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  1. #81

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    [QUOTE=Coco;

    But Tom Z. has some 'splaining to do.


    It's enough to make me wish USFSA had Martha Karolyi whispering in their ear about "showing readiness". Aww, heck, at the least they should have used 4CCs before they named the 2nd and 3rd spots in disciplines where they had no clear designee.[/QUOTE]


    Coco.....you are right on the money. Karolyi's selection techniques have really improved US women's gymnastics international results. I have been saying for a long time there is a better way than solely US Nationals as the selection criteria. Other skating federations and other sports have clearly demonstrated this. USFS needs to wake up!

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fly On The Wall View Post
    Wow. I just watched the free skate finally. I didn't see what everyone else claims to have seen. I see a kid who was in obvious pain, fighting for everything.

    With Mirai's history of inconsistency, mental lapses and meltdowns, why is everyone insisting that she would have been the better choice?
    1--As far as we know she is not currently injured.

    2--This:

    2011 Four Continents

    Nagasu: 189.46 Flatt 180.31

    2010 Worlds

    Nagasu 175.48 Flatt 167.44

    2010 Olympics

    Nagasu 190.15 Flatt 182.49

    At major ISU events, Mirai beats Rachael. International judges clearly prefer her.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    I think its perfectly fair to ask questions about why Rachael skated here. (Although some benefit of the doubt perhaps too needs to be given.)

    But I must say its absolutely ridiculous and wrong to hate Rachael for not retiring. Its Rachael's career/skating. She's given years of her life to it, and she's only 17/18 (still pretty young). Its her life and career and she should be able to skate as long as she wants too. PERIOD. Its not Rachaels fault the other US ladies have their issues. And yes Mirai DOES have her issues.

    I don't think that the USFSA backed Rachael due to some great love for her. As much as they backed her because of some concerns about a Mirai/Alissa team. Both can be very hot/cold skaters, and in the case of Mirai, there are talks about lack of discipline. I think it may have been more of a "get it together" message to Mirai. Which frankly may be what Mirai needed.
    I'm not hating Rachael because she didn't retire, and sure bek, I thought it presumptuous of Hersh to say what he did in his column earlier in the season that Flatt needed to hang it up and go to school. It might have been a better decision for her and for all concerned, but it was her decision to make. My main point is: I disagree with what seems to me to be the favoring by USFS of particular skaters over others (that's part of the politics). At least try to assess the needs of and help all the skaters, and if you're going to get behind one skater, why not get behind the one whose talent is so exceptional? Otherwise, stay out of it and stop giving advice on makeovers and what type of costumes a skater should wear.

    I disagree with your feeling that the USFS didn't back Rachael because they didn't love her, but b/c they had concerns over an Alissa/Mirai team. Frankly, an Alissa/Mirai team IMHO, would have made better sense, especially the Alissa we have seen this season. It is also my feeling that USFS is responsible for making poor decisions in regard to Mirai for awhile. No excuse for all the media hyping of Mirai and Caroline Zhang when they were still juniors! I thought that was typical but idiotic at the time. Yes, Mirai performed beautifully when she won her first U.S. title, but again, that was such a chaotic and transitional time with the Kween no longer reigning at Nats, and so many of the up-and-coming contenders too young to go to Worlds.

    Why didn't USFS use common sense and reward the title in that transitional year to one of the more experienced skaters who had performed well that year also -- Mirai could have been rewarded with silver or bronze that year, and been given time to adjust -- she couldn't go to Worlds anyway. I remember USFS defending their premature decision to weigh Mirai down with gold. They put a huge amount of pressure on her at a difficult growth stage of her career! Why?! And then they blame her and punish her for it in following years, and have all these stories fed to the media about "poor young" Mirai and the changes she's been going through. Can anyone imagine that all the hot/ cold publicity crap Mirai has gone through and all the ups and downs have something to do with her inconsistency and so-called "lack of discipline" or lack of focus? I can.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnskater View Post
    Coco.....you are right on the money. Karolyi's selection techniques have really improved US women's gymnastics international results. I have been saying for a long time there is a better way than solely US Nationals as the selection criteria. Other skating federations and other sports have clearly demonstrated this. USFS needs to wake up!
    You are joking right? Karoyli's selection techinques have lead to the US taking broken teams to the last two Olympics. In 2004, the US should have won Gold EASILY, but it was Karoyli's poor selection techniques that did it. Lets not get into the selection techniques in and of itself but the mere fact that both Courtneys were VERY badly injured, and if they had been replaced the US could have had gold. Especially so in the case of McCool.

