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  1. #221
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    Agnes, Agnes, don't be discouraged. I was delighted to see how much she has improved in presentation, and noticed an instant difference in the way people were talking about her, much more repectfully. I imagine advancing in both sets of marks simultaneously is fairly impossible at this point in the season. Wait until the GPs or even Nats before tossing her overboard. Some skaters get it together later than others.

  2. #222
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    Lol I was just happy to finally see figure skating on IN this past weekend, especially during the Olympic season!

    That said, I realize some skaters are early starters and others late bloomers, and the once-in-a-lifetime skater does good no matter if the beginning, middle, or end of the season (aka Michelle Kwan).

    And none of them is the latter (more's the pity), but I did have high hopes for GG & Agnes these past two years, but not as much anymore. Reason: I don't consider either one a mental toughness guru like the greats (ala Evgeni Plushenko, Katarina Witt). But that's understandable, who is! Yet I was hoping to see some improvement from US Nationals, where both bombed at least one segment of the competition (as Agnes did both years before as well). And that's not happening. In fact GG has only gotten worse (she messed up both segments this time! Agnes too for that matter).

    Finally, word is that GG is having mental toughness issues (shades of so many before her) and is without a coach during the Olympic season. That doesn't broker well for the rest of the season. I mean even the Great Michelle Kwan went coachless during the 1997/98 Olympic season, and instead of the gold she won the bronze at the Olympics. And GG is no Michelle Kwan (huge understatement). So for her I predict she's off the Team. Jmho.

    I think the 3 that make the 2014 Olympic Team will have no pressure (unlike GG, Agnes, and even Ashley). Of those three I only predict Ashley to make it (barely), with two new surprises. We shall see...


    ps: here's hoping they prove me wrong, both have such super huge jumps and all around packages that it would be a shame to see them not make it.

  3. #223

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    Michelle won the silver in 1998. She went without a coach for the 2002 Olympics, where she won the bronze medal.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  4. #224
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    Does anyone else think Agnes' dress would be better a couple of inches longer, even just 2 inches? I think the current length screams little girl instead of young woman. Feel similarly about Gracie's dress length. Both are tall enough to pull off a bit longer skirt.

  5. #225
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    Gracies's in a bad position coach-wise at the moment, but how many competitive skaters are there who could even possibly dream of being able to afford a sudden cross-country switch to Frank, with the thought of traveling back and forth from Canton to CA? At least the finances don't seem to be an issue for her, as they would be with most skaters.

  6. #226
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    Courtney, Polina, and Karen Chen are looking good at this point in the season!

  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Cesario's skating is dreamy. Fever is perfect for her and while she doesn't quite completely command Carmen yet, I think there are some lovely moments in that program and her timing seems to be spot on. She obviously needs to work on her conditioning and her levels. It would be a total shame to finally have rotated those triples only to lose the same points on spin levels. The DG call on the 3loop3loop in the short is right but what shocks me most is the low PCS. She has much softer edges, more mature presentation and deeper interpretation of the music and shouldn't have wound up with lower PCS than Hicks. I think I would have had her (at least) second overall with higher PCS for her and lower PCS for Gold.
    I like Cesario, though in terms of skating skills, I'd prefer Ashley Cain. I don't consider Cesario at the top in terms of skating skills among US ladies right now.

    She does present her programs really well though.

    She really didn't practise her spins much during the competition. I was watching her at SLC and she spent a lot of time working up to her 3r/3r.

    Hicks' skating continues to hurt my soul. At least Slutskaya stretches as much as she could. Just because she landed her jumps doesn't at all justify those PCS.
    I thought her issues are more with upper body and stretch and getting sloppy with finishing her moves. Her bladework isn't weaker than her competitors, and she is fast. I hope she works on the upper body stuff because once she has that, watch out.

    I actually liked Gracie's programs when I watched it live...

  8. #228

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    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    Gracies's in a bad position coach-wise at the moment, but how many competitive skaters are there who could even possibly dream of being able to afford a sudden cross-country switch to Frank, with the thought of traveling back and forth from Canton to CA? At least the finances don't seem to be an issue for her, as they would be with most skaters.
    That is a pretty big assumption. It is quite possible her parents have remortgaging their house to finance this. If they think their child has a shot at Olympic gold and they think this is the way to get it, who knows how in debt they will go to help her dream come true.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  9. #229
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    Re: Gold ... better with a new coach/coaches that might have a chance to work out well, than staying in a coaching relationship that has no chance to work out well because it isn't working right now. You can't always predict when a coaching relationship will fall apart, just like you can't predict when a life relationship will fall apart. At least she's doing something about it, regardless of timing

    I wish her the best, and hope she follows her heart and thinks about what SHE wants for herself.

