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View Full Version : U.S. Ladies [#5]: All That Glitters Is Not Gold



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demetriosj
10-23-2012, 11:19 PM
, Gracie has the apparent edge for now because she has been more consistent in landing her jumps as of late. .

Really? Her summer competitions were unremarkable, and she was beaten by Hannah Miller at Skate Detroit. Salt Lake City was a splatfest. She does not have the consistency she had last year as a Junior.

pinky166
10-23-2012, 11:22 PM
Really? Her summer competitions were unremarkable, and she was beaten by Hannah Miller at Skate Detroit. Salt Lake City was a splatfest. She does not have the consistency she had last year as a Junior.

I was referring to last season. I agree with you about her performances so far this season, however those competitions were very, very early in the season so I think this weekend we may have a better idea of where she's at now and what to expect for her this season. It's not unusual for GP skaters to not skate so well in the summer months just because they are pacing their training to peak later in the season when more is at stake.

pinky166
10-23-2012, 11:26 PM
Who else should they have assigned, though?

AFAIK, all the US ladies still eligible for the JGP wanted JGP spots. Cesario would have been a great choice for Skate America and it would be nice to have two more JGP spots for younger skaters, but I think she earned her assignment and shouldn't be compelled to go senior before she wants to.

Alissa only wanted one spot, and who knows if she'll be ready to compete by NHK anyway. They could have given Skate America to Mirai, of course, but it seemed like she was a sure bet to be chosen as an alternate. (That hasn't worked out so far, but seemed like a reasonable assumption/reading of the rules at the time.)

I just don't see who else deserved the assignment over Rachael.

Do we know that skaters like Courtney Hicks, Angela Wang, Vanessa Lam, and Kiri Baga really wanted to do the JGP had they known they could have gotten a SA assignment instead? Somehow I think they may have preferred the SA spot, along with Cesario, if they thought they had a reasonable shot at getting it and opted for JGP as a consolation.

haribobo
10-23-2012, 11:29 PM
Who else should they have assigned, though?

I just don't see who else deserved the assignment over Rachael.

Agree-these are all good points and just what I was thinking. Putting Mirai aside, the highest finisher from Nationals without a GP or JGP spot was Mckinzie Daniels (13th) who isn't competing this year. Joelle Forte (14th) was next after that, and she hasn't really improved score-wise for several seasons- really wouldn't make much sense to upset the apple cart for her. At least going this way, they can encourage that good placement at Nationals = assignment.

jlai
10-24-2012, 01:05 AM
As I said before, some girls who would have done senior assignments (and are ready) got stuck with junior assignments for lack of better choices. Had USFSA decided on who gets the host picks after summer monitoring, perhaps a girl who got stuck with jgp could have gone to SA. But then I don't see that line of thinking happening any time soon with USFS. The situation being what it is, Rachael earned her assignment with her nationals results.

The really unfair thing is the score inflation with the grand prixs. A GP skater with average skates ends up with better season's best than a promising jgp medalist. It's so hard for jgp girls to move up unless their federation does something for them (politiking or host picks)

All that said, this has nothing to do with Rachael.

pinky166
10-24-2012, 01:15 AM
What about Yasmin Siraj? She didn't do well at Nationals due to injuries but bounced back nicely this summer and fall and would have been a logical choice for a host pick. Also, were the scores at SA really inflated? If they were, I didn't notice it much, except for maybe a little bit among some of the medalists. If people feel they were, it's bad news for the American guys especially, none of them scored very high, and a few different junior men have scored similarly or even exceeded their numbers by a fair margin at JGP events.

victoriaheidi
10-24-2012, 01:31 AM
Ok, as I've said for years, I used to uber Rachael. I thought she had so much untapped potential--sadly, she's done nothing to take advantage of it. It's just frustrating to see her continue to get out there when she freely informs anyone that she basically skates an hour and a half a day. When I finish my tough school days and need to do something, I walk around my dining room table. No kidding. Helps me relieve my stress and clear my mind. But you don't see me entering international walking competitions. Rachael's skating is tantamount to my walking at this point.

