Second Tier US Skaters
I hate the title but couldn´t think of anything else.
So, all this attention on the Oly graduates . Brown, Gold, etc. What about the others? Christina Gao, Adam Rippon, Agnes Zawadzki - I´m sure you have your favorites. Any word? Will they keep going?
Seemed like in the old days - 1990´s - if a skater continued not to progress they dropped out, were not financially supported, etc. Now, it seems skaters - who are wonderful - but not advancing internationally stay in. I won´t name names.
Is the US spreading itself too thin? Or, is the newer philosophy fairer, giving skaters a chance to incubate longer?
I think Adam is continuing at least through next season. No idea about Agnes and Christina. I imagine the latter will compete next year while attending Harvard.
Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity
I'm pretty sure that Gao had said before the beginning of this season that it would be her last -- that to complete her career, she would go all out for a spot on the Olympic team.
In any case, she was back in classes at Harvard by the end of January (I realize that her concurrent studies did not preclude competing in the past).
And a cool thing is that the Harvard Club of Boston hosted an event for the Sochi Ladies FS, with Gao giving commentary.
It must be such a tough decision. At least Gao has an equal force pulling at her from the academic world, as Rachael does, so she will know the satisfaction of accomplishment whichever choice she makes. The one I worry about is Agnes. The look on her face at Nationals gave me the impression that skating has been everything to her, and to her family--all her eggs in that one basket--and if it doesn't work out, there's an extra heartbreak involved. I hope she does continue (and is financially able to continue), because I think she is young enough to reach higher than she has done. Certainly Ashley is a great role model in that regard. She was really a second-tier skater at that age and managed to reinvent herself. While Ashley is not a contender on the level of people like Julia L. out there in the world, she has done a respectable job internationally and can feel great satisfaction in her results. I wish for that with Agnes.
I'm not as familiar with the men. Of course Adam's skating is so beautiful that I hope he can make his results more consistent. No one else from the U.S. has his high-quality moves, but alas, his jumps don't deliver most of the time. Jason, of course, is a bundle of potential, who could use a bit of refinement and polish but who has a lot of the other strengths we need. And he and his team are so smart about what they try for and create. Of the other men I can't say anything.
Ice dance...certainly the Shibs are world-class, but they're not in that stratosphere that Davis/White and Virtue/Moir are. Is anyone? I doubt it. I foresee lots of YouTube viewing to satisfy our ice dance yearnings in the near future.
I think GAO went back to school. I read an interview where she said she loves Harvard. Who could pass that up . I hope Agnes is done. I would like to see other athletes get a shot at the GP.