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

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

  1. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Really? Her summer competitions were unremarkable, and she was beaten by Hannah Miller at Skate Detroit. Salt Lake City was a splatfest. She does not have the consistency she had last year as a Junior.
  2. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to last season. I agree with you about her performances so far this season, however those competitions were very, very early in the season so I think this weekend we may have a better idea of where she's at now and what to expect for her this season. It's not unusual for GP skaters to not skate so well in the summer months just because they are pacing their training to peak later in the season when more is at stake.
  3. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Do we know that skaters like Courtney Hicks, Angela Wang, Vanessa Lam, and Kiri Baga really wanted to do the JGP had they known they could have gotten a SA assignment instead? Somehow I think they may have preferred the SA spot, along with Cesario, if they thought they had a reasonable shot at getting it and opted for JGP as a consolation.
  4. haribobo

    haribobo Well-Known Member

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    Agree-these are all good points and just what I was thinking. Putting Mirai aside, the highest finisher from Nationals without a GP or JGP spot was Mckinzie Daniels (13th) who isn't competing this year. Joelle Forte (14th) was next after that, and she hasn't really improved score-wise for several seasons- really wouldn't make much sense to upset the apple cart for her. At least going this way, they can encourage that good placement at Nationals = assignment.
  5. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    As I said before, some girls who would have done senior assignments (and are ready) got stuck with junior assignments for lack of better choices. Had USFSA decided on who gets the host picks after summer monitoring, perhaps a girl who got stuck with jgp could have gone to SA. But then I don't see that line of thinking happening any time soon with USFS. The situation being what it is, Rachael earned her assignment with her nationals results.

    The really unfair thing is the score inflation with the grand prixs. A GP skater with average skates ends up with better season's best than a promising jgp medalist. It's so hard for jgp girls to move up unless their federation does something for them (politiking or host picks)

    All that said, this has nothing to do with Rachael.
  6. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    What about Yasmin Siraj? She didn't do well at Nationals due to injuries but bounced back nicely this summer and fall and would have been a logical choice for a host pick. Also, were the scores at SA really inflated? If they were, I didn't notice it much, except for maybe a little bit among some of the medalists. If people feel they were, it's bad news for the American guys especially, none of them scored very high, and a few different junior men have scored similarly or even exceeded their numbers by a fair margin at JGP events.
  7. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    Ok, as I've said for years, I used to uber Rachael. I thought she had so much untapped potential--sadly, she's done nothing to take advantage of it. It's just frustrating to see her continue to get out there when she freely informs anyone that she basically skates an hour and a half a day. When I finish my tough school days and need to do something, I walk around my dining room table. No kidding. Helps me relieve my stress and clear my mind. But you don't see me entering international walking competitions. Rachael's skating is tantamount to my walking at this point.

    I'm also not willing to let Mirai off the hook: time to get her mental sh*t together or face the fact that giving in to headcasey-ness and putting skating low on the totem pole doesn't lead to international success.

    I do not intend to say that either girl should make skating her top priority and put whatever else aside; that's not how I feel, nor is it my place to feel that way. But they have to realize that elite athleticism is not easy to achieve or maintain, and it requires 100% of your focus and time.
  8. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    On a different note, this is the first time since 2003 Skate America US ladies go 1-2 in a gp! :cheer2:
  9. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    I do the New York City Ballet Workout dvd. I'm not going to try out for the Nutcracker.

    If an elite athlete is going to train adequately and be a full time student, there is not going to be room for much else. And that means no sorority, no parties, no football games, etc...

    I understand why Rachael wants that part of college life. But she is not going to return to a podium as long as skating is secondary to that.
  10. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    That is one place I have to respectfully disagree and would defend Flatt. I do feel she has already maximized her potential and gotten absolutely all she could out of herself. Top 5 at Worlds, Top 7 at Olympics (which would have been top 5 without two incorrect downgrades), 4 time U.S Gold or silver medalist, a World Junior gold, numerous grand prix medals. She really has if anything gone above and beyond her abilities and talent level. There are many U.S ladies with far more natural ability and talent who have not achieved many of these things. I also think that is where some of her lacking motivation now is. After 2010 there was a part of her that probably said "where do I go from here. Can I really get any better or do any better than this."

