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Thread: My thoughts on Michelle at 2004 Worlds

  1. #16
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    First of all, how could Michelle's comment of "silly" be construed as "unsportsmanlike"? Since she is always diplomatic when interviewed, calling her "unsportsmanlike" is a real stretch.....

    I watched her short performance timed, and it sure looked like she was at a stop at 2:40, 2:41, but the clock kept ticking. This is when instant replay should have been put into play....

    As to mental toughness, I have always heard that talent and ability is 90 percent above the neck..........apache....your thoughts on "over-focusing" are very interesting.....Sasha should be extremely thrilled and proud of her silver World's medal....42
    Last edited by show 42; 03-28-2004 at 01:08 PM.

  2. #17
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    Originally posted by apache88
    I Like Sasha, I'm very competitve and ambitious. In competitions, I never lose focus and I believe Sasha never does too. However, I tend to over-focus and become very conscious and cautious of my performance. The consequence? Disastrous. When I over-focus, my muscles become tense and I suddenly end up trying to remember how to hit the ball. Many a time too, I get nervous in competitions, that's mental weakness. Over-focus and mental weakness make me lose my skills temporarily in competitions. I believe the same thing is happening to Sasha. When she falters, it's either she over-focuses or she gets nervous. Only when she finds the way to "go crazy" and skate as if she's the only one in the arena doing her things like Michelle has many times demonstrated, she will deliver. Well, we saw that in her SP. As for Michelle, the only event that makes her nervous or over-focus is the big O.
    Great post apache88
    I totally agree with your theories on Sasha's problems. It is baffling to me how she can skate so well in the QR and the short, but have serious errors in the long. It's as if she has a mental blockage when it comes to cleanly completely a long program (and this could very well be due to the mistakes she's made in the past). Though she tries to focus on the competition at hand it's difficult to do when you know your past history. I know it's been my experience, as a performer (competed as a pianist in college), that when I'd had a not so good performance, in the past, with a certain piece of music, it would be extremely difficult to move beyond that and perform well.

    It might sound too simple since it's been going on for a while with Sasha, but I also think it's nerves and thinking too much.

  3. #18
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    and that the national media knew her SP at Nationals was timed at 2:43 that Michelle and coaches knew.
    DGirl, that's the part I hadn't heard about. Was this well-known? Are you saying she was told that she was 3 seconds over at Nationals?

    I watched her short performance timed, and it sure looked like she was at a stop at 2:40, 2:41, but the clock kept ticking.
    The camera focused in on her body as it hit 2:40, and I too thought it looked like her skates had stopped at 2:40 also, and it was just her arms moving to their final position. At least, that's what I remember. I should probably check my tape before I post, lol! :o

    I do agree that the music ending didn't help, being so hard to hear. Irregardless of that entire issue, I truly don't understand her low marks. It appears she's being deducted because she didn't include a jump that isn't required (not to mention the fact that it scored a winner the previous year).:\

  4. #19
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    First, thanks apache88 for open this thread.

    I totally agree to what you said. The mental toughness is what a majore components to became a great champion in sports.

    I posted following in another thread. But seeing this is a more apropriet place to go since it related to what happened to MK during 2004 worlds.

    The whole fiscos happened around the MK during 2004 worlds. The whole thing just smell fishy to me.

    1) I just checked Rosaleen's QA lady report. Miki also only finished 4 triples same as Michelle. The diff is she had 3/3 while MK not. But for a firsttime rocky placed before 5 times World champion with almost the same jump contents? That did not happen very often. Then why in long both skated the same program, MK finished 5 triples, MA 6 triples with 2 3/3s still placed behind MK? And we all watched from TV agreed with the placement. MK even steal some ordials from Arakawa. Only one judge placed Onda before MK.

    2) Then SP time deduction? and not even manditory one. Well, ABC said there is a rule. But the deduction is not manditory it is upto indevidual judges. With the anonymous judges you don't know who take deduction, who not.

    3) Look at Arakawa presentation 5.9? 3 weeks work with TT? Not to mention she was the first to skate in final group, there were Sasha and Michelle to go both of them were capable beat her in presetation. Where is the room? May be judged under CoP whole season they forgot 6.0 need to leave room for late skaters?

    4) MK's SP even with 0.1 time violation 5.2 for technique, where dose 0.8 dection gone?

    I suspect Japanese federation had a 'politics' hand. Arakawa deserve her win. No problem, but the whole fisco looks like take MK out of running for medal. No doubt MK's own mistakes gave two 'GOOD Excuses' for judges to work towards that direction.

    Indevidual incidents seems reasonable, unrelated but if you look at the whole lady's event, just smell fishy to me. I'm glad USFSA file the protest request. Otherwise it would be Japan 2 medals, US one medal. Go figure!

