I usually hang out in the Fan Fest section, much more pleasant and I am forever grateful to the
mods for creating it.
I posted the following on my Facebook page. More for my own interest and more for friends who showed interest in the process. One friend told me that my explanation help her understand better why Ashley was chosen (though I came from a neutral standpoint; I made a point to point out both scenarios).
My point is, that Facebook is an opportunity to have some good conversations with your nonskating fans. Since there is awareness of the selection....it's a great time to bring up stuff you might not have the chance to do so otherwise. Even if they disagree with you, at least you know there's some interest that could translate someday (or not...but still it's fun to have healthy (key word) debate).Okay, I know there has been some heightened interest in Ladies figure skating due to the controversial nature of its Olympic team selection. So I thought it would be good to use my figure skating research skills to good use and consider one factor that my had lead to their decision.
One major component of the scoring at any figure skating event is the technical elements score, or TES. That is the score you get for executing your jumps, spins and step sequences.
In the free skate, here were the TES scores of the top four at U.S. Nationals:
Gracie Gold: 71.27
Polina Edmunds: 66.21
Mirai Nagasu: 65.62
Ashley Wagner: 58.48.
Okay, so at first glance, you say, well it's totally obvious to send the top three, look how low Ashley Wagner's score is compared to Mirai Nagasu!
However, the picture muddies a bit when you look at past international results.
Here are the technical scores for each of those four ladies at their major international events this fall:
Polina Edmunds: 61.82, 62.37, 62.95
Ashley Wagner: 58.54, 61.81, 56.06
Gracie Gold: 56.09, 55.09
Mirai Nagasu: 38.18, 57.95
Now you're probably wondering why does Ashley and Polina have an extra event. Based on their placement in what is called Grand Prix events (most skaters get two), they qualified for something that is called the Grand Prix Final. Polina Edunds qualified in the junior level, while Ashley qualified at the senior level.
Another thing to consider that as a junior skater, Polina Edmunds has one less element than the senior ladies. So if you add two points (the base value for that senior element to Polina's score, then she has an even bigger gap on the three senior ladies.
So even though Polina Edmunds does not have a considerable amount of senior experience, she has been highly consistent this season and has turned in a high technical score, which could contribute to a good showing at the Olympics.
Gracie Gold, as the champion, after a subpar fall season proven herself by winning Nationals.
So that leaves us with Mirai and Ashley. Ashley technical scores have been consistent if not super high (compared to Polina), while Mirai scores tended to swing between OK and absolutely dismal (and it's worth noting that at a recent event last week she scored 48.12).
If you look back at the previous season (2012-2013):
Ashley Wagner: 63.83, 62.91, 54.93, 61.34
Mirai Nagasu: 45.89, 56.36
Ashley has two more events due to again making the Grand Prix Final and going to the World Championships last year.
So I guess you could argue it two ways: Ashley clearly peaked in 2012 and hadn't done that well in 2013, so therefore her performance at Nationals was indicative of a downward trend. Therefore she should stay home.
But one could look at the huge swing in the technical scores at Mirai and question which Mirai will show up at the Olympics and dock her for her inconsistent record.
Obviously, the latter was ultimately the deciding factor.
As for me personally, I'm heartbroken for Mirai and loved her performances at Nationals ( I gave a standing ovation for both).
My point with this exercise to probably shed some insight into what kind of numbers the selection committee was looking at and how that might have factored into their decision.
Thanks Mrs. P! and I just thanked you on another thread too!! I hadn't seen those numbers before and I found them enlightening
Glad I'm a Julia fan!!! I also wish Marai and Ashley the best.
The selection criteria was published early in the summer and skaters were being told from that point on. Certainly this was discussed in detail at Champs Camp in late summer.Why were skaters only told in meetings at nationals? Shouldn't they have been told prior to the whole season so they can work a lot harder at GPs, etc? By "telling" skaters I mean drilling it into their heads at summer camps that every competition now counts, not posting a file on the website with no fanfare.
It seems to me like Marai is the one getting attacked for a fairly positive statement. Am I missing something?
Skaters don't "plan" for their boots to break down prematurely. It happens. Unfortunately, it happened to Ashley just before Nationals. The information came from her coach, Rafael Arutunian, replying to questions as to why Ashley was 4th after the SP.
Cynical of me, I know.