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Thread: Michelle Kwan vs. Irina Slutskaya

  1. #31
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    I'm still kind of perplex that Michelle still doesn't know what she wants to do even for this season after being assign to 2 gr prix competitions. I understand her not confirming for the whole 06 season. I just think she has more to give artistically and maybe a little on the tech side but her problem is her mind. She's not focus enough and if her mind isn't on skating then maybe she should move on. I know I will be so sad if she moves on but I kind of don't like seeing her waver so much.

  2. #32
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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    More than anything I would love to see these skaters do well this season.

    Irina has always been a favourite of mine, although Joesitz I do agree that her programs are overly busy and distracting. IMO Irinas best program was her Apassionata SP from a couple of seasons ago, and possibly her Phantom on Ice programs of the 1999/2000 season, which suited her personality and level of maturity at that point in her career.

    As for Michelle - I have never been a fan but I have always admired her ability and appreciated her longevity. Michelle may well only be 23 but she has been on the World stage for rather a long time and this makes it difficult for her to come up with something different and attention grabbing. For the last couple of seasons with her I have kind of started to feel like, same program, different music and it has all seemed like effort for her to be there. I think she would benefit greatly from a total change of direction. Maybe it would help her with what seems to be a lack of focus and enthusiasm and bring back some of the sincerity to her skating. The knock on effect of that would be the judges and audience seeing a new side to her and if anyone has the talent to pull off a change like that it would be her.

    Just my two cents

  3. #33
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linny
    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
    Great post Linny. I don't know whether the pain/injury possibility weighs on her mind, but IMHO (LOL) she is indeed doing exactly as she pleases, skating for the love of it. In the recent article in Women's Fitness magazine she says that she can't go skiing as she would like to, and she doesn't do tricks when she rollerblades on the beach, because of the risk of injury.

    IMHO she has reached an age, a level of maturity, and a point in her career where another few medals and trophies do not mean as much to her as they did when she was younger. I think programs like The Feeling Begins (SP) and Fallin' (exhibition) represent Michelle expressing her own artistic ideas, without worrying too much about what judges, etc., might think.

    Michelle is like the story they tell about Tallulah Bankhead. A younger actress thought that she should get top billing over Ms. Bankhead. TB reportedly replied, "Dahling, I can upstage you without even being on stage."

    So when Bankhead exited the next scene, she put down a glass of wine balanced precariously on the very edge of a table. The audience spent the whole next scene (the ingenue's big scene) watching the glass, to see whether it would fall on not.

    Mathman

  4. #34
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by lavender
    I'm still kind of perplex that Michelle still doesn't know what she wants to do even for this season after being assign to 2 gr prix competitions. I understand her not confirming for the whole 06 season. I just think she has more to give artistically and maybe a little on the tech side but her problem is her mind. She's not focus enough and if her mind isn't on skating then maybe she should move on.
    Huh?!? Where are people getting this "Michelle still doesn't know what she want to do for this season"? I have seen nothing to support this -- quite the contrary, in fact. Does anyone here think that she is NOT planning on competing in the GP events this fall? If so, what leads you to believe that? That's what has me perplexed -- this viewpoint of people posting here.

  5. #35
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    fan5: I think assumptions are being made because, well, Michelle ain't talking and no-one has any reports on her skating. I think Michelle has learned in the past few years to lay low and not contribute to any fan frenzy about what music she's using, what jumps she's doing, etc. I think Michelle is getting ready to gear up for the season--IN PRIVATE!!!!

  6. #36
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    Predictions

    Irina: She has a lot of willpower and ability but she is battling a chronic debilitating illness. She can't recapture the same form we saw 2000-02. I could see Irina finishing in the Top 5 at Worlds/GPF, possibly even medaling again. But I don't see her winning.

