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Thread: Olys: Will USA medal at all?

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by NansXOXOX
    soogar,

    Your assessment of Emily is very interesting. What do you see as Andrei's strengths and weaknesses?

    Nan
    The big strength Andrei has is that he's not coming back from a serious injury like Klimkin and has all of his jumps. Plus Andrei passed a big hurdle in landing a quad in competition. I also think that because Andrei is younger than Klimkin, the Russian fed might want to send Andrei to the Olympics to give him experience for 2010.

    My personal feeling is that while Andrei is a very hard working skater, I don't get the champion vibes from him. Klimkin might be inconsistent, but he has more of a presence on the ice and takes the risk and does the big jumps.

    As for all the folks saying Kimmie will get the 3rd spot on the team, all I can say is that 3rd spot is up for grabs and there's no guarantee who will get this spot. All I can say is that there were a lot of skaters with more hype than Sarah Hughes, yet Sarah is the OGM and not these other skaters. I see Emily slipping in there unheralded for that 3rd spot. I also think that Emily is a much better skater than Kimmie. Kimmie is still immature and there's no telling what growth is going to do to her jumps. Emily is already a big girl who has triple jumps. Emily will only get more consistent with her jumps as she gets used to her size. Plus there's always Bebe (though Bebe is going to have to do a lot better internationally) and Jenny.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I'm not sure what is meant by politicking. If it isn't just plain old fixing an event, then what exactly is it? Does it involve judges as well as Federations? Is Switzerland, Korea, Gt Britain, Spain, Mexico included in the politicking processes? Why are some and not others involved? What are the aims of politicking?
    Well politicking is like business, older Federations like US and Russia have been in the game longer than Mexico and China, therefore there are a lot of relationships that have been formed throughout the years. Newer federations probably align themselves with an established federation to help their skaters out. Of course, the skaters have to do well. All this backdoor dealing etc isn't going to work if everyone falls on their face.

    It happens in the US as well. I can say for a fact that skaters change clubs so they can have better results at Nationals. The same thing goes for coaches as well. A more established coach can politick with the judges (as Carlo allegedly did for Robin Cousins in 1980) because they become friends over the years.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    The big strength Andrei has is that he's not coming back from a serious injury like Klimkin and has all of his jumps. Plus Andrei passed a big hurdle in landing a quad in competition. I also think that because Andrei is younger than Klimkin, the Russian fed might want to send Andrei to the Olympics to give him experience for 2010.

    My personal feeling is that while Andrei is a very hard working skater, I don't get the champion vibes from him. Klimkin might be inconsistent, but he has more of a presence on the ice and takes the risk and does the big jumps.
    Thank you for sharing your insight, soogar. I agree with your opinion of Andrei's presence on the ice. I think he is a very talented young man, but he lacks the confidence to convince others how good he is. He needs to just get out there and "sell" himself. If he wants to run with the big dogs, he has to come off the porch growling!

    Nan

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    Kimmie and Emily are in their mid teens, and I think how well they handle the growth spurts will decide how well they skate this comming season. They're both very good, but I think gaining weight and filling out will turn out to be more of an issue for them at this stage, than refining they're skating skills. I don't expect to see the real Kimmie or Emily until they're 18. Sarah was lucky that she stayed slender until her Olympic year was past, but all kids are different.


    tripleflutz

  5. #80
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    I'm not convinced, Soogar, but I'll look in the future for politicking. If you are correct, it is definitely an unfair sport. Of course, any cheating can only take place in close races so it wont be rampant.

    Also there is the theory of the 'held-up' scenario. Usually, the fan sees their favorite's competitor as being held up.

    Was Evgeni held up in the SP in SLC?

    Joe

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Was Evgeni held up in the SP in SLC?
    I think the theory goes that Plushenko was given fourth place despite a bad performance because there was always the slight possibility that Yagudin would totally bomb in the long, and then they would not have anyone to give the gold medal to.

    But I think it is more like, the great skaters are so much better than everyone else in their basic skating skills, that even when they miss a jump or two, they are still ahead of the pack.

    About politicking at the lower levels, though, I am sure that Soogar is right. One of the jobs of a coach is to hobnob with the judges and officials to get their skater noticed. It's not so much cheating as just, well, here is a rink full of 100 little kids all of about the same ability. So if you have a well-known coach, that coach can spread the word, hey, guys, take a look at this one.

    Mathman

  7. #82
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    I think the theory goes that Plushenko was given fourth place despite a bad performance because there was always the slight possibility that Yagudin would totally bomb in the long, and then they would not have anyone to give the gold medal to.

    But I think it is more like, the great skaters are so much better than everyone else in their basic skating skills, that even when they miss a jump or two, they are still ahead of the pack.
    I think if you reread what you wrote, you are saying that figure skating results are made by arrangements. It was to be a showdown between the two Russians. No one else mattered. So the poor skate of one Russian was held up to keep the fire in the competition. Just how was this arranged? I don't see this as 'not cheating'.

    On the other hand if great skaters (whoever they are and whoever deemed them as such)are so much better in their basic skills that any errors in their program should be overlooked in the competition. Then what is competition?
    Why have a competition? Just let the great skaters do their thing and let them place by previous arrangements.

    But for skating fans, every qualified skater can do an exhibition and that will satisfy most fans.

    Joe

  8. #83
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    Joe, in my first paragraph I related a "theory" (i.e., rumor) that had floated around.

