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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    But Czisny is the exception...when you look at the top American skaters- Kwan, Lipinski, Hughes, Cohen, Meissner, Flatt, Zhang, Nagasu, even Wagner- from their debut, they made their mark on the national scene. (It remains to be seen if Gold will follow the same route, but assuming she remains healthy it's highly likely.) For Czisny, it took a few seasons- 2007 was her breakout year nationally, although from 2005 you could see the talent present.
    I may be misunderstanding your post, but for many of the skaters on your list, I hardily disagree that they "made their mark" on the National scene from their debut. Michelle Kwan made so little impression on me that in mid-1992, I couldn't recall a single thing about Kwan's National debut (1992 Junior, 9th), including that she existed - now Caroline Song (1992 Junior, 1st), I could tell you about that performance in detail! What a beautiful skater... Similarly, despite (apparently) watching Sasha Cohen's Nationals debut (1998 Novice, 6th) and National follow-up (1999 Junior, 2nd), I didn't particularly notice her until 2000 Nationals (Senior, 1st after SP, 2nd overall). I believe that I did not see Lipinski's Nationals debut (1994 Novice, 2nd), but her Nationals follow-up (1995 Junior, 2nd) would have been utterly forgettable if it weren't for Christine Brennan's book about the 1995-1996 season. For that matter, I'm not sure that I consider Gold's Nationals debut (2010 Novice, 4th) to have "made a mark." I'll stop now and try to make a broader point.

    Come to think of it, I'm not sure what broad point we're discussing. I see a few options:
    1) To become one of the top U.S. women, does one need to have made a mark in one's Nationals debut? No, however we're measuring "made a mark."

    2) Does making a mark in Junior Ladies predict anything about a skater's Senior Ladies' career? Yes, it's a fairly good predictor of qualifying for Nationals as a Senior Lady the following year, but it's a lousy predictor of long-term international success as a Senior Lady. I refer you to Megan Hyatt, Sandy Rucker, Erica Archambault, Louann Donovan, Joan Cristobal, Sara Wheat, Andrea Gardiner, Jennifer Karl, Michelle Cho, and Caroline Song in the post-figures era alone.

    3) Is Gold going to achieve success as a top international competitor at the Senior level? I honestly believe this cannot be predicted, based on history. I think Gold has many factors working in her favor that may not have been working in the favor of other Junior Ladies' champions (adult body, excellent jump timing). However, the other Junior Ladies' champ who had those same factors - and who Gold's skating reminds me of - is Sydne Vogel. Vogel had a successful career following her Junior Ladies' title in 1995 (over Lipinski), but she certainly didn't achieve the kind of success that was predicted for her in 1995. FWIW, Vogel's competition results in 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 were very strong (including the 1997 Junior World title in the fall of 1996 and a bronze medal at 1996 Skate America, her SGP debut). I don't know what Vogel would have accomplished if her career hadn't been derailed by injury. I certainly hope that Gold doesn't suffer injury - there has been a fairly strong link in the past 15 years between female skaters practicing triple-triples/3As and incurring serious injury - but after what I've seen and experienced in this sport, my main hopes for Gold are that she loves as much of this experience as possible, for however long she enjoys it, and that she eventually walks away without regret and with wonderful friends, memories, and experiences; and that she can walk in 20 years without pain. Lest you underestimate the latter, I'm on my way to dinner with a skating friend, at which we'll discuss her latest knee surgery, my next surgery, and compare the efficacy of various anti-inflammatories and pain relievers. Unfortunately, I'm not kidding.

