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View Full Version : Flatt hurt for Worlds but skates anyways !



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bek
05-01-2011, 06:02 PM
I think its perfectly fair to ask questions about why Rachael skated here. (Although some benefit of the doubt perhaps too needs to be given.)

But I must say its absolutely ridiculous and wrong to hate Rachael for not retiring. Its Rachael's career/skating. She's given years of her life to it, and she's only 17/18 (still pretty young). Its her life and career and she should be able to skate as long as she wants too. PERIOD. Its not Rachaels fault the other US ladies have their issues. And yes Mirai DOES have her issues.

I don't think that the USFSA backed Rachael due to some great love for her. As much as they backed her because of some concerns about a Mirai/Alissa team. Both can be very hot/cold skaters, and in the case of Mirai, there are talks about lack of discipline. I think it may have been more of a "get it together" message to Mirai. Which frankly may be what Mirai needed.

aftershocks
05-01-2011, 06:08 PM
Re RockTheTassel:
Yeah, I would agree with your assessments, RockTheTassel. Nothing wrong with desire and going after a dream. But, duh ... USFS judges getting behind it also 100%. International judges had already shown they would reward Mirai at her best with a podium position, and that their assessment of Flatt was 5th place at most, at her best. Lots of falling and subpar performances among the top skaters in the world would have had to happen for the remotest possibility of Flatt overachieving beyond 5th place. Who didn't realize this?

While I'm very happy for Ryan and was pulling for him, and I'm glad he won Nationals, dreaming about "hardware" at Worlds was also a reach for him, even with the field reduced of veterans. Might have been better for Ryan to have stayed more low key in his comments and have worked harder on bringing his charisma to the ice along with his quads. I say this, and I love Ryan. So, you are spot on RTT about "strong desire ... and eagerness" leading us to hope for overachieving. At least in Ryan's case, USFS may have thought consistency on his quads would help him overachieve at Worlds, plus he wasn't going in with an injury. I think Ross and Richard performed great under pressure at their first Worlds, and were simply not favored in the marks. It's a political game at Nationals and at Worlds -- so nothing that happens should be too surprising.

Fans have opinions and they will talk, which should not be surprising either. No one is hating on Rachael -- a lot of people have praise for her as a person. I felt sorry for her watching her skate, but she's young, resilient, and has a great life ahead of her. It is my opinion that her team and USFS erred in pushing her for more this year. It would be very different, if there weren't more talented skaters like Mirai in particular, as well as Ashley, Zawadski and Gao having to take a back seat. But that's figure skating.

Re ProgramerUSFS:
How new are you to the sport? I felt at Nationals that Rachael was overscored for a supbar performance in the lp. Mirai had glitches in the lp, but her talent as well as her programs are far superior to Rachael's IMHO. If Rachael had actually performed her lp as well as she did in 2010, I would have said okay, Mirai foolishly blew her chances and that's that. However, Rachael, IMO, did not perform well either -- so on the basis of performance, talent, skating skills, potential possibilities at Worlds, my bet would be on Mirai. USFS had already invested in their makeover of Rachael, therefore, knowing there were only 2 spots, they went with Rachael and felt justified because Mirai had slightly faltered -- they ignored a lot of things --mainly the fact Rachael had lesser talent and a nagging injury.

There are all kinds of instances in the long history of this sport of manipulation and politics. A really good, well-researched and unbiased book should be written about the politics and manipulation that are so much apart of this sport that longtime fans accept it as a matter of course. I doubt that such a book will be written anytime soon, but it would sure shed some needed light on the subject.

Coco
05-01-2011, 06:18 PM
Sigh....

No telling what Mirai would have done. But I can't imagine Frank Carroll would let a Worlds team alternate stop training until the cutoff point, whenever that was.

And if you are getting an MRI 6 days before worlds start, when it is probably too late to get the alternate a VISA in time for her to arrive for official practices, it must be a really serious injury, or your team is just lining up your excuse.

Athletes at this level will go until they can't, so no one should rely on Rachael or any other athlete to withdraw themself.

But Tom Z. has some 'splaining to do.

I've always been a bit dubious of Team Flatt's injury excuses. Without knowing, what can we really know? But the injury excuses always pop up to explain her shortcomings and her poor performances, like clockwork, as if to assure judges that poor skating is an injury related aberration. If it's true, that the injuries are overemphasized, well this time that practice bit them in the butt. But if they are real injuries, what the heck is she doing on the ice? I'm thinking about the bulging disks more than the foot.

Oh, and when I had a stress fracture, it was preceded by 6 weeks of "tendonitis." A lot of times, tendonitis is just code for "pain that doesn't warrant any kind of imaging."


