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  1. #501
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    Who is standby for NHK if Alissa can't go?

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Who is standby for NHK if Alissa can't go?
    Mirai?

    I don't understand why Alissa even wanted a GP. At this point in her career, you would think it would be better to fully recover then rush out there and risk another injury. Hopefully if she realizes she cannot compete well, she will give up her spot. I would not be shocked if she ends up going to Japan though. Even if she's still not 100% I'm sure she just wants to compete before Nationals. Understandable, but there is no point of competing if you can't compete well. She's also probably well aware that if she drops out, Mirai will most likely get her spot. I can't read Alissa's mind, but if I were in her position I wouldn't want to give a competitor any edge heading to Nationals with only 2 World spots.

  3. #503
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawnie View Post
    Mirai?

    I don't understand why Alissa even wanted a GP. At this point in her career, you would think it would be better to fully recover then rush out there and risk another injury. Hopefully if she realizes she cannot compete well, she will give up her spot. I would not be shocked if she ends up going to Japan though. Even if she's still not 100% I'm sure she just wants to compete before Nationals. Understandable, but there is no point of competing if you can't compete well. She's also probably well aware that if she drops out, Mirai will most likely get her spot. I can't read Alissa's mind, but if I were in her position I wouldn't want to give a competitor any edge heading to Nationals with only 2 World spots.
    Could I see Alissa doing that? No. Ashley? Sure. lol But I think either would have decent reasons.

  4. #504
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    Mirai has much more potential but it has been 6 years and she has lived up to the potential during three skates-the 2010 Olympics and the 2010 worlds short program. The rest of her career aside from her National title has been a disappointment.
    Mirai has had more good skates than just the Olympics. You forget her podium skate at 4cc in 2011, with a 189 score right behind Mao.

  5. #505
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    I agree with those who think Rachael has maxed out her potential. IMO, she has and she has quite a bit to show for it too. She's had a career and achieved accomplishments that the majority of elite skaters never will. Right now it does feel like she's clinging to something that left about two years ago and it's doing more damage than good.

    I was okay with her having that spot at SA and, all things considered, she skated very well. The problem is her best or near best skating isn't good enough anymore. I agree with the person who said she's at an elite competition skating like a regional competitor. Her level of skating no longer matches the level of competition she's being assigned to. It's clear her priorities are school life and then skating; a 70/30 split, if not 80/20. School is more important to her and that's fine, though I do find her constant Stanford promoting in the K&C irritating; everyone knows she goes to Stanford, the hat isn't necessary. Yay for school spirit and all but gimme a break... It's obvious Rachael loves her school and that's great, but if her skating mattered to her as much as it should she'd be more concerned with her abysmal scores than putting on a hat. I do think Alena is a bit of a crybaby but her breaking down when she saw her SP score clearly showed that she cares about how she performed and what the judges thought. Rachael? Not so much...that 40-something score didn't seem to faze her.

    Point is Rachael's priorities have shifted...and her skating has declined. But I don't think the USFSA needs to do anything about it. A combination of the judges and better skaters will effectively shut her out this season. Let's be honest, no one is getting past Ashley unless she implodes and I don't see that happening. So that leaves Gracie, Agnes, Alissa, Caroline and Mirai, in addition to real new threats like Angela Wang, Hannah Miller and Leah Keiser. Given Rachael's current level of skating, I think finishing top 10 will be an accomplishment this year.


    As far as Mirai goes I think the reason people aren't pointing her to the door is because she can be much better than she's been in the past and she's shown evidence that she wants to be better. Rachael basically hit the peak of her potential in 2009 and 2010 so there was nowhere else she could go. Mirai came pretty close in 2010 but given her natural ability and talent, she can still be as good as if not even better than she was then.

    As much as I love Frank, past that first year, I don't feel like he and Mirai were the great fit I expected them to be. Mirai made the changes over the summer and so far she's doing better this season. Her 163.09 from Finlandia would have been 4th place behind Adelina's 168.96 at SA. She's still a top 5 skater... And even at her worst Mirai is still better than Rachael. Rachael gave a very strong performance at nationals last year whereas Mirai basically tanked. Rachael beat Mirai by just over 1 point; Rachael's near best is only about a point better than Mirai's worst.

