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

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

  1. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,953
    You know, it was so close it could have gone either way. I guess in this case she (Gold) paid for her SP screwup. You've just GOT to deliver in the SP...can't afford to mess it up and still be in the running. Such a critical phase of the event. Better to mess up in the FS than the SP (this is what Cohen understood so well and why she was always in the hunt despite her troubles).

    If Gold hadn't singled that axel, she would have won, hands down.
     
  2. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,413
    Your perception is right. There really is no new Miki or Mao coming up in JPN right now.
    IMHO, There have been only five "Championship calibre skaters" in last 15 years or so, Kwan, Slutskaya, Ando, Asada and Kim. All with Junior Worlds crown and multiple Olympics or Worlds Championship now. Most skating fans knew, even before their first senior Worlds, these skaters were going to leave their mark once they reached senior Worlds.
    Arakawa and Kostner are very close to this group. However, these two were relatively late bloomers.
    I am hoping that one of the up and comers in JPN may turn out to have Arakawa type career.

    Even if the best JPN can do is 3-10th at Worlds, we may still be able to maintain 2-3 slots. A team composed of Suzuki/Nakano type career skaters (World Class) is not that bad. After all, the system was designed to produce World class skaters.

    Meanwhile, in Mens singles, there is quite a lot of talent coming up in JPN...
     
  3. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,582
    Yeah, Bobek shot herself in the foot by screwing up in the short program.
    Now, I thought then and still now that Nikodinov was the one who got screwed at 97 nationals. She, more than Bobek, deserved to beat Kwan. I judged Nikodinov 2nd in the long, Bobek 3rd and Kwan 4th which would have given Nikodinov the silver and Kwan the bronze, and Bobek the pewter. Nikodinov got screwed twice at nationals so judges could hold up Kwan - in 1997 and then in the 2000 short program. Overall though, Kwan definitely deserved to beat Nikodinov in 2000 (and win the entire event) so it wasn't a horrible injustice. Nikodinov's Mummy program plain sucked, Cohen wasn't in Kwan's league yet and Hughes never was. :p
     
  4. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2001
    Messages:
    7,602
    Puts in into perspective in what way? :confused: Interesting to talk about and discuss but beyond that?

    6.0 hasn't been used at Nationals in years and the judging criteria with COP is quite different. How something could have, would have ended up is pure conjecture.
     
  5. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,752
    Ando a "Championship calibre skater? I'm not a big fan of Kostner's but she is just a better all around skater then Ando ever was. Same with Arakawa though she she wasn't a dominate skater and had many bad seasons. Ando's win at Worlds in 2011 was the weakest since the 1980's it was that unimpressive. Plus all the other skaters managed to win or medal at the Olympics while Ando has never come close. Ando was mostly just a jumper when she went up to the Senior level and needed to make a lot of improvements with her skating. She didn't look like a future World champion back then.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  6. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B comps!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,492
    Ando, at 19, won her 2007 World title over Asada, Kim, Meissner, Nakano, and Kostner (6th) so, yes, she is a "Championship calibre skater" in my book.
     
  7. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,945
    ^^Yeah, I'm not exactly a fan of Miki but I respect her as a competitor b/c she's a damn good competitor. It's rare that she's the most talented person in the field but she knows how to show up and get her job done. She has that killer instinct and knows how to focus and deliver under pressure. That's why she's a two-time world champ...she's able to get it done.
     
  8. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,258
    Ando is a great jumper, great competitor, and had a coach who understood how to milk COP - her winning Worlds twice was no accident. You have to give credit where credit is due. She was driven, smart, and delivered when it mattered. You can complain about her watering down the content in 2011 but honestly that was strategic - she didn't need to take the risk, as we saw, she played it safe and won Worlds anyways. In 2007 she knew she needed to throw down everything she had technically to stand a chance at beating an on Mao or Yuna and that's what she did. Arakawa and Lysacek being Olympic Gold Medalists should show people that killer technical content is not always how the game is won.
     
  9. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,561
    Re your post #190 Maximillian, thanks again.