It's enough to make me wish USFSA had Martha Karolyi whispering in their ear about "showing readiness". Aww, heck, at the least they should have used 4CCs before they named the 2nd and 3rd spots in disciplines where they had no clear designee.

skatesindreams
05-01-2011, 06:20 PM
Why wouldn't first alternates, or for that matter all alternates, get visas just in case? After all, being an alternate means possibly having to make the trip on short notice.

I think the "1st Alternate" should always go to Worlds; in case one of the others cannot skate, they are there, and prepared to perform.
Otherwise, there is no point in naming/having them.

The Fly On The Wall
05-01-2011, 06:24 PM
Wow. I just watched the free skate finally. I didn't see what everyone else claims to have seen. I see a kid who was in obvious pain, fighting for everything.

With Mirai's history of inconsistency, mental lapses and meltdowns, why is everyone insisting that she would have been the better choice?

mtnskater
05-01-2011, 06:31 PM
[QUOTE=Coco;

But Tom Z. has some 'splaining to do.


It's enough to make me wish USFSA had Martha Karolyi whispering in their ear about "showing readiness". Aww, heck, at the least they should have used 4CCs before they named the 2nd and 3rd spots in disciplines where they had no clear designee.[/QUOTE]


Coco.....you are right on the money. Karolyi's selection techniques have really improved US women's gymnastics international results. I have been saying for a long time there is a better way than solely US Nationals as the selection criteria. Other skating federations and other sports have clearly demonstrated this. USFS needs to wake up!

PDilemma
05-01-2011, 06:37 PM
Wow. I just watched the free skate finally. I didn't see what everyone else claims to have seen. I see a kid who was in obvious pain, fighting for everything.

With Mirai's history of inconsistency, mental lapses and meltdowns, why is everyone insisting that she would have been the better choice?

1--As far as we know she is not currently injured.

2--This:

2011 Four Continents

Nagasu: 189.46 Flatt 180.31

2010 Worlds

Nagasu 175.48 Flatt 167.44

2010 Olympics

Nagasu 190.15 Flatt 182.49

At major ISU events, Mirai beats Rachael. International judges clearly prefer her.

aftershocks
05-01-2011, 06:37 PM
I think its perfectly fair to ask questions about why Rachael skated here. (Although some benefit of the doubt perhaps too needs to be given.)

But I must say its absolutely ridiculous and wrong to hate Rachael for not retiring. Its Rachael's career/skating. She's given years of her life to it, and she's only 17/18 (still pretty young). Its her life and career and she should be able to skate as long as she wants too. PERIOD. Its not Rachaels fault the other US ladies have their issues. And yes Mirai DOES have her issues.

I don't think that the USFSA backed Rachael due to some great love for her. As much as they backed her because of some concerns about a Mirai/Alissa team. Both can be very hot/cold skaters, and in the case of Mirai, there are talks about lack of discipline. I think it may have been more of a "get it together" message to Mirai. Which frankly may be what Mirai needed.

I'm not hating Rachael because she didn't retire, and sure bek, I thought it presumptuous of Hersh to say what he did in his column earlier in the season that Flatt needed to hang it up and go to school. It might have been a better decision for her and for all concerned, but it was her decision to make. My main point is: I disagree with what seems to me to be the favoring by USFS of particular skaters over others (that's part of the politics). At least try to assess the needs of and help all the skaters, and if you're going to get behind one skater, why not get behind the one whose talent is so exceptional? Otherwise, stay out of it and stop giving advice on makeovers and what type of costumes a skater should wear.

I disagree with your feeling that the USFS didn't back Rachael because they didn't love her, but b/c they had concerns over an Alissa/Mirai team. Frankly, an Alissa/Mirai team IMHO, would have made better sense, especially the Alissa we have seen this season. It is also my feeling that USFS is responsible for making poor decisions in regard to Mirai for awhile. No excuse for all the media hyping of Mirai and Caroline Zhang when they were still juniors! I thought that was typical but idiotic at the time. Yes, Mirai performed beautifully when she won her first U.S. title, but again, that was such a chaotic and transitional time with the Kween no longer reigning at Nats, and so many of the up-and-coming contenders too young to go to Worlds.

Why didn't USFS use common sense and reward the title in that transitional year to one of the more experienced skaters who had performed well that year also -- Mirai could have been rewarded with silver or bronze that year, and been given time to adjust -- she couldn't go to Worlds anyway. I remember USFS defending their premature decision to weigh Mirai down with gold. They put a huge amount of pressure on her at a difficult growth stage of her career! Why?! And then they blame her and punish her for it in following years, and have all these stories fed to the media about "poor young" Mirai and the changes she's been going through. Can anyone imagine that all the hot/ cold publicity crap Mirai has gone through and all the ups and downs have something to do with her inconsistency and so-called "lack of discipline" or lack of focus? I can.

bek
05-01-2011, 06:39 PM
Coco.....you are right on the money. Karolyi's selection techniques have really improved US women's gymnastics international results. I have been saying for a long time there is a better way than solely US Nationals as the selection criteria. Other skating federations and other sports have clearly demonstrated this. USFS needs to wake up!

