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



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victoriaheidi
10-24-2012, 06:10 AM
ITA about the Stanford thing. Christina certainly didn't whip out Harvard gear, from what I saw! I also go to college with a US skater (someone who's not internationally known, but domestically has had some success), and I've never seen him hype his skating at school or his school in skating situations. I think people barely know that he skates.

But I'm also sick of seeing the excuse that "in order to have a normal college experience, she can't train as much." I hate the idea that there's one definition of what it means to be a college student and have that experience.

Nomad
10-24-2012, 06:32 AM
I think "the normal college experience" is overrated, anyway. But it all depends on the individual. Just because Flatt wants it doesn't mean she's wrong. Just because it didn't mean that much to me, doesn't mean I'm right. However, I do think that if you were an elite-level athlete and your priorities now prevent you from training at that level, then elite competition probably isn't for you anymore.

aftershocks
10-24-2012, 07:37 AM
Right now, I'm more interested in Ashley's, Christina's, and Gracie's skating. As well, looking forward to seeing how Mirai and Alissa will fare in their GP bids (if Alissa is well enough to go to NHK), and also seeing if Caroline will come back strong for Nationals. Happy that the U.S. ladies are looking stronger and more competitive. It's great to see the younger up-and-coming ladies looking good too this season.

Christina Gao did make the right decision to continue skating and it looks like she picked the right coaches. She seems to love Boston and is happy in school, so it's really wonderful to see her skating blooming too. And isn't it great that 2014 Nationals will take place in Boston!

judgejudy27
10-24-2012, 08:03 AM
I think "the normal college experience" is overrated, anyway. But it all depends on the individual. Just because Flatt wants it doesn't mean she's wrong. Just because it didn't mean that much to me, doesn't mean I'm right. However, I do think that if you were an elite-level athlete and your priorities now prevent you from training at that level, then elite competition probably isn't for you anymore.

She may feel even with a full out effort she wouldnt be on top of U.S skating anymore anyway (definitely correctly so IMO), and that it isnt worth sacrificing a "normal college experience" for.

judgejudy27
10-24-2012, 08:04 AM
Right now, I'm more interested in Ashley's, Christina's, and Gracie's skating. As well, looking forward to seeing how Mirai and Alissa will fare in their GP bids (if Alissa is well enough to go to NHK), and also seeing if Caroline will come back strong for Nationals. Happy that the U.S. ladies are looking stronger and more competitive. It's great to see the younger up-and-coming ladies looking good too this season.

Christina Gao did make the right decision to continue skating and it looks like she picked the right coaches. She seems to love Boston and is happy in school, so it's really wonderful to see her skating blooming too. And isn't it great that 2014 Nationals will take place in Boston!

Amazing the U.S women only have 2 spots. I would be shocked if Ashley isnt one of those, but so many strong women fighting for the other spot.

leafygreens
10-24-2012, 03:44 PM
Who is standby for NHK if Alissa can't go?

dawnie
10-24-2012, 05:08 PM
Who is standby for NHK if Alissa can't go?

Mirai?

I don't understand why Alissa even wanted a GP. At this point in her career, you would think it would be better to fully recover then rush out there and risk another injury. Hopefully if she realizes she cannot compete well, she will give up her spot. I would not be shocked if she ends up going to Japan though. Even if she's still not 100% I'm sure she just wants to compete before Nationals. Understandable, but there is no point of competing if you can't compete well. She's also probably well aware that if she drops out, Mirai will most likely get her spot. I can't read Alissa's mind, but if I were in her position I wouldn't want to give a competitor any edge heading to Nationals with only 2 World spots.

Jarrett
10-24-2012, 05:15 PM
Mirai?

I don't understand why Alissa even wanted a GP. At this point in her career, you would think it would be better to fully recover then rush out there and risk another injury. Hopefully if she realizes she cannot compete well, she will give up her spot. I would not be shocked if she ends up going to Japan though. Even if she's still not 100% I'm sure she just wants to compete before Nationals. Understandable, but there is no point of competing if you can't compete well. She's also probably well aware that if she drops out, Mirai will most likely get her spot. I can't read Alissa's mind, but if I were in her position I wouldn't want to give a competitor any edge heading to Nationals with only 2 World spots.

Could I see Alissa doing that? No. Ashley? Sure. lol But I think either would have decent reasons.

b-man
10-24-2012, 06:25 PM
Mirai has much more potential but it has been 6 years and she has lived up to the potential during three skates-the 2010 Olympics and the 2010 worlds short program. The rest of her career aside from her National title has been a disappointment.

Mirai has had more good skates than just the Olympics. You forget her podium skate at 4cc in 2011, with a 189 score right behind Mao.

kwanatic
10-24-2012, 07:33 PM
I agree with those who think Rachael has maxed out her potential. IMO, she has and she has quite a bit to show for it too. She's had a career and achieved accomplishments that the majority of elite skaters never will. Right now it does feel like she's clinging to something that left about two years ago and it's doing more damage than good.

