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Thread: Double standard? (Men's FS vs. Women's SP/Pairs FS)

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    I agree Shizuka was the Butyrskaya of Japan, but far more talented than Maria. Maria's one World title is seen as a fluke or accident of sorts, where she got lucky to have her only clean performances ever in a year it was a super weak transition year with everyone either retired, slumping or out of Worlds, or not on the scene yet, with no other threats other than Kwan (who fell). She had a shot to defend her title the following year after winning the short, to most peoples amazement as nobody considered her winning again before the event began, but blew that with a typically abysmal long program, and that was it for her.
    Wow, bitter much? Maria solidly won that Worlds, with all 1st place ordinals in both the SP and LP. "No threats other than Kwan" as in the, then, two-time World Champion and overwhelming favourite to win Michelle Kwan? Saying Kwan fell or that others were slumping is as asinine as saying "Well, they only won because they skated better." Maria got it together at the right time and won. It might have been one time, but you don't win Worlds on a fluke. Not to mention, she placed in the top 5 at Worlds six years in a row.

    There are plenty of athletes who would kill to have the career Butyrskaya had. 3 World medals (including Gold), 3 European titles (and the oldest to win it), 11 Grand Prix Gold medals (25 Grand Prix medals in total), and a 4th at the Olympics is hardly a fluke. Her win at Worlds was a testament to hard work and perseverance (especially when Russia had initially given up on her), and it's appalling that you would debase her title as some "fluke or an accident of sorts".

    Show her some respect.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Wow, bitter much?
    I neither liked nor disliked Maria so what would I be bitter about. I was just pointing out Maria was not seen as a huge talent and potential multi major Champion as Shizuka was. Her World title was deserved as she skated the best on the day but was also seen as a flukish result in the grand scheme of things and did not bring her respect as the best in the World the way a major title typically does (everyone still called Kwan best in the World still until Irina began to seriously challenge that status less than a year later). Even Shizuka after her shocking World title was touted as best in the World until Slutskaya began tearing up the scene in her comeback about 9 months later and given a potential shot to win a future World and Olympics which Maria after her World title win never was. Only someone who didnt follow skating back then wouldnt understand what I am saying fully.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    I neither liked nor disliked Maria so what would I be bitter about. I was just pointing out Maria was not seen as a huge talent and potential multi major Champion as Shizuka was. Her World title was deserved as she skated the best on the day but was also seen as a flukish result in the grand scheme of things and did not bring her respect as the best in the World the way a major title typically does (everyone still called Kwan best in the World still until Irina began to seriously challenge that status less than a year later). Even Shizuka after her shocking World title was touted as best in the World until Slutskaya began tearing up the scene in her comeback about 9 months later and given a potential shot to win a future World and Olympics which Maria after her World title win never was. Only someone who didnt follow skating back then wouldnt understand what I am saying fully.
    I understand that Maria was usually in the hunt but not the overwhelming favourite to win the World title, so when she won it was a surprise. But, you sound bitter because you're tearing down a skater's career achievement and debasing it as a fluke, when clearly she won it convincingly. Although apparently you have to win 3 World titles for you not consider anyone a fluke.

    Everyone still called Michelle Kwan the best because she WAS the best when she skated her best -- if anyone beat her it would be seen as a rare circumstance, but that shouldn't take away from their victory. At the Worlds, Kwan was not the best. Being like "well, it's a fluke that Maria won only because Kwan and others were off their game" is a ridiculous comment because that's the nature of competition. And to be like "she had a chance to defend the following year but skated a typically abysmal long" is just plain bitchy. Bear in mind Butyrskaya still beat Slutskaya at 2002 Euros and won 4 Grand Prix events even after, as you say, "and that was it for her" (although I suppose you'll say Slutskaya had a bad SP but won the Euros FS, and the GP events weren't against Kwan, so those weren't legitimate victories either, eh...).

