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  1. #141
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    I think the competitive atmosphere in the US is as tough if not tougher then any other country in the world. Besides over 50 some years of being the most dominating country in Ladies skating should tell you how competitive it has been here. And to be honest Russia has never had the depth the US has. Until about 3-4 years ago the Russian Ladies were in some serious hurt. Let's see where they are in about 7-8. Same with Japan.

  2. #142

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    I just can't get over the fact that a U.S. lady hasn't medalled at worlds since 2006. Wow!

  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    I think the competitive atmosphere in the US is as tough if not tougher then any other country in the world. Besides over 50 some years of being the most dominating country in Ladies skating should tell you how competitive it has been here. And to be honest Russia has never had the depth the US has. Until about 3-4 years ago the Russian Ladies were in some serious hurt. Let's see where they are in about 7-8. Same with Japan.
    Well that's my point. I'd love the see the US return to it's former glory in terms of always having a top level world competitor. US ladies have been in a slump since 2007. The power shifted to Japan and Yu-Na Kim (S. Korea). Now we're seeing Russia producing strong skaters and they are just hitting the full-time senior level of skating. It'd be great to have a US skater who is clearly a top 3 finisher again...

    Ashley has a shot at top 3 but I think it's fair to say she has to be pretty much flawless and she'll have to rely on the top ladies to make mistakes. It'd be nice to have a Mao/Carolina/Yu-Na type skater from the US again.

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximillian View Post
    I just can't get over the fact that a U.S. lady hasn't medalled at worlds since 2006. Wow!
    I think part of the problem is that US coaches were slow to adapt to the new scoring system. Plus the USFS seemed to be looking for the new Michelle Kwan instead of realizing that is never going to be another MK. I think we are finally over that now.

  5. #145

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    It's also not helped by very few US ladies during that period having clean jumps. US Ladies get clobbered by underrotations, not to mention horrible inconsistency when it comes to triple-triples (and when they hit them, they are frequently underrotated). I think we're paying for too many years of little girls learning triple jumps badly just to be able to do triples as early as possible.
    Last edited by Yazmeen; 02-14-2013 at 01:24 AM.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  6. #146

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    For whatever it is worth......I think Gold is great, and a fine choice for the World Championships. I do, however, think her skating (jumps and spins aside) lack polish, attention to detail and sophistication. I hope that she has a team around her (a la "Ice Castles") that can help her maintain her technical edge while she "grows into" seniors.

    Her chest shaking thing is a good example of "cutsie" that isn't really what she wants or needs to be projecting. She has a little journey to take.........and most of the really good skaters took the same journey. Michelle (the jumping bean) to Michelle the artiste. Sarah Huges (although I will argue about her skills) realized she had to work on her "in betweens". I think Sasha was the only skater I can think of who never had to work on her musicality or finishes. Tara was always young and appropriate, a great technician who selected programs that were appropriate and served her well as vehicles to show case her talents.

    Hopefully Gracie is with or will be with people who can take her to the next level in her skating.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  7. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    I think part of the problem is that US coaches were slow to adapt to the new scoring system. Plus the USFS seemed to be looking for the new Michelle Kwan instead of realizing that is never going to be another MK. I think we are finally over that now.
    Also it seemed like the up and comers post Sasha and Michelle really focused on being uber flexible as opposed to technique. I can see why-Sasha was very successful under COP. But during Sasha's era of COP, the downgrades were not as severe.

  8. #148

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    Also I miss the rivalries where the ladies were not friends, giving each other fake hugs.LOL!!

  9. #149

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    That's the thing that intrigues me, I don't think Sasha, Michelle or Tara would've struggled too much under COP because urs weren't really their thing, edge problems were another story, but that's a problem for most all of the ladies even today. The only top U.S. lady that I can think of that had rotation issues was Sarah Hughes and they were quite pronounced, she would've been eaten alive were she to skate today.

  10. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    That's very true. Look at Irina. She made improvements to her presentation but Irina was not a graceful or lyrical skater. Whenever she tried it came off looking forced and disingenuous. Eventually she gave up trying and played to her strengths which, to me, was much better than her pretending to be something she was not.

    It's possible that Gracie won't be a very lyrical or expressive skater. As of now I don't see any innate artistic qualities about her. If that's the case, she and her team will have to develop a style of skating that works for her.
    I found Irina though very sloppy....At least Gracie isn't that. But I personally think there's very little connection to music on Gracie's end...I think cheerleader was kind of right on. However, I think that could change.

    This being said I think you can appreciate some things about someone's skating and hope for more on the other things. Those jumps are great! The spins are good too.

  11. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    Also I miss the rivalries where the ladies were not friends, giving each other fake hugs.LOL!!
    me too! bring back the bitches!

