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Thread: The Tight Competitions at the Olys

  1. #76
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    Very refreshing to finally hear the opinions of the non-Kwan fans being aired. I really have been waiting for this for a very long time.

    Let's face it, there are a lot of Kwan fans here. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. So therefore the majority of the opinions here will favor her. And I think that with the vast majority of posters here being in/from North America, it also makes sense that European/Russian skaters may be under more scrutiny than American ones.

    Assuming that one is a fan of a skater just because of an opinion they may hold is IMO not only unfair, it's totally ridiculous and non-sensical.

    Anyway- I have my own personal opinions about these skaters, and while I think Irina is the heavy favorite for gold at the OLYS, anything- and I mean ANYTHING- can happen.

    Like many other posters here, I don't particularly care for Irina (her attitude "I should have won in SLC" just turned me off completely) but I'll give credit where I think it's due. And even though I do think she's been overmarked at times, she deserved all of her wins last season. She WAS dominant. And I DO think she is the favorite in 2006. Does this mean she'll win? I don't know. The judges may well have it in for her, but (hopefully) she still has to prove that she deserves it. And that means beating every other skater that night. Just like Moscow Worlds. She didn't need the judges to hold her up to win that one. She WON it. She was untouchable that night. Cohen (the next one down) looked so slow and boring compared to her.

    And...MK, MK, MK. What am I doing to do with her. I can't say this any clearer: she HAS to mean business this season. She may have 9 (very well 10) National titles, 5 world titles, etc. but that means squat right now. She is in the position of the underdog for the FIRST time going into the Olympic year. She has taken it easy for the past four years. Say what you will, but this put her in "catch-up" territory. I think the question here is, Does the OGM still mean as much to her as it once did? Is she willing to just throw caution to the wind (something she's never been able to do with the pressure REALLY on) and just give it her all? She's going to have to do this, PLUS possibly rely on a stumble from Slutskaya or even Cohen, the way things have been looking the past two years. Can she do it? It's not impossible. She just has to have the right mindset and, while taking on a fuller schedule, not get too tired out. But with the way she's been doing it, is this even possible?

    Some people already seem to be proclaiming Cohen the 2006 National champion since the US is for the first time using the Cop, or the "NJS", for their judging system. I say not so fast. Kwan's got a streak here. I don't see any reason why she's going to stop now. 2005 was a clear indication to me that Kwan just simply OWNS Nationals. No one can even touch her in that comp. Even last year, we saw a tentative, cautious Kwan simply blow the competition away. How can anyone POSSIBLY think that SC could step it up THAT much to convince the judges to hand her the title instead? Sorry, I don't see that happening as long as Kwan is on skates. And if Cohen can't handle the national pressure, there's no reason for me to think she can handle the olympic pressure, which will be even greater. There will be a lot of pressure on these two, and Irina as well, so I wonder if another teenager will swoop in and take it away from them yet again this time around.

    IMO only.

  2. #77
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    And to whomever said that Kwan still has to qualify for the Olympic team- you can't possibly think for a second that the US will leave her off the team! Yes, she still has to show up and skate, but THAT'S ALL. She is that good, folks- nationally, anyway. She can do whatever she wants- even sleep for four minutes- and the other competitors will squander their opportunities- count on it.

    But- in all seriousness, I believe Kwan and Cohen are locks for the U.S. team. I can't see why, given their results at worlds, they would be left off of the team. A bad or mediocre performance will be forgiven. It's that third spot that has to be fought for. I think that kwan will win, no doubt. Cohen might be 2nd or 3rd depending on how much she flubs (and if the third competitor can step up her game), but trust me- she'll be on the team.

  3. #78
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    When I see negative posts, the first thing I think of is "is this person12 or 13?". Many times I go to the public profile to check it out. A lot of times if they're well written, I'm pretty sure they must be older than that. I try to just put the ones I'm pretty sure are that young out of my mind as I have better things to do. Most "old timers" on this board probably remember my thoughts on how this will affect them as they mature and will harm them in the future if they don't improve. You get your first impression on how you look, especially if you're neat or sloppy and then on how they speak and whether your looks are calm, angry, etc. I know I have to work on my negativity. When I first look at something, I see what is wrong with it. Took many years to come to that conclusion. It also was really hard to try to change it. My husband actually quit showing me the jewelry he made when he finished it because I would tell him what was wrong with it.
    He definitely wasn't a neatnik. I hope this isn't too OT. It just seemed like a good time to put it in.

