U.S. Ladies [#9]: Battle to/in Boston

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Sylvia, Nov 12, 2013.

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  1. SidelineSkater

    SidelineSkater New Member

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    ^^^

    Exactly, that 2nd flip mistake left a lot of points on the table because it was supposed to be a three jump combo. I agree with the other posters about the LP not being as impactful as the previous two seasons, but at least it doesn't feel as empty choreographically as her SA program. And yes Ashley needs to be closeri n PCS to the top tier than the 2nd tier, but I wouldn't panic about her being close to Adelina in PCS. Doesn't Adelina have a history of scoring high in the 2nd mark regardless of her tech scores?

    Let's just hope there's even more improvement in two weeks for GPF!
     
  2. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. The American ladies are definitely underperforming as a group this season. Only Ashley has skated well. The others are just not in a good state right now: inconsistent performances, very late coaching changes, weak programs for the most part. It's weird. The girls are all talking about wanting to make the team, but the actual skating sort of tells a different story, almost like they're afraid to succeed or something.

    It's the total opposite with the Russian girls. They're all getting steadily better and putting out really difficult, challenging programs. They're fighting for those 2 spots. I'm not sure what exactly the American girls are doing.

    American pairs not looking good either. Only Denney/Coughlin and Denney/Frazier have performed to expectations; the rest of the U.S. pairs have been kind of a mess on the Grand Prix. And although the U.S. men have managed 3 GP medals, it's pretty clear we're not going to win any medals in Sochi. Well, at least we still have Meryl & Charlie in dance.

    I have to really wonder what the U.S. federation has been doing since last season in terms of mentoring and monitoring skaters. And how did so many bad ladies' programs make it through the monitoring process at Champs Camp?
     
  3. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Black Swan is a program I rewatch on a regular basis. It builds to a climax with the famous Black Swan spiral :swoon: and the bourrées followed by the split falling leaf, all falling perfectly on accents in the music. Now that's choreography that captures the character. Same was true, but to a lesser degree with Delilah. With R&J, I am still waiting for those exciting moments--I hope Ashley and team have them up their sleeves and will roll them out come Nationals (and Sochi).

    ETA: the current R&J music cuts don't give Ashley much to work with. Please, Team Ashley, include the Dance of the Knights in the 2nd part of the program so that the audience (including the judges) could get engaged more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  4. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    I agree about the Russian girls. They seem to want it more and aren't afraid to show it. If you want something bad enough even nerves won't stop you and the Russian girls are showing how much they want it. On the other hand the US girls seem almost afraid of wanting it to much and they are skating timid. I don't want to hear Gracie say she's happy to get a Bronze medal at SC i want to see some fire in her belly that she isn't happy with just a Bronze medal. US girls seem to be afraid to say how much they really want it unlike the Russians.
     
  5. peibeck

    peibeck Letting Poje be on top

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    The Russian women definitely have been bringing it this year, but I have to think in part it is because they are all only too well aware there are only two Sochi slots, and the way the Russian Fed makes their decisions about Euros/Worlds/Olympic berths is notoriously fickle. They cannot wait until Russian Nationals to have a breakthough skate and hope to get named to the team.

    To counter that, I think most of the American ladies feel Wagner and Gold are going to be pretty much gauranteed two of the three Sochi places. That leaves a lot more pressure on the remaining girls for the one Olympic spot to be determined. I don't think it isn't because they don't want it, but the FEAR of not getting that spot is playing on their minds.
     
  6. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right. And that's the advantage of a selection process that takes the whole season into account. The trouble with the U.S. system is it allows the skaters to perform subpar on the Grand Prix and still hope for that breakthrough, as you put it, at Nationals.

    You can see the same effect with the Japanese skaters. Because their system also considers the whole season, the Japanese skaters are putting every bit of effort they can into their GP performances.



    This makes sense. Yes, they're skating cautious and scared right now, so maybe it is fear that's dominating their minds. Too bad--for them and the audience!
     
  7. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The American ladies are, for lack of a better term, sucking right now. Ashley and Samantha are the exception...no one else is skating like they want to go to Sochi and that includes Gracie who aside from one good SP has done nothing worth writing home about. Everyone looks scared...like no one wants to step up and take the pressure that comes with being at the top. That's why I have so much respect for Ashley. She seems to thrive under that pressure and rather than run away from it, she embraces it. I don't get the sense any of the other girls have that mentality...it honestly feels like they are afraid to win b/c then they'll have to deal with the pressure of being expected to do well.

