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  1. #1
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    Talking Akiko Suzuki earns spot on Japanese Olympic team, wins 1st national title (article)

    Associated Press article by Jack Gallagher: http://wintergames.ap.org/article/su...e-olympic-team

    Her winning FS (scored 144.99, 215.18 total): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVgLvbzDQsM
    "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

  2. #2

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    Congrats to her!! I hope that she pulls a Paul Wylie and ends up on the podium in Sochi!

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    This is thrilling. I am so happy that mega-audiences around the world will get to meet the unique, entrancing, gracious presence that is Akiko Suzuki skating.

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    She is such a joy to watch. She lights up the entire arena with her smile and effervescent personality on the ice. I would love for her to medal in Sochi!

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    I am so happy for Akiko. However, I wonder if Mao's 3rd-place finish at Nationals will somewhat tarnish her 'super-favorite' standing for Sochi? I'm most concerned about "PCS Aura" among judges...more opportunity for Lipnitskaya or someone else (Akiko herself, for example)?
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVgLvbzDQsM

    I just watched her free skate...lovely...joyful...brought me to tears! I'm so happy for her!!

  7. #7

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    It was a great FS for Akiko - especially that last minute full of passion (from the spiral sequence to the end). This is the sort of personality that I love to see in champions...jumps and tecnik are fine but, to me, they are nothing without passion and musical involvement. Akiko definitely brings home the passion.

    As much as I love Yuna's jumps and Mao's lovely footwork, I rarely see such involvement and musicality in them (or in 99% of the current crop of elite ladies). Ashley Wagner and Akiko are the two exceptions, IMO.
    Last edited by Frau Muller; 12-23-2013 at 06:56 PM.
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    SO thrilled for her. Also, I LOVE her new dress. Very, very pretty.
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

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    If she wanted to send a message that she is an Olympic medal contender, THAT was the way to do it!

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    I'm so happy for Akiko, but not a good sign for Mao. It's going to be tough for her to get anywhere near a medal if she skates like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenny12 View Post
    I'm so happy for Akiko, but not a good sign for Mao. It's going to be tough for her to get anywhere near a medal if she skates like that.
    Mao is a strong competitor; she'll peak at the right time. She didn't have to be at her best here, and I would be more nervous if she'd skated perfectly. Still, those two 3axels in the LP are worrisome.

    Akiko has been such a gracious competitor for so many years now. She is consistently underscored and I'm so thrilled she gets to go out with a National title. Just wonderful.

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    Gosh, that brought tears to my eyes. I'm so happy for Akiko. She is such a delightful skater. I will miss her next year.

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    OT

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    Lovely skate from Akiko! She makes the music more enjoyable.

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    JSU would better put hope on Akiko rather than Mao

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    Well, good for her, to become champion after all these years

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSUSF View Post
    JSU would better put hope on Akiko rather than Mao
    Based on one competition?

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    If Mao fans need some encouragement, I can point out that after Jeff Buttle lost his national title to Patrick Chan, Jeff won Worlds. Sometimes it helps take the pressure off the athlete. Congratulations to Akiko.

  19. #19
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    I think this will end up being a blessing for Mao and Akiko. Akiko can really feel she has the support of the JSF. Even though Mao may have scored highly with a clean performance and beaten Akiko, the fact that she scored in the mid 140s for her LP is nothing but encouraging. I hope she didn't peak for Nationals because I hope to see Akiko scoring similarly at the Olympics (even though she probably won't without Nationals inflation). Out of all the skaters vying for a spot to the Olympics, I was rooting the hardest for Akiko.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 12-24-2013 at 12:24 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I think this will end up being a blessing for Mao and Akiko. Akiko can really feel she has these support of the JSF. Even though Mao may have scored highly with a clean performance and beaten Akiko, the fact that she scored in the mid 140s for her LP is nothing but encouraging. I hope she didn't peak for Nationals because I hope to see Akiko scoring similarly at the Olympics (even though she probably won't without Nationals inflation). Out of all the skaters vying for a spot to the Olympics, I was rooting the hardest for Akiko.
    You never know, there is Olympic inflation too, which almost negates National inflation. Mao`s score wasnt that high for her performance which wasnt all that bad, so I dont think the National inflation was that strong. The girls who came 4th and 5th were absolute and pretty much flawless and would certainly score in that range (mid 120s) in an international event. Murakami had by far her best LP ever, all fully rotated jumps, so would probably manage a score close to that too, considering she has gotten high 120s for programs with downgrades and problem jumps.

    It is hard to see her being 3 spots away from Yu Na Kim if Yu Na Kim skates like Worlds last year but if Yu Na Kim skates like Worlds last year her score will probably be atleast 10 points higher than Worlds last year (most of that in the short program where the judges wont dare dole out another sub 70).

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