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

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Vagabond, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Rachael claims she has had the same "Chronic tendonitis" for the past two years. It's the same old tendonitis excuse for all of her recent competition failures. She needs to rest her body before doing permanent damage, or pack it up and go home. It's painful to watch her, like blades are glued to the ice. In the end it's her decision to put herself out there in sub-par condition, as long as the USFS keeps throwing her competitions.

    http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121021&content_id=39967142&vkey=ice_news
  2. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  3. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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  4. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, tendonitis requires COMPLETE rest to heal. It may be that she's done some resting, but not *quite* enough, and then she gets back on the ice and trains with great intensity to make up for lost time, and BAM! Tendonitis again. Doesn't seem like she wants to take a year off, but that might be the best thing for her body.
  5. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    It's time for Rachael to retire or for the USFSA to retire her. Rachael was out of shape and admitted that skating isn't her priority anymore. So why waste a spot on her when there are hungrier and better skaters waiting in the wings? And i don't care how high she finished at Nationals last year. Overall she was less then mediocre last season and they need to take that into consideration and not just go by Nationals. Even a skater having a bad year can have one good skate like Rachael did but they needed to look at her skating for the whole season not just Nationals. I hope she doesn't get a GP event next year after this bad performance.
  6. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    I have never been a particular fan of Rachael Flatt, though I did rather like her skating at 2007 U.S. Nationals when she was fourteen.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with someone's treating competitive skating as a hobby and accepting invitations to international events provided that she is healthy and fit, which Flatt apparently is. If other skaters want those assignments, let them earn them, whether at Nationals or at a competition where they can get a higher Season's Best Score.

    That said, I would expect the USFSA to stop giving her international assignments unless she steps up her performance level markedly at Nationals, and her Total Score at Skate America is likely to put her so far down the Season's Best list that she may not be eligible for any Grand Prix invitations from the five other host federations.

    ETA:

    In that case, the USFSA or her parents and coaches may need to intervene.

    It's not unusual for elite athletes of her age to disregard the possible consequences of continuing train and compete in the face of chronic injuries, but those around them should be more responsible.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  7. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    You think Flatt looked fit?
  8. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I concur and I highly doubt she will get an international assigment next year and I am guessing her placement at Nationals will mean having to quailfy for Nationals next year. If all this is true I expect she will quietly retire.
  9. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Looked fit? Yes. She skated a clean five-triple Free Skate with no obvious errors other than doing a solo 2F instead of a 3F combo. Her skating has been better in the past, but that wouldn't necessarily mean she wasn't fit this past weekend.

    Actually was fit? No, given what leaftygreens posted above. But I would have no way of knowing that from watching her Free Skate.
  10. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, it sort of confuses me, Rachael we know has had chronic tendonitis for around two years and bulging disks in her back for even longer. Now skating is not a priority. So why does she continue if she's constantly injured and/or in pain, has to go out of her way to train, and isn't getting good results at competitions? It's weird the commentators were talking about how Rachael's 6th place finish at Nationals was "disappointing" for her, but for most of us watching the event, it seemed like Rachael really stepped it up and had a great FS that, combined with Mirai's meltdown, allowed her to finish as high as 6th. Had she skated like she did most of last season, she would likely have been out of the top 12. And even here at Skate America, I'll say I was surprised when Rachael landed 5 triples in her FS, I was not expecting that, but she still finished 9th and her PCS were really low and that's an indication of how she's viewed on the international stage now.

