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  1. #961

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayra View Post
    I'm waiting on Cesario and Hicks to at Jr Worlds so I can feel vindicated that they should have been higher and arguably gone to Worlds.

    Then I can point the finger at the USFS and shake my head at what I think could have happened at Worlds. Never mind that there are so many variables that come into play at a competition like Worlds. I'm just going to go ahead and lament results that haven't happened yet.

    Should be fun!
    Ugh. The point is Gao skated well at Nationals, she had a hiccup in the short, but no where near the mess up Gracie had, and her long program with 6 triples was far better than what Wagner put out. Can we please not get into some of the other girls PCS. Agnes doesn't get higher PCS than Gao internationally-neither does Gracie...

    The difference is Gao even though she made the GPF didn't nearly get the PCS boost the US pets (Gracie, Wagner, and Agnes got) It was clearly political....

    I'm sorry it is a problem when the US federation plays favorites like they did. Some skaters get huge PCS boost some skaters don't. Christina didn't bomb one of the two programs like our World team members did.....

    Overall, Christina really had the better year versus Gracie and Agnes-until she got to Nationals. Then she came back at 4CCs and rightfully placed above her teammates in front of an international judging panel. Also, late last year, unlike Gold and Zawodski, Gao made the GPF.
    Its HIGHLY arguable that Agnes outskated Gao at Nationals. And frankly Gold's overall placement is HIGHLY arguable too, considering Gold's terrible short. And the huge PCS boost Gold got..

  2. #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Ahem, USFSA! Would you kindly wipe that little bit of egg off your face?
    ^^^
    THIS!

    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    I knew Gao should have been sent to Worlds.

    And I know, I know, we will never know if she actually would have skated well there or not. I still feel vindicated.
    WORD!

    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    Ugh. The point is Gao skated well at Nationals, she had a hiccup in the short, but no where near the mess up Gracie had, and her long program with 6 triples was far better than what Wagner put out. Can we please not get into some of the other girls PCS. Agnes doesn't get higher PCS than Gao internationally-neither does Gracie...

    The difference is Gao even though she made the GPF didn't nearly get the PCS boost the US pets (Gracie, Wagner, and Agnes got) It was clearly political....

    I'm sorry it is a problem when the US federation plays favorites like they did. Some skaters get huge PCS boost some skaters don't. Christina didn't bomb one of the two programs like our World team members did.....

    Its HIGHLY arguable that Agnes outskated Gao at Nationals. And frankly Gold's overall placement is HIGHLY arguable too, considering Gold's terrible short. And the huge PCS boost Gold got..
    Entire post.

    'Nuff said. Good night.

  3. #963
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    I gotta tell you after watching Euros / 4CC's, I'm becoming a little more pessimistic in general about the chances of US ladies - all the big players in the rest of the world seem to be peaking - Sotnikova, Kostner, Tuk, Asada, Murakami seem to be at their best. Suzuki is holding her own. Ashley and Gracie are questionable at this time, if not regressing.

    But, not sure if I'd jump on the Gao wuzrobbed train. Going into the GPF, Gao had 174 pts. from SA while Gold had 175 pts. from CoR. Both had silver medals from their respective GP events. Gao's performance in the GPF was her worst of the season, so heading into Nationals, IMO Gold had the edge even if Gao made it to the GPF. Gold had 2 major errors in the SP, Gao had 1 error. Gao skated well in the LP but had a wonky spin. Gold skated lights out in the LP. So, the judges at Nationals / USFSA went with the best choice at the time. I do think arguments could be made about Gao being on the podium, though, as high as 3rd.

  4. #964
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    Here's the thing though. The competition could have been held TOMORROW instead and Gold may have come out on top instead of Gao.

    While I expected Gold to have some issues, it's by no means a "Gao was robbed" thing for me. Look how she did at GPF - distant, dead last in the field. She was clearly not in the same class (that week) as the other competitors. I'm willing to bet that didn't go ignored leading up to US nationals. (Is it right? no but it's this psychological, unconscious stuff that happens). Plus, as the above poster pointed out, squeaky-clean Gao scored LESS than a Gold with mistakes at COR.

    I can understand the argument for Gao perhaps being 4th (or even 3rd) at Nationals, but definitely no higher. That said, I do think she should earn first alternate status over Zawadzki for Worlds (probably too late to change that anyway, but again, USFS really should wait in the future).

    It's really an issue of peaking IMHO. The US has the talent, but our women seem to peak early. By Worlds it's basically just picking up the pieces left from the rest of the season.

  5. #965
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    You have a point but I don't think all US ladies peak early. I think the issue is that skaters who placed well at nationals aren't always the same ones who will do well at worlds for various reasons.