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    Anyways, if her foot was bothering so much that she took the lutzes out of her programs, why did she leave the flips? They both vault off of the right foot for her, and that's the foot that's injured. A smarter thing to do, if she really was feeling pain, would have been to replace those flips with triple toes (a la the Lepisto route), which I'm sure she would have landed (and get rid of that stupid double axel-triple toe combo she's been getting underrotated calls on all year). Popping those two flips really hurt her score, and I'm certain we might have our three spots back if she hadn't popped those.

  6. #86

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    My very short take on the situation:

    • Rachael and Tom Z need to park their egos somewhere else
    • Mirai Nagasu needs to grow up and become more mature and appropriate
    • USFSA has to stop overhyping the skater of the moment & putting so much pressure on them

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk9tingfan View Post
    My very short take on the situation:

    • Rachael and Tom Z need to park their egos somewhere else
    • Mirai Nagasu needs to grow up and become more mature and appropriate
    • USFSA has to stop overhyping the skater of the moment & putting so much pressure on them
    What??

  8. #88

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    I'm not a fan of the constant camps, which has lead to the US gymnasts high injury rate.

    Taking broken teams to the Games has as much - if not more - to do with the NBC and USAG dictated Championships / Trials schedule.

    But the concept of even those who earned their spots "early" in the process needing to show readiness before they get on the plane, that's what I'm saying is a good idea. That's a Martha thing, and I think it's hard for people to separate that from everything else Martha has done.

    There were almost THREE whole months between Nationals and Worlds. A lot can change during that time. A simple monitoring session a week before the team member gets on the plane really couldn't hurt. A bad skate wouldn't necessarily be grounds for removal, but a bad skate caused by nagging injury should be grounds for re-assessment. If they want to save money, heck, they could only do this for skaters whose internationals results have been behind the alternate in their discipline.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    It's enough to make me wish USFSA had Martha Karolyi whispering in their ear about "showing readiness". Aww, heck, at the least they should have used 4CCs before they named the 2nd and 3rd spots in disciplines where they had no clear designee.
    Although I see merit in this approach, I think the USFS would have to do it consistently, otherwise it looks like they are manipulating results when the top 2/3 at Nationals aren't the "right" ones. That would lead to negative press, which I'm pretty sure the USFS doesn't want. So for instance, after 2010 Nationals, even though they probably were pretty happy with the top three, presumably they would have sent Johnny and Ryan off to 4CCs to duke it out for the last Olympic spot. I don't think that would have gone over very well.

    And then what if Ryan beat Johnny at 4CCs by 1-2 points? Then who gets the spot?

    Usually the "right" people finish on the Nationals podium so the USFS is happy enough to award the Olympic and Worlds spots and call it a day. It's clean, objective and avoids arbitrary decisions that could get picked apart by the media or subject to frivolous lawsuits.

    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    I think the "1st Alternate" should always go to Worlds; in case one of the others cannot skate, they are there, and prepared to perform.
    Otherwise, there is no point in naming/having them.
    I dunno, I imagine it would be pretty expensive to have the first alternate in each discipline - plus their coaches - travel to Worlds with the World team, only to end up not competing 99% of the time. Who would pay for it?
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    What??
    According to Mirai's own coach, Mirai didn't start training properly for Nationals until 2/3 weeks before the meet. YES Nagasu had an injury over the summer, but Carroll was clear that Mirai was not working hard enough.

    There was talk that Mirai was pretty happy with last season's results and so lacked motivation this year. May I point out that can you imagine Kim or Asada being happy with being 4th at the Olympics.