    As far as Shizuka being a "multi-major champion", she won 1 World gold and 1 Olympic gold. And 1 NHK Trophy gold. Using your silly rhetoric you could say Shizuka only won the Olympics because Slutskaya and Cohen fell when she played it safe, and only won Worlds because Cohen and Kwan faltered, seeing as how she was never a threat at Worlds other than the year she won. Like Maria, Shizuka was also seen as a competitor who was never really a favourite to win gold, but got it together at the right time, and skated cleanly while others made mistakes.

    And as far as Butyrskaya "never having a shot to win a future Worlds or Olympics after her World title", she won Worlds at the age of 27.... Kwan and Slutskaya are 7-8 years younger than her... you're honestly knocking her for never again threatening to win the World title and not being a threat to win the Olympics at the age of 29?! It's remarkable that she even continued to compete after her Worlds win, let alone showed up at the Olympics and placed 6th!

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    As far as Shizuka being a "multi-major champion", she won 1 World gold and 1 Olympic gold. And 1 NHK Trophy gold. Using your silly rhetoric you could say Shizuka only won the Olympics because Slutskaya and Cohen fell when she played it safe, and only won Worlds because Cohen and Kwan faltered, seeing as how she was never a threat at Worlds other than the year she won. Like Maria, Shizuka was also seen as a competitor who was never really a favourite to win gold, but got it together at the right time, and skated cleanly while others made mistakes.
    Shizuka at her best is unrivaled. From 2004-2006, if she's skating to anywhere at her potential, none of Kwan, Cohen, or Slutskaya would come close to beating her.
    Maria at her best is just a good skater. She will need a lot of mistakes from others to win.
    That's the main difference between the two.

    Of course Shizuka is not consistent, not motivated as much as the other girls, Maria included. Raw talent, she had the most.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Shizuka at her best is unrivaled. From 2004-2006, if she's skating to anywhere at her potential, none of Kwan, Cohen, or Slutskaya would come close to beating her.
    Shizuka lost the GPF 2005 to Slutskaya, lost NHK 2005 to Slutskaya (and Asada).
    Shizuka lost the GPF 2004 to Cohen (and winner Suguri), lost Lalique in 2005 to Cohen (and Asada), lost Lalique in 2003 to Cohen (as part of the 03-04 season)

    Cohen and Slutskaya were both slightly leading Arakawa after all three skated clean SPs (essentially the same SP) at the 2006 Olympics (had Slutskaya or Cohen "skated to their potential" in the FS, they would have likely beaten Arakawa, who herself didn't skate to her fullest potential in her FS). So to say none of them would even come close to beating her in 2004-2006, especially when they did on numerous occasions, isn't true. She has one GP gold (NHK 04-05 season) and neither Cohen, Slutskaya, or Kwan competed at that.

    I agree Shizuka is a better skater than Maria, overall, but - other than Olympic gold, which of course is huge - Maria has a far more decorated career. I also don't think saying a skater needs mistakes from others to win, when those other skaters are Michelle Kwan and Irina Slutskaya, is a fair statement to make. Obviously if everyone skated their best, Butyrskaya wouldn't win. That's the nature of the competition she was up against.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I understand that Maria was usually in the hunt but not the overwhelming favourite to win the World title, so when she won it was a surprise. But, you sound bitter because you're tearing down a skater's career achievement and debasing it as a fluke, when clearly she won it convincingly. Although apparently you have to win 3 World titles for you not consider anyone a fluke. ..........................blah blah bunch more whining, random gibberish, eye rolls...............................
    1. Kwan was not always considered undisputably the best. Lipinski was considered up with her in 1997 and 1998 and even considered the best by most right after her World and Olympic title wins (while Kwan took it over sometime in between that due to her amazing Skate America and especialy U.S National efforts). Slutskaya was considered up with Kwan from 2000-2002 and many considered her the best or the one to beat even with Kwan winning the 2000 and 2001 Worlds, as she usually beat Kwan in head to head competitions. Kwan was not considered the best anytime from her bronze medal at the 2004 Worlds until her retirement. So that part of your statement (Kwan was always considered the runaway best no matter what, and that is the only reason Maria after her World title was considered by nobody even arguably the best) is already wrong. Just because Butyrskaya was never considered the best even after her World title win, the way most everyone is after winning a World title even in an upset, does not mean others were not, or anyone who beat Kwan.

