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  1. #1
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    Christina Gao- what does she have to do to be a factor

    This is the 3rd straight year Christina Gao has finished 5th at Nationals. While after a difficult season that actually might have served as a personal victory of sorts for her, one has to wonder what she has to do to ever truly break into the U.S elite or be in contention for the World team. She is still young, talented, and hard working. However Agnes Zawadzki has left her in her dust at the moment, and is clearly seen as more of a future hopeful, while Gracie Gold is now emerging. That is not to mention all the reasonably young skaters still going strong like Wagner, Zhang, and Nagasu (well not so much this year, lol), and the strong vets who the U.S are still very high on like Czisny. It would seem if she doesnt make a move soon she is in danger of getting lost in the shuffle. What does she need to do in order to breakthrough.

  2. #2

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    I think first she has to decide if she will go to Harvard next year or defer for one year.

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    Listen to the music

    Take ballet

    Find music that she can skate to, not boring ones or ones that overwhelm her

  4. #4
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    i'd say quit hunching over, but it's never affected the scores of a number of skaters

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    re-train technique on the double axel.

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    Well, I'd never seen her skate before last night and i have to say I found her far more interesting and full of potential than Agnes. Her 3-3 combo was amazing. I really enjoyed her skating and she stood out to me compared to most of the other girls.

    They said she'd grown, had injuries and had been sick, so I'm guessing those might be factors? You guys up on the American ladies' scene would know that better than I would.

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    Consistently deliver performances with the 3-3 in both programs and 7 triples in the FS.

    Get her 2a consistent.

    Project to the audience more.

    Improve her spins and flexibility.

    I think Christina can be a factor but I think for her hitting the 3-3 and delivering 7 triple LPs are going to be key, sort of like with Rachael, she could compete with the top but she needed everything, whereas someone like Alissa, Carolina, etc can afford mistakes and easier programs without being buried. Her jumps are very big and garner +GOE though, and she has a nice body line, so these are two advantages she has over Rachael, but they share similar weaknesses of not great spin or spiral positions. I think she could have a breakout season next season potentially if she can stay healthy and really address her weaknesses. She is similar to Yuna in many ways and we saw Yuna become a more well rounded skater as she matured.

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    Christina has a light quality, skates with speed, and has gorgeous jumps. But she's a little noodly; she doesn't always look like she's in control of her limbs. She looks much more in control now than she did during the Grand Prix (coming off of an injury and what looked like a growth spurt), but she could still use some serious ballet lessons to get a stronger sense of line and control.

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    I've just watched her LP and, though she is still a little hunched and scratchy, I see definite signs of improvement. She's not quite as awkward and gangly as before. Now I think she needs to straighten-up (if possible) and skate bigger. She also needs to extend her legs and knees to improve her line, and project. In other words, get some classical training.

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    Find a personality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I think first she has to decide if she will go to Harvard next year or defer for one year.
    My personal opinion is that she should go next year to avoid dealing with such a major lifestyle and coaching change in the Olympic year. I think this way she could also take the Olympic year off if she wanted to.

    I think Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson could really help her basics, too.

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    Christina to Harvard

    I also think Christina should go this fall. Emily Hughes took time off during the heavy competition period. I agree with all points on getting acclimated to her new coaching and SC of Boston's new facility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Consistently deliver performances with the 3-3 in both programs and 7 triples in the FS.

    Get her 2a consistent.

    Project to the audience more.

    Improve her spins and flexibility.

    I think Christina can be a factor but I think for her hitting the 3-3 and delivering 7 triple LPs are going to be key, sort of like with Rachael, she could compete with the top but she needed everything, whereas someone like Alissa, Carolina, etc can afford mistakes and easier programs without being buried. Her jumps are very big and garner +GOE though, and she has a nice body line, so these are two advantages she has over Rachael, but they share similar weaknesses of not great spin or spiral positions. I think she could have a breakout season next season potentially if she can stay healthy and really address her weaknesses. She is similar to Yuna in many ways and we saw Yuna become a more well rounded skater as she matured.
    I was curious to see your response especialy as I know you are a big fan of hers. I think that is a great assessment.

    One big advantage Rachael had is she was coming up at an all time low point for U.S Senior women (remember the 2008 Worlds) where their big star Meissner could barely land 1 triple per program, Emily Hughes was not even skating and basically an early flameout, Czisny was essentialy nowhere at the time, and Bebe Liang was an established journeywomen. This allowed her to establish herself quickly and entrench a reputation as a very consistent and solid skater which would hold her up in the coming years even as new and more talented skaters emerged, until her consistency and skating fell off in the last year or two. Gao is coming up at a time the U.S women are building and there are good teenage veterans, a popular and well liked 20 something veteran, and impressive newcomers all establishing themselves, so it isnt nearly as easy. Of course she has no control of that though, she can only worry about herself and what she needs.

  14. #14
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    I don't see anything from that Christina that stands out right now. She's one of the few American girls to do a 3-3 but her spins are meh and she doesn't really seem to have a personality yet.
    Last edited by Jammers; 01-31-2012 at 12:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I think first she has to decide if she will go to Harvard next year or defer for one year.
    Dude, Christina got into Harvard? Yay for her! That's hugely exciting, but how did I miss the announcement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriaheidi View Post
    Dude, Christina got into Harvard? Yay for her! That's hugely exciting, but how did I miss the announcement?
    They mentioned it on the NBC broadcast and also that she got a perfect score on the math section of the SAT. Wow!

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    Did anyone else notice she jumping way up close to the boards? Even moreso than any other skater in the event?

    Other than that, she needs to find a way to make her skating less dry. Her skating skills are in dire need of improvement. When I first saw her, I thought her spins were probably the worst of any senior lady to date (besides her back open sit spin). I don't know. She's just missing that "it" factor for me besides that jumping.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenny12 View Post
    They mentioned it on the NBC broadcast and also that she got a perfect score on the math section of the SAT. Wow!
    SAT Math is not that hard. my elder sibling got 800 twice before scores were recentered. Even I the mediocre Math student scored well

  19. #19
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    I got a perfect 800 on the math section of the SAT too.

    But, really, checking into this thread wondering what was up with Christina and Harvard (or any other school). She has until May 1 to decide whether to attend Harvard, so given the lack of news so far, we'll be speculating yet.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Listen to the music

    Take ballet

    Find music that she can skate to, not boring ones or ones that overwhelm her
    The above plus stop hunching over -- she really needs help in everything.

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