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Thread: The Real Problem with Ashley and Mirai (A cranky rant)

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    The Real Problem with Ashley and Mirai (A cranky rant)

    It's not that the rules weren't clear--clearly, the USFSA can do what it wants when it wants and how it wants, and at some point or another the rules were announced to everyone.

    That is not the problem here.

    It's that neither of them are very good. (Well, by the incredibly high standards of Olympic-level figure skating, anyway. Of course, they're a lot better than 99% of those starting skating lessons will ever be.) But by skating star standards? Mediocre!

    You know why you never saw the committee skipping over someone before this to put someone off the podium on the team? Because the best people actually were on the podium. They didn't have a bad day and wind up in 4th place at nationals. It would be unheard of for Michelle, Sasha, Sarah, etc. to bomb like that.

    Not that Mirai is any better, as we've seen at 4 Continents. The US bronze medalist doing that poorly in a competition among lesser-known skaters? Never would've happened 10, 15 years ago.

    And I'm not letting Gracie off easily, either. The national champion doing so poorly on the Grand Prix circuit that she didn't even make the finale? Not likely back in the day!

    What you have now are a bunch of skaters who are inconsistent and unless a real star emerges, there will be a controversy every year as they compare each skater's good days and bad days, as everyone cries politics, racism or whatever.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    Not that Mirai is any better, as we've seen at 4 Continents. The US bronze medalist doing that poorly in a competition among lesser-known skaters? Never would've happened 10, 15 years ago.

    What you have now are a bunch of skaters who are inconsistent and unless a real star emerges, there will be a controversy every year as they compare each skater's good days and bad days, as everyone cries politics, racism or whatever.

    I agree a little bit with what you said but don't bash how Mirai did at 4CC when she was very ill and after she flew from Japan to the US and then to Taipei in a week. I'm sure if this was not her only opportunity to skate at an international championship this season she would have skipped it.

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    I think you're pretty harsh!

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    Ashley finished 4th and 5th at World Championships the last two seasons. Mirai was 4th at the last Olympics.

    But, don't let that stop you from hyperbole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven View Post
    Ashley finished 4th and 5th at World Championships the last two seasons. Mirai was 4th at the last Olympics.

    But, don't let that stop you from hyperbole.


    If you're offering a fantastically blunt assessment of the US ladies, then Polina shouldn't get off scot-free. She lacks even the barest semblance of senior international experience and lost to three baby Russians at the JGPF during her first international season. Her international PCS won't come within a twenty-mile radius what she received at Nationals, she doesn't stand out in any aspect of her skating, and if she doesn't lay down two perfectly clean programs, she'll get hammered by the judges. Up against the steel-nerved Julia and the incredibly powerful Adelina, not to mention the entire battalion of top ladies, even making the top 10 at the Olympics will be a real struggle for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFish View Post


    If you're offering a fantastically blunt assessment of the US ladies, then Polina shouldn't get off scot-free. She lacks even the barest semblance of senior international experience and lost to three baby Russians at the JGPF during her first international season. Her international PCS won't come within a twenty-mile radius what she received at Nationals, she doesn't stand out in any aspect of her skating, and if she doesn't lay down two perfectly clean programs, she'll get hammered by the judges. Up against the steel-nerved Julia and the incredibly powerful Adelina, not to mention the entire battalion of top ladies, even making the top 10 at the Olympics will be a real struggle for her.
    Polina getting silver medal is the biggest proof that us ladies are not in a very good moment.

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    Kostner and Suzuki didn't make the GPF either. Nor did Murakami or Miyahara. Of course, Suzuki is the Japanese champion and Kostner won Euros bronze, while Murakami and Miyahara won 4CC gold and silver. But by Poodlepal's measure, like Wagner and Gold, they're all mediocrities.

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    This made me nod my head and giggle. Whenever my favorite does not get on the podium or is not picked for the team, I have to really try not to blame the system, the judges or the skater that did make it. Other elements may factor in but the responsibility is usually on my favorite skater for not skating better. -though I sigh and shed a tear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    It's not that the rules weren't clear--clearly, the USFSA can do what it wants when it wants and how it wants, and at some point or another the rules were announced to everyone.

    That is not the problem here.

    It's that neither of them are very good. (Well, by the incredibly high standards of Olympic-level figure skating, anyway. Of course, they're a lot better than 99% of those starting skating lessons will ever be.) But by skating star standards? Mediocre!

    You know why you never saw the committee skipping over someone before this to put someone off the podium on the team? Because the best people actually were on the podium. They didn't have a bad day and wind! up in 4th place at nationals. It would be unheard of for Michelle, Sasha, Sarah, etc. to bomb like that.

    Not that Mirai is any better, as we've seen at 4 Continents. The US bronze medalist doing that poorly in a competition among lesser-known skaters? Never would've happened 10, 15 years ago.

    And I'm not letting Gracie off easily, either. The national champion doing so poorly on the Grand Prix circuit that she didn't even make the finale? Not likely back in the day!

    What you have now are a bunch of skaters who are inconsistent and unless a real star emerges, there will be a controversy every year as they compare each skater's good days and bad days, as everyone cries politics, racism or whatever.


    THE BIG DIFFERENCE: COP!!!

