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Thread: Gracie Gold Skates in Awe of YuNa Kim

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    really cute article I found...

    Gracie Gold skates clean program, in awe of Kim Yu-na
    Has Gold asked the Queen for her autograph? "I'm kinda waiting to ask her for a picture," Gold said.
    And what does she admire about Kim's skating? "Everything? Does that sound too broad?" she joked. "That smoothness that she has in her skating, that it is just one program. Even if she does stop skating, it's as if the feeling of the program keeps going. Going into every jump you kind of know she's going to hit it and you're just waiting to see it. …. It looks like she trusts herself so much."

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    That is awfully cute.

    Does anyone know whether Gracie got the autographed picture of YuNa she was too shy to ask for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    That is awfully cute.

    Does anyone know whether Gracie got the autographed picture of YuNa she was too shy to ask for?
    Hearsay is that Gracie was looking to get a picture with Yuna at the banquet, but that Yuna wasn't there. Maybe someone else has more of the factual scoop.

    I definitely see some of the Yuna influences on Gracie, though. I think I opined several years ago after Vancouver that Yuna will turn out to be the most influential skater of the COP era, certainly within the decade, and perhaps even sooner. I vaguely recall that there were a lot of skeptics (to put it mildly) when I said this. Now we've got skaters like Gracie and Zijun who are very open about Yuna's influence on them. So I feel this now more strongly than ever, that these skaters are just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty soon we'll be able to recognize even more clearly Yuna's fingerprints on this generation of skaters who are only now showing up on the radar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    Now we've got skaters like Gracie and Zijun who are very open about Yuna's influence on them. So I feel this now more strongly than ever, that these skaters are just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty soon we'll be able to recognize even more clearly Yuna's fingerprints on this generation of skaters who are only now showing up on the radar.
    This reminds me, Kwan was Yuna's childhood idol; anyone know who Michelle's childhood idol was? And the idol's idol? It would be fascinating to know the lineage of influences of top skaters.

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    Simply the best. l'etoile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bebevia View Post
    This reminds me, Kwan was Yuna's childhood idol; anyone know who Michelle's childhood idol was? And the idol's idol? It would be fascinating to know the lineage of influences of top skaters.
    It was Brian Boitano. He was also Michelle's mentor in her career.

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    Of course, Boitano! I was limiting myself by trying to think of ladies. You thought outside the box. Brian even attended Michelle's wedding.

    In another way, through, Michelle's tradition goes back through her coach, Frank Carroll. Carroll was the student and protege of Maribel Vinson Owen, who was (maybe not coincidentally, the last lady before Michelle to win 9 U.S. national titles.

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    I think not just Zijun or Gracie, if you ask these young skaters they admire, I am pretty sure 99.99% would say Yuna. Who doesn't like and want to have her jumps? Who doesn't want to be an Olympic champion?
    Adelina also said she admires Yuna most in an interview; I also remember Kexin Zhang did too. We just forget that when they don't do well and we fail to make the connection.

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    Simply the best. l'etoile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippomoomin View Post
    I think not just Zijun or Gracie, if you ask these young skaters they admire, I am pretty sure 99.99% would say Yuna. Who doesn't like and want to have her jumps? Who doesn't want to be an Olympic champion?
    Adelina also said she admires Yuna most in an interview; I also remember Kexin Zhang did too. We just forget that when they don't do well and we fail to make the connection.
    Adelina's idol is Mao, and she's quite a dear whenever she talks about Mao

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    Quote Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
    It was Brian Boitano. He was also Michelle's mentor in her career.
    Janet Lynn was also someone Michelle, IIRC.

    Getting back to the OP... Yu-Na will turn out to be the female Yagudin, for better or worse. Less emphasis on spirals and, well, "pretty" spin positions, and more emphasis on big tech. It has to do with IJS, but Yu-Na is nearly as big of a reason. That broken leg camel,(which I HATE, btw) is known at the Yu-Na Camel, is it not? (I know she didn't originate it, but I do know it is called that by some.) The big thing that Kim has that many others don't is the deadly combination of speed and security in their jumps. Gracie has the speed, and the security is getting there. You already saw a big leap from 4CC to Worlds and that should only improve, which is very exciting for us America FS fans hungering for a girl who has the big guns to compete. (Also, Gracie has the sprial and spins already. I would say they are better than Yu-Na, especially her layback and her spiral.)

    ITA agree with Gracie: You don't get nervous for Yu-NA AT ALL going into her jumps... it is very reminiscent of Michelle: the security of the jumps is so refreshing, but sometimes (and I have been guilt of this) I find Yu-Na to be so "steady" and secure on her jumps that it's almost not exciting. Whereas others I get excited and nervous because they make mistakes, Yu-Na, now, can just go out there, and *yawn* 3Z-3T and 5 other triples, no problem. THAT too, is very reminiscent of Michelle, people who were not her ubers (I was def a MK uber) would get bored because you could count on Michelle for at least 6 triples. When she fell, it was a surprise. Clean was the name of the game for her, and she did it so well, it was almost to her detriment, because she was judged on such a different level than others (see: Slutskaya), sometimes. Anyone else feel this?

    I so hope Yu-Na does what she did last year going into the Olys: Up her content somehow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
    Adelina's idol is Mao, and she's quite a dear whenever she talks about Mao
    Yes, I recall seeing that somewhere as well. My impression is that while Mao is clearly also one of the influential skaters of this era, she has an especially strong following in Russia in particular, although perhaps our Russian members would know better, and could comment on the whys of that (if indeed that is true).