    I don't think there could be a skater whom I would truly dislike their skating. I enjoy all of it. I know that I have always loved Michelle's skating and it just breaks my heart when she flubs up. As far as Irina is concerned, she does some things very well and others not so well. Who doesn't? There are those who come across - to me - as snobby, etc. But I can still enjoy what they do well. I do have to admit that I have a problem with people whose egos are too big. My biggest problem is that I am too hard on myself. One thing I cannot do is forgive myself. Sorry to be getting on my rant table. I just hope that this helps someone, especially the younger ones, to think how they're coming across.

    I love you all, even if you don't like Michelle.

    Now please, just spell DEFINITELY correctly. Or is it correct?

  4. #79
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    My major problem with Irina (and I am not against her winning) is the lack of flow in her program. Each element is so carefully set up that it takes away completely from any kind of choreography there is (including the dealing of cards).

    Even her best trick, the three turns into the loop so carefuly set up to make the third one in the combo the best for take off.
    Which is one of the timer exercises to get kids doing triple loop. I've seen lots of kids and coaches discussing the series of three turns as helping the kids get the timing for the triple loop and also helps with the rotation.

    A little like the forward scratch in triple sal that Klimkin does...only he actually lands the jumps - i've never seen one the kids land a triple from it but most of the kids i know who have gotten a triple sal first got the full three rotations from the front scratch, salchow, land in backspin position and keep spinning for a couple of revs then hop out of the back spin.

    Ant

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb
    Which is one of the timer exercises to get kids doing triple loop. I've seen lots of kids and coaches discussing the series of three turns as helping the kids get the timing for the triple loop and also helps with the rotation.

    A little like the forward scratch in triple sal that Klimkin does...only he actually lands the jumps - i've never seen one the kids land a triple from it but most of the kids i know who have gotten a triple sal first got the full three rotations from the front scratch, salchow, land in backspin position and keep spinning for a couple of revs then hop out of the back spin.Ant
    Way back when I skated, I remember doing both loop jumps and salchows from three turns. Forward Inside for the loop and Forward Outside for the salchow. It was a learning tool for skater wannabees.

    I actually like Irina's series of 3 turns into the triple loop. I just wish she would make it less obvious. I think it is the 3 turns that could use some interesting body position and speed to make the element flow.

    Joe

  6. #81
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    I kind of doubt that this person was critical of Kwan at least, since the majority of member of this board lean heavily to being Kwan fans. In fact when I criticized Kwan’s current lack of technical skills, most notability the current lack of a loop, I was told that because I was criticizing for a negative view point my criticism/opinion where not valid.
    Your doubt is wrong unfortunately - go and check the thread i got into quite a debate with Joesitz because my view was that Kwan didn't "have" a triple loop anymore because i haven't seen her complete one in compeititon for a long time. Joe countered with the fact that she has been landing in them practice and just because she doesn't have one in her competitive programs doesn't mean its gone. I'm more than happy to criticise any skater at this level. The presumption from me is that all of them are pretty much on the level of gods in terms of figure skating, they are the best in the world, the things they can achieve are unbelievable and i point out flaws in all of their skating because each of them maybe have a handful of things that take away from their perfection. I'm not putting them down i'm just noting the few small things that detract from their total and utter perfection.

    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    What really gets me is that while people right large tracts on Sasha's edges/flutz and how Irena pumps her back when she strokes, now it appears that some people think she telegraphs her flip, yet Kwan is sacrosanct.
    No she's not - she gets her fair share of criticisms - everyone has mentioned her speed on her spins, the height of her jumps, at the start of her career her lack of speed/flow. The thing that gets Kwan brownie points is that she has worked on all of these things and improved. She really worked on her speed and flow in the summer before the 95/96 easons and it showed - everyone commented on her faster speed. After she switched to Arutunian her height and attack on her jumps improved. She's gotten her spin speed up a bit more recently but still needs to work on new/more difficult positions. There are some criticsims of other world class skaters that people have always made and they seemingly have made no attempt to get better at them - i think that's why some people cut Kwan a bit more slack.

