2021 Worlds: Ladies FS "Thoughts and Observations" | Page 26 | Golden Skate

2021 Worlds: Ladies FS "Thoughts and Observations"

jenaj

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Well at this point with the number of athletes that have had "boot issues" come up in relation to big competitions over several years, it seems like poor management/preparation that big-name, elite athletes don't have a back-up pair of skates with them especially in major events like Worlds, Olympics or Nationals that determines who goes to Europeans/4cc/Worlds/Olympics in case something happens to their primary pair.

And based on what Flying Feijoa detailed out - if I were an elite level skater and I currently wear Edea boots or if I were a coach with a skater wearing Edea boots, I would be looking for another brand since Edeas appear to be getting a track record of breaking at the worst times.
I'll let those who skate comment on whether a back-up pair of skates would be acceptable at a big competition. Probably the most famous boot problem was at 2001 Worlds, where the heel fell off of Michelle Kwan's skate shortly before she had to take the ice (in the Q round). Her father reportedly nailed it back on (not sure how that worked) and she went out and skated a 7 triple program.
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
I honestly don’t get the hype about Karen Chen’s FS. I actually went back and rewatched it to see what everyone was raving about and if I had missed sth. the first time around.

Yes it wasn't messy the way the top 3 were and it’s a nicely put together and pleasant, if generic, program. Karen’s got high quality spirals and spins and she certainly showed involvement in the presentation all throughout her skate, although I can’t help thinking that given her comparatively easier tech content, this was also easier to accomplish (which ist not to say of course, that someone like Sasha could skate like that if she had an easier layout 😄).

I’ve seen some poster comment on how Elizaveta skated to (I’m paraphrasing) a russian caricature of an asian program, meanwhile Karen given her actual chinese roots payed tribute to her heritage… but how exactly did she represent chinese culture, save for her music choice?
The choreo looked like your typical western skating program, there was nothing in there that appeared specific to the origin or style of the music? And at one point (correct me if I’m wrong) she did what looked like a typical swan lake (?) ballet position. Seemed like an odd choice given the theme of the program.
Obviously she’s not obligated to hit us over the head with what we might consider easily recognisable asian-inspired choreo, but sth. less generic would’ve certainly been more engaging.

I found the choreography to be rather uninspired and painful to watch at times (f.i. I noticed her doing that trite stroking-the-head move at least 4-5 times). Not sure how much of it was the choreographer’s input and how much is part of Karen’s usual repertoire, but there was way too much unnecessary arm waving and flourishes going on, she tends to look quite flaily at times.

And I fail to see why, according to many skating fans, it’s not acceptable and bad choreography to be throwing your leg up all the time with no reason, the way many of the russian girls are frequently doing (oh that awful Dani G choreo, right?), but doing lots of generic and superfluous arm movements is apparently a hallmark of a beautiful performance (I enjoy neither). Especially when the music is rather mellow and calm.

I think a great example of thoughtful and purposeful choreography and presentation was Satoko (yeah I know, that one’s obvious). But also skaters such as Kaori, even though she’s quite lacking in the interpretation department (I’d still watch her over the russians and Karen any time), Josefin or Bradie (with the assistance of Richaud, although I’m certainly not a fan of Bradie’s delivery). Rika can be hit or miss, I think her SP is better in that respect.
 

gliese

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Blade issues are more common in my experience. Loose screws, dull blades, etc. Thankfully those are easily fixable.
 

Colonel Green

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Mar 3, 2018
Country
Canada
Well at this point with the number of athletes that have had "boot issues" come up in relation to big competitions over several years, it seems like poor management/preparation that big-name, elite athletes don't have a back-up pair of skates with them especially in major events like Worlds, Olympics or Nationals that determines who goes to Europeans/4cc/Worlds/Olympics in case something happens to their primary pair.
With the amount of time it takes to break in a pair of boots and then become accustomed to them, backups have historically not been especially viable.
 

Flying Feijoa

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Sep 22, 2019
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New-Zealand
Well at this point with the number of athletes that have had "boot issues" come up in relation to big competitions over several years, it seems like poor management/preparation that big-name, elite athletes don't have a back-up pair of skates with them especially in major events like Worlds, Olympics or Nationals that determines who goes to Europeans/4cc/Worlds/Olympics in case something happens to their primary pair.

And based on what Flying Feijoa detailed out - if I were an elite level skater and I currently wear Edea boots or if I were a coach with a skater wearing Edea boots, I would be looking for another brand since Edeas appear to be getting a track record of breaking at the worst times.
Actually I'm not sure if it's because Edeas break at awkward times, or merely because Edea's market share amongs the top skaters increased so the statistical probability of the boot failing being Edea is higher... When Nagasu's boot ripped at Nationals she was wearing Jacksons (later switched to Edeas).

