U.S. Ladies [#6]: "Swaggering with the S'Wagner" et al. into 2013

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Sylvia, Nov 25, 2012.

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  1. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ :confused: I'm not sure what you mean by "lacks spine in competition." IMO, no one who makes it to the top levels of this sport "lacks spine," either in competition or off the ice.

    Perhaps you are fooled by Alyssa's sweet smile and angelic grace, but she's one tough cookie. Otherwise, there's no way she could have made it through last season suffering from the frustrations of a physical ailment that she wasn't even aware of until the disastrous end of her season. And, without steely determination and courage, there's no way she could have come back from that injury, the surgery, and the intensive training that was required to skate again the way she was skating earlier this month before she suffered the hip dislocation in competition.

    To the contrary of what some non-fans of the sport think, figure skating is NOT for sissies nor for people who "lack spine in competition."

    It's quite normal to experience nervousness in competition. And often the measure of success in figure skating depends upon an athlete's ability to make their nerves work for them in a good way.
     
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  2. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    I agree that Alissa has more intestinal fortitude than most suggest. I also agree that she's a strong person in many ways. However, she isn't always capable of dealing with her nerves in a way that benefits her competitively. As a competitive figure skater, that matters.
     
  3. El Rey

    El Rey Well-Known Member

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    Couple of clean skates does not equal a fierce competitor. Mostly she has a history of messing up.
     
  4. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why anyone would doubt Alissa's determination and strength on the rink; she's been through a lot and frankly to not immediately retire after last Worlds takes a lot of gut. But that doesn't always translate to good competition nerves. Alissa for all her beauty and quiet strength always seemed to get the worst case of stage fright or whatever you want to call it.
     
  5. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    "We're back at the World Figure Skating Championships, where there's been an unexpected development. That's Dorothy Hamill, who should be beginning to skate right now. However, while we were away, a West German girl, from Munich, skated, gave quite a good performance. She got tremendous marks, 5.7's and 5.8's, and pulled up to third in the competition of those who have skated so far, but the crowd doesn’t think those marks were good enough, and they’ve been whistling and booing, which is European derision. Dorothy Hamill is really shaken by it, and it looked to us like she was crying and still is. It’s a really tough break for the American girl trying for a World Championship."

    "And that’s very close to Fratianne, but what’s going to determine it now is Artistic Impression, and that’s where Fratianne is going to have an edge. . . . Poetsch will be second, and Fratianne will win it."

    "And, again, the British judge didn’t like what the others did – 4.8 up to a series of 5.6's."

    "It will be interesting to see the ordinals here because she was behind Laetitia Hubert after the Original Program until Tonya Harding skated, and that flipped everybody, and Kerrigan ended up third."

    "Look for some giant, huge, high, enormous second marks! . . . . Oh! How did that happen? How did that happen? . . . . They won that program. There's not a doubt in the place except for maybe a few judges."

    "Frustrated by alleged deals and predetermined placements made by judges, for years Shae-Lynn Bourne and Viktor Kraatz have been fighting for the integrity of their sport."

    "The marks will not be high for her. She had a tough skate. 5.2 to 5.9?!" "My goodness, were they watching the same performance? Maybe that was her mother."

    :2faced:
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  6. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ If you are speaking of Ashley Wagner, a couple of less than perfect skates this season, does not erase all that she's accomplished over the course of her career, which btw has been so much more than a "couple of clean skates." It is definitely very easy for fans to sit back and make judgments about skaters, and I include myself in that assessment. However, I realize that what we all have to say is based on our sometimes erroneous perceptions and/ or biased preferences.

    We expect a lot from the athletes we've become accustomed to watching. I wonder how many of us have tried skating ourselves and come away with more respect for what athletes at all levels of the sport accomplish every day.

    In terms of managing one's nerves, I think Alissa, Ashley, Jeremy, Mirai, Caroline, Adam, and most skaters do a better job of managing their nerves in competition than many of us would be able to do skating under high pressure conditions, and having to face cameras and microphones afterward. Even when they fall, even when they are heartbroken upon seeing their marks, many succeed in making the effort to try again. In that respect both Rudy Galindo and Paul Wylie come to mind. Jeremy Abbott and Johnny Weir also come to mind. Alissa Czisny comes to mind, Janet Lynn comes to mind, and so on. If you are a figure skater you are going to fall, and you are going to receive scores that break your heart. Perhaps the more difficult thing for skaters is trying not to allow what judges think, what the media thinks, and what fans think, to crush their spirits or deter them from striving to reach their goals.