    Of course, the Japanese ladies have this issue of letting nationals decide all, though with their ladies it's pretty clear who the top ladies are, for the gap between Mao, Akiko and Kanako and the rest is obvious.

  6. #966

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    Gold's quote after her FS (published in USFS' Skating magazine blog):
    “I’m going to go home and take it easy for about a week to recover mentally and physically before I start my training for worlds.”
    "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

  7. #967
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Of course, the Japanese ladies have this issue of letting nationals decide all, though with their ladies it's pretty clear who the top ladies are, for the gap between Mao, Akiko and Kanako and the rest is obvious.
    It was like that in the US for a while, too. After Kwan/Lipinski, then Kwan/Hughes/Cohen, then Kwan/Cohen, a pretty big step down to the rest of the field. It was easy to let Nationals decide since the results were basically guaranteed.

    Now, the field has incredible depth, but unfortunately none have the chops to compete with the best in the world. Therefore, we continue to be stuck in this rut. And we're going to be stuck here until the world team (whomever is on it) FINALLY performs up to snuff. No indications of it happening this year...

  8. #968
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    US has had pretty rotten luck the last couple years. There will be a championship where the pent up energy gets released by the US ladies team. I don't know whether it will be at this worlds but I think it will happen.

    IMHO, what USFS could do is to send talented ladies to a season's worth of non-high level competitions before sending them to prime-time. Agnes and Gracie both could do more jgps the season before going sr internationally.

    That will mean letting jr ladies do junior, however, and it may also mean skipping over ladies who might have placed well the previous nationals. Not sure if this will happen soon.

  9. #969

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    While I'm going into Worlds with low expectations for the U.S. ladies, I do think the fact that Nationals & 4CCs are so close together was a factor here. I'm sure it was difficult for Gracie to come down from the high of her amazing Nationals FS, travel to Japan, and be expected to skate lights-out again. The Japanese ladies had six weeks in between their Nationals and 4CCs, and they were skating at home, so I don't think it should come as a shock that they did well and swept the podium.

    I think it was wise of Ashley to skip 4CCs. I'm glad Gracie went for the ISU Championship experience, but I hope she gets some time to rest and regroup now before Worlds.

  10. #970
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    It seems that at 4cc, the US lady who's not going to worlds always beats the US ladies who are.

    This might have something to do with where each skater is at in their season. It also just shows how close it is between 2nd place and 7th place in the US.

    It's REALLY time to come up with a ranking system that takes the whole season into account. Let the National Champion go to worlds if they must, but for the rest of them, let them earn it. That way, nationals can be judged without an agenda. Or more likely, it will be far more difficult to enact an agenda based on just 1 competition.
    I agree with a ranking system known in advance for second and third competitors or for a ranking system that determines whether skaters will face off at 4C's for them.

    Gao and every past non-Worlds Ladies skater may have had something to prove at 4C's, the end of her season, but am I understanding the argument about Nationals as "If Gao was scored properly at Nationals in PCS, she would have beaten Gold or Wagner for one of the two Worlds spots, because she would have been properly placed after the SP."? Or is this simply about Gao vs. Zawadzi?

    International judges gave Gold and Gao higher PCS at 4C's for the SP than the US Nationals judges did, and Gao less lower for the FS. Gold's Nationals FS was "Skate the lights out" and significantly higher, but that happens for that kind of skate and Gao was nowhere near Gold in base tech. I saw Gao at her SA best -- she was lovely -- but I don't see how she is 10 points better than Gold in PCS to get the second Worlds spot, especially the general/ordinals way in which PCS are marked. The last time I read the PCS criteria, there shouldn't be a huge impact on PCS for singling an axel.

    I understand the wuzrobbing about Gao in relation to Zawadzki especially, because they have different virtues and her USFS PCS were so much higher than her international PCS for not so different technical programs, but under the current system (of selecting the Worlds team), I don't understand the "Hah, you were so wrong USFS," unless that's "Hah, USFS, you held up the wrong person at US Nats and should have ignored Gold's FS.". Gao vs. Zawadzki doesn't come into play without a third spot.

    Were USFS to have totally rigged the results at Nationals, strategically speaking, the international judges didn't really prefer Gao by all that much at 4C's -- by .5 in the SP and by 1.15 in the FS -- with a far inferior FS performance by Gold than at US Nats. Gao, like Machida, showed that, comparatively speaking, in the GPF field she was clearly the weak link, and that was without Kostner and Kim. Her upside isn't all that great, at least ths year; she couldn't beat Murakami with Murakami's flawed jump technique and chronic underrotations. Gold, though, has a technical upside that Gao can't match now. Gao couldn't show at GPF that she would have had much of a chance at placing high enough with Wagner at Worlds for spots, unless there were a lot of meltdowns and/or Wagner turns her season around.

