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Thread: State of American Ladies: 2013-14 Season

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    Banned Reginald's Avatar
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    State of American Ladies: 2013-14 Season

    Well, since WTT is over and the dust has settled, I thought it would be good to make a thread about the 2013-2014 OLYMPIC SEASON.



    This will be my first full olympic season as a figure skating fan.

    I have a short review of each of the top US Ladies, if you want to add more, feel free.

    Nina Jiang: After winning the Juvenile title with a record score, and winning the Intermediate title, she has slipped below her peers. She was a train wreck on the JGP last season, and failed to qualify for Nationals. Her personal best is only 131. Unfortunately, I think we've see the last of her.
    Biggest Strength: Musicality.
    Biggest Weakness: Landing Jumps.


    Angela Wang: The ultimate jumping machine. However, she seems to have Liza's problem in that she keeps flubbing short programs. Unlike Liza, she does not score tremendously well in the free skate.
    I see from wikipedia that her short program will be choreographed by Tom Dickson. Excellent. She could be a force to be reckoned with Personal best: 162.65.
    Biggest Strength: 3-3-2.
    Biggest Weakness: Burying herself in short program.


    Ashley Wagner: Ashley has finally destroyed the "best US lady" curse. She has become one of very few skaters to fix under rotation issues. She has been criticized for her lacking technical content, but that hasn't mattered as she "keeps her feet" busy, and for that earns high PCS.
    Biggest Strength: Ultimate tough competitor.
    Biggest Weakness: Has a lot to lose.

    Gracie Gold: After 7 years of tortuous searching, the USFS finally has a winner of the "The Next Michelle Kwan Pageant." Yes, Gracie Gold is here to stay. She is America's best skater since the mid 2000-s. Personal best 188.03.
    Biggest Strength: High international scores.
    Biggest Weakness: Pressure heaped on her.

    Alissa Czisny: The only US lady with a gold medal at a truly major international competition. (4CC doesn't have Europe). She is kinda like Carolina Kostner of the USA. An up and down skater who is sometimes overscored. I think if Alissa comes back she will skate better than she did in 2006 and 2010, but still not enough to make the US team. However, she won’t come back., She has has back-to-back hip injuries. The hip is arguable the most important part of the body for a skater. She is where Kwan Was in 2006. She still wants to compete, but her body is throwing in the towel.
    Biggest Strength: Can be best in the world when she’s on.
    Biggest Weakness: Can be 22nd in world when she’s not on.


    Rachael Flatt: She is as technically brilliant as ever (or so she says). I don’t think she will return per IceNetwork interview.
    Biggest Strength: Consistency
    Biggest Weakness: School. Back injury foot injury.

    Caroline Zhang: Only active american lady with multiple medals at a senior ISU Championship. Believe it or not, she could end up a winner of a ISU CHampionship. She was the second alternate for 4CC this year. With the extra spot next year for worlds and with most skaters skipping 4CC because of olympics, there’s a chance she could go. And if all the other top skaters skip 4CC’s she could win (a la Jenny kirk in 2002, and Katy Taylor in 2006). The problems with Caroline and Mirai is that they are 6.0 skaters. Caroline lands her jumps and looks pretty. She has problems with URs and does basic transitions (for an elite skater). However, Caroline's UR problem is not that mad.. Miyahara Murakami, Nagasu, Asada,a dn Caesario all have much worse UR problems. She is skating to Phantom of the Opera next season. Not sure if its SP or LP. I think she’ll go out with a magical performance at 4CC’s.
    Biggest Strength: Work Ethic.
    Biggest Weakness: Transitions, Speed.


