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mgobluegirl
08-25-2010, 03:27 AM
I also think it's pretty amazing that you've completely ignored mentioning Sasha Cohen, pinky166. She's as tiny and bendy as they come, and while she may not have lived up to her enormous potential, she was still quite a force on the international scene 2002-2006 and won numerous medals and major competitions.

RD
08-25-2010, 03:40 AM
And I think that Rachael Flatt belongs on your list of "females who were hyped at a young age and then continued to do well in later years despite setbacks" JUST as much as Mirai Nagasu at this point in their careers. But oh wait, she's not Asian, she can't be on your "successful" list.

Don't remember Flatt having any kind of notable "setback" though. Nagasu's struggles, OTOH, were well-documented.

pinky166
08-25-2010, 04:34 AM
I also think it's pretty amazing that you've completely ignored mentioning Sasha Cohen, pinky166. She's as tiny and bendy as they come, and while she may not have lived up to her enormous potential, she was still quite a force on the international scene 2002-2006 and won numerous medals and major competitions.

Sasha is most definitely not a power jumper...

pinky166
08-25-2010, 04:49 AM
I'm not arguing with the fact that women of Asian heritage tend to stay more petite than a lot of Caucasian girls. I just think its wrong to say that the Asian girls are brought up in a way that is more conducive to being competitive skaters. Not all Americans eat terribly and act like lazy slobs and I think competitive skaters in general are excellent examples of those who don't, regardless of race. Yes, many of the top skaters worldwide right now are Asian, but it hasn't always been like that (remember all the hype about the "Asian Invasion" a few years ago?). There are many excellent examples on both sides. I think the current abundance of good Asian skaters has more to do with where skating is currently popular than them being somehow genetically or culturally superior.

All this being said, I'm really rooting for Christina. I've been watching her since she was a juvenile at my regional and I think she's amazing. But I think she's amazing because of her skating skills, her work ethic, and how much she continues to improve. And I don't think these things about her are the way they are because she is of Asian heritage.

The point I was trying to make was that Christina likely has a good shot at maintaining her skills because of her heritage, not that she is a good skater because of her heritage. A lot of people seem to be concerned that she's tiny and think that her body will change a lot and that will cause her to lose her skills, but the truth is that compared to most Chinese girls her age she is not that tiny and very well may stay close to her current size for the rest of her life considering she will be 17 in 6 months. Further, Christina is strong, her jumps are high and she can do solid 3-3s, skaters like Sasha may be as tiny as her and even more flexible than her but they can't jump like she can. Her dad was also a professional badmition player so she likely has good athletic genes.

Polymer Bob
08-25-2010, 01:24 PM
A list of all the females who were hyped at a young age and then continued to do well in later years despite setbacks:

Michelle
Yuna
Mao
Miki
Mirai


Rachael has won 2 national championships, novice and senior.
Mirai has won 2 national championships, junior and senior.
Rachael has won the Junior World Championship.
Mirai has won the Junior Grand Prix Final.
Rachael has been to 2 World Championships.
Mirai has been to one World Championship.
Both girls have been to 1 Olympics.
Neither girl has been to the senior Grand Prix Final

Please tell us why Rachael is not on this list.

pinky166
08-25-2010, 01:42 PM
Rachael has won 2 national championships, novice and senior.
Mirai has won 2 national championships, junior and senior.
Rachael has won the Junior World Championship.
Mirai has won the Junior Grand Prix Final.
Rachael has been to 2 World Championships.
Mirai has been to one World Championship.
Both girls have been to 1 Olympics.
Neither girl has been to the senior Grand Prix Final

Please tell us why Rachael is not on this list.

AFAIK Rachael has never had any big setback in career, she didn't have the same huge growthspurt Mirai had and she didn't have the serious ankle injury and teenage rebellion issues that caused Mirai to have such a bad season in 08-09 that she changed coaches immediately afterword. Rachael is a very good skater and always has been, but I've never heard her/commentators mention a serious injury or lack of motivation or big growthspurt or major coaching change (recently), so I wouldn't say she's had big difficulties that she's bounced back from, unless she has and is just being quiet about them.

