Take it to the Max (All About Aaron)

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Sylvia, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

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    I am puzzled about why Aaron compares himself with Abbott and Savoie, rather than the more high-profile US men Evan Lysaeck and Johnny Weir. Besides, who wants to be Savoie (especially if you are a student of Mr. Zakrasjek) who never got the respect he deserved with judges foreign or domestic? He never won US Championship and never got near the podium at Worlds. If Matt hears how he is remembered by current skaters and "officials", I bet he'd laugh.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  2. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    This caught my eye:
    I bet that's news to Jeff Buttle. ;)


    Back to Max, I hope the changes pay off and he has a great skate with great scores at Worlds.
  3. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Another pre-Worlds article: http://www.teamusa.org/Road-to-Sochi-2014/Features/2013/March/07/Max-Aaron-All-In-For-Sochi.aspx
    The journalist probably meant Senior Grand Prix because Aaron had competed in 3 Senior B events (5th at 2011 Nebelhorn, 1st at 2012 Salt Lake City and 2nd at 2012 Cup of Nice) prior to 2013 Nationals.

    Excerpt from the end of the article:
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  4. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    All power to him, just as long as it doesn't appear forced and he doesn't appear constipated doing it ...
  5. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I think he compares himself to those two, because he is saying he does not have their artistry. Abbott and Savoie are the pinnacle of artistry in US skating. Lysacek is not an artistic skater. Weir was at one point, but now a comparison to him may lose that connotation- rather, Weir is known for his antics.
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  6. Cloudy_Gumdrops

    Cloudy_Gumdrops New Member

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    That's a matter of opinion. One which I don't personally agree with.
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  7. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    The word artistry has many different meanings. Abbott and Savoie had a similar style and preferred type of music - very lyrical, balletic, etc. Lysacek is not a lyrical skater, but I would not say his presentation/components were lacking, he just had a different style - dramatic, epic-type music. I always thought his programs were well-choreographed and did a good job of showing off his style and expression. What bothers me about Max's skating/programs, in addition to the backloading, is that it's all about the technical elements, with very little in-between. I don't mind that his style is different from Abbott, Savoie, or Lysacek, or that it's 'European', but his choreo/presentation isn't at the same level as those three when they were nat'l champs or World team members.
  8. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    But Max kicks all three from here to next week on the technical mark.

    I always have a laugh when people say with their noses in the air, it's not all about jumps. It's not, but it's not all about the presentation and artistry either as some people would have you believe.

    Max is doing just fine. I personally thought his Tron program was very well-choreographed. It showed off his personality and was a lot of fun. He's never going to be the tortured artist, but he smiles and enjoys himself on the ice, which IMO is FAR better than seeing a skater look like they're having a knife twisted in their chest.
  9. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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  10. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Savoie was a few years ahead of his time - a COP skater trapped in 6.0 era. Now that interesting choreo and in-betweens mean something, I think he may be a little more appreciated by the skating community in hindsight.
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  11. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    The Hersh article is blocked outside the US, so I could only read the IN interview.

    I think it's kind of sad that Aaron was made to feel as though his own style is something to be ashamed of. He's still developing his abilities as a performer, but why would anyone want to try and turn him into a mediocre version of another skater, rather than the best skater he can be? And what's wrong with a European style, whatever that is? Are those digs at Joubert really necessary? I don't believe that most of the supposedly superior skaters have a better record than Joubert's.

    This approach is so limiting, as though there is only a narrow range of acceptable artistic expression. I love that Aaron skates to Tron rather than try to be artsy or classical. There are so many options, why limit yourself?
  12. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Which male singles skater(s) would you consider to be the pinnacle of artistry in U.S. skating, Cloudy_Gumdrops, if not those two?
  13. Cloudy_Gumdrops

    Cloudy_Gumdrops New Member

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    I don't consider any skaters the pinnacle of artistry. What one finds artistic is subjective and everyone has their own interpretation of who might be the most artistic. I guess the reason I even responded was because Skittl1321's statement was written as if it was a universal fact or something. I like both Savoie and Abbott, but I've always been more okay with them then really wowed by them. Abbott has his moments, but those are few and far between. I always saw Savoie as pleasant, just pleasant.