    A lot of Nagasu's issues are the same she's always had (rotating jumps etc) for years. Also may I point out its high time for Nagasu to stop relying on the custsy artistically and start improving there as well. She's an adorable girl yes, but artistry is about more than just being adorable.

  11. #91
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    sk9tingfan: read my previous post. IMHO, it is the USFS who need to grow up, become more mature and appropriate in their actions; get better organized, get someone to lead with vision who better understands the complexities of the sport in this day and age.

    Yeah okay, here we are with the stories about how irresponsible Mirai is and how smart Rachael is -- maybe true. So they go for smart and/or politically correct over reportedly irresponsible and undisciplined. Let them look at their own actions toward skaters instead of shooting down the ones they feel are so unmanageable (but who are obviously better gifted). What is USFS's excuse for their mistakes and lack of vision, discipline and consistency?
    Last edited by aftershocks; 05-01-2011 at 07:09 PM.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    I imagine it would be pretty expensive to have the first alternate in each discipline - plus their coaches - travel to Worlds with the World team, only to end up not competing 99% of the time. Who would pay for it?
    Perhaps; but, better than the alternative - given what's happened in this competition and other recent ones.

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    sk9tingfan: read my previous post. IMHO, it is the USFS who need to grow up, become more mature and appropriate in their actions; get better organized, get someone to lead with vision who better understands the complexities of the sport in this day and age.?


    Aftershocks, I happen to agree with you with respect to USFSA totally. With respect to Rachael, I am not a fan and if she knew ahead of time that she was competing with the degree of injuries that she did have, then I think that she was selfish and irresponsible. Mirai is clearly a far more talented skater with incredible potential, but at times, she has clearly gotten in her own way. I think that her skating is exquisite.

  14. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    sk9tingfan: read my previous post. IMHO, it is the USFS who need to grow up, become more mature and appropriate in their actions; get better organized, get someone to lead with vision who better understands the complexities of the sport in this day and age.

    Yeah okay, here we are with the stories about how irresponsible Mirai is and how smart Rachael is -- maybe true. What is USFS's excuse for their mistakes and lack of vision, discipline and consistency?

    I'm not thrilled with some of USFSA's decisions. But I'm sorry but Poor Mirai the victim is a bit ridiculous. Her own coach is complaining about her work ethic. I think the USFSA absolutely believes Mirai is the US girl right now most likely to be a Champion. But I'm sure they know quite well that Nagasu lacks discipline, and that as long as Nagasu is given free passes, she will never get there. Mirai needed a kick in the butt.
    And I really would like to know what older and more experienced skater, the USFSA could have annointed. The older skaters didn't skate well at all. And Nagasu, Flatt, Wagner belonged on the podium. All were new skaters, and one could argue Flatt frankly should have won (given Nagasu's underrotations.)

    Mirai isn't the first young skater to get hyped big time. Kwan, Cohen, Tara etc and all of them did pretty well. Kim and Asada were hyped at the same age too. Sotnikova won Russian Nationals at 12/13, and she's still improving. Maybe the USFSA needs to be a bit more circumspect in the hyping but to blame the hyping on her not being a star right now, is more than a bit much.

    Don't get me wrong I'd have placed Mirai 2nd instead of Rachael. But I completely understand the USFSA's frustrating with Mirai. Just like I understood their frustration with Weir, Bowman, Bobek. And all of the mega talented people who may be nice to watch, great personality a glore, but don't seem to have the discipline to really reach their talent.

  15. #95

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    Does the USFS have a clear policy requiring World/Olympic team members to disclose changes in their injury status? If not, they should establish and enforce such a policy going forward.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  16. #96

