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Thread: Ashley Wagner and the Olympics

  1. #46
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    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).
    Exactly. I think Ashley has lofty plans/expectations and that's good (shoot for the moon, land in the stars or whatever) but the reality of the situation is that she is #2 right now in danger of becoming #3 if Polina has a good senior debut year.

    Rather than Ashley being the gold medal threat on the GP she's been for the past two seasons, I think she's fallen down a tier and is now more likely to place 2nd or 3rd behind one of the New Big Three (who I'd say are Julia, Adelina and Gracie). In a head-to-head battle against either of those three if they are clean/close to clean, Ashley won't win. Similar to the position Akiko has been in for the past few years. She could challenge for a medal but she rarely stood on top of the podium. Akiko medaled in all but one GP event from 2008/09 to 2013/14 but only won gold twice.

    Akiko had an exceptional career but she never quite reached the top. Staring down the beginning of this next quad, it's looking like Ashley may end up in the same boat. By no means is it bad...but I don't think it's what Ashley wants. She wants to be at the top but as of now, she doesn't have the goods to get there.

  2. #47
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    No...Ashely skated well in Sochi and at Worlds. She's established herself in the 4-7 range. This...seems about right, given the field. Solidly top 10 in the world, but not exactly a medal contender unless things go weird. I think her scores got a hit because she wasn't USA #1 anymore, but Gracie is inconsistent and I could see Ashley taking that back this year, to be totally honest. No way has Polina surpassed her yet.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Rather than Ashley being the gold medal threat on the GP she's been for the past two seasons, I think she's fallen down a tier and is now more likely to place 2nd or 3rd behind one of the New Big Three (who I'd say are Julia, Adelina and Gracie). In a head-to-head battle against either of those three if they are clean/close to clean, Ashley won't win. Similar to the position Akiko has been in for the past few years. She could challenge for a medal but she rarely stood on top of the podium. Akiko medaled in all but one GP event from 2008/09 to 2013/14 but only won gold twice.
    I agree that if those 3 are clean, they'll beat Wagner. Julia is the most consistent except her Worlds and Olympics have been flawed. Sotnikova will be pressed to replicate her Sochi performances, although she'll now get the PCS to keep her in the game. Gold has shown inconsistency this past season, falling in practically every competition, however she is artistically improved and her PCS is way higher than at the start of the season... and if she works out the kinks this summer, she could be the only skater to really challenge the Russians next season (if Mao doesn't return).

    I'm not counting out Wagner just yet. She's qualified for the GP the past two seasons and won 3 out of 4 GP events she's been in. Of course, the rest of the field has drastically improved this past season, including newcomers like Pogo and Edmunds, so her chances will be limited. However, I think people had this write-off attitude about Kostner this past season, and yet she's the only one who managed to medal at both Worlds and Sochi (individual). I don't expect her to medal at Worlds because of the depth of the Russian field (and if Gold finds her consistency), but I wouldn't be surprised if she managed to win a GP event and qualify for the GPF. I wouldn't be surprised either if she regained her national title because Edmunds is still fresh out of the games and Gold still needs to sort out her technical issues.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I agree that if those 3 are clean, they'll beat Wagner. Julia is the most consistent except her Worlds and Olympics have been flawed. Sotnikova will be pressed to replicate her Sochi performances, although she'll now get the PCS to keep her in the game. Gold has shown inconsistency this past season, falling in practically every competition, however she is artistically improved and her PCS is way higher than at the start of the season... and if she works out the kinks this summer, she could be the only skater to really challenge the Russians next season (if Mao doesn't return).

    I'm not counting out Wagner just yet. She's qualified for the GP the past two seasons and won 3 out of 4 GP events she's been in. Of course, the rest of the field has drastically improved this past season, including newcomers like Pogo and Edmunds, so her chances will be limited. However, I think people had this write-off attitude about Kostner this past season, and yet she's the only one who managed to medal at both Worlds and Sochi (individual). I don't expect her to medal at Worlds because of the depth of the Russian field (and if Gold finds her consistency), but I wouldn't be surprised if she managed to win a GP event and qualify for the GPF. I wouldn't be surprised either if she regained her national title because Edmunds is still fresh out of the games and Gold still needs to sort out her technical issues.
    Agreed. It's not "GAME OVER" for Ashley but she's going to have to work a lot harder than everyone else if she wants to win. Whereas Julia, Adelina and Gracie will probably be able to get away with a mistake, Ashley won't have that luxury anymore. When you're shooting for the top from the bottom, you have to be on your game 100% b/c you have zero room for error. Ashley can't afford mistakes against this much more competitive field which means that 3-3 needs to be like clockwork instead of 2-footed and URed like it was in the 2nd half of the season.

    Yu-Na is gone, Mao won't be competing next season and I doubt if we'll see Carolina either. That leaves the top wide open, though the New Big Three already have a leg up over everyone else. Anna's 4th place finish at worlds has her above Ashley as well.

    I could see her regaining her national title in a situation where Gracie flubs up, assuming Polina doesn't have a breakout season. But internationally Ashley will have to battle big time if she wants to make it to the podium and she'll need help from others.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by flutzy13 View Post
    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.

    I agree with this above. And louisa05, it wasn't a Polina slam at all, just your thoughts
    I'm not sure if it's her young age or just her natural disposition, but Polina doesn't seem nervous, she acts as though she's having fun! My gut says that at this stage of her career, she won't buckle under pressure. Should she have a few bad skates, there is plenty of time to fix it. she also reminds me of a young Carolina. The one I saw at SA '03 who became a World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist.
    For Ashley, I hope she finds a choreographer that will work with her on choice of music, that caters to her strengths, and gives her a long program that she loves as much as she loves 13-14's short. And I hope Gracie fixes some tech. issues and works her power into her persona.
    To me, this will be the most interesting ladies' US "duke 'em out" in quite some time

  6. #51
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    I saw Ashley, Gracie and Polina all at Stars on Ice this past weekend and I have to say that regardless of the scoring, I connected with Ashley the most out of the three (Mr. P felt that way as well). Ashley is a solid performer and really projects herself. Also I thought her jumps looked really good!

