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Thread: Summer Questions - Ladies

  1. #31

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    I'll hold back on replying to the questions Joe posted - most of what I would say has already been said !

    My question: We've discussed the American Ladies - both the A-Team and the "B-Team" to no end, but I am curious about the up and coming Russian Ladies.

    I figure Irina, Elena, and Vika will all be back, but what about their next generation? I will be curious to see where Ludmilla Nelidina will turn up in the rankings. How much improvement do you anticipate in her carriage, presence, expression, and choreography next season? Do you think she could be a dark-horse contender for the podium? She did amazingly well last season, considering her ungainliness and lackluster presentation, but does she have the goods to develop into a top elite skater? What do you think?

  2. #32

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Tara ruined her future in skating by seeking the gold, but she regrets nothing.[/quote] I have a specific question to Berthes Ghost and others who agree with this: As Tara was training for the Olympics, do you think she <em>knew</em> she was causing permanent damage to her hip by doing the 3lp/3lp that would cause her to have constant pain for years, require surgery, and be unable to skate at the elite level ever again? Or do you think she was a driven athlete who was used to pushing herself just like the other elite skaters and expected that the pain she was experiencing doing the 3lp/3lp would subside once she turned pro and stopped doing them?

    I hope this doesn't come across as a "hidden agenda" question because it isn't. I just see a lot of people post things that are very similar to "Tara ruined her body training for the Olympics" and I'm very curious as to whether people think she knew what the consequences were or not.

    Also, my interest was piqued because in the most recent issue of <em>International Figure Skating</em> (Aug. '03, their 50th issue), they have a section on their five top selling issues with a little article about the person on the cover. In the article on Lipinski she says about her hip, "It's a day-to-day process. Sometimes you think it's really good, and then you wake up and do the slightest thing, and you're set back for a little while. I'm trying to deal with it. But I want my fans to know, I could never leave skating. Skating is a passion of mine, and I'll always be in the sport."
    Then there's some stuff about her acting and that some "big announcement" may be on the horizon but she's not ready to even drop a hint.
    The final quote and end of the article is, "I'll never leave skating. But I also want an acting career."

    BTW, the order of the five top selling issues are as follow; they show the cover as it was and then show a photo of the skater(s) as they look today:
    1. Michelle Kwan, Jan/Feb '02. The photo is one with her in a white shirt, unbuttoned a bit at the top and at the bottom enough to show a little belly, a red belt, and jeans, with Michelle looking very sexy and ready to "take it on." The "Michelle Today" photo is a beautiful candid photo of her wearing a black sleeveless top with cut-off shoulders and a turtleneck with a long straight skirt that has a patch-work Asian pattern design in maroons, browns, silver-grays, white (to highlight the some of the patterns), and a loose ribbon-like black belt that hangs loose around a slightly high waist. (I WANT that skirt! Though I wouldn't do anything in the same galaxy to what Michelle does for it. Mathman, this one's a 6.0 in my book ) Michelle looks great in both photos but I really like the "Michelle Today" one. To me it's as if she's grown into everything: her personality, her looks, her body, her spirituality, everything, and even in what is clearly a candid shot taken at a reception, Michelle looks absolutely drop dead gorgeous and stunning in that outfit.
    2. Oksana Baiul, Jan/Feb '96. Oksana is in a gray sweater, blue pants, and tennis shoes, looking very casual sitting on the grass with her legs crossed. Oksana's smile and body language certainly bely the tumult that was going on inside at that time. The "Oksana Today" photo is of her doing a move on the floor where she is sitting on one knee, arching her back, and grabbing the skating of the other leg to bring it to the back of her head--a move I believe she did in "Arabian." She's still blonde in the photo so it must be several months old, but she looks beautiful and fit.
    3. Grishuk & Platov Dec/Jan '97. I'm just joking about the . It's easy to forget how popular they were from '96 to '98. Hightlights of the article, which is relatively long: Oksana has dropped Pasha because she said it was more like an Olympic stage name. She is thrilled being a mother. She and Evgeny had not spoken since the break up until the summer of 2002, shortly before her baby was born. They both say they have a friendly relationship now but have no plans to skate together. Evegeny emphasized how happy he was coaching Chait & Sakhnovsky, so obviously this was written before they went back to Tarasova. The "Grishuk & Platov Today" photos are separate, one of Oksana with her baby and one of Evgeny with Chait & Sakhnovsky. I had kind of a crush on Evgeny when he was skating and I hate to say this, but he's starting to look a little jowely at 35. I saw him close up in '99 and I kind of wish I hadn't. The make-up, lighting, and long shots hide a LOT of wrinkles. I should talk though:lol: But the way he did the paso doble still ranks as the second or third best "sexual alpha male on the ice" I've ever seen. Anyway, I hope he's happy with whomever he's coaching now and I hope Grishuk has been forgiven enough by the figure skating world and the fans, and is now together enough that she can contribute her talent and knowledge to skating in some way.
    4. Tara Lipiniski, Jan/Feb '99. In the cover photo from '99, Tara's hair pinned is up and she looks very much like a 15-16yr (or younger) skater or dancer. The "Tara Today" photo is a black-and-white though slightly sepia toned shot of Tara, arms crossed, white shirt, jeans, a little belly showing, hair shoulder-length and wild, with a whole look of, "Baby, here I am." Tara still looks more 16-17 than 21, but she is certainly beautiful, and I keep thinking of how happy she'll be to look 30 when she's 45, lol.
    5. Anybody want to take a guess?







