05-11-2013, 03:27 AM
I've got your program components right here.
Yes, I agree. I only wish I had the optimism about Czisny's prospects at 2014 nationals that so many of her detractors do. I fear she will be facing the same kind of "stuff" that many of us wanted to colorfully describe facing Nagasu and Zhang at the 2013 nationals: low-scored no matter what. The third spot will go to someone who is, in the end, irrelevant and not even interesting.
Originally Posted by Mathman
Originally Posted by Mathman
What does "deserving" mean? Doing better in a single competition? Why do you "fear" this? Really, let's not talk about desert and pretend that Czisny doesn't own that argument.
Originally Posted by ForeverFish
This all seems so premature to me. Among US women, who is AC so not-good-enough compared to? The "improving US field"? Really? Show me Ashley Wagner's more-consistently-rotated-than-AC's-triple-triple-combination. Show me Gracie Gold's non-junior choreography and presentation.
Originally Posted by R.D.
Can Czisny medal at the Olympics in 2014? Probably not. But Czisny's "probably" is no worse that Wagner's or Gold's, and it's a heck of a lot better than any other current US woman.
05-11-2013, 11:08 AM
This is extremely disrespectful, IMO, to whoever wins the third spot. There are several US ladies, excepting Wagner and Gold, who are more than capable of placing third at Nationals and earning a berth to the Olympics. To call their efforts "irrelevant" based on your "Czisny must go no matter how many mistakes she makes" bias is just New talents and new faces will come onto the scene, as they always do. If you can't keep up, as neither Mirai nor Caroline could this year, then someone will undoubtedly rise to take your spot.
Originally Posted by Pepe Nero
Since Nationals is traditionally the qualifying round for the Olympics, I suppose you could say that deserving means skating better on home ice. I don't believe, moreover, that Czisny, beautiful skater though she is, has been cheated out of what she "deserves" as a once-dominant US lady. She's had four chances to skate at Worlds, and placed out of the top ten all but one of those times. She's had three chances to skate at Four Continents, and never placed higher than fifth. For eight straight seasons, she consistently received two GP assignments, a privilege which she only forfeited when she had that epic meltdown at 2012 Worlds. The fact also stands that up-and-comers like Christina and Agnes have had the crucial competition experience of the pre-Olympic season (Christina actually placed HIGHER at 4CC than Alissa ever did), while Alissa has not. If Alissa falls at Nationals while Christina and/or Agnes are clean, would you be in favor of sending Alissa to the Olympics simply because you feel that she hasn't had enough chances to prove herself? I'm not saying that Alissa should be barred from going to the Olympics, whatever comes. But if she's going to go through the trials process as she intends to do, then she should have to EARN that spot with what she shows at Nationals.
I'd also like to point out that, despite your harping on Misses Wagner and Gold, they have an international leg-up on Czisny right now. This will probably still be so when they hit the GP in the fall. Although Ashley doesn't have a solid 3-3, the jumps that she DOES have are far more consistent than Alissa's ever were. As for Gracie...well, let's not get into a useless debate about which US lady currently has the best technique. Really, on a good day, only Yuna can out-jump her. And, even with her "junior-ish choreography and presentation," Gracie's personal best score is a good six points higher than Alissa's.
I, too, would like Alissa to succeed at her comeback. But I don't believe that criticizing or outright insulting other skaters is the best way to make her case.
05-11-2013, 11:09 AM
That is assuming Czisny can get back to peak (2011) form in just a few months...and even then, throughout her career she has always struggled under the following: PRESSURE and EXPECTATIONS.
Even if she happens to make it back to peak form in time for the Oly trials - a slim chance, IMO - who's to say she will hold it together under the immense spotlight? Luckily for her, expectations will be on other skaters, but there's still "pressure" left.
That said, most other US ladies are in the same boat - for example, Gracie Gold's track record under pressure has been mixed at best.
05-11-2013, 01:33 PM
Just a reminder: Alissa has skated Senior ladies at Nationals since 2002.
Here's how she finished:
BTW, I disagree that Gold's track record under pressure has been mixed at best.
After not making it to Nationals in 2011, she won Juniors in 2012. She was 2nd at 2012 JW and 5th at 2012 WTT.
Gracie struggled in her first GP event, but won silver in her second. She bombed her SP at Nationals, but came back to win the FS with a clean 7-triple performance. If that isn't performing well under pressure, I don't know what is.
Gracie was 5th at 4CC, a competition that started just a week after US Nationals. There, I think jet lag was in play more than pressure.
Gracie was 6th at Worlds, and placed 4th in the FS after a flawed SP. Pressure may have affected her in the SP, but she has shown that she has the grit to overcome a shaky SP and nail the FS.
There was no pressure at WTT (although I think Gracie may have wanted to beat Ashley there!) and Gracie delivered two great performances to finish 3rd.
05-11-2013, 03:29 PM
Frankly, I believe this more or less proves my point. Gold KNOWS that she's not going to win anything if she can't deliver in the SP. There is less pressure being further back in the SP- it's when you are in position to win or medal that the FS becomes a real pressure-cooker...
Originally Posted by chuckm
Gold herself admitted to pressure doing her in at SC.
At Nationals, it was her senior debut and I'm sure she was beginning to feel the expectations mount. It was only when she was all but out of contention after the SP that she was able to relax and attack the FS. Even then, she needed luck (which she got) to move up significantly.
