11-18-2013, 06:11 PM
The 3rd spot is still wide open. Nobody really distinguished themselves. I am most disappointed in Gao. I thought this was the year she was going to finally do it, but she looks awful so far. Zawadzki is more a mess than ever. Hicks gets low PCS so unless she skates perfectly wont score well. Nagasu is << on her jumps like crazy. Cesario or Wang could do it, especialy Cesario.
Czisny still has a fighting shot if she can pull something out of the hat at Nationals, if only by virtue of nobody after the 2 locks for the team are doing well now. I cant see anyway Flatt comes close as she isn't a favorite of the USFSA, but Czisny always was and probably still is, so if everyone bombs at Nationals and she pulls off a surprise performance (as she has often done) you never know.
11-18-2013, 06:14 PM
There is nothing to suggest Czisny can pull off 3rd, other than her success in the past and higher PCS than some of those fighting for bronze. But unfortunately for her, figure skating is a sport. Cesario/Zawadski/Gao/Wang/Nagasu are all skaters who even with their inconsistencies are still jumping far better than Alissa at this point. One hopes for a comeback, but it's not looking pretty.
11-18-2013, 06:15 PM
Originally Posted by noskates
Obviously skaters who are competitive want to achieve the best results they're capable of. Many do quit as soon as they realize that their results are never going to be any better than their best so far (which may be well in the past by the time they reach that realization) or will never be on a major podium.
But others enjoy the process of training, setting ambitious but attainable goals, and doing their best to achieve those goals even if said goals do not include major medals.
Often there may be both aspirational goals -- if everything goes just right, I could achieve this, so I'm going to aim for it -- as well as probable goals -- if I do my best, I am likely to achieve this.
Skaters learn early on that they can't control how well the other competitors skate or who that panel of judges will reward. So it's good to have goals that don't relate to final competition results as well as those that do. And to aim for the best possible result but go in willing to accept lesser rewards.
Which goals they choose to share with the press and public (for those at a high enough level to be of interest) may depend on how they want to be perceived. Sometimes they'll overemphasize ambition and other times underemphasize it.
Skaters at the elite levels are more likely to have competitive personalities than those at lower levels -- although I don't know that Czisny is one of the most driven.
Skaters who have been on top have more to lose by competing and failing to reach the top.
But they also have more to gain from competing even if they know the top is unlikely.
If they want to compete internationally in future seasons, going through the national qualifying process is a necessary step to get those assignments and potentially to get funding for next year's training. For those with near-top-level ability, even if the Olympic team seems like a long shot, getting close enough to the top for a trip to Worlds or Four Continents this year could be another incentive.
Skaters who want to make the Olympic team, or the world team for the first time, may know they have little chance to win an Olympic or world medal, at least not this year, but just qualifying to compete at that level is a significant achievement in itself.
Skaters who have never been to Nationals -- or one step down, never been to sectionals -- but who have the opportunity to get there this year, even if they don't expect to win, can look at just qualifying for that next step as a significant accomplishment on its own terms. And it can also help to have that competitive experience on their resume if they want to go on to become a coach or judge or technical specialist.
Some skaters love to perform for audiences, and competing at Nationals gives them a large crowd and a chance to be shown on TV to much larger numbers.
If they're looking for a post-competitive career as a performer, keeping their name in public consciousness is better PR than just fading away.
Skaters who had a bad experience at their last competition may want to finish their careers with a good competition so they can retire with good memories.
Those are all reasonable goals and are not mutually exclusive.
Skaters who know in their hearts they're not going to win Nationals this year likely have other goals in mind. If they're working toward those goals, they're not just taking up space.
And yes, there are some skaters who truly believe they have the ability to accomplish results that everyone else around them can see is obviously out of reach. And there are some skaters who don't really want to compete any more but have spent so much of their lives focused on training for competition that they don't know what else to do with themselves.
Unless you know the person personally, you don't really know whether their goals are reasonable or not.
11-18-2013, 08:14 PM