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  1. #81
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    This was a crazy nationals because the judges did play some games. Still, Ashley clearly won, so there was nothing chaotic about that. She had the best short program, and her free skate was held together and not a disaster. She can do very well at worlds. Sasha Cohen fell all over the place at 2003 Nationals (she had more problems than Ashley) and went into Worlds as a challenger anyway. Having Ashley and Gracie is not like having a Kwan, but that is unnecessary. No country has a Kwan right now. It is a different competitive system.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-27-2013 at 09:39 AM.

  2. #82
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    After this weekend watching the youngsters at Euro's and US Nationals push the veterans to the very edge makes Sochi look much more exciting now. It won't just be the same old skaters from the last few years in the running .

  3. #83
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    I have a feeling a youngster from Europe will win the Olympic gold.

  4. #84
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    After watching the competition last night, I have come to the conclusion that Sandra and Scott as commentators are part of the problem. Neither have anything to say that is either entertaining or educational, IMO. Scotty with his foot stuck in 6.0 and his constipated grunts coupled with Sandra and her vaugue snivelling about soft and pretty and that she doesn't care if a skater URs kill the enjoyment for me.

    Dick and Peggy may not have had much to say in the way of being instructive, but they were part of the show and I always looked forward to see what malaprop Uncle Dick would throw, and marvel at Peggy's delivery of such underhanded gems as "She folds like a cheap card table". Not just a card table, but a cheap one. Ouch.

  5. #85
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    Sandra and Scott are horrible commentators. I watched with a room full of non-skating fans last night (admittedly, they were only half paying attention) and one of the guys said "skating makes a lot more sense when someone explains a bit of what is going on" when I would tell them things about the rules. (I'd like to think they can now all tell the difference between an edge jump and a toe jump at least...) After Mirai's score someone said something about it just being so subjective, and I brought up a football ref not always making the call, or how they sometimes favor a team- and the guys all thought that was a good comparison, it is subjective, but it is designed to be as objective as it can be. They all liked how each jump earned a certain number of points- a flip more than a toe loop, etc. We likened that to "but the ball went into the hoop, how come he got 2 points and he got 3 points?" because all they saw was "they both did jumps", but they did different ones, with different qualities.

    I tried really hard not to have too much of a running commentary (ie: be annoying), but it was pointed out that I did a much better job that the actual commentators! I mean, the people at home can tell for themselves whether she is a pretty skater! Tell them what moves they are doing, and what kind of GOE to expect, etc. It would have been REALLY useful to have a commentator mention how badly Mirai was URing during the program, for example, even I didn't notice that until her scores were so bad (I then showed all my friends how you can find protocols online, but of course none of them will ever look at them).

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by leesaleesa View Post
    After watching the competition last night, I have come to the conclusion that Sandra and Scott as commentators are part of the problem. Neither have anything to say that is either entertaining or educational, IMO. Scotty with his foot stuck in 6.0 and his constipated grunts coupled with Sandra and her vaugue snivelling about soft and pretty and that she doesn't care if a skater URs kill the enjoyment for me.

    Dick and Peggy may not have had much to say in the way of being instructive, but they were part of the show and I always looked forward to see what malaprop Uncle Dick would throw, and marvel at Peggy's delivery of such underhanded gems as "She folds like a cheap card table". Not just a card table, but a cheap one. Ouch.

    Really? She actually said that?



    I love you Peggy

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by ros01 View Post
    Actually, US tennis keeps bemoaning its lack of stars and the USTA is constantly worrying about development, popularity, etc. I've often thought the two sports were very similar in having to deal with the rise of international players. But tennis has done better, probably due to the involvement of international corporations like Nike. It's in their interests to push the dominant stars whoever they are, in every market. Maybe that's what skating needs, ha!
    It couldn't hurt, because even though Nike is now sponsoring Wagner, it takes deeper support to make an impact.

    Average US tennis fans will follow Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic in a way average US skating fans won't follow Chan, Takahashi, or Joubert. Every major has hours of coverage over more than a week, and there are simple things to the coverage, like the little score graphic that always appears in a corner, telling a channel surfer who is playing and what the score is, which how far into the match it is and the current game score. If you don't know the first names of figure skaters, and you miss the three second graphic with their names at the beginning of the program or the five-ten seconds with the scoring graphics, they could be anybody.

    Also, athletes in sports like tennis show emotion constantly, while skaters are taught to hold it in, even after the judges heads are down in the scoring. Even female tennis players are allowed to act like Don Baldwin in KnC, where in skating, that's as as it gets.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  8. #88
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    This competition was fixed.

    Caroline Zhang rotated all her jumps had decent speed, and STILL finished 10 points behind Ashley Wagner in the long program.

    Yasmin Siraj and Samantha Cesario skated two clean programs WITH NO DOWNGRADESS and still finished well behind Ashley (overall).

    Angela Wang does a triple lutz-triple toe-double toe and finishes behind Ashley Wagner.

    Figure skating nowadays is nothing more than a beauty pageant.

    USFSA should change its name to TATOI (Teenagers and Tiaras on Ice).

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    I have a feeling a youngster from Europe will win the Olympic gold.
    I am so looking foward to the ladies competition for emerging stars in Europe and North America and the old guard (still young ladies) from Asia. I hope the event is dazzling.

