2021 Skate America: Men's Recap | Golden Skate

2021 Skate America: Men's Recap

gsk8

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  • USA's Vincent Zhou is still letting it sink in
  • Japan's Shoma Uno will focus on NHK Trophy
  • Nathan Chen is "not devastated" with having his winning streak broken
What are your thoughts? Will Zhou stay consistent? Will Chen get his mojo back? What can we expect from Uno for the rest of the season?
 

ladyjane

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I wonder whether anybody predicted this outcome in the Prediction contest because it was unexpected to say the least. Nathan won last year's SA with a not so good outing either, but that was in last year's strange season and in a different field so he could afford the lack of certain elements. I'm sure he will pick it up going along. Good for Vincent though to finally defeat his rival. I'll still keep my fingers crossed regarding his consistency though. However, this was the kind of form which made him a World medallist after all a few seasons ago. I'm just simply happy for Shoma. It might not be his best skate ever but if he can continue in this vein, and improve further, it is looking good for him.
 

readernick

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Dec 5, 2015
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Taiwan
I think the FS was a huge improvement compared to the SP. Vincent's LP isn't necessarily to my taste but I admire his commitment to improvement. He was obviously motivated by his terrible showing at Worlds last year rather than defeated. As I have said before, he skates with his heart on his sleeve and his reaction in the K&C plus his humble interview were both touching. Good for him!

I think I am in the minority because I quite like Shoma's FS. I, generally, hate Bolero in singles skating but this weird music works better than the original imho. To me, he deserved the highest PCS by a point or two despite his lack of transitions because his basic skating and performance were the best of the night. Shoma's jumps were a bit of a mess, but he showed a fighting spirit. I hope he cleans up his jumps, but he is on the right path.

I think Nathan's performance here is nothing to worry about. He has had bad skates at his first GP in the past. I think I might like his strange FS music choice, but in this performance he didn't perform until the StepSeq so it is hard to say. On the whole, it is a good reminder that even Nathan is human.

Shun skating with an injury really worried me. Thankfully, he seemed to know how to protect his shoulder when he fell. Shun's my child and this season is a huge improvement over last which was frankly terrible. Shun's SP is pretty nice, the FS doesn't work for me because the music cuts are bad and it is Phantom. However, anyone sleeping on this kid'stalent should see when he checks out of his 3A or 4T. He truly has room for another rotation. He jumps high and rotates incredibly fast. I feel like he might be the first skater to get a quad axel or a 5T. Still needs to work on his spins.

Shout out to Jimmy. He chose slightly more traditional music than usual this year. It's still very "unique".. great SP and not a terrible FS. He is improving.

Adam's SP seems like it will be fun when performed better.

My second child, Artur had a rough outing. But the FS showed fight. I love his basic skating and posture. I hope he does better later in the season.
 
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figureskatingandrainbows

Happy Olympic Season!
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Nathan seemed out of it throughout the entire event, so I hope he's OK. I thought his programs have potential, but they felt rather empty and underperformed here, which is understandable considering his tech content and the fact that it's his first outing.
Vincent made me a fan. I still don't love his skating, but he showed such emotion and joy throughout both programs that is was hard not to fall in love a bit. My worry with him is if having to peak for Nebelhorn will affect his GP trajectory at NHK and the Final, but I think he's going to give Nathan a run for his money at Nats.
Shoma, Shoma, Shoma! I quite like his program for a Bolero, and he looked messy but also pretty solid. He needs to move the 4S and do a 4T right after the 4Lo (Yuma does too imo), but otherwise he could really challenge for podiums at the Final and the Olympics. He needs a medal at NHK though, and preferably a silver, so it'll be really tight for him to get into the Final. I do think he deserved the highest PCS here, simply because he was performing through most of the program and Nathan was just performing at the end of his program.
Anyway, the rest of the season is going to be insane and I can't wait!
 

LiamForeman

ЛиамФорэман
Medalist
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Nov 24, 2006
  • USA's Vincent Zhou is still letting it sink in
  • Japan's Shoma Uno will focus on NHK Trophy
  • Nathan Chen is "not devastated" with having his winning streak broken
What are your thoughts? Will Zhou stay consistent? Will Chen get his mojo back? What can we expect from Uno for the rest of the season?
I think this will launch Vincent into a new world of confidence. He's the only person to defeat Nathan in four years. His confidence should be at an all-time high. We might not even recognize him at the Olympics, and I wouldn't be surprised if he takes an Olympic medal.
 

