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Thread: Should it have been a choice between Nagasu & Edmunds for final spot on U.S Olympic team?

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    Should it have been a choice between Nagasu & Edmunds for final spot on U.S Olympic team?

    In terms of the debate over the American Ladies Olympic team, I am somewhat astonished that it came down to a choice between Ashley Wagner and Mirai Nagasu. Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner have clearly demonstrated over the last few season that they can consistently perform at the highest level in seniors and are the best skaters in America right now, and it was those two who earned the 3 spots at the Olympics in the first place. They should have been made automatic locks for the first 2 spots regardless of the outcome at U.S. Nationals.

    The choice for the final spot should therefore have come down to a choice between Mirai Nagasu and Polina Edmunds, and I would have chosen Mirai. Whilst Polina Edmunds performed very well at Nationals, she only beat Mirai by a very small margin, and she has virtually no real track record at senior level. Her record at the junior grand prix shows that there are consistency issues (she finished 4th in the JGPF after problems with her SP). Hence, her performance at Nationals could have been a one off that she will find difficult to replicate at the Olympics. Mirai, on the other hand, has experience at the Olympics and would therefore have been far more likely to cope with it. I just think its completely crazy to select somebody with so little senior experience on the basis of just one good performance (i.e. the whole U.S. selection system is defective). Hence, I think the U.S Fed should move away from selecting principally by way of performances at Nationals. They should instead be selecting those who they think will make up the best team, given a whole range of factors - experience at the highest level, consistency over the last year, whether there are any injury issues, overall quality of skating, scores achieved over the last year, etc. On that basis, the team selected should have been Gracie, Ashley, and Mirai. As stated, it is quite obvious that Gracie and Ashley are the best skaters in America right now. There should have been no question mark over their selection. It should also be readily apparent that you do not go around selecting on the basis of one off performances which could ultimately prove to be unrepresentative of a skaters overall form and ability - an outlier as statisticians refer to it.

    U.S. Nationals were Edmunds first major senior competition. How can anybody predict with any certainty how she will continue to perform in seniors? There is no track record whatsoever to base any proper assessment on, apart from in junior competitions (as stated, she finished 4th in the JGPF after problems with her SP). Mirai, on the other hand, has the requisite experience, and has been moving rapidly back to her best this season. Accordingly, she should have selected in place of Polina Edmunds, and the decisive factor for me was that Edmunds only beat Mirai by a very small margin at Nationals (193.63 - 190.74).

    Mirai has been extremely harshly treated and if Edmunds performs poorly at the Olympics, then the U.S. Fed are going to have a massive case to answer for. For a start, given that Edmunds has no real senior track record, she is going to be at a PCS disadvantage at the Olympics (as is the case for any junior transitioning to seniors at a world level for the first time). Accordingly, she is going to be heavily dependent on her TES scores, and that means that the pressure will be really on her not to make any technical mistakes. A tough ask in the Olympics so early in her career. In my opinion, what the U.S Fed have done here is as bad as what Russia did last year with Kovtun's selection for Worlds. That ended up being a disaster, and I think the decision to select Edmunds will be as well.

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    Well, stated, Mao88.

    When all of this went down last weekend, I was 99% certain that Ashley would be going to the Olympics, but thought that Mirai would be chosen instead of Polina.

    I know this has been debated to death, but in my gut I know that Mirai should've been chosen because she had the Olympic experience, and she worked her way up this season, despite having tanked at NHK, and not making the GPF. Yes, we know her record the past four years has not been great, but she still worked hard to get on the podium, and was the only one to not fall in the top 4. It really would've been a great story for NBC, to show Mirai returning to the Olympics for another shot at the podium, how unrealistic that maybe, given the strong international talent.

    If I have to look at the USFSA's decision, I think what it comes down to is the jumps. Polina has difficult 3-3 jumps in her arsenal and frequently lands them. Mirai doesn't. USFSA wants someone to compete with the "baby Russians" and Polina can do that.

    Unfortunately, in ladies' figure skating, it seems to be all about the jumps and the TES scores.

    I think it was a slap in the face that Mirai wasn't chosen to the Worlds team. Maybe one of the top three will bow out after the Olympics and she winds up going and kicking butt. Also hope she does well at 4CC in a couple of weeks.

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    I have mixed feelings about this. We shouldn't forget that Mirai has had big problems with consistency this season, and well, during the past 4 years really! She could have easily bombed in Sochi too. IMO neither Mirai or Polina would have a chance to reach top 5 in Sochi...

    EDIT: apgold, 4CC starts already tomorrow

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    I think USFSA would have been crucified had it selected the 4th place finisher over the silver medalist. They have taken a ton of heat over picking Ashley over the bronze medalist.

