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



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pinky166
11-12-2012, 12:25 AM
What are the chances of Barbie Long getting sent to Junior World's this season? Sounds like it's hers to lose?

I think if she wins Jr. Ladies she will get sent, otherwise probably not. Polina Edmunds also has 3lz-3t and is probably her main competition for the title, with Mariah Bell, Karen Chen, and Selena Zhao as potential spoilers. A lot of senior ladies are eligible this season and have had success on the JGP, so good showings for them could relegate to spots on the JW team. Wang, Keiser, Miller, and Cesario are the obvious names but even skaters like Jiang, Siraj, Cain, Hicks, Baga and Lam would likely be considered if they place well and above the ladies I mentioned in the first group. And then should Gracie wind up say 5th or 6th and not make the World or 4CC teams, she'd probably be given JW. So I wonder if the team might not be all girls competing as seniors at Nationals this year. It may come down to scores. Usually, the junior champ goes to JW though, along with 2 age-eligible senior ladies who didn't make senior Worlds and/or 4CC. It will be interesting to see, lots of competition for even the JW team this season. Funny how for the men there is really not much competition as so few seniors are eligible and most of the current juniors aren't that strong or, in the case of Vincent Zhou, are too young.

victoriaheidi
11-12-2012, 12:30 AM
Well, let's see. Who are the contenders?
Baga, Cain, Cesario, Edmunds, Hicks, Jiang, Keiser, Lam, Long, Miller, Siraj, Wang

Persoanlly, I think the team might be Keiser, Long and Miller. Or Keiser, Wang and Miller. Three of those four, IMHO. Making Long a contender.

ETA: forgot Bell, Chen and Zhao, but pinky pointed them out and they really are contenders.

smarts1
11-12-2012, 01:20 AM
^ Can Polina go to JW considering she's hasn't competed on a JGP? I thought they also need a minimum score to go (or is that just for seniors) and I thought they also need to have competed at least once on the JGP?

And I'm not sure Long is exactly a contender for a JW spot. Sure she did win a JGP medal this season, but her score was far below what some of her other fellow American junior ladies scored at their respective events.

pinky166
11-12-2012, 02:40 AM
^ Can Polina go to JW considering she's hasn't competed on a JGP? I thought they also need a minimum score to go (or is that just for seniors) and I thought they also need to have competed at least once on the JGP?

And I'm not sure Long is exactly a contender for a JW spot. Sure she did win a JGP medal this season, but her score was far below what some of her other fellow American junior ladies scored at their respective events.

Edmunds could compete at a B competition before JW if USFS wanted to send her, and if she were to repeat her BO performance and score 170+ again, I think USFS would want her on the JW team. But unless she wins, she probably won't get sent, and even if she were to win, if the score wasn't very impressive, they might send a senior lady who has already competed on the JGP instead.

krenseby
11-12-2012, 02:50 AM
I'm not trying to start anything; I really do think that her lack of fitness is impeding her performance. I remember that she looked somewhat similar early last season and the skating also looked laboured; flash forward to Nationals and she was suddenly slimmer and fitter and performed a thousand times better, too. The jumps had more amplitude, she skated with more speed and freedom; everything just seemed so improved.

I'm not normally body conscious when watching anyone on television, so for me to notice that Caroline appears to be out of shape for an elite athlete...well, I really do think that she must be.

I agree with you. It's safe to assume that she will never receive a decent score at an international or national competition unless her physical conditioning improves. (And even then she has to perform with some verve.) Now, I think, getting into shape is really tough for skaters. It's not a fun position to be in. I am sure she and her coaches are thinking:"Wow there's so much work to do in order to get a decent score." Much easier to just hang up the skates. (When the body won't cooperate, the going gets tough, and the PCS scores sink to a new low, maybe a break is in order. I think Rachael Flatt decided that her body needed a break and it may not have been a bad decision after all.)

pinky166
11-12-2012, 03:14 AM
I agree with you. It's safe to assume that she will never receive a decent score at an international or national competition unless her physical conditioning improves. (And even then she has to perform with some verve.) Now, I think, getting into shape is really tough for skaters. It's not a fun position to be in. I am sure she and her coaches are thinking:"Wow there's so much work to do in order to get a decent score." Much easier to just hang up the skates. (When the body won't cooperate, the going gets tough, and the PCS scores sink to a new low, maybe a break is in order. I think Rachael Flatt decided that her body needed a break and it may not have been a bad decision after all.)

I think it's just a hard position to be in, knowing you need to skate clean and be in fighting shape to have a chance to win medals or even just in the middle of the pack at international events like this. Because that simply isn't the case for other skaters, who for whatever reason have body types more naturally suited to the sport, huge jumps that come easily, great spinning ability, reputation helping their PCS, or just more talent all-around so that they can make mistakes and still win medals and earn big marks. It must be frustrating. Obviously, getting to this level in a sport is not easy, and the competition is obviously stiff, but if she's in pain (which it appears she is) and isn't particularly happy (ditto) and has other options available to her that she might enjoy or excell in more (like college), then retiring might not be a bad idea. Like Rachael Flatt in recent years, Zhang seems to have a lot of things working against her, and her changes in technique and coaching may have just been too little, too late, or perhaps people got overly excited when she skated so well at 2012 Nats and 4CC. But in the grand scheme of things, that's 2 good competitions she's had in really a few years if we're being honest. Nice to see it happen, but idk if that's what we can expect from her right now.

Marco
11-12-2012, 03:46 AM
Gold did let loose a little in Russia which was nice. There's still a lot of work to be done though.