    Gracie certainly has big jumps, great speed and ice coverage but I found that she doesn't really perform or connect to the audience though I know she's trying. (Also I hope Gracie works out whatever issues she has with that 2A -- she fell on that jump during her All that Jazz performance).

    Polina has a charm to her and she has great musicality but I think her artistry will develop over time -- she's not there yet. However she definitely has the technical goods.

    Ashley also got the biggest applause out of the three girls.

  7. #52
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I saw Ashley, Gracie and Polina all at Stars on Ice this past weekend and I have to say that regardless of the scoring, I connected with Ashley the most out of the three (Mr. P felt that way as well). Ashley is a solid performer and really projects herself. Also I thought her jumps looked really good!

    Gracie certainly has big jumps, great speed and ice coverage but I found that she doesn't really perform or connect to the audience though I know she's trying. (Also I hope Gracie works out whatever issues she has with that 2A -- she fell on that jump during her All that Jazz performance).

    Polina has a charm to her and she has great musicality but I think her artistry will develop over time -- she's not there yet. However she definitely has the technical goods.

    Ashley also got the biggest applause out of the three girls.
    Ashley is by far the best performer in the field of US ladies...well, I'd put Samantha Ceasario up there too in terms of carrying music, projecting to the audience and selling a program.

    Frank and Lori were successful in slowing Gracie down and making her finish her movements rather than rush through them; that upped her presentation considerably. However, I still find her actual performances to be rather one dimensional. There's a pretty smile on her face but there's nothing behind the movements. She still looks very rehearsed whereas with Ashley, you can see there's more to what she's doing than just a movement...she's feeling the music and choreography. Hopefully Gracie will get to that level...

    Polina is only 15 or 16 so she's got time to really develop as an artist. I think she has innate grace and an engaging on ice personality (definitely saw it in her SP this year) so I feel like she just needs time to mature and grow.

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    I would not put Mirai out, Mirai have great maturity like Ashley in her exhibition : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ns0mCEtuMM .

    Ashley and Mirai are the best to me in term of ice personality and bringing the audience with them! Gracie and Polina needs some works in this area.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolboogie22 View Post
    I would not put Mirai out, Mirai have great maturity like Ashley in her exhibition : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ns0mCEtuMM .

    Ashley and Mirai are the best to me in term of ice personality and bringing the audience with them! Gracie and Polina needs some works in this area.
    Oh yeah! I liked Mirai's SOI programs as well. I liked her Demons program. I hope she can transfer some of the performance/passion to competition.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolboogie22 View Post
    I would not put Mirai out, Mirai have great maturity like Ashley in her exhibition : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ns0mCEtuMM .

    Ashley and Mirai are the best to me in term of ice personality and bringing the audience with them! Gracie and Polina needs some works in this area.
    It's sad that Mirai pretty much wasted 4 years. She's always had the talent to be the best in the US but never stepped up and has now been passed by. If she works really hard and improves (the way she started to do around the end of the GP and at nationals last year) she could work her way back into the mix. She needs to learn to bring that energy and feeling to her competitive programs as well as land the jumps--maintain your focus while performing.

    I think there is still time for Mirai, especially after nationals and finishing 3rd but only if she really puts forth the effort and starts delivering results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Just like Mao, Kostner, Kim, and Suzuki, who are all older than her?

    As for "worn out", Wagner had a strong GP season, being the only American woman to win a Grand Prix event, and the only American woman to manage to qualify for the Grand Prix final.
    Suzuki is a late bloomer that is rare in ladies skating not the norm
    the other 3 ladies are exceptional skaters, Wagner is not
    even she can't beat Gracie at World Championships even with her mistakes

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    I'm rooting for Ashley.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    Suzuki is a late bloomer that is rare in ladies skating not the norm
    the other 3 ladies are exceptional skaters, Wagner is not
    even she can't beat Gracie at World Championships even with her mistakes
    Ashley is also a late bloomer of sorts. Not to the same level as Suzuki, but she got her stride in hear early 20s, not her teenage years like many other skaters.

    I will always root for Ashley because she has that fire and drive to succeed. Even when she falls, she doesn't give up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    Ashley is also a late bloomer of sorts. Not to the same level as Suzuki, but she got her stride in hear early 20s, not her teenage years like many other skaters.

    I will always root for Ashley because she has that fire and drive to succeed. Even when she falls, she doesn't give up.
    Wagner is on her way down already
    she peaked in 2012, I see her retiring next season
    will fall to no.3 or 4 in the coming season, she is done

    Gracie, Polina and many other talented fresh young girls are better than Wagner

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    Wagner is on her way down already
    she peaked in 2012, I see her retiring next season
    will fall to no.3 or 4 in the coming season, she is done

    Gracie, Polina and many other talented fresh young girls are better than Wagner
    Not so fast! Ashley's already said she's shooting for Pyeongchang - and one bad season won't throw off her determination.
    And who else? Karen Chen? Amber Glenn? I can't see either of them having as good of a senior debut as Polina - who can't challenge a clean Ashley right now.

    Gracie, Polina, Ashley, Mirai, maybe Christina, and maybe maybe Agnes (in that order) are the US ladies that still have a small chance in an international field right now (if the last three clarified can get it together, of course.)

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