Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Iceman, Mar 27, 2011.
Rachel's nerves may not have helped us, per se....but Mirai's nerves definitely hurt us.
That was my thought when reading this article as well. But whomever it was directed at, it is still rather a rude comment.
I'm glad Rachael has made some changes to the long program; hopefully it will work out for her. I don't know why, but I have recently grown very optimistic that she and Alyssa can regain 3 spots for U.S. Ladies this year.
IMO, Rachael peaked at the Olympics and looked tired by the time of 2010 Worlds. Mirai skated well at the Olympics, had the impressive 1st place SP at 2010 Worlds and then faltered in her FS (so it turns out that she lost her own spot to 2011 Worlds).
Rachael has been dealing with injuries this season, and while she hasn't been credited with any 3-3 attempts in competition (I haven't checked all her protocols), she HAS been attempting/landing them in practices/warmups and also added the new 2A+3Lo combo at Four Continents.
Like peibeck, I'm feeling optimistic about Rachael's and Alissa's chances in Moscow.
IMO...the odd quotes come from Flatt's coach, Zakrajsek, not Flatt. She kind of just states what would be obvious.... that she has been working hard (getting ready for Worlds) , making changes to the LP. It is Zakrajsek who has, for lack of a better way of describing it..."unfiltered" quotes. Not sure he really thinks about what he says.
Flatt mentioned on her FB page that she had gone back to Canada to rework the LP after 4C....which the article mentions as well. Can't imagine trying to train two new programs before Worlds. Maybe she keeps the EOE for next season and finds a great piece of music for next season when she starts college. Hmmmmm....new direction in music with a new coach. Perhaps a breath of fresh air for Flatt.
I wish Flatt well at worlds. I hope she has the skate of her life.
Maybe not but more was expected of Mirai then Rachael after the Olympics and with her being in first place a good skate would have given back those 3 spots. Instead she skated scared and collapsed and couldn't even hang on for a top 4 finish.
Finally, some optimism re US ladies at Worlds. According to some posts I've read in other threads, both Alissa and Rachael will finish behind Leonova, because judges supposedly hate Rachael and will dump her in PCS, and Alissa is going to splat.
Ugh Leonova. That's all i have to say about that.
Unfortunately, I was not feeling the same optimism about the US ladies, particularly due to how the international judges were marking Flatt. After 4CC, I was surprised that her SP scored so high (FS is another story, though- she needs to make changes and put in the 3-3 to compete). Czisny is beginning to stabilize a bit IMO, and her "off" day at 4CC was not a meltdown as I mentioned earlier. Still, though, she remains unproven and stuck with the "inconsistent" label at least until she shows she can stay strong through next season (if she chooses to stick around).
Honestly, I was optimistic that we'd have 3 spots for 2011 due to Nagasu's great finish at the Olys and look how that turned out. So I'm not too sure here. Czisny will still have me nervous every second she's on the ice in Moscow.
I'm curious as well about the reference for Tom Z's "watered down program" and not being on the world team quote. The paragraph begins with sentences about Lysacek and Weir so it suggests that the person is a male skater. A good journalist often provides hints to things she can't say so those in the know can read between the lines. Not saying she's a good journalist, but that's a tactic used. Now the phrase "watered down program" for me means taking out intricate choreography but I think for Tom Z it means taking out harder jumps. Jeremy hasn't attempted a quad until 4CC but Mirai hasn't attempted a 3-3 which she did attempt last year. I would think that Tom Z has more concerns about Mirai as it relates to Rachel and this article was about Rachel. So that makes me think he meant Mirai, not Jeremy. Then again, his student, Ryan Bradley, made the world team in part by not watering down (in Tom Z's definition) his programs.
Love your post. A skater part Rachael and part Mirai, wouldn't that be a great skater. The only skater that coms close that I've seen skate is Courtney Hicks. Although, I don't think she is quite as talented as Mirai, but she has time to polish her skating. But she seems to be a good competitor. We will see once she hits the senior GP.
I just want to see someone who is not afraid to compete. Is there anyone who wants to be Worlds Champion.
Right, I say unproven until they're at the Senior level and have dealt with the big-time pressure.
Maybe Christina Gao or Agnes Zawadzki. I know neither is as tough a competitor as Rachael yet, but they aren't headcases either, and in terms of jumps, they are very talented, probably even more talented Mirai in that area. Agnes is a good spinner too, Christina not as much, but she's really improved rapidly over the past few seasons and if that trend continues, watch out. Both girls also seemed to have taken puberty in stride, which is promising, and at this point the growing pains are probably behind them. They also seemed very determined and driven which obviously helps.