    Mirai Nagasu: Fix UR’s. Fix UR’s. Fix UR’s. She could have won the long program at NHK 2012 if she didn’t have 3 UR calls. Currently, only Ashley Wagner has a higher personal best than Mirai does. She has been pretty consistent on the Gp in the last 3 years (2nd and 4th, 2010), (2nd and 5th, 2011), (3th and 4th, 2012). she is the only one of the 2008ers that has not made the GP Final or WTT. I think that this will eb her last season. Personal best 190.15.
    Biggest Strength: Joy and Excitement,.
    Biggest Weakness: Under Rotations and DG’s. Flubbing long program

    Samantha Cesario: Wow. This girl has really gotten unlucky. She was at Senior Nationals in 2010, then had to withdraw two straight years. However, she was the top US lady at the Junior Worlds this year. In order to content for the olympic spot, she’ll have to fix her UR’s (like everybody else), and improve her transitions.
    Biggest Strength: Smooth Jump landings
    Biggest Weaknesses: Underrotations.


    Hannah Miller: IMO, Her long program at Nationals in 2013 was one of the best. yet it was only scored 10th best. Why? 2 UR calls, and a low transitions score. It’s weird how she and Gracie Gold were in about the same place two years ago. But while Gracie Gold got a PR machine, better technique, and some luck, Hannah has remained a dark horse up and comer. I think she will improve this season, but not enough to make the Olympic Team.
    Biggest Strength: High international scores. Musicality.
    Biggest Weakness: Small jumps.


    Christina Gao: Ah, the 5th Place girl. When she was 5th in 2010, it was a great accomplishment. But in 2013, after coming in 5th for the 4th consecutive year, it was a huge disappointment. She still got to finish as the highest American ladies finisher at 4CC though. (despite the fatc that she fell.). I think that she’ll make the Olympic team, being the least mistake prone of the American Ladies.
    Biggest Strength: International Experience. Flying under radar.
    Biggest Weakness: Low score ceiling.


    Agnes: She had the opportunity to be where Ashley Wagner is today if she only had skated a clean long program at 2012 Nationals. The ability to skate a clean long eludes her. She has massive scoring potential though She has 1 UR call at 2013 4CC. Dont really know how sevre her UR problem is. I think she’s make one critical mistake at 2014 nations which will eb enough to keep her off the Olympic team.
    Biggest Strength: High TES potential.
    Biggest Weakness: Can’t skate clean long.

    Courtney Hicks: Under 6.0, she micght have actually won nationals 2013. But it wasn’t under 6.0. I think that she has potential. It will be interesting to see if she gets a SGP assignment.
    Biggest strength: Good height on jumps.
    Biggest Weakness: Only skates well at Nationals.


    Polina Edmunds: The first US lady with 2 3-3’s since Kimmie Meissner. And she manages to avoid UR calls on both of them. At least at Gardena. I think that the judges will make her wait her turn at Senior Nationals 2014.
    Biggest Strength: New, fresh face might take everybody by surprise (Kimmie Meissner).
    Biggest Weakness: Keeping jumps through puberty.


    Yasmin Siraj: She has been wildly inconsistent. However, she didn’t make that many mistakes at JW, and still got buried.
    Biggest Strength: Decent PCS scores, lots of potential.
    Biggest Weakness; low international Scores.

    Vanessa Lam: She does not get that much height on her jumps, and still has a tilt in the air.
    Biggest Strength: Exotic costumes.
    Biggest Weakness: Off-axis smallish jumps.

    Leah Keiser: I thought that she should have done Junior Nationals in 2012, and the moved up to senior.
    Biggest Strength: Solid technique.
    Biggest Weakness: Oft-injured.



    Now, in the US ladies division, the two lowest scoring nationals were 2006 and 2010. Cooncidence? no. Usually a few skater perform well, and the reso dispoints.





    Summer comeptitions are very critical.

    Emily Hughes was excellent at Liberty the year before she went to the olympics.

    Caroline Zhang scored very well the summer before she won Junior Worlds.

    Rachel Flatt won Liberty the year before SHE won Junior worlds.

    Also, Caroline Zhang was subpar last summer, and that continued into the regular season.

    These summer comps don't count, but they do matter...a LOT.


    With Yu-Na, Mao, and Carolina competeting on the GP this year, no more than 3 US ladies should make it to the final.
    Ashley (duh), Gracie (duh), I think that Suzuki or Murakami will take the 6th spot.

