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  1. #981
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    Hopefully Wagner can go up from here, but don't think it's going to get any easier for her. Nationally, there will be Gracie Gold, potentially a revived Mirai Nagasu, Agnes Zawadzki among others who can capitalize on any mistakes. And internationally, of course, the young Russians will enter the fray.

    At least on the national level, Wagner is no longer chasing but will be chased. Totally different kind of pressure and we'll see if she can handle it. So far, no one has been able to do it:

    Natl Champs, results next year

    2006: Cohen, did not compete
    2007: Meissner, 7th in 08
    2008: Nagasu, 5th in 09
    2009: Czisny, 10th(?) in 2010
    2010: Flatt, 2nd in 2011
    2011: Czisny, 2nd in 2012
    2012: Wagner, ?? in 2013

    If she is unable to defend her title, at least she'll get to go to Worlds again if she hangs onto 2nd. But again, won't be easy. This will be a big test for her, actually.

  2. #982
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    This is my first time in this particular thread. Didn't know quite where else to post the following musings so here seems about right!

    Just wanted to say I LOVE Ashley's LP this year. I think it's my favourite Ladies' Program from this season, certainly it's the one I watch the most.

    I also just finished watching Alissa's performance from World's and I was tearing, seeing her in the Kiss n' Cry. She is a lovely skater and I hope for the best for her.

    I'm a Canadian skating fan, so bear that perspective in mind. There's obviously a lot of traffic focussed on US Ladies' in the FSU forums, which for me indicates a lot of passion from the fans. I've always admired the US for their phenomenal ladies' skaters. Each of them have been unique, inspiring, and amazing in their own way. I think all the impassioned fans of US Ladies' should remember just how lucky you are in the States to have such an eclectic, at times vulnerable, hard working, and talented group of ladies to quibble about.

  3. #983
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  4. #984

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    Eveyone can defend their favorites, but the basic problem right now is that the US does not have a single TRULY CONSISTENT senior ladies skater who can compete for World/Olympic medals at this time. Yes, Wagner had a good year and seems on the upswing, but she did her usual in the SP program at Worlds (namely screwing it up somehow) after she finally managed a clean short at Nationals. Not to criticize her unfairly, she had a amazing year and did very well at Worlds, but a model of consistency she is not. Alissa had a great season last year but completely decompensated this year, worse than her usual errors. Mirai cannot be counted on for good skating, period, anymore. Rachel Flatt is on the downswing if not competely out. Agnes Z does good short programs and then falls apart in the freeskate. And while Caroline Zhang appears to be on the upswing, she still has a way to go to be truly competitive with the best in the world. Similarly Gao, et al, still are inconsistent performers. And don't even start with Gracie Gold. I don't give a damn about her junior scores, her wonderful jumps, she is still a JUNIOR skater at this point; we'll have to see how she does at Senior before annointing her the next big thing. Courtney Hicks was also supposed to shine at senior this year, and let's not even go into what happened there. To quote Danny Kwan, "ice is slippery, anything can happen."

    The US just doesn't have another Michelle Kwan or skater similar to her consistency or flair, such as a Slutskaya or Yu Na Kim. In fact, skating with a full complement of jumps seems to have left the building with Yu Na Kim, period. 10 years ago, I figured we might not have ladies consistently doing triple axels, but I never thought we'd have a Ladies World Champion who could not do a consistent triple lutz (no offense meant to Carolina, she deserved every win and point this season and I have finally become a fan and learned to appreciate the beauty of her skating). It's a very different world out there right now for ladies, and the US just doesn't have the cream of the crop anymore. Maybe it will come with Wagner, or Zhang, or Gold, or maybe a resurrection for Alissa or Mirai, or someone in the backgroung we don't know about yet. But I think it will take a while, and I'm prepared to have only 2 ladies qualify for Sochi and for no World or Olympic medals for a while yet. I hope not, I hope someone steps it up, but I can't predict who would be likely at this point. I can't even predict who might be the next World or Olympic champion period, the ladies are all young and untested or very inconsistent. This just isn't a cycle like any we've ever seen. It's a total crapshoot to predict who our next OGM in ladies might be.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  5. #985
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    Yazmeen--what are you doing? Being rational about it all? You can't do that! Stop it now!! Commence handwringing and moaning and pouting and declaring what a personal affront the lack of consistent U.S. ladies skaters is to you!!!

    Get with the program!!! For if we do not have three ladies skaters in Sochi, we shall all die!

  6. #986
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    Quote Originally Posted by jl22aries View Post
    This is my first time in this particular thread. Didn't know quite where else to post the following musings so here seems about right!

