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  1. #781
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    Mirai Nagasu was added to the NHK Trophy roster today! She replaces the injured Polina Shelepen. See: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...=1#post3742756
    "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

  2. #782

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    Great News for Mirai I hope she can continue building on her rejuvinated start at NHK.

    Does the host nation get to decide who to invite when there's a cancellation? I wonder if being of Japanese heritage and having toured in Japan as a charming youngster helped get her this invitation.

  3. #783
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    Yes, they get to pick from the sub list which Mirai has been on the top of since... I dunno the beginning of the season, and French Fed passed over her 4 times. Lets go Mirai!

  4. #784
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Exactly. The reality is that it's hard to women to do triple jumps period, regardless of body type. Caroline's body type is not doing her any favors, if she had better technique and SPEED her jumps would probably work better, but she doesn't, so it's not surprising she is struggling. Of course there are skinny minnies who UR their jumps, or can't do triples at all, but when you're looking at a skater who has gotten to this level and been capable of doing triples for several years, and is now struggling, you have to look at what's changed or not changed between now and then to get an idea of what the issue is. Caroline's body has changed hugely since her junior days, unfortunately, she hasn't gained speed with these body changes, so combined with her questionable technique, it's a lot harder to pull those jumps off now that she's not 80 pounds anymore.
    ITA with what you're saying but I don't think Caroline is the best one to carry your example. The interesting thing about Caroline this season is she's landing and rotating the majority of her jumps. Her technique on her flip and loop is very good now. She gets better lift and height in both jumps and they have a decent amount of speed as well. Her axel is still small but it's better than it was two or three years ago. Her lutz is still problematic but I don't even think they've tried to correct it...

    Caroline's problem isn't her jumps right now...it's everything else. Her basic skating skills are so sub par that even when she lands the jumps she still scores at the bottom. She's uncomfortably slow on the ice. Her edging around the ice is weak; the only way she gains speed is with basic crossovers. There are no linking or transitions moves in her programs. She still skates "up" instead of "down"...there's too much upper body work in her stroking; she's never down in her knees and into the ice. Her programs are mostly bare, with just a few moves thrown in. The choreography is severely limited b/c there's only so much she can do. Caroline's lack of speed leaves a terrible impression on the judges and drags down every single aspect of her skating...even her spins have gotten weaker as well.

    To be honest, her jumps are the only thing that seem to be working right now. They could always use more speed and height but she's rotating them and landing them....

  5. #785
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    I'm so happy for Mirai to get another assignment. She has been skating so well this season, with more attack and interest in her skating. The edge calls and URs are bothersome, because really some of those calls seemed way off base, and it looks like she's not going to be getting any brownie points, in fact just the opposite. But she's really turned it up this season. It's nice to see. I hope she skates just as well at NHK and doesn't get as hammered by the caller this next competition.

  6. #786
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    From experience as a skater myself and as a coach, even moderate weight gain (5 pounds) will make you look severely lethargic on the ice and give you the look Caroline Zhang seems to be having lately. From teaching these skaters, they'll usually still land the jumps but it's actually everything else that will suffer the most. Personally, my jumps are always much better when I am at a healthy weight as compared to when I was stick thin, however quickness on the blade and posture while stroking suffered with weight gain. In general extra weight just makes you feel like crap on the ice. :/

    Just my two cents, not trying to fuel anything about the weight discussion for skaters. As a skater it's very hard to find an ideal weight that lends well to everything in skating. I also feel bad that skaters have to see their weight being discussed although it is part of the sport...being aesthetic and all it is relevant.

    Also, my impressions of COR were that Gracie looked better on the ice this weekend than Agnes. I like both, although I am not a fan of either and am not biased. Agnes seemed shaky on the blade and "tight" as skaters will call it. I didn't get that out of Gracie who had better flow and ease in my opinion. I of course think Agnes has better edges in general but she was a bit tight.

