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Thread: Ashley Wagner's popularity

  1. #46
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charmblade View Post

    Also, I don't really get why people have such a hard time with the idea that placement at Nationals does not automatically = on the Olympic team. It is a national competition, but it is not called the Olympic trials. Other sports have a specific competition called "Olympic trials" that is often separate from Nationals. Figure skating does not have this. Also, the USFSA said before Nationals that the placements would not necessarily be the eventual team members. Granted, most casual viewers would have no idea of this, but if you care enough to be more than a casual viewer this was not a secret.
    I think the reason that there was so much discussion of the selection for the Olympic team this year was because it went against long-standing precedent. Yes, the national championship is not called the Olympic trials. This was (or so it was widely asserted four years ago, when the USFSA changed the wording of the rules) because if it were called the Olympic trials then the USOC could stick it's nose in and the USFSA could lose some autonomy and control over nationals.

    The other reason is that although the USFSA said over and over that they were going to abandon precedent this year, no one really believed them because they had been crying about the same wolf over and over but nothing ever happened. When they finally did what they said they were going to do it caught people by surprise. (In fairness to the USFSA, though, the problem rarely occurs. Most of the time the best skaters internationally also do well enough at nationals to make the Olympic team -- or if not, then they receive a little nudge in nationals judging to make sure it all comes out right.)

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by YLFan View Post
    My two cents. Harding without the jumps and lead pipe.
    OMG. Ashley has more grace in her little finger than Tonya had in her whole body!!! I just don't see this AT ALL. No comparison IMO.

  3. #48
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    Being more of a renegade in my temperament, I find it hard to admit this, but sometimes it's not a bad thing to have an "establishment."

    Naming Ashley to the team was the smart move. Not universally popular, to be sure. But smart.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    To the OP's point about how Ashley is recieved I'll say this. Ashley is very abrasive and carries herself in an almost polarizing way. I think that is why she is so well recieved by some and kind of puts others off. To me it's fine and makes for but I can see how her attitude both on and off ice isn't well recieved by all.

    I said it on another thread but I really hope she puts on a bit more of an endearing program this year. I suggested Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley because I consider her a very powerful skater and the contrast from such a light yet powerful song mixed with deep edges and powerful emotion could capture some hearts next season. Sometimes beautiful music = beautiful skater in the eyes of fans. It would take a powerful display of skating to not be overshadowed by the music but the vocals on that particular song act more like an instrument which make it perfect IMO for competitive skating. Clearly a gamble too which might payoff big for her and prove to be wise at this point in her career. I guess what I'm saying is she needs to maybe stop trying to prove to the world both on and off the ice that there is a place for her and instead just skate her way into people's hearts. Carolina was a master in selling herself as a veteran and someone to root for. I like that approach much better for someone at this point in their career.

    I think that musical choice--or something similar--is an excellent suggestion. Something powerful and truly heartfelt could really help showcase what is good about Ashley's skating.

    What I really like is your even bigger point that Ashley needs to stop trying to prove to everyone (including herself I would imagine) that she belongs and just throw herself into her programs. She needs to skate more on the offense than the defense (of course that's probably good advice for any skater!).

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by YLFan View Post
    My two cents. Harding without the jumps and lead pipe.
    Tonya had legitimate grit to her skating. I think that's what's missing for me from Ashley's programs - she has 'rehearsed' grit. It's not natural to her skating. She's naturally more lyrical and tries to force that side but it just doesn't work for her.

    And Tonya did have great jumps. I'd say she might be the best jumper the US has ever had

  6. #51
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    Tonya had legitimate grit to her skating. I think that's what's missing for me from Ashley's programs - she has 'rehearsed' grit. It's not natural to her skating. She's naturally more lyrical and tries to force that side but it just doesn't work for her.
    I disagree. I find Ashley naturally gritty even if she doesn't have Tonya's jumps. I'd like to see more fierce programs from her. (YMMV, of course. And I wouldn't mind a softer program, per se, but I feel like we already have enough of those).

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    To the OP's point about how Ashley is recieved I'll say this. Ashley is very abrasive and carries herself in an almost polarizing way. I think that is why she is so well recieved by some and kind of puts others off. To me it's fine and makes for but I can see how her attitude both on and off ice isn't well recieved by all.