    Under 6.0, a skater had to have reliable jumps. A fall (in some cases a step-out upon landing the jump) pretty well ruled out the gold medal in major events. Now, COP gives credit for a fallen jump. The skater gets a minus GOE and gets a 1 point deduction, if the revolutions were achieved. (In my opinion, a jump not landed should get no credit [edited] and minus points--as Ven states below.) The old 6.0 required a consistent jumper to win consistently. Sarah (in her prime, seldom fell), Michelle, hardly ever. And then there was Sasha, the most beautiful skater, but a less-consistent jumper who lost the 2006 Olympics for a fall. Nowadays the skater can garner points in many, many ways (outside of jumping), and if he falls, he/she still gets points. So we have beautiful skaters and less-successful jumpers and lots of winners with multiple falls (Chan, for one!). And many inconsistencies among some of the ladies (and men). It takes the steel and consistent jumps of a Yuna Kim & Exhorbitant PCS of Patrick Chan to win consistently these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Lee View Post
    THE BIG DIFFERENCE: COP!!!

    Under 6.0, a skater had to have reliable jumps. A fall (in some cases a step-out upon landing the jump) pretty well ruled out the gold medal in major events. Now, COP gives credit for a fallen jump. The skater doesn't get the -GOE and gets a 1 point deduction, if the revolutions were achieved! (In my opinion, a jump not landed should get no credit.) The old 6.0 required a consistent jumper to win consistently. Sarah (in her prime, seldom fell), Michelle, hardly ever. And then there was Sasha, the most beautiful skater, but a less-consistent jumper lost the 2006 Olympics for a fall. Nowadays the skater can garner points in many, many ways (outside of jumping), and if the fall they still get points. So we have beautiful skaters and less-successful jumpers and lots of winners with multiple falls (Chan, for one!).
    Fall should be -5 or -10 or something.

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    I agree with the OP. Let's face it...our "best" ladies (Ashley, Gracie, Polina, Mirai)...they're rather mediocre compared to their competition in the international arena. Don't even get me started on the 2nd tier girls. Ugh.

    Anyway, it's not that they're not as talented (or maybe it is), but I feel as though US figure skating is handicapped by the fact that something about American skating has become generic, most definitely not sexy or edgy and generally stale.

    Our ladies don't have the flexibility of the Asian and European skaters, particularly the Russian girls, and the programs (perhaps with the exception of Ashley's short program this season) seem very puritan and borrrring. Gracie's programs are especially snooze-worthy (that Grieg short program is blah as all get out and only getting accolades because Gracie landed her jumps). Luckily, Gracie is more talented than Ashley in terms of skating skills, so despite the fact that her presentation is not interesting whatsoever, her flow across the ice helps her with her program components score.

    I'm not a huge fan of Adelina Sotnikova's long program, but I watched her short program to Habanera and I was thinking that an American ladies skater could never pull off that program. It was simply too sexy and interesting.

    Anyway, I wish our ladies would try to improve their overall presentations and imbue them with something like excitement and edginess.

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    I think something is wrong with our system. I think the USFSA is old school. They need to change the way thing are done. The system is not working. Why do we have athletes who perform so well at nationals, but when they get to international competitions they can't perform well.

    I ask myself if I was sitting on the board would I have voted for Ashley or Mirai. I think I would have gone with Ashley. But I would have offered Mirai Worlds. But that's how I see things.

    These kids need more international experience. Even if they have to go to the smaller competitions, get them out there. Polina was able to rise above the problems, but she should have been on the SGP this season. I really worry about skaters like Cesario, Miller. I know Cesario made it to the SGP this year, but she is 20 years old. Hannah Miller is already 17. She will be 18 skating in her first SGP. That does not make sense. We have to take lessons from the Russians. They have those young girls on the SGP. They will be very comfortable by the time the Olympics roll around.

    I don't think we can totally blame the athlete. The federation has a lot to do with what happens to these athletes. I won't even get started with Champs Camp. What the hell is that. They should be getting things done. Make a competition out of it. It should be a place to get technical or choreographic help, coaching suggestions. The USFSA has to invest more in their athletes to get something out of them.

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    Well sometimes in life you are up and sometimes you are down. Right now in women`s skating in the US itis a bit of a valley rather than the top of a hill. Not to be nasty but the ladies are too inconsistent right now. (Yes, everyone is on Gold`s bandwagon but a bad skate at oly`s and that will be erased. They need to consistnelthy bring it and not bounce around all over the place. As for getting theladies more experience younger but the practical side is there are so few spots AND what do you do with all those veterans ironically also former teenage phenoms - including but not limiited Flatt, Zhang, Mirai, Wagner, Agnes, Gao, et all I agree we shouldn`t pick on Mirai because she was ill a week ago, not sure the travel to US fromJapan - it has been a few weeks but whatever. if that was the case maybe she should have withdrawn especially if she wants the same treatment should someone get sick in respect to the olympics. Mirai was good at nationals not absolutley drop dead good though - rather that pretty princessy Miss America skate but not oh wow. Anyways there is still lots of time for things to happen we may see Mirai again this season. Oh she has had a GpP so she has been given int`l opportunities this season. I hope Mirai and these other laides aer getting some education along the way. Skating shouldn`t be their whole life..

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