I think Siraj skated a strong free program, but she like Hicks still seems juniorish in her skating. And although hers was a brave performance full of fight, Siraj was struggling to land everything. I think Mirai and Agnes display more maturity, and despite her nervous mistakes, Agnes is clearly a strong jumper with great spring and beautiful air positions.
Samantha Cesario actually delivered two wonderful programs and she skates with more maturity than Hicks and Siraj, so arguably Cesario might have placed higher, but perhaps she didn't have as technically difficult programs as the others.
Very interesting and thought-provoking perspective, Maximillian, in your #190 post.
Last edited by aftershocks; 02-17-2013 at 08:49 PM.
I was looking at pics on FB and judging by tons of comments on the US women's podium picture, a good number of folks think Gold should have won and that Wagner was gifted the title.
IMHO, taking both the SP and FS into account, there was no clear winner. If I were deciding, Wagner and Gold would both get silver medals and the top spot would be vacated.
I would have been fine with Wagner in 2nd, though. She suffered the same fate as so many who attempt to defend titles for the first time - fear, which leads to panic, loss of concentration, and silly mistakes. Only that this time, the system in place enabled her to hang on to the win.
I also would have been fine with Gao in 4th but Hicks was really amazing. It was Zawadzki, I felt, that more than anyone else in the top 7/8 was misplaced. She was 4th at best, 6th at worst. Definitely no worse than Nagasu for instance.
^ Those who comment generally don't know anything about the sport and are buying into the Gracie Gold story and a neat clean FS. I'd be okay with twoSsilver medals ahhaha, but no gold for GGold that's for sure.
Just to put it into perspective, under 6.0 Wagner would have still won, and Gold may not have made the podium...
Kwan placed 2nd with one of the worst FS's ever in 1997 and lost only to a flawless FS Lipinski.
I would say that Wagner would be 2nd or 3rd in the long and likely walk away with the title. It would depend on where the rest of the field were placed in the SP. Mirai would have been a solid 2nd and tanked worse that Wagner which would have helped Wagners case. Had Gao been 3rd in the SP (not sure if she would have been, hard to go off memory and pure assumption) perhaps Gao would have came out on top, but who knows.
Either way Wagner would have placed way higher than Gracie. SP was crucial with pre-COP, and Gracie had two huge errors and an otherwise lackluster SP in comparison the what other ladies put out.
Last edited by cbd1235; 02-18-2013 at 03:17 AM.
^^ Yes, very perceptive, and a good argument.
I think you both make good points, cbd1235 and Sasha'sSpins in your #204 and #206 posts respectively.
RD, I think Hicks' speed and jumps were absolutely amazing, but she needs to slow down a little, and the rest of her performance qualities, or lack thereof might be amazing but not in a good way.
I think even if she was 4th in the LP she still would have won the silver.
if you did not place well in the short program under 6.0...you were screwed.
Last edited by UGG; 02-18-2013 at 02:06 PM.
If Gold hadn't singled that axel, she would have won, hands down.
IMHO, There have been only five "Championship calibre skaters" in last 15 years or so, Kwan, Slutskaya, Ando, Asada and Kim. All with Junior Worlds crown and multiple Olympics or Worlds Championship now. Most skating fans knew, even before their first senior Worlds, these skaters were going to leave their mark once they reached senior Worlds.
Arakawa and Kostner are very close to this group. However, these two were relatively late bloomers.
I am hoping that one of the up and comers in JPN may turn out to have Arakawa type career.
Even if the best JPN can do is 3-10th at Worlds, we may still be able to maintain 2-3 slots. A team composed of Suzuki/Nakano type career skaters (World Class) is not that bad. After all, the system was designed to produce World class skaters.
Meanwhile, in Mens singles, there is quite a lot of talent coming up in JPN...
Now, I thought then and still now that Nikodinov was the one who got screwed at 97 nationals. She, more than Bobek, deserved to beat Kwan. I judged Nikodinov 2nd in the long, Bobek 3rd and Kwan 4th which would have given Nikodinov the silver and Kwan the bronze, and Bobek the pewter. Nikodinov got screwed twice at nationals so judges could hold up Kwan - in 1997 and then in the 2000 short program. Overall though, Kwan definitely deserved to beat Nikodinov in 2000 (and win the entire event) so it wasn't a horrible injustice. Nikodinov's Mummy program plain sucked, Cohen wasn't in Kwan's league yet and Hughes never was.
Last edited by Jammers; 02-18-2013 at 06:14 PM.
Ando, at 19, won her 2007 World title over Asada, Kim, Meissner, Nakano, and Kostner (6th) so, yes, she is a "Championship calibre skater" in my book.
"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
^^Yeah, I'm not exactly a fan of Miki but I respect her as a competitor b/c she's a damn good competitor. It's rare that she's the most talented person in the field but she knows how to show up and get her job done. She has that killer instinct and knows how to focus and deliver under pressure. That's why she's a two-time world champ...she's able to get it done.
Ando is a great jumper, great competitor, and had a coach who understood how to milk COP - her winning Worlds twice was no accident. You have to give credit where credit is due. She was driven, smart, and delivered when it mattered. You can complain about her watering down the content in 2011 but honestly that was strategic - she didn't need to take the risk, as we saw, she played it safe and won Worlds anyways. In 2007 she knew she needed to throw down everything she had technically to stand a chance at beating an on Mao or Yuna and that's what she did. Arakawa and Lysacek being Olympic Gold Medalists should show people that killer technical content is not always how the game is won.
Re your post #190 Maximillian, thanks again.
I was just thinking after reading a post in the "Bust" thread dissing U.S. ladies, especially re the so-called reign being over, that one of the things a lot of us don't really consider too often when looking back is that during Michelle's reign there really was not a lot of great competition worldwide in the ladies division. It was a fairly low period for Europe (talk about skaters not fully realizing their potential -- one could examine the European scene in those years). The fact that young, juniorish Tara Lipinski could shoot from third at U.S. Nationals in 1996 to suddenly World champion the next year speaks volumes about the dearth of competition in the rest of the World. That is probably partly one of the reasons why the media and the ISU always seemed so antsy about finding someone else to beat MK. Yes, there was an interesting so-called rivalry between Irina and Michelle, but seriously, Irina S and Maria B were not as magnificently talented as the young ladies coming up in Russia these days.
Michelle was and is great because she was so disciplined, highly competitive and she got every ounce and then some out of her talent, but there was not anyone who truly gave her much of a run for dominance (aside from carping by the media re her minimal faults, and hyping re finding someone to rival her). I give credit to Maria winning Worlds in 1999, but she was challenged to improve and reach that level by what Michelle was accomplishing. And, MK being under the weather that year was also fortuitous for Maria who definitely skated through that open door of opportunity to beat the Kween. Still, Michelle always came back to rise again, like the Phoenix.
Michelle Kwan was like the Michael Jordan of ladies figure skating during the years of her dominance.
Last edited by aftershocks; 02-18-2013 at 08:52 PM.