    US Nationals 2014
    What will happen if everyone goes clean
    1. Agnes Zawadzki (Jeremy Abbot of 2014)
    2. Ashley Wagner
    3. Gracie Gold
    4. Courtney Hicks
    5. Mirai Nagasu
    6. Angela Wang
    7. Christina Gao
    8. Polina Edmunds
    9. Hannah Miller
    10. Yasmin Siraj

    What I want to happen
    1. Ashley Wagner
    2. Mirai Nagasu
    3. Caroline Zhang
    4. Gracie Gold
    5. Christina Gao
    6. Leah Keiser
    7. Yasmin Siraj
    8. Agnes Zawadzki
    9. Angela Wang
    10. Courtney Hicks

    What I think will happen
    1. Ashley Wagner
    2. Gracie Gold
    3. Christina Gao
    4. Agnes Zawadzki
    5. Courtney Hicks
    6. Samantha Caesario
    7. Mirai Naggasu
    8. Yasmin Siraj
    9. Polina Edmunds
    10. Angela Wang

    This year, it is basically a race for the third spot. I don’t think that Ashley or Gracie will miss the team unless they bomb. I also think that the US ladies will manage not to win a medal at Olympic or Worlds again.

    Thoughts?

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    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    Mirai Nagasu: Fix UR’s. Fix UR’s. Fix UR’s.
    Yes!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    US Nationals 2014
    What will happen if everyone goes clean
    1. Agnes Zawadzki (Jeremy Abbot of 2014)
    2. Ashley Wagner
    3. Gracie Gold
    4. Courtney Hicks
    5. Mirai Nagasu
    6. Angela Wang
    7. Christina Gao
    8. Polina Edmunds
    9. Hannah Miller
    10. Yasmin Siraj
    I don't think so, if they all skated perfect programs, Gracie would beat Ashley: she can be 4-5-6 points behind in PCS, but if she lands everything at her best she can easily score 6 points better than Wagner in the TES...

    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    This year, it is basically a race for the third spot. I don’t think that Ashley or Gracie will miss the team unless they bomb. I also think that the US ladies will manage not to win a medal at Olympic or Worlds again.

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    Well, here's my take:

    Agnes Zawadzki: Probably the biggest contender for the third Olympic spot--after all, she's the defending Nationals bronze medalist and seems to curry favor with the judges despite falls. Her main goal should be building up the stamina to skate a clean FS, and to do so throughout her GPs. She could be a nice complement to the other two ladies in Sochi.

    Alissa Czisny: Do we even know if she's planning a comeback? After two hip surgeries, her body probably isn't up to the wear and tear of triple jumps, and her spins won't be what they used to be. If she does announce her intent to return, USFSA might give her a GP host pick as a salute to her many years of good service, but I think that 22nd in the world sealed her fate. Won't expect to see her in Sochi.

    Angela Wang: I believe it was said that she'll compete nationally as a senior and internationally as a junior, which is the wisest plan of action until after Sochi, when the newer names start pouring in. Gorgeous, gorgeous musicality, but can lose a competition from the short program alone. IMO, she lacks the pizzazz that international judges love. I don't see her medalling at 2014 Nationals. If Radionova skates on the GP, Wang could be a medal contender for the JGPF.

    Ashley Wagner: By and far the veteran & leader of the US ladies. She must up the technical content if she wants to be a contender for an Olympic medal (she's a dark horse for bronze if either Asada or Kostner have a bad competition)--and it's better to start NOW so she'll be able to debut a 3-3 and 2A-3T at some summer comps. She'll need them even to stay ahead of Gracie Gold come 2014 Nats. There's little chance that Wagner WON'T make the Olympic team.

    Caroline Zhang: Very musical and in tune with the choreography, but she's SLOW. Her technical ability has been hurt by self-training earlier in her career, and at 19, it may be too late to fix it. The USFSA is probably reluctant to give her more than one GP spot. Without ratified triple jumps, there's no way she'll be on the podium or the Olympic team.

    Christina Gao: The true breakthrough star of this past season. The off-year from Harvard should really help her skating as far as focus and training go. She holds it together better than some of the top ladies do, but nothing about her screams "Watch me!" Still, after four straight years of being fifth at Nationals, she deserves at least a pewter medal if she goes clean. She won't medal at the Olympics, but who cares?