    I was just thinking after reading a post in the "Bust" thread dissing U.S. ladies, especially re the so-called reign being over, that one of the things a lot of us don't really consider too often when looking back is that during Michelle's reign there really was not a lot of great competition worldwide in the ladies division. It was a fairly low period for Europe (talk about skaters not fully realizing their potential -- one could examine the European scene in those years). The fact that young, juniorish Tara Lipinski could shoot from third at U.S. Nationals in 1996 to suddenly World champion the next year speaks volumes about the dearth of competition in the rest of the World. That is probably partly one of the reasons why the media and the ISU always seemed so antsy about finding someone else to beat MK. Yes, there was an interesting so-called rivalry between Irina and Michelle, but seriously, Irina S and Maria B were not as magnificently talented as the young ladies coming up in Russia these days.

    Michelle was and is great because she was so disciplined, highly competitive and she got every ounce and then some out of her talent, but there was not anyone who truly gave her much of a run for dominance (aside from carping by the media re her minimal faults, and hyping re finding someone to rival her). I give credit to Maria winning Worlds in 1999, but she was challenged to improve and reach that level by what Michelle was accomplishing. And, MK being under the weather that year was also fortuitous for Maria who definitely skated through that open door of opportunity to beat the Kween. Still, Michelle always came back to rise again, like the Phoenix. :)


    Michelle Kwan was like the Michael Jordan of ladies figure skating during the years of her dominance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  10. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,648
    The "old" system wouldn't have been any better. I agree that Ashley wins. All mistakes considered from both skaters, Ashley is the stronger skater.
     
  11. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,953
    Not sure about Jordan - perhaps Karl Malone might be a better comparison. Phenomenal NBA career, an all-star, but missing the big one (NBA championship) from his resume. As great as Kwan was, she was never able to win the OGM, considered to be the highest level of achievement in her sport.

    (although, surely on the national level you can make the Jordan argument)
     
  12. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,561
    ^^
    I'm making the Michael Jordan comparison not in terms of championships won, or of winning the ultimate big one (especially since basketball is a team sport and figure skating is mostly an individual sport). My comparison is based on the fact that Michael Jordan was (like MK) head-and-shoulders above most other players of his era, even his teammates. His dominance was mainly by virtue of his hard work, discipline, desire, competitive spirit, and the fact that he, like Michelle Kwan, excelled at getting every ounce and then some out of his talent.

    As per my previous post, I think the argument re Michelle's dominance can be made both nationally and internationally. Partly she dominated because of the fact there were not a lot of strong skaters in Europe and other countries as there are today. Most of Kwan's competitors were working hard just to keep up with her consistency and the unique style, grace and courage she brought to the ice.

    In any case, as I recall, comparisons were even made between Michelle and Michael Jordan during her reign. Indeed there were references back then to her being the Michael Jordan of ladies figure skating, whether or not you agree or perceive it to be a viable comparison. :)

    Also, let's not forget that the biggest competition for MK at the biggest international events came from Michelle's U.S. compatriots, Tara Lipinski and Sarah Hughes. Plus, Sasha Cohen was another strong U.S. competitor who challenged Kwan and the rest of the World on the basis of her stretch, line and artistic qualities, if not so much her technical skills.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  13. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,953
    EVERYONE is compared to Michael Jordan - both now and when he was playing. Doesn't prove anything. He was just the measuring stick for everyone else.

    The latest victim is Lebron James. He is continually compared to Jordan. Does that make it viable?

    Ashley Wagner was compared to Kwan in another thread. Does that make it viable?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  14. Maximillian

    Maximillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    2,079
    ITA with all this. One of the things I've been thinking a lot about lately has been the feeling I get that the rivalry between Michelle and Irina was one that was primarily manufactured behind the scenes, because while I admit to being an Irina fan at the time (I always like the under-dog), in retrospect, she wasn't even close to Michelle and the big broohaha that was made about her beating Michelle and being better than Michelle seems absolutely ludicrous upon reflection.

    What I wonder about is how much this got into Michelle's head through the years and really made her question herself and her skating. How was it that she was now losing (occasionally) and being challenged by a woman who was no where near her level in the previous quad? Much was made of Irina's artistic improvements and triple/triples but if you watch any of her programs from back then you can see that the whole "new" Irina was a lot of smoke and mirrors. And while in the end Michelle wound up winning most of their battles throughout the quad (at least the important ones Worlds 2000, 2001) I do think that it might have negatively affected Michelle and might have led to some of the poor decisions she made in the 01-02 season.
     
