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

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying camel View Post
    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.
    There is a minimum age for the Senior GP, and as of next season, it is getting older. This past season was the last year 14-year-olds were permitted to skate in the Senior GP. So the Russian ladies won't be able to do one year in the JGP at 13 then move up to the SGP at 14.

    Another thing about the SGP. Skaters just can't "do the GP". They have to be in a position to be invited to GP events by other hosts, which means they have to have accumulated enough ISU points to be in the top 24 on ISU World Rankings OR be in the top 24 on the Seasons Best list. The only way for young skaters to do either is to medal on the JGP AND/OR medal at the JGP/JW. Polina couldn't have done the GP this past season because she had NO ISU points at the end of the 2012-2013 season as she hadn't done the JGP yet at that point and hadn't been sent to 2013 JW.

  2. #17
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The "don't have the points" / "season's best" problem is partially due to the paucity of Senior and Junior B's in North and South America. And that is a USFS problem. However, Ashley flutzes and two-foots, and Mirai under-rotates. Both have no consistent triple-triple. That is their and their coaches' problem.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 01-26-2014 at 12:43 PM.

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    I'm not american, and so I do not follow very well the career of many us junior skaters, but as an outsider observer I think there could be a problem on how us skater stay for so long in the international junior rank... especially the men but often also the girls(see Gracie Gold, Samantha Cesario) come on the international senior stage when they're near their physical apex... and so their score suffer from being compared to skater of the sa e age that have already much more senior expierience...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jace93 View Post
    I'm not american, and so I do not follow very well the career of many us junior skaters, but as an outsider observer I think there could be a problem on how us skater stay for so long in the international junior rank... especially the men but often also the girls(see Gracie Gold, Samantha Cesario) come on the international senior stage when they're near their physical apex... and so their score suffer from being compared to skater of the sa e age that have already much more senior expierience...
    What's happening in Russia right now is not the norm. Most skaters are not phenoms by the time they are 13 and aren't skating on the SGP at 14. Gracie was a Junior skater for only 2 years and failed to even make Nationals her first year out and only got one JGP assignment the next season. But when she got people's attention back in the summer of 2011 she had gone through her growth spurts and kept her jumps. It remains to be seen if these 13, 14 year old Russian girls will even be around in 3 years or simply flame out like most do.

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    I'm the original poster, and I will comment on some of the comments.

    1. Mirai was sick? Didn't know it, but 10th place? My guess is that her bad result was at least 50% due to her ongoing consistency problem/underrotation problem.

    2. Yes, my rant was harsh, but I meant every word of it. Nobody is really that much better than anybody else, so it almost doesn't matter who is sent to the Olympic team (of the top 4 or 5), they're all about the same--if not mediocre, then certainly not medal contenders.

    3. Can't comment on Akiko and Carolina, although both of them managed to win World medals at one point, which Ashley, Rachael, Alyssa, Gracie,Mirai etc. have not been able to. I don't think either of them are top-tier competitors right now, but they certainly have rose above mediocrity at least at some point in their career. No American has been able to for 8 years!

    4. If the US ladies so-so scores are not because of falling or jump mistakes, they are in worse trouble than I thought. I had hoped if they skated clean they'd be competitive with, if not Mao and YuNa, then at least other people just below them (like Carolina and Akiko). If they aren't, what can be done about it?

    5. There seems to be a lack of originality and creativity within the ladies figure skating community, but it's really bad in the US. Everyone does the same balletic, soft, ultra-feminine program to soft, somber, slow music. (I seem to enjoy alliteration!) Often, they start out skating faster than the song, and most of the interpretation is looking miserable along with the miserable music.

    If they ever deviate from that program, they immediately change it, either immediately (Gracie's short program) or by the next year. Is this the only type of program that is considered "artistic" enough to the judges? Do skaters lose their mojo because they have to skate in this mold, even if it's not natural to them? Mirai wasn't the same after she had to ditch her cutesiness, and didn't skate well again until she was James Bond. Ashley did the best as the insane "Black Swan." She certainly wasn't a great Juliet!

    It's something to think about, anyway.

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    I totally agree with your #5 Poodlepal. But that's not the skater's fault so much as the coach and choreographer's fault. I'm sure you've cruised through the threads on music. It's like they use the same music over and over and over.....and over again. Sometimes different arrangements but the same themes. Gracie's short program music was horrible. Talk about a painful ear worm and it didn't do anything for her - so I'm glad she changed it.

