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View Full Version : US Ladies [#3]: 2011-12 news, musings & everything else



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Sasha'sSpins
01-13-2012, 07:30 AM
She hasn't changed. :lol:

Sounds like Mirai has been working on the artistic elements of her programs, so I hope she brings that to nationals. Her hesitation when asked about whether she was ready for the competition is concerning. She's going to run out of time if she doesn't get it together.

Concerning? It has me scared to death and the competition hasn't even begun.

From the teleconference:

And back to skating. Two weeks to Nationals and is she ready?

"Weeeell, I mean, I donít think anyone is ever ready for competition," she hesitated. "Like there is always something else that can be worked on. But, I mean I still have a couple, well like a couple, I canít really say weeks, but there is still a little bit of time left before Nationals, and so I really have to value each day and use it to build up my confidence." :eek:

:scream:

Marco
01-13-2012, 08:17 AM
Out of Czisny, Nagasu and Wagner, I'm going to be gutted for whomever doesn't make it to Worlds.

THIS.

I might even say this: if the result at Nationals was too close, they should battle it out again at 4CCs in front of international judges. Too much is on the line this time.

As much as I like Wagner and want her to make the team, it is true that her international PCS is generally lower than Czisny's and Nagasu's.

Of course there is no such problem if Wagner totally rocks Nationals and wins by a mile. :cheer:

haribobo
01-13-2012, 09:58 AM
Concerning? It has me scared to death and the competition hasn't even begun.


It's funny to me that there are still people who expect Mirai to give political answers and are scared when she says what a lot of the others are actually thinking. I think she's one of those people who thrives on people being surprised when she skates well vs. a "everything is going perfectly, I am so excited" attitude.

olympic
01-13-2012, 12:48 PM
THIS.

I might even say this: if the result at Nationals was too close, they should battle it out again at 4CCs in front of international judges. Too much is on the line this time.

As much as I like Wagner and want her to make the team, it is true that her international PCS is generally lower than Czisny's and Nagasu's.

Of course there is no such problem if Wagner totally rocks Nationals and wins by a mile. :cheer:

I think my concern is that whoever doesn't get to worlds will lose motivation - on a permanent level because all 3 have been around for a while and taking a step back/not progressing might cause one to throw in the towel

Or perhaps I'm being :drama:

Jammers
01-13-2012, 12:51 PM
When it comes to Mirai you can never tell where her head is. When she's sounded confident she's bombed and when she looks scared to death like at the Olympics she skates lights out. After watching her skate for a few years now i don't really have any expectations anymore.

haribobo
01-13-2012, 02:32 PM
I think my concern is that whoever doesn't get to worlds will lose motivation - on a permanent level because all 3 have been around for a while and taking a step back/not progressing might cause one to throw in the towel

Or perhaps I'm being :drama:

Its a good valid point, but at the same time, if not making one world team is enough to put you out of the sport, chances are you're getting towards the end of your rope anyway. There are plenty of young whippersnappers looking to take over so if anyone doesn't want it, it will be sad, but well, life will go on in US skating. I had some feelings of panic for US ladies at the various times when Michelle, Angela, and Nicole stopped competing. But things went forward and it wasn't the end of the world. And Kimmie actually won the 06 World title, which was wildly unexpected. You just never know who is going to have a breakout performance and when. I'd place 50/50 odds on one of Alissa, Mirai, or Ashley falling out of the top 3 at Nationals regardless of their co-frontrunner statuses. Wouldn't even be shocked to see one of them out of the top 5...

RD
01-13-2012, 03:41 PM
I think Nagasu is just being honest. And I wouldn't be surprised if several other skaters secretly feel the same way. She just SAYS it. (That's her appeal.) I mean, a competition is a date on the calendar, right? it comes whether you're ready for it or not.

She has had that "scared" look before- and then wound up knocking it out. If anything, she's (intentionally or unintentionally) deflecting pressure from herself by lowering media/fan expectations.

ETA: But I have to say it is interesting to contrast Nagasu's approach with, say, Wagner's "this is my year, let's get it on!!!" approach. Which one will win out?

Jammers
01-13-2012, 03:51 PM
I think it says something that we are now halfway to Sochi and the top US Ladies are from the last 5-6 years. That's not a good sign since with every Olympics usually a new crop of girls are the ones to beat to make the team yet we are still stuck with the girls from the last cycle who really are not improving. Next year has to be the year when the new kids start making their mark.

edonice
01-13-2012, 04:00 PM
I think it says something that we are now halfway to Sochi and the top US Ladies are from the last 5-6 years. That's not a good sign since with every Olympics usually a new crop of girls are the ones to beat to make the team yet we are still stuck with the girls from the last cycle who really are not improving. Next year has to be the year when the new kids start making their mark.

I guess so, but this cycle of skaters never should have made it to the top so fast. They were barely teenagers when they hit the podium at Nationals, all at once, in 2008.

Also, the system is starting to reward more experienced skaters. Carolina Kostner, Alissa Czisny, Akiko Suzuki, and Mao Asada are all over twenty.

