Alissa didn't make the Olympic team in 2010 with more than two triple jumps, so she isn't going to make it in 2014 with just two. Anyway, she has to make it to Nationals first, and it's not even sure she can do that.
If you do the math, Alissa actually could have been 2nd place at 2010 Nationals if she skated cleanly with Lutz and Toe as her only Triples. With three Double Axels allowed in the LP back then (and their value being weighed so high), a program of 3Lutz+2Toe, 3Lutz, 3Toe+2Toe+2Loop, 3Toe, 2Axel+2Toe, 2Axel, 2Axel would have brought in enough points.
That same principle still holds true. Alissa only needs 3Lutz+2Toe, 3Toe, and 2Axel in the SP if she skates great. Her spins bring in more points than anyone else and her PCS will be high. In the LP, she could probably do one 3Lutz, a couple 3Toe's, a couple 2Axel's, and a couple 2Lutz's (plus maximize all the double jumps in combination) and make 3rd place. I am completely serious. Mirai will probably get too many < calls that negate her content, Christina Gao and Agnes Zawadski will probably make too many mistakes, and Courtney Hicks/Polina Edmunds/Samantha Cesario will all probably have a couple technical glitches, whether that be < calls or more obvious mistakes, and not get very competitive PCS.
You need to look no further than Laura Lepisto getting a bronze medal at 2010 Worlds with one 3Lutz and two 3Toe's as the only Triples in her Long Program!! And look at Carolina Kostner in the first part of the 2010-2011 season - she dropped her jump content down to the lowest it had ever been (no Lutz or Flip at all) and yet she won NHK and was 2nd at the GPF. Alissa's team NEEDS to understand this strategy and make it work. Design a LP jump layout like I talked about and really focus on the PCS aspects of her programs. Alissa DOES have a good shot at making this Olympic team if she is given the correct vehicles and really attacks the performances.
Given her precarious physical condition, Alissa may be incapable of "really attacking a performance". She is not Laura Lepisto or Carolina Kostner. She is a 26-year-old skater who has had two surgeries in the past year for a very serious hip condition and her recovery hasn't progressed as well as she and her coach had hoped.
If she had any shot at all of making the Olympic team, that shot is getting smaller every day.
I find irony in a thread about whether Gracie is overhyped that there hasn't been any mention of Gracie in a few posts now...
Actually, I think she went from having far too high expectations placed on her (Ashley - watch out! - people even assuming that Ashley'd lost the Nr 1 US ladies' spot to Gracie already) to - DOOOOOOMED!!!! (Well, a lot of the ladies were Doomed - so at last I started to think it was a question of who was the Least Doomed, rather than who was the best... ) Now, hopefully, she'll have some peace & quiet to sort herself out.
One mini-observation re Gracie Gold:
Disson's "Tribute to American Legends of the Ice" will air on NBC on Feb 1, which is the Saturday before the Olympics start. (The show is being taped in December.)
Along with its large cast of skating legends, the show will feature also a number of Sochi hopefuls, such as Wagner and Zawadzki. (In effect, the hopefuls are paying tribute to the legends, I suppose.)
Gold was not included when the cast originally was announced in mid-September -- and her name still does not appear on the event page on Disson's own website.
But ... it seems that Gold has joined the cast more recently. She is listed in the Oct 4 press release that was posted on IN and elsewhere.
And she is included on the event page of the website of the venue (the Izod Center in NJ).ETA, http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2013/...-for-epic-show (posted on IN on Oct 9)
The point is that "someone" must have decided that the presence of Gold was desirable and/or "necessary" -- as an addition to the originally-announced participation of Wagner and Zawadzki (who remain in the more recent press release too).
The question is who the "someone" is.
I agree that maybe out of the spotlight, Gracie will have a chance to get her bearings. And I hope she does. She has such vitality, and I'd love to see that harnessed and infused with artistic finesse. What a skater that would make.
Blades, if there were ever a time when I hoped you were absolutely right, this is the moment. Wouldn't I love to see Alissa find a way to stand on the podium at Nationals and finally make it to an Olympics--and do as well as she has it in her to do at Sochi. The things she's good at make her such an asset to skating, but her weaknesses have grown more pronounced in the past few years. Well, I'll hope that you've hit the target on this one, so that in Feb. or March you can tell everyone "I told you so."
Lepisto didn't have great programs and she was not capable of creating the kind of spell that Czisny can with her skating. Her coaches need to rework the programs and make them as beautiful as possible. Really think hard about how to present Czisny as the most mature and elegant American lady. It really shouldn't be difficult because that's already what she is. Just stay away from the the obvious CoP trappings. Give her a step sequence that is truly musical and creates an appealing shape on the ice - look at the second part of Yu-Na's step sequence in the LP at Worlds for an example of something that seemed like she was doing beautiful "resting" choreography, but were actually just slow steps/turns that were part of the leveled step sequence. Give Alissa spins that are choreographic showstoppers and not just the easiest positions for hitting the levels. These are her money moves so don't skimp! She should have the energy to throw into them anyway, considering it comes naturally to her and she has less jump content to tire herself on. Make her "choreography sequence" consist mainly of spirals, with a big split jump in there too if she is still capable (used to do those so well). Highlight her PLANNED double jumps as significant choreographic features.
CoP, for all of its faults, does put comparatively less emphasis on the jumps. Alissa has qualities most of the other ladies don't. She can get on that Olympic team with a low amount of Triples if the other ladies don't skate nearly perfect.
Dunno who among the cast is skating/performing and who merely is appearing. IMHO, all the hopefuls should be asked to skate (unless they are injured at the time of the taping, heaven forfend).
Hope that you have a good time at the show, R.D. And that you will tell us all about it.
I have seen Alissa skate live on many occasions and I was not overwhelmed by the quality of her overall skating. Her spins were lovely, yes, and sometimes her footwork was above average, when it wasn't done at a snail's pace. But she was so darned slow that much of her skating was underwhelming, and her jumps were well below par. Given that there are 7 jump elements in a free skate and only 3 spins, the odds are stacked against her now that she is struggling with her recovery. I think that you are expecting far too much from her, Blades of Passion. It may be way too much more than she can give with her failing body.