  5. #20
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    Originally posted by RealtorGal
    Unfortunately, she was not very sportsmanlike about the penalty, calling it "silly". She complained that she had been timed at 2:40 on a regular basis; but, as others have already pointed out, WHY skate at 2:40, leaving ZERO margin for error? With the clock on display for the entire world to see, what choice did the referee have but to call out the infraction? She should have known better, period. As Terry Gannon said, however, there is no way to know whether or not the judges actually invoked the penalty--unfortunately.

    The streaker incident may have actually worked in her favor. He looked so ridiculous in that yellow tutu that he may have actually helped break some of the tension for her. At any rate, a solid program was delivered, definitely podium worthy.
    RealtorGal, I have always found your opinions objective but don't you find calling Michelle unsportsmanlike for her "silly" comment a bit out of line? Why not give her a bit of the benefit of the doubt as she has always shown great sportsmanship in all these years. The way I see it, she probably just wanted to shrug it off and move on and not be perturbed too much by it.

    Mzheng and others, whether the time deduction is mandatory is not the issue, in my opinion. It is a rule and if they chose to make an example of Michelle, I have to accept that. Michelle did overskate her time limit and that's a fact. I am just frustrated because top experienced skaters like Michelle would make a silly mistake like that and worse, Rafael didn't see the risk of the sp being so close to 2.40 mark. Just because it's not mandatory doesn't mean it can be taken lightly.

    As for the marks, yes she was unfairly undermarked. But then again, she did get all the high marks for presentation in the LP and even snatch 4 1st place ordinals from Shizuka which I feel was totally off and unfair to Shizuka. So I don't agree with some Michelle fans who were so quick to jump the gun that the judges wanted her out of the competition, wanted her to retire,...or what have you. I think the whole judging is balanced in a way that every elite skater has been held up and held down in one way or another throughout their careers so in the end, it all comes back to square one. So for me, I choose not to harp so much on the low marks, I choose to see what new stuff she can bring in, in the future. Already I am seeing some speed and variation in her spins. Yes, and hopefully the 3/3!
    Last edited by apache88; 03-28-2004 at 11:09 PM.

  6. #21
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    Appach88, even as a Kwan fan I quite understand why Arakawa win. And she deservedly. I've always liked Arakawa reserved style and smooth edge quality. I saw that before it happen, if any one can beat MK in every aspect of skating skill now it is Arakawa. She has been terriblely undermarked since last season. As I said before, each incident judge had a legimated right to do so, but if you put the whole thing together and considering the whole scenario what happened surrounding MK, it did smell fishy. IMO, it was nealy pre judged event, had USFSA didn't file the protest the result could well be Miki Onda on podium instead of MK.

    MK's mistake in QR certainly gave the first optunity to put her after Miki Onda. How can you explain both skated the same programs in QR and LP, in QR both of them had the same number of triples but MA came ahead of MK with a split panel, in LP after US protested, MA had 6 triples with 2 3/3s while MK had 5 triples but all judges put MK ahead of MA (may be except 1). IMO, the whole thing just smell fishy.

  7. #22
    http://p068.ezboard.com/bstrawberrycanyonfsc
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    .The man was identified as 30-year-old Ron Bensimhon of Canada. According to organizers, he was released because a misdemeanor is not an arrestable offense.

    HAHAHA

  8. #23
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    I agree with Zheng. There did seem to have been an impetus to put Ando on the podium. Her FS performance could only be classified as mediocre: she cut her 4S to a 2S (not even a 3S); her 2nd 3/3 was very underrotated; her spins were OK, but not great; her spin positions and spirals definitely needed improvement; and in the second half of the FS her speed dropped to nearly a crawl and her movements became very sloppy. Yet she received all 5.7s and 5.8s for presentation--much too high for the performance she gave.

    Ando's SP was slightly better on the presentation side, but still far from great, and although she did a 3/3 and Kwan did not, Kwan DID perform an excellent SP and 5.1 (or even 5.2) is an outrageous technical mark, and 5.6 (or even 5.7) an outrageous presentation mark.

    Also, since .1 is deducted from each and every mark (technical AND presentation) it seems clear that without the time deduction, Kwan's SP would have gotten mostly 5.9s and 6.0s for presentation.

  9. #24
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    Originally posted by euterpe
    Kwan DID perform an excellent SP and 5.1 (or even 5.2) is an outrageous technical mark, and 5.6 (or even 5.7) an outrageous presentation mark.
    Most of the judges did not seem to have quite the same opinion. Her technical marks in SP moved between 5,1-5,8 (1x 5,1, 2x5,4, 3x5,5, 6x5,6 and once a 5,7 and 5,8). Presentation marks were between 5,6-5,9 (1x5,6, 3x5,7, 6x5,8 and 4x5,9).

