Sorry. Big mistake. And I was there.
Sorry. Big mistake. And I was there.
For the spiral I was thinking more of black swan. Shallow edges.
Anyway getting the levels on spins and making them pretty aren't really the same. She also favors the back camel entrance which gets repetitive.
I love Ashley, she's got FIRE and knows how to sell a program. I find her more engaging to watch than any other US woman at the moment.
I love her attitude, it's refreshing to see a nice-but-sassy woman in skating. Too many women fall into the "pretty princess" trap where they just say the nice things and keep their head down. Way more fun with personalities!
But.... Some of the criticism of Ashley is legit, she works hard and love the sport, but if she did not win a world medal when Yuna was out, Mao was reworking her jumps and Caro watered diwn her content. It will be harder for her to get on that podium without a 3-3, because all the newbies on top have it.
She was never my favorite, but I like how she was the only skater who did not toe the line last summer when the US squad was asked about the anti-gay laws in Russia, and she made her position and her feelings on it loud and clear. I respect her candidness and honesty. When she made that face at the team event SP I actually liked her even more, actually! While it's best for skaters to be calm and professional, her reaction was a breath of fresh air. It wasn't meant to be a diss against the judges directly IMO, she knew she didn't perform very well. When the general public and media turned against her after nationals I felt for her. Overall she didn't have the best season but she still got to perform at the Olympics, medaled on the GP series and brought home a team bronze from Sochi.
She'll be "old" by this sport's standards by 2018 and I don't see her going to those games, but in the next year or two, if she chooses to close out her career, I hope she does so on a high note.
For those who wail on her for going to Worlds instead of Mirai, the US would have only 2 spots next year given that Mirai herself wouldn't have placed top 8 at Worlds (heck she wasn't even top 9 at 4CC).
ETA: FS is also an international olympic sport. Those competitors represent their country, American football players represent themselves. They probably don't need to increase the popularity of that sport over there quite as desperately as FS
Respect, but not love.
I respect her work ethic and determination, but I just can't find a way to love her programs. Something is missing, and it's hard for me to define exactly what that is.
I agree with most of the other posters on here. I like her a lot. Is she the most talented skater out there? No. Is she fun to watch and can she sell a program? Definitely. She has done a respectable job of being the US #1 lady for a few years, and while I wasn't quite ready for her to pass those reins over to Gracie, I can see Gracie's potential and I'm ok with it. I definitely want her to keep competing though, as I don't think that Ashley is done yet. Chasing Gracie could be really good for her, maybe it will keep that competitive spark strong and I am definitely not convinced that she can't still beat Gracie.
I find her attitude refreshing. I think she doesn't have a great filter and wears her emotions on her sleeve, which could be problematic, except I am not turned off by her personality. There are several outspoken skaters who just grate on my nerves when they talk (Chan, Abbot, Moir to name a few) but not Ashley. I think the difference is that I never feel like she isn't taking the competitions seriously or blaming anyone else for her mistakes. Remember at Nationals after that free skate when she was just repeatedly mouthing "I'm sorry" to the camera? She knew she screwed up and was owning up to it, which shows a certain appreciation of her fans. Yes, she is sassy and not afraid to speak out, but she still comes across as likable to me. And judging by the many Twitter/Instagram pictures she is always in with other skaters, she seems to get along and have fun with almost all the other US skaters.
I think people find Ashley polarising because she's a well rounder skater (middle of the pile, but can hold her own among the best). But more importantly- she's a fully realised person. She knows what she's about, she has opinions which she expresses whenever she wants, she's not a drone. People find that quality refreshing while the rest still want to pretend FS is a pageant where everyone should be a 'packaged' and PR-friendly.
The whole debacle over her inclusion in the team was just absurd. She was always going to be in the team. She needed to be in the team, otherwise the US team would have faltered. Yes Polina proved herself and so did Gracie- but those two performances should have been outweighed by Ashley's body of work anyway. Plus Mirai would have faltered. She showed signs of return but Mirai at the time wasn't any better than Zijun Li having a meltdown.