I mean, Mirai had the huge growthspurt and injury and was an emotional wreck and bounced back.
Yuna had a nagging back injury for years and she pushed through it and managed to become the best.
Mao moved across the globe to train with Artunian only to have it blow up in her face and then go back to Japan and have huge issues with her 3a for a long time while the media was breathing down her neck only to eventually master the move consistently in time for the Olympics.
Miki was hyped so much in Japan and them bombed at the Olympics, only to come back the next season and win Worlds

sk9tingfan
08-25-2010, 02:11 PM
Well, look at it this way. Do you know many white american girls who are 5'4" -5'5" and 100-105 pounds and not prepubescent or anorexic? My guess is no. Mao and Yuna are both that size and appear to be perfectly healthy, and most of their teammates are around the same size as well. In Japan, Korea, and China, girls of that size are all over the place, dime a dozen, but the same cannot be said of white american girls in the US. It's all about physics.

Don't you mean genetics? :P

Debbie S
08-25-2010, 02:15 PM
Rachael is a very good skater and always has been, but I've never heard her/commentators mention a serious injury or lack of motivation or big growthspurt or major coaching change (recently), so I wouldn't say she's had big difficulties that she's bounced back from, unless she has and is just being quiet about them.IIRC, Rachael had a serious back injury/problem several years ago (fall '06?) and was unable to compete on the JGP that year. I think I read that the problem was a bulging disk in her back, and I believe that it has not fully gone away - it's the reason she can't do a higher-level layback spin. She has recovered enough (and compensated for the problem) to be one of the most consistent jumpers in the U.S. right now (her Worlds performance notwithstanding).

mgobluegirl
08-25-2010, 03:31 PM
Sasha is most definitely not a power jumper...

That wasn't one of your original critera. And how many people ever called Kwan a "power jumper"? "Jumping bean" when she was little, yes. Consistent jumper, yes. But not a power jumper. And I wouldn't call Mirai a power jumper either, or Mao for that matter. Mao performs very difficult jumps and really pushes the technical envelope, but her jumps aren't really that high, which is what I would consider the major criteria for "power jumper."

Anyway... back to current US senior ladies?

pinky166
08-25-2010, 05:16 PM
That wasn't one of your original critera. And how many people ever called Kwan a "power jumper"? "Jumping bean" when she was little, yes. Consistent jumper, yes. But not a power jumper. And I wouldn't call Mirai a power jumper either, or Mao for that matter. Mao performs very difficult jumps and really pushes the technical envelope, but her jumps aren't really that high, which is what I would consider the major criteria for "power jumper."

Anyway... back to current US senior ladies?

Yeah I didn't mean to start this whole off-topic rant. My bad.

Anyways, according to her tweets it looked like Kiri Baga had a pretty good monitoring session/competition last week. I think she had problems in the SP but she mentioned doing a "killer loop" so I think she has expanded her arsenal of triple jumps. She also apparently stood up on all her jumps in the LP, which is good to hear knowing her tendency to fall a lot and considering she is just coming off an injury. I don't think she'll challenge for the podium this year but I think a top 10 finish is very likely.

Coco
08-25-2010, 05:19 PM
Champs camp is this weekend, right? Too bad we won't get much footage. I can't wait for the season to start already!! Nebelhorn in 4 weeks!

jlai
08-25-2010, 05:30 PM
Don't you mean genetics? :P

She might have meant physics in terms of jumping mechanics...

pinky166
08-25-2010, 05:35 PM
She might have meant physics in terms of jumping mechanics...

Exactly. And in terms of flexibility. Raw ability aside, things like height, weight, and body composition can make a big difference.

pinky166
08-25-2010, 06:04 PM
Here's a list of videos from summer skates on youtube, watch them in a row and it will give you a good idea of how different senior ladies are doing so far this season.

Gao - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMsz50dW9JI

Flatt - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiEkC4jmKOs&feature=related

Gong - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkZGaxRApa0&feature=related

Cesario - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VvSloFbFEU

Zawadzki - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rkjdRcOpvI

Siraj - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F518sUIn2M8

Zhang (Felicia) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dye7hTpN9SM


Gao, Gong, and Cesario stand out as looking particularly strong to me, but Zawadzki and Flatt don't have competitions until later and are likely not quite as used to their programs as the JGP skaters are. Felicia's SP from Liberty was also quite impressive.

AFAIK, Czisny, Zhang, Nagasu have yet to compete this summer and there are no youtube videos of Wagner or Baga (yet).

Jenna
08-25-2010, 07:25 PM
Gao clearly had the best summer skate, but she is competing earlier. Watching that video a second time, however, really made me realize how much she has improved, not only with the jumping, but as an overall skater. Gong and Cesario also look much improved. It wasn't Flatt's day at Golden West. I was probably too harsh on her at first. The program is still developing...I will be more critical at her first GP.