    You might add another bullet point - the fact that American skaters change coaches like they change their underwear. There are so few that are still with the coach they started out with. Different styles, different temperaments, different expectations, no consistency. I watched the Junior Girls finals and was pretty impressed with the skating ability. Now some of them just need to mature and get some finesse. I don't think we're in as bad a shape as some feel.

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    Champs Camp offers criticism of the top ladies' programs, and often insists on changes. Sometimes I think this encourages a sameness and dullness. Gracie's SP change wasn't because of Champs Camp, though. I personally thought it was a mistake to change the program because even when she didn't skate it cleanly, she got good marks from the ISU judges---the grating, harsh music actually suited Gracie's big jumps and arm-flinging style far more than romantic music does.

    Mirai never "got" the James Bond girl persona. She had the same blank face and non-existent personality she's had for every program since Worlds 2010. It's as if she's been mourning not medaling at Vancouver ever since.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    The "don't have the points" / "season's best" problem is partially due to the paucity of Senior and Junior B's in North and South America. And that is a USFS problem. However, Ashley flutzes and two-foots, and Mirai under-rotates. Both have no consistent triple-triple. That is their and their coaches' problem.

    Senior Bs don't count for season's best scores, with one exception. The Senior B used as the Olympic qualifier is the only one that allows one to get a season's best that can be used for purposes of grand prix invites. Therefore, unless one competes in the JGP, JW, SW, 4CC, or Europeans, it is just about impossible to break into SGP. This is why Max Aaron didn't have any SGP assignments last year, because he hadn't competed in anything to get a season's best score in 2011-2012.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    The "don't have the points" / "season's best" problem is partially due to the paucity of Senior and Junior B's in North and South America. And that is a USFS problem. However, Ashley flutzes and two-foots, and Mirai under-rotates. Both have no consistent triple-triple. That is their and their coaches' problem.
    USFS does send top skaters from Nationals to B events in Europe in the early fall, and USFS inaugurated a US "B" event in Colorado. It would help if Canada reciprocated with another "B", but it seems they don't want to spend the money.

    Yes, lots of US ladies flutz, but so do Russian and Japanese ladies, and some top Japanese ladies also UR. European ladies don't flutz as much, but many lip.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    ... USFS inaugurated a US "B" event in Colorado. ...
    Minor detail: the U.S. Senior B is in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Champs Camp offers criticism of the top ladies' programs, and often insists on changes. Sometimes I think this encourages a sameness and dullness. Gracie's SP change wasn't because of Champs Camp, though. I personally thought it was a mistake to change the program because even when she didn't skate it cleanly, she got good marks from the ISU judges---the grating, harsh music actually suited Gracie's big jumps and arm-flinging style far more than romantic music does.

    Mirai never "got" the James Bond girl persona. She had the same blank face and non-existent personality she's had for every program since Worlds 2010. It's as if she's been mourning not medaling at Vancouver ever since.
    She most definitely skated the entire 2010-2011 season with personality and emotion (especially the Witches SP). It was in 2011-2012 with the awful Spartacus program and awkward tango that she really started retreating into a shell... hopefully next season she'll have more inspired programs and express more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    What's happening in Russia right now is not the norm. Most skaters are not phenoms by the time they are 13 and aren't skating on the SGP at 14. Gracie was a Junior skater for only 2 years and failed to even make Nationals her first year out and only got one JGP assignment the next season. But when she got people's attention back in the summer of 2011 she had gone through her growth spurts and kept her jumps. It remains to be seen if these 13, 14 year old Russian girls will even be around in 3 years or simply flame out like most do.
    what's abnormal right now in russian junior ladies is the numbers of high level skater that year after year comes on the scene... and while I too think that many should stay more than a season there is a big difference becoming senior at 15 or at 18-19, and while practically only russian seems able to produce such a number of young talent every year, both japanese and chinese tend to get their more promising single skater in the senior rank as soon as they can be competitive (han yan, li zujin, satoko mihara,yuzuru hanyu and kanako murakami in the recent years...)

  13. #28
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    You can, however, get a qualifying score (as opposed to a season's best score) at a Senior B.

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    and also point to get better world standing...

  15. #30
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Cesario was injured for one or two seasons, so her late start does not have anything to do with USFS. I wish to heck the girl could get rid of her UR's. She's getting better, though Her Carmen LP was a lhighlight for me at US Nationals.

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