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  1. #1
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    Meissner Question (no not that one)

    Just have to say that I find Kimmie's decline to be one of the most puzzling I've seen in figure skating history. From winning Skate America in the Fall of 07, to one month later (or less? can't remember) never managing to make it on an international or national podium again. Her performance level plummeted in about the span of a month and she was never able to regain her form. It all happened so quickly. I know the common explanation was her body changing, but she was already 18 years old, shouldn't her body have gone through all of the significant changes by that age? Also usually signifcant drops in performance level etc. happen in the off season not in mid-season.

    Any thoughts? It just strikes me as an incredibly peculiar scenario.

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    Puberty monster happened. I think it's just hard for most female skaters to do triple jumps baseline, so if you don't have perfect technique or the ideal body type, it just makes things that much harder. Also, once your results start to go downhill, I imagine it must be hard to stay motivated to keep going, especially when one has achieved so much at a young age like Kimmie has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Puberty monster happened. I think it's just hard for most female skaters to do triple jumps baseline, so if you don't have perfect technique or the ideal body type, it just makes things that much harder. Also, once your results start to go downhill, I imagine it must be hard to stay motivated to keep going, especially when one has achieved so much at a young age like Kimmie has.
    Did the puberty monster happen in a month? Also, she was 18 years old and going through puberty? These are the things that don't make sense to me.

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    It wasn't just puberty. It was also probably the burden of living up to enormous expectations at a time when U.S. Figure Skating began looking for the next Michelle Kwan. Kimmie gave a once-in-a-lifetime performance at Worlds in 2006, and I can't imagine the pressure of being expected to skate like that each time out.

    I also question Pam Gregory's coaching style and technique. I don't think she was successful in adjusting Kimmie's jump technique once her body did start changing. Things seemed promising when Kimmie went to Callaghan after 2008 Nationals, but by then the injuries started to pile up.

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    Plus, Kimmie had underrotation issues. With the new CoP, it was more harsh about downgrading jumps, it didn't help her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    Plus, Kimmie had underrotation issues. With the new CoP, it was more harsh about downgrading jumps, it didn't help her.
    Exactly. Kimmie gave her best performance at the most ideal time, but even if that program were to be skated today, she'd have lost a bunch of points to UR and downgrade calls. I thought her technique when she was younger was really quite strong, but as she grew and got injured, it didn't hold up.

    She may have been a flash in the pan, but she did in one trip to Worlds what many skaters never do, and what no American lady has done since.

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    I think a lot of it had to do with personal problems. I don't remember the interview but I remember Kimmie choking back tears while talking about her new coaches. It seems like her coaching relationship with Pam Gregory completely fell apart and obviously thats not easy. I think once her scores got worse, she just kept loosing faith in herself and in skating and it all was just a domino effect.

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    I think it's just because she wasn't expected to win worlds in the 1st place.

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    A combination of 1) following in the footsteps of Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen to be the next greatest thing for US ladies; 2) living up to the challenge of reproducing her performance of a lifetime at '06 Worlds; 3) her own ur issues at a time when the judging on ur generally became harsher; 4) injuries, and 5) Whatever occurred between her and Pamela Gregory.

    Also, Kimmie never struck me as someone with a killer instinct for competition. It seemed to crush her more than inspire her. I remember reading that Todd Eldredge spoke about this when she moved to Callaghan - he wished she would get angry and 'fight' more in her skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Also, Kimmie never struck me as someone with a killer instinct for competition. It seemed to crush her more than inspire her.
    Hmmm, I think Kimmie is a very tough, determined competitor. Anyone going through what she went through would get discouraged - that is likely what Todd was alluding to. But she never would have gotten as far as she did in her career if she didn't have a competitive mindset. After missing qualifying for JN in Intermediate in 2002, she won the Novice Ladies title the next year, then the Junior Ladies title, qualified for the World team (although she was too young to represent) her first year in Seniors, and the next year made the Oly team and won Worlds. Remember, the Olys was her first major Senior int'l comp, and a very high-pressure one at that, and she finished 6th - pretty impressive, I think.

