U.S. Ladies [#7] Wagner's Rink Cycle

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Vagabond, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Somebody please help me. I really want to be excited about Gracie but I still fail to see what everyone's so excited about.

    I see the potential in her jumps. Good height, distance and speed...good technique except for the flip. She's a gifted jumper, there's no denying that. Her basics are good, her spins are decent. She's a solid skater. However, I'm failing to see that spark of anything else special that would make me excited to watch her. So many girls have the ability to jump and spin, but for a few, there's something extra about them that makes them stand out:

    Julia: Her presentation. It's very, very good for a 13 or 14 year old skater. She's ahead of the curve in terms of that. If she had choreography that would force her to listen to the music and utilize that presentation along with her flexibility, she could be amazing...plus she has difficult jumps.

    Adelina: Lovely, mature presentation, gorgeous lines and extension, great flow...she's 16 years old but she's the only newbie who could legitimately give the top 3 skaters a run for their money at worlds...plus she has huge, difficult jumps.

    Liza T: She has pizazz, attitude and fire when she performs and she does perform when she skates...plus she has difficult, textbook jumps.

    Kaetlyn: She's a natural born performer who can connect with her music and the audience easily...plus she has nice jumps.

    Zijun: Lovely, lyrical style and presentation and a great understanding of music...plus difficult jumps.

    It's like everyone has something extra in addition to the jumps. With Gracie, I see huge jumps and a positive attitude about her skating...but that's it. I don't see natural grace from her; her skating is very stiff to me. Her arms are rigid almost airplane-y, her jump landings are abrupt and very Emily Hughes with the "Taa-daa!" arms. I don't see any kind of musical connection or understanding when she skates. She regurgitates choreography the way most younger skaters do meaning there's nothing behind her movements which leaves the program feeling empty. In terms of emotion, her face is either blank, plastered with a fake smile, or terrified looking.

    Maybe I'm expecting more from her than I should. To me, 17/18 is more than old enough to have a good grasp on the basics of performing. I look at Michelle and Sasha at 17/18...or Mao and Yu-Na at 17/18: maturity, polish, artistry and then some. I know it's a little unfair to hold Gracie to such high standards but when people are constantly saying how wonderful she is, I'm thinking, "Well if she's so great, why is she 17 years old and still skating like a 13 year old?" There are a number of up-and-coming skaters who I'd place above Gracie b/c they display more than just jumps when they skate; however, most people don't know about them b/c for some reason the media is fixated on Gracie.

    I'm really trying to be excited for her and cheer her on but as of now I'm just annoyed with her. Huge jumps are great but when they're delivered in a generic shell of a program with zero to connection to the bad music she's skating to, I feel let down and then really angry and confused b/c the media then proceeds to wax poetic about how marvelous and wonderful she is and how she's a star! Plus, I'd probably lay off of her some if she actually had some consistent skating to back up all of this praise but her skating has been sporadic all season long. She is 100% hit or miss right now.

    I'm sorry to have a mini rant and I'm not trying to pick at her; I'm honestly trying to understand. I want to like her and, seeing as how NBC and USFSA has anointed her as the "golden child" something tells me I need to start liking her. But given her current level of skating and what she's managed to do this season, I'm hardly impressed and still wondering what makes Gracie Gold so great and worthy of this all this praise and attention?

    Maybe somebody who actually gets it can help me understand...
     
  2. dawnie

    dawnie Active Member

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    Well in addition to the jumps, she's the perfect girl to market in the American media- young, pretty, and a fitting last name to boot. Agnes and Courtney were the last 2 US Junior champions before her and they received some hype but not nearly as much hype as Gracie. Agnes and Courtney are pretty girls as well but if either one of them were in Gracie's position right now, would they be getting the same attention? I don't think so. Gracie just has that all-American look.
     
  3. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    If looks made a skater, Cohen would have always beaten Kwan and Korpii and Czisny would have been 1-2 at the last two Olympics at least. Maybe three. And if it counts for males, where is John Z's Olympic medal??

    Gracie has a PR machine working behind the scenes. Media outlets don't show up to write about junior skaters who missed the last Nationals, as they did a year and a half ago, unless someone has been hounding them to do so.
     