  2. #102
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    I was referring to debut on the SENIOR level, actually.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I agree that Polina is very talented, but her 6th place finish in Junior at Nationals doesn't guarantee her a JGP assignment. I counted 17 JGP age-eligible ladies listed in the ISP (only 3 of whom finished behind her at Nationals) -- see: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...14#post3556714
    I tend to think she will get an assignment. I don't think skaters like Cesario, Baga, and maybe even Lam will do JGP again even though they are technically still "age eligible". Polina will be assigned before any novice medalists are as well. Gracie is doing senior GP. So that means Cain, Miller, Long, Bell, Wang, would be assigned before her (Lam too if she goes back to JGP). Then she's in a group with the likes of Nina Jiang, Leah Kesier, Yasmin Siraj, McKinzie Daniels and unlikely but possibly Kiri Baga (I assume she will focus on pairs) and Samantha Cesario (believe she is starting college in the fall, really old for JGP as is). Her chances of getting an assignment are probably better than the girls in this second group I mentioned, especially if she skates well over the summer. So no, it's not a garuantee, but I think she will likely get at least 1 JGP assignment this fall. She almost got assigned last season after finishing 7th in junior and there were more senior ladies doing JGP.

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    Baga plans to do both singles and pairs and already has her singles programs choreographed. Based on her nationals placement, I can't see her not being offered a JGP.

    As for Lam, she's only 26th on the season's best list, so unlikely to get a senior GP, so it's almost certainly back to the JGP for her also.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Polina will be assigned before any novice medalists are as well.
    Well, yes, seeing as none of them are listed in the ISP as of now (Karen Chen is by far the most compelling of them, and she's too young).

  6. #106
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    Responding to this comment from "judgejudy27" in the now locked Czisny thread:

    Alissa skated close to her best at the all time weak 2011 Worlds and finished 5th, behind such heavyweights as Alena Leonova who didnt even skate cleanly. A 55% Yu Na Kim won silver and almost won. Nagasu had the performances of her career and still came a very distant 4th in Vancouver, granted in all time great competition. It is presumptous at best, completely false at worst, to just state they were capable of being on the podium every year without their mental issues. Nagasu training 110% and driven to win since she first won U.S junior Nationals maybe would have been, especialy by the time Asada and Kim were finished their dominance, but that is a long drawn out what if. Czisny is not a talented jumper and doesnt have the speed, power, and command of the very best even when at her best.
    True, its easy to say these ladies would be all on top of the world if they could just hold it together, but really, the evidence says otherwise. Flatt at 2009 Worlds, Nagasu at 2010 Olympics, Czisny at 2011 Worlds, even Wagner this year- they were at or close to their best and not a single medal from any of them, even with relatively weak competition the past couple of years. I think the US ladies have lost so much ground in such a short amount of time that it's incredible, really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Ali3 View Post
    I may be misunderstanding your post, but for many of the skaters on your list, I hardily disagree that they "made their mark" on the National scene from their debut.
    Many successful lady skaters seemed to peak technically at senior level.

    Does making a mark in Junior Ladies predict anything about a skater's Senior Ladies' career? Yes, it's a fairly good predictor of qualifying for Nationals as a Senior Lady the following year, but it's a lousy predictor of long-term international success as a Senior Lady. I refer you to Megan Hyatt, Sandy Rucker, Erica Archambault, Louann Donovan, Joan Cristobal, Sara Wheat, Andrea Gardiner, Jennifer Karl, Michelle Cho, and Caroline Song in the post-figures era alone.
    I have been wondering about the same. Between 1993-1997, Tara was the only junior lady nationals medalist to make the senior podium at US nationals.

    Between 1998-2001, there were a few more--Sarah Hughes, AP were junior ladies champ; Sasha, Kirk, Czisny and Nam were all junior medalists and they all eventually placed top 4 at senior nationals. Only Sarah, Sasha and Kirk medalled at a senior ISU championship though (Must mention here that Czisny won a GPF, a big win though not an ISu championship).

    Then in 2004, Meissner and Taylor won and placed 2nd in junior ladies and they both placed top 4 at US nationals subsequently and won ISU championships at a senior level.

    Then there's Flatt in 2006 (placing second in jr ladies). The year after that, Nagasu, Zhang and Wagner in jr ladies. In 2010, Agnes.