    I could understand if Rachael was skating for Germany or Switzerland and she was the best skater they had to send to these international events and therefore she was sticking around just because she could and didn't have to worry about taking a more deserving skater's spot, but in my opinion, it would have been in much better character for USFS to give someone like Samantha Cesario, Vanessa Lam, or Kiri Baga the spot at SA, not only giving them valuable international experience but also opening up spots they were taking on the JGP that really should be given to skaters like Polina Edmunds and Mariah Bell, who are developing junior skaters and thus the perfect candidates for JGP events. Further, we all know Flatt was given Ice Challenge just so she doesn't have to skate at Sectionals out of which she likely would not qualify for Nationals (regardless of if she competed at PACs or Mids, both are deep fields), so its kind of silly. If she really loves to skate that much despite her injuries, pain, interference with college life, and results and scores indicative of how far her skating caliber has sunken compared to what it once was, at least in the eyes of the judges, then I don't have a problem with that. But she should be competing at qualifying competitions, not GP events. If she wants to skate regionals and sectionals and makes it to Nationals fair and square, good for her, it shows that she's still one of the best skaters in the Nation and can get to Nationals without any questionable loopholes. But these international assignments that conveniently give her byes from these competitions when she's in the current form she's in are really irritating. There's so many other good girls in the US who would love the chance to skate at SA, and maybe USFS should stop encouraging them to stay on the JGP if they are ready and willing to move up just to save spots for old favorites or crowd getters and give the JGP spots to junior ladies who really should be competing at those venues in the first place.
  11. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Incredibly slow skating and spins that barely move, while doing nothing harder than a triple loop is not international level skating today. It is regional level skating at the U.S level perhaps and that is where Flatt now belongs. So what if she did 5 triples, Katarina Witt in 1987 could even do the same 5 triples she did, while doing a bunch of other things between Flatt wasnt even trying to do.
  12. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    ITA. Giving Flatt Skate America was a ridiculous decision and her second to last place finish was exactly as should have been expected. Her 6th place at Nationals was not a dissapointing result for her last year, but an extremely good for one for where she now is. Thankfully the madness will stop next season I am sure and we will see Flatt with no international assignments. What is the point to hold back up and comers or developing skaters from getting opportunities so some has been who admits to not even prioritizing skating anymore can finish last at a Grand Prix event with 70s or Regional level caliber skating.
  13. dawnie

    dawnie Active Member

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    It would have been nice for Flatt if she went out on a good note last year at Nationals. Now I'm afraid she's going the Fumie Suguri route...
  14. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    That is what baffles me. The audience gave her a huge goodbye, thanks for years of great skating and contributions to U.S figure skating ovation. She reacted emotionally like she was waving goodbye, thanks for years of your support. She turned in an unlikely great performance for herself at that point in time, the ideal note to end on. Everything pointed to this being a wonderful note to retire on, and yet she continues competing, it was like WTF girl you said your goodbyes last year, they said their goodbyes back, but some skaters dont recognize their retirement gifts. Forget the Fumie Suguri route, I wouldnt be surprised if she becomes the Mira Leung of this years Nationals (Mira Leung from Nationals 2010 I mean, she already had her Mira Leung 2009 last year). Last years message from the judges was a polite "go away" and this years will be an emphatic "get the hell out!". For the record Mira was 6th at the 09 Canadian Nationals, and withdrew after being 15th in the short program in 2010. A similar placing is what I project for Flatt at this years Nationals.

    Come to think of it though I think the reason Flatt was given this assignment was just to compile an easy field for Wagner to win and far outshine the other Americans at. The USFSA is clearly behind Wagner as their #1 now, even over Gold at this point, and has confidence in her, as they now should. They pay her off handsomely for that by assigning two of the weaker Americans who are no threats to her like Gao and Flatt, and the weakest international lineup possibly with the likely to plummet in 2013 World silver medalist Leonova as their seeded skater pick, a slumping Sotnikva, and basically the softest field they could put together. At Nationals Wagner will likely come in heavily backed by TPTB so while she is likely to outskate the field and deservedly reclaim her U.S title, even if she has an off event and some mistakes and erratic Jekyl and Hydes like Nagasu, Czisny, or Agnes skate great, they can protect her and make sure she wins be it by inflated PCS or whatever is neccessary, but at an international event that woudlnt be the case so they just made sure to not take the chance in case she had an off day hence assigning weaker Americans to the event with her. Gao's outstanding performances were probably not expected, but as it turns out an unexpected bonus for the USFSA with Wagner skating great and winning easily as well, pefect start to their season.
  15. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    With all the raining down on Flatt in this thread (much of which I agree with, BTW) it should be pointed out that she actually DIDN'T finish last at SA. She actually wasn't terrible (jump-wise at least), but is no longer getting the levels, etc. to be really competitive.

    There are skaters even less capable than she is skating at ISU championships, so that isn't really the issue. The bigger issue is the limited number of international spots for US skaters, and we know the US has a lot of capable skaters - Flatt does have credentials from previous seasons, sure, but if she is no longer delivering, should they be still assigning her events?