    The US has a number of great skaters...tragically, we don't have many good competitors. Russia on the other hand is stacked with great competitors. Anna is the most recent example...she's young and lacks a lot of what she needs to be a champion right now, but that doesn't stop her from gunning for the top. She's fearless...so is Julia...so is Elena...and it seems like having that competitiveness in their face is bringing out the competitiveness in Adelina and Liza T too. They know if they want to stay at the top they've got to show up. That's why the girls coming out of Russia are so mentally tough; they have to fight tooth and nail just to get an international event which makes them that much hungrier to get out there and do well b/c they know there are no less than three newbies nipping at their heels should they fall.

    Gracie, Agnes, Mirai and Christina need to find a backbone, (wo)man up and start competing. If I had to pick the American team for Sochi right now I'd pick Ashley Wagner, Ashley Wagner and Samantha Cesario. I honestly don't think any of the others have earned the right to go...
     
  8. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    :lol: Funny, sad and true.

    One of the big reasons I like Ashley so much. Besides being such a hard worker, she is a fighter. So are the above-mentioned Russians.

    But I may be in a minority when I say that Ashley is also special in other ways. I know people go on and on how she lacks talent and I couldn't disagree more. This season's LP doesn't let her interpretive talent shine as much as the previous seasons' programs but I am hoping to see improvement in that respect. She certainly has the ability to get the audience excited and involved in her skating. I noticed that back in 2007 and thought to myself that this girl is special. And she is.
     
  9. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    I think the Russians seem to have better basics too overall. And I'm impressed that quite a few of them aren't shy about trying the difficult 3Lz-3R combo.
     
  10. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Ashley is a fighter, and seems to have a realistic approach to the season. She has, from what I can tell, done everything she's said she was going to do thus far. She's adding the 3/3, perfect or not, and she's building up the detail in the choreography as the seasons goes on. I like her fight. I like her general attitude.

    I hope for the best for all the ladies. A bit crushed for Gao. I really saw her building a case for that 2nd or 3rd spot. Now, I just hope she can re-focus and do well at Nationals. I think Gold will skate well enough to make the team, but I don't see her as an Olympic medal threat.

    O-
     
  11. Flying Camel

    Flying Camel Member

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    I have to really wonder what the U.S. federation has been doing since last season in terms of mentoring and monitoring skaters. And how did so many bad ladies' programs make it through the monitoring process at Champs Camp?[/QUOTE]

    I have been saying that Champs Camp is a joke.. Nothing seems to get done. It just seems like a social event.
     
  12. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't it the judges at Champs Camp who told Rachael that she needed to cut her hair? I think you're right. Nothing seems to get done there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  13. Blondie12

    Blondie12 New Member

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    Someone mentioned that Sochi posters are all about Gracie. Now why is that? The cynic in me says well, that could be bc Gracis is a pretty white ice princess. But the thing is, So is Ashley!!! Ashley too is pretty & poised, and has an even more compelling story of how she was left off the them last time and came back to be the national champion. further, hasn't Ashley pretty much always beat Gracie and isn't Ashley more of a lock than Gracie, like the intl skating community would be shocked if Ashley does not show up in Sochi, but would be much less shocked about Gracie.

    So what gives? Why is Gracie getting all the attention? Why not at least equal?
     
  14. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Because when Gracie came along in the summer of 2011 she caught people's attention with her speed power huge jumps and 3-3 combinations which none of the top US Ladies were even attempting at the time. Let's face it part of the problem with the US Ladies in the last 5-6 years was that we had skaters who couldn't land jumps or who had bad technique. Gracie had great technique and had huge potential but wasn't like these tiny 13, 14 year old Russian girls who haven't even grown yet with their tiny jumps Gracie had already had her struggles with puberty and had come through it with her jumps.
     
  15. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Gracie is getting *all* the attention...but Gracie is young, with a seemingly bright future ahead. And yes, much like Kimmie and her 3A was supposed to be the US's answer to Mao, Gracie and her 3/3 is supposed to be our answer to the Russian wonderteens.

    I like Ashley but, for whatever reason, she has historically been a third banana in the US, usually behind the USFS favorite du jour, be it Zhang, Nagasu, Flatt, Czisny, etc. Through hard work and determination, Ashley has deservedly risen to first banana, but I'm not sure she has ever truly captured USFS' fancy in the way the others have.
     
  16. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    ^^I think the USFSA has backed Ashley pretty well, even though around nationals last year it did feel like the push was being given to Gracie more. Given Gracie's big jumps, they wanted her to be number one.. Since then however, it's become clearer and clearer that Ashley is far and away the only complete skater this country has. Gracie is a great future prospect but she lacks a lot of what is needed to compete among the top ladies in the world right now. She has jumps and spins but she lacks the poise, confidence, consistency and mental toughness needed to a #1 skater. These are all things she may/may not develop, but the point is she isn't soup yet.

