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

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

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  1. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

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    Courtney Hicks does not bother me much. I saw her live at 2011 Nationals. Her basic skating skills are in the top tier among the current crop of US ladies (which is not necessarily high praise) and superior to Agnes Zawadzki and Gracie Gold. (Flatt and Cesario's skating skills cannot be mentioned in the same breath. Skating skills are not jumps.) She is very fast and aggressive. Her stroking is efficient and effortless. Her knees are soft. (She has a pair of the better knees in US ladies.) Her edges are secure. In her junior programs she routinely did a lot of transitions and did them well. She has substantially improved her posture since she returned to competition after taking one year off due to major injury. True, she pays no attention to the music and most of the time skate right through the highs and lows, twists and turns. Take points off her IN score. But I disagree with the assertion that her skating skills are not good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  2. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    Well Jenny and Dave did an analysis of Courtney's skating skill in a TSL video and they gave Courtney something like a 4.5 for skating skills...
     
  3. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  4. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    And TSL's opinion is valid because .... ?
     
  5. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if either of them has seen Hicks live. It's not reliable to go by video.
     
  6. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    ^This.
     
  7. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    Just putting it out there.

    Probably not. Although Hicks is quite fast, her stroking is still a little choppy in my opinion.
     
  8. jiejie

    jiejie Active Member

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    We must be watching two different Courtney Hicks then. When I focus on her feet, I'm seeing heavy feet and clunkiness on those edges. She can muscle through anything for sure, but speed and aggression alone aren't the only determinants of skating skills. We'll have to agree to disagree on this. The musical interpretation is a separate issue, but overall, I find something really lacking in her skating. I hope that other U.S. ladies skate well enough at Nationals so this will be obvious, and Hicks will not place high enough to make the 2014 Olympic team. There, I said it, mean-spirited though it might sound.
     
  9. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    Courtney was judged as low as 5.5 at Skate Canada, and as high as 6.75 for SS. Gracie ranged from 7.25 to 8.5 on SS at the same event. A 1.75 difference; the judges are sending the message to Courtney.
     
  10. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Seems like their opinion is as valid as anyone else's. Only the judges opinions matter though
     
  11. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Have you forgotten the infamous FSU thread about their not being given a press credential for the United States Figure Skating Classic so quickly? ;)

    Apparently, they went, sat in the public section, and didn't stay through the whole event. Whether they walked out before Hicks' skates, I can't remember, but I suspect they watched at least one of her programs.
     
  12. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    I think everything Dave Lease knows about skating has been learned from the internet or from Jenny. His background is in gossip.
     
  13. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    Two WILX 10 local NBC TV news stories/videos on Hannah Miller:

    Broadcast after her win at Midwestern Sectionals - Hannah is interviewed, along with her 3 younger skating sisters (younger one is a hockey player like dad, youngest twins are figure skaters), her coach/aunt, and her parents: http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/SKATING-IS-ALL-IN-THE-FAMILY-FOR-OLYMPIC-HOPEFUL-233863391.html

    Before Midwestern Sectionals (her foot injury/elective surgery this past summer is mentioned): http://www.wilx.com/home/headlines/...t-the-Winter-Olympics-in-Sochi-232876441.html
     
  14. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    He also is an adult skater so he may know something from that experience.
     
  15. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    True. They might have seen her live. I'm sure Jenny is also around during bigger skating events too, after all it seems like almost all retired skaters are at Nationals and Worlds and the Olympics.

    I stumbled on his blog some many years ago, and I was literally just like what the hell is this? And I never went back.
     
  16. Flying Camel

    Flying Camel Member

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    There just aren't enough Olympic spots to go around. I guess she has as good of a shot as anyone. I don't see why we can't send five girls.
     
  17. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

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    First let's remember that the lowest and highest scores on a judging panel are not included in the calculation, and there is a reason for that. Second, I have seen neither Gold nor Hicks in live competition for at least 2 years, so I can't completely vouch for my impressions from 2-3 years ago. Third, Gold is fast and powerful but her edges can be deeper and her knees can be softer. I think 8.5 for Gold is, uh, pretty high, unless you take into account her jumps, although you're not supposed to. I'm not going to speculate how much reputation affects international judges' scores (Gold has been on the senior circuit for 2 years, including a trip to Worlds; Hicks is on her first senior GP at SC) since I don't have my mind-reading crystal ball with me at the moment.

    To my eyes, Hicks' skating is not labored, which suggests good basic techniques. I don't know how to explain it, but to me she looks a bit old fashioned, like a skater from 1970s or something, when skaters held their arms, legs, and body in entirely different ways from what they do now.

