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olympic
05-15-2011, 03:51 PM
^ I think there are several factors contributing to a 'perfect storm' of US ladies regression:

The current slide IMO started during the '03 - '06 era of implementation of the CoP judging system, which embraced the technical much more than 6.0: The US was resting on Kwan, who was chronically injured, aging [relatively speaking], a gorgeous 6.0 skater that decided to not skate in GPs to get the necessary CoP practice, as well as Cohen who was better appreciated under CoP, but was inconsistent enough to be unable to finish atop podiums at the big events [Olympics and Worlds]. Still, those 2 did enough in this time frame to secure 3 spots for the US and grab a medal between them at '05 Worlds, the inaugural World CoP competition. Actually, it was Cohen's doing but Kwan did well enough to get those 3 spots

But in hindsight, a big chasm was developing in US ladies from '03 - '06 in the placings underneath Cohen and Kwan even by 6.0 standards, let alone CoP!: Hughes was young but had retired after '03 Worlds [She actually never would've been a good skater under the impending CoP implementation]. Kirk who was regularly the #3 US gal was unmotivated due to the death of her mother and never got close to the top 10 even under 6.0. Skaters with good technical skills like Bebe Liang and AP McDonough never even made it out of US Nats to Worlds. It left everything on the shoulders of Cohen and part-time Kwan. There were no Seniors in this time frame to 'take the mantle' for various reasons.

So, People started to look at US juniors like Meissner and Hughes 2.0 for the future, who were sneaking onto podiums at the Jr. level. Meissner was to be the US anointed one after her participation in the '06 Olympics where she finished 6th, then winning '06 Worlds in an albeit depleted field.

However, the perfect storm of 1) the rise of Mao and YuNa to the senior level along with 2) Meissner's poor technique being called out under stricter scrutiny and injury meant Meissner couldn't replace Cohen and Kwan. Hughes 2.0 decided School was the place for her and ceased to matter after '07 Worlds. The US ladies dug themselves in deeper.

Another potential star, a young Alissa Czisny grabbed the skating worlds attention under CoP during the '05 - '06 season but utterly failed then due to nerves to fulfill her promise [thank goodness that seems to be changing now].

Then, finally starting in '08 you had the attack of the Juniors: Nagasu, Flatt, Zhang, and brand new Senior, Ashley Wagner, and well, despite a few bright moments, none have fulfilled their potential...yet: Flatt - limited and injured to boot, yet not really focusing on what she needs to do to improve skating skills. Wagner - chokes and loses points on her jumps. Nagasu - nerves, injury, growth spurt. Zhang - horrendous technique and an inability to address it until now.

So, is this just tons of bad luck coalescing all together? Too many coaches doing the wrong thing? A boom of headcase skaters? Or is the USFSA perhaps missing something. Perhaps focusing on the pretty princess ideal to sell to the American public, trying to make money in this way like years long gone, which is not as easy to do under CoP?

Take into consideration that Slutskaya got smart and tailored her programs under CoP with her raw jumping talent which CoP would give her more credit for, as well as the Japanese ladies and Arakawa, who is blessed with great all around skating skills, jumps, edges, all appreciated much more under CoP. And as mentioned the once-in-a-decade sheer talent of Mao and YuNa, all there to push US ladies from even coming near the top spot

Proustable
05-15-2011, 03:56 PM
All of the above.

victoriaheidi
05-15-2011, 05:21 PM
However, I am not blaming Flatt nor any skater for that, nor am I blaming Flatt for being favored to a degree by USFS. I think its a shame they felt it necessary to make her over. Cutting and dyeing her hair did not improve her appearance on the ice. The short length of her hair only accentuates, not detracts from her relatively short neck. Rachael, her hair, and her skating to me looked better in 2009-2010 than in 2010-2011.


Same. I think it's very difficult to blame Rachael for being liked. I mean, that's really stupid misplacement of feelings, IMO.

