PDA

View Full Version : Caroline Zhang changes coaches to Peter Oppegard



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 [14] 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

pinky166
02-04-2011, 05:00 AM
Has anyone dropped as far down as Zhang has the last 2 years after having previously being firmly in the top 3 or so in the U.S and coming 4th at the Grand Prix final and a stacked Four Continents with all the big guns, and made it back? I sure cant think of anyone so to say she has a huge uphill battle would be an understatement. I still like certain aspects of her skating so I hope she can pull off a miracle and make it onto a World team someday. Realistically though she might never get into the top 6 at Senior Nationals again.

Well Alissa had bad results like Caroline for awhile and now is back up top, but unlike Caroline it wasn't consistent, it seemed like each season she'd sometimes skate really well and sometimes bomb. But I remember the 07-08 season was particularly rough for her, I don't think she skated well once that season.

And well she isn't from the US but Cynthia Phanuef went out for awhile there and then came back strong in the past year or so, and like Caroline she also had a lot of success and attention as a young tiny skater, but then had a rough time with puberty and even lost a lot of her triples, but now she's skating better than ever. Actually, Cynthia is a good person for Caroline to look up to. She's not some tiny pwetty princess anymore but she's a lovely skater regardless and has made a big statement in the past year or so that perserverence and hard work pays off.

Dragonlady
02-04-2011, 07:40 AM
Phaneuf didn't have to rework her technique as she had excellent skating skills and jumps before her growth spurt and injuries. But she grew a lot and went from tiny to very tall in a short period, and had to completely relearn her jumps as a result.

barbk
02-04-2011, 04:15 PM
Well Alissa had bad results like Caroline for awhile and now is back up top, but unlike Caroline it wasn't consistent, it seemed like each season she'd sometimes skate really well and sometimes bomb. But I remember the 07-08 season was particularly rough for her, I don't think she skated well once that season.



Alissa had erratic jump technique, imo; her jumps looked consistently better going into the air this year than they did before. She also had the Nikodinov problem -- once something bad happened, she tended to let other jumps go. Where she tended to be saved was that she got so many (deserved) points for spins, which I actually thought weren't quite as nice this year. (But clearly working on jumps was the priority.)

I think Caroline is generally has a much stronger competitive mind, but also much worse jump technique that is going to take real time to fix. She also is pretty slow across the ice, and I'm less clear on how well coaches understand how to fix that. (IMO, even if she got the jumps consistent, the really slow skating is going to hammer her in any competition where others also land jumps and skate with a lot more speed.)

I never saw Karen Kwan or Peter O. skate live, and I have no idea whether either of them ever brought great speed to the table. Karen Kwan had beautiful posture and stroking from what I recall from tv impressions, but that does not necessarily translate to speed.

Polymer Bob
02-04-2011, 04:35 PM
I hate to dig a dead horse out of the ground and beat it again, but Caroline has apparently lost weight since the Grand Prix, and I think her speed will improve as this trend continues.

I know ... I know, .... She was slow when she weighed 80 lb. But the difference now is that she is trying to skate faster.

OliviaPug
02-04-2011, 09:02 PM
I hate to dig a dead horse out of the ground and beat it again, but Caroline has apparently lost weight since the Grand Prix, and I think her speed will improve as this trend continues.

I know ... I know, .... She was slow when she weighed 80 lb. But the difference now is that she is trying to skate faster.

Trying to skate faster won't work unless Caroline works on her edging, which I hope she has the time and energy to do. The speed will come with improved technique without Caroline having to try so hard.

The jumps will come also with improved technique and muscle memory to go along with that improved technique.

Caroline needs time and dedication.

I really hope Caroline sticks it out for at least another season. I think she could make for a nice comeback story, even if she never reaches the pinnacle of success in senior ranks.

O-

Frau Muller
02-04-2011, 09:15 PM
Now that is creepy, shouldn't athletes let the results speak for themselves? I mean of course some athletes may want to promote themselves, but they should first wait for success on the senior level and let the promotion wait until then.

About Zhang's parents hiring a p.r. firm before Caroline set foot on int'l ice:
Creepy indeed. Just like her mother inventing the name "The Pearl" and hyping that move. As if the skater would be hyper-flexible for the rest of her life. Very sad when one sees her struggling to do it now...just a shadow of what it was, with fully-grown, muscular legs, etc.

Maybe mom should invent a new move...The Coconut? (a little bigger)

peibeck
02-04-2011, 09:55 PM
Despite her results, I was pleasantly surprised by Zhang's progress at Nationals. Whether the change to Gambill or now to Oppegard and Kwan have made the difference I can't say. But compared to how slowly she skated in the last comp I saw her live in, the difference was marked, plus the toe jumps were much improved. (It was a shame about the flip in the free skate, it was like the pick slid out as soon as she started the jump.)