    I said it on another thread but I really hope she puts on a bit more of an endearing program this year. I suggested Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley because I consider her a very powerful skater and the contrast from such a light yet powerful song mixed with deep edges and powerful emotion could capture some hearts next season. Sometimes beautiful music = beautiful skater in the eyes of fans. It would take a powerful display of skating to not be overshadowed by the music but the vocals on that particular song act more like an instrument which make it perfect IMO for competitive skating. Clearly a gamble too which might payoff big for her and prove to be wise at this point in her career. I guess what I'm saying is she needs to maybe stop trying to prove to the world both on and off the ice that there is a place for her and instead just skate her way into people's hearts. Carolina was a master in selling herself as a veteran and someone to root for. I like that approach much better for someone at this point in their career.
    When did speaking ones mind equal abrasive? Ashley has always been one to voice her opinions, but she isn't going about it rudely. I feel like the negative attitude towards Wagner speaks more to people's perception of how females should behave than to Ashley's personal qualities.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilahozi View Post
    When did speaking ones mind equal abrasive? Ashley has always been one to voice her opinions, but she isn't going about it rudely. I feel like the negative attitude towards Wagner speaks more to people's perception of how females should behave than to Ashley's personal qualities.
    I didnt mean it as insult or some deep statement about speaking your mind but more as a matter of fact description. I for one like her attitude but my point was more that she creates a love me or hate me attitude both on and off the ice. That's fine but not everyone is going to love it.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
    I'm a little confused about Ashley's work ethic because I always thought that she was an example of hard work compensating for a relative lack of natural talent (i.e. the opposite of Mirai Nagasu's reputation). IIRC Ashley herself has talked about how she knows she isn't as naturally talented as some other skaters but that she could outwork them (in her TSL interview, I think).

    and yet this Rafael Arutunian interview from Absolute Skating seems to suggest otherwise:
    I would say her jump situation has changed insignificantly since she left her first coach Shirley Hughes. Her work ethic could account for this, but at this stage I wonder if that is likely to change. I wonder if Raphael would "fire" her if it doesn't change.

  10. #55
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    I really like her style and I hope I still haven't seen the best of what she can do. I hope she finds her groove

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    Naming Ashley to the team was the smart move. Not universally popular, to be sure. But smart.
    I do agree that Ashley placed higher than what Mirai probably could have achieved this year (how many places is anyone's guess), and she represented the US well - but was 7th place worth all that bad press? I can get behind the idea that sending Ashley to Worlds over Mirai for insurance purposes was a smart move (though ultimately not necessary), but did it get us anything at the Olympics? Well, besides accusations of racism and a meme?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think the reason that there was so much discussion of the selection for the Olympic team this year was because it went against long-standing precedent.... although the USFSA said over and over that they were going to abandon precedent this year, no one really believed them because they had been crying about the same wolf over and over but nothing ever happened. When they finally did what they said they were going to do it caught people by surprise.
    Yep, this. They'd thrown around that line about how they weren't going to go by Nationals order this time in past years, too. My problem with it was making the change in practice right before the Olympics - it'd be better to have started actually considering other results at the start of the new quad (i.e. starting with the 2011 Worlds selection) so there aren't surprises at the point of the big Olympic selection. And it's not like there weren't opportunities to do so in some of those years - Miner over Abbott, even Nagasu in 2011 who arguably would have been the US's best chance for a medal that year (would her career trajectory these past few years have been different if she'd gotten to 2011 Worlds?). Weir in 2009 had a stronger resume than Wagner this year and an excuse for a bad Nationals (illness). It's like USFS has been clueless in leaving their reigning World medalists and current best shots for a medal at home without a thought - so why now for a non-World medalist with only a very slim medal chance? It just seems political with a side of favoritism. Especially with the way the rest of the Olympic and World team selection went.

    On the other hand, I know Lipinski would have been taken in a heartbeat back in 98 even if she imploded her Nationals FS (remember she fell in the SP and was 4th). That sits a lot better to me, her being the reigning WC and all. So I guess if there was some actual set criteria like a certain Worlds or GPF placement that's transparent and could be used consistently, that would make it all more palatable. And, don't hurt me but... I guess I didn't find Ashley's resume good enough to warrant it. It could still have been acceptable though if they had announced at the start of the season that GPF medalists who place top 5 at Nats get automatic consideration, or something like that.