    Michelle: After pounding her body for many long years, she has assudiously guarded herself against injury so I can forgive the lack of a 3/3. However, she repeated her classic TFB to lesser effect this year (the same mistake she made with Rach) and Tosca was a thinly disguised recycling of Aranjuez with too many moves that didn't fit the music. Her textbook technique is probably enough to get her on the podium, but she will need more to continue to challenge for gold. I fully believe she can adapt to CoP.

    Sasha: From her wins at Marshalls, Campbells and house-cleaning on the GP circuit, we know she has the goods in full force. But when it comes to the big events she melts like ice cream in July. However, she seems to be making strides under Wagner. I don't think Sasha will ever fully overcome her nerves enough to be a consistent champion. But one of these days, she will have a perfect skate in a major event. It could happen anytime.

    Shizuka: In one week, Shizuka went from dark horse to The One To Beat. How will she handle the pressure? I believe she has what it takes to consistently challenge for the podium. Barring injury, more Worlds medals are in her future (not necessarily gold).

    Miki: How long can her body take the pounding of 3/3s and quads? Can she improve in other ways? Her presentation at this point is nothing to write home about. I think at heart she is an Ito-type, not an artist. Because of her jump arsenal and good basics she can't be ignored. Like Sasha I think she will have a perfect skate in a big event -- once.

    Carolina: Her jumps and basics are great but her presentation is of a junior skater. Given the marks she received in Dortmund in spite of the many errors, I think she has the potential to medal or even win Worlds and Torino. Whether those wins will be deserved remains to be seen.

    Fumie: The competition has come on strong and I don't see her raising her game a notch. She did win the GPF but with Michelle back in the mix a repeat is unlikely. I could see another World or Olympic Bronze in her future, but she will not improve on her current high watermark.

  7. #37
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    In defence of Kwan

    I posted this in another thread, I think it will add to the discourse here vis-a-vis Michelle:

    Kwan:
    The Kween needs to re-invent herself again, and I have confidance she, with Rafeel's help will do so. She has been at or near the top of the elite international skating scene for a decade so trust me she knows how to adapt!!. Futher more I really feel that this season is not about "Winning another Skater America, Skate Canada, GPF titles", they would be nice but I don't think she cares...been there done that. I think she really cares about 2006 olympics. Everything else is pratice. Michelle needs to play up *her* strenghts while minimizing her weakness. She needs more choreogrphy in her programs. More sweet in-betweens!!! I am not convinced she *NEEDS* a triple-triple under COP but competing against Sasha(who I believe is unlikely to deliver 3/3s on a consistant basis) is all the more reason she should get that 3sal/3toe or dust off her 3toe/3toe. Michelle is at a point in her career that the pressure is OFF her. She is NOT the worlds champion and doesn't have that pressure to skate like one every time she takes the ice. I think that alone will bode well for her. Michelle skates her best when she thinks she is not the favoite!! All Michelle has to do really is 3 things:

    1. Continue to be consistant
    2. Get out of this cookie-cutter program rut (I liked Tosca and Aranjuez) and get fresh, original programs( ala maraculous Mandarin) That means keeping the explosive footwork(remember play to *YOUR* strenghs)
    3. maybe a 3/3 depending on how offen the competition is landing theirs.





    Just some facts to remember:
    -COP is NOT 6.0!
    -Michelle is scheduled for skate america and skate canada grand prix events,barring illness/injury
    -Michelle is a proven consistant champion( Regning US champ, World Bronze medalist)



    Any talk about Michelle being "over" is just off-season wishful thinking by fans of her competition.

  8. #38
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    People say the pressure is not on her? I'm not sure I bite that and I don't know if she feels like that either, at least for the next season.