    I commend Alissa for not giving up when it would have been so easy for her to do so a long time ago. Kudos to all those who admire her talent, root for her, care about her, and to those who have supported and mentored her. She's achieved a lot and she's overcome tremendous obstacles. I feel fortunate to have experienced what Alissa has given to all fans of skating. A life in figure skating is never a slam dunk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
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  7. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Wagner scored 3 more points in PCS at Nationals than at GPF for a similar performance, with her falls at GPF being a little more disruptive. I don't think the inflation for Wagner at Nationals was unreasonable, keeping in mind her record in the past 12 months.

    Comparing Wagner and Gold head to head for the competition, both made 2 costly mistakes on jumps, with Gold making them at the supposedly costlier segment of the competition. While Gold had higher base values, Wagner was much more mature. If people think Wagner's presentation was contrived, it should also be noted that Gold was absolutely blank throughout. Overall, I agree with Wagner's win and her relative PCS advantage over Gold.

    Given Gao's season, I am surprised USFS decided to promote Zawadzki over her. Gao totally deserved that bronze IMO. I would have had Hicks at 4th and Cesario 5th.

    Siraj is a stiff version of Poykio. She had too many shaky moments but I would still have her 6th over Zawadzki. Zawadzki isn't that good or accomplished a skater who can make mistakes and still place high.

    IMO placements for Nagasu and Zhang are about fair.

    As to the podcast, I respect the opinion of the hosts / guests but I think the real issue isn't so much that the system sucks, but that there isn't enough explanation / information for what is going on. For one thing, the TV / jumbotron screen totally could have shown a break down of the 5 PCS and a short clip of < / << jumps that were called. This way anyone in the audience can enjoy a seemingly clean short program by Zhang but also witness the rotation issues on the big screen and thus understand why she got dinged. On TV, it really is the commentators not doing their job. They need to explain when someone has a lead over another person or when a jump is susceptible to calls. In this regard I think the British / Canadian commentators do a much better job.

    Overall, a rotten Nationals, but glad to see Cesario do well here finally and get to go to Jr Worlds before she ages out! Hope she gets GPs next season (and get a 3/3)!
     
  8. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ I agree with some of your assessments, Marco. Still, how could you call it "a rotten Nationals," with all of the great skates, and the high drama of the men's and ladies events? And for me, the pairs event was enjoyable to watch with some thrills and spills in the final as well. And, Meryl & Charlie are drama and excitement personified. And they always set a high standard that other ice dance competitors seem inspired by.

    Even if all of the results didn't turn out as you had hoped for, characterizing the entire championships as "rotten" is a rather "rotten" thing to do. :p But I still respect some of your other opinions, Marco.
     
  9. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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    IMO Zawadzki well deserved her bronze medal in spite of the mistakes she made. I found Agnes's choreography, body movement transitions and skating transitions to be more complex than Gao's who I felt was rather stroking around the rink most of the time between the technical elements. Agnes also has a wonderful spring off the ice on most if not all of her jumps and doesn't telephone any of them, unlike Gao. I think the US judges got it right.:)
     
  10. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    So, here I go with my two cents judgments:

    ^^ I'm not so sure re whether Zawadski "deserved her bronze medal," especially because she made major mistakes in both programs (but I guess falling is not considered as serious a mistake as URs these days, especially if your name is Mirai Nagasu or Caroline Zhang). ;)

    Gao was obviously a bit tight from nerves, but I think overall she performed better than Agnes, and Gao also fared better on the GP circuit this season. To me, Agnes and Gao are fairly even in terms of components because I think both need to work on expressing themselves more fully (but that often comes with maturity). At this point, I think Gao is more musical with more innate interpretive abilities (that she doesn't always maintain throughout). Certainly, IMO Gao has better lines and aesthetic appeal. The thing about Gao that may be holding her back is her more subtle, softer approach to skating, while Agnes has more spring in her jumps and a more athletic approach. But that doesn't mean Gao is not athletic too.

    Bottom line it seems that USFS is more eager to reward "spring in jumps" and triple/ triples from the young up-and-comers.

    In any case, the judges have spoken and the results will stand.
     
