Just taking the chance that the forum is actually working to say that I'm so happy for Wagner. I do think she had a lot of attack in the performance and I thought it was gutsy to put in the 3-3 and stand up on it even with the 2 footed landing. It would have been easy to go for the comfortable 3-2, especially given the pressure on her because of her selection to the team and because of where Team USA was in the team competition standings. She should be proud.
I would focus on SS if you want to tear apart Julia. The scores here are a bit There is no way Julia is on par with Caro or Mao. I tend to think she has the capability to overcome her deficiencies here, if she chooses to and I hope she does, but she's not there yet. I think when you watch her in warm-ups she has beautiful flow and control when just skating around. If you take into account her rigid attention to detail she very well may get to it sooner than later, her SS are just not a focus and almost non-existence in her programs as of yet. Her FS has a good SSeq which I've always kind of felt is an element that is like a gateway drug into improving ones overall SS. She deserved to win in that I think her and Caro where basically elual with the nod today going to Julia.
I'm beginning to think the team event is hers to lose and the individual medal will be tougher for her to even medal. Who knows because while certain elements are a bit of a void for her now there is little denying her affect on a live audience. She has a wow factor and then some that's hard to ignore. That wow isn't on the protocols necessarily but a factor none the less which may be infecting more than just her presentation scores.
I fully agree with your 2 concerns regarding Julia.
She puts her leg up for a micro second and then it's down before your eye has a chance to really catch the move. In this I still find her very juniorish and wish she wasn't being so hyped. She is not a star ...yet. She still needs to develop and mature.
Unfortunately I think she is being pushed as the star and the fact that the Olympics are in Russia doesn't help. They want her to win gold now, not 4 years from now.
XXII Olympic Winter Games
Ladies – Short Program
Result (OWG Website)
Links to Other Olympics Reports:
Team Event - Men SP
Team Event - Ice Dance SD
Team Event - Pairs SP
The aim of these reports is to attempt to look critically at skaters’ performances, try to pay close attention to detail and evaluate each of the technical elements, as well as the program components aspect, on their own merit, whilst attempting to avoid getting anchored by things like noticeable mistakes, an overall ‘wow effect’ or skaters’ reputation, as much as possible.
What that means is that a skater can, for example, fall but execute everything else in their program to very high standard. Or make a great overall impression but commit numerous mistakes, once you look more closely. The point to those hypothetical examples is, it’s never just black or white and there are always both positive and negative aspects to every performance. What makes figure skating different from any other sport is its complexity and the numerous layers you can uncover. Finally, in an ideal world, skaters’ past accomplishments should have no bearing on how their current performances are evaluated.
The GOE values listed next to the elements are ones I would consider appropriate based on the quality of execution of that element. I’m very much a stickler and the numbers will probably be likely lower on average than those handed out by the actual judging panel, but I try my best to hold all skaters to the same standard. They’re also intended to give you a general impression of how each element was executed. I try to describe each of the elements in detail but there's not always time to be as precise as I would like (and sometimes the element is simply ‘ok’ and there isn’t really much to say about it).
Of course, it’s impossible to notice everything and figure skating is inherently subjective so any questions, comments, criticism and different points of view are all very welcome. I am always grateful for any feedback and an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective.
1. Kaetlyn OSMOND /CAN/
Rich Man's Frug (from "Sweet Charity")
steps into 3toe/3toe  – second toe was off-axis in the air but both had quite solid landings with good speed and flow out
steps into 3flip  – again, a bit off-axis in the air; the landing skidded slightly but she held it well and showed decent extension of her free leg, very good height
to transition to sideways to layback catch to biellmann  – decent flow and rotation speed; the first two positions could have been extended a little better, though
steps to spread eagle into 2axel  – solid landing with decent speed out, a shame she didn’t hold the landing position a little longer
steps into straight line step sequence  – good use of the upper body, nice energy
to flying sit forward cannonball to sideways broken leg to behind tuck  – decent flow and rotation speed
transitions to camel/sit/upright straight Y/change camel illusion to camel forward catch  – decent flow, good control (especially with the illusion right after the change of foot)
She skated with good energy and a ‘sassy attitude’ and her routine contained pretty much constant upper body movement, all of which reflected the character of the music well.
She needs to work on her basics, however. Her edges were a little shallow and she could use some more speed and ice coverage. Her posture was poor with slightly rounded and raised shoulders and her bottom sticking out (she should pull her hips in).
What was absolutely remarkable about that program was the amount and variety of transitions. All of her technical elements were either preceded by steps and other connecting movement or were executed straight after the previous element, with no preparation.
