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  1. #521
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    Not a hater i've been a fan of Mirai's since 2008 but she's not the same skater as she was in 2010. Sure she can win Nationals but i don't see her winning a medal at Worlds. After the Olympics i though we would see Mirai on the podium in the next few years at Worlds but who though 2010 would be her only trip.

  2. #522
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    ^Why don't we all cut Mirai a break. She is 19, now an adult / acting more mature, has made some life changes, and appears to have identified / fixed those components to her training that needed work (ex- off-ice training). Technically, she's achieving better positions in her spins, getting the 3-3 down in her SP, and is backloading her LP. I don't get the gloom and doom.

  3. #523
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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriaheidi View Post
    Worth noting that Mirai's GP results this year are the same as Ashley's last year...
    AND:

    Wagner changed coaches last season. Nagasu changed coaches this season.

    But if this was the rule...

    Czisny won Nationals and one major senior international and then placed top 5 at Worlds in 2011. She did solidly at GPs in 2012 but fell a couple of times at GPF, injured herself and failed to defend her title at Nationals and bombed at Worlds.

    Wagner won Nationals and one major senior international and then placed top 5 at Worlds in 2012. She did solidly at GPs in 2013 but fell at GPF and ...

  4. #524
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Mirai is really not any better as a skater then back in 2010 and if anything she's not as fast.
    Now, Kostner didn't tame down her jumps and get her consistency down until AFTER she slowed down and got control over her skating.

  5. #525
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Not a hater i've been a fan of Mirai's since 2008 but she's not the same skater as she was in 2010.
    Not a hater either. She's my favorite US skater right now in any discipline. Sick of some overly sensitive posters generalizing people as haters every time they read something they don't like. I hope Mirai surprises many people at nationals.

  6. #526
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    I like Mirai, and hope Mirai surpirses. At the same time, I'm not surprised if she falls short. Competition is tough and I have seen a bit of the old Mirai and a bit of the new Mirai. So we'll see.

  7. #527
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    You guys need to give Mirai a break. I remember last year before Nationals I said that Ashley really had a chance to make it to the top and make a statement, and nearly everyone here scoffed it off like I was crazy. It's amazing to me how easily some people here write off skaters. Mirai once was thought to be the next big ladies skaters for the US, and who says she can't reach that form again? You guys also need to remember Mirai is normally a late season bloomer. Based on what we've seen this season, Mirai is heading back in the right direction to get back to the top.

  8. #528
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    How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mirai?

    Cross-posting from here to get us all in the mood for U.S. Nationals:

    She skates the Free and scrapes her knee
    Her dress has got a tear
    She waltzes on her way to class
    And whistles on the stair
    Tell her to keep it short and simple
    And she’ll go on from there
    I even heard her singing in the alley

    She's always late for practice
    But her perseverance is real
    She's always late for everything
    Except for every meal
    I hate to have to say it
    But I very firmly feel
    Mirai's just a girl from the Valley

    I'd like to say a word in her behalf
    Mirai makes me laugh

    How do you solve a problem like Mirai?
    How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
    How do you find a word that means Mirai?
    A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

    Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
    Many a thing she ought to understand
    But how do you make her stay
    And listen to all you say
    How do you keep a wave upon the sand

    Oh, how do you solve a problem like Mirai?
    How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

    When I'm with her I'm confused
    Out of focus and bemused
    And I never know exactly where I am
    Unpredictable as weather
    She's as flighty as a feather
    She's a darling! She's a demon! She's a lamb!

    She'd outpester any pest
    Drive a hornet from its nest
    She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
    She is gentle! She is wild!
    She's a riddle! She's a child!
    She's a headache! She's an angel!
    She's a girl!

    How do you solve a problem like Mirai?
    How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
    How do you find a word that means Mirai?
    A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

    Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
    Many a thing she ought to understand
    But how do you make her stay
    And listen to all you say
    How do you keep a wave upon the sand

    Oh, how do you solve a problem like Mirai?
    How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

  9. #529
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    She was on at NHK this year. IMO that is the best she is capable of these days. She is just already no longer the skater she was back in 2010-2011, even if she is on.
    I have to disagree. She had a strong performance at NHK but she's capable of doing better. She URed two triples and didn't maximize levels on all of her elements (which she's capable of improving), so that means she's capable of scoring better than the 115 she earned. She's not the skater she was back in 2010 but then again who is? People grow up, change and evolve and I think 19 year old Mirai deserves that right just like every other skater...

    Some people peak early, some people peak late...then there are the rare ones who are able to maintain their position throughout their career. Mirai has had an up-and-down skating career but I think it's far too early to drop a curtain on her or proclaim that she's gone as far as she's capable of going. She's had a good year and is showing signs of improvement.