I'm also not willing to let Mirai off the hook: time to get her mental sh*t together or face the fact that giving in to headcasey-ness and putting skating low on the totem pole doesn't lead to international success.

I do not intend to say that either girl should make skating her top priority and put whatever else aside; that's not how I feel, nor is it my place to feel that way. But they have to realize that elite athleticism is not easy to achieve or maintain, and it requires 100% of your focus and time.

jlai
10-24-2012, 01:59 AM
On a different note, this is the first time since 2003 Skate America US ladies go 1-2 in a gp! :cheer2:

PDilemma
10-24-2012, 02:02 AM
Ok, as I've said for years, I used to uber Rachael. I thought she had so much untapped potential--sadly, she's done nothing to take advantage of it. It's just frustrating to see her continue to get out there when she freely informs anyone that she basically skates an hour and a half a day. When I finish my tough school days and need to do something, I walk around my dining room table. No kidding. Helps me relieve my stress and clear my mind. But you don't see me entering international walking competitions. Rachael's skating is tantamount to my walking at this point.



I do not intend to say that either girl should make skating her top priority and put whatever else aside; that's not how I feel, nor is it my place to feel that way. But they have to realize that elite athleticism is not easy to achieve or maintain, and it requires 100% of your focus and time.

I do the New York City Ballet Workout dvd. I'm not going to try out for the Nutcracker.

If an elite athlete is going to train adequately and be a full time student, there is not going to be room for much else. And that means no sorority, no parties, no football games, etc...

I understand why Rachael wants that part of college life. But she is not going to return to a podium as long as skating is secondary to that.

judgejudy27
10-24-2012, 03:17 AM
Ok, as I've said for years, I used to uber Rachael. I thought she had so much untapped potential

That is one place I have to respectfully disagree and would defend Flatt. I do feel she has already maximized her potential and gotten absolutely all she could out of herself. Top 5 at Worlds, Top 7 at Olympics (which would have been top 5 without two incorrect downgrades), 4 time U.S Gold or silver medalist, a World Junior gold, numerous grand prix medals. She really has if anything gone above and beyond her abilities and talent level. There are many U.S ladies with far more natural ability and talent who have not achieved many of these things. I also think that is where some of her lacking motivation now is. After 2010 there was a part of her that probably said "where do I go from here. Can I really get any better or do any better than this."

On the other hand the level of skating in 2011 and 2012 was so much lower than 2009-2010 that it is too bad she could not mantain her 2010 level, as the opening was there for better results with similar skating. The field is showing signs of getting alot stronger again though, so that window has now passed over, not to mention she has sunk to the point of no recovery in too many ways to list.

victoriaheidi
10-24-2012, 04:16 AM
That is one place I have to respectfully disagree and would defend Flatt. I do feel she has already maximized her potential and gotten absolutely all she could out of herself. Top 5 at Worlds, Top 7 at Olympics (which would have been top 5 without two incorrect downgrades), 4 time U.S Gold or silver medalist, a World Junior gold, numerous grand prix medals. She really has if anything gone above and beyond her abilities and talent level. There are many U.S ladies with far more natural ability and talent who have not achieved many of these things. I also think that is where some of her lacking motivation now is. After 2010 there was a part of her that probably said "where do I go from here. Can I really get any better or do any better than this."

On the other hand the level of skating in 2011 and 2012 was so much lower than 2009-2010 that it is too bad she could not mantain her 2010 level, as the opening was there for better results with similar skating. The field is showing signs of getting alot stronger again though, so that window has now passed over, not to mention she has sunk to the point of no recovery in too many ways to list.

