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  1. #1
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    Caroline Zhang #1: Road to Pyeongchang

    Caroline in the Summer

    And you know, Caroline probably was in very good shape earlier in the year. She posted some personal photos on FB that showed she was very fit, the thinnest she has been post puberty. From looking at Caroline on and off the ice these last few years, and this is entirely my personal opinion (I don't mean to spread any rumors), it seems her weight has fluctuated drastically very quickly. She could well be suffering from some kind of eating disorder, which could be causing havoc with her training, fitness, mental health, etc. Given how successful she was at a young age, and how the rug was suddenly pulled out from under her in terms of the judging system, in terms of how her coach left her (Mingzhu Li) to coach the Chinese national team, and in terms of her own body changes (which exacerbated her technical deficiencies), she may well have felt like she needed to keep something under her control to stay sane...
    I've said for a long while now that Caroline Zhang's best shot for making the Olympic Team is in 2018.

    Two words: Akiko Suzuki.

    Akiko Suzuki was also a promising up-and-coming skater for Japan, but suffered from an eating disorder.

    Suzuki was an up-and-coming junior skater. She came in seventh at the 2001 World Junior Championships, won two Junior Grand Prix events, and was a bronze medallist at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final in 2002. Then her ascent stopped.
    Now at age 28, she is a world bronze medalist, multiple GPF medalist, and multiple Japanese National Silver medalist.

    Caroline needs to
    1. Start from square 1, and develop superiod skating skills.

    2. Develop a better jump layout (backload, backload, backload!),

    When she is able to do this, she could be the next feel good late bloomer story.

  2. #2
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    I guess anything is possible, and it would be great (atleast for Zhang fans) to think she might even have a chance of making 2018.

    The problem for Zhang is she already went back to square 1 and improved her jump technique and to a lesser degree her basic skating in 2012, and now she is back to being a mess like she was before that. I dont know what her mindset would be at this point, or what caused all her 2012 progress to just evaporate completely.

    I dont know much about Suzukis history but even if she was an unremarkable skater who didnt make her mark for many years, I also dont know if she had any of the glaring issues engraved in her that Zhang has either. It is much easier to keep improving, even if it takes you a decade or more to get where you want to be, when you dont have a large knot tieing everything down, and knots that are almost impossible to untie when they have been there long enough.

    My feeling is if she does not have a good Nationals (eg- top 12 atleast) she probably wont continue. We will see.

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    Anything is possible, as long as her heart is in it.

    It took many years for Alissa Czisny to break out and she had many technical issues of her own that she never fully overcame.

    Still, she managed to have some magical performances. Do I think Caroline will become national champion or a World medalist? No, but I do think she could have some fantastic podium placing skates at Nationals or 4CCs.

    That's if her attitude, conditioning and training are all strong.

    I'll refrain from saying more until we see how Caroline does at Nationals, but don't forget she staged that impressive comeback a few seasons ago.

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    Regardless what happens she can always be proud of her early 2012 comeback. The pewter medal she won at Nationals that year (which should have been higher) is probably her most treasured ever, as nobody thought she would make it back up there to even being a U.S contender again, and she did, and she looked better than ever in many ways.

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    She would need to be highly motivated to stay around until 2018. I'm not sure she can hang around that long. One other issue she has is her attitude. She needs to sit in the kiss and cry without rolling her eyes or leaving once she sees the scores. You have to be able to take the scores for what they are worth to you.

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    sk8boyforlife is the new esta!


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    Caroline has too many weak points in her skating to make a run at the top at any time to be honest. She's already been passed up by the younger skaters and will continue to drop in the rankings until she has to retire. If she's this bad now what will she be like when she's almost 25? This isn't like Georgia where Elene Gedevanishvili is skating terrible but because she has no competition she will go to the Olympics and Worlds. In the US previous seasons doesn't matter much with all the new girls always coming up to challenge the older skaters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Caroline has too many weak points in her skating to make a run at the top at any time to be honest. She's already been passed up by the younger skaters and will continue to drop in the rankings until she has to retire. If she's this bad now what will she be like when she's almost 25? .
    Obviously she must love skating and competing, so I don't see why it bothers you so much?

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    I, for one, would love for Caroline to make a comeback if she staye focused and works her butt off. We were writing Mirai off for the Olympic team, and she went and won herself a GP medal and put herself back in the conversation... Anything can happen and if Caroline can stay on track she can possibly do it

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    Caroline Zhang #2: Road to Mira Leungdom

    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    Obviously she must love skating and competing, so I don't see why it bothers you so much?
    And it really showed at Skate America. The passion she conveyed with her performances was mesmerising.

