View Poll Results: Who will be the third U.S. lady at the Olympics?

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  • Alissa Czisny

    21 9.59%
  • Rachael Flatt

    5 2.28%
  • Christina Gao

    104 47.49%
  • Courtney Hicks

    12 5.48%
  • Mirai Nagasu

    40 18.26%
  • Agnes Zawadzki

    29 13.24%
  • Caroline Zhang

    3 1.37%
  • Other (Please Specify)

    5 2.28%
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  1. #121

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    While the post may have said Asian-american, I do think the intent was to compare her to other Japanese heritage skaters. While it's not the most PC thing to do, you can look at the average Japanese and she is smaller framed and has far less body mass than the average Caucasian , hence Rachael is not held to the same standard. And Mirai does seem bigger than Mao, Akiko, Kanako, Miki and Maia, Kristi, Narumi. Even girls with naturally larger builds like Yuka and Midori looked more lean and toned than Mirai. I remember Frank Carroll's comment about Michelle's fighting weight caused a stir. The fact is just a few pounds makes a big difference when rotating triples. No one is saying Mirai is fat/lazy, but perhaps she needs to be a bit leaner than she is to be the optimal competitor, even if she is quite fit compared to the average person on the street.

  2. #122
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    Why compare her to Japanese in Japan when they have a totally different culture and lifestyle. Yes, there is a difference between Caucasian-American and Asian-American but in that case you should be comparing her to Asian/Japanese-Americans. The fact that the poster made a comment about Asian-Americans all being bigger and not just Mirai confirms that Mirai is not out of place for an Asian-American girl

    Next you'll ask why she doesn't interview like a Japanese girl from Japan
    Last edited by iarispiralllyof; 03-27-2013 at 03:21 PM.

  3. #123

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    It bothers me too when Mirai and Kristi and referred to as Japanese American, Michelle is Chinese-American while Rachael and Gracie are just American (nobody ever calls them German American or Swedish American). I agree they are all equally American.

    But I think this discussion involves genetics, and I do think heritage influences body type and propensity to gain fat (with some variance, of course). I agree with you that culture plays a part, but genetics plays a part, too.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyBut View Post
    It bothers me too when Mirai and Kristi and referred to as Japanese American, Michelle is Chinese-American while Rachael and Gracie are just American (nobody ever calls them German American or Swedish American). I agree they are all equally American.

    But I think this discussion involves genetics, and I do think heritage influences body type and propensity to gain fat (with some variance, of course). I agree with you that culture plays a part, but genetics plays a part, too.
    Well, Mirai does have double citizenship for now.

    But the original poster was making a comment about all Asian-Americans, not just Mirai as an individual.
    And it is generally very true that the average Asian-American is "bigger" compared to Asians in Asia. White Americans also tend to be fatter than white Europeans.

    She should be compared to other Asian/Japanese-Americans period, not Japanese in Japan. Caroline Zhang is getting similar criticisms about her weight.
    Last edited by iarispiralllyof; 03-27-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  5. #125
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    Doesn't Mirai have Japanese citizenship, at least for now? I think that does make her Japanese American.

    But I agree with the point. We seem to only attach a qualifying label to those who are not white.

  6. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    She should be compared to other Asian/Japanese-Americans period, not Japanese in Japan. Caroline Zhang is getting similar criticisms about her weight.
    I'd have to say that Mirai and Caroline both look less fit than other elite figure skaters period. (Doesn't matter if they are from US/Japan/China or Italy or Australia, Asian descent or not). Caroline even wears only half a dress around the midsection to mitigate this. Then again, Rachael Flatt was never particularily defined, and she generally had very good jump rotation and energy, while Mirai and Caroline struggled with jump rotation even back when they were tiny, so technique plays a part too. I still think neither Caroline nor Mirai is optimally fit.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    maybe she could be more toned, maybe not. maybe her body is changing.
    What is that supposed to mean? She didn't look like she was well conditioned for the competition and guess what? She wasn't.

    ETA:
    Quote Originally Posted by FiveRinger View Post
    As far as I am concerned, all 3 spots are completely wide open. It would be different if there was an American ladies' medal contender, but that is hardly the case. Ashley has demonstrated an excellent work ethic as opposed to say, Mirai.

    I am proud of Gracie and Ashley earning 3 spots for the USA but none of those spots is guaranteed to either one. Neither has been consistent enough or had such breakout performances the she would be a lock. The USFSA isn't that in love with either one. Watching Jeremy Abbott lose his all but guaranteed spot at World's was proof enough for me to believe that.

