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Thread: My thoughts on Michelle at 2004 Worlds

  1. #31
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lavender
    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.
    Me, too, Lavender. And you know what? Even with the flub on the last Lutz, like Peggy Fleming said, she did a perfect double Lutz, with an exquisite flowing edge on the landing!

    But then, like you say, that gave a little different meaning to the footwork sequence. At Nationals, her footwork sequence said, "I just kicked y'all butts, now I'm going to dance on your head for good measure."

    At Worlds it was like, Oh well, everything went wrong that could, but I'm still your Michelle. No wonder she got all those 6.0s.

    Doris Pulaski, that is interesting news about the switch in the qualifying groups. I'm sure the time thing had an effect on Michelle. She said that it took her the first half of the program before she started really to feel that her legs were uinder her.

    Then again, everyone in the group was in the same situation.

    Mathman

  2. #32
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Yes, Mathman, But first to skate was Fumie, who tanked, second was Vika who tanked, third was Michelle, who....tanked. the first skater in group A to skate well was Shizuka, who skated 6th. And kudos to her!

  3. #33
    Custom Title Ogre Mage's Avatar
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    I think Michelle has been around long enough to know that ups and downs are a part of sport. She's had some Worlds where the stars aligned for her and she gave a winning performance (2000, 2003) and others where it was one unfortunate thing after another (1999, 2004). She soldiers on regardless, like a true champ. I just hope she wasn't too freaked out by the streaker.

  4. #34
    Rinkside
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    quote

    At Worlds it was like, Oh well, everything went wrong that could, but I'm still your Michelle. No wonder she got all those 6.0s
    I like that quote! AND this one too
    She soldiers on regardless, like a true champ.
    Only Michelle can take a beating to the ground and still get back up and fight and keep on going and proving everyone why she's a true champ. I mean how many skaters can you think of that can endure the media continuously writing her off, plus pressure of defending her title, unfairness in applying a rule(well IMO), a streaker and still come out as great as ever?
    :D

  5. #35
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    Doris, great posts, you must be a long time fans or skater/coach yourself. Since every improvements you list in your post, exactly were what I heard she was working on.

    The comments from the rink are:
    1) Her camel spin leg are more stretched (higher?).
    2) Spin in general are faster. When she spin, RA would yell 'Fast! Fast! ...' lol
    3) The jumps are 'Higher and Beautyful'.
    4) Double axle with more power and secure.
    5) Changed loop and lutz entry curve to make landing more secure. Here I suspect her musel memory has not been working too well when under pressure. Cuz I heard these two jumps were really VERY consistant in practice no problem at all.
    6) The speed sure improved since there is one session for stroking and spin.

    Though I thought RA made a stratege mistake by announceing MK will at least add a 3/3 into her LP at world when he was interviewed after Nats. So ppl's expectation is high. At that time MK did have her 3t/3t back (only worked with RA for about 6 weeks), but not consistant enough to put into program. He might thought given more than 2 monthes work towards worlds, she can get the consistancy down. They diddn't thought MK's long beaten body need more time to have consistant 3/3s. His rule for putting 3/3 into program even more strict than Frank Carol.

  6. #36
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Michelle's fall on the ice was just plain carelessness. I believe she set out to do a mediocre routine. Why I just don't know. The SP although better left much to be desired. However, she made quite the comeback in the LP. Clean jumps and the spins are getting faster and faster at ech compeitition. She was 2nd in that round and I hope she got the message that she could have been first if she ups the technical and stays away from the blues.

    Joe

  7. #37
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Joe, I'm curious about your take on Michelle's short program. Both you and Hockeyfan said that it wasn't up to par. On TV, at least to me, it looked great. Was there some specific mistake that she made, or did you just think it was a lackluster performance in person?

    I thought Michelle's performance was riveting from beginning to end.

    MM

  8. #38
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    Doris, great post and I did see the same improvement except the layback. I probably missed it. Her jumps were higher, even her 2A seemed to have more spring. But like you said, her 3S and 3T remained the same. Her 3z seemed to be just ok but its height was better. I guess this must be a temporary effect from her adjustment on her 3z.

    The best 3z I have seen her do was the first 3z in Red Violin at 2000 Worlds. She really was holding out on a long outside edge all the way to the board before the liftoff. As to whether she switched it back to the flat just before takeoff was too difficult to detect even in slow-mo. It was the closest to the true lutz jump she had ever got to.

    The one improvement at 2004 Worlds that struck me was her camel spin. Much more beautiful posture, more arch and the rotation was actually fast! In the past, her camel spin was excruciatingly slow (by world standards of course).

  9. #39
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    Joe, I'm with Mathman, I thought the SP was great. Full of tension and energy and the spins especially the camel spin were fast. The footwork perhaps wasn't as good as it was at 2003 Nationals and Worlds. Other than that, it was great. Even the spin combo at the end before the infamous late ending pose was nice to see. In the past I would find her spin combo boring.

  10. #40
    Extinction is Forever 4dogknight's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, when Sasha moved to train with Tarasova, there was a thread discussing what we could expect to see for the following season. I think it was Rgirl, in one of her thorough and thought provoking posts, who stated that because of the coaching change we shouldn't expect much for the following season and indeed we might see a little back sliding and her arguments supporting this conclusion were formidable.
    (If Rgirl or someone has this post, please feel free to repost.)

    Back to the object of this post: I think many people thought that because of the coaching change to Artunian, Michelle would have 3x3s, a quad, better and more varied spins, changed choreography, etc., in short a completely revamped Kwan and were disappointed when that didn't happen.

    What did happen were the more subtle changes and upgrades; the higher jumps, better speed, footwork added in preparation of faster spins and upgrades to the variety of spins.
    We must remember that those changes improvements were only over a couple of months.

