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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    Poor Ashley. Let Ashley be Ashley and Michelle be Michelle. Two skaters brought up and trained under different rules. I hope Ashley will achieve stardom like Michelle as I think only a lady star may be able to revive figure skating in the USA. Having said that, let's be realistic. It's easier to be multiple champions then rather than now. Good luck to Ashley. I am sure with her determination and hard work, she'll get there. Talent alone is not enough.
    ITA I feel Ashley's programs are much harder on a whole. The majority of her jumps have difficult entrances and her spins are more complex. It is likely way more difficult for someone to work on their artistry now because so much time is spent perfecting all of that. It is just the nature of what it takes to get to the top with this judging system.

  2. #22
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    i must say first that i'm a huge Ashley fan but I only like some of Kwan's programs, so, ( it will probably sound as heresy to many), i personally don't find Michelle infinitely superior to Ashley (or to Yuna, for that matters) so in thinking of a reply to the question, i will put them on the same "level" and compare them. also, there's no need to always declare one skater superior to an other. skaters are just different and enjoyable for what they are. the difference between Ashley and Michelle lays probably in their different personalities and musical preferences. Ashley really loves big, powerful music, and performed a "gentle" music only twice in that beautiful SP "Somewhere in time" and the playful "Pollock", while Kwan had more variety of programs, so we can watch how her artistry transform in diverse routines. Ashley has so much energy coming from her throughout the program, and in the past, all this energy seemed to be too much so that her skating looked a little frantic. Now her energy is well chanelled, that's why she has the calm, almost regal quality that Kwan had. Kwan was always very polished, refined, and so is Ashley this season.
    And yes, like someone said above, it's hard to find a performer who is totally, truely natural. any artist learns first. talent is a raw gem that requires work to shine. so yes, Michelle worked a lot on her expression and emoting, it didn't just come out at first try
    whether Ashley is not natural in her expression, it's probably a matter of opinion. for me, every time she skates, i can feel she puts her heart in it, but maybe because i have a special fondness and emotional connection to her skating, that every move she does, speaks to me that's probably what happens to Kwan's fans too. so in a way, they are similar in this too. they can both reach peoples' hearts through their skating.

  3. #23
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    This entire thread reminds me of the comparisons between Lebron James and Michael Jordan being done in NBA circles. They are both great players, but Jordan was on a whole 'nother planet. There will be only one Michael Jordan.

    Wagner and Kwan aren't comparable at this point, honestly. Perhaps if Wagner picks up a couple of World titles we can consider talking- but right now I wouldn't even have Wagner at the Cohen/Hughes/Lipinski level yet. No world medal (let alone title)...no Olympic appearances...besides, style-wise they are still very different skaters.
    Last edited by RD; 11-21-2012 at 11:51 PM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    This entire thread reminds me of the comparisons between Lebron James and Michael Jordan being done in NBA circles. They are both great players, but Jordan was on a whole 'nother planet. There will be only one Michael Jordan.

    Wagner and Kwan aren't comparable at this point, honestly. Perhaps if Wagner picks up a couple of World titles we can consider talking- but right now I wouldn't even have Wagner at the Cohen/Hughes/Lipinski level yet. No world medal (let alone title)...no Olympic appearances...besides, style-wise they are still very different skaters.
    Agree with all that except Hughes. I consider many skaters who never won a World medal better than Sarah Hughes.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    I disagree. You cannot just decide to work on your artistry one off season and come back skating like this (below) especially at 15 years old due to only "hard work". Alongside her hard work, there is a natural ability. Otherwise, what is everyone else's excuse? not working hard enough?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1imuQWeIi4Q

