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Thread: State of American Ladies: 2013-14 Season

  1. #31
    I got your program components right here. Pepe Nero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post


    Alissa's personal best is 182.25, which would have placed her eighth at the 2010 Olympics, fifth at 2011 Worlds (which she was), third at 2012 Worlds, and eighth at 2013 Worlds. Both Ashley and Gracie (a debut senior!) have higher PB's and SB's, and are stronger competitors all-around.

    It's hard to say if Alissa will be in shape in time for US Nationals, but as it stands right now, her chances of medaling at the Olympics are effectively zero. You have the Big Three, Wagner and Gold, the Russians, Zijun Li, Suzuki, and Murakami all in the race. And where does that leave Alissa? She has nice spins and artistry, but mediocre jumps (even when she's on). I suppose that, if she were to qualify for and have the SOHL in Sochi, she could be in the top five or six there...but even that would require bad to disastrous performances from several others. Right now, I daresay that even Agnes and Christina could outskate Alissa.
    I don't think I disagree with you. I don't think AC has a realistic chance at a medal at the 2014 Olympics. I just think it is not *crazy* to think it could happen, if AC is clean (jumps-wise) and either CK or MA totally falls apart. (Yuna Kim will win a medal no matter what she does, let's face it. She will not be *judged*, though maybe she deserves that.)

    Comparisons across seasons are difficult. Judges and technical controllers clearly get more lenient as the Olympics approaches. Anyway it was never my point that AC would win a medal at the Olympics.

    I suppose the main point I meant to make was this: the relevant question is: By what criteria ought we decide who gets the "luxury" third spot? My view is that it ought to go to AC (so long as she is decent at Nationals). (E.g., third place should not go to Zawadzki yet again, no matter how scintillating her SP is, if she can't get through her LP without at least two major errors.)

  2. #32
    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    How fast will we reach the 100 pages? These US Ladies threads are just endless...

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe Nero View Post
    (Yuna Kim will win a medal no matter what she does, let's face it. She will not be *judged*, though maybe she deserves that.)
    I have no idea what this means. Yu-Na won't be judged? Though she deserves to be judged? I guarantee you that if Yu-Na skates like Alissa Czisny did at 2012 Worlds, she will not win a medal. Yu-Na skates at a higher level more consistently than any other ladies skater out there, that's why she medals so often--but for whatever reason it leads to the illogical, bogus claim that she will "win a medal no matter what she does." Guess Yu-Na can put away her 3Lz/3T and massive triple flips away--she can win a medal no matter what!

    I suppose the main point I meant to make was this: the relevant question is: By what criteria ought we decide who gets the "luxury" third spot? My view is that it ought to go to AC (so long as she is decent at Nationals). (E.g., third place should not go to Zawadzki yet again, no matter how scintillating her SP is, if she can't get through her LP without at least two major errors.)
    I agree with you that it's a luxury spot since it's not going to go to a medal contender. I personally think it should go to the person who placed third at Nationals. If Alissa Czisny has a well-deserved third place (or higher), then she should get it. If Zawadzki or Gao earns at least third place or higher, it should go to one of them. Whether they do it by executing a clean SP and a flawed LP or the reverse remains to be seen.

    I don't think that Alissa deserves it, per your other post, "as a reward for contributing some bright (very bright) spots to US ladies' figure skating in hard times." Alissa had one decent season, the 2010-2011 season, and that's it. 2011-2012 was uneven and ended disastrously. That's not enough to justify the reward of a precious Olympic spot.

    There was a lot of flack given to Michelle Kwan for getting the third Olympic spot in 2006 essentially as a reward--that's how her petition was positioned, with the articles talking about how it was time for the sport to pay Michelle back for all that she had done for US ladies figure skating. We're talking Michelle Kwan, and we're talking about a third spot that she helped secure with Sasha Cohen at 2005 Worlds (that's when we took 3 spots for granted). While Alissa won't be petitioning and will be competing for a spot, I don't see the judges doing her any favors in getting into the top 3. She'll have to be at her best, and that's the bigger question to me--what is Alissa's current health and skating condition?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    I personally think it should go to the person who placed third at Nationals. If Alissa Czisny has a well-deserved third place (or higher), then she should get it. If Zawadzki or Gao earns at least third place or higher, it should go to one of them. Whether they do it by executing a clean SP and a flawed LP or the reverse remains to be seen.
    I agree with this. We can sit here and speculate whether the USFSA should promote one of the younger skaters with the 3rd spot or give it to a veteran, but the truth is that the bronze medalist will get the spot. Whichever skaters we like now have a good chance of being non-factors in the sport in two years so there's no point in strategizing who should go; let someone earn it.