    Ashley is complete. No, she doesn't have the best jumps or skating skills but she's solid across the board and she's improved each year. Her commitment to adding that 3-3 speaks volumes about her drive and determination heading towards Sochi. No one else in the US has shown that kind of steady growth in a long time. Everyone else will take a step forward and then three steps backward...no one continues to move forward. How long have we been waiting for Agnes, Mirai, Caroline, Alissa, etc. to make improvements? Each one of them has had a moment or two where it looks like they are improving and moving forward, only to see them revert right back to their old ways the next time we see them. Nothing ever sticks. That's what's been so frustrating and disappointing about this current crop of ladies...:wall:
     
    Nomad and (deleted member) like this.
  17. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    Ashley is proof that hard work and the right attitude are key factors in anyone's success. I too am hugely impressed by her improvement the last few years. Although she didn't start with the same innate musicality or flexibility or skating skills of some of the other U.S. girls, she has stuck with it and built herself, bit by bit, into a champion. There have been missteps and setbacks along the way, but she has persevered. I really like her, both her personality and her skating. I love that she's honest and straight. And I love, absolutely love, her competitive fire and courage. Which is so lacking in the other U.S. ladies right now.
     
  18. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. And I'd add to that her confidence. Confidence is what so many of the US ladies do not have and that's why they compete like scared little girls instead of confident women...
     
  19. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    Major point right here. The U.S. ladies lately have been lacking so much confidence and they almost look scared of competition. Although Mirai skated lights out in Vancouver, I remember watching her by the boards with Frank right before she started skating. Mirai had a huge look on terror on her face, and I was really praying that she wasn't going to meltdown. Granted she skated well, but the current group U.S. ladies just lack that competitive fire and the confidence of some of the other ladies across the world or even from previous U.S. ladies. You go back to Michelle and Sarah and they always looked like they fed off of the competitive air within the arena at major competitions. Even more recently with Kimmie and Emily... I don't think I've ever seen them look afraid of competing.

    The U.S. ladies need to learn to not be afraid of competition and learn to thrive in it. That's what's been missing from the current crop of skaters.
     
  20. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    It's okay to be scared or terrified...they just need to learn to channel all of those feelings into competing. I remember Tara saying during the TEB broadcast that Anna said she was very scared to the point her legs were shaking before she competes. Yet you'd never know that judging by the way she attacks her programs. She doesn't skate like she's scared.

    The US women look terrified when they compete and they compete like they're terrified. Women with "balls" is a contradiction of course but we really need our ladies to grow a pair and stop running away scared at every competition.
     
  21. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    ITA about hard work and attitude being key to success. But I am a little :confused: that you think some people are born with innate skating skills. Flexibility, yes, although hard work can get you that, musicality, maybe, although hard work can get you that (just ask Michelle Kwan and Joannie Rochette) but skating skills?? Those are just hard, hard work (ask Patrick Chan.)
     
  22. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    Every NBC Olympics ad I have seen on TV and online has included both Ashley and Gracie. One I just watched on YT includes clips of all the USA skaters (Zawadzki, Gao, etc.) that were invited to the promo shoot last spring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg1rPdmNuPc

    Re-posting from the Nagasu thread:
     
  23. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    I think the other thing is learning to hide that fear, reign in their emotions, and channel it into a competitive fire. Anna didn't look one bit scared or nervous to me at all. That isn't the case with some of the US ladies today. I remember also at 2011 Nationals when Mirai skated at Alissa's brilliant LP, and Mirai had the same look of terror again on her face before she skated. And of course, it ended up not being her best skate. But I'm not sure you can necessarily teach someone how to compete though.
     
  24. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    If Zhang was skating anywhere like her GP performances at Champs Camp, the USFS would be insane not to pull her out and sub Hicks in. Actually why didn't they wait til Champs Camp to announce that 3rd host spot?
     
  25. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Because they wanna invite all gp skaters to Champs camp
     
  26. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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  27. bronwynsings

    bronwynsings Active Member

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    Agnes and Mirai are in 3rd and 4th respectively after the short and I can honestly say I did not expect that to happen. Way to go girls! :cheer2:
     
  28. toddlj

    toddlj Livestreams at 1am on Thanksgiving weekend? OK!

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    Congrats to Mirai for her Bronze medal at Rostelecom Cup! Excellent program, technically speaking, but much room for improvement in the performance/fire/spark area. Still, as a confidence building run-through, it was certainly a step in the right direction.

    eta: Her 175.37 score gives her the 3rd highest SB among the US ladies. Anyone who is writing off Mirai as a contender for the third Olympics slot should perhaps consider revising their position. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  29. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    So happy for Mirai! :swoon: Almost can't believe she won bronze! There's work to be done sure but great comeback from NHK!
     
  30. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    For Nationals, they need to house Mirai in a germ-free zone to keep her from getting sick like last year
     
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