  7. #787
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    Thought I'd post this here too. Cup of Russia ladies review.

    http://thenakedice.blogspot.com/

    Two competitions this season with two US ladies on the podium...is this a trend?

  8. #788

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    I do not think there is anything wrong with saying a skater looks unfit. It is not the same thing as fat.. There are so many skaters who were not built like Sasha Cohen who had curvy womanly bodies, but were very very fit and looked like Olympic athletes-Irina, and Joannie, and Tonya (in her prime) come to mind. And now Ashley Wagner. She never looked large to me in any way, but she always came across as average body type (I am sure this was not the case in person) and then BAM last year she totally looked like a top tier skater-her arms and legs were more defined etc...it made such a huge difference watching her skate.

    Caroline's appearance just looks sloppy and I think it just enhances her poor skating qualities. Maybe it should not matter...but it does.

  9. #789

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    Once again, to set the record straight, in her prime, there was nothing the least bit "curvy" about Rochette. She was extremely petite and solid muscle. Her arms were so cut you could cut steak with them. She is a slight bit taller than Megan Duhammel, but the same build in terms of muscle.
    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

  10. #790
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    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    Maybe, if she can remain injury-free, but that might be difficult considering her coach's alleged overtraining history.
    Really, didn't know that. Interesting...hope Gracie can stay healthy!

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    Really happy with the results of COR! What a confidence boost for Agnes, and so glad Gracie could bounce back. I'm starting to feel like our ladies program might be headed in the right direction.

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    Yay Mirai....wonder if Alissa will be ready? Her whole situation is a bit of a mystery...

  13. #793
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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    Once again, to set the record straight, in her prime, there was nothing the least bit "curvy" about Rochette. She was extremely petite and solid muscle. Her arms were so cut you could cut steak with them. She is a slight bit taller than Megan Duhammel, but the same build in terms of muscle.
    Well, you're right, curvy isn't the right word, but solid or muscular is. I think the poster was trying to point out that she wasn't stick thin, well maybe in terms of minimal body fat percentage she was, but she wasn't built like a 12 year old or the Chinese pair ladies either. Not everyone is going to be built like Yu Na Kim or Mao Asada but you can tell when someone is in top shape, and just curvier or more muscular in build by nature, and it looks different than when that person is not in peak form. Caroline still had a womanly shape at Nationals last year, but she looked more fit and muscular compared to now. In her peak form, she will not look like Mao, but she does look a bit different from right now. I think that's all people are saying.

  14. #794
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    I'm so happy for Mirai to get another assignment. She has been skating so well this season, with more attack and interest in her skating. The edge calls and URs are bothersome, because really some of those calls seemed way off base, and it looks like she's not going to be getting any brownie points, in fact just the opposite. But she's really turned it up this season. It's nice to see. I hope she skates just as well at NHK and doesn't get as hammered by the caller this next competition.
    Yay, for Mirai! ITA ... I hope she skates well and it's a confidence boost for her going into Nationals.

    Quote Originally Posted by emma1227 View Post
    Really happy with the results of COR! What a confidence boost for Agnes, and so glad Gracie could bounce back. I'm starting to feel like our ladies program might be headed in the right direction.
    Great result for U.S. ladies at SA and CoR! Hope the confidence continues for Ashley and Christina at TEB.

  15. #795

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Well, you're right, curvy isn't the right word, but solid or muscular is. I think the poster was trying to point out that she wasn't stick thin, well maybe in terms of minimal body fat percentage she was, but she wasn't built like a 12 year old or the Chinese pair ladies either. Not everyone is going to be built like Yu Na Kim or Mao Asada but you can tell when someone is in top shape, and just curvier or more muscular in build by nature, and it looks different than when that person is not in peak form. Caroline still had a womanly shape at Nationals last year, but she looked more fit and muscular compared to now. In her peak form, she will not look like Mao, but she does look a bit different from right now. I think that's all people are saying.
    OMG you just won't let go! Have you ever seen Joannie and Mao standing side by side? I mean in real life, not on TV? I have and for what it is worth, I would say their measurements are probably very similar, with the exception that Mao is taller. All this talk about fitness and body fat and muscles ... You simply can not tell by what you see on TV, or worse yet a small computer screen. Let it go already! And while I am ranting ... How do you know that the jumps "come easily" to some skaters? How do you know "staying thin" is easier for some. You don't have a clue unless you are with them on a regular basis and they confide in you. All this speculation about skaters' eating and training habits is just that, speculation. And when it is speculation about teenage girls it can be dangerous and damaging!
    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