    Some skaters have surged back just as the skating public was preparing to stick a fork in them. It's going to take that kind of effort for her now.
  16. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    How is Flatt not having to compete at Sectionals this year? She should have to earn her way to Nationals just like the rest of the girls have too. I'm tired of the USFSA coddling her.
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    She's competing at Ice Challenge in Graz, so there's a conflict.
  18. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    She is just too scared to compete at Sectionals since she knows she probably wouldnt qualify for Nationals, so she found a loophole to get into Nationals directly. Come Nationals this year she will probably be wishing she had taken that course (going to Sectionals, likely not making it, and retiring gracefully in peace) after all. I predict the judges at Nationals will have their scalpels ready, I predicted they would last year to an extent and was proven correct, but this year it will be a much greater extreme. Obviously the message was not strong enough last year, so they will drill it in much deeper and more forcefully this time around. Her general skating is so weak these days it is not as if it is hard to do this either, they dont even have to underscore her, they just have to score her skating exactly as it is now (which aside from some rotated heavy small triples majorly sucks these days) with absolutely none of the support a former top skater would normally expect. Scores for skating skills in the 4s would be easily justified should they wish.
  19. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't asking that question here (as opposed to asking actual national and international judges) be more likely to elicit answers that will explain the psychology of fan interpretation of judging? :)
  20. haribobo

    haribobo Well-Known Member

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    I'm far from Rachael's biggest fan, but this is really kind of an abusive attitude. These judges don't come to Nationals to "send skaters messages", forcefully or otherwise. They are there to judge what they see...obviously there is some politics being played with PCS every year where so and so chosen ones of the year are boosted up and Susie '7th place at her one-JGP event' Skater is given mediocre PCS regardless of how she skates, and Rachael will be probably somewhere in between. Rachael didn't assign herself to her senior B that gave her a bye through Sectionals- USFS did that- so I don't see how one can say she was "too scared" to do Regionals. She wasn't too scared to show up at Nationals last year after a nightmare GP season, and she competed at Worlds even when injured and clearly couldn't skate well (when many of us wish she had withdrawn), so being too scared to compete has never been Rachael's issue. Also, USFS is just doing with her what they would do with any 6th place (non-junior-age) finisher from Nationals without 2 GP events.

    As far as her projected competition at Sectionals, she would have been facing Nina Jiang, Kiri Baga, Ashley Cain, Becky Bereswill, Morgan Bell, Chelsea Christopher, and Carly Gold as her main competition. They are all good skaters and its a deeper field than we've had in Mids Senior ladies for a while now, but I'm pretty sure Rachael would manage to squeeze out at least 4th place among them. Her performance at Skate America, while not terrific, was far from embarrassing, and I've seen skaters finish 4th at Sectionals with FAR weaker skates than that. If any of the Mids Sectionals qualifiers can finish top 6 at Nationals this year, which I kind of doubt but you never know- then they can get the international assignments that Rachael got this year. We'll see...
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  21. triple_toe

    triple_toe Well-Known Member

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    Well look at this way: if Rachael competes at Mids and qualifies, one of those girls doesn't get to Nationals. So maybe USFSA's logic isn't about saving Rachael from embarrassment but instead about making sure she doesn't take away a spot from anyone else. I think that she would likely get through mids by some pcs manipulation even if she didn't skate the lights out, so this prevents that. It's a win-win really.
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  22. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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    All of this Rachael hate makes me think people have far too much time on their hands. :shuffle:

    Did she skate well at Skate America? Yes. Was it up to her 2008-2010 form? No, absolutely nowhere close. Did she embarrass the U.S.? No.
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  23. MoreIce

    MoreIce Member

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    This is how I feel too. Going to Stanford is a great accomplishment, but if she wants to be an elite skater it really should be a seperate thing.
    For example Flatt could not wait to put on her Stanford hat in the kiss and cry both sp and lp, but didn't seem to care about her USA team jacket, which her coach put on her both times.
    Competing in a senior Grand Prix event for team USA is a huge deal for most skaters, as it means you are at the top level in this sport.
    It seems to me that Flatt just wants free trips around the country and world at this point. If skating is not her first priority she should be turning down these assignments for girls who actually are training to be at the top, not just doing skating on the side.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  24. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    It's just a shame, really. Rachael Flatt used to piss people off because she'd score/place better than other skaters. Now, she's practically last and people are mad about that.

    I'm only upset about the fact that no one ever taught Rachael what not to say in the media (like at worlds in 2011 or, well, here with regards to the number of hours she trains per week). That and the fact that, again, she all but fully admits that she really doesn't do anything to work on her skating except skate for probably six or seven hours per week.

    Ashley Wagner probably does six or seven hours on ice every two days, plus off-ice training.