  15. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,561
    ^^ This!!! ITA

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, once again, Maximillian. :)



    Thanks to you too RD for sharing your disbelief in the "viability" of anyone being compared to either Michael Jordan or Michelle Kwan. ;)
     
  16. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,953
    I posed those questions as rhetorical...

    Just food for thought.

    ("Viable" was your word BTW. :) )
     
  17. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,503
    Philly, Olympics 2006: Meissner 5th; Emily 7th
     
  18. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,561
    Yes I first used the word viable in reference to your apparent feeling that the Jordan/ Kwan comparison doesn't ring true. In any case, big deal. :p

    It's certainly true as you mentioned that lots of athletes and other people who are highly competitive and successful at what they do indeed have been compared to Michael Jordan, and I would add on many occasions skaters and other athletes are compared to Michelle Kwan. I think what that demonstrates is that the focus and dedication both Jordan and Kwan gave to being the best in their respective sports (as well as in their lives in general) set a high standard which many seek but often fail to reach. It's not about medals or championships, it's about the extent of one's effort, discipline, drive and belief.

    The fact you mentioned Karl Malone tho' in connection with Michelle Kwan does seem apropos, as I recall there was a fluff piece once during U.S. Nationals in which Michelle was talking to Karl on a basketball court, and Karl ended up signing his name on both of her skate boots. Correct me if I am mistaken.
     
  19. query5

    query5 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    672
    can make it on the olympic.

    the olympic level is also political. how you may asked.
    1) michelle couldn't fall and stay on top 1st like irina with 3 falls, ashley, mao.
    her one fall took her out of the top stop even a little hiccup. imagine if they allowed michelle the trip in 2002 and stayed in1st after the short.
    2) skated 7 clean triples not one fall and didn't win, better overall artistic than tara,
    3) techniquely called a trip but for michelle was a fall; however when sasha pulled the same mistake in 2006 was a trip and awarded 2nd michelle 3rd.
    4) tara was hyped up to the 1998 olympics to win , michelle won the 1997 free skate but due to a fall in short was 4th in the short and 1st in long but no one beat tara out to win. so tara was 1997 champ. pushed tara to be the next sonia henie overlooking her small jumps, her bad technqiue, humping a bit --not like surya
    5) To win the Olympic Gold Medal you have to be the one they federation wants to win. ( u.s. picked nicole, tara, sarah, sasha) look how bad they wanted michelle name off the the list for achievements by overlooking ashley downgraded (her cross legs) when she fell. they wanted/willed ashley to win. they picked her name.
    michelle is/was a great skater to me rob of ogm in 1998, possibly 2002 along with irina. u.s. picked sarah in 2002. she she won the gpf bronze 2 years, won bronze medal.
    with all the pressure, hoopla, age calling over michelle and the media riding michelle more than tara, sarah, sasha, kristi, nicole combine. they had no pressure.
    u.s. wanted evan to win. he skated like michelle did-methodical and he won. they reconfigured the guidelines to fit him. what guidelines did they reconfigure to help michelle kwan win the ogm. they didn't. they was waiting for her to fall./screw up.

    enough of my blather.
    point is. michelle won the ogm in 1998/ they overlooked other mistakes from tara, found all of michelles, they overlooked sarahs, found michelle/
    found a way to keep sasha on top despite her screwups.found a way to keep irina on top despite her less than thrilling aristry and her mistakes.

    the judges didn't look at the feet of who they wanted to win/ only the ones they didn.t

    ashley isn't michelle by a long shot. no comparison what so ever. (outside of same music) nothing.

    tara/michelle was closer than most people think.in terms of character/temperament;/mental toughness.
    the u.s. ladies now are sorely lacking the mental toughness
     
  20. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    638
    In English please?

    Maybe throw in some proper logic? I'm sure the USFS was banking on SARAH winning the OGM in 2002 and therefore pulled all the strings to make it happen because she was the big star of US skating.
     
    Maximillian and (deleted member) like this.
  21. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,561
  22. all_empty

    all_empty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,192
    I liken the hype around Gracie to the hype around Kimmie Meissner circa 2005.

    Both extremely talented (Kimmie was a helluva better skater than most people give her credit for), both propped up by the press, both criticized for their arms.