LiamForeman

ЛиамФорэман
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Nov 24, 2006
Nathan seemed out of it throughout the entire event, so I hope he's OK. I thought his programs have potential, but they felt rather empty and underperformed here, which is understandable considering his tech content and the fact that it's his first outing.
Vincent made me a fan. I still don't love his skating, but he showed such emotion and joy throughout both programs that is was hard not to fall in love a bit. My worry with him is if having to peak for Nebelhorn will affect his GP trajectory at NHK and the Final, but I think he's going to give Nathan a run for his money at Nats.
Shoma, Shoma, Shoma! I quite like his program for a Bolero, and he looked messy but also pretty solid. He needs to move the 4S and do a 4T right after the 4Lo (Yuma does too imo), but otherwise he could really challenge for podiums at the Final and the Olympics. He needs a medal at NHK though, and preferably a silver, so it'll be really tight for him to get into the Final. I do think he deserved the highest PCS here, simply because he was performing through most of the program and Nathan was just performing at the end of his program.
Anyway, the rest of the season is going to be insane and I can't wait!
I agree. Actually, I thought the standard of skating was really strong. Even the French guy who withdrew was an impressive skater to me. When it comes to the Japanese men (and really women) their skating skills are so strong that I enjoy nearly all of the skaters from Japan. I like Shoma's Bolero, but if someone has great skating skills, I'm probably going to enjoy any program of theirs. Really, the level of skating in all disciplines is noticeably stronger this year, and I like it.
 

drivingmissdaisy

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Feb 17, 2010
Nathan seemed out of it throughout the entire event, so I hope he's OK. I thought his programs have potential, but they felt rather empty and underperformed here, which is understandable considering his tech content and the fact that it's his first outing.
Agreed. While I was watching Nathan's LP, I kept thinking there's really not much at all going on in between the jumps. He's also skating on two feet quite a lot. His marks relative to the others are fine I guess, but objectively for that performance to earn high Transition and Composition scores is insane IMO.
 

el henry

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@readernick you and I are in the minority together. :) I love Sholero. I don't know why. I guess because it's unique and just slightly crazy (in a good way), just like Shoma's skating is for me.

I think Nathan will come roaring back, but I still maintain, Yale is the best thing that ever happened to him and his skating. Channel that energy, Nathan! (and although I like weird Bolero, I have to say no to techno funeral music [Lacrimosa]. Not that it will make a difference. ;)

What can we say about Vincent? These programs speak to him, I think they elicit real passion from him, and he has made such enormous strides in presentation over the past few years. It's one thing to actually feel, it's another to communicate it. I still can't completely get into his skating, (which is fine, not everyone can get into every skater) but I applaud his progress.:clap:
 

gsk8

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....Even the French guy who withdrew was an impressive skater to me
That would be four-time national champion Kevin Aymoz. He was in the top 10 at Worlds last year, but he had an inner thigh/groin injury at this event. I'm hoping it will heal in time for Internationaux de France which is just less than a month away, but not holding my breath ;(
 

TontoK

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Vincent deserved the win and he deserved the margin of victory. I am very impressed.

I like Shoma's Bolero, and this is a surprise to me. Not the Shoma part; the Bolero part.

I like Nathan's long better than the short, and it has always been the other way around. The construction seems to follow a formula for success... sedate or stately music and performance the first 2/3 and then a rip-roaring finish once the jumps are complete.

Interesting that this program has been designed to accommodate a six quad + 3A layout.
 

figureskatingandrainbows

Happy Olympic Season!
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That would be four-time national champion Kevin Aymoz. He was in the top 10 at Worlds last year, but he had an inner thigh/groin injury at this event. I'm hoping it will heal in time for Internationaux de France which is just less than a month away, but not holding my breath ;(
I think Shun will be fine by then, he seemed better over the course of two days, so a month should hopefully see him in peak condition. But Kevin just got a new injury as well on his toe, so I'm not hopeful at all :(
 

gsk8

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I meant Kevin :) He had a groin injury over the summer and it raised it's ugly head at Skate America. Poor guy is a mess.