    Plus Mirai's PCS haven't suffered the way Rachael's have and her jump content combined with the +GOEs her amazing spins and spirals receive give her a competitive TES as well. She's still very much a threat... But then again her issue has never been lack of ability; it's been a lack of focus and/or drive. Last year her heart didn't seem to be into it. This year she's shown evidence she's trying to be better and I respect that. For that reason, I don't think you can group her in the category with Rachael, who has all but checked out at this point.

  6. #506
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    Does anyone think that Ashley's performances lately might provide a psychological boost to the other US ladies? Provide some sort of inspiration that they can go out , attack and perhaps win?

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    USA Today article about Gracie Gold's upcoming GP debut at Skate Canada that also mentions her twin, Carly, recently won the Senior ladies' silver medal at UGL Regionals: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...debut/1654479/
    (ETA that I've also cross-posted this link in a new thread in Great Skate Debate.)
    Last edited by Sylvia; 10-24-2012 at 08:19 PM.
    "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

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    Point is Rachael's priorities have shifted...and her skating has declined. But I don't think the USFSA needs to do anything about it. A combination of the judges and better skaters will effectively shut her out this season. Let's be honest, no one is getting past Ashley unless she implodes and I don't see that happening.
    Don't....jinx...it!!

    The skategods missed that comment, thank goodness!

    As for Flatt vs. Nagasu, I thought they were roughly at the same level for the past couple of years, but recently the two have taken notably different paths in regards to their skating. Right now I think it is Nagasu that's showing more short-term promise. Flatt is clearly beat-up physically and even if skating WERE her priority, I think she'd be in decline anyway.

  9. #509
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Does anyone think that Ashley's performances lately might provide a psychological boost to the other US ladies? Provide some sort of inspiration that they can go out , attack and perhaps win?
    I don't know about on a psychological level, but I sure hope it pushes them. The past few years have been a complete wash- if the other ladies have someone clearly on top (like Kwan was in the early 2000s) maybe it will help raise the level of US skating once again. It's not like the others CAN'T compete with Wagner at their best. They just need to try harder, that's all.

  10. #510
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    School is more important to her and that's fine, though I do find her constant Stanford promoting in the K&C irritating; everyone knows she goes to Stanford, the hat isn't necessary. Yay for school spirit and all but gimme a break... It's obvious Rachael loves her school and that's great, but if her skating mattered to her as much as it should she'd be more concerned with her abysmal scores than putting on a hat.
    Gao didn't have Harvard gear. I assume Rachael thinks that is cute or endearing somehow. It isn't. I get the sense, though, that Stanford is the first place she has had a chance to be fully a part of anything outside of skating. Not unusual at all in the circumstances of growing up as an elite athlete.

  11. #511
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Does anyone think that Ashley's performances lately might provide a psychological boost to the other US ladies? Provide some sort of inspiration that they can go out , attack and perhaps win?
    I think all skaters have to find the motivation within themselves; so if they can't find inspiration within their own skating, I doubt they will have much success in just being inspired by someone else's success. In fact, I think looking too much to others may be a detriment. Look at the Russian Plushy clones, struggling in the shadow of Evgeni; look at the drought of American ladies after the Kwan/Cohen era. Inspiration is great, but it takes a lot more psychological strength to succeed.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  12. #512
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    USA Today article about Gracie Gold's upcoming GP debut at Skate Canada that also mentions her twin, Carly, recently won the Senior ladies' silver medal at UGL Regionals: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...debut/1654479/
    (ETA that I've also cross-posted this link in a new thread in Great Skate Debate.)
    It's nice that Gracie is centered about the expectations and not (hopefully) putting too much pressure on herself.