    As for Mirai, I think that if she does what she is capable of and gets her head out of her ass and commits to the season her chances are actually good. The US

    FSA will get behind her if and only if she gives them a reason to.

    Wang and Hicks should be planning for 2018. They aren't ready for Socio and won't be. I will be surprised if Alissa sticks around. Her spirit is strong but her body is broken. I put Christina's chances ahead of Agnes because she is artistically superior and more consistent. Agnes has great jumps but if they fail her she has nothing else.
    What does Jeremy have to do with this? Or do you need a side-by-side comparison of their season? Lets see:

    Jeremy: SKAM 5th, TEB 2nd, didn't make GPF, US Nats 3rd

    Ashley: SKAM 1st, TEB 1st, GPF 2nd despite a rather unfortunate free skate, US Nats 1st, Worlds 5th.


    See the difference? I think it's obvious that Ashley is very well respected by both US and international judges. If she continues the same course as this year, I don't see how she is not named on the team.

    Gracie--did really well at Nats for a 1st time senior and had a respectable international season, 6th at Worlds for a rookie in such a competitive field was much better than I expected.

    There is no US lady that compares in standing with both US and international judges with Ashley and Gracie at the moment. I only expect them to continue to improve. Ashley's 3F2T looked like it had plenty of power for a 3F3T which she was landing in practice. Gracie has to clean up her SP act. But overall these two have a lot less work to do than say, Mirai, Christina or Agnes. To say that their chances are equal to Ashley's and Gracie's is to have missed this whole entire season.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 03-27-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    What is that supposed to mean? She didn't look like she was well conditioned for the competition and guess what? She wasn't.
    It's supposed to mean that that's your opinion. You're not Mirai yet you seem so incredibly sure about her body.

    Caroline has a ton of issues with her skating but she improved a few things despite becoming "bigger". All you guys are doing is speculating that their skating failures are due to them gaining 3-5 more pounds at most, which might be true but it might not be
    Last edited by iarispiralllyof; 03-27-2013 at 04:44 PM.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    It's supposed to mean that that's your opinion. You're not Mirai yet you seem so incredibly sure about her body.
    It's not an opinion. I saw her next to other senior ladies, up close in workout clothes, and she wasn't nearly as lean and muscular as they were with one exception. It's a fact.

    However, with Mirai, it's not just the redistribution of weight (not necessarily a gain as muscle is heavier than fat), it's the lack or work ethic. One may be a symptom of the other or it would be a hell of a coincidence.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 03-27-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    It's not an opinion. I saw her next to other senior ladies, up close in workout clothes, and she wasn't nearly as lean and muscular as they were with one exception. It's a fact.

    However, with Mirain, it's not just the redistribution of weight (not necessarily a gain as muscle is heavier than fat), it's the lack or work ethic. One may be a symptom of the other or it would be a hell of a coincidence.
    I know Mirai has a reputation for not having the greatest work ethic, but at the end of the day she's still a nationally ranked athlete and a young girl who probably wants to hang out with friends and kill time online like a lot of people her age. I know a lot of people here are comparing her specifically to other elite athletes and not every-day girls, what's more, they are probably fans (idk if you are) and want her to do her best. But maybe this is her relative best at this point in her life. I just think we all can sometimes lose sight of the fact that these are mostly still young girls. While some may be disappointed that skaters like Mirai never reached their full potential, she could place 20th at the next nationals and still say that for a few years, she was an elite nationally ranked skater and top athlete.
    I may be acting overly sensitive,after all what's the point of a discussion board if not to nitpick or criticize, but I feel like in skating more than other sports, just a few pounds causes such controversy. It's one if thing she gained 20 pounds and got a pot belly...but to me she still seems relatively fit. Comparing girls to each other can be problematic because everyone's so different. Someone may look thin on the outside but be quite unhealthy inside. I can't imagine a non-fit person doing triples on ice.
    Last edited by iarispiralllyof; 03-27-2013 at 05:11 PM.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    I know Mirai has a reputation for not having the greatest work ethic, but at the end of the day she's still a nationally ranked athlete and a young girl who probably wants to hang out with friends and kill time online like a lot of people her age. I know a lot of people here are comparing her specifically to other elite athletes and not every-day girls, what's more, they are probably fans (idk if you are) and want her to do her best. But maybe this is her relative best at this point in her life. I just think we all can sometimes lose sight of the fact that these are mostly still young girls. While some may be disappointed that skaters like Mirai never reached their full potential, she could place 20th at the next nationals and still say that for a few years, she was an elite nationally ranked skater and top athlete.
    Well, of course I am comparing her to other elite athletes. She is no ordinary person and cannot be compared to Jane Doe off the street. She is extremely talented and it saddens a lot of her fans (myself included) to watch her not to give it her all. However, if her heart is not in it, it's not in it. No one can change that.
    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    I may be acting overly sensitive,after all what's the point of a discussion board if not to nitpick or criticize, but I feel like in skating more than other sports, just a few pounds causes such controversy. It's one thing she gained 20 pounds and got a pot belly...but to me she still seems fit. I can't imagine a non-fit person doing triples on ice.
    Again, I am not even sure if there was a change in weight, just distribution. Gaining 20 lbs is besides the point, this isn't a street standard, it's an elite skating standard. Of course she is way more fit than an average American. Duh. That's irrelevant. She is not as fit as her competition and that's what matters.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  12. #132

