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Iceman
03-28-2010, 11:02 PM
Costuming could help much with Rachael's "look". I saw her in a black practice costume and the skirt was cut in such a way that it lengthened her look, especially the legs. If next year were an Olympic year, I could see her staying, but with her other gifts, I don't believe she would want her career plans put on hold for four more years on the outside chance that she might make a world or Olympic podium.

Re Lepisto: her team is very savy. She does one of the less difficult 3/3's and nails it almost every time, maybe every time, getting full points for her. Others try more difficult ones and quite frequently leave points on the ice. There is nothing wrong in realizing your limitations and using that to your advantage in competition. I have always liked Laura. I love the beautiful simplicity of her skating. There is no need to try to hide anything with the showiness some skaters use to do that.

Ziggy
03-28-2010, 11:06 PM
Consistency counts for nothing when you have to be perfect to get even a semi-decent place. Rachael cannot afford even the slightest mistake or reduction in content to stay even top six. She is not a "big GOE" skater, and it's not going to be easy for her to become one.

She skated perfect Olympic programs and ended up 7th. At Worlds, ninth with only one real mistake over both programs. Anyone else with that content in either event would have been on the podium for sure. That's very telling in how the judges perceive her skating overall.

I've been trying to decide for a couple of years if Rachael was a Sarah Hughes in the making or a Tonia Kwiatkowski in the making. This seals the deal for me; she's a Tonia, the nice, smart girl who can be sent to Worlds if there are no better options, but the girl who's never going to win a medal and will be passed over in a second if a skater with a real chance comes along.

I like Rachael's skating but don't see much hope in continuing for any reason other than sheer love of the sport.

You've hit the nail on the head here.

There are so many things wrong with her skating, you don't even know to begin.

Sure she could work on improving them but with that much of a focus on her academics...

smarts1
03-28-2010, 11:14 PM
OTOH, can Laura continue to place high with just a 50% success rate on 3Z, no 3F, and a recurring tendency to double her jumps in the second half of the program? I still believe she has inherited the Kostner factor (being the top European), and that keeps her in high esteem with the judges who are mostly European. But in a tough competition where the top skaters all perform well (close to or at their best), I'm not sure Laura can maintain a top 3 rating with her limited jumping skills.


Well, the judges obviously love Laura *cough* Bronze at Worlds *cough*... :rolleyes:

But anyway, it annoys me greatly that someone of Laura's caliber can get on the podium that easily without much technical difficulty. Sure she has great basics and speed and some musicality, but everyone knows that figure skating is primarily a jump competition. I mean her long program at World's this year was double city. And I'd wish she'd fix her ugly wind-milly arms!!!

Debbie S
03-28-2010, 11:27 PM
But anyway, it annoys me greatly that someone of Laura's caliber can get on the podium that easily without much technical difficulty. Sure she has great basics and speed and some musicality, but everyone knows that figure skating is primarily a jump competition. I mean her long program at World's this year was double city. And I'd wish she'd fix her ugly wind-milly arms!!!Well, Laura didn't get top 3 in FS - she was 6th. And she did land a (clean) 3-3 before she started doubling jumps.

When Rachael was younger (Novice, Junior) she had much more spark to her skating. For the most part, since she moved up to Seniors she's been skating the dreariest programs. I feel like her coaches decided to make her look more 'Senior' by taking away her personality and having her look all-business. I wish some of her earlier self would come back - I saw traces of that in her SP this year, so it's there somewhere.

oleada
03-28-2010, 11:28 PM
It's not Laura's fault that Miki bombed her SP, or that Nagasu didn't skate a clean LP or that Cynthia didn't get her levels or that Makarova's program layout was at her disadvantage. It was theirs for the taking and they didn't.

pinky166
03-28-2010, 11:59 PM
Christina ALREADY has a better jump arsenal than Lepisto (all the triples except 3A), and as you say, she is only 16 to Laura's 22. The rest will come---so far, she's had international experience only at the junior level, and less than a year at that. Laura has seven full years of international competition: four at the junior level, and three at the senior level, including 3 Worlds and Europeans, and one Olympics. I think by the time Christina has had as much experience as Laura, she will be a far more accomplished skater than she is now.

OTOH, can Laura continue to place high with just a 50% success rate on 3Z, no 3F, and a recurring tendency to double her jumps in the second half of the program? I still believe she has inherited the Kostner factor (being the top European), and that keeps her in high esteem with the judges who are mostly European. But in a tough competition where the top skaters all perform well (close to or at their best), I'm not sure Laura can maintain a top 3 rating with her limited jumping skills.