  10. #90
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    Deleted
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-28-2013 at 09:56 AM.

  11. #91
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    In this follow up article, it is interesting to see how Brennan toned down the emphasis on the discontinuity between the past and the present...

    Gracie Gold emerges as skating's bright new star

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...ships/1867471/

  12. #92
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    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...ships/1868265/

    Another Brennan article on Gracie.

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    In this follow up article, it is interesting to see how Brennan toned down the emphasis on the discontinuity between the past and the present...

    Gracie Gold emerges as skating's bright new star

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...ships/1867471/
    Nice to see that she's suscribed to the USFSA's propaganda program

    Seriously, it's not her, or the federation's, job to designate who is a star and who isn't. It's the spectators' prerogative. And I am not sure they're doing Gracie Gold any service by forcing her under the spotlight so soon - but then again time will tell

    That being said, I must agree that they are sending a good team to Worlds with Wagner and Gold. The only question mark is over Gracie Gold's mental strength on such a big stage, but she can only gain experience by going (and it's not as if they had a stronger and more solid skater to send to secure a third spot anyway)

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayhaneh View Post

    That being said, I must agree that they are sending a good team to Worlds with Wagner and Gold. The only question mark is over Gracie Gold's mental strength on such a big stage, but she can only gain experience by going (and it's not as if they had a stronger and more solid skater to send to secure a third spot anyway)
    I agree, overall I think these are the two strongest ladies that the US has right now, and the best chance to secure back a third spot. In some ways it may be better that Gold isn't going into Worlds as National champ- less pressure. It will be good for her to compete at 4CC too and get another international competition under her belt.

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I tried really hard not to have too much of a running commentary (ie: be annoying), but it was pointed out that I did a much better job that the actual commentators! I mean, the people at home can tell for themselves whether she is a pretty skater! Tell them what moves they are doing, and what kind of GOE to expect, etc. It would have been REALLY useful to have a commentator mention how badly Mirai was URing during the program, for example, even I didn't notice that until her scores were so bad (I then showed all my friends how you can find protocols online, but of course none of them will ever look at them).
    What you really need are the Skate Radio and Ice Network commentaries during the events. They explain the scoring and give insightful comments about each performance. It would be so great if the Skate Radio broadcast (a volunteer activity by PSA) would be added to the Ice Network video site, so that we could have a choice of what to listen to when watching the videos. Another place the SR audio would be most welcome would be on the SAP audio channel on TV, but that will never happen.

  16. #96

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    Maybe many of us, if not all, are just spoiled Americans used to our skaters being on top all of the time. Maybe it does go in cycles, 'cause after years of languishing, our ice dancers seem to be doing very well.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    After this weekend watching the youngsters at Euro's and US Nationals push the veterans to the very edge makes Sochi look much more exciting now. It won't just be the same old skaters from the last few years in the running .
    Funny that you refer to them as youngsters! 17 used to be considered over the hill for Ladies Freeskating......

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanette View Post
    OMG, that's not confidence-that was plain rude, condescending, premature, and disrespectful. To say about Wagner and Zawadzki, "they deserve to be here with me"! Woah.................is there no end to this girl's ego?

  19. #99
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    ^^ Yes, one hopes Gracie and the people around her will pay attention to her not growing a big head. It's a fine balance between being happy about your success and learning how to be gracious and sportsmanlike. In this case, although the first part of Gracie's comments (taken from the post-skate press conference) were congratulatory toward Agnes and Ashley, the second part could have been phrased differently. I agree that last part smacks more of self-importance than it does of self-confidence.

    It must not be easy, especially since rivalries are bound to happen in a sport where so few can make it to the top, despite having equally wonderful talent. I think Gracie should have not been seeming so pissed about Ashley placing ahead of her overall. Being in the second spot is an important achievement for Gracie in her senior debut. She should not be so wrapped up in the trappings of the sport or in the hype and attention she is receiving, because it can all go away very quickly. Instead I think Gracie should be thrilled about how she was able to come back in the free skate, and she should focus on the lessons she's learned and realize the importance of treating her competitors with respect no matter what happens.

    I suppose the backstage goings-on initially after Mirai's skate and the judges' marks, was just an awkward set of circumstances in general what with the camera eager to witness and amp up the drama. NBC seemed overly interested in catching everyone's reactions simultaneously. Still, Gracie should just stay focused on herself and tone down any growing diva attitude she may be susceptible to under the overly hyped media attention she's receiving, which is one of the many casualties of this sport.

    Interesting, but not unexpected turn around in Brennan's tone and emphasis regarding U.S. Ladies.

  20. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    OMG, that's not confidence-that was plain rude, condescending, premature, and disrespectful. To say about Wagner and Zawadzki, "they deserve to be here with me"! Woah.................is there no end to this girl's ego?
    Gracie's jumps are spectacular, but if she keeps up those comments, it will be hard for me to root for her and her PR machine.

    Besides, I'm 5'7" and from the Midwest, so I'm happy rooting for Agnes. I was an adult recreational skater back in my '30s and early '40s. I'm no athlete, but it seemed that we gals over 5'4" or 5'5" really had a harder time with everything than the more petite skaters. Agnes does amazingly well for her height. Really, she does amazingly well period. Two U.S. bronze medals aren't chopped liver!

    Come on Agnes!

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