But yeah, she needs her long, gorgeous hair back. She needs a cute, curly ponytail again-it was very appropriate! The short hair just doesn't look right. She also needs costumes like the ones she had last year. The EoE costume was ok, but the LP costume went from bad to worse (especially with the leo underneath at Worlds).


Don't forget Nagasu also!

Very true. I'm not blaming anyone, but I was just trying to say that it doesn't rest solely on Rachael's shoulders. Each of our favorites has played a role at some point.


Whole post

Yeah, that's it. You broke it down best.

Iceman
05-15-2011, 06:16 PM
^^ Ultimately, a moot point (i.e., open to debate and irrelevant in the long run). In any case, 4CCs 2011 is not Nationals 2010 or 2011. What the international judges seem to consistently show is that they rate Nagasu and Czisny higher than Flatt most of the time, which is obviously not usually the case at Nationals.

No, 4 continents is not us nationals, but at more than several international events, Rachael's PCS scores are very near that of Nagasu and Czisny. So imo the us judges are not propping up Rachael in a significant way at Nationals.

OLympics 2011:

Short Program: Rachael pcs: 27.84; Mira pcs: 26.76
Long Program: Rachael: 58.48; Mira PCS 60.56

So there, Nagasu had only a 1 point advantage over Flatt with regard to PCS.
So, once again, I do not think there is really solid ground for saying the us judges are holding up Rachael with regard to PCS at Nationals. What is being done at nationals is not out of line with what has occurred at an important international event where the judges would certainly not hold up Flatt.

RD
05-15-2011, 10:30 PM
Again, not really seeing hard evidence of favoritism by USFS towards Flatt. After all, EVERYONE'S scores at Nationals is inflated to a certain degree. Still though, I wonder why the increase in "controversial" results since the Cop was implemented?

Besides, people are forgetting one big thing- if Flatt is REALLY the USFS' so-called "darling", then explain to me why she didn't win in 2009? With Czisny's mistakes in the FS they could have easily given Flatt the title and far fewer people would have complained.

The US ladies are in the position they're in now because one (or more) of the World team members failed to step up. In 2008 you had Meissner and Wagner struggling badly. In 2009 you had Czisny's (in)famous implosion which led to intense bickering and bashing. In 2010, you had Nagasu's meltdown. Even 3rd place, which she was one fall away from, would have done it. And of course, in 2011 we have Flatt competing injured and subsequently blowing our chances. It's becoming a vicious cycle. And we've gone without a world medal for 5 years now.

Anyway, we're really OT now.

AliasJohnDoe
05-15-2011, 10:33 PM
PCS for this season on Flatt, Nagasu and Czisny:

Flatt:
NHK SP-25.40 LP-52.48
SA SP-26.74 LP-53.99
GPF SP-25.31 LP-46.91
4CC SP-28.80 LP-57.14
WC SP-29.09 LP-51.94

Average SP-26.96 LP-52.49 Internationally
US Nats. SP-30.77 LP-61.60

Czisny:
SC SP-27.58 LP-61.47
TEB SP-27.42 LP-56.40
GPF SP-30.14 LP-61.31
4CC SP-28.94 LP-58.05
WC SP-30.14 LP-61.13

Average SP-28.84 LP-59.67 Internationally
US Nats. SP-29.69 LP-64.55

Nagasu:
CoC SP-27.03 LP-53.65
TEB SP-27.63 LP-55.09
4CC SP-29.23 LP-60.07

Average SP-27.96 LP-56.27 Internationally
US Nats. SP-30.41 LP-60.46

victoriaheidi
05-15-2011, 11:41 PM
The US ladies are in the position they're in now because one (or more) of the World team members failed to step up. In 2008 you had Meissner and Wagner struggling badly. In 2009 you had Czisny's (in)famous implosion which led to intense bickering and bashing. In 2010, you had Nagasu's meltdown. Even 3rd place, which she was one fall away from, would have done it. And of course, in 2011 we have Flatt competing injured and subsequently blowing our chances. It's becoming a vicious cycle. And we've gone without a world medal for 5 years now.