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    FWIW, from this article before 2013 Nationals, it sounds like Nagasu worked with her coaches on improving her fitness regimen this past season: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news
    [Coaches] Olson and Evidente have also attacked Nagasu's jumps, with Evidente's off-ice training regimen adding zip to the skater's form.

    "Mirai is in great shape now, much better than last year," Olson said. "The main thing is she is fit, and it is easier for her to rotate the jumps. She has to keep her jumps clean while also showing excellent skating skills."

    The skater, who at times appeared to butt heads with some of her former coaches, seems to have embraced Olson and Evidente's tactics.

    "Wendy is the technician of the group, whereas Amy works with me on my off-ice [training]," she said. "When something goes wrong, I sit down with both of them and talk to both of them. There are three of us, so the majority decides what happens, instead of one person."

    And what if it's two against one, with Nagasu on the losing side?

    "Yeah, that happens, and I get over it," she said. "Usually, I come around because I understand where they are coming from and I understand what's best for me, and sometimes, what I want isn't exactly what's best for me."
    Hopefully, she will continue to improve on this aspect of her training.
    "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

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Well, of course I am comparing her to other elite athletes. She is no ordinary person and cannot be compared to Jane Doe off the street. She is extremely talented and it saddens a lot of her fans (myself included) to watch her not to give it her all. However, if her heart is not in it, it's not in it. No one can change that.


    Again, I am not even sure if there was a change in weight, just distribution. Gaining 20 lbs is besides the point, this isn't a street standard, it's an elite skating standard. Of course she is way more fit than an average American. Duh. That's irrelevant. She is not as fit as her competition and that's what matters.
    Fair enough, but personally I thought she looked thinner in 2013 than 2012 with that Spartacus program.

  14. #134
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    That I cannot say. I didn't see her live in 2013.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    Fair enough, but personally I thought she looked thinner in 2013 than 2012 with that Spartacus program.
    She still was a lot thinner in 2010 though when she was skating her best. After the Olympics, she filled out considerably and has been more or less the same size since. In 2010 she looked to be in peak fitness, and her stats at the Olympics were listed as 5'3.5" and 110 lbs, that seems like a good fighting size for a figure skater. Yuna, Mao, Miki are all around this weight range or a bit less and they are slightly taller than Mirai too. I have no clue how much Mirai's weight has changed since the Olympics, it might not be much at all and maybe she's mostly just proportioned differently, but I sometimes wonder why elite athletes seem to struggle to maintain an optimum weight. I mean, I'm 2 inches taller than Mirai and only weigh slightly over 110 and all I do is recreationally run 20-30 miles a week and walk to class, and I feel like I'm constantly eating and "dangerous" foods too like pasta, cookies, sugary coffee drinks, peanut butter, potato chips, cheese, etc. Anyone who runs jokes about how much they eat and it seems like most skaters skate for like 3 hours a day AND run probably about as far as I do AND do weights or yoga/pilates or other off-ice stuff so you would think with all that, a girl could easily consume about 3000 calories a day and maintain a low weight..

  16. #136
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    As someone who was a totally unathletic 5'0" 100-110 pounds until I was about 23, I've often though skaters over-state their weight- it really isn't anyone's business, and in most sports athletes lie either high or low on their bios for height and weight. My cheerleading sister (same height) wasn't more than 100 pounds until after college.


    As for why they struggle with weight, I would bet most skaters have pretty messed up metabolisms due to abnormal eating for a good portion of their life, especially during puberty. Even the healthy ones seem to have some very strange habits with food. This really isn't just skaters but all athletes who need to have small builds (lightweight rowers for instance, they often talk about how going out with the crew they have to stick with the coxswains, because none of them can eat during the season, where the regular class rowers eat a TON. Of course, unlike skaters- they actually have to weigh-in) Most, though certainly not all, serious recreational runners developed those habits after puberty.