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    ^ as was stated above, Tom Z should have been working with USFS team physician in monitoring and evaluating Rachael. Maybe this situation will cause some changes. Hope so.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    Yeah, bek. That was the year to reward Flatt over Mirai. And I would argue, allow Mirai to have time to adjust and go through her growth spurts. It was clearly wrong to media hype Mirai and Caroline as juniors -- I felt it was wrong at the time. Who knew how each of them were going to develop in the future. It was clear at the time that they both had a lot to work on. Pushing them so quickly into the public eye did not help either of them -- they were kids who should have been helped to focus on developing their skating skills and improving their weaknesses, (and at the same time focus on helping them adjust to a larger spotlight w/o thrusting them into it). With the proper development at that time, and with adults more concerned with monitoring her growth with her school work, and her growth as a human being (right after she won juniors), instead of all the hype of Mirai and Caroline as the next big things to fill Kwan's skates perhaps Mirai might now be ready to take on the World [or maybe have made the decision that she's not interested in skating, not unlike Ann Patrice McDonough]. Instead, largely due to mishandling by adults, IMHO, we have the "cutesy, adorable" headcase a lot of people seem to feel Mirai is. Yeah, blame the kids for the missteps by adults. Happens all the time.

    You are heavily generalizing by mentioning Tara, Kwan and Cohen. None of them were hyped as juniors in the over-the-top way that Caroline and Mirai were. Bowman, Bobek, and Weir -- easy names to throw out there -- all completely different circumstances, time periods. In the case of Weir, don't let me get started. Read his book. He's a rebel who did it his way, at a price. No excuse in the world for an adult representing USFS telling Weir that he would never make it back after his problems at Nats in 2003. The fact he had the talent and the guts to make it back is the only reason for the success he has achieved in skating. But, Johnny's story has very little to do with Mirai's circumstances. Johnny was not hyped to the media as a junior skater, neither was Lysacek. Bowman and Bobek were undisciplined talents during a vastly different time period than either Johnny or Mirai, and for different reasons. Bowman, Bobek, and Tonya Harding for that matter, essentially had challenging childhoods that affected the course of their skating careers. Again, I don't wish to generalize either, because each case is very different, the main factor is none of the people you mention were hyped in the way Mirai was, much less receiving a U.S. National title prematurely.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 05-01-2011 at 07:37 PM.

  18. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    ^ as was stated above, Tom Z should have been working with USFS team physician in monitoring and evaluating Rachael. Maybe this situation will cause some changes. Hope so.
    "Should" in accordance with clear USFS rules or "should" from a moral, "right thing to do" sense? Sorry, I didn't think it was clear from above posts in this thread.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  19. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by random paraphrases of things said here
    US could have had 3 spots. Rachel was selfish. Mirai should have been given the opportunity...
    Aren't we missing the point a little here? I would like to get back to the point where the girl skated on a broken leg. Obviously in a lot of pain. To me that is just a big medical screw-up. You don't do that. As a coach / team doctor / federation you don't allow that. Stress fracture means that there is probably a rather visible hairline(?) fracture in the tibia. Which is the most important bone in your lower leg, as far as stability goes. That means skating /jumping on it could have severely aggrevated the injury. If this were a normal job, with lots of physical labour to be done, no employer would ever allow you to work with a serious injury like that because of insurance issues, because of your contributions to the company etc.

    I also think it's a difference between having a known longtime injury (à la Shabalin) and having diagnosed this kind of injury just a week before the competition. Have they done a full assessment of the injury, including risks? Did they manage to install an efficient pain management regime during that time?

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    I think the "1st Alternate" should always go to Worlds; in case one of the others cannot skate, they are there, and prepared to perform.
    Otherwise, there is no point in naming/having them.
    Who is going to pay for the extra cost? The federation? Aren't they already strapped for cash? The skater?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    I dunno, I imagine it would be pretty expensive to have the first alternate in each discipline - plus their coaches - travel to Worlds with the World team, only to end up not competing 99% of the time. Who would pay for it?
    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    Perhaps; but, better than the alternative - given what's happened in this competition and other recent ones.
    Better for whom? And how often? A $$$-sucking precaution that doesn't get used 99% of the time isn't likely to be viewed as good business practices by many people.

    I agree with Really's post a few pages back - the vitriol in this thread is beyond OTT. If Rachael had managed to skate well enough for the US to earn the 3 spots people would be considering her a hero for skating through the pain. As it is, the injury compromised her ability to perform. I don't think there's any joy in her camp at having stolen Mirai's spot at Worlds or whatever nefarious plat people want to confer upon her. But shit happens. It's a competition.
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