    Also my post was mostly focusing on Butyrskaya, not Kwan, and I did not ever say she was not the best specifically since she beat Kwan, just that she was a rare instance where even winning Worlds never made her viewed as the best skater in the World even briefly (that Kwan happened to be the one who was at that point was completely aside my point, I am NOT a Kwan fanatic).


    2. I was comparing Butyrskaya to Arakawa, and that while both are similar late bloomers, Arakawa IMO has World beating talent and capability to win major titles other than by an accidental win of sorts, while Maria does not compare to the same level of talent and potential, so your last post comparing her to Kwan and Slutskaya is pointless and baseless anyway.


    3. Shizuka's performance at the 2004 Worlds should have been unbeatable even had all her competitors at the event skated perfectly. If it wasnt it was only due to lack of reptuation at the time compared to Kwan and Cohen. As for the 2006 Olympics she actually landed the same # of triples as Cohen (5) and had a clear 8 point overall win, had she done 7 triples (or maybe only 6) even without attempting a triple-triple and had Sasha skated cleanly with 7 she still would have won comfortably, while Slutskaya had to land 6 triples to even have a chance to beat Shizuka with only 5, once she doubled a triple it was already over according to the protocals even had she not fallen. That is of course even ignorning the fact she was easily capable of doing 3-3s and was doing them in practice.


    4. Your comments about Maria's age are again pointless. Had she been a better skater, even as a late bloomer she would have atleast been a contender to win gold before (or ever, since arguably there was no year she was, she won in 1999 despite not going in as a gold contender, lol) even if she didnt ever win. Maria was a a late bloomer in that she first became an outside medal contender and started reaching her prime in 1996 at age 23. Shizuka first began reaching her prime and became a medal contender at 24, so even older. Maria was as strong as when she won her World title for 2 more seasons in general, she just wasnt considered a threat to win again since she wasnt a good enough skater, her abilities werent gold contending caliber, while Shizuka was considered amongst the gold contenders the 2 years after her World title since her abilities were of that.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Shizuka lost the GPF 2005 to Slutskaya, lost NHK 2005 to Slutskaya (and Asada).
    Shizuka lost the GPF 2004 to Cohen (and winner Suguri), lost Lalique in 2005 to Cohen (and Asada), lost Lalique in 2003 to Cohen (as part of the 03-04 season)
    Of course she lost to a bunch of them. She was really inconsistent as a skater.

    Cohen and Slutskaya were both slightly leading Arakawa after all three skated clean SPs (essentially the same SP) at the 2006 Olympics (had Slutskaya or Cohen "skated to their potential" in the FS, they would have likely beaten Arakawa, who herself didn't skate to her fullest potential in her FS). So to say none of them would even come close to beating her in 2004-2006, especially when they did on numerous occasions, isn't true. She has one GP gold (NHK 04-05 season) and neither Cohen, Slutskaya, or Kwan competed at that.
    Like I said, if she skated anywhere to her potential, the other two girls would not come close. The times they beat her, she was a mess.
    Anyway, who out of the 3 was capable of 3x3 at the 2006 Olympics? Only Shizuka.
    She played it safe in the SP, and her lutz landing of the combo jump wasn't good at all. Yet, her TES was higher than Cohen who was flawless in the SP. Both did 3Lutz-2T, 3F, 2A in the SP.
    She, again, played it safe in the LP, did 5 clean triples, the same as Cohen, and beat her in TES by 8 points or something. Under what scenario would Cohen beat her if both skate 7 triples programs? The difference would be at least 10 points in TES and 2-3 points in PCS. She skated Turandot in Turin. There's no way Cohen can come close. Just look at what happened. Shizuka dominated on practice, and they just couldn't wait to hand her the gold medal.