    On the other hand the level of skating in 2011 and 2012 was so much lower than 2009-2010 that it is too bad she could not mantain her 2010 level, as the opening was there for better results with similar skating. The field is showing signs of getting alot stronger again though, so that window has now passed over, not to mention she has sunk to the point of no recovery in too many ways to list.
  11. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    Agreed. What I meant was less about placements and more about performance...junior Flatt was more interesting and artistic than senior Flatt, and I really feel she had it in her to get that artistry back and do some really cool programs.
  12. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Come to think of it I agree. She was more artistic and intersting in 2007 and 2008 than 2009 and 2010, even if she was at her technical and competitive peak in 2009 and 2010.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    I wish she had left Tom Z after her senior debut. I liked her at 14/15 but then she just seemed to hit a glass ceiling. The potential went unrealized.
  14. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    In those earlier years though, she hadn't gone through puberty yet and I don't think she was hampered by injuries as much. So when she was a little 14 year old and the jumps weren't as labored looking and she had some nice spins, like a layback, because her bulging disks hadn't developed yet and she was thinner and younger which usually relates to more flexibility, her artistry was more noticeable and could be focused on more because everything else wasn't standing out as a weak point and likely came easier to her. Even then her jumps were "around" and not big or airy, and she wasn't extraordinarily flexible nor did she have long willowy limbs, but she was up against less, and being so young, I think people could forgive her more for being focused on jumps and not a standout in any other area. I will say I liked her American in Paris and Porgy and Bess programs though.
  15. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this completely. I was a huge fan of Rachael from 2007-2010. She wasn't a perfect skater, but I appreciated her spark and tenacity for the sport. When she graduated from high school and deferred college for a year, I was hoping that she would push herself to do something different and interesting since she wasn't bogged down by academic commitments. Sadly, that seemed to be the beginning of the end. Honestly, she should have retired after the Olympics. It would have worked out perfectly - she gets some wonderful accomplishments and memories and can go have a normal college experience. It's just sad to watch her deteriorate like this, and while I respect that it's her decision, it seems ridiculous to spend the time and money and potentially risk her health only to show up to a competition in embarrassing shape. The talk about school is getting obnoxious, too. I've cut her slack in the past because it was mostly the commentators mentioning it, which she doesn't have control over, but now she's using it as her number one excuse. Constantly seeing the Stanford stuff in the Kiss and Cry is annoying too. Other skaters in college don't do that.

    As for Mirai, I would not rule her out yet (she did manage to get it together at the last minute before Vancouver), but I'm not holding my breath anymore either. It's unfortunate that the two US ladies who were so stellar at the Olympics spiraled downhill like this. :( But I'm glad skaters like Gao and Wagner are stepping up - it was awesome to see the Skate America podium this weekend. :)
  16. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    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.
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    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.
  18. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    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!
  19. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    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.
  20. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    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.
  21. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Who is standby for NHK if Alissa can't go?
  22. dawnie

    dawnie Active Member

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    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.
  23. Jarrett

    Jarrett Well-Known Member

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

    b-man Active Member

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    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.
  25. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    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.
  26. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    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?
  27. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  28. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    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.
  29. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    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.
  30. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    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.
  31. peibeck

    peibeck Left in the Kiss-n-Cry

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    I think all skaters have to find the motivation within themselves; so if they can't find inspiration within their own skating, I doubt they will have much success in just being inspired by someone else's success. In fact, I think looking too much to others may be a detriment. Look at the Russian Plushy clones, struggling in the shadow of Evgeni; look at the drought of American ladies after the Kwan/Cohen era. Inspiration is great, but it takes a lot more psychological strength to succeed.
  32. peibeck

    peibeck Left in the Kiss-n-Cry

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    It's nice that Gracie is centered about the expectations and not (hopefully) putting too much pressure on herself.

