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Thread: State of American Ladies: 2013-14 Season

  1. #946
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulosai View Post
    I think it is not realistic to compare skaters either based on age at certain milestones or on how many seasons they've been a senior, really. People go at much different paces and hit their stride at different times. That said, I believe Michelle was younger than Gacie when she began skating so you have to consider that. You also have to consider that in her first senior season Gracie was 6th at Worlds. In her first senior season Kwan was 8th (actually she had competed at US Senior Nationals the year before that and was 6th so did not make it to worlds (not sure of age eligibility then) so it is possible it wasn't actually until her 4th senior season that she was first). It wasn't until Kwan's fourth go at US Nationals that she was 1st, either- she was 6th as noted above, then 2nd and 2nd (though the first 2nd would have been 3rd had Kerrigan competed).

    Now IMO Gracie is no Kwan, but I think it's unfair to say that because she's already 18 she is essentially doomed and far behind Michelle's progress. Assuming health and longevity and desire, she could still have 3 Olympics in her and certainly has 2.
    You have to remember that Kwan was all of 13 at Worlds in 1994 when she finished 8th. But i agree with you skaters peak at different ages. I'm glad she's not like these Russian wonder babies who look promising at 13 but then grow and can't jump anymore. That's one of the reasons people were so excited about Gracie here was a girl who had gone through her growth spurt and kept her jumps and was doing 3-3 combinations that a lot of Senior Ladies weren't doing especially in the US. She just needs to forgot about all the hype and just make the Olympic team and it will be a good year. The medals can wait till next year.

  2. #947
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    True, but at the age of 15, Michelle's third season results were the US title and a Gold at Worlds. She had won silver at the 2 previous national competitions. Gracie is already 18.
    The system was different back in the early 1990s. You could enter worlds when you're 13 or 14. Now you have to wait until 15 or even 16 (if you missed the cutoff by a day or two like Adelina did) to get some senior Worlds experience.

    Considering that last year's podium consisted of skaters who were 22 (Mao and Yuna) and 26 (Carolina) and those three skaters are also consider the "big three" contenders for the Olympics, I'm not sure why you feel that Gracie is washed up because she's 18.

    Not everyone can hit it out of the gate on their first try like Mao and Yuna did. Those two are exceptional cases. Heck it took Davis and White four world appearances before they got a medal and look where they are now.

    Also I will make this point: Yes at one time U.S. easily got world medals and three spots in the 1990s into the first half of the 2000s But the level of competition has gone up A LOT from that time period.

    After Yuko Sato won her World Championship in 1994, Japan did not show up on the podium for 10 years when Shizuka Araakawa won her world title. Japan is now a singles powerhouse, but that is much more of a recent occurrence.

    U.S. main competition from 1994 to 2006 was mainly from Russia with a few skaters from other countries mixing it up. Today the U.S. has to compete with Japan, Russia and a handful of outstanding skaters from a number of countries including Italy (Carolina), South Korea (Yu-Na), Finland (Laura Lepisto, and more recently Korpi), Canada (Kaetlyn).

    Also let's look at debut placements from U.S. women from 1993 to now:
    Tonia Kwiatkowski: 31st (1993)
    Lisa Ervin 13th (1993)
    Michelle Kwan: 8th (1994)
    Nicole Bobek: 25th (1994)
    Tara Lipinski: 15th (1996)
    Sarah Hughes: 7th (1999)
    Angelia Nikodinov: 12th (1999)
    Sasha Cohen: 4th (2002)
    Jennifer Kirk: 18th (2004)
    Kimmie Meissner: 1st (2006)
    Emily Hughes: 8th (2006)
    Alissa Czisny: 15th (2007)
    Bebe Liang: 10th (2008)
    Ashley Wagner: 16th (2008)
    Rachel Flatt: 5th (2009)
    Mirai Nagasu: 7th (2010)
    Gracie Gold: 6th (2013)

    So as far as debuts, Gracie Gold ranks 4th behind Kimmie, Sasha and Rachel.

