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Thread: I feel sorry for Caroline Zhang

  1. #61
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    Caroline might try one of Biellmann's training habits: Jumping rope with light weights on her ankles. Might give her more spring and height with her jumps. I read recently (sorry, I can't remember the skater or the jump) but he was the first skater to do a certain jump in competition and he did it in speed skating boots!!!!! Maybe spending some time training in those kinds of boots could help her speed increase.

  2. #62
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    Well, whatever Biellmann did, it certainly worked for her. After her amateur career, she skated as a pro for years, and she maintained her jumps throughout, I believe. She was known for training like a maniac, first into the gym in the morning and last out at night. She was not my favorite in terms of style, but she was always exciting to watch. She seemed to have a lovely, personality, always a plus with me.

    Additionally, since Biellmann skated well into her thirties (possibly beyond), she's a great example for Caroline, because she shows that there's still time to keep up and maybe even improve one's skills.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    She left Wagner specifically because she didn't think she needed to work on her edges. She certainly couldn't rest on her laurels because lack of strong edges plagued her to the end of her career. The time she spent with Wagner improved her stroking, but it was still the weakest part of her skating and until she retired, she had the weakest basic skating of any of the top contenders.
    She never won a big title because of her falls. She generally had the highest PCS of anyone; only top tier skaters who were clean could beat her (unless she had a mini meltdown like Worlds 2006). Yes, she would have been a better "skater" with those improvements but it wouldn't have improved her placements.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    She never won a big title because of her falls. She generally had the highest PCS of anyone; only top tier skaters who were clean could beat her (unless she had a mini meltdown like Worlds 2006). Yes, she would have been a better "skater" with those improvements but it wouldn't have improved her placements.
    In fact, as I recall, she was one of the first ladies' skaters to have a point-score record at the start of CoP.

    I'm wondering, though, and I often have wondered about this: would she have been a more consistent jumper if she had had better command of her blades?

    I ask that question as a Sasha fan. She was my second-favorite skater of that era, after Michelle, of course. Even when she stumbled or fell, she was splendid to watch. Her carriage, the way her flexibility made her graceful rather than just a contortionist, and her pointed toes all made her a magnificent skater.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    In fact, as I recall, she was one of the first ladies' skaters to have a point-score record at the start of CoP.

    I'm wondering, though, and I often have wondered about this: would she have been a more consistent jumper if she had had better command of her blades?

    I ask that question as a Sasha fan. She was my second-favorite skater of that era, after Michelle, of course. Even when she stumbled or fell, she was splendid to watch. Her carriage, the way her flexibility made her graceful rather than just a contortionist, and her pointed toes all made her a magnificent skater.
    I'm not sure it would, and I say that because she was a good jumper and would regularly nail 5 or 6 triples with no problem. It was always that one mistake that seemed like a mental lapse in a program. Furthermore, time spent learning to skate better would be time taken away from learning some of her amazing spins and spirals, so she might have been a better "skater" but lack some of the wow factor in her moves. In retrospect, I'm very happy with the overall package she presented because it was unique in the sport.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post

    Additionally, since Biellmann skated well into her thirties (possibly beyond), she's a great example for Caroline, because she shows that there's still time to keep up and maybe even improve one's skills.
    I certainly hope so. Caroline will need to make serious improvements over the summer. She should get at least one Grand Prix assignment, and maybe a senior B level event. If she can make a good showing in front if ISU judges, she should get fair treatment in front of US judges.
    ( I don't remember the last time I heard the audience boo skating judges. )

  7. #67
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    I just realized now you misspelled to Carolina

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolymerBob View Post
    Caroline will need to make serious improvements over the summer. She should get at least one Grand Prix assignment, and maybe a senior B level event.
    A Senior B is possible, based on how she competes/monitors this summer, but she's no longer in the top 24 of either the ISU's Seasons Best total score list or the World Standings rankings, so she is not guaranteed a Grand Prix assignment, unfortunately.

    Peter Oppegard spoke out about Caroline Zhang's 3Lo<+3Lo<< SP combo (Base Value reduced to 5.40, she received 3.80 points for it) in an Icenetwork article published yesterday:
    To Oppegard, the problem lies with the way technical panels use slow-motion viewing to analyze the loop, a jump which takes off from a back outside edge without the assistance of a toe pick, and lands on the same back outside edge.

    "The toe loop is rewarded more often than the loop jump," Oppegard said. "When you slow down the loop jump, the nature of the take-off is a little further around and it can be considered a round-edge jump. You put your toe in for the toe jump just as far around, maybe further, and because there is a toe in the ice, they tend to say the take-off is clean.

    "This edge is a curvy thing; where you start and where you finish on that curve is a little bit subjective. Anyone doing the loop -- especially the triple loop-triple loop, as maybe only Caroline can -- is also leaving herself a little bit vulnerable to the system."

    It's Oppegard's hope that the ISU technical committee, which frequently adjusts international judging system guidelines, will re-examine the issue.

