# Thread: Who's Got the Points for Gold?

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## Who's Got the Points for Gold?

I'm moving this portion of my last post on the 'tight' thread because I think this is where the CoP is, and where a winner will emerge.

Many skaters and teams are behind the gold medalists in Moscow - not necessarily in performance, but in points.

I was thinking more about the total points needed for high scores to be competitive under the CoP. It just seems to me that the Russians have already accumulated the necessary points to be highly competitive and could look forward to winning gold - a sweep! yet things could change as the season goes on.

Since we are not going bananas about the 6.0 system anymore, we have to look, albeit in general, about the expected total scores for each skater (team). I have not done my homework but from my poor memory, I would suggest the following minimum scores in search of gold:

for the men I think 270 points to be competitive
for the ladies I think 240 are required
for pairs I think 240 also.

The men I think who could muster 270 would be Evgeni, Stephane, Brian and Ilia.

The ladies I think Irina will definitely amass 240, with a possible Sasha on a clean skate, and Carolina as the hometown gal.

The pairs I think T&M and S&Z are the only two teams to get the competitive highest points.

I would appreciate your views as to the minimum amount of points a skater or team would require to be in competition for gold, and who among the competitors could reach that number. Please put your views on dance, also.

Joe

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Oh, I don't know, Joe. The number of points needed to win is .01 more than what the next guy has. Even if your base score is 270, one slip on your quad-triple combo and you're down in the 250s.

Also, just like under the 6.0 system, I think we will see a lot of inflated PCSs for the winners, just on the general priciple, well, they won anyway, why not give them a pat on the back. Like Michelle winning all those 6.0s at 2005 Nationals just because it was the last hurrah for 6.0.

Mathman

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Mathman,
ITA. We could have a situation like we did for the ladies in SLC where the top contenders did not skate well, either falling and skating tight or missing an expected 3/3 combo for one and several for another, as well as the other also skating tight. Out came the "What have I got to lose?" girl and skated away with the OGM.

It doesn't matter what the total points are. As Mathman said, "You just have to be .01 point against your nearest competitor."

However, Joe, I do see your point. In trying to get the "odds" for the skaters, who has amassed the highest total points in the SP and LP. However, I disagree that Irina is a lock for 270. I love Irina and I agree that her Moscow skate deserved the 270-whatever (don't have the number handy). But Irna has been sick for a long time and being treated with Prednisone. I don't how much Prednisone she's been getting, but it can wreak havoc on the joints of the hips and shoulders over time. Maybe she's fine and will only get better, but when you're dealing with autoimmune diseases such as vasculitis, which can affect different people very differently, I just don't know. I hate to doubt Irina and would love to see her win, but problematic health for an athlete can be, well, problematic. OTOH, if she's well enough, the mindset of having almost lost it all, plus her mother's problems, may focus her into giving the skate of a lifetime.

As for Carolina as the hometown girl, she's got gorgous edges, phenomenal speed, and 3/3s as smooth as Krispy Kremes, but Kostner is really the ladies skater about whom there should be 15-page threads about her consistency. Also, just because Carolina has 3/3s, edges as smooth as Krispy Cremes, and 0 to 60 mph speed doesn't mean much because unfortuntely, Kostner really is the inconsistency queen. I don't know her highest finish at Worlds off hand, but she's never been on or close to being one he podium, Of course she could always pull a Sarah. but even though Carolina has several incredible technical skills, she has yet to put them all together. I like Kostner a lot, but I see her included in the contenders only because she's got some glorious skills and the Olys will be in Italy. Take away any one of her top technical capabilities, speed, edges, 3/3s, and I don't think she'd be any more than in the "if it's the right night" group.

Fumie also has major problems with consistency, but she's won bronze at Worlds twice, the GPF once (or twice?) and is doing very well with the NJS. Plus, she's been working with Lori Nichol for at least four or five years, allowing Lori to finally find the right style for Fumie. They dumped the Fumie as ballerina approach and gave her much more staccato, aggressive choreography and within a few months Fumie is "floats like a butterfly, jumps like..." uh, well, I was going to say "flea" but that doesn't work. Gazelle is what she jumps like. If Lori and Fumie can put together two great programs and Fumie can skate with her head as well as she does with her blades, I see her as being a tougher contender than Carolina. I't also her second Olympics.

Sasha also has the second-Olympic advantage. She's amassed the most points under the COP when adjusted for number of COP programs skated, except Irina, who only skated two, I think. (Was Euros skated under NJS?) So on paper, Sasha has the best record. Off paper, nerves and her tendency to skate best at the beginning of the season instead of vice versa is her achilles heel. We may hate her same ol' same ol' choreography, but we have to face that some judges love it. I'd put Sasha as a top contender, but whether she makes the Olympic podium--I doubt she's skating for gold these days--depends, IMO, on her nerves, her connection to the audience (something I've only seen her do once--at Campbelle's '03), and her back.