  11. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Just posting this here too since it's relevant.

    My ladies review: http://thenakedice.blogspot.com/

    I can't wait to go back through the thread and read...I'm still scratching my head and shrugging my shoulders over this one...:scream:
     
  12. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Thanks kwanatic. I enjoyed reading your round-up review. Great job of breaking it all down!

    Under the circumstances of what happened, and based on your summary, I wondered who you think should have won the ladies' event? We all know who USFS expected would deliver, and the two they preferred to send: obviously Wagner and Gold, (and in lieu of Gold, they clearly wanted to send Zawadski rather than Nagasu or Gao).
     
  13. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, the general public,( who have no idea that the short program should be a factor in the final results at Nationals), will jump on the "Gracie wuz robbed bandwagon" that the Gold PR machine is pushing. This will serve to give her further notoriety and name recognition going into the Olympic Year. The best team Gold could have hoped for....thanks to the gift given to her by the judges...........
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  14. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Thanks aftershocks.

    You know, I asked myself that same question and I still don't have an answer. That's one of the reasons I'm so conflicted about the results. I don't really think Ashley deserved it based on the FS, but then again I wouldn't necessarily say Gracie was the clear winner either based on the on weak areas of her skating and poor SP. So who does that leave? Agnes? Courtney? Christina? I have no idea. I think Ashley was rewarded for her solid 12 months of skating and, given what's on the line, I agree with that. But that FS score was huge...but then again so was Gracie's...UGH!

    I may go back and play judge -- re-watch the ladies' programs and score them to see where I'd place everyone. I did that for the novice level competition (I was bored at work) and it was fun. Plus the majority of my scores were in line with what the judges gave.

    The funny thing about the novice level versus the senior level is the point spread in PCS among the judges. At the novice level, all of the judges' scores were within a point of each other. If you look at the protocols from the senior ladies event, you have judges handing out a much wider range of scores with huge gaps between some. Gracie's FS PCS ranged from 6.00-7.25 from one judge, while another judge gave her 8.00-9.00. That's a huge gap! Courtney's ranged from 5.75 to 8.75...again, another big gap. Are the judges even watching the same performances? It's just an illustration of how subjective and sometimes bias the scoring can be at these competitions.

    This judging system is so redonkulous I don't even know how to handle it anymore...
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  15. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    Can the Gold PR machine see that there are areas where their skater needs improvement? If no, then the same thing might happen at 4CC and Worlds.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  16. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    :lol: I don't follow American pairs and dance, and while I love Davis & White, there is just no excitement when they are a whole skyscraper better than everyone else. [and if they don't win, something must be seriously wrong and I don't want to watch it]

    For the ladies, I (only) enjoy Gao and Cesario, but find the ladies judging all over the place, and am a little upset that Nagasu's rebound did not happen and that Wagner didn't redeem herself after GPF (and instead skated worse). Everything else was kind of dull. Wang expected threw the short program away and Gold and Zhang expectedly skated a strong but bland free skate. And I disagree with promoting Zawadzki and Hicks. Zawadzki doesn't have the jumps often and isn't sufficiently Cohen to afford those mistakes. Hicks (and her free foot) is simply hideous to watch even with the great spins, the speed and throw away style.

    I am looking forward to watching Baga but haven't come across a video of her skate yet.

    The judging for the men are also all over the place but that's for another thread. :p
     
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  17. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully Ashley can use this time to fully heal and stay injury-free so that she can train properly, like she had planned to for Nationals, (before her injury at GPF and food poisoning right before Nationals.)

    Fingers crossed we can see a strong, confident, healthy Ashley at Worlds so that she can whoop some butt!
     
  18. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    I hate that Wagner hasn't tried the 3/3 all season - it makes her landing it at Worlds that much harder.
     
  19. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    :rofl: I know what you mean, great turn of phrase, Marco.

    "Are you Cohen enough?"
     
  20. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    The food poisoning prior to Nationals probably upended those plans. I assume she was going to try at least one of a 3-3 or 2x-3t at Nationals. Now, she's rightly staying away from 4CC's, but she'll have to really focus to add them by Worlds (where she will need them). But if anyone can do it, it's Ashley who can.

    Let's hope she emulates the Kween at Worlds in more ways than one! Let's also hope she shakes all the nagging problems by March.
     