  10. #230

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz V View Post
    Does anyone else think Agnes' dress would be better a couple of inches longer, even just 2 inches? I think the current length screams little girl instead of young woman. Feel similarly about Gracie's dress length. Both are tall enough to pull off a bit longer skirt.
    Agnes' dresses are very 90's in style. In fact, I'm pretty sure I had the same blue keyhole back dress in 1998. She needs longer skirts, she has long legs, a longer skirt would be more flattering. However, landing jumps in competition is probably more important.

    I dont mind Gracies SP so much, the style at least suits her (I hate the dress). The LP is a hot mess. I laughed when the competitors said she was trying to be more mature... why did she wear a pink version of Belle from Beauty and the Beast?

  11. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    I like Cesario, though in terms of skating skills, I'd prefer Ashley Cain. I don't consider Cesario at the top in terms of skating skills among US ladies right now.

    She does present her programs really well though.

    She really didn't practise her spins much during the competition. I was watching her at SLC and she spent a lot of time working up to her 3r/3r.
    With Cesario, it's a good package overall, with no visible weakness. Thanks for the tidbits on the spins.

    I thought her issues are more with upper body and stretch and getting sloppy with finishing her moves. Her bladework isn't weaker than her competitors, and she is fast. I hope she works on the upper body stuff because once she has that, watch out.
    It's also about clunky feet, inelegant line and carriage which make everything sloppy and unfinished. Yes, her edges and speed are good.

  12. #232
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    As of right now Courtney is doing a better job making the case for an Olympic spot than either Gracie or Agnes IMO. Like Gracie, Courtney still needs work; unlike Gracie however, Courtney is delivering strong programs.

    Gracie's spot is in Sochi semi-locked at this point but with her mental issues, jump issues and coaching issues, she has a long road ahead of her. If she has another bad performance a la this past weekend, I think she may find herself sliding down the ranks a bit. All it will take is one set of solid performances to lift her back up but, as of now, she's looking a little lost...and it's only going to get harder. If she chooses to go with Frank as her coach, that will be even more pressure b/c she'll be "Frank Carroll's student" and that alone comes with a certain amount of pressure, not to mention everyone will be looking for her to make improvements under him (more pressure), they'll want to see a better performance than the last two she's had (more pressure), on top of the pressure of being the #2/projected #1 US skater and it being an Olympic year.

    Gracie's got a lot to deal with this year...so far I'm doubting whether she has the mental toughness to deal with it.

  13. #233

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    As of right now Courtney is doing a better job making the case for an Olympic spot than either Gracie or Agnes IMO. Like Gracie, Courtney still needs work; unlike Gracie however, Courtney is delivering strong programs.
    No, she's just landing jumps.

  14. #234
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    I very badly want to see an Olympic team made up of Wagner, Zawadski, and Gao, although I could live with Hicks or Czisny. I really hope if Gold messed up at Nationals she isnt held up and put on the team. Although I would rather her not make the team period I accept if she skates decently she has to make it, but if she messes up and is held up over hte people I would rather make I would be mad.

    Atleast Wagner I wouldnt mind as much, since with all she did this quad she deserves her spot to be protected even if she blows up at Nationals.

  15. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by siouxdonym View Post
    No, she's just landing jumps.
    An important distinction.

  16. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by siouxdonym View Post
    No, she's just landing jumps.
    Jumps are the most important thing in this sport. You land them, then worry about the rest. Not a big fan of Hicks skating but if she lands all her jumps and others at Nationals dont it would be a crime if she isnt put on the team.

  17. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by siouxdonym View Post
    No, she's just landing jumps.
    Well Gracie isn't even doing that. I think a lot of people would forgive her the hot-mess programs if the jumps were there; but when you have a crap-ass program combined with crap-ass skating, there isn't anything redeemable left to go off of. Yes, Courtney's program leaves a lot to be desired but at the very least she's executing it to the best of her ability. Gracie's programs are bad and her jumps are MIA...so what does that leave? Stroking and spins?

  18. #238
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    What were the results of this recent competition. I saw a couple skates on videos I found online but not the results. Can someone post those plus the scores please.

  19. #239
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    Here are the official detailed results: http://www.usfigureskating.org/leade...4/results.html

    Courtney Hicks - Gold
    Gracie Gold - Silver
    Samantha Cesario - Bronze
    Agnes Zawadzki -4th
    Amelie Lacoste - 5th

    Most figured this would be a battle between Gracie and Agnes seeing as they are the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from nationals. Neither of them had strong performances in either part of the competition...

  20. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Yes, Courtney's program leaves a lot to be desired but at the very least she's executing it to the best of her ability.
    I would amend that -- she is executing the jumps to the best of her ability. She has a long way to go in other areas. Let's hope she will work on the total package this fall as she is making a case for Sochi.

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