  3. #948
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    The top American ladies just got a major boost from the news just out that Yuna will not compete in this year's Grand Prix season

  4. #949
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    Doesn't mean it'll get any easier though. There is still Ando who, despite her absence, remains a threat near the top and will take Kim's place on the GP, most likely.

  5. #950
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Doesn't mean it'll get any easier though. There is still Ando who, despite her absence, remains a threat near the top and will take Kim's place on the GP, most likely.
    Is Ando even eligible?

  6. #951
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    Is Ando even eligible?
    If she does well at Nebelhorn I think she will be.

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    Ando would have to WIN at Nebelhorn to get on the replacement list, and only on the bottom of the list, at that. Most of the ladies would have to withdraw for her to get an assignment. The only other way would be for one of the Japanese ladies withdrawing from a host spot, and even then the JSF might not give her the spot.

  8. #953
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Ando would have to WIN at Nebelhorn to get on the replacement list, and only on the bottom of the list, at that. Most of the ladies would have to withdraw for her to get an assignment. The only other way would be for one of the Japanese ladies withdrawing from a host spot, and even then the JSF might not give her the spot.
    I don't think it is as important for Ando to get a spot than it is someone like Hicks, who could find herself on the Olympic team and needs to build her reputation to get good marks. As a two-time world champion the judges know exactly what Miki is capable of.

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    While I wish that Korpi and Kim were still competing in the grand prix's, it would be of interest to see how their withdrawals affect the American ladies. IMHO, SC was one of the toughest, if not the toughest, competitive fields. With the departure of Kim and Korpi from SC, Gold will be in a position to compete for a gold, and will be a favorite to be on the podium. Gao, who previously had no chance at a podium, now at least has an outside chance, but probably will end up 5th instead of 7th. Korpi and Kim were also assigned to TEB, which was already one of the weakest fields. If Ando won't be a replacement, the only thing between Wagner and a gold medal at TEB, is Sotnikova. Gao also benefits at TEB (as well as SC), going from a long shot at a podium to having a good shot at a bronze. Wagner and Gao are clearly the biggest American beneficiries of the withdrawals. I think Wagner can already pack her bags for the GPF. Gold has some obstacles removed from SC, but still has a tough field against her at NHK, where even a bronze will be an accomplishment. Gold might end up with a 2nd and a 3rd and a shot at the GPF. Mirai has now what are the two toughest GP's, NHK and Rostelecom. I previously thought Mirai might finish higher overall than Gao, but Gao's prospects have improved significantly at both her GP's, while the opposition Mirai will face at NHK and Rostelecom remains formidable and undiminished. Cesario has the same easier fields as Wagner, but I still don't expect her to compete for a podium. The Zhang of 2012 4CC could compete for a bronze at SA, but we didn't see that Zhang in 2013, so she remains a long shot. Agnes has never been competitive in the GP's. She is assigned to the weaker field at CoC plus Rostelecom, but I don't expect her on a podium.

  10. #955
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    ^ if I learned one thing out of all this...it's not as simple as moving everyone up one spot when a top competitor pulls out...

  11. #956
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    Will be interesting to see the "re-match" between Gold and Hicks at Skate Canada

  12. #957
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    ^ if I learned one thing out of all this...it's not as simple as moving everyone up one spot when a top competitor pulls out...
    Are you saying this based on last year when everyone predicted Alena and Akiko winning GP events based on their World medals?

  13. #958
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    Looks like Hicks is getting the SC spot, and LaCoste the TEB opening!

  14. #959
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    Are you saying this based on last year when everyone predicted Alena and Akiko winning GP events based on their World medals?
    Go back farther than that. In 2006, did the lack of Arakawa and Slutskaya pull Cohen up to the top spot at Worlds?

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    I certainly didn't mean to to imply Gracie is doomed, as someone suggested. Gracie and Michelle both started serious training at the age of 8 (someone suggested Michelle was a lot younger than Gracie when she started). According to her bio, Frank will be Gracie's 5th coach. It would be interesting to know why so many changes occurred. Some possibly were not equipped to handle her talent. Of course, Michelle had nerves of steel. Hopefully Gracie will improve in that area so she can fully realize her talent.

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