Last edited by shine; 11-28-2011 at 12:11 PM.
But yes, I do think that you can look at Kimmie's skates at 2006 Worlds and think that, hmm, was that girl ever world champion? One would be hard pressed to think that about any of Flatt's efforts, though.
I see many similarities between Meissner (2006-2008 era) and Flatt (2009-2011 era):
Both were strong in jumps, but didn't have much to offer otherwise
For both, their strong selling point in competition was jumps & jump consistency
Both got to experience the Olympics once
Both seemed to lose their jump consistency rather suddenly
Both tumbled down the ranks when the jumps went away
Both have shown that outside competition, they can perform gala pieces really well and showcase their true love of skating.
However, a few key differences:
3A- Meissner's selling point when she came up was the triple axel- pushing the technical envelope. While Flatt- at least in 2008 and 2009- attempted 3-3 combinations in her programs, I don't recall her ever training or otherwise being capable of a 3A.
Timing- Meissner came up at a time of international transition (Cohen/Slutskaya/Arakawa to Kim/Asada/Ando), had the right performance at the right time, and came away with medals for her effort. Flatt came up squarely in the latter era, where those skaters were clearly better than her, and even at her peak she was not able to muster higher than 5th in the world. Had Flatt been two years earlier, I'm sure she would have won medals...and had Meissner been two years later, don't think she would have won anything.
Career end- Meissner's demise was purely physical, it seemed (IOW, if she wasn't injured, I think she would have kept going). Whereas, with Flatt, you got the feeling that no matter how she did, she was going to school (& Stanford) regardless. The struggle to balance the two, which is what she is dealing with now, would be her ultimate demise, injury or no injury.
from 2007 on Kimmie competed against Mao and YuNa and Miki and all of the other "stars" Rachael competes against. Only Kimmie could actually beat them sometimes, and even place 4th at worlds. Rachael never could.
I love how 2006 Kimmie is "lucky" to have competed against off-their-game Sasha and Fumie and at least a half-dozen other who should have beaten her on paper, but when Rachael competes against off-their-game YuNa and Mao etc.. she just has it soooo much harder. Well, actually I agree, she does have it so much harder because she's a much less talented skater than Kimmie.
the sad thing about Kimmie, was that as she was losing her tech, her presentation was improving noticably. Rachael has't improved on the 2nd mark one iota. Like most of Tom Z's brood, she seems to consider artestry beneath her.
THIS is fine??? Just so you know, neither leg is supposed to bend like that. And was that an illusion attempt or was she just feeling woozy?
IMHO, both were incredibly lucky. Of course, they still had to deliver, but they wouldn't have won without the uncharacteristic flubs by their more talented competitors.
And once Kim/Asada/Ando came up, just like Flatt, Meissner never had much of a chance against them at their best. That 4th place at '07 worlds was the best it was going to get for Meissner in the new era. I knew at that point she wouldn't ever see another world medal.
Meissner & Flatt had the same underlying problem: they were above average skaters, even good in some respects, but they were never great. Never will be. They had to rely on mistakes from skaters who were better than them to have a shot, and even then they had to nail it. I mean, I remember a skate America where Flatt was even able to beat Yuna Kim in the freeskate- but then that was probably Yuna's worst FS against one of Flatt's best.
Flatt has never, and will never, have the capability to skate like this.
They both may have had consistency on their side, but Kimmie was a much better skater, airplane arms and all. If she hadn't been injured, especially with the notable improvements to the second mark, I think it's quite possible she would have medaled a few more times. Maybe even won - it's not like the crop of ladies from the past few years was terribly consistent. But we'll never know.
Neither girl's extension was ideal, but in regards to spins, I don't recall Kimmie's camels being on the level of someone like Cohen's either. Going back some of her older performances (I can't believe it has come to this - me defending Rachael!), I've realized that Flatt actually has a pretty nice Kerrigan spiral. Meissner's arabesque spiral was worse than Flatt's, IMO, and I remember disliking the way her leg would shoot up in a very abrupt way instead of being more pleasingly lifted.
I think there's no comparison between those two at all. IMO Kimmie is a skater in another class. And she actually could compete with Asada, Kim and Ando in 2006-2007 season. She beat Kim in the FS at Worlds but also she finished second at Skate America that season, behind Ando but ahead of Asada. Flatt was never as much of a threat for a podium and probably will never be as Kimmie was in 2006-2007.
Glad Kimmie is getting a little love, but talk about falling into the category of Don't Know What You Got Til It's Gone. In her day, she was endlessly bashed for being unartistic, having airplane arms, boring (somewhere in the archives is a thread entitled "Is Kimmie the most boring National Champion ever?"), with many proclamations that she (at the ripe age of 16) will never ever become artistic and that Yuna and Mao will clean her clock. But she's the last US lady to have won an ISU championship ('07 4CCs) so I guess folks have a newfound appreciation for her, which is nice to see.
"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
^ here's the thing though: I really DID think she was quite uninteresting at the time. It wasn't until 2007 or so that she started to develop a style on the ice at all, at least in my view.
More interesting to me, though, is how the opinions of Czisny have varied throughout the years. From being praised in 2005, to being counted out later, to being praised again, to being completely trashed (this was the infamous 2009 Natls/Worlds period), to being counted out, and now she's suddenly being seen as the best hope for the US ladies. Talk about having been around the block, having seen it all!
Glad to hear Kimmie is healthy and skating again. I always enjoyed her skating- even before her artistry was fully developed I thought she had a nice easy style to her skating. Best of luck to her!
People who knock her WC win for competing against a weak field, yada yada, seem to forget what an amazing freeskate she had- 7 tripes, including 2 3/3s, correct? I just looked up her FS score, and it was 129. I know you can't directly compare competitions, but at the Olympics that year, the highest FS score (Arakawa) was 125. If she had skated that way at the Olympics, she would have been right up there. Just sayin...
Flatt can never catch a break- even in this thread.
But once Czisny could never catch a break, either...and now look at her. The Czisny case is certainly an intriguing one- and will continue to be, I bet.
Last edited by RD; 11-30-2011 at 02:27 AM.
Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist
"Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011
I know that the 2006 field was "watered down" because Irina and Shizuka were not there...but Kimmie was still competing against 3 previous world medalists one of them being the US national Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist. I can honestly say I thought there was no way in hell Sasha would lose this competition...especially since she was able to fall twice in Turino and still come up with the silver. My prediction was Sasha, Fumie, Joannie but I would not have been surprised if Fumie upset Sasha or Kimmie skated lights out to win the bronze. I NEVER in a million years thought she would win...even if others made mistakes. To me, its almost the same as Emily Hughes winning those championships.