    Courtney Hicks: Big jumps, big personality, big promise. However, she hasn't competed enough to cement herself as a serious contender for the third Olympic spot (which can be blamed on the broken leg, not her). Had she medalled at Jr. Worlds, the story would be different. She SHOULD be on the GP circuit in the fall, but she'll have a hard time defending her Nationals medal.

    Gracie Gold: Obviously the next star of US figure skating. She plans on packing her programs with even more technical difficulty (we'll probably see a return of the 3F-Lo-3S, maybe a 3-3-3, and if she's feeling really daring, a solo 3A). Her nerves should no longer be an issue, but skating a clean short is. Needs two main improvements: greater musicality, and fixing the wrong-edge flip. Then she's off to the Olympics.

    Mirai Nagasu: I'm not sure what happened to her after 2010--she had a spectacular skate at the Olympics, and then sort of fell apart and has been treading water ever since. She isn't any less musical; the problem is her jumps, which are frequently underrotated. She should get at least one GP assignment to prove she's in contention for the third Olympic spot. The US judges are right to downgrade her for UR'd jumps, which will NOT get her to Sochi.

    Polina Edmunds: She'll be starting her first JUNIOR international season in the fall. Lovely to watch, but was UR'd like mad at US Nationals. She might want to stay on the junior domestic circuit for one more year before making that transition, unless she can fix her jumps in the next 8 months and become the next Gracie Gold.

    Samantha Cesario: She needs to get a GP assignment if she wants to compete internationally this season, since she's now age-ineligible for junior events. I was very impressed with her interpretation at Jr. Worlds, but she was beat by the Russian darlings, so she's still lacking in some areas. She could have a successful season, but is a (very) dark horse for the Olympic team.

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    Banned Reginald's Avatar
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    Interesting Article by Phil Hersh in 2011

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/spor...2011/01/w.html

    A couple hours after the women's final Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, I was in a group of longtime figure skating writers discussing what we might expect between now and the next Olympics, and one of my colleagues said, "I don't think any of the top three will be in Sochi."

    My first reaction was that it sounded ridiculous that neither Alissa Czisny nor Rachael Flatt nor Mirai Nagasu would make the 2014 Olympic team.
    Wow. Just Wow.

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    I remember reading a article shortly after the Torino Olympics saying that the US team in 2010 would probably be Kimmie, Emily and a teenager to be named later. Just goes to show you how things can change in a short time in skating. The writer did get the teenager part right though there always seems to be a newcomer that makes the team that comes out of nowhere a year or so after the previous Olympics.

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    Spiral Lover tulosai's Avatar
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    Thinking about next season already is honestly making my head spin...

    My greatest hope-wish is that Mirai can get it together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tulosai View Post
    Thinking about next season already is honestly making my head spin...

    My greatest hope-wish is that Mirai can get it together.
    I also hope for Mirai to have a successful season, because I wouldn't want her on the Olympic team if she still can't rotate her jumps. If that ends up being the case in January, then the third spot would go to better use with someone like Christina, who--despite having less international experience and no triple-triple in the FS--can, at the very least, get full credit for her landings.

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    I think that, if the Big Three retire immediately after the Olympics (only Yuna has stated she will, but her fed could push for one last Worlds), Gracie and Ashley should easily land on the podium--after all, they were fifth and sixth this year. Subtract three and you have the US ladies on top again. Gracie's score this year would actually have gotten her the bronze medal in 2012; Ashley's, the silver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    I think that, if the Big Three retire immediately after the Olympics (only Yuna has stated she will, but her fed could push for one last Worlds), Gracie and Ashley should easily land on the podium--after all, they were fifth and sixth this year. Subtract three and you have the US ladies on top again. Gracie's score this year would actually have gotten her the bronze medal in 2012; Ashley's, the silver.
    Carolina and Akiko have already announced that they will retire after Sochi...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    Carolina and Akiko have already announced that they will retire after Sochi...
    Immediately after? Or is there a chance that they'll stay on for 2014 Worlds? And, in any case, I was referring to Mao, Caro, and Yuna as the Big Three.