  16. #796
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    I went to 2009 4CC where Mao and Joannie both competed and medaled...so yes, I have seen them in person standing side by side. They looked different to me. Anyways I'm just going to shut up now because I can't win. But anyone who is at this level of skating is training a ton so clearly things besides diet and exercise are coming in to play. Have you seen the documentary why are thin people not fat? I digress..And I do personally know quite a few high level skaters so I hear things and yeah. Doesn't mean I'm right or that they are necessarily telling the truth but anyways, the only speculation I said regarding Zhang was that she looked more in shape last season around Nationals compared to now, and at that time, she looked to be in peak form, while still having a different body type from a lot of the other top skaters. That's it.

  17. #797
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma1227 View Post
    Yay Mirai....wonder if Alissa will be ready? Her whole situation is a bit of a mystery...
    Would Mirai need to win NHK to make the GPF or could she qualify with a silver? Of course even that would be a stretch, but it would be cool if she could make the GPF!

  18. #798
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    Mirai would need a gold to make the GPF. I think it's safe to assume that Kiira Korpi, Mao Asada, Ashley Wagner, Akiko Suzuki, and Julia Lipnitskaya are going to make the final.

    With one spot left, I think the contenders are Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Christina Gao, Agnes Zawadzki, and Mirai Nagasu.

    I don't expect Christina to medal at TEB. But she has the only silver of the bunch. She wins the tie breaker (because I don't expect the other 4 to win gold at their events either, and have a slight chance to win silver too). She has a pretty good chance of getting in because she skated at a weak event.

    Both Liza and Mirai earned the pewter at their events, but I think they're probably be bronze at their second event (especially if the other Agnes shows up at NHK).

    Statistically, Christina has a really good chance of getting into the final. But I'd like the underdog to get in: Liza or Mirai. I love Agnes but she's not consistent at performing. But you're basically seeing the 6th and sub list for GPF right now

  19. #799
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    Christina may have skated at a "weak event" but her programs would have held up as silver at ANY of the events so far if she skated the same programs.

  20. #800
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    But with the medals of Sotnikova, Gold, and Murakami not counting, couldn't that mean someone with a 4th and a 2nd could get into the final? So if Mirai were to get 2nd at NHK, she might get in, especially if Christina were to finish say 5th and be out of the running and Liza was 3rd or lower and also out of the picture. I could definitely see Wagner and Lipinskaya going 1 and 2, with Liza 3rd, then Christina 4th or 5th. If she's 4th and Mirai was 2nd at TEB, it would come down to the total score tiebreaker, but either girl would get in before Liza, and if Christina were to finish say 5th, possible considering Korobeynikova could feasibly come out ahead, then Christina and Liza would be out of the running and Mirai with a silver would likely be in. So I don't think Mirai necessarily has to win NHK to get to the GPF, it's just dependant on what Liza, Christina, and Agnes do, but Agnes with another bronze would still be behind Mirai with a silver so, really, I think Mirai could get in with a silver, as Liza getting bronze and Christina 4th or 5th at TEB and Agnes 3rd or 4th at NHK is very realistic IMO. Mirai's silver might be more far fetched but I think she could maybe beat Mao if Mao URs her jumps again and Mirai doesn't.

    I will say Christina does have good odds, because if Mirai is lower than silver, and she can manage a 4th, without Liza or Agnes getting a silver or higher, then she's probably in.

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