Yasmin Siraj and Vanessa Lam have potential too, but where they are so tiny still it may be too soon to tell. The same goes for Courtney Hicks.
Zawadzki certainly struggled in the FS this season...
In discussing US ladies, it will be also important to know when or if Flatt and Czisny will retire before Sochi '14. From the articles posted about both here and in the most recent Czisny thread, it sounds like Czisny is most likely to retire once she hits good programs at Worlds. It also sounds like Flatt will most likely stick around to Sochi, but will scale back competitions while at Stanford, ie - not competing on the GP circuit.
Let's also not forget Wagner, who is already planning programs for next season.
So you are the US?
Yeah, I give both girls a total pass for last year's Worlds. I mean, I was bummed for sure (would have been great to see Mirai on the World podium and the US get three spots for 2011 Worlds), but everyone was training and aiming to peak at the Olympics; they must have been sooo exhausted (and maybe even a little injured) by the time Worlds rolled around.
Not particular a TZ fan, but I really dislike fragmented quotes like this. It's only too easy for the writer to fill in the blanks in unintended ways and take the quotes out of context, make them more controversial than they are.
But she delivered when it counted - at nationals and Junior Worlds. And last season she was really consistent.
I'm hoping too that Courtney is the real deal. She seems to be a good competitor and doesn't seem to meltdown but next season when great things are expected of her we will see. But she has talent to go along with being a good competitor and i like how she attacks the ice.
Whole different ballgame now. She's competing with the best in the world. More is expected of her (given her talent). More people are paying attention to her. Slate's wiped clean IMO. She's got to prove herself AS A SENIOR.
At least, as you mentioned, she went on an upward trajectory as the season progressed. We'll see next year where she ends up.
Zawadzki was "really consistent" as a junior in 2009-10 (Nationals and her Jr. Worlds FS) and that's what Hicks will be aiming for when she competes as a junior internationally on the JGP, I assume, next season. The true test will come at Nationals (senior) and senior internationals, which Zawadzki experienced this season, learned from, and will build on for the future. There's no need to rush Hicks or place prematurely high expectations on her just yet, IMO.
High expectations almost always the kiss of death. (Meissner, Zhang anyone?)
Zhang is obviously a prime example for your point, but Meissner? National and World Champ? Olympian? Clearly, she was indeed kissed with death.
Meissner was a world champ and us champ
Rachael was the US Champ. The point is, both girls bombed, but for some reason Mirai gets blamed and Rachael doesn't and we still think of her as "the rock" even though she was the lowest finisher.
I think the OP's point was that Meissner could have been an Olympic champ or one of the more decorated stars of the sport had she not been expected to do too much, too soon. Plus, she was only 16 when she went from being a dark horse to a champion, and I think that's a lot for a 16-year-old.
My point is what happened AFTER that.
Winning that world championship vaulted her from extreme underdog to the next leader in US skating, particularly as Kwan and Cohen bowed out. She was seen as the one who would lead us into 2010. She did ok in 2006-07, barely eeking out the 2007 US title over Hughes, but it got to her after that. By 2008 the current crop of American skaters emerged, and then it was literally Kimmie who?
With Zhang, it was the exact opposite- being hyped as the Next Big Thing before she could truly prove herself. While she did have respectable results in her first 2 years as a senior, she was expected to become a contender, and potential Olympian. Major problem, of course, was her technique. Then she completely unraveled under the Olympic season pressure. Again failed to live up to expectations
But that's the problem. One reason why RF doesn't improve is that she and her coach think she IS that skater.
Or puberty and bad jump technique was the kiss of death for Meissner and Zhang? I'm sure those were bigger issues than expectations...
I think it was REALLY different in both cases:
Zhang's big expectations came when she was about as tall as a yardstick and equally as wide-she was really tiny and had some impressive moves for a kid her age/size. But her technique wasn't there. As for pressure, notice that her downfall happened while she was trying to qualify to the Olympics. I think she's definitely received some pressure last year (and probably this year, too, and Tammy Gambill probably received more of the blame for Caroline's GP outings than anyone).
Meissner was more of an expectations and injuries situation: had she not won the World title, I think she would have lasted longer because her other commitments would have been relatively nonexistent (ie shows and other things World Champs do).
It's not really a fair comparison.