Photos of the many visiting international visitors (including , Sotnikova, Kovtun) currently training at Detroit SC, posted on IFS' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...0292537&type=1
This "Russian quad" (4T+1T) is from Maxim Kovtun's FS run through at DSC on March 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYHOoTr0Usc
"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
This is all IMHO, and is not intended to inflame, defame or start an argument. it's just an observation of this kid's character over the pst 5 years.
In response to all of the posts about Artur Gachinski, good and bad, all I want to say is this: No matter what people say about this kid, he was touted for a VERY long time as the 'Next Best Thing' in Russian skating-he was young, brash, and GOOD. Confident beyond his years, taken around Russia by Mishin like a side-show freak and paraded even as a very small boy, in front of skating elite all over the country. He believed in the hype around him then. But soon, a major player came back into the skating universe, and all bets were off. The God of Skating, Plushenko himself, was back...again. Suddenly, the 'Next Best Thing' became 'Yesterdays News'..a mere footnote in Russian skating, and he very quickly found himself once more in the shadow of a giant in his chosen sport. Plushenko IS a God among mortals, and everyone knows it. Suddenly, all eyes were on Plushenko, preparation time and training attention was sapped (it had to be-Mishin could NOT be two places at one time, and is quoted as saying "Plushenko is a life-long project") and for the first time in quite a few years, the attention and focus was NOT on Artur. I believe he felt abandoned, lost in the ether. I saw the look in his eyes when he lost the 2012 Euros to Plushenko (STILL wondering about that result, although I was ecstatic for Plushenko). Artur learned that day that, even when he skated his very best and nearly flawless, he still could not, and never would be able to slay the Giant. More than likely feels that whatever he does doesn't matter anyway. No matter how he skates, winning is nigh on impossible in the current climate in Russian skating. Perhaps he even feels a bit betrayed by those who told him he was a 'great skater', and 'good enough', then pulled back from him to back the favourite horse in the race. I know I would. Then, there were the growth spurts-he's grown wildly taller and has become more lanky-that throws off you center of gravity, and requires a re-tooling of all your jumps-just ask Evan Lysacek! And the 'private issues' that he simply will not discuss. And the "cockroaches in (his) head". That white noise that creeps between the silent moments before you take the ice-that self-doubt that slowly permeates every fiber of who you are, during that critical moment when you MUST be your best. I have faith in Artur. He's got time. I think he will take the time to recreate himself during this off-season, and will come back even stronger come Fall. I look for great things from this one. Not Mishin's 'beating the drum this kid will save Russian skating' great things-but the kind of wonderful shapes he is already able to make with his whole body on the ice, the 'ballet hands', the deep edges, snapped, sharp movements, and the incredible jumps I just KNOW are still in there. Perhaps with time and quiet self-reflection, he will find his inner lion, his courage and with it his confidence, and he will once again SHOW that captive magic to the world...Then again, with probably only 1 place (perhaps 2 for that Host thing), it won't make a difference to the world anyway. But it will make a WORLD of difference to one beautiful boy from Moscow...
BTW- I ADORE his moppy hair, and hope he NEVER cuts off his delightful curls again!!
Well if kovtun can do what gachinski did and qualify Russia for two spots maybe he could somehow go to Sochi with plushenko! Or failing that 2014 worlds.
So you think your post will be construed as blaming all gachinski problems and issues on the continuation of plushenko? Meh. That's totally questionable. 2011 bronze world medal but bad gp season with no plushenko. But with plushenko bad gp season again but 2012 euro silver. Now you say losing to plushenko was totally crushing and dispiriting but you can say that could come from the fact that he couldn't carry over his sp victory over him - however narrow- into the lp.
Oh, Casey..I in NO way am 'blaming' Gachi's problems on any ONE or any one situation. There are so many factors at play here-so many things that play into his current 'state'. By Gachi haters, it probably will be misconstrued as such, but it is NOT my intention at all. Right now, when I see Artur, I see a very pensive , deeply thoughtful young man, trying to find his footing in a world he thought he understood. He's getting there, and I have complete faith that, by next competitive season, he will have brought himself to a really good place, and will embrace the journey, and will find that spark to once more light the powder keg and kick-start that raging fire I've seen in him in the past.