Mhm. I wonder why Laura never considered doing pairs considering her jump content. Anyways, Christina IMO has much more potential than Rachael ever had. I also think Rachael was at her best two years ago when she won Junior Worlds before she started get boring programs that didn't suit her. I think for Rachael, her jumps are what makes her stand out. Without the consistent jumps, she's pretty average. And it seems like this season her jumps are abandoning her a little bit considering her problems with her 3f-3t and downgrades on the 3f. Her consistency is also questionable, she had two off competitions this season (CoC and Worlds). Granted that's not a lot, but she wasn't spot on at all her competitions. Also, where Mirai and Christina are doing 3-3 now too, that could help close in the gap.

berthesghost
03-29-2010, 12:14 AM
It's not Laura's fault that Miki bombed her SP, or that Nagasu didn't skate a clean LP or that Cynthia didn't get her levels or that Makarova's program layout was at her disadvantage. It was theirs for the taking and they didn't.all true.

But what you left out was a FS fan's need to bitch and moan, coupled with their selective memory on how both SP and LP count.

When Czisny's strong SP insured her the 09 nats win despite a 3 triple LP, everyone cried "Flatt wuz robbed!" but no sooner did Flatt get her title in 10, for almost the same exact skating as in 09, then it was all "Nagasu wuz robbed" despite all the URs.

chipso1
03-29-2010, 12:18 AM
Well, Laura didn't get top 3 in FS - she was 6th. And she did land a (clean) 3-3 before she started doubling jumps.

When Rachael was younger (Novice, Junior) she had much more spark to her skating. For the most part, since she moved up to Seniors she's been skating the dreariest programs. I feel like her coaches decided to make her look more 'Senior' by taking away her personality and having her look all-business. I wish some of her earlier self would come back - I saw traces of that in her SP this year, so it's there somewhere.

I would love to see Rachael resurrect her "An American in Paris" free skate from 2006-07. It would highlight her great personality and playful side, but she would also be able to present a more mature character during the slower sections. :)

pinky166
03-29-2010, 12:29 AM
all true.

But what you left out was a FS fan's need to bitch and moan, coupled with their selective memory on how both SP and LP count.

When Czisny's strong SP insured her the 09 nats win despite a 3 triple LP, everyone cried "Flatt wuz robbed!" but no sooner did Flatt get her title in 10, for almost the same exact skating as in 09, then it was all "Nagasu wuz robbed" despite all the URs.

There was a big difference. Mirai's LP at this years nationals appeared flawless to the blind eye, although 3 jumps were downgraded she executed a 6 triple FS with no falls, step outs, or bobbles. Alissa actually only did 3 triples in her LP last year, doubling two other jumps and falling on her second lutz, so clearly that is not a performance worthy of the national title. Then when she went to Worlds and finished 11th while Rachael was 5th I think everyone realized Rachael was the better skater. And then this year the USFSA finally caught on that Alissa can't compete with the best in the World so they gave her the scores she deserved and she finished 10th.

Marco
03-29-2010, 03:56 AM
Consistency counts for nothing when you have to be perfect to get even a semi-decent place. Rachael cannot afford even the slightest mistake or reduction in content to stay even top six. She is not a "big GOE" skater, and it's not going to be easy for her to become one.

She skated perfect Olympic programs and ended up 7th. At Worlds, ninth with only one real mistake over both programs. Anyone else with that content in either event would have been on the podium for sure. That's very telling in how the judges perceive her skating overall.

I've been trying to decide for a couple of years if Rachael was a Sarah Hughes in the making or a Tonia Kwiatkowski in the making. This seals the deal for me; she's a Tonia, the nice, smart girl who can be sent to Worlds if there are no better options, but the girl who's never going to win a medal and will be passed over in a second if a skater with a real chance comes along.

I like Rachael's skating but don't see much hope in continuing for any reason other than sheer love of the sport.

:respec: I have been saying this all season but somehow got labelled a hater. :lynch: Am glad I am finally vindicated by her results at the Olympics and Worlds. To those who thought she was solid as a rock and was all that US could depend on - :HA!: she was the lower placing lady at both the Olympics and Worlds.