IMO, Michelle is the wild card. People have said, "See! You all wrote off Michelle and she walked away with the gold. Never count out Michelle." Except at Olympics '98 and '02 and her World losses. Coming into the these Olympics, we've never seen Michelle come in third twice at the last two Worlds; never seen her skate such "empty" choreography; and never seen her come into the Olympics with only one experience, so far, with the COP Of course she could change the last one by participating in the GPS and by the USFSA finally ising the COP for Nationals.

I also see Kimmie Meisner as a potential dark horse. I never would have said that had I not seen her skate a five-triple program at COI this summer. Live and TV with Meisner is SUCH a huge difference. Of course we've never seen her in high-pressure international competition, so she's big "IF."

I could go on and on, but that's the way I see the ladies who have been generally touted as the top contenders for the Olympics. Unfortunately for Miki Ando, her hips and thighs have not been kind to her re jumping. However, it she get on a good low-impact aerobic program with a profressional trainer, there could be body changes that make all the difference. Miki is tall too, so five to 10 lbs could be all it takes.

Good luck to all ladies. At least one person I know doesn't believe in luck, but I do. Sometimes it's just some skater's lucky night.

Rgirl

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Originally Posted by Rgirl
Mathman,
Kostner really is the inconsistency queen. I don't know her highest finish at Worlds off hand, but she's never been on or close to being one he podium,
Um, she was on the podium (bronze medal) in 2005.

And fifth in 2004, which is "close to being on the podium."

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Sasha also has the second-Olympic advantage. She's amassed the most points under the COP when adjusted for number of COP programs skated, except Irina, who only skated two, I think. (Was Euros skated under NJS?) So on paper, Sasha has the best record. Off paper, nerves and her tendency to skate best at the beginning of the season instead of vice versa is her achilles heel. We may hate her same ol' same ol' choreography, but we have to face that some judges love it. I'd put Sasha as a top contender, but whether she makes the Olympic podium--I doubt she's skating for gold these days--depends, IMO, on her nerves, her connection to the audience (something I've only seen her do once--at Campbelle's '03), and her back.
Yup, except that I see that if she can't even do it at Worlds, there's no possible way she can do it at the Olympics. Not under THAT sort of pressure. I just do not see it happening. I predict a 3rd or 4th (most likely 3rd) place finish for her.

IMO, Michelle is the wild card. People have said, "See! You all wrote off Michelle and she walked away with the gold. Never count out Michelle." Except at Olympics '98 and '02 and her World losses. Coming into the these Olympics, we've never seen Michelle come in third twice at the last two Worlds; never seen her skate such "empty" choreography; and never seen her come into the Olympics with only one experience, so far, with the COP Of course she could change the last one by participating in the GPS and by the USFSA finally ising the COP for Nationals.
ITA that MK is the "wild card", but only because nobody knows what she is doing now. Now, regarding Kwan, everyone thinks I'm writing her off but really what I am saying is that based on her strategy and where it's gotten her so far (a slip from 1st to 4th in the world) isn't getting her all THAT far. She CAN do it, but not by herself. She cannot hold back, and even then, the judges might want to see someone else slip up first. In other words, she's like Hughes- she'll need someone else's help to win this thing. Podium? Yeah, sure. Gold? Unlikely, but not absolutely impossible.

I also see Kimmie Meisner as a potential dark horse. I never would have said that had I not seen her skate a five-triple program at COI this summer. Live and TV with Meisner is SUCH a huge difference. Of course we've never seen her in high-pressure international competition, so she's big "IF."
That 3rd spot on the U.S. team is about as wide open as you're going to get. No one, IMO, is guaranteed that spot. Kwan and Cohen on the other hand are virtual locks for the olympic team. I don't care what anyone else says.

That said, Meissner could easily be upset by somebody else (say, the other Hughes) so it's really hard to tell at this point.

As for Carolina as the hometown girl, she's got gorgous edges, phenomenal speed, and 3/3s as smooth as Krispy Kremes, but Kostner is really the ladies skater about whom there should be 15-page threads about her consistency. Also, just because Carolina has 3/3s, edges as smooth as Krispy Cremes, and 0 to 60 mph speed doesn't mean much because unfortuntely, Kostner really is the inconsistency queen. I don't know her highest finish at Worlds off hand, but she's never been on or close to being one he podium, Of course she could always pull a Sarah. but even though Carolina has several incredible technical skills, she has yet to put them all together. I like Kostner a lot, but I see her included in the contenders only because she's got some glorious skills and the Olys will be in Italy. Take away any one of her top technical capabilities, speed, edges, 3/3s, and I don't think she'd be any more than in the "if it's the right night" group.
I'm not so quick to jump on this bandwagon. ITA that she has been pretty inconsistent, and unpredictable. But so is the entire Olympic competition. I suppose we'll have some fun this time around

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Originally Posted by Rgirl
IMO, Michelle is the wild card. People have said, "See! You all wrote off Michelle and she walked away with the gold. Never count out Michelle." Except at Olympics '98 and '02 and her World losses. Coming into the these Olympics, we've never seen Michelle come in third twice at the last two Worlds; never seen her skate such "empty" choreography; and never seen her come into the Olympics with only one experience, so far, with the COP Of course she could change the last one by participating in the GPS and by the USFSA finally ising the COP for Nationals.

