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Thread: Sasha - what are the odds??

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    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Sasha - what are the odds??

    PLEASE let's all agree to keep this thread on topic and factual. Not a love fest, a bash fest or any of that for any skater.

    I really appreciate Sasha's talents. As a fan of all the top skaters, I used every four letter word I know, and made up a couple new ones when she fell tonight. It's not about a fall in this specific performance, it's a growing concern that she will ever be able to stay on her feet for a full LP when it counts - Nationals, International comps, GP series, World's, etc.

    I'm wondering if anyone has stats on this sort of thing. I'm thinking about current and past skaters and how things have gone. It seems like skaters such as Michelle, Irina, Plush, etc. who have been competing at the elite level for some length of time just don't fall that much. All of them have had REALLY bad days where they have a fall, but for the most part, a "bad day" seems to be more like an "off" performance from an energy / presentation standpoint, or even mistakes (double a jump, wonky landing, etc.) rather than spending much time on the butts.

    Then we have skaters like Abt, Sandhu, Cohen, Maria B, etc. who I think of has having (or had) TRUE elite winning potential but missed the top of the podium all too often because they just had too many times when they couldn't stay on their feet.

    I'm not talking about the second tier of excellent elite skaters. I would consider the second tier of elites to be people like Jenny Kirk, who could medal with the performance of a lifetime for THEM, but could probably not snitch much gold from their top tier peers (Irina, Michelle, Cohen on a good day, etc.)

    What are the odds at this stage (a few years now on the international scene, age 20 I think) that Sasha will be able to fix this? I really don't even want to think about Sasha being our US Ladies version of Sandhu in the Canada Men's verion. (and I LOVE Sandhu's skating just like I love Sasha's skating!)

    Discuss.

    DG

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    I don't see Sasha as a female version of Sandhu. When Sandhu does poorly, he does not even medal. Sasha still medals or is close to getting a medal, if we look at her record at USN, worlds and Olympics. I am only looking at the big competitions because that's where her problems show up. I don't think Sasha's problem is a big one. In any other country or any other time in the USA she would have won a few national titles. She is competing against Michelle Kwan every year. A competitor like Michelle only comes along once in several decades. That is why Sasha cannot afford those lapses of concentration. In any other situation she could afford to fall and still win.

    About the odds of fixing this- they are pretty good. She did win the silver 4 times at nationals and once at worlds. She is only 20. I have seen her improve. She did not fall apart tonight after that fall. She did enough to win the silver, while in the past she would have 2 or 3 falls in the second half of the program.

    I think there is too much focus on whether she skates clean or not. Under the COP it will be less of a factor and we will probably start seeing her win.

    Vash

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    To be honest, I couldn't give you any odds, 'cause I don't have a register of how many falls she has had over the past years, or clean performances. I know she did one clean performance last year after worlds in a cheesefest (at least I don't remember any falls). I think at this point is mental. Sometimes I think that what affects her is the fact that she has the pressure, subsconciously, that everyone watching her is expecting a clean performance jump-wise speaking. I'm sure she wants that as well, and the media often talks about "Cohen needs a clean performance, blah blah". So subconciously there's that thought of not falling, and that might be the thing that takes her attention from what she really needs to do. IMO she needs to do some excersice that helps her block that external pressure of the jumps (she does them in practice, so she knows how to do them), maybe a little yoga or tai chi, who knows.


    A little OT, but as far as comparing her to Sanshu, who's skating I love, I wouldn't go that far, because I think it is a different type of problem. To me, when Eman makes a mistake, he sort of loses interesting in keep on doing the rest of the program, like an artist whose painting doesn't come right as he wanted. But as an athlete he cannot do that, he has to step from the ice and put that behind him.

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    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi Vash...

    I wasn't really talking about medals per se.... but that's not important. I'm also really talking about top of the elite ranks internationally (which I think the the fact that Sasha does have to constantly compete with Michelle at US nats puts that comp right up there..)

    What I'm really talking about is that ability, over the long haul, on average, to stay on your feet which I do think is important. You have a very good point though - Sasha has so MANY strong areas to her skating that she very well might start a trend of winning and winning while having a fall in her long program under COP. And I'm a big fan of COP specifically because it makes the scoring at least a bit more objective and does specifically reward many skills besides just the jumps.

    She is just SO good that I hope she finds a way to stay on her feet a higher percentage of the time. None of my concerns are meant to belittle her significant accomplishments in terms of medals, etc.