Vagabond
01-13-2012, 04:20 PM
I might even say this: if the result at Nationals was too close, they should battle it out again at 4CCs in front of international judges. Too much is on the line this time.

Posters always say things like this, but there's no guarantee that using Four Continents to determine the team for Worlds would solve anything. Last year, Nagasu, Flatt, and Czisny finished 3-4-5 at Four Continents. Czisny was fifth at Worlds, and Flatt was twelfth.

kwanatic
01-13-2012, 06:09 PM
I agree it's a little unnerving to hear Mirai say those things, but I do agree that what she said is probably what all of them are thinking. I like that she's honest about her feelings, even if it does make me doubt her a bit. I'd rather that than the cookie cutter "everything's fine and I'm super ready for nationals!" answer.

The way she talks about working with RA...does anyone get the feeling that she might be leaning a bit more towards him than Frank? :eek: Frank is, in my mind, the best...but his tough, no nonsense approach may not be effective for everyone. Skaters like Michelle and Evan thrived under that kind of teaching because they were highly motivated and hard working skaters. Mirai doesn't seem to be that kind of skater. I used to think that she'd adjust and become that kind of skater, but we're three years into the relationship with Frank and things haven't changed as much as I thought they would.

I would love to see Mirai stick with Frank but it may be better for her to go elsewhere. It seems like she may prefer RA's approach and if she's responsive to that, it could be better for her. Also, it might just get her from under Lori...that's a dream of mine. I want to see Mirai in a different light. Mirai's personality shines when she skates to something happy and upbeat; when she tries to do mature she just comes off looking bored and zombie-ish. She needs something like what Akiko skates to: upbeat music that's energetic and fun. I like the music in Mirai's SP but the choreography and delivery is lacking. She says she feels uncomfortable being sexy/seductive and it shows b/c she doesn't pull it off as convincingly as she needs to.

Why try to make her into something she's not? Let who she is shine through her skating and, IMO, they aren't doing that.

I still think Mirai has the ability to win this time around. Alissa is still inconsistent and her mistakes can leave the door ajar and Mirai could sneak into that number one spot; Ashley has the goods but she has yet to prove herself...the judges know what Mirai can do which means they may give her the benefit of the doubt. Rachael...well, I just can't see Rachael making the world team this year, no matter how well she skates here.

It's going to be an interesting nationals. Every single one of the front-runners have a gigantic ? over their head.

haribobo
01-13-2012, 06:17 PM
Yup. No matter what happens at Nationals, I think we'll see Mirai change some things around with her coaching real soon.

Cheylana
01-13-2012, 06:36 PM
She has had that "scared" look before- and then wound up knocking it out. If anything, she's (intentionally or unintentionally) deflecting pressure from herself by lowering media/fan expectations.
I think there's something to this. Back in 2010, Mirai lowered public expectations by insisting that it wasn't "her time" and that she was focused on getting to Sochi, not Vancouver...and then she knocked it out of the park and punched her ticket to Vancouver!

ETA: But I have to say it is interesting to contrast Nagasu's approach with, say, Wagner's "this is my year, let's get it on!!!" approach. Which one will win out?
I wonder if Wagner feels compelled to take that approach. She's historically been viewed as the 3rd or 4th banana among US ladies (always the bridesmaid, never the bride), so she may feel she needs to keep herself visible and sound confident ("My triple-triples are going great!") to regain the US judges' attention.

Then again, maybe it's just because she's a very positive-thinking, upbeat sort of person. My sister and I got to chat with Ashley for a few minutes at last year's Nationals, and only a short time after her disappointing sixth place finish, she seemed reasonably upbeat and she told us she was very proud of her efforts in the freeskate. We came away very impressed with her attitude.

dawnie
01-13-2012, 06:53 PM
Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but I think it's odd that Mirai's mother still drives her around. Mirai is 18 now, correct? Maybe it's a maturity issue, but I've been driving myself around the second I got my license at 16. Then again, I was not an elite athlete so maybe there's a good reason that her mother is still taking her from rink to rink? Safety issues? Mirai not having a license or being a horrible driver?

PDilemma
01-13-2012, 06:57 PM
Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but I think it's odd that Mirai's mother still drives her around. Mirai is 18 now, correct? Maybe it's a maturity issue, but I've been driving myself around the second I got my license at 16. Then again, I was not an elite athlete so maybe there's a good reason that her mother is still taking her from rink to rink? Safety issues? Mirai not having a license or being a horrible driver?

Less stress/more down time for Mirai, perhaps. Or lack of cars for everyone. Mom drives, runs errands, perhaps even works nearby or volunteers at the rink for a price cut, etc...picks her up. Alissa's mother drove her regularly when she was in college which allowed her to use the commute for homework.

I wouldn't automatically call it a lack of maturity. My mom drove me to work in the summers until I was 21 years old because I did not have my own car. I wasn't suffering from a lack of maturity, more a lack of funds.