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Thread: Michelle - The End or a New Beginning?

  1. #1
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    Michelle - The End or a New Beginning?

    I can't agree more with what Peggy Fleming said about Michelle after the qualifying round at this year's Worlds. She seemed to feel that this competition and the months following would be a crossroads in Michelle's career. Should Michelle stay (and if she does, will she be a viable contender?) or is it time to go?
    Honestly, if Michelle was entertaining serious thoughts about another Olympic appearance (which I absolutely feel she was and is), then I can only think this Worlds experience in Moscow was just what the doctor ordered. She has seen where she stands in comparison to other skaters (particularly Sasha and Irina) under the new judging system. She now knows without a doubt what she has to improve: the spins, transitions, choreography, etc. I think the real question is: does Michelle have the drive/desire to attack this new system and to radically improve these elements and her programs? She has been around for so long and this would be, at the age of 24, perhaps her greatest challenge. I have no doubt that she is more than capable of actually making these changes successfully. Her less-than-stellar LP (both the actual performance and the construction) from Worlds posted a respectable score of 113.98....and that is with PLENTY of room for improvement. So, she isn't dead in the water when it comes to COP.
    Truthfully, though, it would be extremely difficult. She would need to dramaticly improve her spins and create a much stronger LP. "Bolero" wasn't horrible, but it certainly wasn't her best (nor was it best for COP). IMHO, it would also be absolutely vital for her to compete in the GP next season. She needs to know early on in the game how her programs stack up. She could then avoid having to make changes so late in the season.
    So, to conclude, I feel that Michelle certainly has the potential/goods to adapt to this new system. I feel it is more a question of desire and motivation for her. She has accomplished almost everything under the sun in this sport and has already become a legend to most. Can she climb another mountain? Is the love for her sport enough to make one last significant transformation so late in the game? Personally, I hope so. I'd love to see her have at least one more great moment (and not necessarily at the Olympics) to cap her career. But, if she doesn't, so be it. She has given more to me and to this sport than any skater in recent memory. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the coming months. Michelle Kwan will probably be doing a lot of soul searching and decision making. I wish her the very best.

  2. #2
    What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?
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    I vote for a new beginning! Crossing fingers for a new beginning, wishing on stars for a new beginning, etc.

    I have enjoyed her skating for so many years and she has given me so many wonderful moments! I would love to see her push the envelope artistically and bump up her technical (which ain't to shabby the way it is now!). I still feel that there is a part of Michelle that is untapped.

    eliza88

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    I just hope that Michelle consults with her physicians before making the final decision. I just don't want to see Michelle barred from a pro career by injuries, like Tara.

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    I think she'll quiet her fans doubts and fears and come back and win it all in Turino. She's now the underdog. And unfortunately for me, who is a fan of Sasha and Irina, this is when MK thrives the most.

    If she doesn't pull off an upset at the Olympics, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

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    I say she'll accept what will probably be one of the biggest challenges in her life. Her friend, Irina, took on a huge load and pulled it off. There is no reason why MK can't do the same thing. I'm an Irina fan but over the years, I've always had the impression that Michelle is no quitter.

    I hope she goes for it.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I think there will be a quiet announcement during the summer months that MK has retired. There will be no fanfare but volumes of comments.

    The bottom line was that she never took the 'changes' taking place in figure skating seriously. Unfortunately, we will never know why.

    Joe

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    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    Somehow, I don't think you have this one right Joe, as much as I respect your opinion. The Olympics are too close, and too tantalising for her to turn back now. I don't know how she will do, but I truly believe she will try. If Irina could come back from all that she's been through, why not michelle?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    My wish for Michelle is that she find something that she can really get her mind and her spirit into. She has probably done about 30,000 triple Lutzes over the last decade, in practices and all. There has to come a time when you say, really, how much motivation do I have to do that 30,001st one?

    Teenagers love winning medals. But Michelle is 24. Another medal, even an Olympic gold, will neither add to nor subtract from who Michelle Kwan is.

    I wish that Michelle would show an interest in becoming more active in the business end of the sport, or in planning and producing shows, or in creative and artistic endeavors, or that she would find an intellectual interest that would make her want to finish college.

    I hope she decides to skate on her own terms and does fret too much over what the ISU thinks about this or that.

    That's what I hope.