Shun also injured his shoulder in the SP, so hopefully that will heal quickly :pray:
 

ladyjane

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That would be four-time national champion Kevin Aymoz. He was in the top 10 at Worlds last year, but he had an inner thigh/groin injury at this event. I'm hoping it will heal in time for Internationaux de France which is just less than a month away, but not holding my breath ;(
Poor Kevin. I hope he heals properly, IdF or not. I'd rather have him sitting that one out if he isn't yet healed than him returning too early to competition. It would be a pity, but health comes first. I'm not holding my breath either.

When he's on, he really is one of those attractive skaters who just pull you into their programmes. I would love to see him like that again.
 

Weathergal

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May 25, 2014
Sadly injury seemed to be so much of the story with the Men's competition. Samsonov had to WD before it even started -- I think because of ongoing knee issues but not sure? Kevin Aymoz had to WD after the SP because of a groin injury and then a toe injury. Shun Sato skated -- quite well I might add -- with a dislocated shoulder. Even Artur Daniellian is coming back from injury and is struggling to get to his previous form. His skating is still beautiful though, and I hope he can work his way back.

I find it hard to connect with Vincent Zhou's skating, but he deserved his win here, and I have to admit I was touched by his genuine emotions in the KnC. His strong performances this year combined with Nathan's faltering -- although it's still hard to call four quads in a free skate faltering for most people -- have made the US Nationals / Olympic team selection even more interesting. I'm not sure what to think of Nathan's SP. The first time I saw his "Nemesis" SP in a video clip from Sun Valley, I was hooked. It was really what made me become a fan. But I'm not sure about him bringing it back - I think partly because I'm worried about "bad ju-ju" from it at the Olympics and not wanting it to become his nemesis but also because I'm not so sure about the other song it's combined with. But with all apologies to my piano teacher and various band and music teachers over the years, I actually really like his FS program. It's just so Nathan LOL I do think he can reframe his mindset and get back into the groove, not just with landing his jumps but also with his confidence.

But much as Zhou and Chen are amazing, Jimmy Ma stole the show for me. I enjoyed both his programs - and even liked the crazy ponytail. I always thought he was talented and a great entertainer, but I had no idea how much potential he really has. I think the move to the Letovs has been good for him.
 

lariko

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I wrote that whole post and Internet just said no. But anyway, in short, I feel totally validated in my quiet understated liking for Zhou, and my open fangirling for Uno. I wasn’t disappointed at all with Chen not being his best, I still thought he was a blast. Frankly, save for the terrible terrible idea of Aymoz skating injured, I enjoyed the 10 men field tremendously, with props to Fa, Grassl and Danielian for doing everything they could despite drawbacks. I wish that Russian visa situation permitted a substitution for Samsonov, because I still would have liked someone to take that vacated spot.
 

moonvine

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I agree. Actually, I thought the standard of skating was really strong. Even the French guy who withdrew was an impressive skater to me. When it comes to the Japanese men (and really women) their skating skills are so strong that I enjoy nearly all of the skaters from Japan. I like Shoma's Bolero, but if someone has great skating skills, I'm probably going to enjoy any program of theirs. Really, the level of skating in all disciplines is noticeably stronger this year, and I like it.
Kevin is normally a good but inconsistent skater but he’s only been training for 3 weeks and is injured. He didn’t want to compete but the French Fed made him.
 

moonvine

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.

But much as Zhou and Chen are amazing, Jimmy Ma stole the show for me. I enjoyed both his programs - and even liked the crazy ponytail. I always thought he was talented and a great entertainer, but I had no idea how much potential he really has. I think the move to the Letovs has been good for him.

Welcome to the fans of great discernment.🤣🤣🤣

Jimmy has been tearing up the Senior Bs and placed 2nd to Vincent at Cranberry. He’s capable of skating that long MUCH better. I hope it wasn’t nerves.
 

Bentley

Rinkside
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Mar 5, 2012
Vincent's program to me, was what skating should be. It had it all, the Jumps, the Artistry and the Musicality.
Very deserving win and one has to admire the effort and work he must have put in to improve as he has.
I really enjoyed Shoma's Bolero. He has always been an interesting Skater to me.
Chen, not much to say about him. He appeared to me as if he really did not want to be there. Just going threw the motions
and not very well at that. Would like to see him change up his programs a little more, as they all look the same to me.
 
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