  5. #35
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Olympic berths should never be GIVEN they should be EARNED. Sometimes, that earning is done through years of hard work and devotion and success at the upper echelon of the sport (ie, Kwan in 2006 or Kerrigan or Eldredge). FWIW, I want to see the skaters EARN it throughout this season. It's going to be Wagner and Gold and a surprise more than likely

  6. #36
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Point is there aren't any ladies who have done enough to deserve a spot without earning it...that includes Ashley and Gracie IMO. No one should be gifted a spot to Sochi. No one has earned that right to say "You owe me."

    If you want to go, you earn your spot. If you don't earn your spot, you shouldn't go.

    Now that's not to say the judges won't help the favorites earn their spots by boosting scores and whatnot, but there isn't one person in that pool of ladies who deserves to go to Sochi based on merit alone.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    it leads to the illogical, bogus claim that she will "win a medal no matter what she does."

    I don't think that Alissa deserves it, per your other post, "as a reward for contributing some bright (very bright) spots to US ladies' figure skating in hard times." Alissa had one decent season, the 2010-2011 season, and that's it. 2011-2012 was uneven and ended disastrously. That's not enough to justify the reward of a precious Olympic spot.
    I used to think Yuna was overscored a lot in the 2010 season. In the 2010 worlds in Torino, she had 3 major errors in the short, and 2 major errors in the long, and was "judged" the winner of the long over an almost clearn Mao. This year, Yuna was so clean, she deserved her large margin over Caro and Mao.

    As far as the third spot, it should go to the skater with the third best chance at Sochi, not to a skater as a reward for the past, or to some future "star" to set them up for the next quad. The US actually has a chance of putting 3 skaters in the top 10 if that 3rd skater is at their best, so that third pick should not be squandered on a skater with no chance at a top 10 finish.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Point is there aren't any ladies who have done enough to deserve a spot without earning it...that includes Ashley and Gracie IMO. No one should be gifted a spot to Sochi. No one has earned that right to say "You owe me."

    If you want to go, you earn your spot. If you don't earn your spot, you shouldn't go.

    Now that's not to say the judges won't help the favorites earn their spots by boosting scores and whatnot, but there isn't one person in that pool of ladies who deserves to go to Sochi based on merit alone.
    Both Ashley and Gracie have the goods and the will to earn their places on the Olympic team. They certainly showed that at Worlds and WTT. Barring injury, I expect each of them to perform well at Nationals and secure a trip to Sochi. After those two, no other US lady so far has been as consistent a performer, so it's up in the air. The Grand Prix this fall should provide some clues....

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Point is there aren't any ladies who have done enough to deserve a spot without earning it...that includes Ashley and Gracie IMO. No one should be gifted a spot to Sochi. No one has earned that right to say "You owe me."

    If you want to go, you earn your spot. If you don't earn your spot, you shouldn't go.

    Now that's not to say the judges won't help the favorites earn their spots by boosting scores and whatnot, but there isn't one person in that pool of ladies who deserves to go to Sochi based on merit alone.
    Well certainly a year out, a lot can happen and no one has earned it. But if Ashley had this season next year and was injured at the GPF and had to withdraw from Nationals, I have no doubt she'd be picked for the team. But she needs to again prove she's the best next season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    I used to think Yuna was overscored a lot in the 2010 season. In the 2010 worlds in Torino, she had 3 major errors in the short, and 2 major errors in the long, and was "judged" the winner of the long over an almost clearn Mao. This year, Yuna was so clean, she deserved her large margin over Caro and Mao.
    But the only reason Yu-Na won a medal at 2010 Worlds making so many mistakes was because just about everyone made multiple major/minor mistakes--hence why there was so much controversy over 3rd place which could easily have gone to 4 skaters other than Laura Lepisto. Yu-Na wouldn't have won a medal at other competitions with those performances--she lucked out that she had one of her worst at a pretty crappy competition all around.

