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Thread: Shizuka's future

  1. #1
    Custom Title Ogre Mage's Avatar
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    Question Shizuka's future

    Two questions about the new World Champion:

    1. Do you think Shizuka is a "one skate wonder" a la Sarah Hughes' OGM or have we seen the arrival of a first-rate competitor who will consistently place in the top 3?

    2. What should she work on in the off season?

    Discuss. OT, I am a little concerned how Shizuka will fare with the Japanese Federation. When Midori won Worlds in 1989, I always had the sense (perhaps incorrectly) that the federation was putting a lot of pressure on her and she seemed to mentally struggle with the expectations, particularly in Albertville. Maybe things have changed since then -- I hope they don't lean on Arakawa too much.
    Last edited by Ogre Mage; 03-30-2004 at 01:45 AM.

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    I hope that this World title will give Shizuka a boost in self confidence. I don't expect her to suddenly become an ultra-consistent skater overnight, though. She has been quite solid for the past two seasons (this last season in particular) and maybe she's on her way to being a Gold medal contender at every competition. But, I'd definitely like to see her work on her spins. Everything in her Worlds LP looked fine except for some of her spin positions....especially the camel. I also think that a little tweaking might also improve her artistry. She really seemed to feel the music in this performance more than ever before, but I believe she is capable of doing it to an even greater degree. Now that she is with TT I'm sure we'll see some intricate and spectacular programs next year.

  3. #3
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Midori carried the weight of the entire Japanese skating community on her shoulders.

    This past season was a terriffic one for the Japanese ladies.
    Shizuka won worlds.
    Miki won Junior worlds.
    Fumie won GPF.
    Yukina won 4CC.
    There are so many great Japanese ladies right now winning things, I doubt that the pressure on Shizuka will be as great as it was on Midori.

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    Re: Shizuka's future

    Originally posted by Ogre Mage
    1. Do you think Shizuka is a "one skate wonder" a la Sarah Hughes' OGM or have we seen the arrival of a first-rate competitor who will consistently place in the top 3?
    Nice try,

    Sarah Hughes was no "one hit wonder"........having consistently medalled in all international competitions since she first hit the senior scene in 1999 at the age of 13........there were only 5 instances in her 4-year career as a senior where she didn't medal/make the podium, as illustrated below:

    1999 - 4th Nationals, 7th Worlds, 4th SA, 3rd TL (joined a rare club of women that medalled their first time out as seniors ~ aka Yamaguchi, Lipinski, Zayak, Thomas).

    2000 - 3rd Nationals, 5th Worlds, 2nd SA, 2nd Nations Cup, 3rd COR.

    2001 - 2nd Nationals, 3rd Worlds, 2nd SA, 2nd TL, 1st SC, 3rd GPF.

    2002 - 3rd Nationals, 3rd GPF, 1st Olympics.

    2003 - 2nd Nationals, 6th Worlds.

    ***Note: also, Sarah was the 1998 National Jr. Champion & 1998 Jr. World Silver Medalist. In addition, she landed 11 different 3/3s in her 4-yr. career as a senior, culminating with two 3/3 combos. @ the 2002 Olympics.***

    As for Shizuka Arakawa, it remains to be seen what lies in store for her........btw it's no secret that I've always preferred both her & Yoshie Onda (& now Miki Ando) to Fumie Suguri.........most importantly b/c the former ones were always pushing the envelope despite falling & not receiving the medals. However, all their hard work eventually paid off, and now they are the ones receiving the accolades. BRAVO! (:^D

    At age 22, Shizuka has been a senior since 1998 (6 yrs. in total thus far) - she placed 13th @ the Olympics & 22nd @ Worlds that year - not to mention placing 8th last year @ Worlds (btw has only been to Worlds three times thus far; this year winning! ). Btw, her highest finish @ Jr. Worlds was 8th in 1997. Seems like she was a "late bloomer".

    ***Note: if I were to compare her win @ 2004 Worlds to anyone, it would be to Maria Butyrskaya, as the former was also a 'late bloomer' on the international scene; whereas Sarah was a young phenom IMHO.***

    Peace, Nadine

    P.S. What I wonder about is how the Japanese people will embrace Shizuka compared to her countrywomen that work @ home in Japan w/Japanese coaches - have read reports where it's said that the Japanese people kinda looked down upon Shizuka when she left Japan to go train with Westerners/Foreigners in the US - wonder how much truth there is to that...

    GOOOOOOOO SHIZUKA - KEEP LANDING THOSE TWO 3/3 COMBOS. & YOU'LL BE "CONSISTENTLY" KICKING A**!!!

  5. #5
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    It depends who you are talking about.

    It's true that Japanese people in general tend to dismiss Japanese people who stay abroad for over 2 years as "no longer Japanese", but this may be slowly changing. So, maybe some fans do feel this way.

    IIRC, it's the Japanese federation who are sending the skaters abroad, so I doubt that they will slight her in the future.

    Also, some fans may dismiss Yuka as "not as Japanese" as Midori, but that's thier problem. I'm 100% sure that the Japanese federation didn't hessitate on accepting Yuka's world title because she wasn't Japanese enough.

  6. #6
    Custom Title Ogre Mage's Avatar
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    What's particularly interesting in Shizuka's case is that while she is training in the United States, Team Arakawa is now composed of Russians (Tatiana Tarasova, Maya Usova, Evgeny Platov). Truly an international situation. I wonder what the fans in Nippon will make of that.

