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

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

  1. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    Barbie Long landed a 3lz-3t at Mids. Can't find a video...but still, not that common for US ladies!
  2. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Barbie Long's JGP Slovenia videos should be up on YouTube - she landed 3Lz+3T in both programs (SP was better). She just skated her SP at Mids (I watched IceNetwork's live stream this morning).
  3. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about that. Gracie has more speed and when she's smoothed out her skating i think she will be much better then Agnes.
  4. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Maybe, if she can remain injury-free, but that might be difficult considering her coach's alleged overtraining history.
  5. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    What are the chances of Barbie Long getting sent to Junior World's this season? Sounds like it's hers to lose?
  6. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    Well, let's see. Who are the contenders?
    Baga, Cain, Cesario, Edmunds, Hicks, Jiang, Keiser, Lam, Long, Miller, Siraj, Wang

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

    ETA: forgot Bell, Chen and Zhao, but pinky pointed them out and they really are contenders.
  8. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    ^ Can Polina go to JW considering she's hasn't competed on a JGP? I thought they also need a minimum score to go (or is that just for seniors) and I thought they also need to have competed at least once on the JGP?

    And I'm not sure Long is exactly a contender for a JW spot. Sure she did win a JGP medal this season, but her score was far below what some of her other fellow American junior ladies scored at their respective events.
  9. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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

    krenseby New Member

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

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Gold did let loose a little in Russia which was nice. There's still a lot of work to be done though.

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

    RD Well-Known Member

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

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

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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

    triple_toe Well-Known Member

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

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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

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

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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    So do I and I do think Agnes' edges are deeper than Gracie's. Alissa has gorgeous edging too. Ashely not so much although she seems to be quicker on the ice than Alissa. But I am no expert, I've never seen any of these ladies skate live and videos can be deceiving.
  20. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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

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

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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  22. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

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    Great News for Mirai :) I hope she can continue building on her rejuvinated start at NHK.

    Does the host nation get to decide who to invite when there's a cancellation? I wonder if being of Japanese heritage and having toured in Japan as a charming youngster helped get her this invitation.
  23. Jarrett

    Jarrett Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they get to pick from the sub list which Mirai has been on the top of since... I dunno the beginning of the season, and French Fed passed over her 4 times. Lets go Mirai!
  24. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    ITA with what you're saying but I don't think Caroline is the best one to carry your example. The interesting thing about Caroline this season is she's landing and rotating the majority of her jumps. Her technique on her flip and loop is very good now. She gets better lift and height in both jumps and they have a decent amount of speed as well. Her axel is still small but it's better than it was two or three years ago. Her lutz is still problematic but I don't even think they've tried to correct it...

    Caroline's problem isn't her jumps right now...it's everything else. Her basic skating skills are so sub par that even when she lands the jumps she still scores at the bottom. She's uncomfortably slow on the ice. Her edging around the ice is weak; the only way she gains speed is with basic crossovers. There are no linking or transitions moves in her programs. She still skates "up" instead of "down"...there's too much upper body work in her stroking; she's never down in her knees and into the ice. Her programs are mostly bare, with just a few moves thrown in. The choreography is severely limited b/c there's only so much she can do. Caroline's lack of speed leaves a terrible impression on the judges and drags down every single aspect of her skating...even her spins have gotten weaker as well.

    To be honest, her jumps are the only thing that seem to be working right now. They could always use more speed and height but she's rotating them and landing them....
  25. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    I'm so happy for Mirai to get another assignment. She has been skating so well this season, with more attack and interest in her skating. The edge calls and URs are bothersome, because really some of those calls seemed way off base, and it looks like she's not going to be getting any brownie points, in fact just the opposite. But she's really turned it up this season. It's nice to see. I hope she skates just as well at NHK and doesn't get as hammered by the caller this next competition.
  26. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    From experience as a skater myself and as a coach, even moderate weight gain (5 pounds) will make you look severely lethargic on the ice and give you the look Caroline Zhang seems to be having lately. From teaching these skaters, they'll usually still land the jumps but it's actually everything else that will suffer the most. Personally, my jumps are always much better when I am at a healthy weight as compared to when I was stick thin, however quickness on the blade and posture while stroking suffered with weight gain. In general extra weight just makes you feel like crap on the ice. :/

    Just my two cents, not trying to fuel anything about the weight discussion for skaters. As a skater it's very hard to find an ideal weight that lends well to everything in skating. I also feel bad that skaters have to see their weight being discussed although it is part of the sport...being aesthetic and all it is relevant.

    Also, my impressions of COR were that Gracie looked better on the ice this weekend than Agnes. I like both, although I am not a fan of either and am not biased. Agnes seemed shaky on the blade and "tight" as skaters will call it. I didn't get that out of Gracie who had better flow and ease in my opinion. I of course think Agnes has better edges in general but she was a bit tight.
  27. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Thought I'd post this here too. Cup of Russia ladies review.

    http://thenakedice.blogspot.com/

    Two competitions this season with two US ladies on the podium...is this a trend? :D
  28. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I do not think there is anything wrong with saying a skater looks unfit. It is not the same thing as fat.. There are so many skaters who were not built like Sasha Cohen who had curvy womanly bodies, but were very very fit and looked like Olympic athletes-Irina, and Joannie, and Tonya (in her prime) come to mind. And now Ashley Wagner. She never looked large to me in any way, but she always came across as average body type (I am sure this was not the case in person) and then BAM last year she totally looked like a top tier skater-her arms and legs were more defined etc...it made such a huge difference watching her skate.