    I would say that Yu-Na accidentally won the long over Mao due to Mao's downgraded 3A. It's not Yu-Na's fault that Mao's second 3A was downgraded and it lost so many points. Had it not been downgraded, Mao would've won the long easily. Mao had the appearance of having skated a greater performance than was rewarded by the judges since she appeared to have landed everything cleanly, but that downgrade was costly. At least Mao won as she deserved to, and Yu-Na did enough to get the silver.

    As far as the third spot, it should go to the skater with the third best chance at Sochi, not to a skater as a reward for the past, or to some future "star" to set them up for the next quad. The US actually has a chance of putting 3 skaters in the top 10 if that 3rd skater is at their best, so that third pick should not be squandered on a skater with no chance at a top 10 finish.
    Hmm, I think we're pretty lucky to have 2 skaters who can crack the top 10 in Sochi--I'm not sure who the third would be that could crack the top 10. Alissa, Mirai, Agnes, Christina, Courtney Hicks? It would be tough for any of them.

  11. #41
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    ... that third pick should not be squandered on a skater with no chance at a top 10 finish.
    Who, in your opinion, decides who has a chance and who doesn't? A USFSA committee?

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe Nero View Post
    I don't think I disagree with you. I don't think AC has a realistic chance at a medal at the 2014 Olympics. I just think it is not *crazy* to think it could happen, if AC is clean (jumps-wise) and either CK or MA totally falls apart. (Yuna Kim will win a medal no matter what she does, let's face it. She will not be *judged*, though maybe she deserves that.)

    Comparisons across seasons are difficult. Judges and technical controllers clearly get more lenient as the Olympics approaches. Anyway it was never my point that AC would win a medal at the Olympics.

    I suppose the main point I meant to make was this: the relevant question is: By what criteria ought we decide who gets the "luxury" third spot? My view is that it ought to go to AC (so long as she is decent at Nationals). (E.g., third place should not go to Zawadzki yet again, no matter how scintillating her SP is, if she can't get through her LP without at least two major errors.)
    Yuna will be judged along with everyone else. Her level of consistency/technical merit/artistry is such that, usually, the judges don't need to do her any favors. If she has a repeat of the 2010 Olympics, she will be duly rewarded. But if she turns out one or two subpar performances, she will be duly penalized.

    Traditionally, it's third at Nationals who gets the "luxury" third spot, which will really be a gift-wrapped, paid-in-advance present from Misses Wagner and Gold. The judging at Nationals, though, can be so questionable/muddled that the third Olympic spot should, in actuality, be bestowed on the skater who gives the BEST performance, not necessarily the one who is most favored by the judges on that particular night. Had the Olympics been this year and had the US had three spots, I would have sent Christina Gao as the third member of the team despite the fact that she placed fifth, simply because she was cleaner and more captivating than either Agnes or Courtney.

    That being said, outside of Wagner and Gold, none of the US ladies are particularly strong internationally. While I personally favor Christina, my gut is telling me that Agnes will manage to repeat as US bronze medalist for the third year in a row. However, I believe that the potential difference in placement between Gao and Zawadzki at the Olympics would be so marginal as to be irrelevant. With the likes of the Big Three, the Russians, Wagner and Gold, Murakami, Suzuki, Li, and Osmond all expected to compete in Sochi, the third American girl would have a hell of a fight trying to squeeze into the top ten.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe Nero View Post
    I think it's a very apt comparison. Imagine if Czisny had had the opportunities that Kostner has had: being part of a national federation in which one basically has no competition. You get to go to Europeans (or Four Continents) and Worlds every year. (And, BTW, Kostner has, in her most challenged moments, been outscored by Marchei.) If Czisny had had these kinds of opportunities... well, the potential is hard to imagine (I think). Czisny at her best is, I believe, distinctly better than Kostner all things considered (by which I mean to emphasize that I think Kostner does have some important qualities in excess of Czisny). I would concede that Czisny's worst (2012 worlds) is worse than Kostner's, but that was due to undiagnosed injury.

