01-16-2013, 03:42 PM
Rejoicing in the land of Kwan
Skaters with better technique do tend to last longer in this sport. But in addition to technique, I would add that not pushing yourself beyond your limit is another way to stay healthy. Alissa was trying to be competitive and I really admire that, but given her technique, the fact that she's never been a strong jumper, and her age, I think training those difficult combinations was unnecessary and ultimately the cause of all of her problems. If she'd just tried to maximize her points doing what she did well (maybe adding another triple or a sequence or something) she may have avoided some of these injuries.
Originally Posted by Olympia
That's why I don't get why people fuss about Carolina Kostner not doing certain jumps. She's "old" by skating standards and she already has knee issues. In order to keep competing, you have to do what you're able to do and do it well. Granted Carolina's much more of a natural jumper with better technique than Alissa, but the same principle applies. Do what you can do without pushing yourself too far.
01-16-2013, 03:53 PM
I think what bothers people about Carolina is that she was winning medals and competitions outright with what something is "less challenging" content. I don't think anyone would make a fuss if she wasn't medaling or winning.
Originally Posted by kwanatic
01-16-2013, 04:00 PM
I agree: as a skater, I know how frustrating injuries are and not being able to be competitive just because your body it's not all right when you're trying to do your best is an awful feeling, so I agree that pushing yourself beyond your limits is a thing that no-one should do, especially if you are 20+ which (for the Ladies figure skating standards) is an "old" age. And, if you're doing what you can do well, why you shouldn't win against people who try more difficult elements but make a lot of mistakes? Figure skating is an artistic sport, so the presentation of your program (and this includes your technical elements) should be one of the most important things: quality agains difficulty, what counts more? My answer is: quality. (I know this is off-topic, so I don't want to start a discussione about this! )
Originally Posted by kwanatic
01-16-2013, 06:16 PM
Actually I always wondered why we have juniors if the technical content is just as difficult or even more so than seniors. The body breaks down training the difficult jumps over years, what if the jumps were restricted in the lower levels in order to perserve the skater's body and allow them to compete for a longer time in seniors and hopefully be healthier too. I thought that is what age restrictions were going to do for juniors going to seniors. The content the juniors are doing is crazy difficult, more so than when Alissa was a junior, but I wonder how long those little bodies will hold up.
01-16-2013, 06:46 PM
If they do decide on age restrictions, I hope they also limit what the juniors are able to perform in competition. I'd like to see juniors do only double jumps so they perfect the technique and worry about proper take-offs, landings, and height rather than rotation. When they become seniors, I think wrong edge take-offs should not count at all on the flip and lutz, because this is evidence of performing a jump with poor technique. As it stands now, the technical level in the jumps that wins on the junior circuit exceeds what wins on the senior circuit, so age restrictions alone won't do much.
Originally Posted by cjsk8fan
01-16-2013, 08:12 PM
Sounds like a good idea in theory, but what I suspect will happen is that the juniors will still train the harder jumps in practice in anticipation of their move up to the senior level. In the end, it wouldn't really accomplish that much.
01-16-2013, 08:42 PM
Exactly. In Gymnastics, Jrs aren't allowed to compete certain highly difficulty elements but they train them. A few Jr gymnasts regularly have more difficulty than top Seniors.
Originally Posted by R.D.
01-16-2013, 08:57 PM
Such a shame. It looked like she was doing well in the videos I have seen of her SP and (the first half of) her LP. She may have been more competitive at nationals this month than people were giving her credit for.
01-16-2013, 09:56 PM
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Alissa skated in the prototype hinged boots for a number of seasons. These boots were supposed to reduce ankle injuries, but as I recall there was debate about whether they were good or bad for hips. Also, some skaters thought it was harder to jump in the hinged boots, just like it is harder to jump in a soft boot than a rigid one.
Maybe this played a role in allowing Alissa to skate for such a long time without injury. Or not.