    What I believe is the second paragraph of what you quoted. I believe that if Plushenko skates with speed, fire, panache, great edges, nice footwork, commanding presence, excellent ice coverage, fast well-centered spins -- but falls on his quad-triple attempt -- and another skater manages to stand up but is otherwise only so-so -- I think Plushenko won the competition fair and square.

    As for collusion and pre-arranged judging, there are always charges and counter charges, but judges rarely get caught. So who knows what the truth is?

    Mathman

  9. #84
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    MM - I am sure you can think of others in your description of Evgeni although he doesn't have great spins. I can certainly think of one american lady you would say just about the same thing, and from me you will get a big list of skaters who fit that bill. In all these cases, I am an old sportsfan who believes in the best that night It appears to me that the definition of a competition in figure skating is not what one worked for all year, but just how much fame one has.

    It's just not like that in any other sport.

    Joe

  10. #85
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    It seems like we're back to how to define the best...and I mean the best in any particular competition...not in reputation, not in past competitions...

    I can imagine a scenario where skater "a" falls and skater "b" does not fall, but skater a skates great all around and skater b does not. Who wins....I honestly don't know without reference to real not imaginary compeitions (so, for example, I was a bit surprised by Plushy's placement after the short in 2002, but not totally utterly surprised, and i didn't feel particularly upset about it, except for him). Sometimes I agree with the judges decisions in these cases, sometimes I do not...most often i'm not sure and can be persuaded either way. And of course, I'm not a judge.

    Certainly, NJS helps us count points on the technical side so we can debate who was better overall technically; but NJS has areas within the tech that many of us have debated (like points for intended but not completed jumps, discussed on this or some other thread right now) that might keep us from consensus on the tech. But, the tech can be counted...the 'presentation' is another can or worms that none of us seem particularly satisfied with at the moment. And...i'm just repeating myself from other threads at this point...so that's all.

  11. #86
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    In all honesty, I believe there's a distinct possibility that the American figure skaters will not win any medals at Torino.

    The men, certainly, aren't guaranteed a medal, despite the fact that Lysacek won a surprise bronze at this year's Worlds, Goebel won a bronze at Salt Lake City, and Weir has the potential to medal. The field is just incredibly deep with talented men - the Russians, Germans, and others.

    As for the women, I expect to see either Cohen or Kwan - or perhaps both - win medals, but I do not expect either of them to win the gold medal. Irina Slutskaya is the favorite, not just because she's the defending World champion, but the judges love her. She skated a sub-par, slopped long program at SLC and nearly won the gold medal Cohen might take herself out of medal contention with mistakes, and Kwan might not have the technical content to challenge for a medal. If the US is shut out of the medals, it will be the first time an American woman has not appeared on the Olympic podium since 1964, and that was because the US team was rebuilding itself after the tragic plane crash in 1961 that took the lives of the entire US skating team.

    As for ice dance, if Belbin doesn't get her dual US/Canadian citizenship in time so that she and Agosto can compete at Torino - and that seems likely - there won't be a medal won by Americans. They are the only team that is of medal experience and quality.

    As for the pairs - please. I'm sorry, but the US pairs program is really going through a dry period in terms of talent and ability to win medals.

    So.....the Stars and Stripes might not be raised at any of the figure skating medal ceremonies. Hopefully, this will not be the case, but it's a distinct possibility.

    All of the above is IMHO, of course.

  12. #87
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    I think what a lot of people forget in looking at Plushenko's placement in the short at SLC was that yes, he fell, and he took a 0.4 deduction, but the skaters most often cited as having deserved to beat him, Abt and Stojko, ALSO had deductions that amounted to at least 0.3. They just didn't fall, but they didn't skate clean either.

    (Who was 6th in the short? Li? Easier solo jump, so lower base mark even disregarding the non-jump elements, basic skating, and presentation.)

    So then you're free to argue whether Plyushenko deserved a higher base mark than them to start with. If they had all skated clean, would you have had a problem with his clean program having a higher base mark than theirs?

    Do you think falls should automatically be penalized more than other errors? Those weren't the rules at the time. They are under the new system. But the new system also rewards all the other elements one by one, so it's also possible to build up enough of a lead in other elements to offset one fall.

    And then there are the components, or the presentation mark in the old system. Subject to each judge's informed opinion of how well each skater met the criteria for those marks. And, undoubtedly, also influenced consciously or unconsciously by things like reputation, stylistic preference, national bias, and so forth.

    But if we disagree, isn't that just our opinion (which may or may not be as informed as that of the judges), influenced consciously or unconsciously by the skaters' reputations in our minds, our stylistic preferences, our national bias, and so forth?

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I am an old sportsfan who believes in the best that night. It appears to me that the definition of a competition in figure skating is not what one worked for all year, but just how much fame one has.
    Joe, what I was trying to say is simply that one of the reasons why one skater outperforms another that night is because he is a better skater.

    If I put on skates and went out to compete against Timothy Goebel, Tim would win. Not because of his reputation or past successes, not because the judges cheat, but because he is the better skater. Even if he made a mistake or two, he would still skate better than I would on that night, the next night and again a week from Tuesday.

    About that American lady skater, LOL, as far as competition in the U.S. is concerned, her level of talent is so much higher than that of anyone else except Sasha, that even when she skates badly by her standards, it is still the best performance that night. If she skates the best of all the competitors that night she deserves to win, even if her performance is not stellar when measured against some of her past triumphs.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    Mathman

  14. #89
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    Call it wishful thinking, but I really think Cohen will pull it off.

    I know this is going to tempt the skate gods like none other.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by brinababy87

    I know this is going to tempt the skate gods like none other.
    No doubt.

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