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    Although there are no guarantees in this sport ( ice is slippery ) I think it is quite likely ashley and gracie will be on the olympic team but I would love for the third person to be someone surprising, either a comeback e.g mirai or one of the younger girls like angela , courtney, samantha or hannah and there is nothing like an olympic year to bring surprises

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    Immediately after? Or is there a chance that they'll stay on for 2014 Worlds? And, in any case, I was referring to Mao, Caro, and Yuna as the Big Three.
    At 2010 most of leaders of Olympics (except Joannie ROCHETTE, 3rd place at Olympics) took place in Worlds.
    At 2006 about the same - except Shizuka ARAKAWA, winner of Olympics.

    So most probably at 2014 will be the same situation - all leaders (maybe except Yuna Kim if she will win Olympics) will take place in Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    Alissa Czisny: She is kinda like Carolina Kostner of the USA. An up and down skater who is sometimes overscored.
    I find this insulting to Carolina.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    Mirai Nagasu:She could have won the long program at NHK 2012 if she didn’t have 3 UR calls.
    Did you not watch Akiko's FS???

    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    Christina Gao: I think that she’ll make the Olympic team, being the least mistake prone of the American Ladies.
    Biggest Weakness: Low score ceiling.
    Least prone to mistakes?
    But I would say her biggest weakness is her Program components. Her skating skills and posture are worse than that Indian pair!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    Vanessa Lam: Biggest Strength: Exotic costumes.
    I wouldn't call that a strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    With Yu-Na, Mao, and Carolina competeting on the GP this year, no more than 3 US ladies should make it to the final.
    Ashley (duh), Gracie (duh), I think that Suzuki or Murakami will take the 6th spot.
    Assuming that all the top potential skaters compete (no injuries) at 2 and all skate clean at both events(like that would ever happen)!!
    Considering all top contenders Yu-Na, Mao, Carolina, Suzuki, Murakami, Korpi, Tuk, Sotnikova, Wagner, Gracie, Zijun and Osmond.
    I highly doubt that both Ashley and Gracie will make it to the final let alone 3 ladies (Gao only got to last year because of withdrawals) but it will depend on what events they get assigned.

    My DREAM picks for US Ladies for OLY
    1. Rachael Flatt
    2. Courtney Hicks
    3. Mirai Nagasu
    Yes I can dream!

    What I think will happen
    1. Wagner
    2. Gold
    3. Zawadzki
    4. Hicks
    5. Gao (again )
    and exact repeat. Maybe different order of podium but definitely those 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    Immediately after? Or is there a chance that they'll stay on for 2014 Worlds? And, in any case, I was referring to Mao, Caro, and Yuna as the Big Three.
    Yuna has also already said that 2013 Worlds was her last Worlds, so Sochi Olympics would be her last competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald View Post
    Mirai Nagasu: Fix UR’s. Fix UR’s. Fix UR’s. She could have won the long program at NHK 2012 if she didn’t have 3 UR calls. Currently, only Ashley Wagner has a higher personal best than Mirai does. She has been pretty consistent on the Gp in the last 3 years (2nd and 4th, 2010), (2nd and 5th, 2011), (3th and 4th, 2012). she is the only one of the 2008ers that has not made the GP Final or WTT. I think that this will eb her last season. Personal best 190.15.
    Biggest Strength: Joy and Excitement,.
    Biggest Weakness: Under Rotations and DG’s. Flubbing long program
    Nagasu has been underrotating jumps since she was a junior, and when she started growing, the URs became worse and more persistent. She's had several coaches and none of them has been able to help her UR problem.

    'Joy and Excitement' used to be an integral part of her skating, but we haven't seen that since the 2010 Olympics. She seems to be skating on autopilot, showing no emotion or excitement whatsoever. This is particularly true of her free skates.

    I don’t think that Ashley or Gracie will miss the team unless they bomb. I also think that the US ladies will manage not to win a medal at Olympic or Worlds again.
    Do you mean EVER? Or just 2014?

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