  4. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! And it continued this season with USA Today and Today Show promoting the heck out of her. I'm sure Gold PR Machine hounding was involved there too, because it certainly wasn't her record as a Senior....

    Which makes it all the more ironic when some of her fans on this board, and members of her team, are always begging that she be left alone to mature in her skating, blah, blah, blah, she's so young, blah, blah, blah, when her own PR machine is a big part of all of the hype, and is continuously hounding media outlets for publicity....

    You can't have it both ways...........
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  5. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    Gracie doesn't have any technical weaknesses, she skates big, she has great line, and her height and long limbs and perfectly proportioned, toned body all give her a regal look when she is "on." I think all she needs are confidence and better programs. The programs shouldn't be a problem. (Not saying they aren't, but her team ought to be able to get her the best choreography anywhere.) The confidence though... how can she build that up when she's being hyped and analyzed all over the place in a pre-Olympic year? She does have a lot in common with Caitlyn who is dealing with similar hype, but at least Caitlyn doesn't have to deal with the Gold/Goldilocks thing. Maybe Gracie should go back to her natural hair color ... and wear headphones if necessary.

    But I would put my money on Caitlyn at this point.
     
  6. dawnie

    dawnie Active Member

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    I was talking about hype, not actual results.

    And IIRC, both Agnes and Courtney had some media attention when they won Juniors. Agnes also missed the last Nationals before her Junior win and got considerable attention when she received the highest score ever posted for Juniors. Courtney topped it the year after and received some attention as John Nicks' next big thing. And then we know what happened the next year with Gracie. Maybe Gracie does have a PR machine or a savvy agent working every angle, but I also wouldn't doubt USFS being involved with the push to promote her. I was not one bit surprised when they invited her to compete at WTT.
     
  7. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Gettin' my sass out

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    What exactly is the "All-American" look?
     
  8. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Well, the NBC announcers during the Olympic gymnastics trials kept talking about how Kyla Ross had 'that great international look', so I assume Asian isn't the All American look :)
     
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    I have always understood it to mean "Anglo-Saxon". I've always hated that phrase. And FWIW, I don't see how Hicks' or Zawadzki's looks would be considered any less marketable than Gold's unless they're after someone who looks like Figure Skating Barbie.
     
  10. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure they were talking about her being slim and elegant, not Asian. They were contrasting her with the more "athletic" (muscular and more technical than artistic) members of the US team. Not everything is about race/ethnicity, really it's not.
     
  11. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Winning trumps looks. They had no trouble marketing Lipinski, who isn't a classic beauty, because she won the medals. And Kwan is not "all-American" in the traditional "anglo-saxon" sense, obviously, yet is a millionaire many times over thanks to winning.

    If USFSA does think they need to market Gracie because she is pretty enough, they need to look back and realize that it is about winning not being photogenic.
     
  12. FSfan107

    FSfan107 Well-Known Member

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    Gracie has been receiving media attention for about a year about being a promising up-and-comer, but it hasn't been anything excessive. Some newspaper & magazine articles, maybe a feature on ESPN's website or something. Outside of the NBC coverage, I don't know of Gracie being talked about on any major national network. She hasn't received anything close to what Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski, and Sasha Cohen received when they were juniors heading into the senior ranks (not to mention the likes of a young Dominique Moceanu and the Williams sisters). Of course some of the press hype is diminished now with figure skating receiving less coverage in the United States. I really don't understand how some see the coverage of Gracie as over-the-top. Ashley Wagner has received just as much if not more media attention (rightfully so as National Champion) in the past year. My guess would be that their favorite senior lady skaters in the U.S. haven't accomplished anything. I don't know what else it could be.
     
  13. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I do agree that she skates big and that her jumps and speed leave a good impression. Technically, she's solid with the exception of her flip, so I agree with that too.

    I think she's a cute girl but there's nothing about her appearance that makes her stand out from the rest of the bottle blonde skaters out there...

    As for her lines, they're okay but not great. Great is Mao Asada, Carolina Kostner, Adelina Sotnikova... Gracie's stiffness in her arms is distracting. There's way too much tension and it makes her arm movements look like flapping and gives her skating a slightly rigid look...

