View Full Version : Yuna Kim announces her comeback to competitive skating

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07-20-2012, 03:21 PM
Julia has a lot of polish to her skating for someone so young and her consistency last season was amazing. BUT I do think the judges over scored her. Her tech score should be high considering her content, her spins and the fact that she landed everything...but she is waaay overscored on PCS. The scores she gets on CH and TR and even SS are too high when you look at what she's putting on the ice. CH is weak, her TR consists of leg lifts (just count how many she does in one program), and her SS are slightly above average. She doesn't connect to the music but rather skates over it like most skaters her age...it doesn't help that her programs are empty choreographically as well. IMO, I don't think she deserves anything over a 6.75 in any category.

If you want to see good skating skills and transitions, watch Satoko Miyahara (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh3zO3YbN2o&feature=plcp). Miyahara's presentation and presence on the ice don't compare but if you pay attention to what she's actually doing, you see the degree of difficulty is much higher than that of Julia yet her SS and TR marks aren't nearly as high.

07-20-2012, 04:04 PM
I don't know, if you compare Yuna at the world junior (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOndD839DJg) to Julia Lipnitskaya, my heart goes to Julia. She has more grace and power.

IFS's recent tribute (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/articles/32500-saturday-night-at-the-movies) to the very performance you're referring to.

Kim's raw jumping ability was already present at age 14. What was more astonishing, however, was her effortless ability to interpret lush and powerful orchestrations. Skating to Michel Legrand's "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" from the Yentl soundtrack, Kim demonstrated a spiritual connection that simply cannot be taught.

That day in Kitchener, as the eventual winner of the silver medal, she was the music.

07-20-2012, 04:22 PM
^^I agree. Yu-Na related more to her music at that age than Julia does. Presentation and presence wise she wasn't as impressive; she was still kinda awkward and gangly...but that's what you expect from younger skaters. It's something they grow out of.

I love skaters who perform and that innate musicality and performance is what really drew me to Yu-Na in the first place...and it's why I am not as impressed with skaters like Julia and Gracie. Great flexibility or big jumps are wonderful, but when a skater leaves me cold in terms of their performance...:yawn:

07-20-2012, 05:01 PM
Her jumps are as low as Lipinski's. Another fake-phenom made by Human hastily right before Olys.

Shirene Human?

07-21-2012, 03:45 AM
I don't know, if you compare Yuna at the world junior (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOndD839DJg) to Julia Lipnitskaya, my heart goes to Julia. She has more grace and power.

Boy do I disagree with you! First of all, Yuna was training under terrible conditions in Korea on freezing rinks and forced to practice late at night. She had NONE of the advantages that the new Russian wonderbabies have had, and yet she displayed a level of artistry and maturity in this performance that none of the Russian kids even come close to yet.

07-21-2012, 03:01 PM
Thanks for snapping me back awake guys. After all of the Gracie gold will rule the world hype, I'd forgotten all about the Julia L will crush them all hype that proceeded it.

07-21-2012, 05:34 PM
Thanks for snapping me back awake guys. After all of the Gracie gold will rule the world hype, I'd forgotten all about the Julia L will crush them all hype that proceeded it.


07-22-2012, 07:42 PM
Thanks for snapping me back awake guys. After all of the Gracie gold will rule the world hype, I'd forgotten all about the Julia L will crush them all hype that proceeded it.

At first world Junior Lipnitskaya had score of 187. , Yuna's scores was only 155.

Well I was one of the people who initially hyped up Julia. I thought this girl is just extraordinary in the amount of raw natural talent on display from the youtube clips coming out of Russia even before her Junior Championship win. Like Yuna, she is the type of skater that I really like, those who are unafraid to go for power and speed and attacks their program with good deal of risks and technical difficulty. On top of that she has insane flexibility which obviously have been exploited to the extreme by Morozov (to compensate for lack of choreography perhaps). If you look at her junior WC FS, even though everything she does is extraordinary, it still feel Juniorish in quantity over quality with little filter between instruction and self realization.

Yuna at least listen to the music and paid attention to things like phrasing and presentation using her entire body. Although having great musicality and interpretation do not get sufficient reward under the COP but its impressions far lingers. Julia has amazing potentials at this point but her performance currently is more about hitting the beat while focusing on getting these difficult hurried movement out of the way with little interpretation of program. Just what so Romeo and Juliet about her FS for example? If she skated to any other piece of music would it make any difference? The FS feels routine, it hardly moves the heart and makes you want to remember it for repeat viewing later. Don't get me wrong, it will still win her competitions like Ando's programs, but would they bring more fans to the sport like say Yuna's Tango De Roxanne or Lark Ascending?

It is perhaps also useful to consider different rules, background knowledge, competitive landscape, judges expectation, and federation political pull can all affect the marking from one competitions to the next.