Both Gold and Zawadzki got their first GP medal here. They look to be quite neck and neck heading into Nationals. Much will depend on how Zawadzki does on her second GP event...

RD
11-12-2012, 06:33 AM
I think it's just a hard position to be in, knowing you need to skate clean and be in fighting shape to have a chance to win medals or even just in the middle of the pack at international events like this. Because that simply isn't the case for other skaters, who for whatever reason have body types more naturally suited to the sport, huge jumps that come easily, great spinning ability, reputation helping their PCS, or just more talent all-around so that they can make mistakes and still win medals and earn big marks. It must be frustrating. Obviously, getting to this level in a sport is not easy, and the competition is obviously stiff, but if she's in pain (which it appears she is) and isn't particularly happy (ditto) and has other options available to her that she might enjoy or excell in more (like college), then retiring might not be a bad idea. Like Rachael Flatt in recent years, Zhang seems to have a lot of things working against her, and her changes in technique and coaching may have just been too little, too late, or perhaps people got overly excited when she skated so well at 2012 Nats and 4CC. But in the grand scheme of things, that's 2 good competitions she's had in really a few years if we're being honest. Nice to see it happen, but idk if that's what we can expect from her right now.

hmm, what's with the obsession about body types...?

Anyway, I'm willing to wait and see if Zhang improves toward the end of the season like she did last year, but nevertheless I think she has some serious issues that aren't going to go away in just a couple of months. It might be injury- she looked a bit uncomfortable in her FS- but we don't really know.

Marco
11-12-2012, 07:26 AM
hmm, what's with the obsession about body types...?


Well, Zhang and Nagasu have wider bodies that slow down rotations, hence the smaller jumps and higher probability of UR on the jumps. Skaters with naturally slimmer builds don't have that problem (Kostner).

triple_toe
11-12-2012, 09:25 AM
:wall: Err, once again, I think Caroline and Mirai's jump problems are more about poor technique than body type. When they were tiny twiglets they underrotated. Body type is a factor but not the defining factor. It works with you or against you, but doesn't determine if you can do a jump or not. You can be as thin as a q-tip, if you have crap technique you won't be able to do your jumps. You can also be "skater-fat" and still do triple jumps easily if you have proper technique. Honestly, it's astonishing to me that Caroline was ever able to do triple jumps at all, I've never seen such atrocious technique.

AndyWarhol
11-12-2012, 11:22 AM
Caroline does obviously have a very curvy hour glass shaped body though, which IS harder to keep in shape than someone with a ruler type body. She is in no way big, and probably looks fantastic in civilian clothes (jeans/dresses etc). Better than the q-tip girls.

Skaters wear skimpy lycra outfits, and the majority of people that watch skating are women and gay men. Of course there is going to be discussion over body type/shape/weight.

VarBar
11-12-2012, 01:19 PM
I'm not sure about that. Gracie has more speed and when she's smoothed out her skating i think she will be much better then Agnes.

Maybe it's just me liking Zawadski's edges better than Gold's, at least for now. Yes, I agree with you that Gracie skates faster than Agnes.

demetriosj
11-12-2012, 01:21 PM
Maybe it's just me liking Zawadski's edges better than Gold's, at least for now. Yes, I agree with you that Gracie skates faster than Agnes.

I appreciate a skater with deep edges and quickness. Skating fast does not necessarily mean you have quickness to your skating.

VarBar
11-12-2012, 02:13 PM
I appreciate a skater with deep edges and quickness. Skating fast does not necessarily mean you have quickness to your skating.

So do I and I do think Agnes' edges are deeper than Gracie's. Alissa has gorgeous edging too. Ashely not so much although she seems to be quicker on the ice than Alissa. But I am no expert, I've never seen any of these ladies skate live and videos can be deceiving.

pinky166
11-12-2012, 04:05 PM
Caroline does obviously have a very curvy hour glass shaped body though, which IS harder to keep in shape than someone with a ruler type body. She is in no way big, and probably looks fantastic in civilian clothes (jeans/dresses etc). Better than the q-tip girls.

Skaters wear skimpy lycra outfits, and the majority of people that watch skating are women and gay men. Of course there is going to be discussion over body type/shape/weight.

Exactly. The reality is that it's hard to women to do triple jumps period, regardless of body type. Caroline's body type is not doing her any favors, if she had better technique and SPEED her jumps would probably work better, but she doesn't, so it's not surprising she is struggling. Of course there are skinny minnies who UR their jumps, or can't do triples at all, but when you're looking at a skater who has gotten to this level and been capable of doing triples for several years, and is now struggling, you have to look at what's changed or not changed between now and then to get an idea of what the issue is. Caroline's body has changed hugely since her junior days, unfortunately, she hasn't gained speed with these body changes, so combined with her questionable technique, it's a lot harder to pull those jumps off now that she's not 80 pounds anymore.

Anyways, growing up as a gymnast, I do believe natural body build does play a pretty big factor in these kinds of sports. I always had the right build for gymnastics and it definitely was an advantage, I could usually pull off the tricks even if I wasn't training the hardest or eating and conditioning as well as I should have been. Anyone who thinks natural ability and body types don't play a big factor in sports performance is kind of avoiding the obvious IMO. Marathon runners, ballerinas, gymnasts, basketball players, the list goes on...haven't you noticed that among the top there tends to be a typical "look" associated with each? I know hard work makes a big difference but quite frankly you wouldn't get to this level of skating without hard work so obviously the fact that some skaters do better than others comes down to other factors...