Rgirl
Yeah, she is the WILD card. Nothing now indicating she CAN'T do it, neither indicating she WILL do it. Hope she stick with what TT gave her in LP. Raphael comes down more often.

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Originally Posted by Joesitz
[B]
The men I think who could muster 270 would be Evgeni, Stephane, Brian and Ilia.
Jeff, Johnny?

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Jeff, Eman.
I'd like to see the new rival between great Canadian men and Rusian men like decada ago. Throw in Lambial.

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"Float like a butterfly, jump like a flea?!!!!!"

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I really need to take a course in writing clearer. What I was trying to get at here is that we know the points from Moscow, and from the points, is it realistic to think that competitors can play catchup?

Irina ..........222.71
Sasha.......214.39
Carolina....200.56
Michelle....200.19
Fumie.......196.01
Miki...........193.14
ElenaS.....189.48
Susanna...187.67
Shizuka....185.73
ElenaL......174.18
Joannie.....172.99
Julia..........167.56

I'm not that interested in knowing their good points and bad points. I have opinions about that too, anyway.

Given, all of the above skaters skate their personal best, how many will realistically get more points to move to the top?

Sasha needs to get 8.34 more points to match Irina (not surpass her). Are 8.34 points difficult to catch up? and how much more will it take to surpass the presumed leader who will probably increase her score also?

I know, I know, I know, there will be injuries, faulty technique, and health problems but this is purely hypothetical . I know, I know the skaters have to work hard.

So can we figure out what the total scores mean in terms of numbers and not in terms of quads and bielmans? Elements should already be included in the score. Would any of above all have a realistic game plan to win the Olys given the leader, too, will have a game plan to maintain her lead.

BTW, Jeffrey is 16.77 behind Stephane. can Jeffrey catch up?

I'll reduce the minimum of Ladies to 230 but keep the minimum for men at 270. Do you agree we can look at these minimums during the GPs?

Joe

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Originally Posted by Joesitz

BTW, Jeffrey is 16.77 behind Stephane. can Jeffrey catch up?

Joe
Heard Jeffery has two excelently choreographed programs even better than last year. If he got his quad down, I would think he'll be right there with Stephane. Stephane's skating sometimes still looks a little bit rough edges. But Stephane is much more exciting to watch (IMO). Of course it remains to be seen how Lambial's programs CoP friendly and how refiness he can be this coming season.

And you also have to consider the factor that usually the 'newbie' slack down (mostly the pressure?) a little next season after the 'big win'. In men's field only proved one is Plushine if he is injury free next season.

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For the sake of comparisons, here are the personal bests for the top men and ladies (SP + LP).

Plushenko: 251.75 (2004 GP final)
Sandhu 228.29 (2003 GP final)
Lambiel 224.46 (2005 Worlds)
Jobert 224.43 (2005 Euros)
Weir 220.25 (2004 NHK trophy)
Buttle 216.65 (2004 GP final)
Li 210.94 (2004 Cup of Russia)
Goebel 208.28 (2004 NHK trophy)
Lysacek 207.16 (2005 Worlds)
Weiss 206.94 (2003 Skate America)
Dambier 201.55 (2003 Cup of Russia)
Lindemann 200.54 (2005 Euros)
Van der Perren 200.02 (2005 Worlds)

Slutskaya 192.94 (2005 Worlds)
Suguri 182.19 (2003 GP final)
Mao Asada 179.24 (2005 Junior Worlds)
Kirk 178.77 (2003 Skate America)
Kwan 175.20 (2005 Worlds)
Kostner 170.36 (2005 Worlds)
Ando 170.36 (2004 NHK Trophy)
Rochette 168.80 (2004 Eric Bompard Trophy)
Onda 166.80 (2005 Four continents)
Liashenko 165.22 (2003 GP final)
Sokolova 165.09 (2005 Worlds)
Pokio 163.98 (2005 Worlds)

Some of the results from 2003 are a little misleading, because that was the experimental year. There were changes for the 2004-2005 season that resulted in lower scores across the board. Sasha, for example, got three straight 197s in the 2003 GP series, for skates of uneven quality.

