2021 NHK Trophy - Women: Thoughts and Comments? | Page 2 | Golden Skate

2021 NHK Trophy - Women: Thoughts and Comments?

Ruby999

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
I think many people that say Kaori is athletic are just being kind. It has nothing to do with body type. It has to do with her obvious weaknesses in the artistic/presentation side. As strong as her skating skills are, her weaknesses on the artistic side are just as obvious. Her lack of musicality, stiff upper body, poor posture and carriage, and lack of grace to the point of almost being awkward should all be big negatives for her PCS scores, but are usually overlooked. Other Japanese skaters such as Satoko and Wakaba are also strong with skating skills, but with excellent artistic/presentation skills. Yet they are regularly much more underscored than Kaori. While Kaori deserves her victories primarily because of her jumping consistency, she shouldn't receive inflated scores because of it. In the SP here, Mana skated just as clean but with a beautiful 3A. PCS and GOE should have helped Kaori close the gap some, but no way put her 3 points ahead.
Of course, you are entitled to your opinion of Kaori’s skating, but it’s not objective any more than any other opinion is, so it’s hard to say whether it’s true that the judges overlook the flaws that you see, or whether they actually don’t see those flaws or don’t see them as flaws. Maybe that’s what you mean by ‘overlook,’ though. For my part, Kaori was never one of my favourites until I saw her skate live — and then I found her fast, smooth, and mesmerizing. Also, live she was (to me) graceful too, although not in a ballet way, but I couldn’t have described her as awkward. She came across as very coordinated and watching her was like seeing some sort of demonstration of physics, just amazing. I would definitely refer to this as athletic — but to describe the speed and the smoothness, not as a euphemism for what she lacks. Maybe you’ve seen her live too and we just appreciate different qualities, but I can definitely imagine that some of the judges are as impressed by the ease, speed, and physics of how she skates as I was, and that translates for them into the GOE and PCS they award.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Of course, you are entitled to your opinion of Kaori’s skating, but it’s not objective any more than any other opinion is, so it’s hard to say whether it’s true that the judges overlook the flaws that you see, or whether they actually don’t see those flaws or don’t see them as flaws. Maybe that’s what you mean by ‘overlook,’ though. For my part, Kaori was never one of my favourites until I saw her skate live — and then I found her fast, smooth, and mesmerizing. Also, live she was (to me) graceful too, although not in a ballet way, but I couldn’t have described her as awkward. She came across as very coordinated and watching her was like seeing some sort of demonstration of physics, just amazing. I would definitely refer to this as athletic — but to describe the speed and the smoothness, not as a euphemism for what she lacks. Maybe you’ve seen her live too and we just appreciate different qualities, but I can definitely imagine that some of the judges are as impressed by the ease, speed, and physics of how she skates as I was, and that translates for them into the GOE and PCS they award.
I agree that she is an excellent technical skater, as I said. SS are only 20 percent of PCS. The majority is artistic/musicality, presentation based The judgements are relative. Compared to other top skaters her upper body movement, posture and musicality is poor. My point is that while she should score high in SS, as she does, there are others that also have great SS and are much better than Kaori in the artistic/presentation aspects. Satoko and Wakaba are good examples
 

Ruby999

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
I agree that she is an excellent technical skater, as I said. SS are only 20 percent of PCS. The majority is artistic/musicality, presentation based The judgements are relative. Compared to other top skaters her upper body movement, posture and musicality is poor. My point is that while she should score high in SS, as she does, there are others that also have great SS and are much better than Kaori in the artistic/presentation aspects. Satoko and Wakaba are good examples
I just think that musicality, presentation, and even posture must be fairly subjective because what you’re saying you see as poor musicality and presentation I saw as airiness, charisma, joy, also sometimes fierceness that fits the musical choices. I saw a lightness, strength, and coordination that I just wouldn’t have described as poor posture. I love Wakaba and enjoy watching Satoko. For me, watching Satoko was like seeing a very polished dance, and she had less speed and ice coverage in comparison to Kaori so everything felt more precise, controlled but also less exciting. But honestly, it was like comparing apples and oranges, they are so different from each other. I wouldn’t like to be a figure skating judge.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
I just think that musicality, presentation, and even posture must be fairly subjective because what you’re saying you see as poor musicality and presentation I saw as airiness, charisma, joy, also sometimes fierceness that fits the musical choices. I saw a lightness, strength, and coordination that I just wouldn’t have described as poor posture. I love Wakaba and enjoy watching Satoko. For me, watching Satoko was like seeing a very polished dance, and she had less speed and ice coverage in comparison to Kaori so everything felt more precise, controlled but also less exciting. But honestly, it was like comparing apples and oranges, they are so different from each other. I wouldn’t like to be a figure skating judge.
PCS is made up of apples and oranges. Just having great apples shouldn't get you a high score if your oranges aren't good. Lol
 

zanadude

Medalist
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Country
Japan
Everything in skating is subjective, even skating skills and other technical aspects. The whole sport is opinion based.
Imagine figure skating as a wholly quantifiable sport. Cameras measuring jump height, rotation speed, angle of the landing blade, lateral movement during spins; microphones linked up to determine how synched up the movements are to the music, AI to determine how close the athlete is to "ideal" form. And imagine how athletes would tailor their routines to such a quantifiable system of judging.

I wouldn't watch it either.
 

alexocfp

Medalist
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Country
United-States
Imagine figure skating as a wholly quantifiable sport. Cameras measuring jump height, rotation speed, angle of the landing blade, lateral movement during spins; microphones linked up to determine how synched up the movements are to the music, AI to determine how close the athlete is to "ideal" form. And imagine how athletes would tailor their routines to such a quantifiable system of judging.

