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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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    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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    Zawadzki is already overpromoted by the US fed
    but she is not capitalizing in it and continues to have horrible LP's

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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.

  11. #11
    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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    I believe not a single person will call him or herself a fan of Zawadzki...and yet, she is the queen of us nationals.

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    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    ^^I wouldn't go that far, for either comment. I'm sure Agnes has fans here and all over...and she was not the queen of nationals. That title has gone to Gracie.

    Agnes is in a much better position to make a move than Christina is. Agnes has huge jumps and that's enough of a reason for the USFSA to get behind her. Unfortunately, Agnes' impact on the international scene is very minimal. I think she won her first GP medal this year (bronze) and the scores she receives don't make her the least bit competitive in the grand scheme of things. Agnes has the opportunity to break through but it's up to her. She needs stronger showings internationally or she'll never be a threat.

    Christina is a gorgeous skater but she is lacking something. She's very subtle in everything she does. In order to get noticed you almost have to jump out at people...in terms of your skating. Christina lacks power and strength in her skating...everything is very delicate, easily done. It's beautiful to watch but against the powerful style of Ashley's skating, and Gracie and Agnes' powerful jumps, Christina sort of fades into the background. She'll have to do something in terms of her style and delivery if she wants to stand out.

    I thought she was great this year and, given her results on the GP, I thought she'd get the benefit of the doubt from the judges. Boy, was I wrong. They've clearly picked their favorites and Christina is not one of them...as evident by her 5th place finish for the 4th year in a row.

    I wonder if she'll continue competing or if she'll focus on Harvard now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    I wonder if she'll continue competing or if she'll focus on Harvard now?
    I think she will keep competing. Before SA I'm sure she had no expectation of improving on her national placement when trying to balance training with full-time school, so she may be a bit disappointed. However, she is clearly able to do well at both so I see no reason for her to stop if she treats skating like an extracurricular that allows her to travel across the nation and the world. It's probably a more fulfilling hobby than Chess Club or Model UN

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