    Ashley has wonderful command of the ice, don't get me wrong but IMO Michelle had a gift when it came to performing.
    Like I said it isnt natural for a 15 year old to work on every detail of her artistry like Kwan did. She did since she was such a determined and disciplined competitor and got a crash course in the vast importance of artistry at the 1995 Worlds, few people that young are already good enough to experience something like that so young. I am sure alot of people work hard on artistry but dont usually start in such detail so young, and perfecting things so young made it easier to grow into an impeccable artist. She also worked with the finest people much of her career- Frank Carrol and Lori Nichol, who are keen on perfect packaging of a skater. I suppose she has some natural artistic ability but she isnt the natural artist that Janet Lynn, Oksana Baiul, or even Sasha Cohen are. If she were you would have noticed her artistry when you first saw her very young and underdeveloped and in her case you do not notice anything of the sort when you first see her in 94 and 95, just a very well trained athlete with great basics and competitiveness. JMO

    I also saw an interview in a skating magazine one time where Kwan herself felt she wasnt one of the most talented skaters, she just made the most of her talents more than other skaters.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Agree with all that except Hughes. I consider many skaters who never won a World medal better than Sarah Hughes.
    well, like her or not, she DID win an OGM plus a world medal- thus that puts her ahead of all current US women.

    Once Wagner picks up top hardware, she can be placed in that company. But until then, she is only dreams and potential.

  7. #27

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    Michelle is a skater who I think was actually helped by the "puberty monster," along with extreme dedication and hard work.

    She was not a "natural artist," she started out as a typical jumping bean, as this video from 1992 shows (she was 12): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42l8lZ7m9qY

    She was certainly a hard working jumping bean, though, until 1996. That was when her artistry (along with hard work with Lori Nichol) began to kick in. As judgejudy mentioned, Michelle was so hardworking and determined, so she really paid attention to the details that would make her skating more artistic. And then she grew from there.

    Ashley has really impressed me, I was not a fan of hers until this season. I believe she is also a very determined and hardworking young lady.
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Like I said it isnt natural for a 15 year old to work on every detail of her artistry like Kwan did. She did since she was such a determined and disciplined competitor and got a crash course in the vast importance of artistry at the 1995 Worlds, few people that young are already good enough to experience something like that so young. I am sure alot of people work hard on artistry but dont usually start in such detail so young, and perfecting things so young made it easier to grow into an impeccable artist. She also worked with the finest people much of her career- Frank Carrol and Lori Nichol, who are keen on perfect packaging of a skater. I suppose she has some natural artistic ability but she isnt the natural artist that Janet Lynn, Oksana Baiul, or even Sasha Cohen are. If she were you would have noticed her artistry when you first saw her very young and underdeveloped and in her case you do not notice anything of the sort when you first see her in 94 and 95, just a very well trained athlete with great basics and competitiveness. JMO

    I also saw an interview in a skating magazine one time where Kwan herself felt she wasnt one of the most talented skaters, she just made the most of her talents more than other skaters.
    I guess what i am saying is that there was some type of raw ability to connect with music there...to work with. Perhaps it was just undiscovered by Michelle prior to 1996. I agree that she was perhaps not as "naturally" (for lack of a better word) artistic in the sense that Oksana and Janet were, but you will never be able to convince me that if Irina, Sarah, etc...worked as hard as Michelle did on their artistry, they would have the same type of ability to feel the music and connect to the audience the way Michelle could time and time again. Something was there to begin with. I do agree that she did make the most of her talents due to hard work.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Kwan retired because she knew that skaters like Wagner were coming up. At least Lysacek and Plushenko are trying comebacks to compete against the new kids. But Kwan is petrified and knows that all the current female amateurs have a natural artistry that far surpasses hers.
    Goodness gracious yes! Just look how petrified Michelle is in the PEOPLE magazine photo of her and Clay Pell!

    Seriously...

    Michelle Kwan is 32 years old, and has moved on with her life -- moved beyond, and above, figure skating. As stellar as her skating career was, it was but a preamble of much greater and more significant achievements and accomplishments that will unfold in her life in the years and decades ahead.
    Last edited by RickInSanJose; 11-22-2012 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Seriously...