    And I'm not saying that Rachael has to focus on skating wholeheartedly or retire or anything. I'm just saying that a) she needs to re-evaluate her priorities and see if international-level skating is still one of them and b) not take any of these experiences for granted. So many skaters can't get GPs, especially here in the US. She's fortunate and it seems like she doesn't see that. She sees this as a natural part of her skating, which it isn't.
  25. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    The Rachael hate makes me :confused:

    Considering how hard it is to get a GP these days, no skater, esp one who placed 6th at US nationals, would turn it down. And all things considered (school + injuries), Rachael did okay. If it were a mentally weaker skater, those jumps would have been falls or doubles. And given how mentally strong Rachael is, I think she would manage top 4 at sectionals were she going to skate there.

    I don't usually agree with USFSA's SA host pick assignments or some other assignments, but that's not Rachael's fault. USFSA needs to take summer monitoring into account when deciding host picks, and be able to enforce policies to ensure skaters assigned to competitions are ready. But as we know by now, USFSA does not like to pass over skaters who placed well at nationals, even if these skaters have training setbacks. This is an USFSA issue, not any skater's.
  26. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    The sixth place finisher at Nationals traditionally gets two international assignments. While I understand the pov that Flatt is no longer training at the elite level and therefore shouldn't be competing at the elite level, the fact is she finished 6th at Nats and got what the 6th place finisher usually gets. However, if the level of her skating hasn't improved by Nats she'll probably finish well out of the top 12 and if that does happen, I hope that USFS will realize that giving elite-level international assignments to a skater who can't commit to elite-level training just doesn't make sense.
  27. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Naked Ice: Skate America 2012

    I figured it'd be good to post this here since the majority of my post is about Ashley and Christina, and a bit about poor Rachael too. I'm so proud of the US ladies! :)
  28. haribobo

    haribobo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to Sylvia for keeping track on her Unseen Skaters wordpress site- here's what we're looking at for senior ladies scores this season-

    International Competitors (not at Regionals)

    Ashley Wagner- 188- Skate America
    Christina Gao- 174 Skate America
    Agnes Zawadzki- 172 US Sr B
    Gracie Gold- 171 US Sr B
    Mirai Nagasu- 163 Finlandia
    Angela Wang- 162 JGP
    Hannah Miller- 158 JGP
    Samantha Cesario- 157 JGP (must do Easterns)
    Leah Keiser- 156 JGP
    Courtney Hicks- 153 JGP (must do Pacs)
    Rachael Flatt- 136 Skate America
    Caroline Zhang- 124 Nebelhorn/ 149 @ Hidden Valley
    Nina Jiang 115 JGP/ 132 Cannon TX Open (must do Mids)
    Alissa Czisny (no score yet)

    Regionals (top 5 among sectional qualifiers)

    Vanessa Lam 168 P (140 @ JGP)
    Yasmin Siraj 156 E
    Ashley Cain 156 M (136 @ JGP)
    Haley Dunne 153 E
    Kiri Baga 148 M (142 @ JGP)
    Becky Bereswill 145 M
    Lauren Dinh 144 E
    Carly Gold 144 M
    Chelsea Christopher 142 M
    Jessica Hu 133 E
    Carolyn Ann Alba 125 P
    Sophia Adams 121 P
    Anna Malkova 119 P
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  29. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    I wouldn't count out Joelle Forte at Easterns even though she didn't score/place well at North Atlantic Regionals (124/3rd behind Jordan Bauth 130/2nd). Forte scored 143.82 total at the Moran Memorial club competition in August and, obviously, is one of the most experienced skaters in the field at Easterns.
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  30. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I really don't get the Rachel hate. She is not getting any special favors from anyone so who cares. It is not like anyone besides Ashley is banging down the door as far as the US ladies are concerned. Everyone else is mediocre at best, or unproven. No one other than Ashley has made the statement that they want to be a winner. Rachel is a former national champion and Olympian is it really a surprise she was assigned Skate America? I really don't see any difference between her and Mirai at this point. 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. Why do you think she is always crying? It is not from tears of joy. So why does everyone have the "poor Mirai" attitude but with Rachel it is "she should retire" just because she said skating is not her priority. Didn't Mirai basically say the same thing? My point is...if Rachel and Mirai want to continue, they should be able to. They are not blocking anyone from succeeding. If anything, they are making it easy for the up and comers.
  31. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^I wouldn't call Gracie Gold 'mediocre'. She will get tested this Fall, but let's see how she does.
  32. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    I definitely think Flatt has received unfair hate in the past, and I have defended her before. But given her recent actions it is getting harder to do so. From her decision to compete injured in 2011 to showing up at SA and simply shrugging off a low score (contrast that to Leonova who was in tears), she has made it clear (among other things) that skating is no longer a priority. Which is fine and all - there are other things in life - but I just pick up a negative vibe from all this.