    But hippomoomin (interesting nick; does it mean something? ) has a good point in a somewhat different sense. By way of parallel, no one who seriously follows golf disputes that when you compare the way the game was played before Tiger Woods, to the way tour players approach the game now (ordinary players, like yours truly, still play pretty much the same way: gouge and pray ) is very different. Tiger changed the requirements for being successful on tour, in terms of the level of athleticism required to be competitive, the distances hit with various clubs, the precision of technique required, and the consistency expected from top players. Before Tiger, you had more guys like Craig Stadler, who looked like a self-indulgent owner of a donut shop. Now, it's expected that, in general (though with some exceptions, e.g. Jason Dufner, who is a throwback in the Stadler mode) rising golfers will be pretty buff and play a big game, like a Rory McIlroy or a Dustin Johnson. In other words, influenced by Tiger.

    There is, I think, a good analogy to be made with Yuna's ongoing impact on the overall approach to skating at the highest levels. The combination of jump difficulty (eg hard 3-3s), athleticism (eg blazing SS and GOEs) and consistency (success ratio on said jumps) that is now routinely viewed as a requirement for reaching podiums is, I argue, directly attributable to Yuna's success. And my hunch is that her recent win will only reinforce this trend. The Yuna effect is pretty obvious when one looks at layouts being done last year vs. this year.

    Even further, Yuna's ability to combine technical brilliance, athleticism, enormously compelling presentation (pace a certain vocal minority on figure skating forums ), and competitive toughness/consistency had a bit more meaning because she came in the COP era. While I believe all of these characteristics would have served her well in 6.0, and she would have risen to the top in any case, she was the first COP skater that essentially had it all, and therefore became the blueprint and benchmark thereafter. We are seeing the results of that in the up and coming skaters now.

    Edit: There is, perhaps, even a parallel to Tiger in the way that the ruling bodies reacted. After Tiger started to run riot and routinely out-hit the intended distances for courses, and began demolishing course and tournament records, they started to lengthen and otherwise significantly alter golf courses, to "Tiger-proof" them, as they used to say. There were quite a number of significant rules changes after Yuna made the competitive aspects of the Vancouver Olympics a joke. Coincidence? I think not.

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    Very interesting comparison to Tiger Woods, and I think apt, because both Tiger and YuNa are almost unexplainable in their command of their respective sports. Some people are obviously just born to do what they do. In a different way from Midori Ito, YuNa is a skater several generations ahead of her time. And I speak not as a YuNa uber; or maybe I'm both a YuNa and a Mao uber. How can one not be a fan of such gorgeous skating, which makes our sport look so amazing?

    I was tickled to see Hippomoomin's screen name, because clearly he/she is a fan of Tove Jansson's wonderful Moomintroll children's books. If anyone else here has any interest in classic children's literature, I hope you'll seek them out; they've been translated into a number of languages. They started out in Swedish, I believe (Jansson is from a Swedish-speaking area in Finland), and although she has invented all sorts of creatures, these books are not cutesy at all. They have a lyricism that sets them apart. (I know that this is OT, but I'll talk children's literature at the drop of a hat.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by zschultz1986 View Post
    Janet Lynn was also someone Michelle, IIRC.
    The big thing that Kim has that many others don't is the deadly combination of speed and security in their jumps. Gracie has the speed, and the security is getting there. You already saw a big leap from 4CC to Worlds and that should only improve, which is very exciting for us America FS fans hungering for a girl who has the big guns to compete. (Also, Gracie has the sprial and spins already. I would say they are better than Yu-Na, especially her layback and her spiral.)
    CAVEAT: This is completely a gut reaction, unsupported by evidence or analysis.

    I agree that Gracie seems to be maturing before our eyes. I would even go so far as to say that, in the next cycle, she may be not just a star, but the next American breakout superstar, and a future champion.

    (I don't believe in verbal jinxes )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Very interesting comparison to Tiger Woods, and I think apt, because both Tiger and YuNa are almost unexplainable in their command of their respective sports. Some people are obviously just born to do what they do. In a different way from Midori Ito, YuNa is a skater several generations ahead of her time. And I speak not as a YuNa uber; or maybe I'm both a YuNa and a Mao uber. How can one not be a fan of such gorgeous skating, which makes our sport look so amazing?

    I was tickled to see Hippomoomin's screen name, because clearly he/she is a fan of Tove Jansson's wonderful Moomintroll children's books. If anyone else here has any interest in classic children's literature, I hope you'll seek them out; they've been translated into a number of languages. They started out in Swedish, I believe (Jansson is from a Swedish-speaking area in Finland), and although she has invented all sorts of creatures, these books are not cutesy at all. They have a lyricism that sets them apart. (I know that this is OT, but I'll talk children's literature at the drop of a hat.)
    Thanks for the explanation of Hippomoomin, Olympia. It would not even have occurred to me to google it, so I would have been sad and puzzled for quite a while without you.

    I think your sharp observation that Yuna is in some ways ahead of her time is exemplified by her record scores and points differentials; I suspect that, barring rules changes that would make comparisons completely untenable, they may stand for quite a while. But even so, if made comparable using techniques like standard deviation, I think the point would still stand.

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    I wish Gold got her picture

    Yu na should read this article.

    It will be fun to see their friendship.

    I hope everyone get along each other, also their fans

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    Hey Robeye - thoroughly enjoyed your posts this morning. So refreshing after the "he shouldn't have won/he should have won" stuff that's been going on here for awhile now. I agree about Tiger and how he changed the world of golf. It also makes me smile that he's still playing, still winning tournaments and still a threat out there. The comparison with Yu Na was a good one.

    I, too, believe Gracie is the future of American ladies. She may or may not win Nationals next year but I'll go down as saying she'll beat Ashley at Worlds if they both go. And then after that? Sky's the limit.

    The fact that Yu Na Kim took 19 months off from competition and came back and blew away the ladies field to win Worlds is pretty amazing. And she is a good role model, skate-wise, for girls coming up in the sport. She knows how to do it right!

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