skater who would become notable was Miki Ando, who had the disastrous 15th place at the 2006 Olympics, and really only had one big shining moment during the 2006-2010 quad at 2007 Worlds.

    So, long story short, Yu-Na and Mao earned their instant success on the senior scene, but they had a bit of luck too in that so many veterans from the 2006 Olympics retired or declined, and their fellow skaters who had competed with them at 2005 Junior Worlds were not able to keep up with them. I'm not sorry that it happened that way, of course.

    I think that likely, with so many veterans still hanging on for 2014 who will retire after--Carolina Kostner, Yu-Na, Mao--that post-2014 Olympics will be more like the post-2006 Olympics, and Liza and Adelina will then be able to (try to) stake their claim to the top. And young junior skaters like Elena Radionova and Karen Chen could have an easier time breaking through (though based on this year's JGPF, maybe not! Competition for every medal gets tougher every season).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    She did compete in Nationals and Worlds the following year, placing 2nd and 6th respectively.

    Yes Sarah didn't win any other titles, but she also has a World Bronze (from 2001), two bronze GPF medals and several GP medals. In today's terms, it would be like Akiko Suzuki winning OGM in Sochi -- though even in that case she's slightly more decorated.
    I think it would be more like Alena Leonova winning.

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    Whatever the circumstances, YuNa and Mao have had an extraordinary trajectory from junior to senior competition. And how satisfying this is for skate fans in general, not just YuNa and/or Mao fans in particular! It's disheartening to see promising young skaters fizzle out one by one or lose (literally) their edge. To see a complete career arc is to witness history. I got that feeling with Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, and Irina Slutskaya.

    It's still only recently that CoP has been instituted. Many fans, myself included, have been worrying that it's easier for skaters to get injured while trying to meet all the requirements of CoP, and that this might shorten careers and damage skaters' longterm wellbeing. To see two skaters exhibit such longevity in the most physically vulnerable of the disciplines (because "ladies" typically are younger than men at their senior peak) is reassuring for the future of CoP skating.

    Of course, the fact is that both YuNa and Mao are extraordinary skaters by any measure. We can't assume that their accomplishments will be reflected too often!
    Last edited by Olympia; 01-12-2013 at 09:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    It's true that their transition was amazing, and well-deserved--both upped their game technically and artistically for the senior level. However, it should be noted that part of what aided their success was the retirement of the entire 2006 Olympics podium. The last time that an entire Olympics podium in the ladies retired after the Olympics was 1988--and even there the comparison isn't the same, since the 4th and 5th place finishers were eventual world champions Jill Trenery and Midori Ito. After every other Olympics, you had Olympic medalists/top 10 skaters who continued on and were competitive for world/Olympic medals throughout the following cycle--Nancy Kerrigan at the 1992 Olympics; Lu Chen after 1994; Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, Maria Butyrskaya at the 1998 Olympics; Sasha Cohen, Michelle Kwan/Irina Slutskaya again, Fumie Suguri, after the 2002 Olympics. New challengers obviously came in but veterans continued to win medals.

    At the 2006 Olympics, the other top 10 notable skaters all fizzled out for the following quad, with the exception of Joannie Rochette, who still took until the 2008-2009 season to become a top contender. The others just never challenged for the top: Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes due to injuries/puberty/college, Fumie Suguri declined; Sarah Meier and Elene Gedevanishvili had some moderate success but never had the consistency at worlds to become a medalist. Carolina Kostner is a unique case, but she's had far more success this quad than the previous one; she never truly proved to be a roadblock to Yu-Na and Mao during the 2006-2010 cycle. The only other skater who would become notable was Miki Ando, who had the disastrous 15th place at the 2006 Olympics, and really only had one big shining moment during the 2006-2010 quad at 2007 Worlds.

    So, long story short, Yu-Na and Mao earned their instant success on the senior scene, but they had a bit of luck too in that so many veterans from the 2006 Olympics retired or declined, and their fellow skaters who had competed with them at 2005 Junior Worlds were not able to keep up with them. I'm not sorry that it happened that way, of course.

    I think that likely, with so many veterans still hanging on for 2014 who will retire after--Carolina Kostner, Yu-Na, Mao--that post-2014 Olympics will be more like the post-2006 Olympics, and Liza and Adelina will then be able to (try to) stake their claim to the top. And young junior skaters like Elena Radionova and Karen Chen could have an easier time breaking through (though based on this year's JGPF, maybe not! Competition for every medal gets tougher every season).
    I often wondered about that... would Mao and Yuna have been able to rise to the top instantly, if Irina, Sasha, Arakawa and other top skaters had stayed? Would they have been able to beat the senior skaters and risen to the top? Maybe, maybe not... They did set the world records right away at the worlds 2007 (Yuna at the short and Mao at the long? Not sure if I am correct...), so that means, they were already pretty good by then.

    Maybe the Russian newbies like Adelina, Liza Julia, and other young skaters like Gracie, and Katelyn might soon rise to the top once the older generation retires.

    Maybe, if Elena Radionova or Karen Chen were older and more mature technically and artistically, they might do better than Adelina, Gracie, Liza, Julia, and Katelyn and beat the older skaters... I don't know... It is a interesting speculation, though...
    Last edited by bluesky85; 01-12-2013 at 11:09 AM.

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