    Slutskaya can only do 6 triples max at that point. No chance.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Shizuka at her best is unrivaled. From 2004-2006, if she's skating to anywhere at her potential, none of Kwan, Cohen, or Slutskaya would come close to beating her.
    Maria at her best is just a good skater. She will need a lot of mistakes from others to win.
    That's the main difference between the two.

    Of course Shizuka is not consistent, not motivated as much as the other girls, Maria included. Raw talent, she had the most.
    This is what I have a problem with. That's the entire point, isn't it? She wasn't consistent. She was at her best exactly 2 times in her career, which were on the two biggest stages of Skating. Good for her. I could flip the script and say "At her best, Cohen is unrivaled" Of course, Cohen was wildly inconsistent as well (in fact, she was consistently inconsistent, which is due to lack of commitment to training.) For that matter, Slutskaya was the most consistent one of the three, and even there, sometimes she looks out of control because she had too much power. Shizuka may well have done triple-triple if she needed it. However, I bet dollars to donuts that even if Kim didn't need to do triple-triple (which she didn't at these last World Championships, to win), she would have done it anyway. That's the difference between an all-time great, and someone like Shizuka, who is very very good (I enjoyed 2004 and 2006.)

    The other thing is, she wasn't even the best skater from her country that year, but the real Oly champion from 2006 was too young.

    The person everyone should be sympathizing with is Mao. She was too young in 06, where she would have won, and she peaked around 07-08. Now, being overshadowed by Yu-Na not only from 09 through to the Olympics, but now, with Yu-Na coming back and doing it again..... Mao may well be battling with Michelle for the "best Skater to never win Olympics" title.

    Also, the best Turandot had to be Shen/Zhao from 03. That was just.... perfection personified. Shizuka's 2004 Turandot was by far her better Turandot. (Of course, those triple-triples were iffy there were 1/4 short, maybe more.)

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    Nobody is saying Shizuka was the best skater ever, just that she was a different level of talent and threat altogether than Maria.

    Regarding Cohen though, a comment like Cohen at her best is unrivalled would make even less sense (note I am not the one who said Shizuka at her best is unrivalled) as Sasha did not win a single World or Olympic event, and didnt even win a U.S Nationals that Kwan was entered in, so obviously the best she ever produced was still not a winning best, let alone unrivalled or unbeatable. For the record Sasha was still in general 5x more a major threat at the top than Maria ever was, and I do acknowledge she was frequently a gold contender even though she never quite got there which was unfortunate given her talent, but there were alot of talented skaters that era (Kwan, Slutksaya, Arakawa, Cohen, Hughes, young Asada) so it was a tough era.


    As for Mao, Mao is a great skater still, and I agree it is a real shame she couldnt skate in 2006. I dont think she was a lock for the gold though. The Olympics are a whole different beast of pressure. She also lost easily to Yu Na Kim at the World Juniors soon before the Games, and then to Suguri at Japanese Nationals. Yes she beat Shizuka all 3 meetings that year, but the Olympics was Shizuka's best competition of the year by far. She might have won the Olympics in 2006 had she competed, but it was no sure thing, 35% likelihood at absolute max I would say. Her problems since her World title in 2008 are as much her own as Kim. Moving to Tarasova proved to be a mistake, and an overemphasis of the triple axel for awhile took away from her other jumps and some aspects of her skating to the point where she now absolutely needs the triple axel in her programs to even compete with people like Kim and Kostner, or to even beat people like Rochette and Ando at their best, when it never used to be that way. I still admire her for pushing the technical envelope of womens skating that way and being determined to do so, but it came at a cost.