    But to answer your question, I'd go with Ryan Jahnke, Paul Wylie, and I always enjoyed Weiss (yeah yeah, cue the haters :p). Weir had the goods early on, but then he decided to go all wannabe Russian and instead of tending towards voidy, skipped strait to WTF? land.
  14. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I agree (well, not about Weiss ;)) - I don't think artistry should be defined so narrowly as some have suggested. And, although it is FSU heresy, I didn't find Savoie all that memorable, but I thought some of Johnny Weir's earlier programs were lovely. So there.

    Also, Jonathan Cassar. But I can't think of a skater who would be less appropriate as a model for Aaron - they are nothing alike and each brings/brought a different set of strengths and weaknesses to the ice. As it should be. What, did Daisuke Takahashi and Stephane Lambiel run around trying to see who they could skate like? No, they developed their own style. As did Joubert - and for that matter, Abbott himself has been known to experiment. Aaron should focus on developing his own style, and while it's a great idea to seek other sources of inspiration, they don't all have to be fellow American men's skaters.
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why anyone would consider something I say to be absolute fact. Clearly, I can only speak for myself. It is pointless to proceed everything on a messsage board with IMO because of course everything I say is in my opinion not someone else's.

    I happen to think Ryan Bradley is also very artistic, though not balletic. I really don't think Lysacek is artistic, though he has excellent skating skills and makes good use of components. But PCS is not an artistry mark.

    I also don't think there were digs at Joubert in the article. Just saying it was bad to have European style when he was being scored by American judges. Not that European style is a bad thing.
  16. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I don't think there's any such thing as a strictly "European style" vs styles from other regions. It's just labels which change from era to era as I already mentioned in an earlier post in this thread (e.g. U.S. and North American skaters were considered to have an athletic style during the time of Dick Button). Conversely, the U.S. skater from an even earlier era, Jackson Haines (the father of figure skating), was appreciated for his lyrical, balletic style when he toured Europe -- he was adopted by Austria. And Haines is also responsible for adding music and arm movements to figure skating.

    In today's global world, skaters have varying styles no matter where they are from. Sure there is something about a movement quality that is seemingly passed down in some countries such as Russia due to their strong ballet tradition. And I think German pairs skaters traditionally have a unique innovative movement quality. French skaters tend to have an original quirky style (thinking of Hubert, Tobel, Gusmeroli, Candeloro). North American pairs skaters have been considered to have a more athletic rather than a balletic style.

    Regardless of Russia's strong ballet tradition, two of their greatest singles stars, Plushenko and Slutskaya, do not make me think of lyrical ballet tradition at all. Plushenko's emphasis has always been on the jumps and the ballet tradition he and his coach seemed to take for granted and not really work on developing too much in his skating, IMHO. And perhaps the emergence and dominance of Plush is where any current notion of "European style" not being lyrical came from. Yagudin was also a great jumper under Mishin, and then Yags sought to distinguish himself from Plush and to develop his artistic muscles under TAT. However, Yags' greatest strengths were still his huge jumps and his fierce determination. Brian Joubert patterned his skating after Yagudin and thereby also emphasized jumps. I don't think Brian has a great deal of stretch and flexibility in his skating so that is where he gets a bad rap. However, Brian does have great charisma and he has skated a number of lovely artistic performances, many in exhibition, as he has grown as a skater over the years. Stephane Lambiel is the quintessential creative and artistic skater, and he's from Switzerland, so what's this fetish about "European style" not being artistic?