    It's true that we don't know how Polina will hold up. We don't know how ANYONE will hold up. But we do know Nationals is a pressure-packed competition, and she performed quite well. To my eye, she didn't look like one of the overly sensitive types who are terrified when they step on the ice.

    I believed it was mentioned on another thread that it is unfair to "dis" Polina for lacking international senior experience, because she was denied a chance at Jr. World's last year, despite being the junior national champion.

    Frankly, skating young doesn't seem to have hurt the Russian girls in the standings, so long as they can crank those 3-3... which Polina can definitely do.

    Every time Ashley has skated in the past two years, we've wondered about her 3-3. If you had to choose, which one... Ashley, Mirai, or Polina.. do you think would is most likely to accomplish a difficult 3-3 in both the short and the long?

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    EDIT: apgold, 4CC starts already tomorrow.

    Thanks, Sara. NBC is showing it at the beginning of Feb on TV, so that's why I'm confused - thanks for clearing that up! http://heatherw.com/mk/sch.htm

    Ashley, Mirai, or Polina.. do you think would is most likely to accomplish a difficult 3-3 in both the short and the long?
    Clearly the answer is Polina, based on what I know about their skating skills. It's come down to the triple lutz, triple toe mattering most when it comes to getting on the podium at Sochi.

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    When the SP was over and Ashley was sitting in 4th place I was pretty sure that if she did not make the podium she would be selected and imo
    rightly so. I felt sorry for the 3rd place finisher because Bronze would not make the team (at that point we did not know who it would be) and I was
    sure that the US would go with 1-2 finishers and Ashley for the team and I thought that would be a good decision. What I did not envision was
    Polina Edmund's holding onto that 2nd spot. Polina was chosen over Mirai and this board has given a multitude of reason why she should have been.
    My take on the US federation is that they did not want to bump a second place finisher for the third place finisher, to much controversy. They had already
    deviated from the usual 1,2,3. Although I do think there could have been a scenario where Polina would get bumped but not for Mirai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    In terms of the debate over the American Ladies Olympic team, I am somewhat astonished that it came down to a choice between Ashley Wagner and Mirai Nagasu. Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner have clearly demonstrated over the last few season that they can consistently perform at the highest level in seniors and are the best skaters in America right now, and it was those two who earned the 3 spots at the Olympics in the first place. They should have been made automatic locks for the first 2 spots regardless of the outcome at U.S. Nationals. The choice for the final spot should therefore have come down to a choice between Mirai Nagasu and Polina Edmunds, and I would have chosen Mirai. Whilst Polina Edmunds performed very well at Nationals, she only beat Mirai by a very small margin, and she has virtually no real track record at senior level. Her record at the junior grand prix shows that there are consistency issues (she finished 4th in the JGPF after problems with her SP). Hence, her performance at Nationals could have been a one off that she will find difficult to replicate at the Olympics. Mirai, on the other hand, has experience at the Olympics and would therefore have been far more likely to cope with it. I just think its completely crazy to select somebody with so little senior experience on the basis of just one good performance (i.e. the whole U.S. selection system is defective). Hence, I think the U.S Fed should move away from selecting principally by way of performances at Nationals. They should instead be selecting those who they think will make up the best team, given a whole range of factors - experience at the highest level, consistency over the last year, whether there are any injury issues, overall quality of skating, scores achieved over the last year, etc. On that basis, the team selected should have been Gracie, Ashley, and Mirai. As stated, it is quite obvious that Gracie and Ashley are the best skaters in America right now. There should have been no question mark over their selection. It should also be readily apparent that you do not go around selecting on the basis of one off performances which could ultimately prove to be unrepresentative of a skaters overall form and ability - an outlier as statisticians refer to it. U.S. Nationals were Edmunds first major senior competition. How can anybody predict with any certainty how she will continue to perform in seniors? There is no track record whatsoever to base any proper assessment on, apart from in junior competitions (as stated, she finished 4th in the JGPF after problems with her SP). Mirai, on the other hand, has the requisite experience, and has been moving rapidly back to her best this season. Accordingly, she should have selected in place of Polina Edmunds, and the decisive factor for me was that Edmunds only beat Mirai by a very small margin at Nationals (193.63 - 190.74). Mirai has been extremely harshly treated and if Edmunds performs poorly at the Olympics, then the U.S. Fed are going to have a massive case to answer for. For a start, given that Edmunds has no real senior track record, she is going to be at a PCS disadvantage at the Olympics (as is the case for any junior transitioning to seniors at a world level for the first time). Accordingly, she is going to be heavily dependent on her TES scores, and that means that the pressure will be really on her not to make any technical mistakes. A tough ask in the Olympics so early in her career. In my opinion, what the U.S Fed have done here is as bad as what Russia did last year with Kovtun's selection for Worlds. That ended up being a disaster, and I think the decision to select Edmunds will be as well.
    This was perfectly stated Mao88. Although in the case of Polina I don't think that Nationals was a pressure event for her. It was let's go see what we can do. Polina does have great technical content, however she lacks the polish of a senior lady. I do think she is talented though and will be someone to watch in the future.