Then again, Edeas might be harder to repair last-minute when they do break. Not like when Kwan's dad could just nail her heel back on. I guess there are experienced skaters around who can weigh in on this.
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
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Sep 22, 2019
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New-Zealand
I’ve seen some poster comment on how Elizaveta skated to (I’m paraphrasing) a russian caricature of an asian program
I didn't mind Liza's programme since there aren't any of the usual negative stereotypes (e.g. dragon lady, porcelain doll). Though it wasn't traditional and the costume back was a bit cheesy, at least she made it look cool in a sort of fantasy video game/anime way.

It's like the Chinese dance in the Nutcracker. Some companies incorporate traditional folk dance elements, others have generic ballet choreo which is fine as long as it looks impressive and graceful. I don't mind if the dancers are Chinese or not (though I don't speak for all). The truly bad versions look less like dance and more like neurological tics (rocking, head-waggling, pointing in all directions).

Didn't mind Karen Chen either, but for a different reason. Butterfly Lovers reminds me of those cheesy Lunar New Year pop songs or Christmas carol music played in supermarkets, so I just muted the sound :D
 

readernick

Medalist
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Dec 5, 2015
I think a great example of thoughtful and purposeful choreography and presentation was Satoko (yeah I know, that one’s obvious). But also skaters such as Kaori, even though she’s quite lacking in the interpretation department (I’d still watch her over the russians and Karen any time), Josefin or Bradie (with the assistance of Richaud, although I’m certainly not a fan of Bradie’s delivery). Rika can be hit or miss, I think her SP is better in that respect

For the most part, I agree with the skaters you mentioned. Although,I also liked Loena. Satoko is in a league of her own. However, I think Bradie ( generally although not in this competition.. nationals was a good example) is the skater who does the best job of highlighting Richard's singles' choreography ( which on is own is very hit and miss for me. ) I enjoy Rika's skating. However, Lambiel's choreo for her in the FS was a real let down. There is no substance to that program. I hope she goes back to Tom Dickson or Catarina Lindgren for a new FS next year. Dickson has made wonderful choreography for her in the past and Lindgren has made her last two exhibitions which highlight her rather unique style well. She interprets jazz well.

Didn't mind Karen Chen either, but for a different reason. Butterfly Lovers reminds me of those cheesy Lunar New Year pop songs

It really does. Everyone is talking about how the Chinese fans will love this music, but personally I think it might make them fall asleep.
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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Karen's music cut isn't ideal, I continue to pray the program will be updated to the Lu Chen cut, which I do think would go over very well. Really don't see how that can be considered cheesy (assuming the choreography isn't bad), I'd call it transcendent more like.
 

Lzbee

On the Ice
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Sep 25, 2016
Butterfly Lovers is a quintessentially Chinese piece which will make a lot of Chinese viewers perk up. It's rare to hear traditional Chinese pieces in figure skating so it will at least please the older crowd to hear their culture being honoured. My mum certainly wasn't paying much attention when I was watching worlds until Karen skated.

It's kind of offensive to call it cheesy to be honest...
 

Gabby30

On the Ice
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Aug 8, 2019
Butterfly Lovers is a quintessentially Chinese piece which will make a lot of Chinese viewers perk up. It's rare to hear traditional Chinese pieces in figure skating so it will at least please the older crowd to hear their culture being honoured. My mum certainly wasn't paying much attention when I was watching worlds until Karen skated.

It's kind of offensive to call it cheesy to be honest...
Isn't everything "offensive" these days? :rolleye:
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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And I fail to see why, according to many skating fans, it’s not acceptable and bad choreography to be throwing your leg up all the time with no reason, the way many of the russian girls are frequently doing (oh that awful Dani G choreo, right?), but doing lots of generic and superfluous arm movements is apparently a hallmark of a beautiful performance (I enjoy neither). Especially when the music is rather mellow and calm.