2. ZHANG Kexin /CHN/
Paint It Black by Rolling Stones
Sympathy for the Devil by Rolling Stones
3toe/3toe  – clean but not a lot of flow out, the landing of the second toe was only held for a short while
3lutz [-2] – slight break after steps, it seemed slightly cheated (the landing lacked flow)
layback to sideways to catch to biellmann 
scratch butterflies into flying camel coe to donut sideways twist  – good rotation speed and well extended last position but the change of edge was labour and the initial position was strained
2axel  – clean but not a lot of flow out
circular step sequence 
camel/upright Y/change intermediate sideways twist/sit behind forward bend  – decent positions and rotation speed but the change of foot was a bit heavy
She seemed to have worked on her presentation and has put more effort and energy into her movements that she has done in the past. Her timing seemed decent. She still lacks emotional involvement, however, making it look like she is just going through the motions and coupled with her sour facial expressions , you get a feeling she really doesn’t seem comfortable performing (a very stark contrast to Osmond, in this regard). The choreography was quite generic and the program featured few transitions.
3. Jenna McCORKELL /GBR/
Imagined Oceans by Karl Jenkins
3flip/2toe  – clean but not a lot of flow out
steps into 3toe  – very solid landing, good speed out
transitions into sideways to layback catch to biellmann(not well balanced and it looked like she held it for less than two revolutions) [-1]
2axel  – solid landing, good speed out; entry was a little telegraphed though
camel coe/sit sideways/change upright forward butt out 
straight line step sequence  – quite good energy
to flying sit sideways twist to tuck leg behind [-1] – good rotation speed in the first position but it was off-centred quite considerably, a little slower in the second position but she managed to get it centred
Decent choreography with fairly detailed upper body movement and light & shade, appropriate to the music. She performed it with quite good energy. Her posture and carriage were quite weak however. Her upper body was a little stiff.
She did a nice double axel in the warm-up.
4. Natalia POPOVA /UKR/
Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo, performed by Edvin Marton
3flip/2toe [-1] – well balanced landings but lack of flow coming out, both jumps seemed forced on take off (a bit of a mule kick on the flip and a jerk of her shoulders on the toe)
3toe [-2] – a fairly long break after steps, flow out not great (landing very slightly skiddy)
flying camel coe to sideways to donut to forward camel catch  – decent flow and rotation speed throughout
some transitions towards 2axel [-1] – poor technique: the take-off was forced, she covered hardly any distance and the landing was a little scratchy with not much flow out
camel/sit forward cannonball to sideways broken leg/change intermediate pancake to upright Y  – decent speed and flow, quite well extended positions
straight line step sequence 
layback to catch to biellmann 
Her speed didn’t seem bad but her basic skating appeared quite ‘heavy,’ lacking effortless flow. While her arm movements were quite soft, it looked like they were detached from the rest from her body as her back reimained rather stiff and immobile. The choreography was quite basic and the program didn’t seem to relate to the music very well.
5. Nathalie WEINZIERL /GER/
Fever performed by Ted Heath and His Music
3toe(not much control, two three-turns on the landing)/3toe(lack of momentum coming out so she didn’t hold the landing long) [-2]
steps to 3lutz [-1] – her balance wasn’t perfect on the landing and she put her free foot down quite quickly
layback to sideways catch to biellmann  – very good rotation speed, decent positions and flow
2axel [-3] – off-axis in the air, fall
flying sit cannonball coe to behind tuck 
circular step sequence 
camel to forward catch/change sit sideways broken leg/intermediate var  – decent rotation speed and flow
The program featured a fair amount of in character upper body movement throughout but she didn’t deliver it with a lot of conviction. She appeared quite shy and introverted and I question this choice of music for her.
She managed to land a clean (albeit slightly strained) 3toe/3toe in the warm-up.
6. Maé Bérénice MÉITÉ /FRA/
The Question of U by Prince
3toe(pitched forward on the landing slightly)/3toe(foot down quickly) [-1]
3loop  – quite well balanced landing with decent flow out but a slight break after steps (+1-1)
flying camel forward catch coe [-2] – didn’t appear to land in the camel position, a little insecure from the start, she tried to change the position at the end but didn’t have enough balance and only performed one revolution in it
2axel  – clean but could have used a little more flow
camel/upright Y/change sit forward cannonball to sideways broken leg/upright 
straight line step sequence  – could use some more flow
into sideways to layback catch to biellmann(a little off-balance)  – decent speed and flow (+1-1)
Her posture and carriage are quite poor (rounded shoulders, quite a stiff back) but she used her arms well, her movement appeared quite strong and confident and it seemed well-timed to the music throughout. Her basic skating seemed a little heavy with her edges being quite shallow.
7. Ashley WAGNER /USA/
Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd
3flip(very slightly cheated)/3toe(cheated over 1/4, two-footed) [-3]
steps into flying sit sideways/jump to sit/sit behind tuck [-1] – very slightly off-centred throughout
camel to sideways/jump to change sit sideways twist/upright(a little off-centred) [-1]
3loop  – slightly cheated and a bit snow on the landing but it was well-controlled and there was a nicely flowing entry from preceding transitions (+1-1)
fan kick towards 2axel  – didn’t hold the landing long
circular step sequence  – good flow, precise footwork, fantastic use of her whole upper body (not just arms moving up and down)
to layback to sideways to layback catch to biellmann  – nice upper body positions and decent flow but could use a little more speed
She skated with quite good speed, showing smooth edges and very nice flow. The choreography was stylish and sophisticated and featured a lot of upper body movement, which reflected the character of the music very well. And she didn’t just use her arms, as most skaters do, but her whole upper body and her movements were fluid and precise.
