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. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    I dunno...there is a difference between what is POSSIBLE and what is LIKELY...

    Yes, THEORETICALLY if they skate their best it's possible...but looking at the evidence, how likely is that? Gold is 1 for 4 in the freeskate. Wagner 2 for 4 in the freeskate.
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I do think the U.S team is stronger this year than the last 2 years. The problem is this years Worlds is going to be alot tougher than the last 2 years which were both pretty weak. That is why the U.S really blew it not getting 3 spots back those 2 years and allowing 2 injured skaters who were overmarked at Nationals to go as their number 2 both times. Gold and Wagner have a good shot at 3 spots back if both have a great competition, but that seems tough to count on at this point. More likely probably is hoping one has a great competition and one a so so one, and hoping that might be enough, which it still might be.
  3. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    I hope not. I'm watching the ladie's 4CCs FS on Universal Sports. A woman commentator in voice-overs called Kexin's program in which Kexin ground to a halt at one point 'a disappointing' performance. After Gracie's error-filled, largely blank-faced program which included a fall, the commentator enthused 'A MAAARVELOUS performance by Gracie Gold!'. In less enthusiastic tones she said 'a FINE program for Christina Gao' who outskated Gold and all but the top 3 Japanese women.

    The commentator is delusional or blind, and the U.S. hype engine is alive and well. Hope Gracie can ignore it all.
  4. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
  5. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    How much more experience does she need before lack of experience is stopped being used as an excuse for poor performances?

    Do you know something we don't know?

    Is Gracie injured or something?
  6. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of Crystal Balls....Pot kettle black?
    FSfan107 and (deleted member) like this.
  7. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    I've been reading the posts in this thread w/ a lot of interest. The struggle for 3 spots should be taken into context of US ladies skating over the last couple of decades.

    The US has been blessed (and spoiled) by Kwan. Since the mid 90s, she could be counted on to finish on the podium, which meant that a 2nd US lady only needed a top 10 finish at Worlds to continue the 3 spot advantage. Additionally, the US had other stars such as Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes and Sasha Cohen to hold up their end of their bargain, and they went beyond just top 10, competing as strong medal threats themselves. In Tara's case, a GOLD medal threat.

    But, if you think about it, beyond Kwan-Lipinski, Kwan-Hughes, Kwan-Hughes-Cohen, and Kwan-Cohen, the US landscape was always dominated by unpredictable skaters such as Ervin, Kwiatkowski, Bobek, Nikodinov, Kirk, McDonough, and Liang.

    After Hughes left skating, Kwan-Cohen kept it alive for a couple of years, but Kirk could be predicted to finish around 15th place at Worlds.

    Kwan and Cohen were gone by '06 and that left a whole new batch of ladies to struggle under a new scoring system that no one was properly prepared for.

    It really isn't a surprise that we are where we are.

    Now, if any one of the current crop of US ladies can pull a rabbit out of her hat, it's Wagner. She's competitive. She's no dummy and can see that Yu Na is back in form, Mao is close to securing the 3x, Carolina and the Russian babies are peaking. I sense she gets motivated by competition, and you can bet she and her team are working towards the 3-3 in the SP and a 2x-3t in the LP. Staying away from 4CC's was a smart move, too.

    But, the problem we are running into is that Ashley and Gracie have not established any momentum via Nationals or 4CC's, to lay out strong programs at 90% capacity, perhaps test driving 3-3s (in Ashley's case) or steadier jumps and stronger choreography (in Gracie's case). Still, they have some time and they only have to travel to Canada for Worlds.

    Lord knows that Worlds will be interesting!
  8. bek

    bek Guest

    For the record, I don't know that Gracie won't do well or Wagner won't do well...I think Gracie could very well do well. But I sense with this Four Continents a sense of history repeating itself. And I think there really is a problem with our system... Gracie pretty much had one good free skate this season-one... She was given very generous scores at Nationals and yes hold up in the short. I don't have a problem at all with her winning the free skate but I question by how much and I question the short program score. I'd feel differently if Gracie had a good overall Nationals but the fact that she bombed the short.....


    Wagner had a very good early season but has not been skating well since. It may be the injuries etc, and she may very well be back in form by worlds.. But the way this team was selected there are so many problems.

    Shouldn't consistency/plus how well your skating at the moment determine this team? It just seems to me lately USFSA has been looking at potential while not considering consistency. I.e maybe we will get lucky and Alissa will skate clean.. Or they have been looking at someone who has had good early season results but not necessarily skating well at the moment. See Flatt and Czisny the last two years...

