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

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

  1. mrinalini

    mrinalini Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    992
    I'm not trying to start anything; I really do think that her lack of fitness is impeding her performance. I remember that she looked somewhat similar early last season and the skating also looked laboured; flash forward to Nationals and she was suddenly slimmer and fitter and performed a thousand times better, too. The jumps had more amplitude, she skated with more speed and freedom; everything just seemed so improved.

    I'm not normally body conscious when watching anyone on television, so for me to notice that Caroline appears to be out of shape for an elite athlete...well, I really do think that she must be.
     
  2. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,073
    Maybe her "lack or fitness" is the result of being injured and not being able to train?

    My guess would be that she is possibly injured and therefore can't train properly, or as often, hence the appearance of being out of shape and skating slowly?
     
  3. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,038
    ^ Yes, I honestly do think she is dealing with some sort of injury.
     
  4. mrinalini

    mrinalini Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    992
    I've no clue as to why her training is affected (if that is even the case) and I won't even begin to speculate, but to me it's clear that she is out of shape and so it's unsurprising that her skating looked as bad as it did at the CoR.

    Take skaters like Kiira and Carolina - they're taller and bigger-boned than the average female skater but they look totally fit and toned and not at all out of shape. I think about how Caroline looked like at this competition and...to me, the contrast is just so stark.
     
  5. triple_toe

    triple_toe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,172
    Kiira and Carolina are in no way big-boned. Tall yes, but very, very thin in person. Tiny.
     
  6. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    10,626
    If it came out that Caroline had back problems, I wouldn't be surprised :( That pearl spin can't be healthy.

    I hope she has a strong nationals.
     
  7. mrinalini

    mrinalini Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    992
    I've never seen them in person so I wouldn't know...anyway, I didn't say they were big-boned, I said they looked bigger-boned in comparison to the average female skater, i.e. some of the Russian wunderbabies, Mao, Christina Gao...and that is only on television or my tiny computer screen. In person, they could all look deathly thin or the opposite or whatever; I wouldn't know.
     
  8. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,258
    This is true but this is the normal for female figure skaters. Caroline now has a bigger build/frame for a ladies figure skater to begin with, so it's especially important she is in fighting shape due to this. Other people are thin naturally and would be regardless of if they were an elite athlete, but for Caroline it's very apparent her body build is curvy by nature. Also she's no longer short, and sometimes if you're very petite in terms of height, you can get away with being a bit curvier/heavier build wise because your center of gravity will be lower and the weight is still likely quite low just from being short so the jumps are easier. Rochette, Leonova, Flatt in her prime are examples of skaters who were not stick thin but could still jump well, but they are all like 5'2", while Caroline is listed as 5'5". Usually, the taller you are, the more important it is to be thin if you're a top ladies skater. There are a fair amount of taller ladies in elite skating these days, but if you notice, the ones that are successful are really really thin for the most part, like Kiira, Carolina, Polina K. Agnes may not be a stick but she's extremely toned and has a very athletic build. Just looking at Caroline's arms and legs, she does not look like an elite athlete. Plus her hourglass shape is not doing her favors. It's unfortunate that she needs to be skating her very best and in top condition to even be competitive at this level, but that's unfortunately the reality. If she's injured though she may be better sitting out to heal until she's better.
     
  9. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,859
    I thought she was emoting :lol:

    It is sad for Zhang. I don't think there's anything more she can do now to improve at this stage of her career. A 3-3 in the SP might give her 1 or 2 higher placement, but her overall standing will still be relatively low.
     
  10. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,194
    Well done by Gracie and Agnes at CoR. I am very proud of Agnes that she didn't fall apart again in her free skate and, to me, she has better skating skills than Gracie. But Gracie's got something about her that I would call star quality. Good luck to both ladies at US Nationals.:kickass:
     
  11. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,784
    Barbie Long landed a 3lz-3t at Mids. Can't find a video...but still, not that common for US ladies!
     
  12. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B comps!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,506
    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).
     
  13. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,757
    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.
     
  14. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,073
    Maybe, if she can remain injury-free, but that might be difficult considering her coach's alleged overtraining history.
     
  15. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,073
    What are the chances of Barbie Long getting sent to Junior World's this season? Sounds like it's hers to lose?
     
  16. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,258
    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.
     
  17. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,784
    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.
     
  18. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,038
    ^ 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.
     
  19. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,258
    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.
     
  20. krenseby

    krenseby New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    908
    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.)
     
  21. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,258
    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.
     
  22. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,277
    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...
     
  23. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,953
    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.
     
  24. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,277
    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).
     
  25. triple_toe

    triple_toe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,172
    :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.
  26. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,169
    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.
     
  27. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,194
    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.
     
  28. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,073
    I appreciate a skater with deep edges and quickness. Skating fast does not necessarily mean you have quickness to your skating.
     
  29. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,194
    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.
     
  30. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,258
    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...