    IMO, Abbott and Savoie both have their own unique styles and shouldn't be lumped together. Ryan Jahnke is another great American skater with a unique style artistically. Johnny Weir had it all: gorgeous artistry, amazing jumps, technical consistency, beautiful posture, smooth moves, incredible ride out on jump landings, musicality, but he seems to be known more for his edgy costumes, his competition nerves, his catchy quotes, his poor career choices, his rebellious stance and his not being favored politically which all contributed to his not having greater success. Jason Brown is probably the best musical and artistic skater in the men's field (senior and junior, IMO). And Jason has great jumps too! The fact it took Jason a slight bit longer than some current guys to land the 3-axel should not detract from the fact that he's an absolutely great skater, far more artistically mature IMO than Yuzuru Hanyu!

    Ryan Bradley was absolutely gorgeous as a 16-year-old skater. He had such lyrical potential with his long legs and elegant qualities. However, Ryan B stuck with Tom Z and ended up getting stuck between a rock and a skate blade in terms of not developing artistically. Perhaps Max Aaron who doesn't have the long legs or the latent elegance of Ryan B can avoid getting stuck artistically under Tom Z, but still retain him as a coach. At least Max seems to be more aware of the importance of changing the notion that he can't be a complete skater. Max doesn't need to or have to skate like Abbott or Savoie or anyone else. I think Max has a fierce determination and an enthusiasm all his own. He just needs to commit to continue exploring and developing his own unique qualities and to finding the right music and choreography and putting it all out there on the ice. Right now, in this sport, having the quads is essential. Max has the jumps, and the artistry is inside him. He shouldn't give up on tapping into that part of himself and having the courage to bring it out.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  17. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    If being compared to Joubert is such a bad thing that it breaks someone's heart, that's a dig. And characterizing skaters as being about jumps/athleticism only, as though they care for nothing else, well, how can that be interpreted in a positive way? Audiences don't respond to a skater's performance if it's just jumps.

    If Aaron ends up being half as accomplished as Joubert in his career, and becomes a similarly charismatic performer, he can count himself as fortunate.
  18. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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    Then it seems there's already a lot more to Aaron's skating than just jumps because he got standing ovation at US Nationals for his free skate performance.:)
  19. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I never suggested Aaron is all about the jumps; my argument was:
    1. That it is a pity if he was made to feel as though he was just a jumper with little else to offer - and that the comparison to other skaters who were supposedly just jumpers was inappropriate, and
    2. There is room for Aaron to grow as a performer, and I hope he does so by finding his own style rather than trying to imitate others.
  20. rayhaneh

    rayhaneh New Member

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    I'm with aftershocks here: that whole "European style" thing when I read the article at Ice Network made me roll my eyes so much they hurt now :rolleyes: (and the idea that Joubert, of all people, is representative of a European Style of skating is pretty hilarious considering he isn't even representative of the style of skating of his own country.....)

    Also this will likely sound deliciously ironic to Matt Savoie if he ever hear about this :lol: And, are THAT MANY skaters in the US skating in the style of Abbott/ Savoie (if such a thing exist)? Really? Because based on what I saw at US Nats, it certainly didn't look like it :shuffle: (which isn't necessarily a bad thing btw, I actually enjoyed Jonathan Cassar and Alexander Johnson a lot more than I did Abbott this time)

    That being said, I am really sorry for Max because who in their right mind would take a dig at a NOVICE skater for their artistry (or perceived lack thereof) when they still have so much time to develop and will likely go through many changes in their career (if they stay in skating, of course)? Good on him for sticking with it and not let that kind of talk drive him away, and sorry it apparently almost happened.

    And also good on him for wanting to improve as far as presentation/ interpretation go. I think he's got his work cut out for himself, but I hope he will find his own way, his own blend of of musical interpretation. He's still got time and he seems to hear the music ok, so that should definitely work in his favor. As other said above, each skater should develop their own style, although there's nothing wrong about taking a leaf out of the more artistically-oriented athletes out there, to understand how they work and for inspiration, but then one should experiment what works best for themselves. Not everbody can be Alexei Urmanov (in terms of balletic presentation), or Stephane Lambiel, and that's just as well - a field with 10 Lambiels would only be marginally less boring than a field with 10 Aarons (and that's only because I love Lambiel's skating)
  21. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Agreeing especially with the bolded. That's just plain nasty. We're talking kids who are 14, 15. They can't possibly be expected to be full-blown artists.