    Mathman

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    I think this worlds really was a wake-up call. She didn't place badly, but I think her name held her up there as much as her skating. That said, I think she will plunge in now for Torino. I certainly hope she does. I've been a fan of her skating for some years and would like to see her find the competitive, or at least artistic, fire she once had and skate a masterpiece to finish out on. I honestly don't see her continuing after 2006, except as a professional. I think she is perfectly capable of making most of the changes necessary to really be a contender. I think the toughest thing for her will be her spins, which have always been a weakness, and now count for much more than they ever have before. Furthermore, she will be up against skaters who do them exquisitely. And it absolutely has to start with a great program, not the stripped-down things she's been using.

    I really have no idea who I'm going to root for for Olympic gold - way to many favorite skaters to choose from.

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    I can't believe she would retire this close to the next Olympics.......Irina reinvented herself, so can Michelle if she feels the need. My only concern is pushing herself to the point of injury or illness. Who needs that? 42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I think there will be a quiet announcement during the summer months that MK has retired. There will be no fanfare but volumes of comments.

    The bottom line was that she never took the 'changes' taking place in figure skating seriously. Unfortunately, we will never know why.

    Joe
    Joe
    You have said basically the same in another thread, is there something you know that we do not know? Can you elaborate more on this? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I think there will be a quiet announcement during the summer months that MK has retired. There will be no fanfare but volumes of comments.

    The bottom line was that she never took the 'changes' taking place in figure skating seriously. Unfortunately, we will never know why.

    Joe
    Joe, with regard to a retirement announcement, if it happens, so be it, but I really hope you are wrong.

    As to your charge that Michelle never took the changes seriously, I respectfully disagree.

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    I dunno... I don't see her leaving the scene so close to Torino now... Now Jooe has me freaked out because when you say something, it's like a prophecy! But I don't see her leaving just yet. Anything could happen. I think that this week has shown Michelle what she'll need to do if she does decide to go one more time. If she puts her mind into it, but really into it, I don't see why she couldn't adapt to the changes. It all depends in if she thinks she'll be able to do it.

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    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
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    I could see michelle holding out for torino and then skating a farewell performance there. Didnt katarina witt do that? We get three spots, Sasha and some up and comer will be vying for medals, and Michelle will go to say thanks and goodbye.

    .... thats one idea

    Or maybe she will bring her A game and get the gold, who knows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    My wish for Michelle is that she find something that she can really get her mind and her spirit into. She has probably done about 30,000 triple Lutzes over the last decade, in practices and all. There has to come a time when you say, really, how much motivation do I have to do that 30,001st one?

    Teenagers love winning medals. But Michelle is 24. Another medal, even an Olympic gold, will neither add to nor subtract from who Michelle Kwan is.

    I wish that Michelle would show an interest in becoming more active in the business end of the sport, or in planning and producing shows, or in creative and artistic endeavors, or that she would find an intellectual interest that would make her want to finish college.

    I hope she decides to skate on her own terms and does fret too much over what the ISU thinks about this or that.

    That's what I hope.

    Mathman
    Mathman, while I totally agree that another medal, even Oly gold, will not add to nor subtract from who Michelle is, it's not only teenagers that love winning medals. Let's not forget that Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano both won their Oly golds at the "advanced" age of 25; Maria B won her World Championship at 29(?) and Irina just won her second at 26.

    Your point about motivation is well taken. I said in a prior thread that's part of the reason I thought she chose Bolero, in an effort to keep herself motivated. When I think about how many years she's kept to this schedule of learning, practicing, competing, keeping fit, etc., it's really mind boggling, to me, that she's been able to stay motivated. I imagine we'll know soon enough if she feels the motivation to give it another go.

    I told my mother, probably about six years ago, that it was my gut feeling that once Michelle stopped competing at the eligible level, that that would be it--she would just stop skating, do her last tour of duty with COI, and then retreat from public life, maybe go to school, get married, have kids. I saw her as a competitor, first and foremost, for whom show skating didn't really hold that much of a thrill. At that time, she had been quoted as saying she would like to stay eligible at least until 2006 and she "couldn't imagine" going pro. It seemed, to me at least, that the focus was competing and beyond that, who knew? Now I see lately, she has been quoted talking about her life after eligible skating. So maybe she really is on the fence right now, trying to decide if she should stay or go.

    On the other hand, perhaps she really has been on a multi year plan, with a light competition schedule designed to avoid injury, practicing new tricks, saving herself for the big dance in Turino, all the while watching and learning how to maximize her points with the COP. Time will tell.

    I, too, hope she skates on her own terms and, if she goes to the Olympics, I hope she comes away satisfied and happy with her performances.

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