    Regal quality comes from confidence, presence, ease and carriage. I've never seen Gracie perform with those qualities so I can't say I've even seen her look regal while skating...examples would be great.

    I just don't get it...:shuffle:
     
  14. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    Speaking for myself I am referring to all the buzz on skating sites as well as the way Phil Hersh, who I guess is the no. 1 US sportswriter covering skating, has latched onto her as the great hope of US skating in column after column... and announced it to the world whenever she has fallen short. It may not be like the Kwan-Cohen era, but it's a lot for our diminished era.
     
  15. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    Well, I may have overstated her fine points just a bit, but the potential is there. You are right about the arms, though. I forgot about that. I thought she looked regal in her FS at Nats. Not when she was marching, though!
     
  16. algonquin

    algonquin Well-Known Member

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    It is spelled Kaetlyn. I know it is an odd spelling.
     
  17. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Lol, Spun Silver! :D

    I'm not trying to be a big ol' b*tch to Gracie, I swear. I'm just stating what I see and trying to understand what everyone else sees that's so amazing...I'm really curious as to why people are so enthralled by her.
     
  18. FSfan107

    FSfan107 Well-Known Member

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    Well yeah, I could see people getting annoyed in response to Hersh. He seems very reactive/judgmental these days. One day a skater is the greatest thing going, but a couple of falls and they're hopeless. :rolleyes: He sounded like he wanted Max Aaron knocked off the World Team after his short program at Four Continents.
     
  19. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I assumed they weren't refering to her being the only (I think) Asian girl there, but since they never explained 'the look' or what international judges/community prefered it was certainly a poor word choice. I know multiple people who heard it the way I jokingly posted, it was commonly discussed the next day at work- that she was NOT "All American".
     
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    Granted, I have only seen her in four competitions, but I don't see anything amazing. Or regal. Or even potentially interesting. Maybe that will change but right now, she's just another jumping bean to me.
     
  21. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    Why can't all the Caitlins spell their flippin' names the same way? The fans need regularized spelling in this sport!
     
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  22. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    It could be worse. She could spell it "Q8tl'nne".
     
  23. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It is nauseating the way he has fawned over Gracie since last Nationals.....

    He suggested sending her disguised as Czisny to World's after the short program at World's last year (in one of his World's coverage columns), not funny.............
     
  24. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    You see potential in her jumps? I simply see great jumps! The biggest thing Gracie needs to work on is consistency with her jumps but the height, amplitude and difficult is great. Of course Gracie isn't as refined as Sasha and Michelle but they never jumped like her. Right now the quality of their skating has eclipsed Gracie's in so many ways but she jumps better than they ever did. And isn't that exciting? Especially if (big if) she manages to build on that? :)
     
  25. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    Thank God for ridiculous blessings!
     
  26. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    That is such a big if, though. A super-sized colossal one. Kwan did Salome at 15. Cohen was 17 at the 2002 Olympics. Kim was 17 and Asada was 18 in Vancouver. Yet somehow, Gold is so very young and needs all this time to develop something beyond the jumps?
     
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  27. dawnie

    dawnie Active Member

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    Kim and Asada were both 19 in Vancouver. :)
     
  28. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Skaters develop at different rates. Look at Maria Butyrskaya. She didn't make a name for herself until she was about 25-26. Or how about Arakawa who hadn't done much of anything until she was about 22. Or Nancy Kerrigan who was about the same age when she became a force internationally. Figure skating is full of examples of women who peaked in their early 20's after it looked like the would never be a top contender. Let Gracie develop at her own pace. She might not peak until she's about 21 but it will be worth it.
     
  29. centerstage01

    centerstage01 Well-Known Member

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    What Gracie needs is a choreographer that can highlight her strengths and disguise her weaknesses while she's working on improving said weaknesses. I find myself unable to REALLY like her because I think her programs this season are so bad. Her SP makes me cringe. It's a little hard to shake what your mama gave you when you don't really have the tatas to shake. Movements are made because someone told her to make them, not because the music dictates. I've got nothing to say about her technical skills because those are wonderful. I still love watching that 3L/3T at Nationals.

    She and her coach desperately need to go choreographer shopping after Worlds if they aren't doing it now.
     
  30. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Can you guarantee that?! You seem so sure of this happening.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013