I would absolutely say the US ladies were dominate the first half of the last 10 years. Look at the difference. Could it possibly be COP? Wasn't 2007 when the edge calls got a lot stricter? i think that has hurt the US ladies a great deal. Jumps done on the wrong edge did not get a penalty back in the day. Not saying that is the sole factor, but i think its part of it...
2002 olympics-gold, bronze
2002 worlds- silver
2004 worlds-silver, bronze
2006 worlds-gold, bronze
2007 worlds-no medal
2008 worlds-no medal
2009 worlds-no medal
2010 Olympics-no medal
2010 worlds, no medal
2011 worlds-no medal
It seems as though the up and comers from 2007 were more worried about putting their leg up to their ears rather than learning correct jump technique and what we are left with is a lot of talent that never materialized (to this point) but boy are they flexible! At the time though, Sasha was probably the most successful COP skater besides Irina so...not that I think its Sasha's fault in any way-but the scoring system during the time when these ladies were learning their basics rewarded extreme flexibility and superior spirals and neat-o looking spins that made you look like you did not have bones in your back. Flutzes and lips were still acceptable.
Last edited by UGG; 03-26-2012 at 04:13 PM.
It might help to if the US Ladies from the last 5 years were better competitors and didn't skate scared. I am tired of seeing top US Ladies look petrified when it comes to big competitions. While Sasha had her problems she didn't always have that deer in the headlights look that i see now and she did usually end up on the podium.
Look at the US ladies in tennis.
Once Venus & Serena go who else will there be?.
In tennis I think other countries caught up. Serbia, Russia & China.
Maybe that's what's going on.
Or it could be the times we live in. Being a reality tv star are what young children are growing up wanting to be.
If I had a daughter I would want her to look up to Michelle Kwan NOT Kim Kardashian
Well, R Flatt was a strong competitor...she could do the jumps in her prime, but really wasn't good enough for the podium...
Looking at the list above, that drop-off after 2006 is rather sudden and you have to wonder what happened...(I know 2007 was the rise of Asada and Kim, but there has to be more to it than that)
I don't know about getting 3 spots back, but there does at least appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel. We can finally say for the first time since 2007 (Meissner) that we have a medal contender- in Ashley Wagner. That is, if she skates like she is capable of, she can definitely end this drought. If not, of course, well...back to square one I suppose.
I think that list also shows that not a lot of younger quality skaters came up from the Junior ranks during the the Michelle, Sasha era. So when they both retired at the same time it was up to a 16 year old Kimmie Meissner to take over which really wasn't fair to her. There should have been older more experienced skates to take over until the young guns were ready to take over. Instead the class of 2008 were pushed earlier then they should have been. I mean what does it tell you about the veteran Ladies when it was 14,15,16,14 on the podium in 2008? That should never happen no matter how good they were.
Last edited by Jammers; 03-27-2012 at 07:51 PM.
As someone said above, the US had a system where promising teens skated in the shadow of the star. They got trips to Worlds, Olympics, etc. and were able to get some competitions under the belt without any spotlight shining on them.
A few things happened in '06 -
1. Kwan and Cohen [who were by far the best US ladies] left the amateur side of the sport. Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes were the next big thing.
2. CoP was fully introduced which US ladies were not really ready for.
3. US lady in waiting #1 and World champ, Kimmie Meissner, suffered one of the most catastrophic downfalls I can ever recall a US lady experiencing.
4. US lady in waiting #2, Emily Hughes, left the sport to concentrate on school and when she came back, she was not anywhere near her top form.
It left the door wide open for many young ladies who just were not ready for prime time. We've watched the crashing and burning ever since. Alissa with her talent was not one of the super young ladies, but she has always been way too fragile.
The US just doesn't have anyone that can plug those holes torn open back in '06
there is Gracie Gold now who could be a potential Kim Yuna type all around skater or could even surpass Kwan/Yuna's achievements
I think us ladies will be fine and on the way up again and Ashley is improving
and there are promising up coming juniors like Karen Chen
Even in her prime, though, she was probably mid-top 10 material at best. In other words, I felt she was somewhat overrated by the media and some fans. It can be argued that Rachel Flatt took her place in 2009 by filling in that mid-top 10 void. However, the problem is on top. Kwan and Cohen left in 2006, Meissner won a surprise world title in a watered-down post-Olympic field and because of that, she was primed to fill their shoes. In 2007, despite a strong effort she missed the podium and that began the streak of no medals for the US (although we did keep 3 spots for 2008). I believe it was injury coupled by stricter Cop jump rules that did her in so quickly.4. US lady in waiting #2, Emily Hughes, left the sport to concentrate on school and when she came back, she was not anywhere near her top form.
I think during the Kwan/SHughes/Cohen era, there was no depth in the US ladies after them (for years, J Kirk was our third lady and she could barely muster up 16th). In 2006 we finally had the rise of Meissner and Little Hughes who could place top 10 in the world. But unfortunately Meissner/Hughes only lasted a couple of years and after that, you just had a bunch of little kids who were too young for worlds (2008). So we had to send struggling/B-list skaters to worlds that year and of course, it was inevitable that the 3rd spot would be lost. But as the "little kids" in 2008 began to grow up, they experienced many setbacks, the rules changed and they kept getting docked for UR jumps, 2-footed jumps, etc.
Yes, that's the major issue. There is no one steady competitor to lead us through, and even if there was, she'd get no help at all from the others. We saw that with Flatt (coupled with Czisny in 2009), and of course once Czisny was able to redeem herself in 2011, she got no help from her teammate. And this year, Wagner, despite her great ambition, can't bring us back all by herself. She's going to need help from Czisny, who has to at least show competence if not excellence.It left the door wide open for many young ladies who just were not ready for prime time. We've watched the crashing and burning ever since. Alissa with her talent was not one of the super young ladies, but she has always been way too fragile.
In the past I think the atmosphere favored jumping-bean teens who peaked at ~16. We were masters at churning out those types. Now, I think that has changed. The young flashy skaters now seem to be held back points-wise in favor of more well-rounded skaters. We're going to have to start putting out older, steady competitors who have solid jump technique, good skating skills and are competent in the presentation to get those PCS scores.
The departure of Kwan & Cohen left a HUGE void in US skating. This was filled for one short year by Meissner, but after her quick demise, there was absolutely no one that could take their place. What we have now are a bunch of relatively young, inconsistent skaters who just can't seem to hit when it counts most. The newfound rise of Ashley Wagner has offered us perhaps the most hope we've had since then, and we'll know how that turns out in a few days. Was the Nationals/4CC win a fluke (or a peak)? Or has she really found what it takes to be, and continue to be, a world/Olympic medal contender? And will we get any help from veteran Czisny, who continues to be an on/off switch, a flickering lightbulb?The US just doesn't have anyone that can plug those holes torn open back in '06
Last edited by RD; 03-27-2012 at 07:19 PM.