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Kwan retired because she knew that skaters like Wagner were coming up. At least Lysacek and Plushenko are trying comebacks to compete against the new kids. But Kwan is petrified and knows that all the current female amateurs have a natural artistry that far surpasses hers.



    I cannot even BELIEVE the ridiculousness of this statement. Kwan retired because GRACIE GOLD was a fetus when she (Kwan) won her first worlds. She was skurred..

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    I guess what i am saying is that there was some type of raw ability to connect with music there...to work with. Perhaps it was just undiscovered by Michelle prior to 1996. I agree that she was perhaps not as "naturally" (for lack of a better word) artistic in the sense that Oksana and Janet were, but you will never be able to convince me that if Irina, Sarah, etc...worked as hard as Michelle did on their artistry, they would have the same type of ability to feel the music and connect to the audience the way Michelle could time and time again. Something was there to begin with. I do agree that she did make the most of her talents due to hard work.
    Fair enough. I do see what you are saying and you are probably right. I do think though Irina by many of her complaints and complaints about her scores and results (even when she didnt do her best technical performance) had somehow deluded herself into thinking she was this grand artist, so probably didnt work on it as much as she should have. Then again I dont know how much she could have even fixed such basic things as extensions and turnouts even with any amount of work. She just didnt have it.

  12. #32
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    Ashley has been taught choreography and she does what she is taught. Michelle was taught movements but she made them her own and she felt the movements the music and the energy of the crowd.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    I cannot even BELIEVE the ridiculousness of this statement. Kwan retired because GRACIE GOLD was a fetus when she (Kwan) won her first worlds. She was skurred..
    I take it you don't understand PeterG's sarcasm.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    I take it you don't understand PeterG's sarcasm.
    Ummm no I got it. I was one upping him. LOL. Guess it was not funny :/

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    Ummm no I got it. I was one upping him. LOL. Guess it was not funny :/
    I think rfisher hit the wrong button and meant her comment for RickInSanJose. I like his "Seriously..." comment.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  16. #36
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    I'm confused by the notion that, since Ashley has stated that she admires Michelle and is trying to emulate her in some ways, that means that Ashley is really hoping to turn into a Kwan clone and also that she's a crazy arrogant person who actually believes she is capable of becoming The Kween, etc.

    I mean, is it really a bad thing to have a young woman with work ethic who is trying very hard to emulate certain aspects of the US's greatest all-time skater? I'm really not sure why all these people find it necessary to strictly comment on all the aspects of Ashley that just Do Not Measure Up to Michelle, as though to put the young woman in her place for even daring to admire and work towards emulating aspects of Michelle's skating.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    I mean, is it really a bad thing to have a young woman with work ethic who is trying very hard to emulate certain aspects of the US's greatest all-time skater?
    Of course not! It's about time we had a lady aspire to higher than 5th at worlds, etc.


    I'm really not sure why all these people find it necessary to strictly comment on all the aspects of Ashley that just Do Not Measure Up to Michelle, as though to put the young woman in her place for even daring to admire and work towards emulating aspects of Michelle's skating.
    I guess she brought it on herself by mentioning Kwan so explicitly- people would obviously begin comparing the two. It's really not a fair comparison though. I still want to wait and see how she handles being in the spotlight and the increased expectations that come with that. People will begin expecting a world medal from her, for instance- can she live up to that?

    On the topic, Wagner does not appear to be a natural in the expressive-type of skating, and if she doesn't have it I don't think there's much use trying to be something she isn't. Yes, it is nice that she is extending her boundaries but you don't want to overdo it...still, she probably feels she needs to do so to separate herself from the Russians, etc. Do whatever it takes to win, right?

  18. #38

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    The same thing that separates Yamaguchi from Lipinski . . . Hamill from Lipinski . . . etc. They are just not the same skaters.

  19. #39

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    So many people just don't get PeterG

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    Quote Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
    So many people just don't get PeterG


    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

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