I watched with a non skating fan and he kept saying But the other girl fell! So I pulled up the score details and he saw the points, values, and it was like a light turned on - "OH........!" I think it's detrimental to future fans to not talk about the points and what they are attempting and what they earned for each element. It doesn't make it distracting, it fills in knowledge gaps and creates interest.
I'm glad to hear this! I've always loved Mao, and it's so satisfying to see her hard work of the last few years making a difference. It says something about her character that, even though she was one of the top three skaters in the world, she was willing to remake her jumps to become better. That shows both determination and clear-eyed modesty.
Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl
Mao Asada became faster and faster over the year. Her SS is very good now compare to 2010.
She's doing 3Sal and 3fLutz regularly now, too.
There are a lot of noticeable improvements. I'm very pleased with her progress.
She's not a 15 yo with 15 yo body anymore, you can't expect her to rotate 3-3Lo easily.
She deserves her win here.
Ashley's 2foots and URs were never mentioned. Sandra, Scott, and Mark are not good commentators. They don't know anything.
Post-COP, we've had some of the best choreography and interpretation, easily equal to the best in 6.0.
D/W's DF is amazing. What dance programs under 6.0 are better? And in term of TES, none of the 6.0 programs are even close.
Caro's free programs in the past few years are better than most of Michelle's programs, save for 1 or 2. And better than all of the Olympics gold winners in recent memory.
You can be creative under any constraints.
Mao was ..... somewhat disappointing to me. I think she is capable of doing so much better. I just miss how she used to be when she was younger. Sometimes it looks as if something was sucked out of her. She's so focused on Triple Axel that.... all those other qualities are overlooked and forgotten. I don't know, I'd rather see her not do triple axel and do a better job on other elements. She's much slower and underrotates her jumps and her landings are often two footed. Why?? I am thinking that maybe the pressure of her doing triple axel really deteriorated her beautiful skating. This is just my personal opinion.... I wish Mao could go back to how she used to be. One of my favorite performances of hers was the 2007 world championship LP. She was so lively.... and so enjoyable to watch. sigh.
Originally Posted by szidon
I admire Mao's skating skills, but I do agree that she was very overscored this time. Several years ago, when a female skater received over 70, it was like omg that performance was mind blowing that's just amazing type of performance. Mao receiving 73.... I don't think she did better than her past performances where she received 69.
I am not criticizing Mao. I just want her to do better and grow. Who knows if she will continue skating after this season. I want to see the Best Mao possible.
BTW, I am selling Skate Canada tickets. If anyone is interested, please message me. My seats are close to center, and row 2. I purchased two tickets for $181 per ticket, ($360+ total), but I am selling them for $140 for both.
This is just not true. I have rewatched Mao's past performances and found that her non-jump elements are much better now, especially the spins. If you go by landing jumps consistently, yea I guess she was better back then. But in terms of overall quality of skating, she is much better now. And Czardas is one performance I would not list to show Mao at her best. If you really go back to watch that program, Mao's stroking and speed are quite inferior to what she is capable of nowadays.
Originally Posted by figurejennah
Devoid of soul? I don't think so, and neither did Dick Button ("heart on her sleeve!"). And I also disagree that it is devoid of choreography. All of the movements are well-designed to follow the music, there is good ice coverage, a well-timed and performed spiral and the superlative split falling leaf. Transitions and choreography are not the same thing.
Originally Posted by Tonichelle
and... World Peace!
I'm well aware of the last point. However I've never caught the "feeling and soul" that Kwan supposedly had in every program. People said it'd be different if I saw her live, if anything it was even more ho hum. I am in the minority and appreciate that, but I also follow my own likes.
Originally Posted by jenaj
She was good - like Tiger Woods is with golf, etc - but I'm not missing the era of Kwan, either.
To be honest, I am getting a bit tired of the refrain "COP killed the sport popularity." Would Mao have won over Ashley under 6.0 had they skated like they did at SA this past weekend? Maybe someone more familiar could help enlighten me, but I would think yes, even with the fall (it would maybe have been a 5-4 split, but a win nevertheless). I would think judges would find ways to reward her for the 3A attempt, not to mention the always-elusive artistry mark.
