It could be worse. She could spell it "Q8tl'nne".
"...some people are moulded by their admiration, others by their hostilities.”
― Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
Skaters develop at different rates. Look at Maria Butyrskaya. She didn't make a name for herself until she was about 25-26. Or how about Arakawa who hadn't done much of anything until she was about 22. Or Nancy Kerrigan who was about the same age when she became a force internationally. Figure skating is full of examples of women who peaked in their early 20's after it looked like the would never be a top contender. Let Gracie develop at her own pace. She might not peak until she's about 21 but it will be worth it.
What Gracie needs is a choreographer that can highlight her strengths and disguise her weaknesses while she's working on improving said weaknesses. I find myself unable to REALLY like her because I think her programs this season are so bad. Her SP makes me cringe. It's a little hard to shake what your mama gave you when you don't really have the tatas to shake. Movements are made because someone told her to make them, not because the music dictates. I've got nothing to say about her technical skills because those are wonderful. I still love watching that 3L/3T at Nationals.
She and her coach desperately need to go choreographer shopping after Worlds if they aren't doing it now.
When Gracie is on, her jumps are quite amazing. And how we each view skaters' looks is subjective. I wouldn't say I'm "enthralled" by Gracie, but obviously she has great potential. I don't think "regal" has anything to do with it at this point in her career. But I think she's trying to work on her confidence, and on her arms and her presentation. She's learning how to compete in the pressure cooker of the senior ranks. She's also got to navigate the hype from people who tend toward being enthralled by her potential.
Gracie is a pretty girl, with long legs and a nice look on the ice. And with a magical name for a skater to boot! Although with all the hype, I hope her name doesn't get over-cliched from the tempting use of puns, before she has a chance to succeed. Both Gracie and Kaetlyn have a long way to go, but they both have talent and wonderful potential, which is nice to see in North American skating. Everything has to go just right for each of them, because figure skating is not easy.
I was reading something Petr Barna (who is now coaching) said on his website:
Those are very wise words from an Olympic medalist and one of the finest skaters of his generation.One thing is very important to know: there are no shortcuts in Figure skating, no magic, everything is hard work and patience.
I agree there doesn't seem to be any magic involved in what is required to become a figure skater. However, when everything comes together just right after all the hard work, patience, diligence, more hard work, learning from falling down and getting up again (and with a huge dollop of luck), magical moments can happen on the ice. And when the magic happens in a performance, that's what makes the hard work and the steady belief in one's talent worthwhile. We fans need to practice patience too.
BTW, I think Sotnikova is extremely talented and she has wonderful artistic qualities, but right now I don't get from her anything regal or confident. Sotnikova has had her moments, but she's not pulled it altogether consistently yet. And for that matter, look how long it took Carolina to finally realize her regal potential! Carolina was supposed to be Italy's golden girl at the 2006 Olympics. It takes awhile for talented skaters when they are young to learn who they are and to be able to express that with confidence and with artistic maturity on the ice. Mao Asada and Yu Na Kim are also definitely regal and confident, but they still each have their weaknesses, and they each have sacrificed a lot to make it to the top. Just getting there and trying to maintain their position is another huge struggle.
I think Sasha, Michelle and Tara were simply precociously talented and both Sasha and Michelle were artistically mature at a young age, but that doesn't happen for everyone. And none of their paths were simple or easy just because they achieved success at young ages. Every skater has their own path, and their own unique journey. Also, only a lucky few get to stand on top of the podium at the Olympics. The important thing is in learning how after striving for and not necessarily winning gold, that there is gold in the effort and in the lessons learned. Figuring out how to mine that particular gold and how to appreciate one's blessings can take a lifetime.
Someone needs to tell Phil Hersh, the media, and the USFS (who should know already) that they need to practice patience too. Celebrate the victories of young talent, but tone down the hype, and learn how to continue giving encouragement and support when athletes falter or don't live up to the lofty expectations we set for them.
I love the new thread title too!
Any reports on how Ashley is doing?
I've been checking her Twitter, she was supposed to start full run throughs last Monday. Nothing else other than the stolen laundry.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death
"To whoever just stole my laundry basket, I have a very special set of skills...they just have nothing to do with getting my basket back.."
ETA that Maia Shibutani tweeted this female group photo from the Four Continents closing banquet yesterday:
"I miss these girls already! @christina_gao @agneszawadzki @GraceEGold #4CC2013" http://pic.twitter.com/xx2eYDd4
Last edited by Sylvia; 02-13-2013 at 12:37 AM.
"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
Thanks to you Sylvia, and to Maia for sharing that lovely photo of some gorgeous ladies!
Shame on whoever stole Ashley's basket. Tsk, tsk ... laundry cycles are enough of a drag without having one's laundry basket stolen, especially if the laundered clothes were still in it.
Wtf about Ashley and her laundry? What a sicko thing to do!
Last edited by Sasha'sSpins; 02-13-2013 at 01:20 AM.
Re that photo - wow! I would love to see THAT Christina in competition. There's no rule that only dance ladies can wear their hair down, is there?
They are all gorgeous.
If the scoring of UR triples was as strict in 2002 as it is today, Michelle would not have needed six clean triples to hold off Sarah. Michelle would probably have been trying to hold off Irina instead.
Of course, if URs had been called back in the day, Sarah would have had to clean up her technique if she wanted to be anywhere near the Olympics. In 2002, figure skating was a very different sport.
@ fenway 2
If Agnes were to gain consistency, and skate both problems cleanly as planned or nearly so, would you still not want her on a U.S. Olympic or World team?
She has a very nice 3t/3t and a good 3z/2t combo, nice spins and good speed and security across the ice. Consistency is clearly a problem now, but Agnes is only 18 and this is the first year that she has not combined skating with high school. Doing something besides skating, like working a part-time job or taking one or two classes, can help some skaters, but others need to focus just on skating to reach their full potential. Perhaps Agnes is one of the latter.
Both Ashley and Alissa improved their consistency from ages 18 to 21 or 22. It is entirely possible that Agnes will do the same.