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  1. #1

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    What does Christina Gao need to get to the next level?

    I am not her fan (yet) but the potential is there because she delivers most of the time. She won a GP medal this year, so she is improving, and she seems to be consistent in her jumps. However, she needs something more to grab the attention of the USFSA and internationally, and that of FS fans.

    What does Christina need now? I decided not to make this a poll, so more ideas can flow in.

    A new choreographer to bring out her strengths?

    Weight training to add more power to her jumps?

    A new packaging, like Michelle did in 1996?

    Medal at both GP events next season?

    All of the above?

    The last question is- does she really have it to make it on the world stage (like a podium finish in the next 2-3 years)?

  2. #2

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    -Make sure she gets the levels on her spins (and most of those spins need to be level 4, not 3).
    -Put back the 3F-3T into the SP along with the 3L. She needs to rival Gold in jump base value, and significantly beat Wagner.
    - In the LP, do both the 3F-3T and 2A-3T. I really think this is within her ability, she is one of those few talented jumpers that put a very nice easy/flowy 3T at the end of a combo.
    -Make more out of her long lines. She has a great body for some really elegant lines, but they're not always there.
    -Stay consistent. It takes a while, but judges will start to reward her for her consistency.

    I think she already got her makeover with Miller/Johanssen, she looks fabulous relative to last year. Just a little more work on posture and shoulders. I was very sorry to see her 5th an Nats, I thought she should have been 3rd. But I think she is almost 'all there', and she seems to have great nerves too. I really think she'll challenge for a trip to Sochi.
    Last edited by FunnyBut; 02-11-2013 at 04:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    While her 2axel is improved, it's still not her best jump so I don't think a 2axel3toe is a good idea, but I do agree about the 3flip3toe in both the short and long.

    I think her short program shows off her lyricism, but the long shows just how unexpressive she / her body is. She never shows much tension or passion and that's not an impressive tango. I also don't think she is connecting with the audience enough, and obviously it's very clear in the long.

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    Weight training to add more power and polish to her skating. Other than that I think she is on the right track. Probably finding some more innovative choreography to stand out among many other talented crops could be desired.

  5. #5

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    She has improved a lot this year. She looks more in control and her skating seems more polished. However, she hasn't gone up much in the standings because her peers are improving too. It does look as though her body has changed, so maybe she is through with that awkward rapid growth phase and can improve her technical elements.

    I agree with people who say her lack of charisma will keep her from being a top contender. When she stepped on ice at Skate America she had a big smile and looked poised and confident and it affected how I watched her skating. Unfortunately she doesn't always appear that way, but she does have moments when she lights up, which she didn't before, so it appears she is working on it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    While her 2axel is improved, it's still not her best jump so I don't think a 2axel3toe is a good idea, but I do agree about the 3flip3toe in both the short and long.

    I think her short program shows off her lyricism, but the long shows just how unexpressive she / her body is. She never shows much tension or passion and that's not an impressive tango. I also don't think she is connecting with the audience enough, and obviously it's very clear in the long.
    Ah, I forgot how bad her 2A is, you're totally right, no 2A-3T for her. It's a credit to her, though, that I forgot how just how bad her 2A used to be.

    I also agree, her 'Karen Kwan' SP shows her off so well, the LP not so much. But I think this was a good year to do something that was choreographically a stretch for her, it might improve her in the long run.

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    I think that all she really needed was this season. She placed very high this year and did well. It's up to her to get out of life and her amature skating career whatever she would like. Sometimes we forget how tough it is to do what these ladies do. If nailing perfect programs was easy, everyone would. This season was a confidence builder for her and I think in the long run will serve her well.

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    She looks much stronger this year: physically, mentally, and artistically. The way she bounced back from her triple lutz fall at 4CCs was especially impressive, since it didn't deflate her program even though it was her biggest competition this season. Her growth has been steady, and she just has to keep steadily moving up.

    Yes, bringing back the triple flip - triple toe will make her a technical contender.

    Skating more deeply in her knees will give her more power, especially now that she's stronger.

    And she seems increasingly confident in her artistry, as well, and is projecting much more up to the audience than before. She's a naturally quiet, subtle skater, and the more she can draw us into that experience, the more powerful her skating will be.

    Also, maybe the best thing for her would be for the US Skating Federation to realize that skaters don't need to be flashy to be internationally recognized and rewarded.

  9. #9
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    Here were Christina Gao's quotes to the media after her 4CC FS:
    (on free skate) I’m disappointed that I missed the Lutz, because I almost never miss my Lutz. I’m glad I pulled it together and still did everything afterward. It was a weird fall and if I landed it, maybe I would have had a higher placement.