    Just wanted to say I LOVE Ashley's LP this year. I think it's my favourite Ladies' Program from this season, certainly it's the one I watch the most.

    I also just finished watching Alissa's performance from World's and I was tearing, seeing her in the Kiss n' Cry. She is a lovely skater and I hope for the best for her.

    I'm a Canadian skating fan, so bear that perspective in mind. There's obviously a lot of traffic focussed on US Ladies' in the FSU forums, which for me indicates a lot of passion from the fans. I've always admired the US for their phenomenal ladies' skaters. Each of them have been unique, inspiring, and amazing in their own way. I think all the impassioned fans of US Ladies' should remember just how lucky you are in the States to have such an eclectic, at times vulnerable, hard working, and talented group of ladies to quibble about.
    Thanks for reminding us of this. You made my day!

  7. #987

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Yazmeen--what are you doing? Being rational about it all? You can't do that! Stop it now!! Commence handwringing and moaning and pouting and declaring what a personal affront the lack of consistent U.S. ladies skaters is to you!!!

    Get with the program!!! For if we do not have three ladies skaters in Sochi, we shall all die!


    Thanks for some much needed levity in this whole situation!
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  8. #988

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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    Very interesting comments from Mirai. I sounds to me like her training environment with Frank was not really what she needed.

    "I think the past couple of years, I've just put all of myself into skating, and this year I'd like to try to balance everything," she said. "Skating will always be my No. 1 priority, but it's nice for me to have something else to think about. It does upset me that I'm not at worlds, and it does upset me that I didn't do as well as I could have at nationals, but it's something to motivate me for next year."

    She definitely says nothing negative about Frank, but I think the all intensive, totally focused, all the time style that worked well for Evan and Michelle, doesn't work for Mirai. I'm glad she is enjoying her art classes at college. Hopefully she will find what works for her and what makes her happy.

    "I haven't been traveling to Palm Springs because I'm not training my programs," she said, "So I'm skating at my local rink and just enjoying myself. Being in the real world makes me see how much I love the skating world. It's nice to have a balance of school and skating. I can appreciate how much work goes into both."
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  9. #989

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    Great idea for Mirai, and perhaps Ashley should try something outside of skating, I think she's already done college--but something else, then they will both have some identity outside of skating.

    Wonder if Mirai will hang in there with Frank.

  10. #990

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    Ashley? Done college? Should do something outside of skating?

  11. #991
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    10 posts to go--what's the next thread going to be called? And is it going to be in GSD? Paging Sylvia...

  12. #992
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    Now there's only 9 left to go...

    Sorry, I just like being a part of things.

  13. #993

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    "Be the change you want to see in the world ...." Just helping this thread to its natural end

    (JMHO, but I think Ashley should just keep doing what Mr. Nicks tells her to do. It seems to be working.)
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  14. #994
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    Mirai says she put everything of herself into her skating the last couple years. It sure didn't show on the ice did it?

  15. #995
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    Ouch!

    But to play DA, perhaps it burnt her out.

  16. #996
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Ouch!

    But to play DA, perhaps it burnt her out.
    I was thinking that, too. And it may have contributed to anxiety...if that was all she was, not performing her best would mean she was nothing. She also could have been feeling isolated without the interactions of school. That can mess with your psyche as well.

    Balance is a good thing. I would assume most of us do something apart from our primary job/school/etc...to get away from its stresses.

  17. #997

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    I was thinking that, too. And it may have contributed to anxiety...if that was all she was, not performing her best would mean she was nothing. She also could have been feeling isolated without the interactions of school. That can mess with your psyche as well.

    Balance is a good thing. I would assume most of us do something apart from our primary job/school/etc...to get away from its stresses.
    I think she sounds burnt out too and i think this will be a good thing for her. When she was (trying to?) put 100% of her focus in her skating, she was not getting good results anyway so there really is going to be no harm. She just does not seem like a Kwan/Lipinski type that has that hunger and while I do think you NEED that type of drive to be successful in skating, maybe this shift of focus will rejuvinate her determination.

  18. #998
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    Doesn't sound like someone who wants to be a World champion someday. Mirai just doesn't want it bad enough. She's done from the sound of it.

  19. #999

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    (JMHO, but I think Ashley should just keep doing what Mr. Nicks tells her to do. It seems to be working.)
    Word to this, whatever she did this year was working.

  20. #1000

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    Aaand we're at 1000! Adios to this thread.

    And I agree TG (and mag) about Wagner this season.

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