I like the two time world champion and olympic silver medalist and how she skated and won those events. I don't know who is skating this season under Mao's name. It is not the Mao I was a HUGE fan of.
Lutz is still problematic but she might never get rid of her flutzing habit. In most cases it's impossible as you are so used to this certain movement that is changing the edge. Coach Sato once said that the process of revamping Mao's technique will be extremely hard and long and no sooner will it be completed than just before Sochi.
Don't get on Michelle's case if you don't also get on the case of the number of World Champions before her who flutzed and UR'ed but still got away with it. At 2001 Worlds LP, arguably Irina lipped her flip, and she certainly flutzed on her lutz.
And yes I said Michelle's 3-3 was "slightly underrotated" as in it would have got the < call, as you yourself said she would. It wasn't under-rotated so much as a downgrade. Her flip would have gotten a < too, but not a <<. Also, I don't see how her lutzes could have gotten <? Both looked within 1/4 turn when her skate hit the ice. The judges gave her 5.7 and 5.8 for that. I think the UR on the flip and toe loop would account for that. Slutskaya on the other hand also got 5.7/5.8/5.9 when she was < on her salchow-loop, and << with a step out on her lutz-loop. Similar errors as Kwan. Really she was given 5.9 for attempting the 3-3's, not actually landing them. But then Kwan won on artistry (which made sense). So I think the competition was correctly called. It's remarkable that Slutskaya attempted two 3-3 but attempts only get you so much credit.
As for Hughes, even though her 3-3 were UR, the rest of her program was flawless when Kwan and Slutskaya both had significant errors. Hughes' errors didn't affect the "look" of the program either as they were subtle UR and not glaring falls or step outs. It was a very good thing for figure skating -- especially with the 2002 scandal -- that Sarah Hughes won the gold medal in 2002. Many wanted Kwan to win, but when both she and Slutskaya erred and Slutskaya performed better than Kwan, the judges had no choice but to put Sarah first. People knock Sarah for underrotating her 3-3, but at least she didn't play it safe and still make obvious errors as Kwan/Slutskaya did. If she had done double loops instead of triple loops, she still would have had a cleaner program.
Last edited by CanadianSkaterGuy; 02-06-2013 at 06:15 PM.
I think if you look at her jumping record, you will see that Mao is having one of the worst seasons, technically. But due to a PCS boost, it's not costing her severely. Her loop has been her solid jump this season, and her flip has been less successful than it has been successful -- again, she has yet to land two clean 3F in her FS.
I was always a fan of Mao because she pushed the technical envelope which made her exciting to watch. I forgave her lack of refinement because I was excited to see a hardcore athlete, and not somebody who just does "enough". Now she has nothing technically notable, although the rest of her skating has improved. I know everyone here loves an all-round skater, but I'd rather a skater who's 55-45 (technical-artistic) than a skater who is 30-70. I much prefer the Mao who could reel off 3-3's and 3A's in her sleep. It's her claim to fame, and now she's just an average skater with better artistic qualities. That being said, I do give her credit for re-working her lutz technique and adding transitions, but I still dislike her flip inside-outside-inside edge entry.
I have all my right to get on Michelle's case if I want even if I don't get on the case of the number of World Champions before who flutzez/lipped or UR'ed. Michelle is not a God, I CAN talk about her flaws as much as I want. Having said that, I do acknowledge the other champion's flutzing and cheating. So what? Hughes and Lipinski flutzed, Hughes and Chen underrotated, the list continues now and so what.
I've brought up Michelle's case because her SOTBS is considered to be one of the best gold medal performances of the last decade in spite of all the technical flaws it has. On the other hand, Mao's brilliant free skate from GPF has been terribly understated and dispraised in this thread because she <'ed two of her jumps, had a flutz and doubled one jump. Applying the logic of some of the posters, this skate has only 3 clean triples which makes the whole performance so atrocious that you can't even manage to watch it till the end. Ok, now, let's apply the same logic to the other performances. It doesn't have to really be Michelle. Any of the champions who underrotated or flutzed would do the job. I've picked Michelle because she is loved (or even worshipped) by so many and therefore her underrotations and flutzes are always overlooked and not talked about.