    DG

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    i think sasha will no doubt benefit quite well under the new CoPs. i wouldn't count her out just yet... i think she should not give up; she'll get that national and world title one day. it's just taking her longer to get there. but then again, she'll appreciate it that much more! under the new system she'll score very, very well. she might can even afford a splat or two and still win...who knows??

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gracefulswan
    i think sasha will no doubt benefit quite well under the new CoPs. i wouldn't count her out just yet... i think she should not give up; she'll get that national and world title one day. it's just taking her longer to get there. but then again, she'll appreciate it that much more! under the new system she'll score very, very well. she might can even afford a splat or two and still win...who knows??
    very true. CoP is very good for her, and I think she has the record of highest scores under CoP yet. Wonder if she'll score something around those??

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    i'm with you.. she's much too good of a skater not to be a champion one day. much too good. when you think about it, it's only the jumps standing in her way. and since the CoPs is geared to judge the overall skating, she should really look forward to a 'brighter' future. her spins, spirals, line, extension, positions... make me sigh in wonder... she's got the most polish like it or not. i cannot deny it even though i'm a huge kwan fan. it should be mighty interesting in their next competition...

    cohen needs to practice only jumps and jump combos for the next 2 months. or at least mostly focus on these.. but of course i'm hoping she'll come out with level 2 and 3s in all other elements. i'm sure nicks will focus her on this change and she'll upgrade accordingly. what is her highest score under CoP anyway? and what is the second highest? doesn't she have both?

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gracefulswan
    what is her highest score under CoP anyway? and what is the second highest? doesn't she have both?
    according to the Crystal Report Data Base, Cohen's best total score was 197.60 in the 2003 skate canada. This season the highest score from the ladies was 183.02 at the 2004 Cup of Russia by Irina Slutskaya. Of course, the world championship will be the first event of this season for Sasha with CoP, but at least she knows what to expect from it, so like you said, she needs to practice more her jumps and combos, and of course her overall skating, if she wants to come close to her personal best score.

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    oh, that really bodes well for her then. i don't think she was even perfect when she scored her highest marks. i'm hoping the best for her as she's pretty much in a tough position now..what with all the naysayers and bashing by the media.

    here's to her performing better at worlds and beyond. we'll see...

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Sasha's only 20. If she chooses to stick around, I think Michelle will retire after the 2006 Olympics from competitive skating. Despite Kim's rising star, no one comes near (at this point) to Sasha's artistry...... she could be the "Queen" of U.S. figure skating for several years.

    As to why she can't always put two clean skates together back to back, who knows for sure. Paul Wylie had the same problem. It was frustrating to see him skate, knowing how fantastic he was and seeing him fall or bail out on jump after jump. He put it together one time.......during the 92 Oly's and won the silver.........42

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    IMO, under CoP her inability of skating clean LP would not be so dreadful.
    1) under CoP the punishment of a fall is not as big as in 6.0, only -4 (-3GOE, -1 overall).
    2) she could build relative big lead at SP, since she is a strong SP skater.

    So I really don't see the need of her skating clean LP, it is a big mental pressure for any skater. IMO, she weren't fix the problem if her goal is to 'win'.

    Then again it is a pity to see such a beauty imagine on ice can't deliver the clean skated master piece of LP.

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    I would not be surprised at all if Sasha will bring it all together where it counts most: in the Turin Olympics.

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    No one wants to see her on top of the podium more than I do. I have big doubts. She needs to stop blaming coaches for for her mess ups. She has to get the job done on the ice. No one can give her a magic formula. She's had some of the best coaching talent in the world. She has been given a magnificient gift. She has no excuse for not getting the job done. She needs to work on Sasha. This is getting ridiculous. I love her overall skating, but she's too good to have to hope for help from COP. She should be able to blow the competition away. She just doesn't do it.

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    She has the technique, she will win big someday. I predict she will win gold everytime she steps on the ice. I hope she remains an eligible skater for a long time. IMO she does not have much artistry, so competitive skating is where she belongs

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    Maria B did finally win Worlds though at the age of 26 but it goes to show....
    I remember that when Sasha first burts onto the scene at Nationals as they said if she got a medal at Junior Worlds she could go to Senior Worlds. I thought there was no way she was not going to WIN Juniors. But then I saw the reports that she had fallen, I believe it was twice, and wound up fifth in the LP at JW. I thought she must have been sick or something. Well the or something is her nerves. During the big moments, she not only has butterflies in her stomach, they are flying around her head, she feet, her brain. Someday, she will find some way of distracting the butterflies for 4+ minutes and she will be atop the podium on the big day, whether it be a Worlds or the Olys.

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