    I remember some talk about the jr lady champ jinx until Sarah Hughes broke it. So I guess the trend pre-Hughes was that girls did fairly well at the lower levels but peaked technically at senior competitions (probably due to luck, timing, body changes, etc.) With the ISU age rule, girls not ISU-championship eligible agewise are better off staying jr unless they are so good they can place top 6 in senior anyway (e.g. Flatt in 2007 US nationals), so there'll be more girls staying jr longer. That said, I do wonder when girls decide to skate senior at nationals. You don't want to skate senior at nationals until you are technically ready (or you get lost in the middle of the pack fast); on the other hand, you don't wanna stay jr any longer than you have to, because the window for a US lady is short, so when you are skating well, you wanna have a shot at landing the big championships, and that means moving up to seniors. You don't wanna do your best stuff in your career at jr level and win "lesser" titles.

    3) Is Gold going to achieve success as a top international competitor at the Senior level? I honestly believe this cannot be predicted, based on history. I think Gold has many factors working in her favor that may not have been working in the favor of other Junior Ladies' champions (adult body, excellent jump timing). However, the other Junior Ladies' champ who had those same factors - and who Gold's skating reminds me of - is Sydne Vogel.
    (Now worried....)
    Last edited by jlai; 04-29-2012 at 07:12 AM.

  8. #108

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    Cross posting this here. I must say, I am truly impressed with the improvements Gracie has made to her artistry!! Her skating skills, jumps and spins were fab as always too, but she performed amazingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    Just a quick review from our show last night...

    For her first program, Gracie skated a new exhibition to Adele's "Chasing Pavements" and it was stunning. The program is a bit of a departure for her maturity-wise, but she handled it beautifully. Her soaring triple Lutz out of an ina bauer entry got some gasps and "oohs" from the crowd.

    Her second program was the same one she performed at Nationals and Jr. Worlds, only in a different (blue) dress. Again, her jumps were huge and she skated great.

    Seeing Gracie live makes one appreciate her even more. She is, without a doubt, the best female jumper in the world right now. The height and distance she covers is simply unmatched today. What's even more impressive in person, though, is the delay she gets in her jumps. They look so easy!

    Gracie's spins have also improved tenfold since Nationals. They looked the best I've ever seen them -- the speed, centering and positions were fab. I think her spins garnered as much applause as her jumps did.

    She is so impressive and really such a sweet kid. As a coach, I had the pleasure of meeting her, her sister Carly, and her mom, and they were all really nice and down to earth. Gracie seems so unaffected by her skating fame, and I think that is what will take her far in the sport. She was/is so inspiring for our young skaters!

    If you're in the Twin Cities today, we have another show with Gracie at the new Coon Rapids Ice Center at 2:00 PM.

  9. #109
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    Thanks for sharing your impressions, chipso1!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie View Post
    Baga plans to do both singles and pairs and already has her singles programs choreographed. Based on her nationals placement, I can't see her not being offered a JGP.

    As for Lam, she's only 26th on the season's best list, so unlikely to get a senior GP, so it's almost certainly back to the JGP for her also.
    Plus there's Courtney Hicks IF she has recovered fully and monitors well this summer.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Responding to this comment from "judgejudy27" in the now locked Czisny thread:



    True, its easy to say these ladies would be all on top of the world if they could just hold it together, but really, the evidence says otherwise. Flatt at 2009 Worlds, Nagasu at 2010 Olympics, Czisny at 2011 Worlds, even Wagner this year- they were at or close to their best and not a single medal from any of them, even with relatively weak competition the past couple of years. I think the US ladies have lost so much ground in such a short amount of time that it's incredible, really.
    Of all those skaters who could have been on the podium at Worlds or the Olympic was Mirai at Worlds 2010. Even with just a decent skate in the LP she would have been on the podium. She had the most potential and talent and could have actually been a World champion. Rachael even at her best was never going to be on a podium at Worlds and Alissa and Ashley were not as good as Mirai when Mirai was focused and on her game.

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    I haven't read every note in this thread, but the general theme seems to be that we ( in the U.S. ) are waiting for a savior-ess to fly in like Mighty Mouse and save the day.

    I don't know who or when, but I will guess she will arrive eventually.

  12. #112
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    i'm not completely sold on the gracie bandwagon yet but i still look forward to the moment when the US has 3 ladies spots for Ashley Wagner, Mirai Nagasu, and Gracie Gold

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polymer Bob View Post
    I haven't read every note in this thread, but the general theme seems to be that we ( in the U.S. ) are waiting for a savior-ess to fly in like Mighty Mouse and save the day.