    "These are very smart people who know skating," he said. "I think some allowances [should be] made for the loop. A level playing ground between the toe and the loop, that's all I'm asking for. Caroline has cheated [the loop-loop] in the past, but there is a pretty strong consensus that she did it quite well in Omaha and it was over-deducted."

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I ask that question as a Sasha fan. She was my second-favorite skater of that era, after Michelle, of course. Even when she stumbled or fell, she was splendid to watch. Her carriage, the way her flexibility made her graceful rather than just a contortionist, and her pointed toes all made her a magnificent skater.
    If a skater doesn't have good feet, I'm not interested. I could never enjoy watching Sasha because her edges were so scratchy. Just watching her wobbling edges into her flip and lutz was scary. I don't care what skater does above the ankles if what goes on between the blade and the ice isn't strong.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    I just realized now you misspelled to Carolina
    Five pages and no one noticed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    She never won a big title because of her falls. She generally had the highest PCS of anyone; only top tier skaters who were clean could beat her (unless she had a mini meltdown like Worlds 2006). Yes, she would have been a better "skater" with those improvements but it wouldn't have improved her placements.
    The only events she lost with falls were the 2006 Olympics and 2006 Worlds (and at the 2006 Olympics everyone else was falling too anyway, and the winner landed only the same number of triples as her and still beat her easily). She did not fall at the 2004 and 2005 Worlds and did not win, and she was never winning the 2002 Olympics, 2002 Worlds, and 2003 Worlds even with no falls. It also not true top tier skaters had to be clean to beat her. Slutskaya and Kwan werent clean at the 2002 Olympics and both beat her easily. Kwan stumbled on a jump in the Q round of the 2003 Worlds and beat a clean Sasha (who also placed below Sokolova in that same group) which set Sasha's whole Worlds backwards. Kwan also was not clean at the 2000 and 2005 Nationals, where both she and Sasha had mistakes, and won both easily. Suguri, someone who was only strictly a 2nd tier skater of that whole era behind the big girls like Kwan, Slutskaya, Arakawa, Hughes, Cohen, Butyrskaya, was not clean at the 2002, 2003, or 2006 Worlds, nor at the 2004 Grand Prix final, and beat her in all; and Slutskaya in 2005 had a botched up short program and a triple discounted in her LP and the protocals show still would have won even had Sasha been squeeky clean (granted that was Worlds in Russia with Irina's whole comeback story, and her dominant season going in, and thus she was always going to win that year unless she sat on the ice and did nothing).

    Anyway more to the point her very weak, shallow, and shaky edges were a large part of the reason for her inconsistent and rather mediocre jumping which detracted from her otherwise beautiful skating. After all takeoffs and landing edges are the main basis of a successful jump, if your edges are poor your jumping likely wont be great either, and that was true of Sasha. Had she improved her edges in general, and had stronger takeoff and landing edges, her overall technique would improve, and her jumps would become more repeatedly landed cleanly as well. This in addition to the greater speed and overall basic skating quality of her stroking and general ice coverage, had her edging been stronger, even if the judges were quite generous and never hit her in skating skills in the scores anywhere near as they should have. Still despite her perfect positions, elegance, and later in her career great choreography and musicality (not so much before 2003) she regularly got lower presentation marks than Michelle Kwan, and often even lower presentation and PCS than the ugly positioned and mostly unartistic Slutskaya. Obvious reason for that had to be her inferior speed, ice coverage, edges, all things associated with her basic skating and edge quality, so while the biggest thing was her jump problems were largely related to her poor edging, her 2nd marks would also have been even higher if it was stronger. Contrary to what you suggest, Sasha's history shows she cant win anything if she makes mistakes, not even her own Nationals when Michelle Kwan or Sarah Hughes were around, not that it is the other skaters who have to make no mistakes to beat her. Perhaps improved edges would not only have helped her skate more clean programs with all clean jumps, but further improved her 2nd mark to give her the mistake buffer she was never good enough to have.
    Last edited by pangtongfan; 02-02-2013 at 01:23 PM.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    She did not fall at the 2004 and 2005 Worlds and did not win, and she was never winning the 2002 Olympics, 2002 Worlds, and 2003 Worlds even with no falls.
    Really? You think if she landed the 3Z/3T she wouldn't have been placed ahead of Hughes? She beat Hughes handily in the SP and Hughes did not get any scores over 5.8. Sasha even got a few ordinals ahead of Irina in the SP with the same technical content. Furthermore, Sasha wasn't really a top tier skater until a few years later, so it is true earlier in her career lesser skaters could beat her like Jenny Kirk. I'll try to be more precise with my statements in the future so you don't have to try so hard to pick them apart.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Anyway more to the point her very weak, shallow, and shaky edges were a large part of the reason for her inconsistent and rather mediocre jumping which detracted from her otherwise beautiful skating. After all takeoffs and landing edges are the main basis of a successful jump, if your edges are poor your jumping likely wont be great either, and that was true of Sasha. Had she improved her edges in general, and had stronger takeoff and landing edges, her overall technique would improve, and her jumps would become more repeatedly landed cleanly as well. This in addition to the greater speed and overall basic skating quality of her stroking and general ice coverage, had her edging been stronger, even if the judges were quite generous and never hit her in skating skills in the scores anywhere near as they should have. Still despite her perfect positions, elegance, and later in her career great choreography and musicality (not so much before 2003) she regularly got lower presentation marks than Michelle Kwan, and often even lower presentation and PCS than the ugly positioned and mostly unartistic Slutskaya. Obvious reason for that had to be her inferior speed, ice coverage, edges, all things associated with her basic skating and edge quality, so while the biggest thing was her jump problems were largely related to her poor edging, her 2nd marks would also have been even higher if it was stronger. Contrary to what you suggest, Sasha's history shows she cant win anything if she makes mistakes, not even her own Nationals when Michelle Kwan or Sarah Hughes were around, not that it is the other skaters who have to make no mistakes to beat her. Perhaps improved edges would not only have helped her skate more clean programs with all clean jumps, but further improved her 2nd mark to give her the mistake buffer she was never good enough to have.
    After seeing the points everyone has made, I think I have to side with you on this issue. I don't feel that taking the time to improve (maybe even to perfect!) her skating skills would have taken anything away from Sasha's wonderful spins and spirals. Maybe for a season she would have gone down a bit in wow factor, but she soon would have recovered, and by then she would have had smoother, more consistent jumps to give her extra confidence. I regret this lack in her arsenal of skills, but she still is one of my favorite skaters ever. Looking at all my other faves, she's probably the only skater I absolutely love who isn't known for her ankles-down excellence. My other favorites are Janet Lynn and Peggy Fleming from an era when you couldn't get anywhere unless you had blade control because you'd flunk school figures, Michelle Kwan of course, Yuka Sato, Mao Asada, YuNa, Katia Gordeyeva (who is practically magical in this regard), and Shizuka.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairly4 View Post
    caroline got cheated out of at least 6 points in the short.
    Nope. Watch the SP combination frame-by-frame. Both jumps were very clearly under-rotated and definitely deserved < and <<.