    Hicks also reminds me of Ryuju Hino (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y-yvE152EM), a Japanese junior man skater who is almost unwatchable except for his knees and edges. Observe how both Hicks and Hino gain speed easily with a push here and a pump there. Hino also gets SS scores in the 6s on JGP, but it really should be a lot higher in my opinion. (I have not seen him live but would like to.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  18. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    I was throwing out a comparison, and using Gold because she skated at the same event so it was the same panel. I am not touting Gold's skating skills ;)

    That said, Gold is to me a lot stronger than Hicks in SS, and the judges clearly agree. We can toss out the lowest and highest scores, either way Hicks is getting low SS scores at least at her GP assignment. Hicks does look clumsy to me, looking at her blades....but on top of that, the Skating Skills score also takes into account things like control of the body when skating, effortless flow, and overall skating quality. She scores poorer than her American counterparts on the GP (save for Zhang) in these.

    Looking at your Hino comparison, he is a bit better than Hicks in SS imo. Interestingly, for me the similarity I see between them is that when both skate, their bodies are just not over their feet. It makes everything look less secure, and some viewers misinterpret it as deep edges, but it is not so. The edges are deep-ish but uncontrolled because the skater just isn't over their feet completely. I see it in Hicks, especially when making sharp turns or changes in direction.
     
  19. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much the same similarity I see between them. I like the way they apply their edges and do not find them insecure or wobbly, as I see no necessary effort to correct the body position while skating. Skaters with less secure edges often need to slow down and/or flail around to correct for the insecurity of their blades or regain control the feet/body, but I don't see it here. In addition, the similarity between Hicks and Hino, to me, is also in their well-timed and deeply bent knees that provide acceleration with no visible exertion.

    I agree that they share this similarity --- Their skating does not look beautiful or elegant. But I ascribe that to qualities apart from skating skills.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  20. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations, Courtney. Welcome to the big leagues. There is now a thread w/ 2 pages of :argue: on FSU regarding you.
     
  21. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    Associated Press' pre-GPF article by Nancy Armour (also posted in the GPF forum in Kiss and Cry): Ashley Wagner wants to give folks something to talk about
    Excerpt:
     
    AxelAnnie and (deleted member) like this.
  22. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

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    As always, Ashley is honest but tactful. Looking forward to seeing her in the GPF.
     
  23. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the link Sylvia!

    I love Ashley's attitude. She's not skating scared, or fearful of losing - she believes in herself and wants to 'know' how she's going to fare against the 'baby Russians' and Mao - and she's about to find out. She's going in full on, just like a champion should, not hesitant or worried about falling, etc. Ashley has what most of the other American women are missing - the eye of the tiger.
     
  24. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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  25. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    She uses the term 'baby Russians'. LOL. She must read FSU.

    I think if she stays on her feet and executes her elements, she'll medal. With a little pizzazz, she should capture Silver. She has more command and presence right now than Lipnitskaya. I only think Mao is reachable in Japan if she has a meltdown at this stage.
     
  26. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Ack, I hope not! :yikes:
     
  27. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure she does. Someone here posted a bunch of stuff about her personal life a couple years ago and that Priscilla fired Ashley and Ashley tweeted a couple days later that she "found a blog" and that "people who don't know anything her personal life should not be posting lies on the internet." Many people questioned why she said blog because we're pretty sure she was referring to FSU.
     
  28. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    On another note, I'm surprised the GPF is majority Russian babies! When was the last time that happened? ... Guess Mao and Ashley are the old guards now. We'll see how their PCS stacks up to the Russian babies.
     
  29. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    I think Ashley is capable of dealing with it. :)

    And that same person also posted in the summer of 2010 that "Ashley will never win nationals because she doesn't deserve to due to her work ethic."
     
  30. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    ITA 100%. A lot of people (including *cough* TSL *cough*) were saying Ashley should pull a Tanith and "get her wisdom teeth removed" because a loss to the Russians here could jeopardize her medal chances. How well did that strategy work for Tanith? I love BA, but they lost Nationals and finished off the Olympic podium. I think Ashley is making the right move, sticking to her guns and putting herself out there. Yes, it is always risky to take a loss at a major international, but think of the positives. She's managed to fend off all of the above Russians before and if she can do it again and score closer to Mao (or beat her if Mao isn't on form, not that I'm wishing that to happen!) it can only improve her chances. Either way, Ashley has been far and away the best of the US ladies this season and we haven't even seen her at her best yet. Best of luck, Ash!
     
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