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. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    And just who would have finished 1-2 at Nationals if the 6.0 system was still being used? I bet it would not be a team we would have confidence in. It could have ended up Wagner and Hicks for all we know. Now does that sound like a better system?
     
  2. bek

    bek Guest

    I think Wagner should have finished (if fairly judged) far lower in the long program than 2nd.) And I suspect Gao would have finished far higher in the long program under 6.0 than she did. There was only a one point difference between Hicks and Gao in the free skate, I think under 6.0 their placements would have flipped...
     
  3. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    No i mean what would have been the final standings after the LP not who would have won the LP.
     
  4. Stephanie

    Stephanie Well-Known Member

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    I'm really looking forward to seeing the improvements Gao can hopefully make with a full off-season with Mitchell/Johansson. She barely trained post-junior worlds until sometime in the summer, so bearing that in mind, her success this season is even more impressive, IMO. I really hope she can get the 3F-3T back and am also looking forward to a Mitchell-choreographed long program. This year's short was a huge (positive) step up for her.
     
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  5. bek

    bek Guest

    But who would have won the long program matters. Because the judges rank the skaters after the long in 6.0. Maybe Wagner very well would have been "second" still but I don't think the judges would have given the nod to Hicks over Gao-under 6.0..

    In that sense yes I think our team very well could have been Wagner/Gao....The point though is you can't make the argument that the US system of Nationals only worked for 50 years because we have a different "numbers based scoring system now." That allows judges to give certain skaters HUGE PCs, inflated GOE, and judge downgrades harshly for some and not so harshly for others.

    This system is frankly more easy to manipulate than 6.0 is and thats what makes this Nationals only thing so questionable. Because in a lot of cases a lot of us are seeing Nationals being extremely questionably judged.
     
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Under 6.0, Gao would have been in 5th place going into the FS, and that's not the easiest deficit to overcome. I'm still not sure Wagner wouldn't have been given the presentation marks to place her above Gao, since Wagner is not expendable to the US team, at least this year. Wagner might have gotten 5.6 and 5.7 in the technical score, but she'd have gotten the 5.9's she needed to be above Gao, since US judges aren't as taken with Gao's presentation, and presentation was the tie-breaker. Look at the early/before-Kwan era, where Bobek got her share of presentation gifts.

    Whether Gold delivers on her technical potential isn't the point: it's when, in the most reasonable weak scenario, i.e., barring disaster, the end-result for Worlds place is likely to be the same, i.e., two spots for the US, which is the most likely for the unlikely to happen? Gao hasn't shown herself to have the potential, in a strong field, to be more than seen as in a lower rank. She doesn't have even Murakami-like rep in PCS, so her presentation skills won't compensate if she has technical issue. Gold has shown at least once that she has the technical goods to lay down the type of performance that garners higher-than-expected PCS from international judges, and barely weaker PCS than Gao when she falters. If Gold is strong at Worlds, the speed, power, and ice coverage will compare favorably to Tuktamyshema (one of my favorites).

    What is the downside of choosing Gold over Gao, especially when Gold outperformed Gao at Nationals in the entire competition, and in which their PB's in international competition are 1.25 points in Gao's favor, only because of 4C's where Gao, arguably, had nothing to lose for the last competition of her season?
     
  7. bek

    bek Guest

    Gao here put on a similar performance she's put on all season (accept for a better short) a 5/6 performance. She actually did a 3/3 in the short program-Gold didn't. I agree technically that Gold is better however Gold has not shown that she can by any means consistently put on that kind of technical performance. To in that sense compare her to Elizaveta- who consistently DOES 6/7 triples in her long...

    And once again its arguable whether Gold should have placed ahead-overall at US Nationals, given that short. And its definetly questionable that Wagner did.

    And if we want to talk about technical merit one could quietly point out that Gao has done a 3flip/3toe in the past and actually went for it at the GPF... She's landed those before....

    Once again the issue here is the way this selection procedure works. I'm not sold on the idea that Gold is going to go out there and perform all of those 3/3s at Worlds. I do think Gao is more likely to land her jumps than Gold is. And Gold's PCS for good performances internationally aren't that much higher than Gao's...

    And I do think I can see a scenario where Wagner skates similarly poorly and Gold does as well and its not so good for the US ladies.....Not with the 3 potentially good skaters from Japan, 3 (if Leonova shows up) good skaters from Russia, Kim, Kostner...This girl from China who is fabulous, and Osmond...All it takes is Marchei/Korpi... and one other skater. And I'm sure even if both girls are disasterous one will get enough PCS to keep us in the top 12, but I'm making the point the field in ladies is getting deeper....

    I'm not so sure its wise to take a chance on a very hit and miss skater, when you have the National champ who is starting to so some signs of us all struggling under the pressure. Especially when you have another skater who all season long has consistently put out 5/6 triples a program....

    To be honest if I were making selection procedure I'd probably send all of Wagner, Gao and Gold to Four Continents and see how they do there. If Wagner wasn't ready for Four Continents, I'd have had her skate in a test skate before Worlds and see that she was back in her old fighting shape.... I do see the argument for Gold vs Gao its just I think Gold's massive inconsistency is a concern...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
  8. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    How many times can i say this? No matter who is sent we are NOT going to get that 3rd spot back. So i say let Gold get the experience she needs and let's see what happens.
     
  9. bek

    bek Guest

    And you know this? You have a crystal ball which says all of the other ladies are going to skate super well and a combination of Gao/Wagner couldn't be 5-8, 6/7. Or a combination of Gao/Gold couldn't be 5/8, 6/7.

    It seems to me that we very much could have won three spots for the last two years if we had made all of our skaters show a semblance of readiness before we sent them to worlds. And going to Worlds and placing not so well may not be so great for Gold's confidence.

    Or frankly Wagner places fourth which Wagner very well could and then all Gao would have to place is 9th... Add into US politiking a bit for higher PCS for Gao. Gao finished pretty close to Kaneko here especially in the free skate and that was with Gao falling...And Murakami does have some jump rotation issues.

    I think you are underrating Gao a bit here Jammers. And once again I don't particularly adore Gao, I agree Gold is more likely the future champ....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
  10. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea why you keep saying this all over every thread. There is a very strong chance, when you crunch the numbers, that it will happen w/ Gold and Wagner.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
  15. 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?
     
  16. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of Crystal Balls....Pot kettle black?
     
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  17. 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!
     
  18. 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
  19. 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.
     
  20. 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.
     
  21. 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.
     
  22. 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?
     
  23. 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?
     
  24. 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..
     
  25. 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.
     
  26. 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.
     
  27. 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.
     
  28. 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
  29. 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................
     
  30. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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