As much as USFS made a wrong decision to send Czisny last year, IMO they made a worse decision to pump up Flatt at Nationals and send her instead of Wagner. International judges never liked Flatt and never will. The strategising by USFS was just all over the place when they stuck with not crowning her in the previous years but suddenly felt desperate about it at Nationals this season. Wagner would much more likely be in the mix between 3rd and 7th at Worlds and perhaps regain that 3rd spot for Zawadzki or Gao (or herself) for next year.

chipso1
03-29-2010, 04:07 AM
I'm not sure Wagner would have been that much more of a "sure thing" to place well at Olys/Worlds than Flatt. Ashley hasn't broken 60 points in the short program internationally this season, and her best FS score is ~108. Flatt got pretty much the same thing for her terrible (by her standards) programs at Worlds. IMO, they're both pretty much at the same level, but Flatt is less likely to make mistakes. Ashley couldn't handle the pressure of Nationals in the short program this year...how would she have dealt with the Olympic pressure?

MacMadame
03-29-2010, 04:27 AM
Rachael should do whatever she wants, but at this point I do see her as being similar to an Emily, Bebe, or Alissa - all of whom didn't have it in them to make it internationally on a regular basis.
I find these sorts of comments mystifying. Flatt *already* has a better record than all 3 of those skaters IMO. She's been to the Olympics (unlike Liang and Czisny), she's World Jr. Champion (none of them have done that), won the US Championships at the Novice and Senior level (Czisny only did that as a Senior, the rest haven't done it at any level). She's made the Jr. GPF (none of the others have). Her record at Worlds (Sr) is better too. None of the others has placed as high as 5th. So she didn't do so well at Worlds this year... that's one performance. You can't base someone's entire International career on one performance.



When Rachael was younger (Novice, Junior) she had much more spark to her skating. For the most part, since she moved up to Seniors she's been skating the dreariest programs. I feel like her coaches decided to make her look more 'Senior' by taking away her personality and having her look all-business. I wish some of her earlier self would come back - I saw traces of that in her SP this year, so it's there somewhere.
I completely agree with this. Free Flatt! :lol:

Debbie S
03-29-2010, 05:00 AM
Wagner would much more likely be in the mix between 3rd and 7th at Worlds and perhaps regain that 3rd spot for Zawadzki or Gao (or herself) for next year.If Wagner hadn't fallen in the SP, she would have gone to the Olys and Worlds (instead of Nagasu). I like Wagner, but she didn't earn a spot. Flatt and Nagasu did.

pinky166
03-29-2010, 05:02 AM
I find these sorts of comments mystifying. Flatt *already* has a better record than all 3 of those skaters IMO. She's been to the Olympics (unlike Liang and Czisny), she's World Jr. Champion (none of them have done that), won the US Championships at the Novice and Senior level (Czisny only did that as a Senior, the rest haven't done it at any level). She's made the Jr. GPF (none of the others have). Her record at Worlds (Sr) is better too. None of the others has placed as high as 5th. So she didn't do so well at Worlds this year... that's one performance. You can't base someone's entire International career on one performance.


Fair point. I actually think she's better than Liang and Czisny, I never really got why people pumped those two up to be so great. If only they were clean they would be unbeatable! But for one thing, those two are never clean, and for another, even if they were clean they wouldn't be unbeatable because they don't get great PCS and don't have 3-3. The comparison I more meant in terms of that they both showed a lot of potential around age 17/18 and then never really broke through and got much better, and arguably got worse. I'm afraid that could happen to Rachael but there's also the chance she could improve if she continues so who knows.

Ashley at her best I think is better than Rachael but she also has consistency issues and problems with URs. Ashley went to Worlds in 2008 remember, and she finished 16th. 9th isn't awesome but it's a lot better than 16th. I do think where Rachael and Mirai were so tired though an argument could have been made to send Ashley, but the international judges don't seem to love her either, and she got a lot of URs for her flip and double axel this season so it's a toss up.

attyfan
03-29-2010, 05:07 AM
Matt Savoie was not all that successful in competition. I recall an interview with Paul Wylie when Michelle Kwan was trying to combine skating with college, and, he said that doing so would be much more difficult for her than it was for him due to changes in the skating load (GP assignments, etc.) Maybe, those changes affected Matt Savoie, also.

If Rachael is thinking of trying to combine college and competition, I think she should have a talk with Michelle Kwan, if possible, or Matt. Michelle would be preferable, since she attended two of the three schools that have accepted Rachael.