    If we've learned anything from Ashley it's that all it takes is a season of strong performances to turn the tables in your favor. Look at what she did...look at Akiko, Carolina, even Alissa for a while...all of these skaters started off roughly but eventually found their way. Who's to say Mirai can't do the same thing?

  10. #530
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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    You guys need to give Mirai a break. I remember last year before Nationals I said that Ashley really had a chance to make it to the top and make a statement, and nearly everyone here scoffed it off like I was crazy. It's amazing to me how easily some people here write off skaters. Mirai once was thought to be the next big ladies skaters for the US, and who says she can't reach that form again? You guys also need to remember Mirai is normally a late season bloomer. Based on what we've seen this season, Mirai is heading back in the right direction to get back to the top.
    I agree. I had Nagasu as the dark horse this year - briefly switched it to Gao after TEB but I really think it is Nagasu people should watch out for. She's had some setbacks and is feeling less pressure - that can do WONDERS for confidence if you're not feeling the heat. Wagner, OTOH, will find out first-hand how tough it is to defend a title. She is probably more likely to succeed than Czisny, Flatt or Nagasu in the same role (mainly due to drive), but even the toughest competitors have off-days or can succumb to nerves if the stakes get high enough.

    Gold is another one I think will be on the podium somewhere...anywhere from an upset win (should she be totally ON and Wagner messes up) to maybe 4th or 5th if she has freeskate troubles. Somewhat reminiscient of Zawadzki...and speaking of Zawadzki, I wouldn't count her out either. Gao is a tossup (will we get SA Gao or GPF Gao?). Probably the toughest Nationals to predict in quite some time...

  11. #531

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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    I really think it is Nagasu people should watch out for. She's had some setbacks and is feeling less pressure - that can do WONDERS for confidence if you're not feeling the heat.
    How I long for the days of the U.S. skaters who didn't need a low/no pressure situation to do well. Like Kwan, Lipinski, heck even Hughes (wasn't a fan of her skating but girl had nerves of steel!). I don't mean to knock the current ladies, but seeing them struggle in high-pressure situations makes me appreciate how rare and special Kwan, Lipinski and Hughes's steely nerves really were.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  12. #532
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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    I agree. I had Nagasu as the dark horse this year - briefly switched it to Gao after TEB but I really think it is Nagasu people should watch out for. She's had some setbacks and is feeling less pressure - that can do WONDERS for confidence if you're not feeling the heat. Wagner, OTOH, will find out first-hand how tough it is to defend a title. She is probably more likely to succeed than Czisny, Flatt or Nagasu in the same role (mainly due to drive), but even the toughest competitors have off-days or can succumb to nerves if the stakes get high enough.

    Gold is another one I think will be on the podium somewhere...anywhere from an upset win (should she be totally ON and Wagner messes up) to maybe 4th or 5th if she has freeskate troubles. Somewhat reminiscient of Zawadzki...and speaking of Zawadzki, I wouldn't count her out either. Gao is a tossup (will we get SA Gao or GPF Gao?). Probably the toughest Nationals to predict in quite some time...
    I got the impression that Gao messed up at the GPF only because she wasn't adequately prepared for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    How I long for the days of the U.S. skaters who didn't need a low/no pressure situation to do well. Like Kwan, Lipinski, heck even Hughes (wasn't a fan of her skating but girl had nerves of steel!). I don't mean to knock the current ladies, but seeing them struggle in high-pressure situations makes me appreciate how rare and special Kwan, Lipinski and Hughes's steely nerves really were.
    The US really was spoiled in the era of Kwan, Lipinski, and Hughes. I think that especially accented the freefall of US ladies after 2006 Worlds.

  13. #533
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    Well, here's my predictions for the ladies competition later this week. Count me as one who thinks Mirai is gonna shock a few people

    http://thenakedice.blogspot.com/

    I watched a bit of the juniors' SPs and I'm noticing a disturbing trend: a lot of them are doing the lazy, half-assed laybacks which really bothers me. The US has always been known for having strong laybacks and spirals. Between Kwan, Cohen and even Hughes, that area was locked up for the longest. Then enters Alissa, Mirai, Caroline and Ashley too.

    What's happening to the US ladies? I saw several of the junior ladies doing the Russian style layback (sideways leaning position to haircutter to Biellmann). I don't like it! Fix it! Fix it now!!

  14. #534
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Well, here's my predictions for the ladies competition later this week. Count me as one who thinks Mirai is gonna shock a few people

    http://thenakedice.blogspot.com/

    I watched a bit of the juniors' SPs and I'm noticing a disturbing trend: a lot of them are doing the lazy, half-assed laybacks which really bothers me. The US has always been known for having strong laybacks and spirals. Between Kwan, Cohen and even Hughes, that area was locked up for the longest. Then enters Alissa, Mirai, Caroline and Ashley too.