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  21. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    I'm fully prepared for Gao to beat Gold and Zawadzki at 4CC and make her chalkage of being OTP at Nationals just that much more apparent
     
  22. giselle23

    giselle23 Active Member

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    I wish the USFSA would simply pick the team they want to send to Worlds instead of (apparently) encouraging the judges to manipulate the scores. They still could have sent Ashley, even if she didn't place first (or even second). There was no need to inflate her scores as much as they did. And Gracie was also gifted in her PCS score. Why? Because Canada gifted Kaetlyn Osmond with a 130? That's about how much sense the scoring results make!
     
  23. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    I am thinking the 3loop 2axel sequence isn't such a good idea anymore for psychological reasons. I would rather she go for a 3loop2toe instead, or swap the loop sequence with the lutz so she gets distracted.

    Next season, she should toy around with a 2axel half loop 3sal or 3loop half loop 3sal, I think the success rate might be higher than any 3/3. I am surprised the 3flip3toe didn't come already given how big and consistent her flips have become.
     
  24. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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    You keep using the word, but what the heck does "chalkage" mean?? :confused:
     
  25. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    No matter what she says, if Ashley wants a shot at the top 5 at worlds she is going to have to add a 3-3 of some kind. Everyone has one or something: Mao (word is she's going for the 3A), Yu-Na (3Lz-3T), Carolina (3T-3T), Akiko (3T-3T), Liza (3Lz-3T), Adelina (3T-3T), Kaetlyn (3T-3T or possibly 3F-3T), Kanako (3T-3T), Kiira (is she still going? 3T-3T), Gracie (3Lz-3T)...

    Ashley has to add that 3F-3T to the SP and needs the 2A-3T for the FS if she wants to stay close...
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  26. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    There was a recent IN article that stated that just after the GPF, Ashley and her coaches went back and locked down the 3l-2x seq. to avoid it becoming an psychological issue. Now, she fell on the 3l preceding the 2x at Nationals, but I'm wondering if that was lack of training causing her to lose focus rather than any psychological barrier. My concern for Ashley is that she really needs to maximize points against the likes of Yu Na and Mao nearly at 2010 form, a resilient Carolina, and the Russian babies (Adelina and Liza) starting to nail their routines, and the 3l-2x seq. maximized points better than a 3l-2t.

    IIRC correctly, Ashley finally got the 3f-3t in the SP at WTT last season. I see a similarity in Ashley's approach to the big moves (3-3s) to what Kwan used to do. Let's hope it works out for her
     
  27. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Double post
     
  28. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    She also missed the 2axel after the 3loop in the run through practice at Nationals (which she also fell twice). (OMG she is channeling Cohen :p)

    Maximising points is good, but there are 2 parts to this: smart calculation, and good execution. If she is simply not capable of going smart because, let's face it, she is no Yuna or Gold when it comes to jumping, then she should strategise. The 2axel3toe is Tuk's and Gold's auxiliary trick and they could do it in their sleep, but it is Wagner's only big trick and yet she hasn't even attempted it once yet? All her closest competitors have landed a combo at least as big as 2axel3toe.

    I remember Wagner finally nailing the 3flip3toe and 2axel3toe at WTT, but that's the third competition she attempted them in (4CCs, Worlds, WTT) whereas this season Worlds will be the first and only chance she will attempt them. The odds are not good and she needs to really up the ante (ok we are back on the Kwan comparison :p).
     
  29. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    Re-posting and replying to Marco's questions about Courtney Hicks here rather than in the Nagasu thread:
    The April 2012 article about Hicks' coaching change from Mr. Nicks to Ken Congemi mentioned that she was still planning to take one lesson a week from Nicks. She switched back to her old coach, Scott Wendland, who coached her at her 2 JGPs this past fall and Sectionals in November, before switching to Jere Michael and Alex Chang sometime before Nationals.
     
  30. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    But you could say that missing the 3l - 2x seq. in the runthrough was attributed to Ashley being out of sorts from the previous week's food poisoning. She was hitting the 3l-2x seq. at SA and TEB, and remember, back in 2010 when she was still with Priscilla Hill and her technique was a less solid, she was able to do that jump seq. So, hopefully it's just a matter of her being out of sorts.

    I agree that Ashley is not as talented a jumper as some, but she's gritty and determined. I hope she can do it.
     
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