You are joking right? Karoyli's selection techinques have lead to the US taking broken teams to the last two Olympics. In 2004, the US should have won Gold EASILY, but it was Karoyli's poor selection techniques that did it. Lets not get into the selection techniques in and of itself but the mere fact that both Courtneys were VERY badly injured, and if they had been replaced the US could have had gold. Especially so in the case of McCool.

smarts1
05-01-2011, 06:40 PM
Anyways, if her foot was bothering so much that she took the lutzes out of her programs, why did she leave the flips? They both vault off of the right foot for her, and that's the foot that's injured. A smarter thing to do, if she really was feeling pain, would have been to replace those flips with triple toes (a la the Lepisto route), which I'm sure she would have landed (and get rid of that stupid double axel-triple toe combo she's been getting underrotated calls on all year). Popping those two flips really hurt her score, and I'm certain we might have our three spots back if she hadn't popped those.

sk9tingfan
05-01-2011, 06:44 PM
My very short take on the situation:


Rachael and Tom Z need to park their egos somewhere else
Mirai Nagasu needs to grow up and become more mature and appropriate
USFSA has to stop overhyping the skater of the moment & putting so much pressure on them

Jenna
05-01-2011, 06:47 PM
My very short take on the situation:


Rachael and Tom Z need to park their egos somewhere else
Mirai Nagasu needs to grow up and become more mature and appropriate
USFSA has to stop overhyping the skater of the moment & putting so much pressure on them


What??

Coco
05-01-2011, 06:49 PM
I'm not a fan of the constant camps, which has lead to the US gymnasts high injury rate.

Taking broken teams to the Games has as much - if not more - to do with the NBC and USAG dictated Championships / Trials schedule.

But the concept of even those who earned their spots "early" in the process needing to show readiness before they get on the plane, that's what I'm saying is a good idea. That's a Martha thing, and I think it's hard for people to separate that from everything else Martha has done.

There were almost THREE whole months between Nationals and Worlds. A lot can change during that time. A simple monitoring session a week before the team member gets on the plane really couldn't hurt. A bad skate wouldn't necessarily be grounds for removal, but a bad skate caused by nagging injury should be grounds for re-assessment. If they want to save money, heck, they could only do this for skaters whose internationals results have been behind the alternate in their discipline.

Cheylana
05-01-2011, 06:53 PM
It's enough to make me wish USFSA had Martha Karolyi whispering in their ear about "showing readiness". Aww, heck, at the least they should have used 4CCs before they named the 2nd and 3rd spots in disciplines where they had no clear designee.
Although I see merit in this approach, I think the USFS would have to do it consistently, otherwise it looks like they are manipulating results when the top 2/3 at Nationals aren't the "right" ones. That would lead to negative press, which I'm pretty sure the USFS doesn't want. So for instance, after 2010 Nationals, even though they probably were pretty happy with the top three, presumably they would have sent Johnny and Ryan off to 4CCs to duke it out for the last Olympic spot. I don't think that would have gone over very well.

And then what if Ryan beat Johnny at 4CCs by 1-2 points? Then who gets the spot?

Usually the "right" people finish on the Nationals podium so the USFS is happy enough to award the Olympic and Worlds spots and call it a day. It's clean, objective and avoids arbitrary decisions that could get picked apart by the media or subject to frivolous lawsuits.


I think the "1st Alternate" should always go to Worlds; in case one of the others cannot skate, they are there, and prepared to perform.
Otherwise, there is no point in naming/having them.
I dunno, I imagine it would be pretty expensive to have the first alternate in each discipline - plus their coaches - travel to Worlds with the World team, only to end up not competing 99% of the time. Who would pay for it?

bek
05-01-2011, 06:57 PM
What??

According to Mirai's own coach, Mirai didn't start training properly for Nationals until 2/3 weeks before the meet. YES Nagasu had an injury over the summer, but Carroll was clear that Mirai was not working hard enough.

There was talk that Mirai was pretty happy with last season's results and so lacked motivation this year. May I point out that can you imagine Kim or Asada being happy with being 4th at the Olympics.

A lot of Nagasu's issues are the same she's always had (rotating jumps etc) for years. Also may I point out its high time for Nagasu to stop relying on the custsy artistically and start improving there as well. She's an adorable girl yes, but artistry is about more than just being adorable.