    What happens next - who knows, we can only wait and see. Though I do predict we will see MK on the GP circuit probably at SA and SC. Will she medal? Who knows but I'd wager we'll see steady improvements in everything.

    4dk

  11. #41
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Re: Developing at different speeds

    Originally posted by Ogre Mage
    I also think that it is a really good point about skaters developing at different speeds. Interestingly, 5 of the last 6 World Championships were won by a lady 20 or older--

    2004: Shizuka Arakawa (22 yrs. old)
    2003: Michelle Kwan (22 yrs. old)
    2002: Irina Slutskaya (22 yrs. old)
    2001: Michelle Kwan (20 yrs. old)
    2000: Michelle Kwan (19 yrs. old)
    1999: Maria Butyrskaya (26 yrs. old)
    Good stats, Ogre!! this age thing has nothing to do with winning competitions. However, skaters, like dancers, develop differently in terms of aging. There are a lot psycholigical factors involved as well as physical factors. That is the basic reason I have never acknowldeged Oksana, Tara, and Sarah as being so special in the development of a skater. The thre were very lucky and that's that. It's basically watching a teenager dance giselle or watching a teenage act as Juliet. Both roles in dance and acting require a mature woman who can rflect on their teenage years. A teenager doesn't have that. I don't expect them to, but I do look at some of them as having a great potential and that included Oksana.

    Michelle, and now that Sasha is coming into her own, and I am still waiting for Shizuka to show she can do it again, may well bring figure skating back to the mature level.

    Joe

  12. #42
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    Re: Re: Developing at different speeds

    Originally posted by Joesitz

    Michelle, and now that Sasha is coming into her own, and I am still waiting for Shizuka to show she can do it again, may well bring figure skating back to the mature level.
    EuroSport commentator said something like her win was not by chance, as matter of she can repeat the performance twice in one week that says a lot.

    A little off topic here.
    Japanese ladies, and in a sense their federation, definitely are not afraid to push their body limit. I still remember back 1970's Japanese lady voleball team dominated the world by extremly hard trainning approach. Late on chinese lady voleball also invited the Japanese coach adopted the same trainning approach, in a short amount time they raise to the top of the world. The way I heard they trainning, here we would consider as athelete abusing, the coach might get sued for that. And to think about during the end of world war II, Japanese humman bomb piolets fighting against US carriers. US ladies really face the toughest chanlange in next a few years, if jump difficult become the most important decide fact in sport.

  13. #43
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Great posts, everyone. My thoughts on Michelle at worlds...

    1) Even with a fall and a pop in qualifying, she nearly took second in her group, with the 5/4 split with Ando. Some have said she was held up, and it may be true. But it also tells me that even with mistakes, the judges have high regard for her skating.

    2) She came out of that disappointment to skate a terrific short program. Not the unbelievable program of last year's worlds, but still terrific. Only the timing deduction quirk (whether you think it was "fair" or not) held her down.

    3) Then she comes back from that disappointment to find a streaker on the ice, and still delivers a wonderful long program. Not her very best, but wonderful. And even with a doubled jump and no 3/3, 4 of 9 judges still think she's the best in the long.

    4) So all this adds up to tell me that she is still a serious contender. The interesting thing will be how she fares with CoP. I think she will have to do the Grand Prix, both politically, and to find out how she is being judged under the new system. With RA as coach, I think she will continue to develop. Just look at the changes in such a short time. The camel spin was the most obvious to me, and I agree with the previous posts listing other improvements.

    5) Finally, with all respect, I must respond to the poster who says Michelle hasn't changed since 1998, an opinion I've heard too often. Having watched Michelle for years, it is easy to say that, as the changes have been gradual since then, (the exception being the big leap last year.) However, not long ago, I watched the famous 1998 nationals performances. Beautiful, fantastic, and not as good as what she does now. In 2004, her spins are faster, her postions better, her jumps higher and more secure, and her performance more nuanced. But the most obvious change is the speed over the ice, and the added strength and authority. Just look at one of those 1998 performances, and then look at worlds 2003 and 2004. I think her skating has evolved a great deal. Just my view.

    6) One last note to Mathman - this is from another thread. Thanks for the costume deduction message - that everyone else should get .5 decution for not looking as fabulous in her costume as Michelle does. I was still mad about the short, and that post ligthened my mood and made me laugh. Thank you.

  14. #44
    Custom Title Ogre Mage's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Developing at different speeds

    Originally posted by Joesitz

    Michelle, and now that Sasha is coming into her own, and I am still waiting for Shizuka to show she can do it again, may well bring figure skating back to the mature level.

    Joe
    Thanks, Joe. I think in Sasha's case in particular, the fact she did NOT immediately win the big events when she first broke onto the scene as a young thing may have been a blessing in disguise. She had some major deficiencies when she debuted in 2000 and since then she's made significant improvements in her skating. Success has come slowly, with her first major event win at the 2003 GPF and now her biggest achievement yet -- a Worlds Silver Medal -- at age 19. I think her best skating is ahead of her and she is still motivated to keep pushing.

    Too often I have seen skaters derailed after achieving big success at a young age. Michelle turned out to be the exception, but she is a special lady.
    Last edited by Ogre Mage; 03-31-2004 at 01:44 AM.

  15. #45
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    I think that with Arakawa I´m expecting her to be on the podium in Worlds 2005 and being in the position of fighting for the gold in Olympics. She does not need to have an extra pressure of needing to repeat her Worlds gold in Moscow. It is enough if she just skates well. If she happens to win the gold it is okay, but if not, a silver or gold is a good achievement also. It is for the Olympics she needs to have all her guns ready.

    Marjaana
    Last edited by Jaana; 03-31-2004 at 07:59 AM.

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