Also, some people had great skates in the last couple of years under ordinal scoring, which are not reflected here. Sokolova's 2003 Worlds performances were the highlight of her career, for instance, but don't show up here.

There seems to be a tendency for the judges to give out high scores at the GP finals. Maybe this is to hype these events as something special -- the climax of the fall season.

The thing that jumps out at me is that anyone can have a skate-of-a-lifetime experience at the right moment, and win. Jenny Kirk's 2003 Skate America performance was totally amazing, and she deserved every point of her score. Same with Sandhu's 2003 GP Final.

Mathman

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's no qualifying round in the OLYs - it's just a short program + free skate, which means that the totals are not going to compare to Worlds. Plus, with the new rules having Level 4 elements, I don't think we'll know what a good score is until we see some comps this season.

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Yes, that's right. For instance, at Worlds Irina got 62.84 for her short program and 130.10 for her long progam. This adds up to 192.94 (her personal best) for the two together.

In addition, she got 119.08 points in her qualifying skate. This was factored in at 25%, or 29.77 points, so her total for the competition was 222.71.

This gave a weighting of 1/7, 2/7 and 4/7 for the qualifying, SP and LP. At the Olympics, there will just by an SP and an LP, with weights of 33%-67%.

To make it work out this way, the component scores for the ladies are factored in at .8 for the SP and 1.6 for the LP. That is, whatever your actual TCS is for the SP, only 80% of it gets counted in your SP total. In the LP, multiply the TCS by 1.6 instead.

The point of doing this is to try to make the component scores turn out to be roughly of the same importance as the technical scores. These numbers (.8 and 1.6) could be adjusted if need be, as long as one is twice the other.

For the men the weights are 2.0 and 1.0, instead of the ladies' 1.6 and 0.8. The reason for this is that the men's tech scores are expected to be about 25% higher than the ladies', because they do quads and triple Axels. So this adjustment is again in order to keep the same proportion (men versus ladies) in the component scores as it is for the tech scores.

In other words, if you want to compare a man's performance to a lady's, multiply the lady's total score by 1.25 (or else multiply the man's score by .8).

For instance, Sasha's record score of 197.60 would translate into a man's score of 197.60 X 1.25 = 241.18 -- second on the men's all-time list to Plushenko's 251.75.

MM

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Joe, thanks for clarifying your question. Personally, I think it will take scores of about 170 for ladies and 210 for men to be competitive for the top spot.

But let's see if it is realistic for Sasha to catch up with Irina, based on the scores from Worlds.

In the free skate, Irina won with a total of 130.10 (a personal best) to 124.61. Where can Sasha make up 5.5 points?

Here is the breakdown:

Jumps (base value): Irina 38.9, Sasha 42.0.

This is a little misleading, because Irina gave away 4.5 points in base value by doing an illegal triple loop - double loop (getting credit only for the double loop, 1.5 points) instead of the planned triple Lutz (base value 6.0). So with that correction, Irina leads 43.4 to 42.0 in the base value of her jumps, thatnks largely to her opening triple Lutz-triple loop (11.0 points).

To catch up -- Sasha needs to upgrade her opening triple-double to a triple-triple.

Spins and moves in the field (base value): Irina 17.2, Sasha 16.4.

As Bittybug mentions, this is not a dependable predictor because of the new rules next year allow level four spins. Still.....Irina got her advantage by having three level 3 moves and three level 2 moves, while Sasha had only two level 3's and four level 2's.

To catch up, assuming Sasha is not suddenly going to become the new Bielmann queen, she needs to upgrade one of her spins from level 2 to level 3.

GOE's: Irina, +7.93; Sasha, +4.09.

Sasha lost a total of 2.71 in negative GOE for problems with her triple flip and with her 3T-3S sequence. Change that -2.71 to a +1 and she has caught up.

To catch up -- Sasha needs to land all of her jumps securely.

Component Scores. Irina 66.07, Sasha 62.12

Although this is only four points difference (less than the value of one jump), it is huge in terms of what it says about the judges' perceptions of the overall program. Irina got an average of 8.25 in all categories straight across the judging panel, compared to Sasha's 7.75. These are the scores (Irina's) that critics are calling inflated. I think the scores are justified, even if you want to nit-pick Irina's choreography, etc. Basically, she blew the roof off the place.

If Irina gives an excellent skate in Turino, but doesn't necessarily "blow the roof off the place," Sasha should be OK in this category.

Still, just to be on the safe side...

To catch up, Sasha has to blow the roof off the place.

So there you go, Mr. Nicks. The blueprint for How Sasha is Going to Win the Olympic Gold Medal:

1. Do a triple-triple.
3. Stand up on your jumps.
4. Blow the roof off this sucker!

Actually, not a bad strategy for all the competitors.

Mathman

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