    Unlike many other posters, I haven't been making a bunch of excuses for Nagasu either. But at least she seems to be showing somewhat of a willingness to fight back...something I saw NOTHING of in Flatt last weekend.
  33. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Re Flatt, I think she is trying to juggle skating (because she enjoys it) and Stanford without killing herself, but that's a pretty big load to carry. I think one has to focus more on skating to be top-ranked which she obviously can't do. Still, I don't get the hate.

    FWIW, she hit 5 triples in her LP and TBH, I found her pleasant to watch. Nothing eye-popping just pleasant. She has grown a personality on the ice. She also has foregone the skating booties for white skates which I really like. She's in a better position than she was last year at this time, and she ended up getting something like 6th place at Nationals last year?? She won't be on the podium, but I think she'll do herself proud. Why not continue?

    I hope her tendonitis heals quickly and it's nothing serious!
  34. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Her jumps are first class, sure. The rest of her skating I think can be considered mediocre at present. Her spins are decent and she has good speed, but she's still very unrefined at this point, her programs aren't that great, and she tends to skate through the music. She is comparable to Gao and Zawadzki, all are young and have similar strengths, Gracie has the apparent edge for now because she has been more consistent in landing her jumps as of late. Some people seem to think Gold is the second coming of Yuna Kim, which she is not. Maybe she can become like Slutskaya.
  35. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    It's not about "Rachael hate", it's about USFS wasting a spot on a skater who seems to be skating for fun now, instead of giving it to a skater who is working hard and who shows promise.

    Skate America is not an adult competition.
  36. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    The one thing I can say in defense of Rachael is that she was marked fairly at Nationals and earned her 6th place there. However, I think summer competitions and general international performance and whether said skater's nationals performance/placement is reflective of how they normally score and place should play a bigger role in determining international assignments. Rachael's international results last season were generally poor, skated much better compared to that at Nationals, and the one competition she competed in this summer was abysmal, so in light of all these things, another skater probably deserved the host spot more event though she may have placed lower at Nationals or not competed there at all (such as Cesario, Hicks).
  37. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    I feel like you guys are being way too harsh on Rachael. She had a respectable showing at Skate America, landing 5 triples. That effort was 100x times better than what skated at Skate Canada last year in the LP, where I believe, she only landed two clean triples and finished dead last far behind the 9th place finisher. To the very least, she placed 9th and skated fine (considering her injury). Though I'm still :confused: about why she would risk competing with such a bad injury.

    As the sixth place finisher at Nationals last year, I think it would have been a slap in the face for her to not have received even one GP assignment. If she tanks this year at Nationals, then USFS for sure will not give her a GP assignment.
  38. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Someone mentioned Nagasu's tears at comps. The thing is that the tears indicate that she still has some desire to be better. Rachael, on the other hand, was happy as can be getting those marks. She seemed more concerned with someone getting her that Stanford cap than anything else.

    And here's the thing...I think I can understand how she feels. An athlete on her level doesn't exactly get to have a normal social life or enjoy high school the way other kids do. Suddenly at Stanford, she is away from home and surrounded by normal social opportunities with her peers and she is loving every moment of it; so school and the normal life it affords her has become her priority. That is terrific for her, but it makes me wonder what exactly the reason to continue competitive skating is.

    I have said before that Rachael strikes me as the over achieving people pleasing sort of girl. I taught many of them. They excelled in whatever they did but many were also excelling in some things because it made someone else (often a parent) happy. Not to say they didn't enjoy those activities on some level, but without the outside motivation of pleasing someone else, they would have easily given some activity or other up. It makes me wonder if Rachael enjoys skating enough to do it and knows that giving it up at this point would break someone else's heart?
  39. hoptoad

    hoptoad Well-Known Member

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    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.
  40. peibeck

    peibeck Counting down the days 'til Skate America

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    16,106
    Obviously you haven't seen all :drama: over poor Mirai, who also only got one GP slot. :lol:

    And yes, Nagasu probably would have scored better than Rachel, but as the Finlandia videos (and people who attended) attest, Mirai hardly showed up with fire in her belly and two great programs. But :EVILLE: USFS gave a host pick to someone who skated better than her at Nationals. It's a travesty! :p Or as one :rolleyes: poster here believe, an INSULT TO THE COUNTRY!!! Oy gevalt!!!
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
    Sylvia and (deleted member) like this.