01-16-2013, 10:20 PM
OMG Mathman, I didn't know about the hinged boots. One would hope before they put a prototype out there they would consider all the ramifications of using the boots. She might have been more competitive than people were giving her credit for (per crazydreamer) but Alissa is another skater like Jeremy Abbott. You never know "who" is going to show up when the competition starts. And with all the problems she's had this year, plus her performance at US Nats and Worlds last year, I think there was ALOT of wishful thinking going on. I just hope that her injuries don't plague her the rest of her life. And if she does try to continue skating, that her doctor and her team are realistic about her physical readiness.
01-17-2013, 01:38 AM
AFIAK she never skated in prototype boots... Jackson did manufacture and market the proflex design for several years before discontinuing it around the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009.. I think the 2008 season was the last one where she wore them, but it may have been 2009.. either way she's been in traditional boots for the last 3 or 4 years. Alissa was the only skater who ever had any national success in the proflex boots... but that doesn't mean they weren't good boots and I don't think they caused problems for most skaters, it's just that they weren't quick to be adopted by most because they were just too different, and you have to be able to sell a product to make money and keep making it.
Originally Posted by noskates
Lots of skaters have had boot issues.. either short term or long term, and Alissa's prior boot problems (ankle bursas) led her to try the proflex, which solved the problem for her at the time. I think it's unlikely they caused any problems for her now, years after she was using them. Jackson has made lots of changes to their line over the years, so it's possible that with their current models (and the time wearing the proflex that allowed the bursas to go away) she hasn't had any more ankle problems. I skate in Jackson boots too (the same models Alissa has worn in the last few seasons, the Elite Plus and Elite Supreme) and I've never had any ankle problems with them, but I did wearing SP Teri.
01-17-2013, 04:38 AM
This is what Alissa answered me in her prompt reply to my get well soon wish mail:
Originally Posted by noskates
I love the new long program, and I am looking forward to when I will be able to perform it again, this time through to completion.
I really hope so that she will be able to show it to us this Marina Zueva choreo'd program.
01-17-2013, 09:44 AM
At the rink. Again.
1) Alissa has always had jumping technique issues, even when she was younger which is more likely what has contributed to her hip issues
Originally Posted by Mathman
2) Alissa was in PRODUCTION Pro-flex boots, not prototypes
3) Jackson worked with orthopedists, podiatrists, and other medical professionals in developing the Pro-flex boots; they did a lot of research and homework when these were developed and continually improved on the design and concept, more than most other boot companies do with regards to stiffness or where the boots hit on the ankle/calf area or bursas or...they would provide their research upon request and pieces of it were readily available throughout the skating community
4) Pro-flex boots never caught on because the knob to tighten the ankle part down was UGLY and stuck out in the back (somewhat ungainly) and most skaters who even considered them but decided on different boots were afraid of the aesthetics versus mechanics/health. It was quite obvious, even under over the boot tights and some people were afraid judges would nail their presentation mark for their boots
5) Jason Brown was also in Proflex boots (which Jackson continued to make for him after they discontinued the line for a couple years) until about two years ago (through his first year in Juniors). He had issues with his jumps the first year he was in "conventional" boots because he couldn't point his toes and the "give" wasn't in conventional boots like he did in the Pro-flex boots
I don't think you can "blame the equipment" in this case and we shouldn't start speculating on that without proof.
01-17-2013, 10:08 AM
Some thought the hinged boot would be a career saver. Actually, there was a hinged skate around as early as the 1880's.
"The ProFlex boots provide skaters with extra support for jumping. It is the distinct impression of some skaters that they are able to jump higher because the boots give them an extra spring. They also say that the hinges reduce the shock skaters' feet absorb and this hinged system does reduce the damaging impact of jump landings."
In the USA article, Alissa said she would never go back to regular boots, but she evidently changed her mind. I wonder why.
Last edited by Icey; 01-17-2013 at 10:18 AM.
01-17-2013, 10:52 AM
At the rink. Again.