Anyway, we're really OT now.

We are. But I think it's because people have really strong feelings about the US ladies and Rachael Flatt.

Has anyone heard any news updates out of the Flatt camp in the last few weeks? So much speculation goes on here, but I wonder if she's said anything in interviews or hidden in complete silence.

Sylvia
05-15-2011, 11:45 PM
Flatt's recent tweets seem to indicate she's been taking a break and/or on vacation. Good for her!

RD
05-16-2011, 12:41 AM
PCS for this season on Flatt, Nagasu and Czisny:

Flatt:
NHK SP-25.40 LP-52.48
SA SP-26.74 LP-53.99
GPF SP-25.31 LP-46.91
4CC SP-28.80 LP-57.14
WC SP-29.09 LP-51.94

Average SP-26.96 LP-52.49 Internationally
US Nats. SP-30.77 LP-61.60


Actually, remember that Flatt re-did her SP mid-season. So her Nationals score is really comparable to only her 4CC and WC score, not her GP scores. So the 4-point difference shrinks to just barely over a point.

ETA: Also, I'd pick only competitions where they performed similar to Nationals, because when you do worse, your PCS scores tend to drop as well.

Jammers
05-16-2011, 01:13 AM
No way in hell should Flatt be evenclose to Mirai in PCS scores. Watching Rachael skate compared to Mirai is like comparing a dump truck to a Ferrari.

Proustable
05-16-2011, 01:25 AM
No way in hell should Flatt be evenclose to Mirai in PCS scores. Watching Rachael skate compared to Mirai is like comparing a dump truck to a Ferrari.

I don't know. Nagasu isn't that strong in P/E or I. She can be beautiful, but she can be incredibly boring. I know people feel that Flatt is flat, but in general, she's got more of a pulse in her programs, I find.

FSWer
05-16-2011, 01:41 AM
Who has the final say though in any situation were a Skater is out of commision to if a Skater should skate or send in a alternate? Just wondering.

victoriaheidi
05-16-2011, 03:51 AM
Who has the final say though in any situation were a Skater is out of commision to if a Skater should skate or send in a alternate? Just wondering.

I'm guessing that it's different in each federation, but that the US leaves it up to the skater.

leafygreens
05-16-2011, 04:13 AM
Whole post.

Good analysis, however I'd like to add that since the implementation of CoP, there hasn't been really any skater from any country who has consistently been on top like Kwan. Every competition is anybody's game and completely different because we don't have reputation propping anyone up anymore. I'm not saying that Kwan always won because of reputation, but I'm sure that a few times she did. We really can't do a fair comparison between then and now. It's not really fair to say we need one US lady to carry the weight of the whole program like Kwan did, because it's impossible in this new system. We are in a completely different era, and honestly, if any person repeats as a champion in any competition, they are lucky. So I don't think it's right for people to expect "oh it's going to be Mirai, Rachael, Ashley" because if any one of them has a fluke fall, it's all over for them in whatever competition. Whereas in the old days you could still mess up a bit and rep would pull you through. Today's girls don't have that luxury.


Besides, people are forgetting one big thing- if Flatt is REALLY the USFS' so-called "darling", then explain to me why she didn't win in 2009? With Czisny's mistakes in the FS they could have easily given Flatt the title and far fewer people would have complained.

Why didn't they let Flatt win in '09? Because Flatt hadn't won yet and there was still a little hope pinned on Alissa to become the next big thing. With both skaters clean, Alissa's style is absolutely preferable over Rachael. Mirai was still too young. So they gave it to Alissa, she faltered, and as punishment they tried propping up Flatt the next year, hoping she would be the next big thing. Then Flatt faltered and the whole scheme went haywire.

skateboy
05-16-2011, 07:09 AM
Is three spots THAT big of a deal?

I can imagine there are a lot of Kwan and Slutskaya fans who would have loved for the US to have had only two spots for the 2002 Olympics. Guess who would have been left off the Olympic team? Ahm jes' sayin'.