    On the whole though going by Nationals results has its advantages - it's straightforward, transparent, allows a chance for the up-and-comers to get a spot, and is the only head-to-head competition. If they do start following this "criteria" regularly, how is a new skater supposed to get assignments, anyway? Wouldn't their lack of experience be trumped by last year's world team members, even if they beat them at Nationals? It's not like there are enough assignments to go around for that to be much of a fair system (see Polina and her arbitrary lack of assignments), and then there's the rigging to get the top girls easy GP competition, making it easier for them to get that GPF bullet point. It's already kind of weird (well, to me, lol) that Ashley basically got off scot-free for bombing Nationals (again!) while Mirai finally clawed her way back and didn't get much reward for it. After never getting the benefit of the doubt back when she was a legit contender. Hmm, I sound like some kind of Mirai uber - I'm not. I like Ashley too and think it's fine that she's outspoken or whatever, and it's nice to see a stronger style out there among all the tinkly ballerinas. So really I just wanted to say in a long-winded way that people who weren't thrilled with USFS this year aren't necessarily ubers or haters of anyone involved, just concerned about fairness and the precedent that this whole thing set.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by YLFan View Post
    My two cents. Harding without the jumps and lead pipe.
    You might want a refund. Ashley had not nearly the amazing jumps Harding had (I agree that she's arguably the strongest jumper the US has ever had), but she has far more grace, sensuality, elegance, and finesse to her skating.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    You might want a refund. Ashley had not nearly the amazing jumps Harding had (I agree that she's arguably the strongest jumper the US has ever had), but she has far more grace, sensuality, elegance, and finesse to her skating.
    I feel like people tend to associate Ashley with Tonya because she once lived in Washington and trained with Dody Teachman, but the similarities end there (well, maybe also their lack of taste in Olympic practice outfits ).

    Of all the past US ladies to choose from, Ashley actually seems like the COP-reincarnation of Jill Trenary; a bit slower and with less freedom/flow than Jill that could be attributed to the differences between 6.0 and COP, but with the same womanly sensuality and expressive use of the upper body and arms.

  14. #59
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    I've been very open about being a total Ashley-fan. Have been since 2007, so long before she even won her first Nationals. The reason I became a fan? Her sassy smile and open, heart-on-sleeve personality coupled with the fact that she exudes passion for skating. I've observed Ashley's results under first Shirley Hughes, then Priscilla Hill, John Nicks and finally, Artunian. John Nicks and Philip Mills are the ones that brought her to the top, they found a way to channel raw musicality and grace into a good on-ice package as well as clean up and boost a lot (not all) of the technical content. I understand why she's known for being a 'two-footer', but I really think she does it a lot less every season. I also believe Artunian does a good job, though I miss John Nicks, her 'yoda'.
    For the upcoming season I feel she should play the "true woman, veteran skater, unique personality and grace" card to compete with the teeny girls that reel off triple-triples. I'm not automatically assuming that would work as well as it did for Carolina, because they *are* very different skaters, but if Ashley also manages to skate clean, hopefully with a triple-triple, she could be successful and reach some her longtime goals.
    As to her having opinions and talking big - I sometimes think she should be careful not to piss off the wrong people. But she's very sincere and she's not arrogant in the way someone like PChan is or completely PR-ignorant like Abbott. I can only speak from my own experiences, but on the occasions I did meet her, she's been absolutely charming to her fans.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
    I feel like people tend to associate Ashley with Tonya because she once lived in Washington and trained with Dody Teachman, but the similarities end there (well, maybe also their lack of taste in Olympic practice outfits ).

    Of all the past US ladies to choose from, Ashley actually seems like the COP-reincarnation of Jill Trenary; a bit slower and with less freedom/flow than Jill that could be attributed to the differences between 6.0 and COP, but with the same womanly sensuality and expressive use of the upper body and arms.
    I agree about Jill but, while Trenary was more "sensual" and reflective in her skating (and that, together with Carlo Fassi, is probably why she was so good at figures), Wagner is more the "go out there and give all you have" skater and person... And that's exactly what I like about her!

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