2011 was BEFORE the return of Plushenko, and was his first Worlds. Third is NOT a bad result at all, considering. I don't think that Gachi was TOTALLY crushed following his loss at Euros in 2012- but if you look at the programs themselves (the LP), and factor in that Gachi had the lead after the SP, one is left to wonder HOW he didn't win that competition. I am NOT the only one who shares that view. I think he was not necessarily as crushed as he was confused, but he accepted it. Judging is subjective, and no matter how you slice it, your name goes a LONG way with the judges. Competitive figure skating is a shark pit, and it is a very manipulative mind game. Plushy has the strength to shut it out and just do his job. Artur is learning this. He knows that he now has to PROVE to himself more than to anyone else, that he belongs at the top of his sport. he has to actually LISTEN to the voice inside his head that tells him he deserves this, and that he can DO this.
The bad season in GP in 2012 had EVERYTHING to do with his boots, his growing, his balance, and his being distracted. That last one is intrinsic, and is NO fault of anyone else, or of anything going on around him. It is truly Artur's error. And trust me, he owns it.
I just think he's a magical skater. He makes me FEEL things when I watch him skate. He makes the most amazingly beautiful shapes with his whole body when he skates. Lately, he makes me feel as though I just want to HUG the poor kid.
Seriously, though- If there is only 1 spot for Sochi, and it is between Gachinski and Plushenko as to who goes, which one is YOUR bet on? If you say Gachinski, I'll see you in Vegas...
Last edited by Triple Axel; 03-13-2013 at 09:00 AM. Reason: typos
About Gach: As I said I like him, he is so elegant- as only a Russian can!!!!- and handsome on ice. I think his 3th place in WCH was well-deserved. But in my country the Tv commentator, who was a judge-maybe she is biased on negative way- said Gach has bad skating skills, and he has changed his LP in this year, because he can't skate Wilson's choreography.
ps. Gachinsky is from St.Petersburg
I think we don't know what is going on in Gachinsky's personal life, so there is no point speculating about his problems with skating. It is possible that the problems that needs fixing are the personal problems, which he decided not to share. People here were criticising Mao Asada for having problems a few years ago, while her mother was terminally ill. I wouldn't be able to find the motivation and my skating would definitely be affected if I was living through such a stressful time.
I am ok with 2012 Euros. Gachinsky had the second quad and maybe should have had more of an SP lead (he was fantastic there) so I would have no problem with him winning, but IIRC Plush won the LP TES by several points so he didn't just win on PCS/reputation (IMO his PCS should be higher than Gach, except for choreography). Gachinsky would need to look at why he loses the TES when he's doing two quads (even Voronov has managed to beat Plush in TES).
I liked Gachinksy from the time that he was 12 and skating adorable mini-Plush exhibitions, Biellman and all. He had more charisma then. He seems very shy/introverted now. Even at 2012 Euros his reaction after his own LP was very meh. I wanted to say, dude, you were awesome, cheer for yourself a bit! He does have some issues on the skating skills/speed/transitions side, but at least he tries to face them by working with Lambiel and Wilson.
I am glad that whatever the personal problem is they are keeping it private.
The impression I get when I see Gachinski is that there is some kind of inner turmoil there. I think that Triple Axel's post was right on the mark.
He has been touted as the next big thing for many years. There was a lot of pressure on his shoulders. There was also the Plushenko comeback and puberty problems. Gachinski ended up with the kind of lanky, long-limbed body that's not optimal at all for skating.
I definitely agree that it's too early to write him off. He's still young and there's still time for him to improve.
I would never call him 'elegant' though. His basic skating as well as his posture and lines leave a lot to be desired, IMO.
Last edited by Ziggy; 03-13-2013 at 02:27 PM.
A lot of your original post was about mishin and plushenko and the media and everyone sticking with the known success and not the potential as much. You did mention some other issues as well and they may be the paramount issues and not the return of plushenko and mishin attention going to plushenko. I didn't see why you would write your Los would be controversial and seems like that would be what made t controversial.
Gachi was really sad at Euros...but almost married a woman ))) at 12:45
Last edited by lala; 03-13-2013 at 09:18 PM.
Sorry about the geography mistake-I was thinking about Ilia kulik just moments before I made that post! Gach has always been from St Petersburg!! My bad.