Back in Yuna's days, it was before youtube where we rarely get to see progress of upcoming young skaters until they are ready made / polished for the world stage. Yuna was a relatively unknown from a zero powered federation at her 1st competitions. Julia on the other hand benefitted a great deal of hype thanks to youtube and overzealous skating fans like myself eagerly looking for the next big thing in the absence of
- Yuna taking a rest/possibly going into retirement;
- Mao, Mirai, Alissa all taking their weird slumber;
- Carolina playing it safe banking all her RP during everyone's absence in the most infuriating ISU anointed way possible;
- Akiko adopted Ando's Eurocentric program strategy (and apparently Yuna's Gershwin costume);
- Liza (who i happen to really like) still not able to compete at Seniors except GPs and getting overly criticized with her lack of ice coverage and so so programs.

Julia was simply a much needed breath of fresh air and my big hope for the future of the ladies even at age 14 yet going through the puberty monster. She just looks so solid out there, she might just do it!

Julia benefit a great deal from the full backing from Russia, who is hungry for their ladies champion since the days of Irina (ie/ long time due). Her amazing score of 191.65 and 191.92 as the reigning Russia Junior AND 2nd in Senior Champion (1st in FS) surely helps to boost her reputation (it certainly shows up on her JWC PCS score) and showcased Russia's ambition for a record breaking contender at Sochi. Having the most popular coach/choreographer in Russia - Morozov being her champion in shining armour certainly helps. Yuna didn't have any of that. She literally started from ground zero all on her own, hindered by the lack of training facilities, sponsorships or world class coaching in Korea. They were not competing on the same level playing field in their first world competition. Julia also did not have to fight Triple Axel Asada, a clear favourite from Japan, another strong federation who produced 3 consecutive Junior Ladies Champions in a row, Mao being the 3rd that year.

Bear in mind, rules changes also impact scoring. 3/3s were not allowed in the SP during Yuna's junior days, but was featured in Julia's program where she did a 3T3T. In her LP, Julia did not do a 3:3 (Yuna did), but did 7 triples, 4 of which benefited from 50% half way bonus mark, which didn't exist during Yuna's Jr. days.

It is also common knowledge that in Yuna's early days, her PCS were bit of a joke perhaps because Judge's unfamiliarity with her (or perhaps PCS was so new at the time, judges simply find it difficult to apply them accurately. That and the weak federation factor), to the point where during the qualifying round, she would land her clean 7 triples program including the opening triple toe loop / triple toe loop combination that received the highest GOEs and won her qualifying round. Yet somehow mysteriously lost out her PCS to Kimmie Meissner, who had a disastrous qualifying round with 2 falls who came 4th in her group. This is despite having won higher PCS marks over Kimmie at Junior Grand Prix Finals previously on both segment of that competition.

However, admittedly Yuna did suffer from a disastrous SP with her infamous traumatic 3loop crashing into the boards and came sixth overall in her SP when she skated right after Mao who skated well into the lead. It is a testament to her competitive spirit then Yuna fought back so strongly with a near flawless LP next day to difficult sombre music 'Papa can you hear me', arguably harder to interpret than Romeo and Juliet, and received her own standing ovation and wild applause from the audience. She did not receive a single negative GOE, nor did Julia here too. Winning a silver was a historical significance for her country, especially against the favourites like Mao, who won the third consecutive women's Junior title for Japan, following footsteps of Yukina Ota and Miki Ando. Yuna however, went on to win Gold at the Juniors WC next year at her 2nd and final try with a score of 177.54 coming 1st in both the short and the long, swapping places with Mao as 1st and 2nd.

Interestingly to note at their first WC match, Mao did not attempt a triple Salchow there, one of the easier jumps, her lutz was taking off at an inside edge but was not deducted. There were no 3 jump combinations, and she also skipped another intended combinations. Her triple flip/triple toe has been downgraded, but they do not appear to matter. The judges seems to send her a strong message then that her 3A strategy can win her world competitions, and it should be the most important above everything else whether choreography or interpretation. I can't help but speculate it is precisely experiences like these that shaped Mao's philosophy/psychological insistence on the triple axel approach to beat Yuna. That competition also appeared to have shaped Yuna's own triple loop issue which I have always felt was more psychological than physical since she cleaned them all season at JGP Harbin and JGPFinal as well JWC Qualifying round (+ next year's JGP Slovakia and JGPF which she won, but chose to leave them out in her Sr. career to maximise her overall consistency.


Useful sources on Yuna's Jr. Career:

This was an old insightful interview translated by a member of the Michelle Kwan forum just after Yuna's 1st Sr. GPF win in 2006.

I very much look forward to see how Julia will progress with her own first GP series this year. It should be really exciting to see how she do. Other Sr. ladies better watch out!

07-23-2012, 07:28 PM
I agree that Julia's flexibility seems exploitative. It is not always pretty or matching choreographically. If your body bends that much then it is obviously a matter of being born that way, not due to physical work. So I'm not really impressed with it.