    We have enough problems keeping boys and men in the sport without people having cracks at teenagers because they don't meet their snob-nosed definition of artistry!

    IMO - personality is more important than "aristry".
  22. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    The best advice!

    I am the first to admit that I ride Tom Z on this board, but the Tom Z team does know how to CoP whore, and he offers training at altitude which goes a long way in conditioning. However, they don't have a great history of packaging their skaters which hits the PCS, and they ignore all the flourishes and non-jump elements that can make a skater stand out. Max is watchable and I think based on the IN article, he understands his limitations and he's using it the right way. By using music from 'Tron' and 'WSS', maybe Team Max knows how to package a skater and as long as Max understand his limitations, he can actively collaborate with Tom Z (if that is where he stays) and come up w/ decent programs.
  23. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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  24. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I don't ever remember so many articles for a figure skater to emphasize the religion of the skater. His faith community has really jumped on his bandwagon. It is nice to see the press.
  25. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    People of our stock aren't plentiful in the elite athlete ranks, so the Jewish press gets very excited when one comes along. ;)

    If Max makes the Oly team, I'm sure he will be on the cover of every Jewish publication in both the U.S. and Israel, just like Sasha Cohen was in 02 and 06. :)
  26. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Sasha Cohen was certainly not on the cover of every publication in Israel, actually I don't recall her being on the cover of any publication. C/S's bronze at 2002 Worlds got some attention, and I've seen a few articles about the Zaretskis, but that's about it. Though there was a video on Youtube of her supposedly skating to a song in Hebrew, I forget which; in reality someone just used one of her Nationals performances and changed the music :p I figure if Aaron visits Israel or does really well next season, there might be an article or two.

    Maybe if the Maccabiah had winter sports. I hear Aly Raisman will compete here this summer.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  27. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    Several of my Israeli colleagues emailed me about Max over the weekend as I am the only person who has ever said the words "figure skating" in their hearing. ;)

    They were very happy about his success, so they must have seen or heard about it somewhere.
  28. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    OK, I stand corrected. :) I do remember articles in Israeli pubs on her leading up to the Olys, with large photos, so I assumed they must have been at or close to the front of the pub. But hard to tell online. Most Jewish pubs in the U.S. had her on the cover - thinking of the weekly papers - as part of the JTA Olympic preview. There were some other Jewish athletes profiled, but as a ladies singles skater from the U.S., Sasha was the most prominently featured.
  29. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, she did get more press here than most figure skaters - but since skating isn't something most Israelis are familiar with, it just doesn't get much coverage, and what little there isn't always of the highest quality. And I don't think this will change until we have a high profile local skater break through.
  30. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Re-posting these comments from another thread:
    It's not true. :)
    From this article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130304&content_id=42248594&vkey=ice_news
    "Aaron's first ice sport was hockey, which he played from the age of 3 until almost 17, when he broke his back. At that point, he decided to focus exclusively on figure skating, which he had started at 9."

    Yes, Aaron was 13 when he won his Intermediate bronze medal that season (Miner won the gold and was 14).

    From his Team USA bio on IN: http://web.icenetwork.com/skaters/detail.jsp?id=101022
    "Suffered a fractured back four years ago and was off the ice for a year."
    This sentence isn't exactly true since he didn't miss a competition season. His back injury occurred after 2008 Nationals (placed 13th in Junior) and he spent four months in a body cast. He next competed at 2009 Midwestern Sectionals in November 2008 (8th in Junior).