    A small correction to the article that should be noted is that her family is from Springfield - in Illinois - not Missouri.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  13. #513
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    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    It's nice that Gracie is centered about the expectations and not (hopefully) putting too much pressure on herself.

    A small correction to the article that should be noted is that her family is from Springfield - in Illinois - not Missouri.
    She's from both actually! Originally from Springfield, Missouri, then her family moved to Springfield, Illinois before relocating to the Chicago area (I believe Arlington Heights?) to better accommodate the twins' training.

  14. #514

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    The Gold twins' first (I believe) USFS club was Jordan Valley FSC in Springfield, Missouri!
    "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

  15. #515
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    The tales of two Springfields! The article suggested they family moved from Springfield (MO) 2 1/2 hours way to Chicago, which would be incorrect, however. Springfield, MO to Chicago is about a 9 hour drive.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  16. #516
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    I like Gracie's mentality and I really hope she's able to maintain it. She's untested as of yet. I really hope she's able to keep a cool head under the spotlight and not freak out.

    I'm still not on the bandwagon with her. I do think she's a gifted jumper but there are a lot of those in skating right now. Aside from her jumps, she's an average junior jumping bean making her debut on the GP. She's made improvements to her aspects of her skating since last season so that's a plus, but she still has a long way to go to catch up to the veterans.

    I wish her the best this week and hopefully she'll have a strong debut.

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    Haven't read the 26 pp. of this thread, just wanted to add my *live* skating impressions of Ashley, Christina, and Rachael at Skate America this past weekend (I attended all 3 days):

    Rachael brought me to tears with her Firebird FS. I have seen her skate live two times thus far (2010 SA & 2012 SA). As God is my witness, you must see her skate live to understand what I'm talking about. Such an emotional, joyful, dynamic skater in person. She set a mood and did not deviate from it. I misted up halfway through. Her aura is unlike any other skater I've ever seen. She glows from the inside out.

    Christina was absolutely simply P E R F E C T! Big high jumps, lithe, right on. Watch out world because she could easily take GG's place on the World Team. That's how good she is...

    Ashley, what to say, everything single thing about her screams C H A M P I O N!!!! Both on the ice and off. I saw it way back in 2008 (imho she should've won the title that year). She reminds me of Sasha Cohen in this way - fighters, they have what it takes, and they won't let go. Gorgeous to see!

  18. #518

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    People are amazing. The Michigan Skaters have Michigan stuff and reference Michigan all the time. And I'm pretty sure Emily Hughes had Harvard stuff her freshman year. And we heard about Bowling Green every 5 minutes when Alissa was there. But because it is Rachael it is now offensive? Let the girl enjoy her school spirit. I think loving your school is awesome (Go Blue! ).

    Rachael doesn't owe anything to anyone. She is making the commitment to skating that she is willing and able to make right now. As the 6th place finisher at Nationals last year, she earned her international assignments. If she doesn't skate that well this year, she won't earn any more. So stop pretending that Rachael is hurting you or taking something away from someone. She has every right to prioritize her life however she chooses and she doesn't have to retire just because fans on an internet message board don't like her choices. I'm sure Rachael has her own reasons for continuing to skate and she doesn't have to have them approved by FSU. She doesn't need to retire because people who didn't like her when she was winning still don't like her now that she isn't.

  19. #519
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    I recall Emily wearing a Harvard shirt once. Alissa did not talk about Bowling Green, the broadcasters did. Can't blame that on the skater.

    What several of us pointed out was that Rachael was more interested in the Stanford cap than 1) her U.S. team jacket and 2) her dismal scores.

    School spirit is lovely and fine. At school. She skates for the U.S. not for Stanford. And quite frankly, if her parents have enough spare cash for her to skate as a hobby (because that is what it seems to be--as someone else said, others are on-ice more in two days than Rachael is in a week) perhaps they could be putting that money to better use.

    I also have a feeling that she does have her reasons and they are not entirely her own.

  20. #520
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    This thread is making me hope that Flatt and Czisny finish first and second in either order at U.S. Nationals this season.

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