    I just feel we need a system that takes into account potential, consistency, and how well you are skating at the moment..... (Three months between Nationals and Worlds is a heck of a long time)

    I guess I'm saying is I think that Gao with her international results this season deserved far more consideration than she got...By the US judges.. (Hicks too I think deserves more consideration as well. She should be at Four Continents-not Agnes) But there's a little bit of hypocrisy that Ashley's results this season matter- but Gao's don't. Because Gao frankly has been the most consistent lady this season...However consistency only seems to matter if your a favorite. (Gao vs Gold) And having a much better free skate only seems to matter if your a favorite (Gao vs Wagner)

    That's why I'm calling this system unfair.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
  9. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    The US always had depth when it came to Ladies skating way before Kwan. There was always an American who was a contender and usually our number 2 girl was a top 6 skater too if not a medal contender also. But the last 6 years we've had trouble finding a top lady and even when we do the second girl isn't consistent enough or good enough and doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. The depth the Japanese have with their top Ladies is what the US had for over 50 years.
  10. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Olympic is right though that the depth of U.S ladies skating began to wane during the Kwan era, and even a bit before. People just didnt notice it since they loved Michelle so much and there was usually atleast 1 other capable star be it Tara, Hughes, or Cohen with her. However the depth was not what it used to be, and that is coming to fruition now in the post Kwan and Cohen era. In hindsight the signs of this have been about 20 years in the making though. The 92 and 93 Nationals were quite poor overall, where there was only 1 women each time who landed more than 3 triples cleanly (and in 93 that wasnt even the winner, a stumbling and bumbling Kerrigan who preceded her Worlds disaester with her pitiful winning performance, but a 12 year old Kwan who came 6th) a a sign of regressing depth for U.S women relative to what it had always been before, and it has continued since.
  11. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I kinda agree that the Americans have had openings at two or three world championships but lost opportunities due to timing and other issues.

    I think the US ladies team is strong enough to occasionally get 3 spots or even medal once or twice at worlds, even if the team loses the third spot again the following year. Just look at the Russians-- even without Plushenko, the team managed to medal at worlds once (Gachinski), though the team also had some rather unlucky worlds where they were down to one spot. The US ladies team, OTOH, has been doing about the same the last few years. I think it shows that USFS is more conservative in its selection, which translates to more conservative results; while sometimes the Russians seized openings and gambled (and had it paid off), even if they also lost big at some worlds.
  12. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    I guess the point is, are we (i.e. is USFS) wasting time trying to find the next Kwan or Cohen? It's a new system, and a new era. It still seems to me that many folks are still stuck in the old days (some in USFS, NBC TV, some overzealous fans) with the way they heap tons and tons of pressure & expectations on Gracie Gold even though she was largely untested under the spotlight. This is her first season and she's ALREADY expected to save US skating? It's obviously been affecting her as you can see from her performances. And her nationals freeskate left Bezic of NBC to declare that US skating has found its new star. Umm, not so fast? Perhaps it may be in her future, but why do I get the feeling some are trying to project Hughes, Cohen and/or Lipinski onto her?
  13. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    Then again - if we had 3 spots this year - assuming all else the same guess who'd have been number 3? Not Gao...but ZAWADZKI for goodness sake. Who's to say with Wagner/Gold/Zawadzki we wouldn't have lost it again this year anyway?
  14. bek