I don't think calling the arm movements superfluous is accurate. If you look at the start of Karen's performance before she goes into the first jump for example, you can see the arm rising up and the hand held firmly and delicately in the air on a specific note of the music. Doing elegant, liquid arms and hands to "mellow and calm" music is exactly representative of that music. Depending on exactly how refined and expressive the positions are and what kind of thought the skater appears to be putting into it. The pointless, poorly positioned Eteri leg kicks take less skill and attentiveness to execute than taking the time to hold your body in an appealing form and with the music. It's a real skill to actually position everything all the way through to the fingers in manner that displays grace and patience. Most Eteri programs are manic and bi-polar in comparison.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Butterfly Lovers is a quintessentially Chinese piece which will make a lot of Chinese viewers perk up. It's rare to hear traditional Chinese pieces in figure skating so it will at least please the older crowd to hear their culture being honoured. My mum certainly wasn't paying much attention when I was watching worlds until Karen skated.

It's kind of offensive to call it cheesy to be honest...
I think it is true that the older crowd will appreciate it. As a foreigner who lives in a Chinese-speaking country, I used to love Butterfly Lovers but then I heard it repetitively in every shop in the months surrounding the Spring festival for several years and my appreciation has turned into something else.... (sidenote: anyone living in Taiwan will also quickly lose any appreciation they had left for Beethoven's Fur Elise..any piece the garbage truck plays is definitely going to create a new association in your mind) This is why it isn't likely to make a splash among younger viewers in China. They hear it constantly and associate it with their parents, grandparents, and (possibly) annoying holiday music that plays in stores. However, it is nice that it made your mother pay attention to skating and it is important to have a variety of music in figure skating. It would be nice if some more skaters used other 20th or 21st-century Asian composers' music. I just think this piece might be a little overplayed in many Asian countries and overplayed tends to equal "cheesy" in the eyes of many. However, there are so many wonderful Asian composers who haven't been used in skating/overplayed. I hope we see more variety in the future.
 
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Lzbee

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
I think it is true that the older crowd will appreciate it. As a foreigner who lives in a Chinese-speaking country, I used to love Butterfly Lovers but then I heard it repetitively in every shop in the months surrounding the Spring festival for several years and my appreciation has turned into something else.... (sidenote: anyone living in Taiwan will also quickly lose any appreciation they had left for Beethoven's Fur Elise..any piece the garbage truck plays is definitely going to create a new association in your mind) This is why it isn't likely to make a splash among younger viewers in China. They hear it constantly and associate it with their parents, grandparents, and (possibly) annoying holiday music that plays in stores. However, it is nice that it made your mother pay attention to skating and it is important to have a variety of music in figure skating. It would be nice if some more skaters used other 20th or 21st-century Asian composers' music. I just think any piece might be a little overplayed in many Asian countries and overplayed tends to equal "cheesy" in the eyes of many. However, there are so many wonderful Asian composers who haven't been used in skating/overplayed in the market. I hope we see more variety in the future.
Granted I don't live in China right now and perhaps that's why those words affected me but I said it as someone who is Chinese. Considering the state of current affairs where there's been an increase in casual and outright racism towards Asian people (Chinese in particular), I find it in bad taste to criticise a Chinese person skating to traditional Chinese music for being "cheesy".
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Granted I don't live in China right now and perhaps that's why those words affected me but I said it as someone who is Chinese. Considering the state of current affairs where there's been an increase in casual and outright racism towards Asian people (Chinese in particular), I find it in bad taste to criticise a Chinese person skating to traditional Chinese music for being "cheesy".
I believe the person who said that is also of Chinese descent. So, I don't think we can label that as racism. Although, I'm not sure calling something "cheesy" is ever particularly racist. Every culture has "cheesy" music. But, of course, I understand why you would be particularly sensitive right now.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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Aug 12, 2014
I honestly don’t get the hype about Karen Chen’s FS. I actually went back and rewatched it to see what everyone was raving about and if I had missed sth. the first time around.

Yes it wasn't messy the way the top 3 were and it’s a nicely put together and pleasant, if generic, program. Karen’s got high quality spirals and spins and she certainly showed involvement in the presentation all throughout her skate, although I can’t help thinking that given her comparatively easier tech content, this was also easier to accomplish (which ist not to say of course, that someone like Sasha could skate like that if she had an easier layout 😄).

I think that these are exactly the qualities that the judges actually want to (ETA: and, IMO, ought to) reward, in order for the sport not to devolve into a jumping contest. And also so that viewers of various degrees of skating appreciation and musical sensitivity can enjoy the programs and love them and go back to watch them over and over again.
 

BlissfulSynergy

Final Flight
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Sep 1, 2020
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Mars
It's going to be quite a battle if we get that 3rd spot.

Aside from your mentions above, there is also Alyssa Liu, if she's got her jumps back from her growth spurt. If she's got her axel and quads back, the US will want to send her.
That's a big 'if' at the moment. All the U.S. ladies need to work on eliminating URs.
 
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