    Michelle´s technical marks seem to have been the lowest of 6 top skaters in short programme:

    http://www.isufs.org/results/wc2004/seg007.htm

    In LP Michelle came nicely back and skated an almost faultless programme (not supposed to be a double lutz).

    Marjaana
    Last edited by Jaana; 03-29-2004 at 09:44 AM.

  10. #25
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Apache,
    Thank you for your insightful posts and this interesting topic. And to all the other posters who have covered most of the important points.

    I think that one thing that needs to be mentioned about Michelle and this Worlds is the work (and consequent changes) that she has been putting into her skating.
    Here's what I have noticed:
    1. She has been looking to improve the speed of her skating. This is especially noticeable in the final footwork sequence of her LP, where at least at Altanta, where I saw it live, the speed and complexity is now Amazing! When you consider how many people critiqued her speed in this past, this is significant.
    2. Improvement of both position and speed of rotation in her camel spin while still having perfect centering. In years before 2002 Michelle's position didn't have that from the body center extension, and the speed of rotation was on the slow side, so that she would just eke out the required number of rotations. This year she had one of the very best camels in the SP.
    3. Improvement of leg position, prior to getting her foot down into the heart layback spin. She actually had her foot for a bit in the classic layback position, something she has never done.
    (SP), while maintaining improved rotational speed.
    4. She has changed her second combination for the LP. She is now doing a 3S2T. She completed this in the LP, too.
    5. Work on getting better jump technique preparatory to scheduling a 3/3 of some sort in the long. She has been seen completing 3S/3T (see 4) I expect to see it included next year. Her flip is now very very high and the 3S also. The 2A seems to have more height and speed into it as well. If she has been working on the 3L, I haven't seen any good effects. Her 3T (solo) was not well executed, and didn't look good at World's last year either, and I don't see any improvement.
    If she has been working on the lutz, and I think she has, I also don't see any good effects and wonder if this is what going on with missing the 2nd lutz twice-or if the extra speed overall is causing her to be tired when she reaches the end of the program, where the second lutz is, and where she has to be gathering strength to end Tosca in that huge, fast explosion of footwork.

    When a skater makes that many significant changes, the effects are not always positive on their placings.

    Also, in the case of Michelle's World's LP, including the streaker, she said she had an adrenaline rush when she realized he might have a gun. This may have upset the whole chemical balance, leaving her more tired than usual at the second lutz.

    I think with regard to the placings of all the US girls, we need to remember that not only was this competition not in North America, there was no US judge on the panel. Over time, that has never helped a skater, when their federation does not have a judge on the panel. And anyone who does not believe that in skating there is a home court advantage, not just in the crowd support, but also in the judging, just hasn't been watching over time.

    Congratulations to both Sasha and Michelle for working so hard this year to improve their performances! I am so happy that Sasha finally got her first World medal.

    And congratulations to Arikawa for her well deserved win.

    However, having watched both Ando's Jr. Worlds and her World's performance, I think her second marks were awfully high for what she actually did.

  11. #26
    TriGirl Rinkside
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    Doris - Great post. I too had noticed increased speed, a wonderful 3F, and better 2A. As to the 3L problem, I'm hoping that they are in the middle of tweaking it, and it still hasn't been perfected because it was so nice last year.

    I thought she looked great in both the SP and LP. I hope she continues to work on her tech with Rafael and is able to get some nice 3/3s in the near future.

  12. #27
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Am I just naive about the Byzantine intrigues of the world of figure skating judging? To me, the only "messages" Michelle can take away from this competition are:

    1. Don't fall down in the qualifying round.

    2. Don't go over the time limit in the SP.

    3. If you skate the third best overall you will end up in third place.

    That having been said, I agree that the marks both for Miki and for Carolina were too high. I scored it

    Short program:

    Michelle
    Sasha
    Shizuka
    Miki

    Long program

    Michelle
    Shizuka
    Sasha
    Julia S.

    Mathman

  13. #28
    TriGirl Rinkside
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    Mathman -

  14. #29
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    a final thing

    I read that original Michelle's qualifying group was scheduled to be the latter of the 2 groups to skate, and was swapped in the schedule the day before. Michelle was one of the first to skate in her QR group, about 8 am Dortmund time. I wonder if her internal clock had just not reset correctly so to speak yet. Johnny Weir certainly had this problem and he is an east coast boy,3 or 4 hours closer to Germany, depending on when German Day Light Savings hits.

    I wonder if this had an effect on her QR?

    dpp

  15. #30
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    I wish Mathman.

    I thought Michelle's short was amazing and I would have placed her 1st before the deductions. I think Michelle was placed right in the free skate. Had she landed the 3 lutz and bursted into her footwork then I would have placed her first.

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