    The worst realistic scenario is that Gold places below 12th in London and doesn't earn two GP spots outright. It's still more likely the US will come away with two again, and without Wagner looking especially competitive for a 4th place repeat or the podium, I couldn't see Gao getting the US there this year, and there's a better upside where US Nats FS Gold will emerge, even if the odds are small that she'll help to earn three, if she skates the same kind of SP.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 02-10-2013 at 05:48 PM.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  11. #971
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipso1 View Post
    I'm sure it was difficult for Gracie to come down from the high of her amazing Nationals FS, travel to Japan, and be expected to skate lights-out again.
    Gracie didn't have to skate "lights-out" at 4CC, but her LP was absolutely horrible. One or two misses would've been understandable, but she stumbled her way through the entire LP with only 2 clean triples; I felt bad for her. From Sylvia's quote, it is a very good idea that she's taking it easy this week in order to regroup mentally and physically and refocus her training for Worlds.

    At this point the U.S. cannot rely on any of its top 3 ladies. When has that ever happened in the history of U.S. skating ?

  12. #972

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Gracie didn't have to skate "lights-out" at 4CC
    I didn't say she "had to," only that many people were probably expecting her to. I know that, even with mistakes, she's capable of scoring high (i.e., her Rostelecom Cup free skate). There were simply too many mistakes here, which is a shame. She really could have used some positive momentum heading in to London.

  13. #973
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post

    The worst realistic scenario is that Gold places below 12th in London and doesn't earn two GP spots outright. It's still more likely the US will come away with two again, and without Wagner looking especially competitive for a 4th place repeat or the podium, I couldn't see Gao getting the US there this year, and there's a better upside where US Nats FS Gold will emerge, even if the odds are small that she'll help to earn three, if she skates the same kind of SP.
    EXACTLY - I just don't get the outcry. If not Gold, then who?

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't - that's really the USA ladies' team motto the past 5 years.

  14. #974
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    US has had pretty rotten luck the last couple years.
    I think it's more to do with bad choices.

  15. #975
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    I still say Christina was robbed due to politics at Nationals but it's done. None of the arguments here have changed my mind on that point.

    Now the best one can hope for is two spots for the Olympics. As long as neither Ashley nor Gracie implode that should be reasonably expected.

  16. #976
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    OK:

    Let's say Wagner has her GPF/Nationals skate at Worlds (good SP, falls twice in LP). Ignoring domestic scores, she scored 181.93 at GPF. Taking results of Euros and 4CCs into account, let's see where this places her. She's currently 1st.

    At 4CC, Asada and Suzuki were well ahead of that mark, scoring over 190. Murakami was BARELY under that mark with 181.03. OK, fine. This would drop Wagner down to 3rd, still pretty decent.

    Now, let's throw in results from Euros. Kostner and the Russians dominated this field, and all three medalists (Kostner, Tutkamysheva, Sotnikova) topped Wagner's target score. So this effectively knocks her down to 6th.

    Throw in Yuna Kim, who was at neither of these events, but except perhaps on her very worst day scores above 181, and Wagner is now theoretically 7th.

    A 7th by itself is not horrible, but in the context of getting 3 spots, it would require Gracie Gold to place 5th or higher (remember adding Gold would push Wagner's placement down another notch to 8th). That's a TALL task to ask of anyone - especially with how she's been skating lately.


    Suffice it to say, it doesn't look good...

  17. #977
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I think it's more to do with bad choices.
    Maybe, but I dont want to be the one who rekindled past nationals debate.

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    We are not getting that 3rd spot back no matter who skates at Worlds simple as that. The US girls are just not good enough or consistent enough. We don't even know if Ashley will finish in the top 6 with the way she is skating now so asking Gracie or Gao to somehow finish in the top 7 is asking way to much. As for Gracie next season will tell the tale. She will know what to expect and the hype won't be nearly as bad.

  19. #979

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    We are not getting that 3rd spot back no matter who skates at Worlds simple as that. The US girls are just not good enough or consistent enough. We don't even know if Ashley will finish in the top 6 with the way she is skating now so asking Gracie or Gao to somehow finish in the top 7 is asking way to much. As for Gracie next season will tell the tale. She will know what to expect and the hype won't be nearly as bad.
    But maybe Ashley should have finished no where near the top 2 with that skate. (She was judged very very generously on PCS and TES at US Nationals) Perhaps Gao, Gold maybe could finish 6/7.