    5. Lu Chen, Nov/Dec '98. On the cover Lulu is wearing a lime green and black striped long-sleeved shirt that ties just below the sternum, leaving her with a very sexy and revealing neckline and waist. Her hair is long and, holy moly, is she ever a beautiful young woman. In the article she talks about offers she's received to do movies in China, though things are on hold right now because of the SARS virus--yeesh! She's also traveling to Hong Kong and Australia to do coaching and choreography seminars. For the last two years she's been working in Connecticut with her former SOI castmate, boyfriend, and '92 Olympic pairs silver medalist Denis Petrov, although no plans for a wedding just yet. The "Lu Chen Today" photo shows Lulu in a plain gray long-sleeved sweater with her arms crossed up and behind her head. Her long hair has some subtle highlights in it and the 26-yr-old Chen has a beautiful "come hither" look on her face. I think she could be great in movies so I hope that works out. Lulu says she can't really say what kind of movies she would prefer since she's never done one, but said, "...<em>actually</em> I do like comedies more." Lu Chen and Chow Yung Fat in a Chinese version of "Pretty Woman" directed by Ang Lee--I'd go see it:D


  3. #33

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    <strong>After Witt, which Oly champ really stayed in competitive amateur skating? Oksana? Lipinski? I can understand Sarah.</strong>

    The only difference is that those skaters had National and World titles to their name. Sarah has neither. I wish she would have scaled back the fun this year and trained more so that she could have another title, or at least looked more competitive. But her decision is her decision, and we must repect that. >

    I would believe that after having won the Olympic gold medal the glory of winning a National title (or even a World gold) might not look such an exciting matter for a skater? Especially if she also is very interested in continuing her studying like Sarah does.


  4. #34

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    Sk8cynic - By all means, the Russian Gals! Give a question for each one. If you have the time, add a question for each of the Japanese Gals, and let's not forget, the Italian Gal. But we need a question for each.


  5. #35

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies


    Sorry, posted twice.

  6. #36

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    I can only attempt question #1: If MK goes for gold in 2004, will she absolutely need a 3x3?

    I'd say, no, she will not absolutely need a 3/3. Maybe, but definitely not "absolutely". My view is based on the track records of the performances of the top ladies against Michelle. Looking at Michelle's jump statistics, in major competitions she has done no less than 6 triples consistently, which in a way is indicative of her technical prowess. Many of us forget just how difficult it is to deliver a clean 6 or 7 triple program probably because Michelle's incredible consistency has spoilt us. If it's so easy as many people would like to think it is, how many elite skaters in the past 3 years have done 2 or more clean 6-7 triple programs each year? Only Sarah and Irina (correct me if I'm wrong). Sorry, and of course Michelle, since 1995!

    Michelle's technical marks for a clean 6-7 triple program are beaten probably by a small margin by others who have 3/3's, quads...etc. With presentation coming into the picture, Michelle's consistent solid performance in presentation can easily beat others and she will win with the overall marks. The only lady who can truly challenge Michelle is Irina because she has shown, on a good day, she can match or beat Michelle's presentation. I would like to put Sasha in the same breath with Irina but her inconsistency in her technical performance is too hard to ignore. I'm speaking from my observation in other sports. I don't think Sasha can suddenly put together mentally next season and consistenly put out one clean program after another ala Michelle. In a nutshell, only Irina can beat Michelle but as of late, she has been under a mini slump (even before her mother's illness). Can she come back? Maybe.

    Until those skaters including Elena can narrow their presentation gap with Michelle's, not necessarily bettering hers, all Michelle needs is an inspired clean 6-7 triple program and she can deliver that based on her track records. I could have missed something, otherwise I strongly believe so.:D

    But I certainly don't think Michelle thinks like I do and rests on her laurels.