    What's happening to the US ladies? I saw several of the junior ladies doing the Russian style layback (sideways leaning position to haircutter to Biellmann). I don't like it! Fix it! Fix it now!!
    One of my criterion for favourite US ladies skater is their Layback and Spiral, I hold those in endlessly high regard!

    Fix it! Fix it! FIX IT JUNIORS! Thanks Kwanatic

  15. #535
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    How is predicting a silver or bronze for Nagasu thinking she will shock people (either just making or just missing the World team). I was under the impression that is what most are expecting from her at these Nationals. I enjoyed your write up for Nationals and thanks for showing it, but the boldest thing you predicted as far as placement was Wang finishing above Zawadzki, the rest was pretty much on par with the consensus predictions.

    I honestly would much rather see Gao make the team by finishing 2nd than Nagasu or Gold, but I dont think the judges will let that happen unless Nagasu and Gold both have a major error or two (atleast).

  16. #536
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post

    I watched a bit of the juniors' SPs and I'm noticing a disturbing trend: a lot of them are doing the lazy, half-assed laybacks which really bothers me. The US has always been known for having strong laybacks and spirals. Between Kwan, Cohen and even Hughes, that area was locked up for the longest. Then enters Alissa, Mirai, Caroline and Ashley too.

    What's happening to the US ladies? I saw several of the junior ladies doing the Russian style layback (sideways leaning position to haircutter to Biellmann). I don't like it! Fix it! Fix it now!!
    I was at the junior ladies SP tonight and noticed the laybacks were not pretty. The friend who went with me is a very casual skating fan and got an earful about horrid free leg positions and such. She even recognized how bad a couple were when the turnout was just not there. Ugh. I agree completely; they all need to fix it. ASAP.

  17. #537
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    I was at the junior ladies SP tonight and noticed the laybacks were not pretty. The friend who went with me is a very casual skating fan and got an earful about horrid free leg positions and such. She even recognized how bad a couple were when the turnout was just not there. Ugh. I agree completely; they all need to fix it. ASAP.
    Idk I thought Gelb, Long, Chen, and Edmunds all had very nice laybacks.

  18. #538
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    How is predicting a silver or bronze for Nagasu thinking she will shock people (either just making or just missing the World team). I was under the impression that is what most are expecting from her at these Nationals. I enjoyed your write up for Nationals and thanks for showing it, but the boldest thing you predicted as far as placement was Wang finishing above Zawadzki, the rest was pretty much on par with the consensus predictions.

    I honestly would much rather see Gao make the team by finishing 2nd than Nagasu or Gold, but I dont think the judges will let that happen unless Nagasu and Gold both have a major error or two (atleast).
    Well I guess I somewhat stated the obvious, huh? It's true, I do agree with what most people think but b/c it's my blog I like to state my assumptions/terrible predictions for the record.

    A number of people are feeling that Gracie has the better chance of placing 2nd based on her technical content alone. The pressure is on Gracie to deliver (to back up all the hype) and for Ashley to deliver (b/c she's been doing so well and it hasn't been done in years). Mirai is definitely in the mix, without a doubt. However, I don't think people are as excited about her as they are Ashley and Gracie. That's why she's been labeled a bit of an underdog this year. I agree with those who think she may be able to benefit from not having the spotlight on her. No, it's not a profound or enlightening prediction but I feel the need to state it anyway...especially if she ends up coming in 2nd b/c then I get to say "told you so! told you so!" like I did last year for Ashley.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    I was at the junior ladies SP tonight and noticed the laybacks were not pretty. The friend who went with me is a very casual skating fan and got an earful about horrid free leg positions and such. She even recognized how bad a couple were when the turnout was just not there. Ugh. I agree completely; they all need to fix it. ASAP.
    I say we write a petition to the USFSA demanding that coaches force our ladies to stick to the classic layback position! No half-assed leaning ones! That's not the American way!! Don't let the old traditions die!

  19. #539
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    I can't stand those weirdo leaning laybacks. Something about the classic layback is just gorgeous (when done right, that is). I get it, it's not that easy...but nothing in skating is easy. And that side one looks so ugly.

  20. #540
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Well, here's my predictions for the ladies competition later this week. Count me as one who thinks Mirai is gonna shock a few people

    http://thenakedice.blogspot.com/

    I watched a bit of the juniors' SPs and I'm noticing a disturbing trend: a lot of them are doing the lazy, half-assed laybacks which really bothers me. The US has always been known for having strong laybacks and spirals. Between Kwan, Cohen and even Hughes, that area was locked up for the longest. Then enters Alissa, Mirai, Caroline and Ashley too.

    What's happening to the US ladies? I saw several of the junior ladies doing the Russian style layback (sideways leaning position to haircutter to Biellmann). I don't like it! Fix it! Fix it now!!
    I think Agnes might finish better, if only because she'll probably get a cushion from the SP

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