Agreed. What I meant was less about placements and more about performance...junior Flatt was more interesting and artistic than senior Flatt, and I really feel she had it in her to get that artistry back and do some really cool programs.

judgejudy27
10-24-2012, 04:28 AM
Agreed. What I meant was less about placements and more about performance...junior Flatt was more interesting and artistic than senior Flatt, and I really feel she had it in her to get that artistry back and do some really cool programs.

Come to think of it I agree. She was more artistic and intersting in 2007 and 2008 than 2009 and 2010, even if she was at her technical and competitive peak in 2009 and 2010.

Nomad
10-24-2012, 04:53 AM
Agreed. What I meant was less about placements and more about performance...junior Flatt was more interesting and artistic than senior Flatt, and I really feel she had it in her to get that artistry back and do some really cool programs.

I wish she had left Tom Z after her senior debut. I liked her at 14/15 but then she just seemed to hit a glass ceiling. The potential went unrealized.

pinky166
10-24-2012, 05:01 AM
Come to think of it I agree. She was more artistic and intersting in 2007 and 2008 than 2009 and 2010, even if she was at her technical and competitive peak in 2009 and 2010.

In those earlier years though, she hadn't gone through puberty yet and I don't think she was hampered by injuries as much. So when she was a little 14 year old and the jumps weren't as labored looking and she had some nice spins, like a layback, because her bulging disks hadn't developed yet and she was thinner and younger which usually relates to more flexibility, her artistry was more noticeable and could be focused on more because everything else wasn't standing out as a weak point and likely came easier to her. Even then her jumps were "around" and not big or airy, and she wasn't extraordinarily flexible nor did she have long willowy limbs, but she was up against less, and being so young, I think people could forgive her more for being focused on jumps and not a standout in any other area. I will say I liked her American in Paris and Porgy and Bess programs though.

RockTheTassel
10-24-2012, 05:45 AM
Ok, as I've said for years, I used to uber Rachael. I thought she had so much untapped potential--sadly, she's done nothing to take advantage of it. It's just frustrating to see her continue to get out there when she freely informs anyone that she basically skates an hour and a half a day. When I finish my tough school days and need to do something, I walk around my dining room table. No kidding. Helps me relieve my stress and clear my mind. But you don't see me entering international walking competitions. Rachael's skating is tantamount to my walking at this point.

I'm also not willing to let Mirai off the hook: time to get her mental sh*t together or face the fact that giving in to headcasey-ness and putting skating low on the totem pole doesn't lead to international success.

I do not intend to say that either girl should make skating her top priority and put whatever else aside; that's not how I feel, nor is it my place to feel that way. But they have to realize that elite athleticism is not easy to achieve or maintain, and it requires 100% of your focus and time.

I agree with this completely. I was a huge fan of Rachael from 2007-2010. She wasn't a perfect skater, but I appreciated her spark and tenacity for the sport. When she graduated from high school and deferred college for a year, I was hoping that she would push herself to do something different and interesting since she wasn't bogged down by academic commitments. Sadly, that seemed to be the beginning of the end. Honestly, she should have retired after the Olympics. It would have worked out perfectly - she gets some wonderful accomplishments and memories and can go have a normal college experience. It's just sad to watch her deteriorate like this, and while I respect that it's her decision, it seems ridiculous to spend the time and money and potentially risk her health only to show up to a competition in embarrassing shape. The talk about school is getting obnoxious, too. I've cut her slack in the past because it was mostly the commentators mentioning it, which she doesn't have control over, but now she's using it as her number one excuse. Constantly seeing the Stanford stuff in the Kiss and Cry is annoying too. Other skaters in college don't do that.

As for Mirai, I would not rule her out yet (she did manage to get it together at the last minute before Vancouver), but I'm not holding my breath anymore either. It's unfortunate that the two US ladies who were so stellar at the Olympics spiraled downhill like this. :( But I'm glad skaters like Gao and Wagner are stepping up - it was awesome to see the Skate America podium this weekend. :)