I wouldn't watch it either.
And I would join you in not watching it. That kind of precision really is a killjoy.

It will turn out like offsides in football. All kinds of protractors and lasers used to see if someone was 1mm offside. Ridiculous.

If I wanted those kind of precise measurements, I would watch geometry documentaries instead of sports.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Imagine figure skating as a wholly quantifiable sport. Cameras measuring jump height, rotation speed, angle of the landing blade, lateral movement during spins; microphones linked up to determine how synched up the movements are to the music, AI to determine how close the athlete is to "ideal" form. And imagine how athletes would tailor their routines to such a quantifiable system of judging.

I wouldn't watch it either.
Exactly why the current trend of emphasizing tech over presentation is bad. Just because someone knows how to do all the dance steps correctly does not mean they are a good dancer. Overall body control, rhythm and musicality are vital, just as in skating.
 

Joekaz

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
And I would join you in not watching it. That kind of precision really is a killjoy.

It will turn out like offsides in football. All kinds of protractors and lasers used to see if someone was 1mm offside. Ridiculous.

If I wanted those kind of precise measurements, I would watch geometry documentaries instead of sports.
Kind of like the q call? Lol
 

Zora

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
I think it has more to do with the way she moves. Kawabe and Higuchi have similar body types to Kaori, but I find their presentation more refined. You definitely don't have to be thin to have balletic lines and posture.
I think Higuchi often faces the same criticism though? Since I specifically mentioned German commmentators: Daniel Weiss also said that
Wakaba could choose any music, she would never be artistic. That was after her brilliant Bond program in 2018.

Her lack of musicality, stiff upper body, poor posture and carriage, and lack of grace to the point of almost being awkward should all be big negatives for her PCS scores, but are usually overlooked.
I have to disagree about lack of musicality. I re-watched both programs and there was just one part (until the combo) in her free program where I thought she skated through the music. But I also thought that about parts of Anna's programs last season as well.
And I also think she is a graceful skater, because the way she effortlessly flies over the ice makes her look more graceful than someone who has to work for that speed. Maybe her arms are sometimes stiff and she does have that occasional awkward movement, but at least she keeps some tension in her arms and doesn't wave them like noodle arms like some other skaters. And I don't know what's wrong about having a more powerful presentation, does every skater have to appear fragile and delicate? And no one cared about Radionova's hunched shoulders, Yuna Kim's flexed feet, how Zagitova bent over to gain speed.
 

Anna K.

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Imagine figure skating as a wholly quantifiable sport. Cameras measuring jump height, rotation speed, angle of the landing blade, lateral movement during spins; microphones linked up to determine how synched up the movements are to the music, AI to determine how close the athlete is to "ideal" form. And imagine how athletes would tailor their routines to such a quantifiable system of judging.
I'd rather imagine that all this calculation is done in order to create a perfect figure skating simulation game. And imagine myself in my armchair choosing the music, composing the program and then trying to "skate" it controlling the edges, the speed, the rotations.... desperately trying to keep it in sync and finally crashing out (this is what usually happens when I do computer games).

Sorry if this is off topic ;)
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Country
New-Zealand
I think Higuchi often faces the same criticism though? Since I specifically mentioned German commmentators: Daniel Weiss also said that
Wakaba could choose any music, she would never be artistic. That was after her brilliant Bond program in 2018.
Yes, but I think the criticism towards Kaori specifically is more about her movement style than her physical build. Kaori and Wakaba both have powerful compact body types, but Wakaba's body carriage is more classical. I do agree that prejudice against skaters that don't fit the body 'ideal' is real, though (that's the only explanation for Weiss's comment about Wakaba).
And I don't know what's wrong about having a more powerful presentation, does every skater have to appear fragile and delicate? And no one cared about Radionova's hunched shoulders, Yuna Kim's flexed feet, how Zagitova bent over to gain speed.
That's why I was never keen on either Radionova or Zagitova. I admit to having a bias for skaters with nice lines, regardless of their body type. Being slim and long-limbed doesn't automatically make a skater balletic (in fact it can magnify postural faults), and short/muscular people can look refined and elegant with the right training.
I like Kaori's speed and cheerfulness, enjoy watching her (depending on the programme choreo), and can see where her high PCS comes from (SS for sure, also PE). I just think that specific aspects of her presentation could be improved.
 

Dawn825

Final Flight
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Imagine figure skating as a wholly quantifiable sport. Cameras measuring jump height, rotation speed, angle of the landing blade, lateral movement during spins; microphones linked up to determine how synched up the movements are to the music, AI to determine how close the athlete is to "ideal" form. And imagine how athletes would tailor their routines to such a quantifiable system of judging.

I wouldn't watch it either.
I would. It changes nothing about my experience as a viewer, I can still enjoy the programs I like, and not enjoy the ones i don't. But it changes the experience of the skaters, who sacrifice everything for this sport. They should be judged for what they do and dont do. If you're going to break down the judging to account for every little detail the way IJS does, you should be accurate. If you're going to tell skaters that you'll give them more points for high jumps, correct edges, difficult transitions, and musicality...then you should. Personally I think the IJS system is way too complicated for most judges to use correctly. So change the system or change the judges.
 

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
I would. It changes nothing about my experience as a viewer, I can still enjoy the programs I like, and not enjoy the ones i don't. But it changes the experience of the skaters, who sacrifice everything for this sport. They should be judged for what they do and dont do. If you're going to break down the judging to account for every little detail the way IJS does, you should be accurate. If you're going to tell skaters that you'll give them more points for high jumps, correct edges, difficult transitions, and musicality...then you should. Personally I think the IJS system is way too complicated for most judges to use correctly. So change the system or change the judges.
🙌 my feeling exactly!
 
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