    A small correction to the article that should be noted is that her family is from Springfield - in Illinois - not Missouri.
  33. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    She's from both actually! Originally from Springfield, Missouri, then her family moved to Springfield, Illinois before relocating to the Chicago area (I believe Arlington Heights?) to better accommodate the twins' training.
  34. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    The Gold twins' first (I believe) USFS club was Jordan Valley FSC in Springfield, Missouri! :)
  35. peibeck

    peibeck Left in the Kiss-n-Cry

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    :lol: The tales of two Springfields! The article suggested they family moved from Springfield (MO) 2 1/2 hours way to Chicago, which would be incorrect, however. Springfield, MO to Chicago is about a 9 hour drive.
  36. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I like Gracie's mentality and I really hope she's able to maintain it. She's untested as of yet. I really hope she's able to keep a cool head under the spotlight and not freak out.

    I'm still not on the bandwagon with her. I do think she's a gifted jumper but there are a lot of those in skating right now. Aside from her jumps, she's an average junior jumping bean making her debut on the GP. She's made improvements to her aspects of her skating since last season so that's a plus, but she still has a long way to go to catch up to the veterans.

    I wish her the best this week and hopefully she'll have a strong debut.
  37. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Haven't read the 26 pp. of this thread, just wanted to add my *live* skating impressions of Ashley, Christina, and Rachael at Skate America this past weekend (I attended all 3 days):

    Rachael brought me to tears with her Firebird FS. I have seen her skate live two times thus far (2010 SA & 2012 SA). As God is my witness, you must see her skate live to understand what I'm talking about. Such an emotional, joyful, dynamic skater in person. She set a mood and did not deviate from it. I misted up halfway through. Her aura is unlike any other skater I've ever seen. She glows from the inside out.

    Christina was absolutely simply P E R F E C T! Big high jumps, lithe, right on. Watch out world because she could easily take GG's place on the World Team. That's how good she is...

    Ashley, what to say, everything single thing about her screams C H A M P I O N!!!! Both on the ice and off. I saw it way back in 2008 (imho she should've won the title that year). She reminds me of Sasha Cohen in this way - fighters, they have what it takes, and they won't let go. Gorgeous to see!
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  38. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    People are amazing. The Michigan Skaters have Michigan stuff and reference Michigan all the time. And I'm pretty sure Emily Hughes had Harvard stuff her freshman year. And we heard about Bowling Green every 5 minutes when Alissa was there. But because it is Rachael it is now offensive? :blah: Let the girl enjoy her school spirit. I think loving your school is awesome (Go Blue! ;)).

    Rachael doesn't owe anything to anyone. She is making the commitment to skating that she is willing and able to make right now. As the 6th place finisher at Nationals last year, she earned her international assignments. If she doesn't skate that well this year, she won't earn any more. So stop pretending that Rachael is hurting you or taking something away from someone. She has every right to prioritize her life however she chooses and she doesn't have to retire just because fans on an internet message board don't like her choices. I'm sure Rachael has her own reasons for continuing to skate and she doesn't have to have them approved by FSU. She doesn't need to retire because people who didn't like her when she was winning still don't like her now that she isn't.
  39. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    I recall Emily wearing a Harvard shirt once. Alissa did not talk about Bowling Green, the broadcasters did. Can't blame that on the skater.

    What several of us pointed out was that Rachael was more interested in the Stanford cap than 1) her U.S. team jacket and 2) her dismal scores.

    School spirit is lovely and fine. At school. She skates for the U.S. not for Stanford. And quite frankly, if her parents have enough spare cash for her to skate as a hobby (because that is what it seems to be--as someone else said, others are on-ice more in two days than Rachael is in a week) perhaps they could be putting that money to better use.

    I also have a feeling that she does have her reasons and they are not entirely her own.
  40. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    This thread is making me hope that Flatt and Czisny finish first and second in either order at U.S. Nationals this season.
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