I was okay with her having that spot at SA and, all things considered, she skated very well. The problem is her best or near best skating isn't good enough anymore. I agree with the person who said she's at an elite competition skating like a regional competitor. Her level of skating no longer matches the level of competition she's being assigned to. It's clear her priorities are school life and then skating; a 70/30 split, if not 80/20. School is more important to her and that's fine, though I do find her constant Stanford promoting in the K&C irritating; everyone knows she goes to Stanford, the hat isn't necessary. Yay for school spirit and all but gimme a break... It's obvious Rachael loves her school and that's great, but if her skating mattered to her as much as it should she'd be more concerned with her abysmal scores than putting on a hat. I do think Alena is a bit of a crybaby but her breaking down when she saw her SP score clearly showed that she cares about how she performed and what the judges thought. Rachael? Not so much...that 40-something score didn't seem to faze her.

Point is Rachael's priorities have shifted...and her skating has declined. But I don't think the USFSA needs to do anything about it. A combination of the judges and better skaters will effectively shut her out this season. Let's be honest, no one is getting past Ashley unless she implodes and I don't see that happening. So that leaves Gracie, Agnes, Alissa, Caroline and Mirai, in addition to real new threats like Angela Wang, Hannah Miller and Leah Keiser. Given Rachael's current level of skating, I think finishing top 10 will be an accomplishment this year.


As far as Mirai goes I think the reason people aren't pointing her to the door is because she can be much better than she's been in the past and she's shown evidence that she wants to be better. Rachael basically hit the peak of her potential in 2009 and 2010 so there was nowhere else she could go. Mirai came pretty close in 2010 but given her natural ability and talent, she can still be as good as if not even better than she was then.

As much as I love Frank, past that first year, I don't feel like he and Mirai were the great fit I expected them to be. Mirai made the changes over the summer and so far she's doing better this season. Her 163.09 from Finlandia would have been 4th place behind Adelina's 168.96 at SA. She's still a top 5 skater... And even at her worst Mirai is still better than Rachael. Rachael gave a very strong performance at nationals last year whereas Mirai basically tanked. Rachael beat Mirai by just over 1 point; Rachael's near best is only about a point better than Mirai's worst.

Plus Mirai's PCS haven't suffered the way Rachael's have and her jump content combined with the +GOEs her amazing spins and spirals receive give her a competitive TES as well. She's still very much a threat... But then again her issue has never been lack of ability; it's been a lack of focus and/or drive. Last year her heart didn't seem to be into it. This year she's shown evidence she's trying to be better and I respect that. For that reason, I don't think you can group her in the category with Rachael, who has all but checked out at this point.

olympic
10-24-2012, 07:55 PM
Does anyone think that Ashley's performances lately might provide a psychological boost to the other US ladies? Provide some sort of inspiration that they can go out , attack and perhaps win?

Sylvia
10-24-2012, 08:01 PM
USA Today article about Gracie Gold's upcoming GP debut at Skate Canada that also mentions her twin, Carly, recently won the Senior ladies' silver medal at UGL Regionals: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2012/10/24/gracie-gold-skate-canada-debut/1654479/
(ETA that I've also cross-posted this link in a new thread in Great Skate Debate.)

RD
10-24-2012, 08:07 PM
Point is Rachael's priorities have shifted...and her skating has declined. But I don't think the USFSA needs to do anything about it. A combination of the judges and better skaters will effectively shut her out this season. Let's be honest, no one is getting past Ashley unless she implodes and I don't see that happening.

Don't....jinx...it!!

The skategods missed that comment, thank goodness! ;)

As for Flatt vs. Nagasu, I thought they were roughly at the same level for the past couple of years, but recently the two have taken notably different paths in regards to their skating. Right now I think it is Nagasu that's showing more short-term promise. Flatt is clearly beat-up physically and even if skating WERE her priority, I think she'd be in decline anyway.

RD
10-24-2012, 08:15 PM
Does anyone think that Ashley's performances lately might provide a psychological boost to the other US ladies? Provide some sort of inspiration that they can go out , attack and perhaps win?

I don't know about on a psychological level, but I sure hope it pushes them. The past few years have been a complete wash- if the other ladies have someone clearly on top (like Kwan was in the early 2000s) maybe it will help raise the level of US skating once again. It's not like the others CAN'T compete with Wagner at their best. They just need to try harder, that's all.

PDilemma
10-24-2012, 08:26 PM
School is more important to her and that's fine, though I do find her constant Stanford promoting in the K&C irritating; everyone knows she goes to Stanford, the hat isn't necessary. Yay for school spirit and all but gimme a break... It's obvious Rachael loves her school and that's great, but if her skating mattered to her as much as it should she'd be more concerned with her abysmal scores than putting on a hat.

Gao didn't have Harvard gear. I assume Rachael thinks that is cute or endearing somehow. It isn't. I get the sense, though, that Stanford is the first place she has had a chance to be fully a part of anything outside of skating. Not unusual at all in the circumstances of growing up as an elite athlete.