  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximillian View Post
    The only top U.S. lady that I can think of that had rotation issues was Sarah Hughes and they were quite pronounced, she would've been eaten alive were she to skate today.
    I actually think she may be part of the reason that underrotations are punished so heavily in IJS.

  13. #153
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    And yet callers in nationals are sometimes a bit too generous. (examples come to mind being sr ladies event at 2009 US nationals and 2012 US nationals)

  14. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    I think part of the problem is that US coaches were slow to adapt to the new scoring system. Plus the USFS seemed to be looking for the new Michelle Kwan instead of realizing that is never going to be another MK. I think we are finally over that now.
    I think a confluence of events occurred in the same timeframe which altogether really hit US ladies in the gut -

    1. As you stated, the US was slow to adapt to the new judging system
    2. Mao Asada and Yu Na Kim, once-in-a-lifetime type talents and world beaters, enter the Senior ranks at the same time
    3. Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen both effectively retire.
    4. Ladies in Waiting, Kimmie Meissner, '06 World Champ, and her back-up Emily Hughes, simultaneously suffer some of the slowest, most horrific implosions by top US lady skaters that I've ever seen.

    Kimmie and Emily left a big hole which forced a bunch of unprepared Juniors / newbie Seniors (Flatt, Nagasu, Zhang, Wagner), along with a talented headcase, Czisny, to rush out and contend with the likes of Mao, Yu Na, Miki, Joannie (who finally got it together).


    It's really not that unfathomable that the US is not on the World's podium.

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    ...hence all the excitement and pressure on Gold. But even if she didn't have the name I still think a big deal would be made about her (maybe not on this ridiculous level but she still would have been noticed).

    We have had next to zero luck with the 2008ers/Czisny lot (you can argue, we've even had "negative" luck with them) so - and I mean this with all due respect to Wagner, as a 2008er -maybe it will take two entirely DIFFERENT skaters, perhaps of the up-and-coming generation, to FINALLY get us out of this...

  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post

    Ashley has a shot at top 3 but I think it's fair to say she has to be pretty much flawless and she'll have to rely on the top ladies to make mistakes.

    Sarah Huges has a shot at top 3 but I think it's fair to say she has to be pretty much flawless and she'll have to rely on the top ladies to make mistakes.

    Arakawa has a shot at the Olympic gold but I think it's fair to say she has to be pretty much flawless and she'll have to rely on the top ladies to make mistakes.

    Kevin Reynolds has a shot at top 3 but I think it's fair to say he has to be pretty much flawless and he'll have to rely on the top guys to make mistakes.

    Kimmie Meissner has a shot at top 3 but I think it's fair to say she has to be pretty much flawless and she'll have to rely on the top ladies to make mistakes.


    Hey guys, it's happened before!

  17. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    Also I miss the rivalries where the ladies were not friends, giving each other fake hugs.LOL!!
    Did you not see Ashley and Gracie at Nationals?! I think the "not impressed" reaction by Gracie has been blown way out of proportion, and was actually pretty tame, but that "hug" between the two was uuuuuber awkward.




    Lav' it!

  18. #158
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    The decade between Bobek and Cohen (1995 to 2006) was really quite impressive for US ladies, because there was at least one and frequently two US ladies on or near the podium at Worlds / Olympics.

    Having said that, perhaps the success of Lipinski and Hughes with difficult jumps have pushed the girls to master triples and combinations before they were ready or had the technique to back it up. Meisser is a grand example. It was OK when they were young, but once their bodies matured, their jumps fell apart because there was no more technique to fall back on. And COP rules on UR and edge calls certainly have not been kind of these girls.

    Conclusion is:

    1. don't be so spoiled about always having dominant disciplines (learn from Chinese pairs!)
    2. be thankful for Kwan

  19. #159
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    Adding to my post above, I sometimes wonder what would've happened had Kimmie and Emily simply blossomed in the '07 - '10 era, like so many US ladies had in decades past when it became their turn to be at the forefront. All of Flatt, Nagasu, Wagner and Zhang may have taken turns as no. 3 lady, meaning a lot less pressure to mature and stabilize more slowly, thus avoiding injury and having time to really develop.

  20. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Adding to my post above, I sometimes wonder what would've happened had Kimmie and Emily simply blossomed in the '07 - '10 era, like so many US ladies had in decades past when it became their turn to be at the forefront. All of Flatt, Nagasu, Wagner and Zhang may have taken turns as no. 3 lady, meaning a lot less pressure to mature and stabilize more slowly, thus avoiding injury and having time to really develop.
    I don't think Emily would have ever developed into a podium contender. She did have some really nice elements to her skating though and was good enough to be a dependable skater to maintain three spots. I think Kimmie could have improved if she just did not have all those injuries, but with Mao and Yuna, there really would have been no way she would ever have been a gold medal contender. I think she would have always had a shot at bronze though.

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