    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    Let's get real Kwan may go down in history as having 5 world gold medals but Irena will go down as the best female technical skater of the last 5 years with having landed two 3/3 for the first time .
    Was Irina really the first ladies skater to land two triple/triples in an LP? I could have sworn Bonaly landed 3sal/3toe and 3flip/3 toe in an LP in around '95 if not before.

    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    Not too many people remember many of male medalists from 60’s but we all know who Donald Jackson is. Irena belongs to a much more exclusive group skater’s than Kwan does those that have completed first in competition. People like Irena, Jackson, Burka, Axel Paulson, Dick Button, Kurt Browning and Midore Ito are part of group of which there are only 28 members.
    And of course no one knows who Janet Lynn, Dorothy Hamil, Robin Cousins and John Curry are do they? They might not have pushed the technical envelope but all are rememberd for their exquisite artistry, edges and quality of their basic skating. Kwan changed the way people had to do their programs, why? Because she came out as a teenager and consistently did the seven triple programs, then added a triple/triple to boot and the judges were giving the nod to the quality of skating all jumps being equal. I have no doubt that Irina will go down in the History books as one of the best jumpers of her era and for such a long period of time - that is some achievement, but they both will go down in history for many things - i'm guessing but one of the longest rivals in the sport - look at the results databases - you see two or the three names battling each other for about 3 years and that's it - the last ten years is filled with Kwan/Slutskaya. they are both AMAZING!!

    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    Michelle Kwan will never belong to this group because she is more interested in winning medals than pushing the sport. Personally I have a lot more respect for Irena and her skating than for Michelle because push yourself and your sport are what the Olympic spirit is all about.
    Yeah she never pushed the technical envelope at all - deciding to switch to a solo triple flip at '95 worlds short instead of the 3 toe that most of the ladies were doing in the short. Adding the 3/3 the following season in addition to maturing her presentation and basic skating skills. Technical does not just mean jumping either - there are spins and footwork to consider. I think Kwan and Yags are two of the few skaters that actually do justice to Morosov's footwork and make it look graceful and beautiful despite the amount of toe pick and heel used - that is technically challenging. If pushing the boundaries of the sport are all you're intersted in then take a look at Tara and her 80 year old hips on a teenagers body...that makes me really sad for her and i hope she thinks it was all worth it. Her programs were just awsome but at what cost to her? Look at Yags too - him having to cut his elligible career down because of the injuries caused by pushing the envelope is extremely sad.

    I guess we all value different things in this sport.

    Ant

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    My proof, well there is a 23 page thread on Sasha much of which is a discussion of how bad a skater she is and here we have 5 pages mostly on how bad a skater Irena is. Yet there doesn't seem to be a thread on "Kwan she's lost it" and when you do indicate you don't think she is the be all and end all of ladies figure skating then you get told your opinion is not worth a hill of beans. So while I don't think that everybody who doesn't like Irena is a Michelle fan. I do believe that you will find a lot more negative posts about Irena's and Sasha's skating than you will about Michelle yet when you look at the results and skating of the two years. Michelle has shown little or no improvement in her technical skills and I think you can make strong arguments that her jumping skills are getting worse not improving and her placement have either remained the same or have gotten worse. So who disserve most criticism of their skating, to me MK does, not SC or IS who have both improved or held steady over the last two years.
    At last you actually bother posting some substance about your criticisms of kwan instead of just crying fowl that no-one ever does!!!! As i have pointed out in an earlier reply technical skills deos not just mean jumps...Kwan has made consistent progress on her spins and footwork to the point where i dno't hink they've ever been better. Her jumps have not had the same trajectory, unfortunately her jumping consistency and ability have gone somewhat down hill. To my mind she has lost her triple loop and hasn't been able to complete the easiest 3/3 in competition for a few seasons...do you feel better now...? BUt tell me where you think Sasha and Irina are imporving their jumping ability? Irina i don't think is imporving, she is holding pretty steady (a fairly amazing feat given her more "mature age" in figure skating) she's not attempting any jumps she wasn't trying 4 or 5 years ago - she's landed the 3 lutz/3 loop what twice in competition ever, to me that's like MIki's quad - she can do it buts its not consistent in competition - but props to her for landing it again after a long time of not getting/attempting it. Sasha is definitely in the same boat as Kwan in terms of deterioration of her jumps, there was time where she was attempting quad sal and triple luz/triple toe - she's doing either now and also struggles to get more than 5 or 6 clean triples in a program. she has also worked extremely hard to improve her spins and footwork with great success.