In any case, I think skating's demise in the USA is mostly due to the lack of a star who can consistently dominate on the world stage in the ladies discipline*. Not many casual fans would want to make the trek to Detroit to watch Ashley lose to Mao, or Yuna, or Carolina. Just look at Korea: when Yuna is skating, the events are full to the brims. When she's not, it is not the same. In Japan, there is an embarrassment of riches as far as talent is concerned, but what will happen after the current crop retires? will Japanese fans still fill arenas? For us on this and similar forums, we watch skating because we are passionate about it, and we will keep watching regardless of where the champions are from. For the causal fan, nationalism plays a big role in sports following at the international level, imo. How many people in the US stopped watching the Tour of France after the Armstrong retirement and following fiasco? A lot, I would think.
In the US, the introduction of IJS coincided with the retirement of Michelle, hence the start of the decline. After Sasha retired in 2006, it was the kiss of death.
Another factor that is playing a key role in this phenomena is the technological developments of the internet age. How many would choose to save on time, cost and effort and opt to watch an event from the comfort of their home instead of traveling to the arena?
* I realize that ladies is not the only discipline, but it seems to be the only one of interest in the US. Case in point: the successes of Davis and White and Evan Lysacek
Rejoicing in the land of Kwan
I'm posting my complete thoughts to my blog later today but I do want to respond here.
Mao: I think she was fantastic. Her SP was wonderful and even though she took a spill on the 3A in the FS, she was clean the rest of the way. She eased up technically and went for cleanliness over difficulty...very smart IMO. Other than the 3A, she rotated all of the triples she attempted and only got < calls on the loops in her 3-jump combo. I thought she skated with speed and ease, the program is a nice fit for her and I felt she was the clear winner overall. I do agree she was overscored; I expected a 127 or 128...not 131+ but in the end the outcome would have been the same.
Ashley: Another strong debut. I loved the feel of her SP and I thought the 3F-3T looked great. The footwork was really great in that program too. As for the FS, I'm not feeling it yet. It doesn't have the same impact as her Black Swan or S&D programs had...something is missing there. It just needs more. I agree with whoever said she skates the majority of the program on two feet. For me, that made a lot of the difference b/w her and Mao. She also needs to work on her spin levels in both programs. That 3-3 looked < to me and she had a few shaky landings but overall, that was a stellar debut and she is still clearly and securely the #1 US lady.
Elena: Definitely the girl among the ladies but I love to watch her perform. I think her SP is very good and even though I'm not a fan of her FS, I enjoyed watching her. She's not in the mix for Sochi but I think Russia's future is looking really bright with her and Julia leading the way post Sochi.
I agree that Scott and Sandra were partial to Ashley, but honestly it is really hard to commentate these events live. As Scott mentioned, he hasn't a clue where these skaters will end up, even after they perform. It's almost funny to watch the commentators guess wrong at the placements and then not express any surprise that they were so wrong. Two programs can look identical but one with four URs can be 20 points lower. In addition, falls aren't as bad as they used to be; Ashley's lutz probably looked fine to the casual viewer yet it scored lower than Mao's fall on the 3A (not counting the fall penalty).
Originally Posted by FlattFan
^ Still, this is not the first time Scott Hamilton has seen a figure skating contest. It was quite clear that Mao's performance in the long program was at least somewhat superior to Ashleys, plus Mao had a big lead from the short.
Scott's idea of helping the audience understand the scoring is to say, boy this new system sure is complicatted, every little thing you do is worth a tenth of a point, you pretty much have to be Einstein with a big computer to tell who skated well or poorly. He cannot in real life be as befuddled as he pretends to be on the air. This just makes viewers think that figure skating judging is some sort of arcane alchemy, which is a very misleading idea that is harmful to the sport.
Originally Posted by Mathman
I was thinking Ashley's FS score would be around 118 because I was expecting her PCS to be in the 62 63 range. Bam, 66, ok.
I was expecting Mao's FS score to be around 126-7, a few points lower in the TES, and 67 in PCS, bam, 131.
Scott should see UR better than me. Should see the spin level, step level better than me, and yet, he can't even. Sandra is even more hopeless. Mark is just about as knowledgeable as my grandparents. Really scary to employ these clueless people.
Indeed. By "soul" I mean "sports soul." Every movement should gracefully contribute to the integrity of the whole. Michael Jordan had "basketball soul."
Originally Posted by jenaj
Choreography? What does changing positions three times on a spin have to do with trying to pretending that you are Juliette?
Michelle could do it at 15, "it" being discipline each move to the service of the whole concept.
and... World Peace!
I truly believe NBC wants it that way.
Originally Posted by Mathman