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    While Marai skated well in Boston she still was a shadow of her former self. Even though of the top 3 girls she was the only one totally clean she still finished behind Gracie and Polina. Yes the crowd was behind her but she wasn't spectacular. It was more a personal triumph not a you should go to the Olympics triumph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    The choice for the final spot should therefore have come down to a choice between Mirai Nagasu and Polina Edmunds, and I would have chosen Mirai. ....
    How do we know that Nagasu vs. Edmunds was not a choice discussed by the USFS committee? Was something said in the press conference (to which I have not listened) that definitively indicated that the one and only decision was between Wagner vs. Nagasu?
    Obviously, Edmunds was chosen for the Olympics in the end. But maybe the committee's decision did come down to Nagasu vs. Edmunds.

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    You can't let emotions get in the way of decisions like this (a mistake I made at first).

    Frankly, neither Nagasu OR Edmunds have a chance to podium ANYWAY. Nagasu, while having her previous Olympic experience doesn't really have anything else (still love her though), while Edmunds has a bright future ahead of her. I personally feel like she'll be giving Gold a run for her money in the next quad.

    So do we send a sentimental favorite, or give the newbie (and very well one of the bright stars of the future) some experience?

    The logical answer is Edmunds. Nagasu was able to pull it together at Nationals, and I was so extremely proud, and happy for her. But the federation has made the selfish (smart) decision to invest in its future. I mean skating is obscure as it is. Why not push the talented young'un who might bring medals in the future?

    But I do agree that the decision should have between Nagasu and Edmunds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    In terms of the debate over the American Ladies Olympic team, I am somewhat astonished that it came down to a choice between Ashley Wagner and Mirai Nagasu. Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner have clearly demonstrated over the last few season that they can consistently perform at the highest level in seniors and are the best skaters in America right now, and it was those two who earned the 3 spots at the Olympics in the first place. They should have been made automatic locks for the first 2 spots regardless of the outcome at U.S. Nationals.

    The choice for the final spot should therefore have come down to a choice between Mirai Nagasu and Polina Edmunds, and I would have chosen Mirai. Whilst Polina Edmunds performed very well at Nationals, she only beat Mirai by a very small margin, and she has virtually no real track record at senior level. Her record at the junior grand prix shows that there are consistency issues (she finished 4th in the JGPF after problems with her SP). Hence, her performance at Nationals could have been a one off that she will find difficult to replicate at the Olympics. Mirai, on the other hand, has experience at the Olympics and would therefore have been far more likely to cope with it. I just think its completely crazy to select somebody with so little senior experience on the basis of just one good performance (i.e. the whole U.S. selection system is defective). Hence, I think the U.S Fed should move away from selecting principally by way of performances at Nationals. They should instead be selecting those who they think will make up the best team, given a whole range of factors - experience at the highest level, consistency over the last year, whether there are any injury issues, overall quality of skating, scores achieved over the last year, etc. On that basis, the team selected should have been Gracie, Ashley, and Mirai. As stated, it is quite obvious that Gracie and Ashley are the best skaters in America right now. There should have been no question mark over their selection. It should also be readily apparent that you do not go around selecting on the basis of one off performances which could ultimately prove to be unrepresentative of a skaters overall form and ability - an outlier as statisticians refer to it.

    U.S. Nationals were Edmunds first major senior competition. How can anybody predict with any certainty how she will continue to perform in seniors? There is no track record whatsoever to base any proper assessment on, apart from in junior competitions (as stated, she finished 4th in the JGPF after problems with her SP). Mirai, on the other hand, has the requisite experience, and has been moving rapidly back to her best this season. Accordingly, she should have selected in place of Polina Edmunds, and the decisive factor for me was that Edmunds only beat Mirai by a very small margin at Nationals (193.63 - 190.74).