    (Let me clarify that I think Czisny, if she lands her jumps*, is a darkhorse medal contender at the 2014 Olympics and, even more so, Worlds -- i.e., giving her a spot on the team would not simply be a "gift" on the part of USFS. I think Czisny is the only US female skater about which one can plausibly say that, besides Wagner and Gold.)
    Kostner is a much, much better skater than Czisny. Kostner has much better speed, basic skating, and jumps. Czisny is slow and an extremely poor jumper. Her jumps are small and barely rotated on her good days. And she doesn't have the technical difficulty needed to compete with the top ladies in the world. The ladies field was much weaker when she had her good season ('10-'11) and she still couldn't medal at Worlds with two excellent performances by her standards (one fall in the LP.) She is a non-contender in the current field, as she lacks the ability to do the really difficult jump combinations (Wagner can't do them either, but her jumps are technically much better than Czisny's and almost never underrotated.)

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Both Ashley and Gracie have the goods and the will to earn their places on the Olympic team. They certainly showed that at Worlds and WTT. Barring injury, I expect each of them to perform well at Nationals and secure a trip to Sochi. After those two, no other US lady so far has been as consistent a performer, so it's up in the air. The Grand Prix this fall should provide some clues....
    I think Ashley and Gracie will make the Olympic team, but how has Gracie been a consistent performer? She had so many bad performances last season, and she still has serious meltdown potential - as I'm not yet convinced that she can hold her nerves in check and skate her best when something is on the line (her best performances have come when she was already buried in 9th place in the standings or in cheesefests like WTT.) She also seems to be sticking with the same coach and choreographer who have no clue how to package her. She needs to get a much better choreographer, one who can find a style that suits her. Maybe someone who can loosen her up, as she is very stiff and awkward in her movement when she is presenting her programs.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene View Post
    I think Ashley and Gracie will make the Olympic team, but how has Gracie been a consistent performer? She had so many bad performances last season, and she still has serious meltdown potential - as I'm not yet convinced that she can hold her nerves in check and skate her best when something is on the line (her best performances have come when she was already buried in 9th place in the standings or in cheesefests like WTT.) She also seems to be sticking with the same coach and choreographer who have no clue how to package her. She needs to find a choreographer who can find a style that suits her. Maybe someone who can loosen her up, as she is very stiff and awkward in her movement when she is presenting her (poorly choreographed) programs.
    I don't know about you, but after Worlds, where Gold held it together in both programs (albeit with some small mistakes), placed sixth in the most loaded field in years, and helped Wagner secure three spots for the US, I don't need much more convincing. She IS the future of US skating. I agree that Scott Brown is all wrong for her, but she's also worked with Pasquale Camerlengo, who is a VERY respectable choreographer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    That being said, outside of Wagner and Gold, none of the US ladies are particularly strong internationally. While I personally favor Christina my gut is telling me that Agnes will manage to repeat as US bronze medalist for the third year in a row. However, I believe that the potential difference in placement between Gao and Zawadzki at the Olympics would be so marginal as to be irrelevant. With the likes of the Big Three, the Russians, Wagner and Gold, Murakami, Suzuki, Li, and Osmond all expected to compete in Sochi, the third American girl would have a hell of a fight trying to squeeze into the top ten.
    I think both Gao and Nagasu are liked by the international judges. Gao managed to qualify for the GPF afterall. I think both of those ladies would be worthy of the third spot. But Zawadzki will probably get the third spot, as the USFSA loves her and overscores her at Nationals (compared to how she is scored internationally.) But you're right that none of those ladies have any chance to medal (and will probably finish 10-12th.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post
    I don't know about you, but after Worlds, where Gold held it together in both programs (albeit with some small mistakes), placed sixth in the most loaded field in years, and helped Wagner secure three spots for the US, I don't need much more convincing. She IS the future of US skating. I agree that Scott Brown is all wrong for her, but she's also worked with Pasquale Camerlengo, who is a VERY respectable choreographer.
    I'd just like to see more consistency from her. No skater will deliver 100% good performances, but Gracie melted down too many times last season (most recently at 4CC.)

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