If he's a rollercoaster to watch, then perhaps that means he's not boring?
No, seriously though, I've never been able to see Jeremy as some fantastic artist that he's often touted as. His SP this year was a slog for me. His Saitama LP did give me a glimpse of what his fans see in him, and I think he should've placed fourth there. Sadly, too little too late to turn me into a fan. (And I've always found it difficult to root for headcases.)
I actually prefer both Jason and Max over Jeremy, but the truth is, neither of them are bigger podium threats than even Jeremy is. Jeremy's habit of bombing internationally would be more worrying if he were actually holding back someone who could medal. (Max likely would've done better in the Team Event than Jeremy, but it wouldn't have been enough to get USA the silver. I do feel for him though). So if he wants to continue... well, I don't think he's gonna get anywhere but I don't think he'll do much damage either.
I have been a fan of US skating since the late 1980's and I can't remember a time when we have had so few stars and medal threats across the board.
I do think that Gracie coming in fourth in Sochi is promising and I think in a year or two she will be in the medals and maybe pushing for gold at Worlds. Paulina is young and I like Ashley Cain (she is a Texan after all!) I think there is promise here but it has been a long time since Lipinski, Kwan, Cohen, and Hughes were doing so well. I think Ashley Wags is on the way down and Marai needs a coach (though I have always liked her better than Ash Wags).
Evan Lysacek was the last guy that was a lock to some kind of medal internationally. I never could trust Jeremy Abbott because he would skate so well at Nats and then totally buckle under pressure at a international event. I like Max Aaron but I think he will need more exposure to international judges to be able to crack the top groups. Jason Brown won't be anywhere near the medals until he can show the judges that he can do a quad.
I liked Ina/Zimmerman and Meno and Sand and they were good for a bronze every now and then. We have never won an OGM in pairs and our last world title was in 1979. With teams splitting left and right, I don't think we are anywhere close to breaking the glass ceiling in pairs.
This is where most of our hope is. D/W are defending OGM and had a silver in Vancouver. They have either golded or silvered in every competition in the last 4-5 seasons. Obviously if they are back for Nats/Worlds they are a lock to either gold or silver. The Shibs do have a world bronze, though they seemed to have regressed from that form in the last two seasons. Chock and Bates don't seem to be going anywhere for me. We do have a Junior World Title team so I think Ice Dancing will be the bell cow for the USFSA for the foreseeable future.
I totally agree about Jeremy. Artistry is great, but it needs good technicality to balance the artistry and give it a place to be in the program. If you are having to skate all of the jumps in a row to finish on time after a devastating fall, you don't have time for footwork sequences, moves in the field, and other elements of choreography like we saw in the SP in Sochi. If the jumps are clean and the levels are there on spins and required elements, then you have a forum to connect to the music and bring in the audience. That is why I am such a Kwan fan. She always had a balance of artistry and technical prowess. Sasha was a great artist, but was always good for a fall or two in the long which is why she never won Worlds but ended up in silver or bronze. It didn't matter how stretched she was or how deep she could lean into her edges because the other girls had more clean jumps and would beat her out in the end.
Originally Posted by Sandpiper
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I still am holding out hope for Chock and Bates. They have moved up in the world standings to 5th, albeit they did drop one place at the Olympics compared to the previous year's worlds.
Originally Posted by Coltrocks12
I believe Yasmin said on her website that she wanted to attend Harvard and still compete, probably similar to what Christina Gao has done (unless she was referring to collegiate competitive skating, but I don't know anything about that). I'm not sure Yasmin is quite at Gao's level though, but you never know when a skater can turn things around. I know she's been plagued by some injuries in recent years. If she enjoys skating and competing, then she should definitely continue if she wants. You're never really too old for school, but the gift you've been given to skate competitively won't last forever. Plenty of skaters seem to handle taking some classes while training at the same time.
Originally Posted by lbc2138
Kiri Baga, in essence, has retired from competition. She will be heading to the University of Pennsylvania to study neuroscience. In her journal entry, she says she's open to doing shows/collegiate competitions: http://figureskatersonline.com/kirib...skating-plans/
Though Kiri didn't have some of the technical goods to compete, I always though she had good basics and decent musicality. I also admire her willingness to give pairs a try. Speaking of which, is Taylor Toth still looking for a partner?
What about Gao and Zawadzki? Any updates?
I don't know if I'd say Ice Dance is the best bet for USA right now. That's only assuming D/W return (unlikely, imo). I don't see the Shibutanis or C/B going anywhere at this point.
Absolutely. The reason Michelle Kwan dominated--and was so compelling to watch--is because she had the technical goods to back up her artistry. It really annoys me when people compare her routines to Yuna/Mao's best and dismiss her as playing it safe. Really misses how revolutionary her artistic 7-triple routines were--considering the Olympics before her emergence (1994 Lillehammer) came down to a balletic artist with only 3-4 triples (Baiul) versus someone who landed five triples but had the musicality of a log (Kerrigan--deepest apologies to Kerrigan fans, I do admit that musicality is, of course, very subjective. ). (Midori Ito has done 7-triple routines, but Ito was such a freak of nature that she didn't inspire imitation until some 20 years later.) Michelle was also one of the fiercest competitors the sport ever had. I always trusted her, whereas with many others, the routine always seemed on the verge of going off the rails.
Originally Posted by Coltrocks12
Urgh, Sasha. I do have a soft spot for her because I find her performances quite beautiful even with the falls (whereas Jeremy's programs tend to just fizzle out if he falls). But there's a reason she couldn't even win Nationals until Michelle was gone, and never managed to win Worlds. I really wish Sasha could've had a better run than she did, but I had to roll my eyes whenever her fans tried to argue her superiority over Michelle.
I have found that the best teachers (maybe not at the elite level) are the mediocre students that had to really work hard to learn their skills. The really understand the "whys" of the right and wrong way to do things. They also have to patience to work with a person over as their student develops their skills. Based on this, I understand your comment about Caroline because she was a "natural skater."
Originally Posted by kwanatic
But finding a coach that stressing good technique is really tough.