  7. #37

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    <strong>1. If MK goes for gold in 2004, will she absolutely need a 3x3?</strong>
    I dont think so, she didnt have it this year and she still won Nationals and Worlds, Unless someone landed a 3x3 and skates a all together great program with no mistakes and can match or close to match her artistry then i think no.

    <strong>2. Has TT been as useful to Sasha as was first anticipated?</strong>
    I think she has been, though know her jumps are not consistent still she landed a 3x3 in comp[itition for the first time and her new style on the ice and footwork are amazing!

    <strong>3. If Naomi N N skates Nats, will she be top 3? top 6? </strong>
    Naomi is a great skater, who I was very impressed by several years ago, i have remained a fan of her and have faith in her but coming back from the injury going into Nats it would have been 4 years since she has been there, a lot has changed and other skaters have had that time to improve a lot while she has not, i would LOVE to see Naomi make it to Nationals and if she does I think ANY placement would have been a huge accomplisment

    <strong>4. Best chances for the Podium: Jenny? Bebe? Ye Bin? AP?</strong>
    I think AP has a good chance to make the top 3 next year as long as she skates clean and doesnt mess up under pressure. I would love to see Bebe in the top 4, but i think anything in the top 6 would be good and about right for her, i think jenny has a good chance for the top 4 and ye bin is good but doesnt have as much expeirence so i say top 6 for her.

    <strong>5. Which 3 International Ladies figure skaters pose the biggest threat to the US Ladies?</strong>
    I would say Irina and Elena i mean worlds was the first time i ever saw Elena and she is good! Irina is also really good and she has always been a threat.

  8. #38

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    I disagree that Hamill did not have a good deal afeter her Olympic win. She decided to pursue a world title, then went pro. She had no other choice, since skaters didn't make money as amaturs. Michelle has the opportunity to go on, becuase she makes a ton of money. In any case she's had a great career imo.

    As far as Sarah Hughes is concerned I think she may come back 1 season (in between college) and gauge her results there. so who knows, she still has plenty of time to decide on life.

  9. #39
    berthes ghost

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    " I have a specific question to Berthes Ghost and others who agree with this: As Tara was training for the Olympics, do you think she knew she was causing permanent damage to her hip by doing the 3lp/3lp that would cause her to have constant pain for years, require surgery, and be unable to skate at the elite level ever again? "


    "Or do you think she was a driven athlete who was used to pushing herself just like the other elite skaters and expected that the pain she was experiencing doing the 3lp/3lp would subside once she turned pro and stopped doing them?"


    -I think that she wanted to win the gold.
    -I think that she thought that she needed the 3r/3r to win.
    -I think that she is anywhere from a prefectionist to an absessive compuslive. 50 times a day when even her coach and parents told her to calm down? I don't think that the average athlete would do that.
    -IIRC, she didn't have pain until the Oly season. At that point she was probably so close she could taste it, so how could she stop then and take a breather. Especially not with her personality.
    -Also IIRC she was misdiagnosed, so she probably didn't know how serious it was at the time.

    Hmm, I'm not sure I'm explaining myself.

    I certainaly don't think she had any idea she was doing the damage she was. It's only in hindsight that we now know how much her ambition cost her.

    OTOH, I don't think she was totally innocent either. I don't think that every girl who practices triples or 3/3s is headed for the same. She overdid it. That's just her personality.

    I also think that a lot of the severity of her condition is due to the fact that she didn't slow it down after she went pro. Well, at least not enough. Like I said, hindsight is 20/20.

    I feel bad for her. She trusted her gut and she made some bad decisions. Well, bad for someone like me. She obviously regrets nothing.

  10. #40

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    <span style="text-decoration:underline">The Tara Question</span>

    This is, to me, all conjecture unless somebody has some direct quotes from Tara.

    I think she was driven to win. That would please Pat no end. Her choreography was carefully planned to hide some troubling basics. She did not try to skate a la Kwan, she chose the coquette style of a little girl who just adored figure skating (she did it well). Prayers to St. Theresa worked.

    At some point she must have known the hip was in bad shape. It just doesn't happen after someone pins a gold medal on you. I'm almost convinced she had to decide before the Olys whether or not to have surgery. Whether the surgeons advised her correctly or not, we just don't know.

    After the Olys, her public wish was to be with her parents, so she was not going to stay amateur. Yet, she went into a travelling ice show.

    I don't think we will know the whole story of Tara so conjecture is about all we can get.


