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Thread: Kwan at the Crossroads and Choices

  1. #46
    It's all about Plushenko.
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    Yeah, Irina's really doesn't compare to either Denise's or Lucinda's.
    Plush should either make his decent or just stop.

  2. #47
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    IMHO, Michelle is capable of adding the extra techical moves to her competitive programs so that they score higher in COP. She certainly can land a triple toe/
    triple toe combination, and she lands her seven triples with speed, style, and assurance. Her spinning, however, could use some improvement. Michelle does not have the flexibility shown by Irina and/or Sasha and some of the other skaters who can perform Biellman spins and other moves that require extraordinary flexibility. On the other hand, Michelle performs nice spins with one raised leg over her head, which she controls with both of her hands.

    Basically, Michelle has earned - justly so - so many titles and success on the old 6.0 system that she may find it difficult to change gears at this stage of her career. What's the adage - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". She's not a 13-year-old any longer, but a soon to be 25-year-old who has over 10 years of senior level competitive experience. She may feel that it just isn't worth the time or the effort to change her programs, training, etc. Perhaps she isn't thinking of winning - or at least trying to win - Olympic gold next year. Perhaps she just wants to enjoy skating on her own terms. I'm not about to criticize her for thinking along those lines.

    IMHO - and this is just my own opinion - if Michelle doesn't make any major changes to her programs for the 2005-2006 season, she'll probably qualify for the US Olympic team, but she probably won't medal at the Olympics.

    As Joe wrote, it would be a shame if Michelle announced her retirement prior to the beginning of this season. If she did that, I would take it to mean that she simply doesn't want to change her approach to competitive skating.

    Whatever Michelle decides to do, I wish her the best.

  3. #48
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    I think in order for Michelle to win a medal at the Olympics, all she has to do is stay on her feet.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicole_l
    I think in order for Michelle to win a medal at the Olympics, all she has to do is stay on her feet.
    And maybe not even that. At Worlds, she would have won bronze without the qualifying round, which of course doesn't exist at the Olympics, even though she fell in her long program. I think if Michelle does a clean long program with a 3-3, she will win gold. That's a big if. If other skaters falter, she could even win without the 3-3.

  5. #50
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    IMO, the 3x3 is a jolt to the judges to give higher GOE scores for other elements.

    The Beilman spin, IMO puts the judges in awe regardless how sloppy it is presented.

    Joe

  6. #51
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    I think that from all the reports of Michelle's skating in the COI shows, she is keeping up her jumps(3,2,2 and in some cases 2 flips and/or 2 lutz), variety of positions in her spins (change of edge) that will only help her if she decides to compete next season. This is the most jumps she has every done in an exhibition program that I can remember. This will keep her jumps in good shape. It will be interesting to see if what she decides to do next season.

  7. #52
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    Well if Michelle, Sasha, and Michelle all skate cleanly at the Olympics with a 3-3 it will be a very close decision, if Michelle has adapted herself to the new system exceptionaly like the other two already have. My guess though is Irina would win because she is the reigning World Champion and would get the benefit of doubt as is the norm for the reigning World Champion. The one exception was in 1980, but that was due to politics with overrid that typical advantage.

  8. #53
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    It's hard to guess whether the judges would give preference to the reigning world champion, everything else being equal. It was reported (surely tongue in cheek) that the Japanese strategy at Worlds was to lay low and let the other girls win all the medals, so they could sneak up on everybody at the Olympics.

    In the past there was supposedly a gentlemen's (and ladies') agreement among the ISU's member federations that the judges would not place a country's number two skater ahead of its number one skater. Somehow or other, that would have showed disrespect to the federation in question -- or anyway, each federation wanted, tit for tat, to be able to rank their own skaters without being overruled by the other federations. In 2002, three of the four Irina judges honored this tacit understanding by placing Michelle ahead of Sarah.

    In 1998 it wasn't so clear. Michelle had regained the U.S. National Championship, but Tara was still the World Champion. That was the contest where, according to Sonia Bianchetti, one of the Russian judges famously said, "Why didn't Frank Carroll just slip us a bottle of Vodka? What did we care which of the two Americans won?"

