I don't think we are particularly lucky to have 2 potentialy in the top 10 at Sochi. It seems we have had 7 in the season's best top 25 list for the last 3 years (as long as I have been paying attention), so we have been particularly unlucky not having 3 entrants at worlds every year. I think any of Nagasu, Gao, Zawadski, and I guess Czisny could be thrown into the mix, could break the top 10 if they are skating well. It took a 174 to make 10th in London worlds, a score both Nagasu and Gao hit this year internationally, and Zawadski hit at Nationals. I still wonder about Zawadski's international scores though, as in 8 competitions, she has never broken above 166. None of the three are as consistent as Wagner/Gold, but they all have a decent shot of making the top ten.
Czisny is a beautiful skater to look at, but given how things have been, I'm not sure how she would do it this year. I wish Gao could hold herself together, too, but I'm not sure about her either. Mostly I wish one of these girls could surprise me in the upcoming year by skating their best.
I guess we'll have to see how it shakes down. On paper, sure, Nagasu, Gao, Zawadzki and Czisny, if they were the third member, could possibly have strong back to back performances and break into the top 10 Olympics. Does their recent history make me confident in them? Not especially. However, the next season will be a whole new season.I don't think we are particularly lucky to have 2 potentialy in the top 10 at Sochi. It seems we have had 7 in the season's best top 25 list for the last 3 years (as long as I have been paying attention), so we have been particularly unlucky not having 3 entrants at worlds every year. I think any of Nagasu, Gao, Zawadski, and I guess Czisny could be thrown into the mix, could break the top 10 if they are skating well. It took a 174 to make 10th in London worlds, a score both Nagasu and Gao hit this year internationally, and Zawadski hit at Nationals. I still wonder about Zawadski's international scores though, as in 8 competitions, she has never broken above 166. None of the three are as consistent as Wagner/Gold, but they all have a decent shot of making the top ten.
I wouldn't mind seeing one of the newer girls have a breakout performance and place third next year.
I realize it's a long shot to send an unknown to the Olympics, which is probably why none of the newbies will make the team, but I do think they have the potential to turn in some great performances at nationals next year. Ashley, Gracie, Agnes, Mirai, Christina and Alissa will all be skating under a ton of pressure b/c they will know this is a last shot for them (well, not for Gracie but everyone else probably). That kind of pressure is tough to handle; therefore, we may see some implosions.
As for the newbies, it's always easier to skate when you feel like nothing is on the line and you have nothing to lose. I could totally see someone like Angela Wang (who is one of the few who has the goods to compete on the world level) having a major performance and threatening the podium.
I love all of these Vancouver hold-overs but I'm ready to see the newer girls make some strides...
I wouldn't call her consistent though...at least not in a good way. She consistently flubs her SP and consistently makes mistakes in the FS too. It's tough to find a skater who can get through a FS cleanly so I'll forgive her that, but she really needs to work on getting over her SP jitters. The pre-2012 Ashley Wagner method is not a good one to follow (mess up the SP and then knock the FS out the park)...she'll always come up short.
Gracie is still getting her bearings as a senior skater so I don't think it's that big of a deal. Next season will be the real test though. She'll have a lot more pressure and expectation to deal with. Her ticket to Sochi is pretty much stamped but she still has to walk to the silver platter and pick up without tripping and knocking it over...
Gold also has the hardest technical content of any American lady. Her SP had some changes to it as the season went on, as I believe the e calls on the 3F were messing with her mind which made sense to swap the combo to the Lutz.
First off, the OP stole my thread!
Anyway, I will be VERY curious to see how Gold handles the pressure in the SP at Nationals/Oly Trials. If she thinks this year was bad, she ain't seen nothin' yet. One thing she does have going for her though is that she is showing more confidence and more drive. She knows now that she is competitive with the best, and is starting to skate accordingly. But- she will continue to get mixed results if the spotlight keeps overwhelming her. She needs to stay in the moment, something much easier said than done.
As for Wagner she seems to be dealing with change in her coaching situation. The main challenge for her is to increase her technical difficulty while remaining healthy. If she is physically unable to do so, she must figure out how to maximize points with what she CAN do. This might require some clever planning, choreo and strategy. Technically she is still the "almost" girl on the world stage. If she is to meet her goal(s)...she needs to step it up...fast.
It will be a Gao/Zawadzki battle - I think it's basically a draw at this point, but let's see who pulls ahead ultimately.
I too love Angela Wang and thing she has a lot of potential, but like many other girls she needs to stop blowing it in the SP as well. She can score big in the FS, but her SP scores are downright scary when she does poorly. Even at her best, she has yet to break 60+. If we're going to pick on Gracie for her SP shortfalls, then the fact Angela is messing up SPs as a junior should be a concern.
She has the goods, for sure, but it hasn't all come together yet. I think it's smart she's staying junior internationally. That said, if she makes a huge splash at Nationals and gets in the top three, I'm all for sending her to the Olympics.
When you think about it Agnes has yet to do two consistent programs in one competition and it took her three GP seasons before she got a medal, as Gracie got hers on the first season.
I also don't think 4CC is a great example of pointing at Gracie's problems. Let's face it, from a peaking perspective, 4CC was too soon and Gracie had first peaked at Nationals, I wasn't surprised she did poorly at 4CC.
Gao has been a lot more consistent but she is almost too subtle in her choreography and she doesn't have the big jumps or spins to stand out. So her challenge will be to do programs that make her shine, shine, shine. (And get the levels on her spins)
Angela has the goods to reach the podium at nationals this year if she can get herself together. Her technical content is equal to Gracie's (actually it's better b/c her lutz and flip both go off the correct edges) and, unlike Gracie, she has a better grasp on interpreting music and delivering choreography. Angela has a gorgeous and smooth flow to her movements. She doesn't have the USFSA's backing like Gracie does so even if she's perfect she won't beat Gracie or Ashley unless one of the two implode, but she does have a chance to sneak into that third spot ahead of the other more established ladies if she can produce.
I just want her to work on her weaker areas (presentation, connecting to the music and choreography, softening her arms so she doesn't look so stiff, etc.). She has all the goods to be amazing but I do think she still needs time.
I agree that Christina and her team need to dig deep and find something to bring some fire or power out of her. She's a gorgeous skater but she's easy to forget at times...they need to find something that will leave a big impression on the judges well after she's left the ice.
I agree, I find her rather overrated by several posters on the forums.
At least Gold is showing signs of potentially living up to the hype (don't speak too soon).