    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    It's interesting to note that all three ladies medalist this year faced either injury or a serious illness over the last year yet Kwan who arguably has the best training facilities and structure couldn't put it all together.
    I can't comment on the training facilites and structure since i don't know much about the places where all of these skaters - i'd say Irina probably has the worst in Russia, I don't see how Sasha's training facilites will be any worse than Kwan's and Carolina trains most of the year in Oberstdorf - one of the best trainnig centres in Europe, also at altitude and some of the best coaches and certainly the best ice time availability...i'd think they're all fairly equal.


    Quote Originally Posted by janetb
    To me if she is not interested in trying her dammedest to do her best than she should step aside, so that someone who is gets the opportunity to skate at worlds and the Olympics.
    Is your crystal ball gazing paying off now and you can see into Michelle's mind now about her interst in competing. Why do you think the fourth ranked skater at worlds should step aside - evidently looking at that result there are only 3 other ladeis in teh world who can beat and you think she should "step aside"? Why don't you think someone should have to beat her to get that spot at Worlds and Olympics...this is a sport after all!

    Ant

  8. #83
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antman
    The presumption from me is that all of (the elite skaters) are pretty much on the level of gods in terms of figure skating, they are the best in the world, the things they can achieve are unbelievable and i point out flaws in all of their skating because each of them maybe have a handful of things that take away from their perfection. I'm not putting them down i'm just noting the few small things that detract from their total and utter perfection.

  9. #84
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Way back when I skated, I remember doing both loop jumps and salchows from three turns. Forward Inside for the loop and Forward Outside for the salchow. It was a learning tool for skater wannabees.

    I actually like Irina's series of 3 turns into the triple loop. I just wish she would make it less obvious. I think it is the 3 turns that could use some interesting body position and speed to make the element flow.

    Joe
    Its true her arms are quite rigid in the three turn series...maybe if she could do the three turns with one arm over her head and do a "tano" triple loop? I think that would look very cool, and be devilishly difficult.

    Ant

  10. #85
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    Irina=winning ugly.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenaj
    Irina=winning ugly.

    she is winning ugly over the no coreo no technical difficult programs of kwan

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenaj
    Irina=winning ugly.
    I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

  13. #88
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Cheer up janetb - The Olys are less than 9 months away. Kwan may not even qualify to do an exhibition, and if that happens just think of how those Kwanfans will feel - not even a goodbye skate. If this happens, it could not only make your day but probably make your entire interest in figure skating life. The wicked witch of Hong Kong just melted away. Put on those ruby slippers, and pray tell us, is there any lady skater you would like to see win the Olys? as we go on to Oz.

    Joe

  14. #89
    Custom User Title CDMM1991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grgranny
    When I see negative posts, the first thing I think of is "is this person12 or 13?". Many times I go to the public profile to check it out. A lot of times if they're well written, I'm pretty sure they must be older than that. I try to just put the ones I'm pretty sure are that young out of my mind as I have better things to do. Most "old timers" on this board probably remember my thoughts on how this will affect them as they mature and will harm them in the future if they don't improve.
    Grgranny I respect your right to voice your opinion but I felt that comment was blatantly agist. You can't just place people in a category like that, that all younger members of the board, like myself, don't know how to write a well-written post.

  15. #90
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    CDMM, you are a precociously talented writer and wise beyond your years.

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