    On a more serious and less bitchy note, it's very worrying how much her weight fluctuated since the Summer.

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    I pretty much assumed that with all of her problems that Caroline would pack it in soon enough.. so when I saw the title of this thread I thought maybe she was getting a rent a car and driving to Korea or something..

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    Quote Originally Posted by apatinar View Post
    I pretty much assumed that with all of her problems that Caroline would pack it in soon enough.. so when I saw the title of this thread I thought maybe she was getting a rent a car and driving to Korea or something..

  13. #13
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    sk8boyforlife: can you please provide a source link for your first quoted paragraph? I'm wondering who wrote it and where.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    When I saw the title of thread I thought that Zhang was going to start to skate for North Korea - read the title as Pyongyang instead of Pyeongchang.
    When watching live I like everyone to skate clean - but on television the occasional trainwreck can be fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingguy View Post
    When I saw the title of thread I thought that Zhang was going to start to skate for North Korea - read the title as Pyongyang instead of Pyeongchang.
    BREAKING NEWS: Caroline Zhang defects to North Korea in a bid to make it to ISU Championships and Olympics. Speaking to our reporters, Zhang said: 'I have understood the error of my ways and decided to abandon the immoral and corrupt capitalist lifestyle. Kim Jong-un inspired me to continue to improve my skating. His shining example is a source of endless inspiration every day.'

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    BREAKING NEWS: Caroline Zhang defects to North Korea in a bid to make it to ISU Championships and Olympics. Speaking to our reporters, Zhang said: 'I have understood the error of my ways and decided to abandon the immoral and corrupt capitalist lifestyle. Kim Jong-un inspired me to continue to improve my skating. His shining example is a source of endless inspiration every day.'
    I just hope she keeps her head together.
    Adelina Sotnikova defeated the curse of Esta She is indeed the Greatest Of All Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingguy View Post
    When I saw the title of thread I thought that Zhang was going to start to skate for North Korea - read the title as Pyongyang instead of Pyeongchang.
    Iím off on the road to Pyongyang
    Lifting Grant is tough on the spine (hit me with a band-aid, Dad)
    Where Iím going, why Iím going, how can I be sure
    I'll lay you eight to five that I'll meet Christiane Amanpour
    (Yeah, get in line)

    Off on the road to Pyongyang
    Hang on till the end of the line
    I hear this country's where they eat kimchee and snails
    I'd tell you more (uh-ah) but I would have the censor on my tail
    (Good girl)

    I certainly do get around
    Like Pacman and Peso Iím Pyongyang bound

    Iím off on the road to Pyongyang
    Well look out, well clear the way, 'cause here I come
    Stand by for a concussion
    The men eat fire, sleep on nails and saw their wives in half
    It seems to me there should be easier ways to get a laugh
    (Shall I slip on my skate guards?)

    Off on the road to Pyongyang
    Hooray! Well blow a horn, everybody duck
    Yeah. It's a green light, come on boys

    I may run into villains but Iím not afraid to roam
    Because I read the story and I end up safe at home (yeah)
    Certainly do get around
    Like Dennis Rodman Iím Pyongyang bound

    I certainly do get around
    Like some former U.S. Undersecretary of State
    That hasnít been heard from since nineteen ninety-eight
    Iím Pyongyang bound

    Or, like a shipment of enriched uranium that you buy on the
    Internet at with under-the-table payments by way of Aruba
    Iím Pyongyang bound
    (I could be arrested)


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    Sylvia, I wrote the opening paragraph in another thread. It was quite a surprise to open a thread and see that it was all inspired by one comment I made...

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    So, if I'm reading everything that's been written about Zhang correctly -

    She was in great shape over the Summer, looked promising and was given the nod for Skate America. But something happened along the way. Do we know definitively is she's injured or suffering from some personal turmoil? There has also been talk about coaching issues - forgot where I read it here on FSU but Kwan and Oppegard left her abandoned in the K & C at some recent competition.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by feraina View Post
    Sylvia, I wrote the opening paragraph in another thread. It was quite a surprise to open a thread and see that it was all inspired by one comment I made...
    Thanks, feraina! I vaguely recall having read it but couldn't remember where/when.

    @Grant_Hochstein tweeted this funny pic yesterday:
    And this is how @carolinezhang and I Christmas shop.. http://pic.twitter.com/c0FBXYwTju
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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