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Thread: Michelle Kwan vs. Irina Slutskaya

  1. #16
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    Everyone said Elena Liashenko was over, too. But last season was her best ever: she won two gold medals and a silver in the GP, and finished 4th at the GPF; then won silver at Europeans. She didn't do well at 2004 Worlds only because she'd had surgery for a cyst only a few weeks beforehand.

    Kwan turns 24 next month, not exactly ancient. She is the reigning US Champion and bronze World medalist. She doesn't look done yet to me.

  2. #17
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by show 42
    It always interests me as to why people think champions have to or need to retire. Barry Bonds didn't after his record breaking year last year. Pitchers don't after they pitch the perfect game.........athletes retire when their bodies give out or they no longer have the desire to compete..........gosh, I guess it must be the same for figure skaters.......sorry some of you are tired of Michelle and Irina....you can be tired, but don't count anyone out.......42
    This is a totally different story. I believe that the reason why skaters usually go out on a high, are because they need to maximize their earning potential as pros. Most ball players are already pro. In the case of MK, things have changed and she'll make just as much money staying in as turning pro. For some people it's perhaps a hold over from the old days. Right now, turning pro may as well be retiring, with the few pro oportunties that are televised. Pro skating has never earned anyones respect anyways. Skating is full of weird rules that don't make any sense, starting with "you're only as good as your last skate". Others probably just want to see thier idol going out with a bang rather than a whimper.

  3. #18
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    I have to admit that I don't want to hear about ante or combos anymore. I don't want to hear about the dreaded quad from skaters who have never completed one in a competition. I wish they just say you see them when you see them. If you don't it's because I can't do them.

  4. #19
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Berthes.........I'm not sure I understood your response to my post. I wasn't referring to dollar amount earned, and I don't think it matters if an athlete is a pro or amateur, unless one is only thinking about money. I was referring to her ability to skate competitions and being able to keep up with what the other skaters are doing.....It was mentioned in another post that she was past her skating prime and should have retired in 2003 and gone out as a champion........that to me is a state of mind........42

  5. #20
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Sorry I wasn't more clear. Let me try again:

    1. Despite what is happening now in skating, most of the sentiments still expressed are holdover from the old days. One skated amature with no pay, then turned pro where your ability to make money was dependant on you ending up on top.
    2. Baseball players who are followed, famous and make it to TV, are pros. In skating, eligable skaters are more followed/famous than pros. It's toally apples and oranges. If a player plays a few years after his prime, he can still make big bucks, a certain incentive to continue. If a skater stays eligable after a big win, their eanring potential actualy goes down. That's why most skaters turn pro after an Oly win, etc.. To me, the baseball player staying pro after his peak is more like Kat Witt still skating as a pro. Done for the love of it, plus a few extra bucks for old age.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymkfan51
    Also, mzheng ... I know you posted on MKF about Michelle not being back at the rink yet, but that you thought she was in Connecticut. I assumed that would be to work with Morozov. IMO it is still quite early to be training hard. Michelle just finished COI 3 weeks ago, so I actually expected her to take a personal break for a little bit before jumping back into serious training. Even Sasha, who ended her COI tour a month before MK, is only just now getting back to the rink.
    Do you think Michelle is not serious about getting back to training? Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but you seem a bit unsure about her plans to go on.
    nymkfan51, my original post was based on what MathMan posted what her coach said about her. IMO, she is going to use this season test water of CoP, if she is doing well in GP she might just continue to 2006.

  7. #22
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    If I have to sit thru the 7th season in a row of "I know that I have to up the ante" and then not do it, I'll just scream. -- Berthe's Ghost
    ITA about MK's favorite saying--yep, saying you need to up the ante doesn't mean a damn thing unless you actually do it. -- Icewings
    I think our sweet 'Chelle has been having us on, and we have fallen for it. Looking at all those interviews over the last couple of years, I think she's saying, IF I were serious about this I would be upping the ante. But since I haven't really decided on anything yet, I'll just coast along for a while, pick up another couple of national championships and world medals, and see what happens.