    Kimmie, to me, was more quietly consistent. She peaked at the absolute right time, but still safely in the shadow of Sasha Cohen (and to a lesser degree, Michelle Kwan).

    With no standout American lady, there's even more pressure on Gracie to deliver. I actually prefer her out of all the next crop of skaters (followed by Elizaveta and Zijun Li). But like others have said, her development and the Olympic timetable might not be in sync. And she has a lot of strong competition coming up. Only time will tell.
     
  23. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Messages:
    11,277
    Gold had much better jumping technique than Meissner ever had, but yes I saw the similarity, hype wise.
     
  24. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,953
    Major difference: Gold has no 3A...

    Another major difference: Gold is getting to compete at pre-Oly worlds. KM was just there as a spectator on ESPN's dollar

    Gold is a couple of years older (big difference in skating!)

    Gold is not nearly as much in Wagner's shadow (if at all!) as KM was in Kwan's and Cohen's

    NBC, as the Olympic network, is a greater hype machine than ABC/ESPN ever was

    So on, etc...
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  25. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,361
    Kimmie didn't really have one either...
     
    Maximillian and (deleted member) like this.
  26. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,354
    Yes the judges hated Kwan so much. They only were willing to give her 9 U.S titles and 5 Worlds golds. Michelle Kwan is one of my favorite skaters but you Kwaniacs are almost as bad as Federertards. The only good thing about her retirement is most of you are gone.

    Also what is the BS about keeping Cohen on top. Cohen didnt win a single World or Olympic title, and couldnt win any event she was in barring the occasional minor grand prix with no noteable opponents, when she so much as missed anything. She didnt even win a U.S National title until her last year (other than her blip of a comeback) with Michelle out of Nationals with injury. Irina won 2 World titles in an incredibly long career that stretched out even longer than Michelle`s, one of them at 26 years old and near retirement, so on what planet was she being kept on top either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  27. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,354
    LOL I am one of those who disagreed with Hughes Oly Gold medal but it sure as heck was never based on her being a judges or USFSA favorite (she was neither, ever). It was based on her flaws not being as big a part of the marking system at the time, the extreme luck of her being 4th in the short, and of course having the skate of her life on a day the favorites all performed mediocre at best.

    Kwan is definitely the apple of the USFSA`s eye (and understandably so as by far their greatest skater, bar Tara for a couple years at her peak being right up with her). All her 6.0s at Nationals, even occasionaly bogus ones like for her Bolero at Nationals 2005, says it all. Cohen and Bobek are probably their 2nd and 3rd favorites, based on all the breaks they got over the years. Hughes is definitely not a favorite, based on her losing to Cohen twice at Nationals in 2000 and 2002, when she was at the time always placing higher internationally, and skated cleaner with more triples landed both times.
     
  28. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,354
    Those should have been the results at Nationasl 1997 no question IMO! Which would have also seen Nikinidov go to Worlds and not Nicole. Cohen actually would have won the title in 2000 had Kwan been 4th in the short program, but I actually though Cohen should have been 3rd in the long program that year anyway. Nikidinov was also screwed at Nationals in 2001 when she should have beaten Hughes. I think because she was so inconsistent internationally and never made the big breakthrough she was not that highly respected by U.S judges or the USFSA though. I often wonder if she could have made the Olympic Team in 2002 even had she skated cleanly. I suspect not, that they still would have left her off.
     
  29. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,354
    I also often felt 1996-2006 was an entire very low period for ladies skating, apart from the brilliance of Michelle Kwan and the blips of brilliance from a few like Lipinski and Arakawa at the end of her career. I think what happened is Europe did indeed get alot weaker with the fall of some of the communist countries (although not so much the Soviets who were rarely great in ladies to begin with), however I dont think Europe has even gotten much better since then. I think Europe has stayed down, but Asia has picked up for them and made up for the loss of strength in Europe. Most of the strength of the ladies event today comes from Asia, with only a bit from Europe and the U.S, but both Europe and the US show signs of being stronger in the next quad, with Asia still remaining strong, which could make the field even deeper in the years to come than it was from 2007-today.
     
  30. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,620
    Also, Gold has done them in practice and might do one in competition at some point. IINM, she's younger now than Midori Ito and Tonya Harding were when they landed their first triple axels in competition.