If Ashley can keep doing the new 3-3s she is doing, stop underrotating jumps, and improve her spins, she is a big factor in Sochi IMO. Not a threat to a healthy Kim, but a threat to anyone else.
There is an unbelievable amount of criticism against Julia on here, and not all constructive at that. She's 15 and developing. What do you guys expect?
Skaters do not just come straight out of juniors skating like Kwan. Even Michelle had to go back to the drawing boards and grow more as an artist after her senior debut.
All I can say is that after watching her Free Programme at SC, Julia is on the right track. People seem to expect an Oscar-award winning re-interpretation of Schindler's List on ice, but even then- Julia would have been playing a three year old girl. She skated well to the music, and the stoicism of her performance lent itself to the overall program. I'd much rather that than some superficial, cheesy 'acting' just to improve on artistry (which I personally think you are either born with or you're not.)
Julia is skating at her age level, but definitely at a higher range. You cannot judge a fifteen year old girl in a blink of an eye. Her career has barely just begun. Claws away people. And while Gracie Gold's situation isn't any different- it must be said that Julia has more artistic range at 15 than Gold, who is three years older and really- an adult in comparison.
Could she challenge Asada, Kostner and Kim? Yes- technically, but artistically- you never know. Someone has pointed out already that skating on home ice, to a piece that resonates with the contemporary social issues in Russia can help Julia take the crowd with her. THAT is a big advantage. However, the ice is slippery. Things can happen. Asada could fall, Kostner could bomb, Kim could miss two Lutzes (it has happened before). If one, or all of the above happens- cushioned by her TES, a clean Lipnitskaia can knock on the door for bronze.
I wish genuine figure skating fans could minimise unnecessary snarkiness and just wish these young girls an injury-free career. I'd hate to stand on a pedestal, but some of the things that are said on forums can be taken as cyber bullying. Who died and made you all Phil Hersh?
I agree with all said above. ^
I also want to say that I LOVED her program. It moved me in a way that I haven't been moved by figure skating in while. I've been a skating fan since 1997. I thought Julia's interpretation was great - her haunting first look, her spot on costume, her spins - my goodness, and she is 15? Can't wait to see how she develops.
Seems to me that people should be impressed by a talent at that age, or at the very least respect it, rather than picking her apart.
Have you seen the Gold thread? The criticism was a lot worse there than here.
It was worth pointing out that they found her to be expressive and all that nonsense like she's Meryl Streep or somebody. The music and her general demeanor carried her. She doesn't have to do much. Kinda like Kristen Stewart. Same face different role. Just happen to have the correct role to fit the face.
Gold is a worse performer. But she has SS and jumps that are redeeming.
The stars of the past are leaving the scene in about four months, so some skating fans need new favorites. So Julia give a very good performance and she has gained many new fans. But, I just think people saying she can challenge for a medal are been a bit premature.
Julia has no special musicality. I liked that Tara skated to music she "got" at 14. Skaters are immature by and large -closeted teens in cold rink day after day. Julias arms are the same annoying style of other Russian ladies. I read an interview where she was asked, does this have special meaning, and she said "no not really." This music/movie is sacrosanct to jew/survivors-some still alive. She has flow issues, small jumps, as she is tiny, so what makes her special is what seems to be a killer attitude, flexibility, and currently, rotated triples/combos. She is not nervous. Gracie is, and if she skated like in practice itwould be between her and YuNa as they are jumpers with enough artistry to get the levels.
Tuk might interpret this better, if we are flouting Russian babies. As for Kwan in Salome, it was technically perfect and she was a sponge- great actress. But I always felt Lu Chen deserved that gold. A woman who really understood her music. Salome was not something Michelle understood.How could she? She was at 16 a very apt imitator of Frank and Lori.
I would have preferred Julia wait a few years to tackle this music-surely something age appropriate/uplifting would be better choice. Watching Witt skte to this, one notices her spirit, the jumps don't matter. Julia is a top talented skater right now under IJS. She rotates and has insane flexibility. Only Sasha comes close in her I spin-as she invented it. Julia may run off with a medal in Sochi, but to think it will be gold if YuNa is in good form is preposterous.
I recall the hoopla when tiny Tara won and age range was changed. I for one want to see a woman win. I'd love to see Caro, Akiko, Mao, or Ashley on podium. Or Kiira Or even newcomer Osmond as she has such a great performance level.
She will get home turf advantage, but no way will judges give her a higher place than YuNa. If she beats a flawed Caro, Akiko, Mao, Ashley, Osmond, then it really is about rotating 3/3 combos now and nothing more. I think that is killing the sport. Ladies is synonymous with stunning laybacks, long beautiful spirals, fast attractive spins. It is strange that the judges might go for Caro, unless YuNa is there. If Julia or radio are there, well jumps win the day. Chan falls but his SS win the day. Sometimes I get so confused as to what is most impt in this system. It sometimes comes down to difficult transitions in an out of jumps. People watching are unaware that jumps must now "appear" to come out of nowhere. Studying protocol sheets or reading here the breakdown by the technical folks is necessary in many competitions if not al to really understand. So if Julia wins it says clean triples/combos are what is valued? But if a flawed chan wins, it is speed out of nowhere-superior skating skills? No wonder people stop watching-singles esp.
I wish the Russian girls well. Tuk, Julia, Adelina. Yelena, are all impressive and there are more. But only Liza displays a maturity in her skating. She is genuine. Julia simply did a difficult program with music in the background. Of course she can skate to it s a non-jew, as a Russian. They see their consistent child able to rotate as she is small and thin...this is a stab at her appearing more grown up- a lady. She is a child and I want to see a woman win.
I hope the podium consists of great skates from Ashley, Akiko, Mao, Caro, YuNa, Kiira. These skaters have achieved balance and completeness and great beauty wen they are clean and performing, they are all mature artits. This is what I like ladies to be- polished artists like Samantha Cesario. . Julia may make bronze if she skates like this and others falter, but her PCS should not be that close to the skaters mentioned above. I am not thrilled about Radionova's scores either. She is so juniorish. I wish they would make the age for Worlds and Olympics and GP events 16 years old, for obvious reasons. The sport needs to show beautiful mature women. Again, short, skinny kids have their day-usually two years and then they are done if Caucasian. I wonder if ISU judges are getting tired of Asian domination in singles as the " little people" lower to the ice have an advantage. Caucasan women have different bodies. And after 17, they are women.
I think of French star Mae Berenice. Grateful for diversity but I know her body has grown past what is possible for a Mao or Akiko or Sasha or Radionove/Julia. Julia will likely have another spurt-outwards, and she could still grow upwards. Russia desperately wants a medal. This is their best hope- either sexualizing a child with costume like Tuk at 14,(remember the so sexy green dress in her sp I think) two seasons ago. or giving music that screams "I am an adult artist." Except the fact is, she is not. Witt's performance still makes me cry. Her angst is palpable and genuine. It is music for a sensitive adult- almost reverent.
That said, I enjoyed Julia skating more on TV where I could see it better. In person, she may have something that does not translate. But she had no facial expressions whatsoever. How is it possible to hear that music and not feel deepest emotions? She is a very good skater but a child, and I hope we do not go back to that in FS world/Oly Champs.