    I might be wrong, but I think no one was more surprised than she when she won the U.S. and world championships in a cakewalk in 2003.

    As for Irina, I am encouraged by her performance at the Marshall's competition. She skated great and maybe deserved as high as third, against impressive competition. She rushed her recovery too much in trying to compete at Dortmund -- probably in part because the Russian team needed her.

    Mathman

  8. #23
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    Quotes from the coach

    Quote Originally Posted by mzheng
    nymkfan51, my original post was based on what MathMan posted what her coach said about her. IMO, she is going to use this season test water of CoP, if she is doing well in GP she might just continue to 2006.
    Arutunian says, "Cross your fingers she will be there in '06...I will talk to her about starting to compete next season. I wish to make her compete in the Grand Prix Series. I would never dictate, we would have a conversation. It will depend on how she feels."
    Since this quote of Arutunian's is from a magazine that just came out and monthly print magazines usually have at least a 3-4 week lead time, I think that Michelle and Rafael may already have had that conversation. After all, it was just two weeks ago that the GP assignments came out, with Michelle's name in there for Skate America and Skate Canada. It certainly is possible that she might change her mind, but to me it seems as though she is planning to "test the CoP waters" this next season. There is three months until the first event that she is likely to be in -- the Campbell's event on October 1 -- so her not being in full training mode yet is not so unusual.

    I agree with Mathman (or whoever it was, if not him) that Irina looked much better at the Marshall's comp than at Worlds the week earlier. Of course, that was just a single program, vs. the 3 she had to skate at Worlds. I am hoping that her physical condition will allow her to continue competing as long as she desires.
    Last edited by skatingfan5; 06-29-2004 at 02:43 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #24
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    My personal feelings about both of them is that their best figure skating is behind them. These veterans will still look good out there but there will be those very young skaters (think Ota, Phaneuf, etc.) battling it out for the podium.

    It would be nice to see La Kwan and La Slutskaya both have a great last hurrah.

    Joe

  10. #25
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    If we're talking about 2005 Worlds, there is no guarantee Ota will even be on the World Team. Arakawa, Ando and Suguri all finished in the top 7 at 2004 Worlds, and they are tough competition. Yukina is a lovely skater, but she does have a problem with underrotated jumps. If the others finish better in the 2004-2005 Grand Prix than Ota does, her chances of making the World Team are not great.

    Cynthia Phaneuf is a promising skater, but it is a huge leap from 10th at Junior Worlds to the World podium in one year. Let's see how she does against Senior skaters at the Grand Prix.

    Ota and Phaneuf are indeed younger than Kwan and Slutskaya, but they are not 'very young'. By the time 2005 Worlds comes around, Ota will be 18 and Phaneuf 17. If you're talking 'very young', there's Mai Asada, Katy Taylor and Kimmie Meissner. Asada is old enough to go to Worlds, but like Ota, she isn't likely to make the Japanese World Team. Taylor and Meissner are too young for big Worlds.

  11. #26
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    My personal feelings about both of them is that their best figure skating is behind them. These veterans will still look good out there but there will be those very young skaters (think Ota, Phaneuf, etc.) battling it out for the podium.

    It would be nice to see La Kwan and La Slutskaya both have a great last hurrah.

    Joe
    I don't think that Michelle's best work is behind her. I just think that the competition has caught up. In 1998-99 Michelle dominated ladies figure skating and really was in a class by herself. She won every event she participated in -- and there were a lot of them -- between the 1998 Olympics and 1999 Worlds....(oh no, I feel iambic pentameter coming on...)

    Michelle bestrode her world of ice like great
    Colossus arching o'er the harbor'd ships
    At worthy Rhodes. 'Sblood! the girl can skate!

    (OK, I got that out of my system.)

    But this period was bookended by the retirement of Tara Lipinski from competition and the rebirth of Irina Slutskaya in 2000.

    About "upping the ante," I think this played a roll Michelle's decision to part with Frank Carroll in 1998. Frank believed that Michelle was the greatest skater in the world doing what she was doing, so why change? But Michelle wanted to increase the technical content of her programs. Which she did, attempting two triple/triple combinations at Skate Canada a week after her split with Frank (with unfortunate results).