    This has nothing to do with Mirai or any specific skater, just my thoughts.

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockTheTassel View Post
    I don't really see how Mirai is the only one who has a shot to medal out of the four mentioned. It's doubtful with Agnes and Christina since they've never been to Worlds. But Ashley has proven that she can take on some of the bigger competition; maybe not Yuna, but she's beaten Mao and the Russian girls. Carolina is exquisite, but she's had meltdowns before, including her last two Olympics. Ashley's had a respectable top five finish at Worlds two years in a row now. Mirai on the other hand hasn't even had a top five finish at her own nationals in the last two years. Yes, her Olympic performance was great, but she hasn't matched it since. Her SP win at Worlds was also awesome, and she did beat Yuna, but that was easily one of Yuna's worst skates in years. And if you're going by that logic, Rachael Flatt would also have a chance since she beat Yuna in the LP earlier that season. Overall, Mirai hasn't shown that she can beat the top three any more than Ashley can.

    I'd love to see a top-notch Mirai at the Olympics, and I wouldn't completely count her out on making the team, but I think many people would be very surprised if she got a medal even with a great skate and would not consider her the most likely of the US ladies to get one. Several of the US ladies have an outside shot at the podium, but I don't think anyone at this time is thought of as having a fantastic chance, even with a great skate.
    I don't think ashley could beat the big three without help, Mao or Carolina have to mess up, simply bc they have higher Pcs than her and ashley has not increased her technical marks to compensate. Gracie too is in the same situation, she could potentially beat the big 3 (or at least 2 of them, I don't think anyone can beat Yuna if she skates somewhat decent), but she needs help. Mirai, I think, has that "it" quality that others lack. Gracie might have it too, we will have to wait and see. On talent alone, Mirai, if she skated to potential, would beat Ashley, IMO, just as she did in 2010, especially given that ashley has been making mistakes in her programs, Problem is she does not skate to potential!

  18. #138

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    Has any coach ever come out and said Mirai is lazy or has a poor work ethic? I don't recall this.

    I do recall hearing coaches say she has trouble 'putting blinders on' in practice.

    I bet she works very hard physically, but spends a lot of time emotionally beating up on herself to the point her practices get unproductive. I'm guessing this after listening to how she discusses herself in interviews. This is different from someone who won't show up or won't try.

    So think twice before you label someone as having poor work ethic.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    It's not an opinion. I saw her next to other senior ladies, up close in workout clothes, and she wasn't nearly as lean and muscular as they were with one exception. It's a fact.
    i need to disagree with you here iceAlisa, I have a few hundred photos from Omaha (as well as San Jose). Mirai often looks a little heavy in her skating dresses, which I suspect are cut a little loose for ease of movement,, but I have a few photos where her dresses or workout outfits are stretched tight and she is just as fit and toned as most of the other skaters. If I can ever figure out how to upload photos, I will try and post one.

    As far as her work ethic, Frank mentioned, maybe two years ago, that Mirai only got serious in her training, I think he said, a few weeks before nationals. I think those 2 year old comments from Frank still haunt her reputation. On the other hand, Sandar Bezic commented, in the last 2 nationals, that Mirai was working hard in practice, as I can attest to, and wanted it (good results) much more than many would suspect. She has a lot of pride in her skating and in her results.

  20. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyBut View Post
    I remember Frank Carroll's comment about Michelle's fighting weight caused a stir. The fact is just a few pounds makes a big difference when rotating triples.
    I was watching an pre-SLC ESPN Kwan fluff piece (after she had replaced Lori and left Frank) that tried to be pretty objective about Kwan (even talking about the maybe overbearing influence of Danny going into SLC). In the piece, Lori talked about how after Nagano, Kwan's life was taking her into so many directions that she didn't really get into her fighting shape until like a few weeks before a competition.

    I was watching Jenny Kirk and Davide Lease's video about the 2013 Worlds Ice Dance competition and even they talked about how Kwan would go into bootcamp mode like 6 weeks before Worlds and how she really couldn't sustain that shape all season long (possibly because she was getting older). That would seriously explain why in the later seasons, Kwan would wake up around Nationals and be in her best shape by Worlds. Maybe that strategy went into overdrive in SLC because Kwan was the skinniest she had ever been before and after that season as an adult.

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