    Who did Yuka train with when she was in North America?
    Last edited by Ogre Mage; 03-30-2004 at 04:21 AM.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Question Yuka in North America

    I'm not 100% sure about this, but didn't Yuka train in Canada for a while with a coach named Peter Dunfield? This was after leaving Japan where her father had coached her.

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    WOW, I enjoyed so much of Arakawa´s freeskate, that it is actually the same to me what happens later. In other words, that skate will remain in my mind as one of the greatest and definetely as the most enjoyable one I have ever seen in ladies´ event.

    For Arakawa I hope that she will continue in the top level, and would expect team Tarasova to give her the coaching and programmes to stay there. She is now the star of the team Tarasova, Usova and Platov. Of course one should not forget to give Callaghan also credit for Arakawa´s success, but I understand that team Tarasova changed and polished her programmes and also polished her skating. For that all to happen in about a month´s time, tells that it is a question of an exceptional team combined with an exceptional skater. A skater who apparently was ready to listen to the team.

    Marjaana
    Last edited by Jaana; 03-30-2004 at 07:37 AM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    1, Time will tell if Shizuka becomes a top competitor. I personally think she will but she will have to prove that in the GPs and Moscow.

    2. I don't give TT full credit for Shizuka but I think she should continue to work with her. TT is aware of nuances in skating - something MK excels in, and that will keep Shizuka at the top level.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Go NJ Devils
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    Originally posted by Jaana
    WOW, I enjoyed so much of Arakawa´s freeskate, that it is actually the same to me what happens later. In other words, that skate will remain in my mind as one of the greatest and definetely as the most enjoyable one I have ever seen in ladies´ event.
    I was there and I agree!!! This is the best Ladies' program I have ever seen, and her flow, strength, speed, smoothness, edges and, especially, amplitude don't come across nearly as well on TV as they do in person.

    To me one difference in this performance was that there wasn't a single moment when I was nervous about the next element, as I always had been towards the end of her skate. When I heard that Platov was crowing to Eurosport about how much they had done with Arakawa in a month, I thought he was being arrogant; it was Callahan who made her run through her program each day once with jumps and once without, and the attention to detail was evident during her GP performances. But in an article published in the International Herald Tribune, available online (at least for now), Tarasova was quoted as saying, "We worked hard on her spins, we changed the approach to her jumps, we changed the step sequences, and we worked very hard on her breathing technique during the program." And it may have been the latter that made the difference between fading towards the end and landing her last late jump with strength and getting a standing ovation during her last spin.

    Off topic, one day I turned around waiting for a new phase to begin, and I saw Maia Usova about 10 feet away near the entrance of our section. She was talking to a group, and then I saw Platov just behind her. Talk about a gorgeous guy. It's not just the cheekbones or the clothes or the height: he has presence in spades. When the woman sitting next to me wryly commented, "He gets around," it was clear why it could be so.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Hockeyfan, thanks for the article. I wish, though, that they could get their facts straight -- it's not that hard! Usova & Zhulin won their gold under Dubova, Usova only worked with TT when she skated with Platov as a pro.

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    Re: Re: Shizuka's future

    Originally posted by Nadine
    Btw, her highest finish @ Jr. Worlds was 8th in 1997.
    Nope, she finished 7th in 1996.

    http://www.eskatefans.com/skatabase/...adies1990.html

    1996, Brisbane, Australia
    1 Yelena Ivanova RUS
    2 Yelena Pingatcheva RUS
    3 Nadezhda Kanaeva RUS
    4 Fumie Suguri JPN
    5 Tara Lipinski USA
    6 Vanessa Gusmeroli FRA
    7 Shizuka Arakawa JPN
    8 Shelby Lyons USA
    etc.

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    Re: Shizuka's future

    Originally posted by Ogre Mage
    [B]Two questions about the new World Champion:

    1. Do you think Shizuka is a "one skate wonder" a la Sarah Hughes' OGM or have we seen the arrival of a first-rate competitor who will consistently place in the top 3?
    Only time will tell. I first watched Arakawa competed agains the American ladies in 2001 SA. She landed a 7 triple program with a 3s/3l (the triple loop was a bit underrotated) but still, MK, Sarah and Sasha did not land any 3/3. She always has some of the best basic skills. I think if she pace herself and trains hard, she can only improve. She is a college graduate now, so she does not have to take time away from skating for school. Lets see what TT will do for her. I hope get rid of the beaver cleaver spin for starts.

    What should she work on in the off season?
    Spins, consistency, relating to audience, and triple axel. I have seen her landed triple axels in practice.

  14. #14
    Ice Angel
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    Shizuka Arakawa is going to do great in next two years. I remember how she did at 1998 Olympic. She had good baisc technique but lack consistancy and experience. She was a powerful jumper. Scott Hamilton commented that she was US novice level skater. I did not agree.

    Afterwards she was injured for a while. Since she came back you could see how much improvement she has made each time she competed. She has huge triples and great flow. Since she switched to TT just one or two weeks, you could tell she made improvement on the artistry. Good thing is after these years, she still show strong passion about skating and competing.

  15. #15
    Custom Title Ogre Mage's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hockeyfan228

    Off topic, one day I turned around waiting for a new phase to begin, and I saw Maia Usova about 10 feet away near the entrance of our section. She was talking to a group, and then I saw Platov just behind her. Talk about a gorgeous guy. It's not just the cheekbones or the clothes or the height: he has presence in spades. When the woman sitting next to me wryly commented, "He gets around," it was clear why it could be so.
    Arr, I've had the hots for Evgeny Platov since he was an amateur in the early 90s skating with Grishuk. Shizuka is lucky. He can come and train me anytime.

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