    (on experience here) I’m really happy with my short but my long was definitely not my best.

    (on upcoming goals) My posture and the way I present on the ice, my overall presence, can be improved a lot. I want to make everything strong and much better so that when I skate I best, I can be the best and even if I mess up a little bit I’m still near the top.
    ETA that Gao was quoted after her SP as saying to the media:
    "The fall semester [at Harvard] was hard, I was tired a lot. But it was a whole new experience for me so I enjoyed it. I’ve actually decided to take a ‘gap’ year starting this spring. I will take one year off from school and I will start again next year so I can train for the coming season. I feel like if I commit to my training and stick with (coaches) Peter [Johansson] and Mark [Mitchell], I can get far."
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-12-2013 at 02:36 PM.
    "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

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    ^That's a good mindset; take a look at what you do/have now and find something to work on with positive note. I can't wait to see how she'll fare next season when she'll fully invest herself in skating.

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    I think she is already near the top and prefer her to many ranked above her. I'd want a little more power and a little more of a presence on the ice, maybe something more uniquely "her", but other than that i love her skating.

  12. #12

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    Her lyrical strengths are undeniable. She has the makings of a Chen Lu. I think she needs time to find a character in performance that she can sustain. She tends to hold back or even break into "young teenage" Christina. I think if she takes a year off of school, she can make real progress in this.

  13. #13
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    Improve her basic skating, posture, lines, performance skills and skate programs which aren't SHIT.

    So basically improve every single aspect of her crap PCS.

    God knows how she managed to get 7s at 4CC, those judges were totally deranged.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Improve her basic skating, posture, lines, performance skills and skate programs which aren't SHIT.

    So basically improve every single aspect of her crap PCS.

    God knows how she managed to get 7s at 4CC, those judges were totally deranged.
    They were not deranged. There are flashes of beauty and finesse in all her lines. Some things are just average or flawed, but the program is effective and looks sophisticated when compared to most in the world. I dislike her Ina Bauer so much. The scores were a perhaps a bit higher because of the distorting effect of so many skaters from developing programs.

  15. #15
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    I enjoy Christina and she has real moments of beauty in her programs. But yes, she can improve her posture and line. Sometimes during the program, it seems like she's improved in that area, but often reverts back to a hunched over position as the program goes on and she gets more tired. However, I do think she has a natural musicality that will come through even more once she improves her posture. I really hope she eventually makes it to Worlds.

  16. #16
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    Her FS just kills me. Looooong entries into the jumps with her arms hanging down, totally ignoring the music. Absolutely nothing that would suggest she's actually skating to a tango. Just so so so generic. You could play any track over it. And she got higher PCS than Osmond for that...

    SP is a little better but not that much.

    She did improve a fair bit on her basics but there's still so much work for her to do.

    Get outside choreography please. Tom Dickson could be good for her, I think.
    Last edited by Ziggy; 02-12-2013 at 03:42 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Here's what Christina Gao said after her 4CC FS (excerpt from Golden Skate's Ladies FS article):


    ETA a relevant excerpt from Golden Skate's Ladies SP article:
    I’m really happy with my short, but my long was definitely not my best,” noted Gao.

    She already set her eyes on the future: “My posture and the way I present on the ice, my overall presence, can be improved a lot. I want to make everything strong and much better so that when I skate, I can be the best, and even if I mess up a little bit, I’m still near the top.”
    Thanks Sylvia! Christina seems very self aware of her weaknesses, and considering the improvements she's made from one season to the next, I have no doubt she'll improve on these aspects going into next season.

    I think her coaches have put in a lot of work on Christina's posture, arm positions and overall presentation. She was all gangly arms and awkwardness last season and this season there is a marked improvement in these areas. There is obviously still a lot of room for improvement but she's getting there.

  18. #18

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    I would send her to a choreographer who could give her new motivations for her programs. I think she has a harder time getting into the imaginative part of performing. At 4CC she looked tired and just happy to be there doing the elements. She can focus better on the feeling she wants to achieve and on the immediate moment.

    Yes she may even be too smart and too aware. This is an advantage though for her in the preparation because she can refine and strengthen her posture and line by practicing the right discipline and mental awareness. In competition though, she needs to let go more.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 02-12-2013 at 04:37 AM.

  19. #19
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    Personally I just think she needs to put additional serious effort into learning to arch her mid-upper back (Wagner is a great example of a stunning back). That's holding back her skating and makes her look very stiff. She has shown tremendous posture improvement already over the past couple seasons but she has a ways to go.

    I believe that posture alone could help bring her PCS up 4-5 points total across both programs.

  20. #20
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    She needs to bend her knees more. She looks stiff. And she needs to improve her posture (shoulders)

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