    ETA 2 photos:

    Here he is wearing that new suit (birthday gift) that his parents helped purchase for Worlds: http://instagram.com/p/XFc0hJI2A5/

    Aaron was recently honored by the mayor of Colorado Springs with a "Spirit of the Springs" award: http://instagram.com/p/XFgE3NI2EU/

    Max's next competition is World Team Trophy in Tokyo, April 11-14.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  31. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    Now I am curious about his hockey.

    Article from the 2004 junior nationals, which he won at juvenile.
    This from his old hockey team's page from the 2005-2006. Bantam AAA would indeed be an elite team - Bantams are 13/14 year olds. His bio mentions the developmental team as well as being a nationally ranked figure skater.
    Current article about his hockey career.
  32. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    Max looks cool in his new suit!:cheer:
  33. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Love Max's new suit - the grey looks really good on him.

    But oh dear, those shoes. :(
  34. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Max looks great in his long suit and as for his short legs...male figure skaters are generally getting shorter these days so I hardly even notice it! Like seriously they are all so small now, most are not even the average male height of 5'10". I think the technical demands of COP are favoring smaller guys because if you think back: Lysacek is 6'2", Cousins was 6', Boitano 5'11", Bradley 6', Andreev 6'1", and I'm sure there were others that were similarly tall. But these days, not many tall male skaters, and the most successful ones are almost all below average height. Most of the guys are quite small, maybe 5'5" to 5'8" on average, some even less (Oda and Machida), and the few that are around average height are usually stick thin to make up for it, like Reynolds, Kovtun, and Song who I think are like 5'10". Joubert is a normal sized man but his quads are now getting downgraded and he's really not a member of the new generation anyways.

    A new age of skating has arrived and it's about big jumps and athleticism and less about lines and artistry and Max is really representative of this new mold. So who cares about the lack of artistry as a novice or even now, if you have the jumps to make up for it, a skater will still do well.
  35. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    :confused: LOL! "Les Miserables" is not a warm and fuzzy musical; it would be completely inappropriate to the theme of his musical selections if he were to smile through that piece. If I saw anyone ever smile while interpreting "Bring Him Home", I would think they completely lack any mental capacity or lack maturity. It's like Gracie Gold grinning through her entire "Life is Beautiful" program . . . do you not know anything about the music and the movie that you are skating to?
  36. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    In the runup to the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, there were lots of articles that emphasized the fact that Tugba Kardemir was a Muslim. Look for even more if Armin Mahbahnoozadeh or Yasmin Siraj ever wins a national championship.
  37. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Lysacek is certainly from the IJS era, so he's an exception to the pattern you're trying to show.

    But there were plenty of short male skaters, 5'7" or under, long before IJS: Scott Hamilton, Paul Wylie, Brian Orser, Alexander Fadeev, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, Tim Goebel, Takeshi Honda, etc. Plenty more in the 5'8"-5'9" range. I think it's more the demands of multirevolution jumps that favor more compact bodies.

    And shorter skaters also tended to be better at quick footwork, in the days when that was especially valued in step sequences. It still is, but only as one feature among many.
  38. Eladola

    Eladola Active Member

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    How did i miss this ? :)

    Huh?! Where ?

    I'm sorry, "Here" ?
    Are you in Israel ?

    And if so, Wanna be my new best friend ?
  39. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    I always find it funny when I read how tall a skater says they are. Steven Cousins is not 6'. Maybe he has shrunk, but I stood beside him not long ago and I would say he is maybe 5'10". Joubert walked by me while I was waiting for the bus at Worlds (I never really appreciated him until I saw him live, but I digress ... :swoon::swoon: ) and he is also around the 5'9" maybe 5'10 mark.

    As for line and artistry not counting for anything, I disagree. If anything I think the focus is on having a whole package. Jumps and artistry together.

    As for Max, he was one of the highlights for me at Worlds. Yes, he has lots of areas he can improve (who doesn't?) but he has great attack, great presence on the ice, and he seems to thrive on competition. I look forward to seeing what he does next year.
  40. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I think she was referring to Robin Cousins.