    Skatingfan5, yes, this quote from Arutunian was at Worlds. I have no reason to doubt that Michelle will be there at Skate America. I can't wait!

    Mathman

  12. #27
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    ... She won every event she participated in -- and there were a lot of them -- between the 1998 Olympics and 1999 Worlds...

    About "upping the ante," I think this played a roll Michelle's decision to part with Frank Carroll in 1998. Frank believed that Michelle was the greatest skater in the world doing what she was doing, so why change? But Michelle wanted to increase the technical content of her programs. Which she did, attempting two triple/triple combinations at Skate Canada a week after her split with Frank (with unfortunate results).
    Huh? She didn't do GPS in 98-99 and
    if she did a lot of comps, they were all fluff with exhibition type programs. World Pros is the only one where she did Arianne, and she had no real competiton from either side (Kristi, Maria, etc...) She did skate great there, but I'm not getting too impressed by her slam dunking over-the-hill Oksana and Nicole.

    As for Frank, your whole comment needs to be pepppered with bold 'IMHO"s as that is exactly what it is. No proof, no supstance, just a wild theory grabbed out of no where.

    There is equal "proof" the the exact oposite is true, and many talk of Frank's suposid impatience with MK and her growing disinterest and lack of focus.

    Personally, I don't know which is more true. Probably niether.

    But I will say one thing: People love to lay blame at Frank and Lori's door, but 3 years now without them and she hasn't improved on any of her "faults". Something to think about.

  13. #28
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Problem with MK is that she knew that she was not getting the gold because of the technical and she never did anything about it despite changing coaches Hence my observation that her best competitive days are behind her. (Sorry, I left out the competitive word.)

    Irina, whom I never found to be a beautiful skater was an excellent competitive skater. However, because of her illness, and her emphasis on getting back her high degree of technical prowess, she has faltered even more on the artistic side. Her overly busy routines look more like a gymnist's floor work. Just my take on Irina.

    Yukina Ota is a beautiful skater.More to my liking than any of the newcomers. Let's see if she makes the team.
    Cynthia Phaneuf similarly with YO. I want to see them skate simply for the pure beauty of skating.

    And yes, Mai, Kimmie, and Katy are at the age for gold in Torino if the judges want to keep the gold for promising but not yet mature skaters. They've done it in the past three Olys. Just my early take on the future of competitive figure skating. Of course, it is subject to change by March 2006.

    Joe

  14. #29
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    Technical Content

    Perhaps the stress fracture that Michelle suffered a while back was taken as an early warning. Maybe she doesn't want to pound herself to the point of permanent pain. Perhaps she's invested her earnings and only continues skating because she loves to skate. Methinks her last USA Nationals performance could not have been improved by adding technical content or by paying her more.
    Linny

  15. #30
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    Joesitz:

    "And yes, Mai, Kimmie, and Katy are at the age for gold in Torino if the judges want to keep the gold for promising but not yet mature skaters. They've done it in the past three Olys. "

    In the past 3 Olympics and the competitions leading up to them, the current age rules did not apply (Sarah was grandfathered). Oksana won silver in two Europeans and won World gold before she won the OGM. Tara skated in two Worlds, was GPF champion, and was World champion the year before her OGM. Sarah skated in THREE Worlds and multiple Senior GP events, and won World bronze and GPF bronze the year before her OGM, as well as a GPF bronze again in her Olympic season. All three had a record of high achievement in Senior international events well before they skated at the Olympics.

    Kimmie and Katy won't be eligible to skate at Worlds until 2006, and can't even do Senior GP events until the fall of 2005. Mai is old enough to skate in the Senior GP this season and at Senior Worlds this year, but she apparently will continue to skate in the JGP this season and is very unlikely to make the 2005 Senior World Team.

    It's extremely unlikely that skaters making their first appearances at Senior competitions in the Olympic year will immediately zoom to the top of the Olympic podium. It has never happened before and is unlikely to happen in 2006.

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