    Mirai has been extremely harshly treated and if Edmunds performs poorly at the Olympics, then the U.S. Fed are going to have a massive case to answer for. For a start, given that Edmunds has no real senior track record, she is going to be at a PCS disadvantage at the Olympics (as is the case for any junior transitioning to seniors at a world level for the first time). Accordingly, she is going to be heavily dependent on her TES scores, and that means that the pressure will be really on her not to make any technical mistakes. A tough ask in the Olympics so early in her career. In my opinion, what the U.S Fed have done here is as bad as what Russia did last year with Kovtun's selection for Worlds. That ended up being a disaster, and I think the decision to select Edmunds will be as well.
    So where do you think Mirai's performance would place her at Sochi? Never mind, that was a rhetorical question. I think David Lease had it right. That performance was a great PERSONAL comeback performance for her but nothing more than that. Ask your self this, what would look more foolish at the end of the Olympics, Polina with a bad performance or Mirai with a bad performance? You can't seriously think that performance of Mirai's could seriously challenge any of the contenders, do you? Remember, she came in third; the girl who was supposed to use those last Olympics as a springboard to bigger and better things and not merely the one highlight of her career. I will repeat it again, she came in third at a NATIONAL championship, behind essentially a junior. If Polina comes in tenth we will think, good move by the USFS. If Mirai comes in tenth we will think, what a waste of a spot and it's not like consistency is her strong suit. That is the reality of the decisions. And it goes without saying that it was always between Mirai and Polina but that is because Mirai not only lost to Polina but because she needed to show everyone that she was in a different class than Polina. If she had done that this debate wouldn't be happening.

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    I think the judges did Polina a favor by placing her above Mirai. Her jumps are good and her spins are decent but she really lacks maturity and polish. That's typical of a 15 year-old. I thought she was overscored for what she did in the SP and LP at Nationals. Personally, I would've placed Mirai 2nd and Polina 3rd and then bumped Polina for the Olympics and bumped Mirai for Worlds. As it is, I think they could've given Polina the Olympics and given Mirai Worlds (Neither of them has a chance of medaling in either competition and sending Gracie and Ashley makes it likely the US will retain 3 spots for 2015 Worlds). I agree with the posters who have said the USFSA probably wouldn't have fared well if they had decided to bump the silver medalist from the Olympic team. I do think that it might've been a bit easier to bump Polina than Mirai because she's less well known to the general public (I think people remember Mirai from Vancouver) and because she has ZERO international-level experience as a senior.

    I see why the USFSA wanted to give her a major assignment to prepare her for the future, but if they made Jason Brown the alternate for Worlds after sending him to Sochi, I don't see why they couldn't have done the same to Polina. The Olympics or Worlds, not both, would be plenty of experience for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amc987 View Post
    I think the judges did Polina a favor by placing her above Mirai. Her jumps are good and her spins are decent but she really lacks maturity and polish. That's typical of a 15 year-old. I thought she was overscored for what she did in the SP and LP at Nationals.
    I think this is the one legitimate gripe in this whole mess. Polina benefitted so much by skating late in the SP, as Agnes did last year. However, her PCS in her programs should not have been higher than Mirai's particularly in the SP. I can guarantee that Polina will not score anywhere near 30/60 in PCS at the Olympics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I think this is the one legitimate gripe in this whole mess. Polina benefitted so much by skating late in the SP, as Agnes did last year. However, her PCS in her programs should not have been higher than Mirai's particularly in the SP. I can guarantee that Polina will not score anywhere near 30/60 in PCS at the Olympics.
    ITA...and, to be perfectly honest, Polina could skate two very good programs and still not finish in the top ten. I can think of more than ten ladies who can (and probably will) beat her in Sochi: Kim, Asada, Kostner, Lipnitskaia, Gold, Sotnikova, Wagner, Li, Osmond, Murakami, and Suzuki. Mao88 is absolutely correct -- the USFSA will have a LOT of hard questions to answer if Polina underperforms, a la the decision to send Kovtun instead of Menshov to 2013 Worlds. Not even Gracie Gold was sent to senior Worlds after only one international season as a junior.

    There's not much use in griping about the decision now, but I still don't understand the USFSA's logic behind Polina's selection. Yes, she's the future and her talent should be encouraged, but if she lost to Sotskova, Sakhanovich, and Medvedeva at the JUNIOR Grand Prix Final, how does it make sense that she'll manage a high finish at the Olympics, against the best ladies in the world?

    Also, the margin between Mirai and Polina at Nationals would have been even smaller had Mirai not received the time deduction for her FS.

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    Yes - To me that was the choice being made. And I think the USFSA would have gotten less flack if they framed it that way. I really could go either way re: Polina vs Mirai. My heart say Mirai, my head says Polina. And why not wait til after Oly's to name Worlds team. In a way it is even more important logistically. It's easy to loose a spot and hard to get it back!

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