Size 7 Knife Boots
Very well said but if Ashley can skate at least one full event as well as she did her FS at worlds she could and likely should win a gold medal and I think that would be a very heartwarming tale.
I think Ashley deserves high PCS and with a full program of clean tech there is no reason she can't fend of any of the rising talents. I don't think it's crazy to say we'll see her at GPF again.
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She might have been "dumped" a bit for Gracie (although I think Gracie did skate better at the Olympics), but I think she would have been "dumped" even more had she not been put on the Olympic team. One of the reasons for her slipping down a bit is because of the rise of the Russian girls like Adelina, Julia, and Anna, too, especially in Sochi where many felt that Adelina and possibly Julia were overmarked/held up.
Size 7 Knife Boots
Conversely Lip and Pogo out skated Ashley at Worlds. So held up at Olympics or not Ashley needs to maintain a high level of technical consistency. She lost fair and square to Lip at GPF too due to consistency. She is capable of overcoming it but can she do it? That is the question for me. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ashley as the American #1 going into Worlds. The funny thing is she is such a wild card I wouldn't be surprised either if she is the #3. Same can be said for all the Rissians too. So my final conclusion is simply
Originally Posted by blue_idealist
I think it's a great time for the sport. It will be more fun having a lot of competitors who have a chance at medals and especially Gold. More interesting for me at least.
I think Ashley has a good chance of fending off youngsters from her own country and remaining in the USA top 3 (getting back to #1 would be difficult, as Gracie has surpassed her in PCS in the judges' eyes--I don't agree and think Ashley should've placed ahead at Worlds, but it seems to be the reality). So, if Ashley wants to continue to compete, I don't think her chances are too bad. Gracie's rather unpredictable, while Polina is still very young. Too early to judge other girls moving into senior.
The biggest difficulty for Ashley right now, imo, is the Russians crowding the international stage. She used to be able to depend on a few people to fail in order to medal. Now, all the Russians will need to fail for her to climb ahead--and there are a lot of Russians! So, she can continue making the American team and will get sent to events, but I dunno how good her chances of medalling will be.
No, not particularly. I think Ashley has sort of killed her own career by, well, crumbling under pressure when it counts the most and, unfortunately, by not being among the most talented skaters in the top cohort. She's done well with her gifts, but she just doesn't have the goods to really be among the top three ladies internationally. Her lack of a true 3-3, and the generally clunky nature of her spins and footwork have hurt her. Perhaps even more damaging has been her tendency to really fall apart under real pressure.
In search of a summer sport to love <3
I agree with this and what Kwanatic said on the last page. With the current top 3, anything can happen. And Ashley's 2 medals at the GPF are nothing to sneeze at. It all depends on what each lady bring to the table. Will Ashley do better with and Olympics under her belt and without the need to change programs during the season? Will Gracie find her
Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch
"style" and gain consistency? Will Polina have any growth issues or will she just come out and do as well as she did in 13-14? We shall see.
I agree. I think any of Ashley, Gracie or Polina can take Nationals next year depending on the day. Its fun after years of being just desperate to get back the 3rd sport that we now have 3 girls who could win GP events, make the GP final and make the final group at Worlds. I really believe Ashley will be a force next year now that the weight of USFS and public expectations are not squarely on her shoulders. I also believe Polina will continue to be super consistent and lovely and the PCS will go up up up.
Originally Posted by desertskates
I think we are yet to see the Ashley Wagner we think she is capable of being. :D
Excited for US skating now.
I really like Polina, so this is not meant as a slam in any way, but there are two big question marks for her. She could still grow; she is so long limbed, that it is possible she will get taller. It also remains to be seen how she will handle being one of the top contenders expected to do well. She came from nowhere at Nationals (yes, I know she won Jrs a year before--I saw her short live...but she was not expected to make the Olympic team at all), and expectations for her at both the Olympics and Worlds were very low. This coming season will be much different in terms of expectations and pressure. I sincerely hope she does well and learns to handle it all. But it will be a new challenge.
Originally Posted by desertskates
Rejoicing in the land of Kwan
Originally Posted by louisa05
A first senior season is always a big challenge but Polina is coming in slightly ahead of any other debuting seniors next season b/c she's already been to the two biggest senior level events in the sport (Olys, worlds) so that experience will be huge for her. Though she came from "nowhere", I wasn't the least bit shocked to see her do so well at nationals. She'd won both of her JGPs and likely would have won the JGPF if she hadn't made mistakes in her SP.
Polina grew from the JGP to nationals and her jumps seemed to have gotten higher in that time. She's listed at 5'4"/5'5" but I could see her growing to Carolina's height (5'7"). The good thing is she doesn't look like she'd fill out that much. If you look at Carolina at 16 and compare her to Polina, their body types are very similar.
The sucky part about the younger girls is there's always the threat of puberty but I think Polina will be okay, even if she does grow more. Her technique is solid and there are no glaring issues with her basic skating. We'll have to see...
As far as being in the spotlight/expected to win, we'll only know how she deals with that pressure once she's presented with it. The senior level is a completely different ballgame but I honestly think she and all of the newer girls coming in will have an easier time than people like Julia, Adelina, Gracie, etc. had b/c they are coming into a "depleted" field where all of the veterans who reigned over the last quad are absent. The newer veterans get the chance to really shine next season but everyone is so close together in terms of age and skill...if Polina really throws it down, I could see her right there in the mix with the top names.
No because that is where Wagner was heading anyways, age is not on Wagner's side either
and as a skater, she is already worn out
Sorry, but I'm a mix of and here. I mean...huh???
Why would it kill her career? I don't understand. It doesn't make sense to me. It's not like she obtained a career-ending injury at either Sochi or Saitama.
As far as pressure, I think Polina will be fine. We may not have expected her to make the Olympic team but I think it was totally in team Polina's plan. Watch the press conferences from Nationals. They knew no other skater had firmly penciled herself into the third spot. When she found herself with a chance being in 2nd after the SP in Boston, she didn't buckle at all. She doesn't seem to give off the nervy, deer in headlights type vibe we got from Gracie early on in her senior career. Polina seems to know she's really good and trusts her training. If she becomes a basketcase next year due to expectations, I will be shocked. I'm much more worried about Gracie buckling under the pressure of being US champion and those expectations that come with that on the GP and in Greensboro.
As for Wagner's future, I think it ultimately depends on whether she can stay healthy.
Edmunds may get there but she still has to grow up. She could just as well decline ala Meissner or Hughes...not ready to get hopes up yet. The potential is there however.
As for Gold, it will be 100% in her head. She won't get anywhere if she continues to cough up opportunities like the one that was presented to her at Worlds.
Back to Wagner - I think the analogy of the "American Suzuki" fits well, but even Suzuki has a world medal. Wagner is a good (not great) skater who is in the second-tier of world competitors. She has helped to keep the US afloat when all the other Americans were crashing and burning. But now that we have some talent now, it is time for them to lead the way. Wagner, as good as she has been, is clearly NOT going to be the one to get us back on top (even if that's what she wants).