    Look I think the real issue here is that clearly the US selection procedure is broken. I DO think both Agnes and Gold are huge talents with potentially more upsides than Christina Gao. However both are also incredibly inconsistent. Gold was scored very generously in the short and in the long for different reasons. She was held up in the short program and given a significant PCS boost. At least though Gold was brilliant at US nationals and well received in Russia... In terms of Agnes she gets way higher PCS at US nationals than she does internationally....

    Gao and Nagasu and esp Gao out performed these girls on the Grand Prix. Gao especially has been very consistent all season long, consistently going out there and putting out 5/6 triple performers every single time. I'm not as sold on her long term, but I thought she clearly showed throughout the season that she was really one of our better bets for worlds. And at Nationals its not like Gao performed significantly worse but rather that Gao wasn't given the PCS boost some skaters are given.

    The US claims that Nationals is the best place to decide these things because Nationals is a pressure cooker" but its hard to think they are judging Nationals based on the performances.... (Yes Czisny was held up at Nationals last year) and politics isn't a role. Than the aren't even monitoring these girls and sending girls to Worlds who are clearly in TERRIBLE shape. However now its also clearly they are also not even looking at how these girls do internationally,but considering some things just based on "potential" rather than how they will realistically score by international judges....

    The procedure is a mess and its the real reason we aren't winning 3 spots.

  20. #980
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    Well, Christina WAS robbed at Nationals, but as a huge Gao uber, I would have had her in 3rd. She deserved bronze over Zawadzki for skating cleaner at Nationals and she should be the first alternate for Worlds, but that doesn't really change anything at this point because Zawadzki went to 4CC just like Gao did and neither are going to Worlds.

    Christina is a beautiful skater and has become pretty consistent with her jumps this season, but the thing about Gracie is that IF she skates her programs cleanly, her scores will be huge (inflated PCS aside, I'm talking purely TES) and higher than those Gao can hope to achieve. Now, she's only skated cleanly in one program this season so far, which happened to be at Nationals. USFS saw Ashley get big scores at international events with conservative content over the past year and a half, and she's been very consistent too, so not putting her on the team seems silly, especially because she was injured and sick right before Nationals which probably affected her a lot. Zawadzki hasn't put it together internationally yet (except for a JW a few years back), but her jumps are huge like Gracie's and she does have that powerful presence and great spins that I tend to think, if clean, her scores would be pretty big internationally too, higher than a clean Gao. Again, I'm not talking PCS, Gao's PCS have been a bit higher than Zawadzki's internationally all season, but with Agnes skating clean, they'd likely be about equal, but Agnes could rack up a lot of TES points.

    So basically, USFS decided to place girls who they know have a chance to score better if they deliver (Gold, Zawadzki), ahead of a skater who is usually pretty reliable to put out a good skate and good score at a competition, but doesn't have the same "what if" quality - ie, she's skated cleanly before and the result is good but not great scores and placements. For Worlds, in some ways, the team makes sense. 3 spots is going to be tough to get anyways, but we should be able to get two without problem, so the question then becomes, well, do we send Gao, who we can expect to place, idk say 6th-10th at Worlds, or do we send Gold, who could end up out of the top 10 or potentially place as high as like 3rd or 4th if she skates clean and help us get 3 spots. If Gold bombs, we don't get 3 spots, okay, but if she delivers, we feasibly could, whereas if they go with Gao, the most likely outcome would be just missing 3 spots, so in that case, it's better to go with Gold because if she bombs there's no real harm done, but if she delivers we might be able to get the 3rd spot back.

    This must be a hard position for Christina to be in. However, I think if she upped her ante, the USFS might start putting more stock into her. People have complained about Ashley's conservative content this season, but the reality is Gao's has been a bit conservative too - 3t-3t and 3lo in SP, 6 triples and one 2a in the FS, with one of the repeated triples being 3t. If Gao could bring back the 3f-3t and start trying a SP layout with 3f-3t, 3lo, 2a or even 3t-3t, 3f, 2a (I don't know why she does the loop as her solo triple as her 3f is divine and definitely her money jump), then go for 3f-3t in the FS and backload a second combo, I think 1.) her scoring potential would increase a lot 2.) USFS and international judges would regard her more highly and 3.) she'd earn some WOW to her skating and become one of those skaters like Gold and Zawadzki whose technical abilities can lead to big scoring potential if delivered cleanly. If she could do this and work on her flexibility in spirals/spins, well then, I think she could totally be a National champion, but where her demeanor is introverted and nothing about her skating currently is really WOW +2/3 worthy, she's a bit of an afterthought. I think she has it in her though to change this.

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