Both flutzes in Michelle's program were borderline. You need to stop the video the moment her blade has full contact with the ice. I know it's difficult to catch the moment but once you've managed to it you'll be able to see that they were landed on this 1/4 borderline or slightly exceeding it so it would all depend on the celler. Anyway, this is not critical for my point at all because of the fact that they were flutzed which excludes them from the overall amount of "CLEAN" triples. That is at least according to the method you use when you evaluate Mao's program. Even if the flip did not deserve << and I believe it did it was still underrotated and cannot be counted as a "clean" triple wither. The same with the second toeloop. After all is said and done we are left with only 3 clean triples in Michelle's glorious SOTBS which I personally find wonderful performance-wise. Nonetheless, it had only 3 clean triples - the same amount Mao had in her GPF skate. I say it to defend Mao from all those people who claim that she won her GPF title with only 3 triple, not to diminish Michelle's win over Slutskaya or to prove that Slutskaya should've won. My answer is: Michelle Kwan won her 2001 World title with only 3 clean triples too. The small difference is that Mao performed her program with plenty of transitions while Michelle had virtually none, had much more difficult and energy-absorbing spins and way more difficult and energy-absorbing footwork.
Putting the whole thing aside, three judges did give Kwan 5,7's for technical merit that night and the rest gave her 5,8's but certainly not to punish her flutzes and underrotations. They did so in order to leave place for Slutskaya which was a normal thing under 6.0. Irina certainly would get < on her first triple loop and << on her second one however she did not lip. Technically, she did not truly flutz either because flutzing occurs when you change the edge from outside to inside right before the take-off. Irina always took off her lutzes on a flat, neither outside nor inside edge. Michelle took off hers more on the inside edge than flat. Thus, Michelle would get "e" while Irina "!" should we use the rules that were in force until 2009/2010 season.
Last edited by Bartek; 02-06-2013 at 08:31 PM.
Bartek, I agree with your post #115 completely, but I find myself agreeing with CanadianSkaterGuy's main argument: that champions should have SOME minimum/basement level of completed jumps to be eligible or respectable in a win. His viewpoint has been miscontrued in various discussions as "other skills in figure skating are not important", when in fact he is simply stressing that without enough jumps, it's rather lame when someone beats, for example, younger and less polished skaters who ARE reeling off say, 6-7 jumps in their LP's.
Beautiful positions, artistic refinement, divine skating skills, etc. are all very important aspects of figure skating, but without the "meat" of a competitive program (i.e. jumps), I can't feel satisfied when someone wins gold over others who brought more of the sporting aspect in the SPORT of figure skating. I say this without picking out specifics in Michelle Kwan or Mao Asada or Carolina Kostner or whoever. And I don't nitpick so badly in whether it is "clean"; flutzes, lips, <'s, if they are landed I will preferably count them in the total tally (albeit less valued, of course.)
The opposite argument, that "oh yes I am totally a fan of a 'COMPLETE skater' and someone who does 3 triples is an acceptable winner for me if they have great footwork, great engagement, great choreography, great positions, etc." is the one I completely disagree with. Keep those to Exhibitions, please.
In the modern age, if you don't do at least 5 triples (in my view, that includes <'s, and edge calls if they are still landed relatively cleanly and non-disruptively) in a FS + 2 in the SP, then pass the gold to someone else who has, even if they are weaker in other areas.
Well, Bartek, you know that I will always revere Kwan, especially in Black Swan, no matter how anyone explains it, but I also root for Mao. Can you tell me what you feel about her prognosis for the future, considering the stage she is at right now, a year before Sochi? I'd love for her to be a contender for gold, though I've learned to live with disappointment, and I won't love her skating any less if it doesn't win the ultimate prize. (Remember Janet Lynn!) But I'd like to see her succeed with her bold and grueling plan to rebuild her jumps. I'd like for both Mao and Mr. Sato to have that feeling of satisfaction. And I'd like for us fans to have it also.
So I repeat my question. What is your take, Bartek, on Mao's progress?
I think Mao may still surprise us, just like she did in the past olympic season. In 2009 worlds was her first international competition where she did not place on podium. Talking about her freeskates in olympic season, at Trophee Bombard she landed 4 clean triples, at Rostelecom Cup only 2 clean triples. 2009-10 was her first season when she did not qualify for Grand Prix Final. At her nationals she landed 5 clean triples, at 4cc 6 clean triples. Now that was a huge progress from her 2009 worlds ap to 4cc and then winning a silver medal. I'm not saying I'm satisfied with her progress after Olympics because there is almost none but I just wanted to point out Mao can do wonders in short time and surprise everyone.
But using every opportunity you get to post in every single thread how a skater is completly "atrocious" is deranged hate (and after NHK/GPF in really every therad I read was a negative comment from gmyers about Mao).Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
Maybe it's not mainly Mao-hate, but whatever kind of hate, it's useless, exaggerated and insulting.
If a skater changes, nobody says you need to be a fan - but that doesn't mean you have to become insutling towards a skater. Just leave them alone and that's it. All of those skaters are working hard, one can dislike them all they want to, but you need to keep a certain amount of respect.
I'd rather say Minze2001 has said the exact right thing.
Oh, and Bartek, thanks a lot for all your lovely comments and analysis about Mao. I always enjoy reading them very much