    Mathman

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    ... In the past there was supposedly a gentlemen's (and ladies') agreement among the ISU's member federations that the judges would not place a country's number two skater ahead of its number one skater. Somehow or other, that would have showed disrespect to the federation in question -- or anyway, each federation wanted, tit for tat, to be able to rank their own skaters without being overruled by the other federations. In 2002, three of the four Irina judges honored this tacit understanding by placing Michelle ahead of Sarah ...
    Mathman
    Mathman -- where did you hear about this "agreement"? I read somewhere that Irina said (or was reported as saying, which may be different) after Olys that she wouldn't have minded losing to Michelle as much as she minded lsong to Sarah; she was "used to it". I always thought this had something to do with it (the Eastern Bloc judges are thinking that they want gold for Irina, but if it has to go to an American, then let it be Michelle.)

  10. #55
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    Irina did not win more major events between 2000 and 2002 because she did not do enough perfect long programs. Every World/Olympic title since Maria's 99 World title, and every one since Kwan's World title excluding the 98 post-Olympic Worlds has been won by a perfect final long program. Irina had very good performances, but always with 1 or 2 moderate mistakes, in the long programs of the 2000 Worlds, 2001 Worlds, and 2002 Olympics, that is why she did not win any of those titles. Personaly I think in the 2001 Worlds she made a big mistake, had she not tried to throw in jumps after landing her triple sal-triple loop-double jump combo she would have won that year IMO; she was stupid to start throwing in more jumps and messing up her overall performance, I dont know what she was thinking.

  11. #56
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    Irina skated next-to-last at 2001 Worlds, after Michelle. Michelle had a squeaky-clean performance and that probably rattled Irina enough that she missed on her 3Z3L and only did a double. She had another rough moment and must have felt that she needed more to win, so she started ad-libbing--unsuccessfully.

    Irina lost on a 7-2 decision, but to this day she believes she was robbed.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm
    Irina skated next-to-last at 2001 Worlds, after Michelle. Michelle had a squeaky-clean performance and that probably rattled Irina enough that she missed on her 3Z3L and only did a double. She had another rough moment and must have felt that she needed more to win, so she started ad-libbing--unsuccessfully.

    Irina lost on a 7-2 decision, but to this day she believes she was robbed.
    Irina started her program so well 3/3/2 but when she went for the 3lutz/3loop, I knew kwan was going to win. That was a difficult 3/3 Irina was tryin to land and at that time, it was not successful for her. Had she stuck to her 3/3/2 and skate clean through out the program the title would've been hers.

  13. #58
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    Hi, Attyfan. I don't remember exactly where I was reading about informal understandings among fedeartions and their judges -- probably in Christine Brennan's Edge of Glory, where the focus was mostly on Michelle and Tara.

    Amnyway, I think the attitude attributed to Irina -- that it would have been more palatable to lose to Michelle than to Sarah -- seems quite understandable. Michelle was a multiple world champion whom Irina had faced many times, sometimes winning, sometimes not. Sarah was a gangly newcomer who up until Salt Lake City had won precisely one major contest at the senior level, 2001 Skate Canada. I can't blame Irina if she felt a little chagrinned that the judges did not rate a so-so Irina performance over a great Sarah performance.

    On the other hand, I suppose we could call the result a victory for in-the-moment, judge-what-you-see judging, instead of the protocol judging that the sport is sometimes plagued with.

    I have also wondered if the Salt Lake City experience brought Irina and Michelle any closer together personally. Sort of a "misery loves company" thing.

    Mathman

  14. #59
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    Well, in one interview, Irina said that she and Michelle consoled each other in the dressing room after SLC; Michelle "understood how she felt". After all this time, I would think that they understand each other fairly well. Is the Irina-Michelle rivalry the longest in skating history, do you know? If not, it should be running a close second.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by slutskayafan21
    Well if Michelle, Sasha, and Michelle all skate cleanly at the Olympics with a 3-3 it will be a very close decision, if Michelle has adapted herself to the new system exceptionaly like the other two already have. My guess though is Irina would win because she is the reigning World Champion and would get the benefit of doubt as is the norm for the reigning World Champion. The one exception was in 1980, but that was due to politics with overrid that typical advantage.

    that didn't happen for chen lu. she was a world champ in 95 or 96(I think)had a perfect beatiful skate but receive zero benefit from that but this was in canada

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