    She has been on the top for many years, so she is always expected to skate well and win. When that doesn't happen, people debate, people criticize, people ask why. We talk about the Olympics in the internet and everyone mentions her, even if for the simple fact that it's going to be her third time wanting that gold medal and it's debated endlessly whether it's possible or not. She appears on covers magazines, she obviously has a huge fan base that applaud her and follow her to the events... How can you say she doesn't have pressure? She ALWAYS has some pressure on her. Maybe it's not the sort of pressure that Sasha has (skate 3 clean programs and win a major title) or Shizuka has (you're World champion, show it wasn't a one-hit-wonder). But there's always the pressure of being Michelle Kwan and having to skate well and fight for the top spot. And as long as she stays on the competitve scene it will always be like that, she will always be a skater to beat. And whie it stays like that, there IS pressure.

    ETA: Even the majority of her fans is anxious to see if she is going to bring new and different programs next season and her work with Rafael will show or not. There's a major expectation for next season, regarding her "reinventing" herself, complex programs for CoP... How is this not pressure? Not only it comes from critics, but from her fans as well!
    Last edited by RIskatingfan; 06-30-2004 at 08:24 PM.

  9. #39
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    It's hard to say what Michelle feels about the whole "pressure" thing. I can't see her losing much sleep over Internet chatter.

    MM

  10. #40
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    I have never been a big Irina fan but the way she has come fighting back from this disease has earned my respect and admiration. A well rested and trained Irina and Michelle will be hard to beat.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    It's hard to say what Michelle feels about the whole "pressure" thing. I can't see her losing much sleep over Internet chatter.

    MM
    Considering internet chatter reflects to some extent what goes in skating and with skaters, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it...

    I mentioned in my last post external sources of pressure, but if we talk about internal sources of pressure... If she didn't feel the pressure to stay competitive, if she didn't feel the pressure to do something to keep the Olympics an open door, if she didn't feel the pressure to improve technically which she has been talking about for years now... then why hire a new coach? LOL

    I find it hard to believe that she feels no pressure LOL

  12. #42
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    Michelle Kwan may not be telling skating fans what music she is skating to this year or how her practices are going but she knows what her goals are and what she intends to do in the future.

    She has confirmed Skate American and Skate Canada. I am sure she is looking to test the COP waters and see how she does and what she needs to do. She can't confirm the GPF because she can't be sure she will qualify.

    It must be very difficult to stay focused after being on the top for 10 years. Look how may skaters have come and gone since she won her first World Title. Most of the ones who are still around were in the background back then. Except for Irina. Michelle peaked 10 years ago and has continued to peak every year since. She did win World Gold in 2003.

    When she skated poorly in the qualifing round at Worlds this year, she was back on the ice practicing when none of the other skaters were. She wasn't about to give up. She got dinged for skating over the time limit in the short and came in second for her LP. Doesn't look to me like she is over the hill, can't make up her mind or isn't focused.

    Ladybug

  13. #43
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    Do skaters do more than the same old programs? They all have the same old tricks except for an extra rotation in the air for a jump. I see Figure Skating as having a very limited program content. Skaters execute the limited elements to different music, usually 'safe' music going from Carmen to Malaguena and Rach to movie R&J. When changing the music it still has the same old contrents of programs, the same old arm movements, and the same old tricks., the same old footwork, the same old entry into jumps, and the same old wrestling match to do a Bielman spin. In different places, maybe but not much else has changed.

    It might be interesting to make another thread on which skater(s) actually skate differently to really different types of music. I am sure the 'same olds' will reappear. There is a difference between MK and IS and that has to do with style.One flows over the ice with same old footwork; the other stuffs the program with lots of same old tricks.

    I could go down the line and name other skaters. Not much innovation by anyone, imo. But this topic is about MK and IS

    Joe

  14. #44
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    Not everyone puts in the same elements. Jumps elements, yes, because those are definitely limited. Some skaters put in spin variations on their old spins or put in totally different spins from previous years. Some of those same skaters put in different MITF, with or without variation. Also, no one really puts in the same fottwork year after year. Same style? Yes...but different steps and turns.

  15. #45
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Who doesn't feel pressure? We all do to some extent because life can be a "pressure cooker".........pressure can make you fall apart, but it can also make you sharp, alert, and ready......depends on the individual.........42

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