    bek Guest

    And that's my biggest issue here.. First of all I do get why Agnes is liked I think she's very talented... However Agnes keeps on getting these huge PCS at Nationals that she never gets internationally...It would be one thing if Agnes skated well but she isn't skating that well at Nationals and she actually very inconsistent internationally. It makes no sense..
  15. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Agnes needs both better packaging that showcase her talents better and way more consistency in competition. She needs both of those things to be fixed if she is ever to live up to her huge potential she showed coming 2nd at Junior Worlds.
  16. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Nationals was very odd in terms of results. I think that Ashley should have finished like 3rd or 4th overall but named to the World Team anyway, provided she attended 4CC or some other test skate/competition/monitoring session before Worlds to prove she was healthy, not injured, and in form to compete there. However, that would mean Gracie would have won Nationals after that disaster of a SP, so that wouldn't be a good call either. Agnes was 3rd and didn't deserve to win either. Hicks skated 2 strong programs but apart from her technical ability the rest of her skating is not quite national championship material. So that leaves Christina. In some ways, I think an argument could be made that Gao should have won Nationals. Call me crazy, but her SP was not as bad as Gracie's and her FS was almost as good - the points spread should have been a lot bigger in the SP and considerably smaller in the FS which would put Gao ahead overall, Wagner had a deserved edge in the SP but it shouldn't have been as much as it was and then her FS was much weaker than Gao's, Agnes had a fall in the SP but otherwise the program was good - if fairly marked she and Gao would have had very similar scores in the SP, but then Gao had a better FS - even USFS judges agreed with that, but the margin should have been a bit bigger than the 3 points it was, so Gao would have gone ahead, I was alright with Hicks being slightly ahead of Gao after the SP due to her explosive jumps, but with that big pop in the FS, her FS score should have been a few points lower than Christina instead of a couple points higher, meaning Christina would have come out ahead. Arguably the results of US Nats should have been Gao 1st, Gold 2nd, and then I still can't decide the order for 3rd-5th between Wagner, Zawadzki, and Hicks.

    But I will say it seems like Gracie gets held up for bad skates internationally too - not in the SP maybe, but 4CC was the second time she got a respectable FS score for a performance that was pretty much a mess - COR was the first time. I mean, Gao outscored her by 10 points here, but Gracie's 166 is a decent number for a competition that was not a total disaster but not far from it.
  17. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Good point: I've always felt the USFSA and its associates never did a good job of moving forward - being slow to embrace CoP in the last decade is an example. And I'm not sure why the US hasn't stumbled across a lady with nerves of steel, either. Perhaps Kwan, Lipinski and Hughes were just very special and they all bloomed around the same time. Although, it's admittedly a rarity under the current IJS.
  18. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Gao's FS was not almost as good as Gracie's. While Gracie has a ways to go in terms of presentation the jumping clinic she put on display in the LP was the best of any US lady since the days of Tonya Harding. It was spectacular and only Yuna probably has as of a hard LP technically.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  19. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    You are conveniently forgetting that the Short program at nationals is supposed to count! & Gracie's short program deserved to be way lower than the 9th place the over-generous judges gave her................
  20. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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  21. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

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    Gracie's FS was better, I admit that. But the difference in scores should have been maybe 5 points, I'd have had Christina in the low 120s and Gracie in the high 120s, however, Gracie was held up in the SP and if marked fairly, would have been skating in the 2nd warmup group instead of the penultimate, which would have likely affected her PCS which were too high anyways, and further, her SP score should have been more than 4 points below Christina's. Honestly, I don't think Gold's SP should have broken 50 points. To me, Gracie was overscored about 5 points in the SP and 5 points in the FS, while I thought Gao was fairly marked in the SP but undermarked by about 5 points in the FS. Do the math and subtract 10 points from Gracie's score and add 5 points to Christina's and guess who comes out ahead...

    Anyways, this is what frustrates me about Nationals. It's one thing if they inflate everyone's PCS, but it's frustrating to see some skaters get big PCS boosts year after year at Nationals while others receive virtually no inflation. Gao, along with Nagasu and Zhang, get no PCS inflation at Nats while skaters like Agnes, Alissa, Rachael up until last season, and now Gracie and Ashley get considerable PCS inflation that's enough to alter the outcome compared to what it would be at an international event. THAT is the issue. It's the same for the men. You think they would learn, Adam's 240 from last year was never going to happen internationally, not with the state of his 3a and chronic << status of his quad attempts at that time. Yet he was sent to Worlds even after Miner beat him at 4CCs. It's just like, international judges have a ranking of the US skaters that's different from USFS rankings because of this PCS manipulation. From what was shown this season internationally, Gao is US #2 and Nagasu US #3, and yet they finish 5th and 7th at Nationals. Hmmm
  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    It is funny why a skater like Nagasu was not a USFSA favorite yet a boring and mediocre skater who was NEVER in a million years going to ever improve her 5th place at the 2009 Worlds ever again got such love from them, as well as a late blooming and erratic skater like Czisny who was probably never going to be a World medalist, nor could be counted on for solid finishes to help the U.S gain 3 spots back. Add to that Zawadzki who as yet doesnt get any big scores at senior international events even when she skates well, and is inconsistent as heck. The USFSA is really quite stupid when it comes to their ladies. They are best to just mark them all fairly at Nationals, since when it comes to which they are wise to do their favors for they are too clueless and out of touch with reality even pick the right people.
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