Liza is an amazing skater. For absolutely YEARS, Mishin had said he did not want to coach women. Then came this wunderkind, and he basically realized that if he passed her up, he'd be a fool, so he took her. She has also provided another skater that is young and shows great promise-a future for Russia in the women's division.
Then there is the problem with what is loosely translated as "malabsorption issues" with his body. That is some serious business, and when they tell an elite level athlete to pull back on his training time, there's a real problem there that has nothing to do with exams! (this came to light right after SC this past season).
I don't know about Gach's skating skills, from that truly technical standpoint. But there was NOTHING or very little wrong with them in 2011, that's for sure. His edges look deep and his position in the air on his jumps USED to look absolutely perfect! he could pull a jump out of absolutely NOWHERE and land it, never leaving axis. Now, he's all yard sale in the air, off axis, and often falls for NO apparent reason, after actually landing the jump okay. Mishin actually said that Artur wanted so badly to skate Wilson's program-and I believe that. But when Mishin marches out on the ice and changes a choreographer's program WHILE he's creating it (and for Plushenko, no less) I somehow think that the problem here is a control issue with Mishin. He hires choreographers, and before they even get to do their job, he's out there changing this and that. Artur did NOT change any choreography because he couldn't skate it. I actually saw him skate the original Wilson program quite well, with a couple errors on jumps only. I've also seen hip circles mysteriously disappear from Artur's programs as well... ('Ass circles' as Johnny Weir calls them). THOSE are NOT seen as 'masculine"..and the circles were moved up to the shoulders, which ARE seen as the masculine equivalent. But you DON'T hire Wilson unless you want ass circles. But for someone to blame choreography changes on Artur for not being able to skate them is just plain wrong, and does speak of a personal bias. I think his basic skating skills are intact, and perhaps need some work, but you don't get to where he is without good basic skating skills. There is something much more sinister at work here, I believe-INSIDE this beautiful and talented skater.
Last edited by Triple Axel; 03-13-2013 at 09:57 PM. Reason: content
Ziggy..thank you for this post. It made me realize that there are people out there who understand that the sudden 'collapse' if you will, of a high level skater has to do with something else other than skating skills. I;m NOT a skating technician, I just know what looks good to me. I adore how Gach has that slightly clipped skating style on his back cross-overs, and that how, without any apparent transition, there's suddenly a jump. You don't expect that. And it's incredible that anyone can do it without a proper 'run-up". But I guess those 'run'ups' are where you score points for transitions. They always say Plushenko doesn't have them, but Patrick Chan does. I know who I'd rather see skate, though.
I did forget about Liza's primary coach being Svetlana! Sometimes, I forget that it isn't just Mishin coaching them all! Once again, my bad... I don't know what judges are looking for. I know they LOVED the manic, completely over-the-top performances of Evan Lysacek, (who is probably one of the sweetest men on the planet)- he was an IJS wet dream. But somehow, I find Gach's footwork to be much more..intricate in a way that actually MEANS something. Artur has, since he rose through the ranks, been a very internal skater. Speculating about the health and well being of someone you admire is ALWAYS going to happen. I am pleased as well that Artur has chosen to keep his battles to himself (the personal ones). That is how it HAS to be for true healing. It's none of my business what is happening in his personal life. I just worry for him because I know that inside him is an Olympic Champion just DYING to break free...
Oh..in case you were wondering, I HATE the new CoP scoring..falling three times and amassing a massive score doesn't work for me. Bring me back to the days of Yagudin and Plushenko battling it out. One does 2 quads, the other has time in the program to add a second as well, to up the ante'...sad, but those days are gone, mired in the rush to cram as much into one program as one possibly can, to get points...
Kovtun is looking at a possible 19th place in the sp!
He got 2.3 points for his "combo" 19th place.
Last edited by caseyedwards; 03-14-2013 at 02:03 AM.
Yeah but the way the Russian men have been skating this season, making top 10 was a big ask and unlikely to happen for any of them except for a healthy Plushenko, so at least Kovtun will benefit from the experience and is unlikely to gain a headcase label from his whoopsie moment here due to his age and strong season otherwise. Menshov might have done better but in this field making the top 10 is a tall order.