    Best skater to not win the Olympics would be between Ito, Kwan, and Lynn IMHO. Asada would be in the second rung of best not to alongside Cecelia Colledge, Gaby Seyfert, Aja Znanova, Irina Slutskaya, Linda Fratianne, Denise Bielllmann, and Debi Thomas.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    1. Kwan was not always considered undisputably the best. Lipinski was considered up with her in 1997 and 1998 and even considered the best by most right after her World and Olympic title wins (losing that unofficial consideration sometime in between but still holding it). Slutskaya was considered up with Kwan from 2000-2002 and many considered her the best or the one to beat even with Kwan winning the 2000 and 2001 Worlds, as she usually beat Kwan in head to head competitions. Kwan was not considered the best anytime from her bronze medal at the 2004 Worlds until her retirement. So that part of your statement (Kwan was always considered the runaway best no matter what, and that is the only reason Maria after her World title was considered by nobody even arguably the best) is already wrong. Just because Butyrskaya was never considered the best even after her World title win, the way most everyone is after winning a World title even in an upset, does not mean others were not, or anyone who beat Kwan.

    Also my post was mostly focusing on Butyrskaya, not Kwan, and I did not ever say she was not the best specifically since she beat Kwan, just that she was a rare instance where even winning Worlds never made her viewed as the best skater in the World even briefly (that Kwan happened to be the one who was at that point was completely aside my point, I am NOT a Kwan fanatic).


    2. I was comparing Butyrskaya to Arakawa, and that while both are similar late bloomers, Arakawa IMO has World beating talent and capability to win major titles other than by an accidental win of sorts, while Maria does not compare to the same level of talent and potential, so your last post comparing her to Kwan and Slutskaya is pointless and baseless anyway.


    3. Shizuka's performance at the 2004 Worlds should have been unbeatable even had all her competitors at the event skated perfectly. If it wasnt it was only due to lack of reptuation at the time compared to Kwan and Cohen. As for the 2006 Olympics she actually landed the same # of triples as Cohen (5) and had a clear 8 point overall win, had she done 7 triples (or maybe only 6) even without attempting a triple-triple and had Sasha skated cleanly with 7 she still would have won comfortably, while Slutskaya had to land 6 triples to even have a chance to beat Shizuka with only 5, once she doubled a triple it was already over according to the protocals even had she not fallen.


    4. Your comments about Maria's age are again pointless. Had she been a better skater, even as a late bloomer she would have atleast been a contender to win gold before (or ever, since arguably there was no year she was, she won in 1999 despite not going in as a gold contender, lol) even if she didnt ever win. Maria was a a late bloomer in that she first became an outside medal contender and started reaching her prime in 1996 at age 23. Shizuka first began reaching her prime and became a medal contender at 24, so even older. Maria was as strong as when she won her World title for 2 more seasons in general, she just wasnt considered a threat to win again since she wasnt a good enough skater, her abilities werent gold contending caliber, while Shizuka was considered amongst the gold contenders the 2 years after her World title since her abilities were of that.
    Yes, they're both late bloomers. But even considering Arakawa is a late bloomer who won gold at the age of 25, to say if Butyrskaya were a better 29 y/o skater she could have won gold in 2002 against a much younger Slutskaya/Kwan/Cohen/Hughes, is absurd.

    My apologies if calling you out for labeling a skater as 'typically abysmal' and saying her winning a fluke World title is "annoying" to you. If anything is typically abysmal it's your attitude towards skaters who do well but then are unable to magically replicate those results to the point they retire.

    How you would feel if I said Pang & Tong are done for and there's no chance of them winning Olympics next year and their World title in 2010 was "it for them", essentially disregarding the rest of their illustrious career, disregarding their age right now, and the fact that they have to compete against artistically-favoured V/T and S/S (similar to Maria having won Worlds and saying she failed to win the Olympics as a 29 y/o against an artistically-favoured Kwan/Slutskaya)?

  11. #101
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    Well, of course, I agree that Shizuka and Maria are not on the same level... However, saying that "Shizuka was the Maria of Japan" isn't commenting on the level of talent. For me, its commenting on the arc of their careers and the fact that the federation was already pushing Mao, just like Slutskaya was always being looked to ahead of Maria.