At Worlds, where there was pressure on both her and Wagner, although she wasn't perfect, she did hold it together enough to place a respectable 6th.
There really aren't enough data points (competitions) to tell for sure, but so far, it seems to me that one can't be fully confident which Gold will show up at a big stakes event...
05-11-2013, 06:23 PM
If Gracie does learn to be more consistent next season then not only do the US Ladies have to be worried but she can put a scare into a lot of the top ladies too especially if she shows marked improvements in her presentation. International judges have shown that they like Gracie even when she's not perfect.
05-11-2013, 06:45 PM
I agree that the ISU judges are more accepting of the as-is Gracie than posters are.
05-11-2013, 07:48 PM
In just one senior season Gold has already (nearly) caught up to Wagner. I predict that (barring injury) Gold will surpass Wagner and become the US' best hope for a Sochi medal beginning next fall (whether she holds it together at Nationals is a whole different story). And Wagner would still be a solid top 10 candidate. I just hope the two of them can stay healthy, that's all.
05-13-2013, 10:50 AM
Rejoicing in the land of Kwan
Gracie has yet to have two shining performances at a competition. If she nails one program it typically means she flubbed the other. Her most even performances came at the best time (worlds) but I still feel she is largely hit or miss so far. The good news is the judges really like her so even when she struggles her scores don't plummet the way most other's would.
I think she'll continue to improve as a skater but I'm less convinced about her ability to handle pressure. She has pretty much pulled even with Ashley this year and (undoubtedly) a lot of people expect her to surpass Ashley as the #1 US lady next year. I wonder if she'll be able to handle that kind of pressure. Pressure of expecation is tough...but expectation combined with that target labeled "#1" pinned to your back is ten times worse. It's a tough burden to carry and I'm not sure if Gracie is mature/mentally tough enough to handle it.
I suppose we'll have a better idea once we see her on the GP next year...
05-13-2013, 11:43 AM
I wonder how many people recall that early in her senior career, Wagner often botched her SP at Nationals, causing her to fall out of contention for the top spots and fail to go to Worlds. In 2009, she was 12th in the SP and won the FS, but finished 4th. In 2010, she fell in the SP, and was 2nd in the FS, but was 3rd overall and missed the Olympic team. In 2011, her double-footed and/or URd jumps left her in 7th after the SP and 5th in the FS for 6th overall.
When she changed coaches, her skating dramatically improved as far as the double-footing is concerned, but she still hasn't mastered a 3/3 or 2a+3t.
Gracie has shown that she can overcome a less-than-perfect SP because her FS is so technically superior to other top skaters. But just like Wagner at Nationals, Gracie has to NOT have that SP deficit if she wants to own a step on the World podium in the future.
05-13-2013, 12:00 PM
At the rink. Again.
Graice has spent the entire season LEARNING how to compete as a Senior. Surely, she has gained from each experience this year culminating in a better-than-expected result at Worlds (to most people) and an even better result at WTT. Don't forget, this is a KID (she's still only 17) who is a sponge when it comes to learning experiences and she has a terrific sports psychologist (he/she would have to be to get a kid who missed Nationals to believe in herself to become Junior National Champion/JW silver medalist in 12 months) who is working with her on dealing with the pressure and getting into her zone along with an excellent technical coach who is incredibly demanding. Don't discount her having learned a great deal about how to live with the expectation and pressure and tune it out when needed.
05-13-2013, 12:01 PM
Rejoicing in the land of Kwan
^^ Agreed. That's going to be her biggest challenge next season: controlling her SP nerves. She's proven she's more often than not a decent to strong FS skater but she'll never win gold if she can't get through the SP cleanly. That's Gracie's main keep to success for next season. She's got the content but she has to be more consistent with delivering it. I don't think it's like Ashley where the main reason she had trouble skating cleanly was b/c of technique issues. Flip aside, Gracie's technique is solid and she's a natural jumper. That means it more than likely her nerves that are doing her in.
05-13-2013, 01:14 PM
17 isn't exactly "KID" to be honest...maybe not mature as most are at 25+ but definitely still old enough to have some sort of perspective.
Anyway, Gold has slipped up in LPs too. I don't think her situation is analogous to pre-2012 Wagner for many reasons.
05-13-2013, 02:53 PM
How much perspective can a skater have if she's been in senior competition for just one season? That applies to both Gracie Gold and Kaetlyn Osmond. Even for a skater who's already weathered puberty, it takes at least a couple of seasons to get a true sense of where she stands in the scheme of things. For skaters still going through or approaching puberty, it could take even longer. Worlds will give a clearer picture than Sochi because some of the current top skaters won't be there.
05-13-2013, 03:08 PM
Rejoicing in the land of Kwan
^^That's fair. To be honest Gracie is behind the curve. Most of the ladies make the jump to seniors at 14 or 15...so to be 17 and debuting as a senior is somewhat odd. I know a lot of skaters debut at an older age but the majority of the phenoms come out of the gate younger than Gracie is.
That's one reason I was so annoyed with her this season. At 17 I was expecting a higher level of maturity and development from a performance standpoint. But I realize now it's going to take time for her to gain that experience and grow and mature.
The name of the game with Gracie is patience. Even though her skill level is high and she's older, I rank her with the rest of the 15 year olds and below a few of them when it comes to things like artistry, interpretation, etc.