    Caroline's appearance just looks sloppy and I think it just enhances her poor skating qualities. Maybe it should not matter...but it does.
  29. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    Once again, to set the record straight, in her prime, there was nothing the least bit "curvy" about Rochette. She was extremely petite and solid muscle. Her arms were so cut you could cut steak with them. She is a slight bit taller than Megan Duhammel, but the same build in terms of muscle.
  30. emma1227

    emma1227 New Member

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    Really, didn't know that. Interesting...hope Gracie can stay healthy!
  31. emma1227

    emma1227 New Member

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    Really happy with the results of COR! What a confidence boost for Agnes, and so glad Gracie could bounce back. I'm starting to feel like our ladies program might be headed in the right direction.
  32. emma1227

    emma1227 New Member

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    Yay Mirai....wonder if Alissa will be ready? Her whole situation is a bit of a mystery...
  33. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Well, you're right, curvy isn't the right word, but solid or muscular is. I think the poster was trying to point out that she wasn't stick thin, well maybe in terms of minimal body fat percentage she was, but she wasn't built like a 12 year old or the Chinese pair ladies either. Not everyone is going to be built like Yu Na Kim or Mao Asada but you can tell when someone is in top shape, and just curvier or more muscular in build by nature, and it looks different than when that person is not in peak form. Caroline still had a womanly shape at Nationals last year, but she looked more fit and muscular compared to now. In her peak form, she will not look like Mao, but she does look a bit different from right now. I think that's all people are saying.
  34. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Yay, for Mirai! ITA ... I hope she skates well and it's a confidence boost for her going into Nationals.

    Great result for U.S. ladies at SA and CoR! Hope the confidence continues for Ashley and Christina at TEB. :)
  35. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    OMG you just won't let go! Have you ever seen Joannie and Mao standing side by side? I mean in real life, not on TV? I have and for what it is worth, I would say their measurements are probably very similar, with the exception that Mao is taller. All this talk about fitness and body fat and muscles ... You simply can not tell by what you see on TV, or worse yet a small computer screen. Let it go already! And while I am ranting ... How do you know that the jumps "come easily" to some skaters? How do you know "staying thin" is easier for some. You don't have a clue unless you are with them on a regular basis and they confide in you. All this speculation about skaters' eating and training habits is just that, speculation. And when it is speculation about teenage girls it can be dangerous and damaging!
  36. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    I went to 2009 4CC where Mao and Joannie both competed and medaled...so yes, I have seen them in person standing side by side. They looked different to me. Anyways I'm just going to shut up now because I can't win. But anyone who is at this level of skating is training a ton so clearly things besides diet and exercise are coming in to play. Have you seen the documentary why are thin people not fat? I digress..And I do personally know quite a few high level skaters so I hear things and yeah. Doesn't mean I'm right or that they are necessarily telling the truth but anyways, the only speculation I said regarding Zhang was that she looked more in shape last season around Nationals compared to now, and at that time, she looked to be in peak form, while still having a different body type from a lot of the other top skaters. That's it.
  37. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Would Mirai need to win NHK to make the GPF or could she qualify with a silver? Of course even that would be a stretch, but it would be cool if she could make the GPF!
  38. icellist

    icellist New Member

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    Mirai would need a gold to make the GPF. I think it's safe to assume that Kiira Korpi, Mao Asada, Ashley Wagner, Akiko Suzuki, and Julia Lipnitskaya are going to make the final.

    With one spot left, I think the contenders are Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Christina Gao, Agnes Zawadzki, and Mirai Nagasu.

    I don't expect Christina to medal at TEB. But she has the only silver of the bunch. She wins the tie breaker (because I don't expect the other 4 to win gold at their events either, and have a slight chance to win silver too). She has a pretty good chance of getting in because she skated at a weak event.

    Both Liza and Mirai earned the pewter at their events, but I think they're probably be bronze at their second event (especially if the other Agnes shows up at NHK).

    Statistically, Christina has a really good chance of getting into the final. But I'd like the underdog to get in: Liza or Mirai. I love Agnes but she's not consistent at performing. But you're basically seeing the 6th and sub list for GPF right now
  39. Jarrett

    Jarrett Well-Known Member

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    Christina may have skated at a "weak event" but her programs would have held up as silver at ANY of the events so far if she skated the same programs.
  40. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    But with the medals of Sotnikova, Gold, and Murakami not counting, couldn't that mean someone with a 4th and a 2nd could get into the final? So if Mirai were to get 2nd at NHK, she might get in, especially if Christina were to finish say 5th and be out of the running and Liza was 3rd or lower and also out of the picture. I could definitely see Wagner and Lipinskaya going 1 and 2, with Liza 3rd, then Christina 4th or 5th. If she's 4th and Mirai was 2nd at TEB, it would come down to the total score tiebreaker, but either girl would get in before Liza, and if Christina were to finish say 5th, possible considering Korobeynikova could feasibly come out ahead, then Christina and Liza would be out of the running and Mirai with a silver would likely be in. So I don't think Mirai necessarily has to win NHK to get to the GPF, it's just dependant on what Liza, Christina, and Agnes do, but Agnes with another bronze would still be behind Mirai with a silver so, really, I think Mirai could get in with a silver, as Liza getting bronze and Christina 4th or 5th at TEB and Agnes 3rd or 4th at NHK is very realistic IMO. Mirai's silver might be more far fetched but I think she could maybe beat Mao if Mao URs her jumps again and Mirai doesn't.

    I will say Christina does have good odds, because if Mirai is lower than silver, and she can manage a 4th, without Liza or Agnes getting a silver or higher, then she's probably in.