  11. #41

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    Re: Summer Questions - Ladies

    Will Michelle absolutely need a 3/3? Probably not - but we've seen what happens when she doesn't have one and someone else does.... on a couple occasions... so, I guess it's up to the competition.
    While she may not NEED one to win nationals and worlds, I for one would really like to see her go out and do one regardless (on a <em>consistent</em> basis throughout the season). I simply can't understand why she hasn't had one consistently up to this point.
    A lot of people here a GS say it's probably because she's concerned about injury. But I doubt that's what it is. I think we can all agree that her fitness level is outstanding, especially with the strength training and all. And her technique is good enough (for years!) where she should be able to train a 3/3 without fear of injury (of course freak injuries are always possible - but a skater can't think of these things or else she would never even step onto the ice; <em>most</em> injuries come from bad technique and training and I don't think anyone will disagree when I say that michelle has neither of those). So I wonder why she hasn't added on to her permanent repertoire. Sure she's done them before, but it's not something you expect from her. She always says she likes to compete, and she likes to challenge herself... I think this would be the biggest challenge for her - to go out and do the jumps like she means business... .go out with some aggressiveness and do the 3/3 even if it's completely unnecessary for a certainly doesn't mean she's being less artistic
    many may say "but this could jeopardize her program if she misses" ... it's not all about the medals is it? She's got enough of those to last a lifetime.
    I say the biggest challenge is being <strong>great</strong> when you only need to be <strong>good</strong>.
    So I guess I would have more respect for her technical skating if she would add this 3/3... I mean she's been doing every triple since she was around 14.... a little change can be good...

    Has TT proven to be an asset to Sasha?
    interesting question.
    I remember watching Ilia Kulik when he first switched over to TT... it was a bad technical season for him... very inconsistent... I see the same kind of thing with Sasha except I don't think she was consistent <em>before</em> she went to TT.. so that may prove to be a problem... maybe she'll have to have a jump coach give some extra instruction while she trains with Tarasova.

  12. #42

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    Another problem for Tara is..

    She didn't believe in stretching. Who in the world told her that she didn't need those type of warming up excercises? Maybe that could have helped somewhat. I know how important they say stretching is.

    For some reason I think Nats and Worlds were important to Sarah for a lot of reasons that I won't go into. I thinks that's part (only part) of the reason she attempted to come back this season.

  13. #43

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    Re: Another problem for Tara is..

    Lavender - I remember reading an article shortly before Nationals where Sarah is quoted as saying something to the effect of (I don't remember her exact words) "People keep telling me, 'but you don't have a Nationals title yet'. Don't they think I know that?" I got the impression that this really got on her nerves (as it should have, I mean, how rude would you have to be to say that to her??) I think this is one reason she competed this year, to hopefully win the title to get those people off her back. But that is just my opinion.

  14. #44
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    Jan 2005

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    Tara ...

    If her parents and coach didn't know the severity of her injury by the time the Oly. Her agent sure knew it all or at least guessed all. I heard that in an interview after the Oly her agent said when Tara had a good draw in LP, right after Silvia S. and after MK, at Nagano he was so happy since he knew Tara already serious injured either now or never.

    To me that means team Tara was willing to take the risk long before Nagano. I don't blame Tara for that back then she was a little girl, only 14 or 15 correct me, and at age like that you always do things impulsively. It was more of her parents and coach 's fault to allow her even practice like that.

    I did read in one article (last year or this year before Nats) where Tara's talked about how serious her hip injury was by practicing too much of 3l/3l and warning young skaters don't repeat her mistakes something to this line. However in the TV interview after the Worlds she talked all about no regrets in a different tone. I don't know which to take from her.

    And I also remember in a TV interview right before SLC she said something like "What if I stay eligible, may be I still can win another OGM. But I want give other people a chance". Back then I didn't know how serious her injury was. (It was after SLC that I started lurking at the FS board). And her 3l/3l was still a technique chanlenge even now; so had she not injured she indeed may have a chance at SLC. But now looking back when she knew her injury would not allowing her compete like this but still made that blunt statement; you just can't take what she say seriously.

  15. #45

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    Re: Another problem for Tara is..


    I agree that people mentioning the lack of a National or World title was one of the reasons Sarah competed last season. I also think that the fuss she and/or her team made about her love of skating put on the pressure to return. Does "I'll Never Say Goodbye" ring a bell?

    I think she just put herself in a trap last year and didn't know how to get out. She was trying to decide if school or competition was more important to her but it seems like she was either too embarrassed to admit it or she got too much outside pressure to keep going.

    She made the comment that she thought she had to skate. It was in one of the articles that reported her choice of college. She thought she couldn't take a year off and come back later if she wanted to. I remember thinking that was odd. There is no reason why she couldn't come back later if she wanted to. If she wanted to continue with school then that would be her decision to make.

    In any case, this year off from competition will probably be the best thing she's done for herself since the Olympics.

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