I do think she has really worked to improve and it is very noticable in seeing her skate live. But one has to really wonder if it is too late? I guess we'll have to see what happens with skaters like Lam, Gao and Zawadski over the next few season (i.e. growth spurt, injuries) and wait and see if Caroline can continue to improve and take advantage if they don't come through. I would think even if she gets only one GP invite she still might get a Senior B as well.

flyingsit
02-07-2011, 02:40 PM
Lam (and Siraj, for that matter) is not going ANYWHERE with her current jump technique. She barely gets off the ice at all; the only reason she gets the rotations is that she is teeny-tiny and can rotate very quickly in the air. As soon as she grows AT ALL, she will have to completely relearn how to jump.

oleada
02-07-2011, 02:45 PM
Lam (and Siraj, for that matter) is not going ANYWHERE with her current jump technique. She barely gets off the ice at all; the only reason she gets the rotations is that she is teeny-tiny and can rotate very quickly in the air. As soon as she grows AT ALL, she will have to completely relearn how to jump.
ITA. It"s a shame, as both have really lovely qualities, but their coaches did them a major disservice by teaching them to jump like that.

pinky166
02-07-2011, 05:14 PM
Lam (and Siraj, for that matter) is not going ANYWHERE with her current jump technique. She barely gets off the ice at all; the only reason she gets the rotations is that she is teeny-tiny and can rotate very quickly in the air. As soon as she grows AT ALL, she will have to completely relearn how to jump.

Siraj's technique isn't that bad, she at least gets more height on her jumps than Vanessa, so she still might have a shot at holding on to her jumps in the long run. Have to agree about Lam though, although didn't Tara Lipinski have very similar jumping technique? Didn't hurt her. Also there's a chance Vanessa stays really tiny, not everyone goes through a big growthspurt and drastic body changes like Caroline did.

Sylvia
02-07-2011, 05:32 PM
About Zhang's parents hiring a p.r. firm before Caroline set foot on int'l ice:
Creepy indeed.
I'd still like someone to cite a reliable reference online to this, if possible, because I don't recall it being that early. In any case, I've been told that Caroline's mother has stepped back in the past year or so and let Caroline be the one primarily responsible for her own skating on a day-to-day basis.

Polymer Bob
02-07-2011, 06:31 PM
As I recall, there was a story about Caroline's parents hiring an agent at the time of her first senior Grand Prix season, which would have been the fall of 2007. I don't remember if it was before or after she qualified for the Final.

Sparks
02-07-2011, 06:42 PM
I'd still like someone to cite a reliable reference online to this, if possible, because I don't recall it being that early. In any case, I've been told that Caroline's mother has stepped back in the past year or so and let Caroline be the one primarily responsible for her own skating on a day-to-day basis.

I first recall hearing that Zhang hiring Shep Goldberg at Skate America 2007. In fact, I saw him there.

Sylvia
02-07-2011, 07:04 PM
I first recall hearing that Zhang hiring Shep Goldberg at Skate America 2007. In fact, I saw him there.

The earliest article reference to Shep Goldberg (also Kwan's long-time agent) being Zhang's agent that I can find online dates to the fall of 2007, her senior international debut season.
Here's the link to the earliest Zhang/Shep Goldberg reference I've found online -- an October 2007 article, pre-Skate America: http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/figureskating/columns/story?id=3077654

How will Caroline Zhang and Mirai Nagasu fare at the senior level?
Much was made of these pint-sized California girls when they won the two top spots at the junior level at nationals and worlds. (Nagasu won the U.S. junior title; Zhang claimed the world junior crown.) They're both elegant and have a maturity on the ice that exceeds their time on earth (14 years). The question really is, how will these two handle the pressure from U.S. Figure Skating, which has desperately been seeking top young talent to help revive the sport? One interesting side note, Zhang is already taking interesting steps to climb up the skating ranks. Her agent? Shep Goldberg, longtime manager for Michelle Kwan.

ETA: On another note, 2011-12 will be the first season since Caroline burst onto the scene with her successful junior international debut (fall 2006) in which she does not qualify for a funded U.S. team envelope up front.

OliviaPug
02-08-2011, 12:20 AM
Siraj's technique isn't that bad, she at least gets more height on her jumps than Vanessa, so she still might have a shot at holding on to her jumps in the long run. Have to agree about Lam though, although didn't Tara Lipinski have very similar jumping technique? Didn't hurt her.

It would hurt Tara in today's COP world. Most of Tara's jumps were low to the ground and her axel technique was fairly appalling, though she did manage to clean it up and kudos to her. She was one determined skater! And she stayed very small, which certainly helped her keep her speedy rotations.

O-