    I'm taking away nothing from Shizuka's Olympic Win. She totally deserved that Oly title. It just wasn't as exciting, nor as technically demanding as Tara's, Sarah's, or Yu-Na's. She played it safe, and sure, that's really all she had to do... but it just didn't sit right with me. It wasn't even that she had bad first jumps in the combination, she wasn't even going after the triple-triple combos, which given that you've only seen Sasha's splatfest right before, and you don't know what Slutskaya is gonna do, seems like she wasn't grabbing the Gold. She was gonna play it safe, and let Slutskaya determine the champion, however she skated.

    Also, I agree that Mao overemphasized the 3A. However, I don't even think a Mao with 3Ax2 and 3/3 could have beaten Yu-Na in that Olympics, that's how high Yu-Na was riding. (I don't know how I could have forgotten about Janet Lynn and Ito. I always forget about Ito... god that lady had springs for legs.)

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    According to everyone I have talked to, and all reports I have read as well, Slutskaya was crashing and burning hard and heavy in practice. I was shocked at her performance given her performances the prior 15 months but friends of mine who were at the event reported to me they were surprised Slutskaya even skated as well in the LP as she did. Her illness also was strongly affected by altitude and Turin was at very high altitude. I Imagine if this is true Shizuka was aware of it to, and fully aware that Slutskaya wasnt landing anymore than 4 triples max even given how she was skating, and her performance was certain to do it at that point.

    I do take the point though that Kim does all her technical content no matter what is needed and no matter the situation. That is one area she is superior to Shizuka for sure, but some could say there are qualites Shizuka has over Kim too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    According to everyone I have talked to, and all reports I have read as well, Slutskaya was crashing and burning hard and heavy in practice. I was shocked at her performance given her performances the prior 15 months but friends of mine who were at the event reported to me they were surprised Slutskaya even skated as well in the LP as she did. Her illness also was strongly affected by altitude and Turin was at very high altitude. I Imagine if this is true Shizuka was aware of it to, and fully aware that Slutskaya wasnt landing anymore than 4 triples max even given how she was skating, and her performance was certain to do it at that point.

    I do take the point though that Kim does all her technical content no matter what is needed and no matter the situation. That is one area she is superior to Shizuka for sure, but some could say there are qualites Shizuka has over Kim too.
    I cede the point the Shizuka has some qualities that Kim could learn from. However, I never knew that Slutskaya's illness was affected by altitude... and as someone who was either a gymnast or a diver for most of his life, at a relatively high level (the diver part, not the gymnast part. I was a tons better diver than gymnast), that should have ZERO effect on what you plan to do. It just shouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Anyway, who out of the 3 was capable of 3x3 at the 2006 Olympics? Only Shizuka.
    Slutskaya can only do 6 triples max at that point. No chance.
    No. Slutskaya had landed 3-3's since 2000. Just 3 months before the Olympics at the 2005 Cup of Russia, Slutskaya landed 7 triples, including a 3S+3L+2T (the year before the Olympics at Worlds she executed 7 triples, including 3Z-3L.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    No. Slutskaya had landed 3-3's since 2000. Just 3 months before the Olympics at the 2005 Cup of Russia, Slutskaya landed 7 triples, including a 3S+3L+2T (the year before the Olympics at Worlds she executed 7 triples, including 3Z-3L.)
    She couldn't do a single 3x3 on practice. Was not skating well at all. How will she pull out a 3x3 in the actual competition?
    Shizuka at her best in 2006 would be unrivaled by anyone.

    Just look at what happened. Shiz handily beat Cohen in TES for the same number of triples. If both get 2 more triples, the difference would be higher.
    Shiz has speed, power, effortless, skills that Cohen was falling short of. And Shiz's line is just as impressive. Cohen had nothing on her, jumps are much weaker, spins are weaker (Shiz actually got level 4 on all of her spins in both Sp and LP where as Cohen got a few level 3), spiral is weaker, steps are weaker. So how on earth will Cohen beat her if both were at their best?

    Slutskaya at that point was playing for bronze. She was no threat.

    Really, if all 3 skated their best, Shiz would still beat them by 10 points.

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