I think Ashley is capable of winning a medal but her free skates have been too sloppy. I think when she was still skating under John Nicks her skating was more crisp and cleaner. I think he's more of a task master than Artunian. JMO. I, too, have never been much of a fan of hers but I do think she works hard. I find her skating kind of boring and rote in that she doesn't really connect with her music - just goes through the motions of her choreography. But I do wish her well and I hope between the 3 US women that we have placements that will put us in good stead for next year's competitions.
I think that some day, skating fans will learn that we can predict nothing. Especially in ladies.
Who predicted four years ago that Ashley would be a two time National Champ and Olympian while Mirai would not make another World team?
And a quick skim through the Olympic predictions thread shows that while a good number of people picked all the other gold medalists, no one picked Adelina. And hardly anyone had Mao off the podium.
No one saw Gracie coming four years ago. Let alone Polina.
A year ago, some people around the web were picking Liza T for gold and she didn't even make the team.
I don't know what the future holds for Ashley. But I'm pretty sure we can't predict any of it!
I still think a medal at '14 Worlds is a long shot for her (not impossible, though, I should stress). Gold, OTOH, has a great chance here.
I think the favorites will be Lipnitskaya, Asada and Kostner. Gold could factor in if one slips up and she is on.
Wagner, I predict, will fall between 5th and 9th depending on how generous the judges feel(?). Now, if Gold has an off-night as well, that MIGHT be the door-opening that Wagner will need. But three years now and she hasn't gotten that. You simply cannot rely on others' mistakes if you want to move up.
I hope Ashley can stick around for another four years, but I'm not sure USFSA will stick with her if the U.S. ladies scene continues to develop as it did this season. Granted, it's impossible to predict what will happen for sure, but right now, it looks like Gracie Gold has arrived as the judges' favorite of the U.S. ladies. Polina Edmunds has already beaten Ashley at Nationals, but it's hard to know what her future holds right now. If one assumes both Polina and Gracie will stick around as top U.S. ladies, that only leaves one spot.
I'm pulling for her, but today, it seems like she's facing long odds. The thing she's got going for her is that she's been pretty consistent in the big events, so I don't expect her to fall far (if she falls at all), but will U.S. Figure Skating continue to back her if she doesn't prove herself capable of winning World medals? Or in three, four years, will they want to give a chance to another young skater?
I agree that you can't really predict, but my speculation would be that, while it's not impossible for Ashley to make the 2018 Olympic team, it's improbable. If Ashley spent 4 years getting her 3/3s consistently fully rotated, fixed her two footing issues and significantly improved her skating skills, she could be a contender, but that's certainly a tall order for someone at her stage of the game. Gold & Edmonds seem likely to surpass her, but they might fizzle and maybe none of the current juniors will rise up. If she is willing to do the work, I see no reason she shouldn't give it a go, if that's what she wants.
I honestly don't think Ashley has another four years in her. She may be able to go two more. I remember her saying that she wanted to go to college full time after these Olympics. I guess she changed her mine about that.
I am worried she won't be ready for worlds with all this going to the Oscars business.
It's longevity, not talent that determines staying power...
We can't possibly know if Wagner will remain relevant all the way to 2018, but if she did, that would be one hell of a story. Even MK couldn't make it through 3 Oly cycles...and Cohen tried returning at 25 (1 year younger than Wagner would be in 2018) for her 3rd shot at the Olympics and fell short. Anyway, I do think Wagner can get at least one more season in. Next year could be a big opportunity for her if there is a mass retirement of top ladies after this season...
I suppose if Kostner can do it at 27, it's not impossible...but being from the US, it'll be a battle to even get on the World team each year (as will be the case in Russia as well).
Honestly I don't think anyone did. But at the same time, it wasn't improbable or anything. She was only 16 anyway and still had to fill out/grow up.I was not a fan of Kimmie [Meissner], but I never saw her career taking the path it did after 2006.
I caution folks against anointing Edmunds for the same reason. She's 15 - we don't know how her career will pan out once she begins to grow up.
Yeah, I think there's a slim possibility it will happen, but it's not likely. Although, as others have said, it's difficult predicting these sorts of things.
I think the biggest obstacle in Ashley's way is simply that she's not the most talented girl on the block. She obviously works very hard and has a fighting spirit (unless she's under extreme pressure). However, it's hard to imagine a world in which Ashley's skating skills actually get better between the ages of 23 and 27. If they're not there now, it's likely they're about as good as they're gonna get. So, while she's not a bad skater by any means, she's just not on the same level as the top tier girls. Now, if the other girls start imploding due to injury, mental health issues, etc., then Ashley has a shot at sticking around in a legit way. But judging by her somewhat stilted flow across the ice, clunky footwork, slow spins, and her lack of a true 3-3 combination (that is reliably fully rotated), it's just hard to see Ashley competing and winning going forward.
But you never know. She'll really have to work on her skating skills, loosen up her stiff knees, get more spring in her jumps, increase her speed across the ice, inject more fluidity into her footwork, etc.
One thing to consider is that Ashley is healthy. Yes, she 22 and will be a year older than Sasha Cohen in 2018, but she hasn't had any major injuries and is relatively flexible all things considered. She also has maintained a healthy weight and her fitness level remains quite high, IMO.
This is exactly why Ashley is still in the conversation after the 2008 coming out party. Rachael Flatt dealt with injuries (and who knows how much of that is caused by overtraining), Caroline Zhang clearly has had some fluctuation in fitness over the years. Mirai has been inconsistent in training but a growth spurt/body changes also affected her.
To Ashley's credit she doesn't seem to be the type to overtrain and she seems to have a good sense of when it's time to call it a day (unlike Evan Lysacek).
Gracie will be the biggest threat, but it's hard to say how much of a threat Polina and Karen Chen will be after they settle into their adult bodies.
Samantha Cesario might have a slow-and-steady rise to the top, Ashley Cain can certainly move up if she gets more consistent on her 3-3 and her toe pick jumps. Hannah Miller has well-choreographed programs and decent basics.
There's a lot of promising skaters out there, but I can't say definitely AT THIS POINT that anyone of them will DEFINITELY overtake Ashley for the long run. Gracie is the only one I think that is a true threat to Ashley at this point. Polina has beaten Ashley, yes, but it remains to be seen if she has definitively passed her.
It catches up to you....eventually.
Not saying Wagner WILL get hurt, but if she doesn't (AND she keeps up her skills/improves), she'll have beaten the odds. JMO, YMMV.