    As Dragonlady and others pointed out, she doesn't get enough speed into the jumps, the timing isn't strong enough on the take-off and she gets quite poor height and ice coverage so there just isn't enough time for her to complete the full revolutions.

    She would have to really rework her skating skills and basic technique in order to become competitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    If you look at skaters 20 years ago hardly anyone underrotated their jumps. Now that it's penalized you see so much of it; it makes no sense.
    They did. It's just that the judges didn't care about that (and didn't have the technological assistance to spot it).

    Even without any slo-mo, you could see that at 1998 Olympics Lu Chen landed 3toe/3toe forwards, Lipinski landed 3toe...3salchow far short as well and Hughes' triple/triple combos at 2002 Olympics were cheated also. Miki Ando's 4salchow was way short of full four revolutions and I htink it's an outraged she'd credited as the first (and only) lady to land a quad. :/ Those are just off the top of my head but you could surely find many more examples if you looked into it.
    Last edited by Ziggy; 02-03-2013 at 07:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    Really? You think if she landed the 3Z/3T she wouldn't have been placed ahead of Hughes?
    No, she absolutely would not have IMO.

    1. Hughes had almost all 5.8, 5.8. That left room for only 2 skaters and Sasha, Michelle, and Irina were all left to skate. We all know which 2 those were. If you give Sasha 5.8, 5.9 or 5.9, 5.8 what on earth do you do if Kwan and Slutskaya both skate cleanly as well.

    2. Beating Hughes handily in the PS is meaningless. Hughes had a very mediocre SP despite that it was mostly clean and should have been placed 8th behind Sebeysten, Suguri, Butyrskaya, and maybe even Robinson but was held up since she was a consistent top 3 skater the past 2 years plus and had the judges respect. Her LP by contrast was spectacular. Had Hughes beaten Cohen in the SP it would only mean the judges gave her an even more collasal gift than the large Christmas gift they already gave her placing her 4th, which if you followed the event at the time you surely know was a huge controversy, even in the aftermath of her win from Kwan and Slutskaya supporters.

    3. Cohen is a much better SP than LP skater, especialy at that point. Her LP showcases all her then flaws as a skater.

    4. Cohens marks were quite low for the fall at the back end of a difficult triple-triple attempt as her only mistake. Her marks were way lower than Hughes, .3 from alot of the judges, and dont indicate her beating Hughes without the fall at all. They were also much lower than Kwan and Slutskaya who had more mistakes, and landed fewer clean triples (Sasha landed 6, Michelle only 5, Irina only 4 really). She had only 1 judge have her over Kwan who also had a fall, had a two foot landing, and an easier technical program. Her presentation marks were also the lowest of the 4, while Kwan even with her errors had the highest, and Slutskaya had some 5.9s for presentation, so are a pretty good indication what the judges thought.
    Last edited by pangtongfan; 02-03-2013 at 07:26 PM.

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