Grand Prix Final Preview: Seniors


Record Breaker
Feb 10, 2018
Hate to burst your bubble but that critique/commentary on skaters that branch out that do commercial type things with their sponsors during the season like filming commercials and doing shows has been going on for years, in fact there was similar commentary happening the other day in the US Ladies thread with a skater that wasn't Zagitova. And I believe she did an interview where she talked about how child-like it is that her training mates focus so much on winning (or something along those lines) and that she only wants to go out and perform well - that's lovely statement for her die-hard fans but for others that can give a different impression than perhaps she intended.

On the ice, she's openly said that she can't train the difficult jumps that her competition are doing, and she's putting out the least technically difficult program of her career - she came into the senior circuit and backloaded everything but then this season when she can't do the most difficult jumps like skaters that she's gonna have to compete against for a spot on podiums and being on the team for Euros/Worlds - she's not even planning to backload 1 triple-triple combination where it gets her closer on a technical score with the quad/triple axel skaters. In combination with her PCS advantage, a couple backloaded triple-triples could overtake a clean quad/triple axel of a skater with less reputation than her.

I don't know what "different impression" do you have about a statement saying that victory itself is not the most important thing for Alina now.

In fact Alina's free skate BV is lower only about the 10 % bonus for 3Lo, which is 0.49, that is that "the least technically difficult program of her career". :rolleye: For the record, last season Alina had two 2As without combo in her FS, this season she does 2A-3T, so the difference in GOE can easily compensate the huge and nearly cathastrophic difference of 0.49 point in her BV :biggrin:. This "least technically difficult program of her career" is still a program to kill for for 99 % of her opponents. Remember that at NHK Alina's TES was nearly the same as Rika's with two 3As, and was lower only because another problematic UR call in 3F-2T-2Lo combo. So the obvious strategy is to skate a program with maybea little lower BV but that gives Alina the opportunity to focus on clean performance and potentially get higher GOE and of course getting high PCS for clean and self-confidently performed program, backloading one more 3Lo won't make significant difference in that.

Alina has never said "I can't train quads", that's complete desinterpreation (after all, she trained quad flip already), she only said it could be potentially dangerous. So what's the thing in that? Alina had to skate her three consecutive international seasons at full strength. In 2016/2017 she was a newbie, nobody knew her and even in Russia she wasn't well known and considered a favorite. In Russia junior favorites were Polina Tsurskaya and Nastya Gubanova and internationally it was Marin Honda who was expected to defend her junior worlds title. And some nearly unknown Alina, who just a year ago wasn't even able to do more difficult jump than 3S came and won nearly everything, because she left everything on the ice. Than 2017/2018 season came, which, I believe, we all have still in our memory. Chance to be assigned for the olympics made Alina to skate like for her life. Some people still didn't forgive her this sin. And than the 2018/2019 season came, which began with all the talks "she is just one-year miracle, she won't win anything more, she ousted Evgenia from the camp, she will not develop under Eteri" and all this evil talks. More than that, she had to deal with the puberty, gaining height and a "female body". All this pressure would probably break anybody with weaker will, but Alina again proved the will of the true warrior and became world champion (another deadly sin, because she turned so many predictions about her into worthless dust). So, I can easily understand if now, after whole three seasons like that Alina already feel that she proved everything that was even possible to prove about herself and that there is no need to fight till the last drop of the blood and rather focus on clean, beautiful skating. Whether it will work or not it is a question because she seems to me that she need exactly to be underestimated and to be disrupting the narratives to deliver her best, but from human perspective it is completely understandable. But whatever it will be this season, that doesn't say anything about how it will be the the next ones. It is obvious that Alina thinks in longer perspective and that she is thinking about qualifying to the next olympics. For this task she truly doesn't need to win everything this season, not even the next one, for this it is completely satisfying to be where she is now and preparing slowly and without unnecessary risks for this.