As far as technical elements are concerned, however, some of them weren’t executed to a very high standard. She still seems to struggle with the rotation on some of her jumps and her spins are quite subpar compared to the rest of her skating (I guess the judges didn’t notice her being off-centred on the first two, as it wasn’t very apparent).
8. Yulia LIPNITSKAIA /RUS/
You Don't Give Up on Love by Mark Minkov
steps to 3lutz/3toe [-1] – the take-off edge on the lutz was unclear (she started to change the edge after stepping into the jump but I think she was still just about on the outside edge during take-off - but it was almost flat), she didn’t get a lot of height or flow out of either jumps
2axel  – very solid landing with a good speed out but she didn’t get a lot of height
into transitions to scratch butterflies to flying camel to coe donut to forward camel catch  – very good positions, flow and rotation speed
circular step sequence  – good energy and control, it flowed quite well and the edges seemed quite precise
hyperextended spiral to steps to 3flip  – clean but she changed onto the inside edge at the very last moment, it was very slightly tilted in the air and she didn’t get a lot of flow out
layback to sideways to layback catch to hyper-extended biellmann  – fantastic positions, flow and rotation speed; it was a tiny bit off-centred throughout though (+3-1)
camel sideways twist/sit forward cannonball to sideways broken leg/change upright hyper-extended Y(off-centred a a fair amount)  – excellent positions, flow and rotation speed (+3-1)
She skated the program with quite a lot of energy and projection. It was slightly subdued and introverted but then such was the character of her music so it was only appropriate. The choreography contained quite a lot of upper body movement but whilst some of it was executed well, some of it looked unfinished and wasn’t fully extended.
She doesn’t get the speed or the effortless glide that you see from some of the other top skaters (I would have personally scored her behind Wagner, Asada and Kostner on the SS). And whilst her rotation on her jumps is exceptionally fast, she doesn’t get a lot of height.
She has improved her Personal Best by 0.66 points.
9. ASADA Mao /JPN/
Nocturne in E flat major op. 9, no. 2 Andante by Frederic Chopin
3axel [-3] – cheated over 1/2, two-footed, fall
steps, break, 3flip [-1] – she got decent height, the landing was well balanced and it went out into transitions into the following element but it was very slightly cheated and there was a fairly long break after the steps (+2-1-2)
transitions to camel/upright straight Y/change intermediate sideways/upright sideways  – good flow throughout, the changes of position were quite seamless (I think the penultimate position was meant to be a sit but the upper part of her skating leg was higher than parallel to the ice – maybe that’s why she got Lv3 instead of Lv4)
to steps to scratch butterflies into flying camel upward to forward catch coe  – decent flow and rotation speed
some footwork to 3loop/2loop [-2] – not a lot of flow out of either jumps, both were slightly cheated (0-1-1)
straight line step sequence  – well pronounced edges, good flow, nice use of her upper body
layback to sideways to catch to biellmann  – very slightly off-centred in the first half
She was very light over the ice and her soft and gentle movement reflected the character of the music very well. I am not sure about her timing however, it seemed off in places. The program featured quite a lot varied transitions. They were subtle and understated (no big obvious spread eagles) but then so was the music so it was only appropriate.
10. Carolina KOSTNER /ITA/
Ave Maria by Franz Schubert
3toe/3toe  – well balanced landings, no hesitation between the two jumps
three-turns into 3loop  – very good height, solid landing with a nice extension of the free leg and decent flow out
forward catchfoot spiral to scratch butterfly to flying camel to coe to sideways to forward catch  – quite seamless changes of position, good flow, exit into transitions into the next spin
layback to sideways to catch [-1] – her positions weren’t extended well (limited arch in the back) and going from one position into the other was a little forced and lacked flow, she lost speed after entering the last position and the rotation became quite slow
2axel  – good height but could have used a little more flow coming out
straight line step sequence  – well pronounced edges, good flow, elegant upper body movement
camel to illusion/change sit forward cannonball/upright straight L  – good flow and rotation speed, nicely extended positions; the camel was a little off-centred, however (+2-1)
She showed exceptional skating skills with the program performed on deep yet smooth edges, flowing beatifully from start until the end. Her upper body movement was fluid, refined and elegant and captured the character of the music brilliantly.
You could see, however, that this was a relatively new program. The choreography seemed a little undeveloped. Some parts were brilliant but some were slightly sparse with not much happening other than stroking. She is capable of covering the ice slightly better and executing more transitions. Both of her last season’s programs were more complex in this regard.