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Thread: Where do Zawadzki and Gao go from here?

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    Where do Zawadzki and Gao go from here?

    Another Nationals and nothing has changed status quo with these two. Gao continues (and this year more than ever) to be overlooked and even blatantly held down at times by National judges, and Zawadzki continues to slam herself down, especialy in the long program. Will either of these two wonderfully talented skaters who should be part of the U.S future along with people like Gold and Hicks, ever fulfill their immense promise. Will the judges, especialy in the U.S, ever allow Gao to; and will Zawadzki ever allow herself to.

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    Custom Title ks777's Avatar
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    In my opinion, there is something lacking in Gao's skating. Her spins are just not good and her skating skills aren't there yet. I want to see more power in her skating. Her 2axel needs a lot of work too. She is a very beatiful girl but she needs to find "her" instead of trying to be like the inferior version of skaters like Yuna Kim and Lu Chen.

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    LOL that is what I sometimes think watching her too. She comes across as a very poor womens Yu Na Kim or a very poor womens version Chen. Her best jump is her triple flip combinations just like Kim, and her best jumps are her toe jumps and combinations in general, but of course Kim's being miles better, and many of her stylistic features are the same as Kim too. She has kind of the same quite elegance, nice lines, and musical sense of Chen, just to a much lower level as well. She needs to find her own niche to get more noticed by the judges, before it is too long. That is what Leonova did, she was a poor version of the mid 90s teenage Slutskaya for awhile, but the last 2 years she found her own look and style and found real success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    In my opinion, there is something lacking in Gao's skating. Her spins are just not good and her skating skills aren't there yet. I want to see more power in her skating. Her 2axel needs a lot of work too. She is a very beatiful girl but she needs to find "her" instead of trying to be like the inferior version of skaters like Yuna Kim and Lu Chen.
    I agree. There's no "it" factor there, no personality or look that's unique to her. I also think that she is going to have a difficult time from here on out combining top level skating and a Harvard workload, which gets heftier after freshman year. Since she doesn't strike me as somebody who wants to do things half-baked, I don't see her continuing on next year in internationally competitive skating, without taking a leave of absence from school. She might do that since it's an Olympic year, and try to make the team.

    Zawadski I'm not sure about. Part of me says she is too young to give up, it's just her 3rd senior season. She's got most of the technical goods and should give herself at least another season or so to see if she can pull it all together, assuming she can find the financial means to do so. Then another Part of me says that there's just something missing, maybe like Gao, that "it" factor that you either have or you don't, and she just doesn't so will not be able to make that last jump up to a Worlds or Olympic podium. I dunno....

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    I felt sympathetic towards Gao for not being able to achieve her goal of getting on the US Nationals podium. It's not that crazy of a goal, yet the stars never seem to align for her.

    That said, I feel a bit frustrated at having watched her stagnate over the years. She's improved in some areas but not enough compared to her peers, therefore she's been left behind. The fact that she can consistently land 5 or 6 triples in her FS is amazing, but it kinda goes to show how weak her components are that she hasn't been able to translate that into wins/medals, with her 2012 Skate America silver being the only highlight. Her SP is really a nice choice for her, but her FS really highlights her weaknesses, namely her lack of fluid movement and inability to hit the right notes--she just doesn't have the range for that tango.

    I think she did deserve to get higher PCS than Courtney, but Courtney made up huge ground over her with more GOE for her jumps and spins. Christina's jumps are nice and tidy but really not big. Doesn't have a true lutz and omitted her salchow. I don't know, sad to say, maybe Christina's best will just not be good enough to get her to the next level.

    I would like to blame the US judges for not supporting her, but the truth of the matter is, Christina went to three junior worlds, each time as one of the more experienced American skaters, and was never the highest ranking American at any, never medaling. I hope she gives it her all at 4CCs, it's a great opportunity for her. I think she'll stick it out for one more year to go for Sochi but I'm just not sure how she can improve on where she is now.

    As for Agnes, she's helped by a few things: she's got that huge lutz, she's got a 3/3. I think she's a good performer, at least I find her more interesting than Gracie Gold at the moment. She's a good spinner. Her SS are a weakness though I think she has improved upon them over the years. I think she could use better programs though, something that really allows her personality to shine through. Though Agnes has developed a reputation for meltdowns in the FS on the senior level, there have been times in her career where she stood up under pressure packed situations and delivered--her bronze at 2011 Junior Worlds was more impressive than 2010 Junior Worlds silver. Oh, it's "just" the junior level, but given the amount of competition at the junior level, I think it does mean something. I remember what she did there and I was impressed. Her transition to seniors hasn't been easy, but I think she remains a threat if she can only put it all together, and could possibly knock Wagner out next season. After all, it took Wagner a bunch of seasons to pull it all together last season, it may take Agnes a while longer to figure it out as well.

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    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    In my opinion, there is something lacking in Gao's skating. Her spins are just not good and her skating skills aren't there yet. I want to see more power in her skating. Her 2axel needs a lot of work too. She is a very beatiful girl but she needs to find "her" instead of trying to be like the inferior version of skaters like Yuna Kim and Lu Chen.
    Christina herself said before nationals that was she was concentrating on was the elements and trying to get all the elements to the highest levels. That's what she needs to do. I think her style is just fine. I don't think she's trying to be like Yuna Kim. She's an elegant, rather quiet skater but very musical too. She just needs to keep working on smoothing out the few rough edges she has - spins a little faster, etc to bring everything up a notch. And she's always said herself that her 2 axel is her nemesis and that she needs to work on it, so that's not news. It'll probably never be her friend but at least she's been landing them.