    The injuries she had could have been career-ending for many, but she worked her way back through PT and reworking her technique. At this point, she wants to focus on school - nothing wrong with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximillian View Post
    Did the puberty monster happen in a month? Also, she was 18 years old and going through puberty? These are the things that don't make sense to me.
    Kimmie's results went downhill gradually after she won Worlds in 06. That wasn't one month it was a few years, and during those few years her body changed a lot. Most figure skaters have delayed puberty so experiencing dramatic body changes at age 17/18 is not uncommon. She also had UR issues, which judges were not very strict about in 06 when she won Worlds but then became very strict about in following years. Also, her UR issues got worse as her body changed. And then she had injuries so she couldn't work on fixing her UR issues because she was off the ice for awhile. And then she switched coaches and it always takes awhile to get adjusted to a new coaching relationship. On top of that she was living far from home for the first time, which is also hard. She was trying to juggle college with skating too, IIRC. Basically a lot of different things happened to her all at once and it was too much to overcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Kimmie's results went downhill gradually after she won Worlds in 06. That wasn't one month it was a few years, and during those few years her body changed a lot. Most figure skaters have delayed puberty so experiencing dramatic body changes at age 17/18 is not uncommon. She also had UR issues, which judges were not very strict about in 06 when she won Worlds but then became very strict about in following years. Also, her UR issues got worse as her body changed. And then she had injuries so she couldn't work on fixing her UR issues because she was off the ice for awhile. And then she switched coaches and it always takes awhile to get adjusted to a new coaching relationship. On top of that she was living far from home for the first time, which is also hard. She was trying to juggle college with skating too, IIRC. Basically a lot of different things happened to her all at once and it was too much to overcome.
    This makes sense, when I alluded to the month I was talking about how she won Skate America and then bombed the rest of her season and bombed badly. She had multiple falls at her next Grand Prix and the bit it at the final. She then wound up 7th at Nationals, which was a huge drop from the year before. But I do agree that her decline had already begun as early as '05-'06 when she was no longer attempting the 3A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximillian View Post
    This makes sense, when I alluded to the month I was talking about how she won Skate America and then bombed the rest of her season and bombed badly. She had multiple falls at her next Grand Prix and the bit it at the final.
    Kimmie fell once and popped another jump at SA - she wasn't perfect, but she was good enough to win. At the GPF, she had an ankle injury.

    But I do agree that her decline had already begun as early as '05-'06 when she was no longer attempting the 3A.
    She likely stopped attempting the 3A b/c IJS was officially adopted and the penalty for a missed or cheated jump in the FS was much more severe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    Kimmie fell once and popped another jump at SA - she wasn't perfect, but she was good enough to win. At the GPF, she had an ankle injury.
    Didn't realize that she had an injury. Too bad, that GPF really seemed to shake her confidence for good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximillian View Post
    Just have to say that I find Kimmie's decline to be one of the most puzzling I've seen in figure skating history. From winning Skate America in the Fall of 07, to one month later (or less? can't remember) never managing to make it on an international or national podium again. Her performance level plummeted in about the span of a month and she was never able to regain her form. It all happened so quickly. I know the common explanation was her body changing, but she was already 18 years old, shouldn't her body have gone through all of the significant changes by that age? Also usually signifcant drops in performance level etc. happen in the off season not in mid-season.

    Any thoughts? It just strikes me as an incredibly peculiar scenario.
    It happened to Scott Davis and Tim Goebel also. One year they were at the top of their game and then suddenly it was all over. Various explanations were given (vertigo, injury, boot problems etc.) but they were never able to medal again. Scott lost his 3A and fabulous spins, and Tim lost his quads (and 3A?). Both of them were ultimately dropped by their coaches.

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    Kimmie also had some bad technique on her jumps. That combined with the pressure of competing led to her downfall.

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    Her growth spurt highlighted her strange take-off technique where she would muscle up using her upperbody. While it was mentioned earlier, I don't think college was a distraction because she was doing only part-time and most of her classes were online.

    Hmmm, I think Kimmie is a very tough, determined competitor.
    True, especially since she placed 2nd in SA, with a f*ck you, when a Japanese reporter told her to give up after placing fourth in the short because she had no chance of beating Mao.

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    I just watched her skate in Boitano's show, thought she was lovely, lyrical, and enjoyed watching her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Kimmie's results went downhill gradually after she won Worlds in 06.
    Her results actually went up in the following season (06-07)... She improved her Grand Prix results, she improved her Nationals result, and she won Four Continents. Her only result that dropped that season was Worlds, where she placed a respectable 4th. The next season (07-08), her Grand Prix results improved even further. Granted, she was unable to match her performance from '06 Worlds, but how many people could? It's not realistic. The most important thing was that she was skating well enough to get strong results.

    Shortly after that, she was injured almost constantly. The judges started really cracking down on underrotations and lipping, two of Kimmie's major technical issues. Her technique wasn't good enough to keep those UR 3-3s in her arsenal when she grew. It didn't make sense to even attempt the 3-3s because they would have resulted in downgrades. And then when she did manage to skate well ('08 CoR SP), she still got called for underrotating. Her spinning ability was also not very CoP friendly. Basically, she had too many technical problems and too many injuries.

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    Say,is the girl ever going to recover? When will we start seeing her regularly on Ice again?

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