    I don't know who or when, but I will guess she will arrive eventually.
    I'm not sure there will be such a person. I don't think you'll see consistent skaters like Kwan in the COP era, because programs that are supposedly clean pre-COP are probably dinged for URs/spin rotations in the current system. I'm beginning to think skaters like Flatt are about as consistent as you're likely to get in the COP era. I mean, even with a serius injury, she could do 3 triples in the world championship. Looking back this is impressive.

    With the upcomers, you risk having them crash and burn if you promote them too soon; OTOH, you risk them getting an injury or having passed their peak if you let them wait their turn.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Responding to this comment from "judgejudy27" in the now locked Czisny thread:



    True, its easy to say these ladies would be all on top of the world if they could just hold it together, but really, the evidence says otherwise. Flatt at 2009 Worlds, Nagasu at 2010 Olympics, Czisny at 2011 Worlds, even Wagner this year- they were at or close to their best and not a single medal from any of them, even with relatively weak competition the past couple of years. I think the US ladies have lost so much ground in such a short amount of time that it's incredible, really.
    I can guarantee had Alena skated last at Worlds this year instead of Makarova, Ashley would have been on that podium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    I can guarantee had Alena skated last at Worlds this year instead of Makarova, Ashley would have been on that podium.
    You may be right, but we need ladies who can win medals regardless of skating order or other factors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Of all those skaters who could have been on the podium at Worlds or the Olympic was Mirai at Worlds 2010. Even with just a decent skate in the LP she would have been on the podium. She had the most potential and talent and could have actually been a World champion. Rachael even at her best was never going to be on a podium at Worlds and Alissa and Ashley were not as good as Mirai when Mirai was focused and on her game.
    True, Nagasu did have a legit chance in 2010. The real kicker is she may never get that close to a World championship again...(let's see if she can pull it together next season)

    I can guarantee had Alena skated last at Worlds this year instead of Makarova, Ashley would have been on that podium.
    Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Perhaps if she skated exactly the same but was in that last group to get higher PCS she would have been 3rd too. Point is, we need someone who is ALWAYS in the mix, not just in it when top skaters make mistakes.

    Seeing Gracie live makes one appreciate her even more. She is, without a doubt, the best female jumper in the world right now.
    Wow, big words! (gush gush, hype hype! ) Anyway, thanks for sharing your report.

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    It's not hype, it's the truth. Gracie's jumps are the best of any female skater currently competing. You have to see her live to truly appreciate them. Her technique is so perfect it's just crazy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post

    Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Perhaps if she skated exactly the same but was in that last group to get higher PCS she would have been 3rd too. Point is, we need someone who is ALWAYS in the mix, not just in it when top skaters make mistakes.

    True. This has been a breakthrough season for Ashley, so we'll need to see if she can pull through with the momentum for the next season. If she does, she'll definitely be a medal contender at Worlds (well depends on if Yuna and Miki both decide to skate next season, which means that it'll be much harder for Ashley to medal).

    But on top of that, Alena was way overscore on PCS in both the SP and LP. It was a joke that she got higher PCS than Akiko and Mao in the SP, and that she pretty got the same PCS as Mao and Akiko in the LP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie View Post
    Baga plans to do both singles and pairs and already has her singles programs choreographed. Based on her nationals placement, I can't see her not being offered a JGP.

    As for Lam, she's only 26th on the season's best list, so unlikely to get a senior GP, so it's almost certainly back to the JGP for her also.
    Yes but in terms of placements in seniors vs. juniors, it's a toss up over who will be assigned first. Lam with her international experience would likely be assigned before Polina if she choses to do JGP, but Polina could feasibly be assigned ahead of the likes of Kiri, Nina, Leah, etc.

  20. #120

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    Not to mention that, if Ashley had ACTUALLY skated her best (specifically a clean SP) then it is very likely should would have medaled. So it is inaccurate to say she skated her best and didn't medal when she didn't skate her best at all in the SP which left her out of the last group and probably held her PCS down.

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