    As for her other jumps, they're not high but she has other qualities in them so I don't see anything wrong with that. Not every skater is going to be Midori Ito.

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    I thought Christina should have medaled at nationals. She was beautiful. I am no skating expert but I thought the jumps , spins , choreography were fantastic. She even looked better then she did at skate America. But maybe some of you guys are right about her. There is something about her skating that the judges don't care for. Maybe she and her coach need to ask some of the judges what she needs to do to move up. I am sure she will stick around until the Olympics. Now that Courtney is in front of her, and she has some others close behind her she has to make some changes to stand out from the crowd. She needs to get off to a great start in the GP, Bring back her triple triple combo, get some better choreography.

    Agnes, has the huge jumps but I just don't like her skating. She needs better choreography, better choice of music, and she needs some confidence. Courtney may give her a run for her money and make the Olympic team over her. She is not scared to compete.
    Last edited by flying camel; 01-28-2013 at 09:53 PM.

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    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Christina was done in by her flying sit spin this week. A L2 and a fall on it in the SP had her in 5th there and a L1 on the flying sit in the long program (not that I necessarily agree that the FSSp should have done her in)...

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    right that is why they overlooked thedowngrades of ashley wagner falls in free skate/ and ur in sp.

    read between lines in most papers, they pick who they want on podium. (overlook mistakes for ones they want-hawk like eyes on skaters they don't want up there)

    christina has no pizzaz

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    "there is something lacking in Gao's skating"
    TIME, tha's what is lacking in my opinion. She is full time student, too busy for full time figure skating

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    Christina has actually improved since going to Harvard though. Her consistency especially, but her 2a is also better, as is her stamina, and her speed and posture are much improved. In some ways I think being a full-time student helps Christina with the mental/competitive aspect just because she doesn't have time to worry or obsess much over her skating and other competitors, so that likely leads her to be less nervous and just go out and skate. So far this season, that seems to have paid off for her. I think if Christina can bring back the 3f-3t and work on improving her flexibility and spins, then she can be a real contender. No, her jumps aren't going to get +2s and +3s for GOE, but they are still beautiful and usually get +1s which combined with her consistency and ability to almost always get full rotation on them, is going to work in her favor. I think people would see her as more "WOW" if she could bring back the 3f-3t and then have better spins and flexibility/lines, it would just make her stand out more, and I think part of the reason her PCS tend to be modest is because she's a subtle and quiet skater, but with these changes, she can turn into a, I don't want to say flashy, but more striking or powerful skater. Just my two cents, but honestly she has every quality she needs to be at the top, it's just a matter of finding a way to effectively channel and deliver it.

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    I think Gao is too much like a Yu Na Kim lite. It is never good to mimick a skater you are never going to be as great as. I think if she can find her own niche and look, and not look like she is trying to be Yu Na Kim, she can do better and possibly make a World team down the road. It is similar to how Leonova used to be a poor womens version of a young Slutskaya, and she never would have come close to a World podium if she didnt transform herself into her own skater, knowing she was never going to be anywhere near as good as Slutskaya, especialy at a similar style of skating, look, and having the same strengths, so she needed something else.

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    You know, I used to feel the same, that Christina was like a mini-Yuna. It makes sense. She trained with Yuna for a year or two, and there are similarities between them: both Asian, both somewhat tall and long-legged (for skaters), both somewhat reserved in their expression on the ice. It's only natural she would look up to Yuna and emulate her. But I think Christina's starting to find her own way and develop her own persona. This year's tango long program was different; it wasn't like something Yuna would do. Yuna is more about fast, sweeping movement on the ice, Christina is more about delicate expression and detail. Just my opinion. I do agree Christina needs to keep on developing her own style on the ice and bringing out her own personality. That's going to be very important going forward. She needs that same kind of "breakout" program/performance that Ashley had last year at Nationals with Black Swan.

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    I am guessing that Christina will probably focus on Harvard... no matter how much her skating lacks that "It" factor, I still feel she was robbed of a medal these Nationals. She skated well and fluidly when many girls didn't, and got relegated to the same position she held last year, and the year before, and the year before that. I'm just glad for her that she has Harvard and incredible talent there, because it doesn't feel to me like she'll get much support from the powers that be in the world of skating.

    As for Agnes? No idea...

    ETA: Maybe Christina could give another SOHL at 4CC and maybe next year she might just make the Nationals podium? I cannot see her making the Olympic team, however, and I imagine that Harvard (which she seems to enjoy) is only going to intensify greatly once she is no longer a freshman.
    Last edited by Orange Cat; 01-28-2013 at 03:57 AM.

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    I'm not really a fan of either. And I do believe Gracie is far more interesting with alot more potential than either of them. Agnes always looks awkward to me while she's skating or kind of heavy on the ice. Christina is a beautiful girl and she does have that fluidity but as someone said upthread, that "it" factor isn't there. She's always dressed in a high necked, long skirt that accentuates her height and somewhat poor posture. I don't know - maybe both of them need more self confidence to really lay down a great program. I just find both of them pretty unexciting although they clearly have talent.

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