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  1. #101
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    I have to really wonder what the U.S. federation has been doing since last season in terms of mentoring and monitoring skaters. And how did so many bad ladies' programs make it through the monitoring process at Champs Camp?[/QUOTE]

    I have been saying that Champs Camp is a joke.. Nothing seems to get done. It just seems like a social event.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Camel View Post
    I have to really wonder what the U.S. federation has been doing since last season in terms of mentoring and monitoring skaters. And how did so many bad ladies' programs make it through the monitoring process at Champs Camp?

    I have been saying that Champs Camp is a joke.. Nothing seems to get done. It just seems like a social event.
    Wasn't it the judges at Champs Camp who told Rachael that she needed to cut her hair? I think you're right. Nothing seems to get done there.
    Last edited by smarts1; 11-19-2013 at 02:58 PM.

  3. #103
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    Someone mentioned that Sochi posters are all about Gracie. Now why is that? The cynic in me says well, that could be bc Gracis is a pretty white ice princess. But the thing is, So is Ashley!!! Ashley too is pretty & poised, and has an even more compelling story of how she was left off the them last time and came back to be the national champion. further, hasn't Ashley pretty much always beat Gracie and isn't Ashley more of a lock than Gracie, like the intl skating community would be shocked if Ashley does not show up in Sochi, but would be much less shocked about Gracie.

    So what gives? Why is Gracie getting all the attention? Why not at least equal?

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie12 View Post
    Someone mentioned that Sochi posters are all about Gracie. Now why is that? The cynic in me says well, that could be bc Gracis is a pretty white ice princess. But the thing is, So is Ashley!!! Ashley too is pretty & poised, and has an even more compelling story of how she was left off the them last time and came back to be the national champion. further, hasn't Ashley pretty much always beat Gracie and isn't Ashley more of a lock than Gracie, like the intl skating community would be shocked if Ashley does not show up in Sochi, but would be much less shocked about Gracie.

    So what gives? Why is Gracie getting all the attention? Why not at least equal?
    Because when Gracie came along in the summer of 2011 she caught people's attention with her speed power huge jumps and 3-3 combinations which none of the top US Ladies were even attempting at the time. Let's face it part of the problem with the US Ladies in the last 5-6 years was that we had skaters who couldn't land jumps or who had bad technique. Gracie had great technique and had huge potential but wasn't like these tiny 13, 14 year old Russian girls who haven't even grown yet with their tiny jumps Gracie had already had her struggles with puberty and had come through it with her jumps.

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie12 View Post
    Someone mentioned that Sochi posters are all about Gracie. Now why is that? The cynic in me says well, that could be bc Gracis is a pretty white ice princess. But the thing is, So is Ashley!!! Ashley too is pretty & poised, and has an even more compelling story of how she was left off the them last time and came back to be the national champion. further, hasn't Ashley pretty much always beat Gracie and isn't Ashley more of a lock than Gracie, like the intl skating community would be shocked if Ashley does not show up in Sochi, but would be much less shocked about Gracie.

    So what gives? Why is Gracie getting all the attention? Why not at least equal?
    I don't think Gracie is getting *all* the attention...but Gracie is young, with a seemingly bright future ahead. And yes, much like Kimmie and her 3A was supposed to be the US's answer to Mao, Gracie and her 3/3 is supposed to be our answer to the Russian wonderteens.

    I like Ashley but, for whatever reason, she has historically been a third banana in the US, usually behind the USFS favorite du jour, be it Zhang, Nagasu, Flatt, Czisny, etc. Through hard work and determination, Ashley has deservedly risen to first banana, but I'm not sure she has ever truly captured USFS' fancy in the way the others have.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  6. #106
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    ^^I think the USFSA has backed Ashley pretty well, even though around nationals last year it did feel like the push was being given to Gracie more. Given Gracie's big jumps, they wanted her to be number one.. Since then however, it's become clearer and clearer that Ashley is far and away the only complete skater this country has. Gracie is a great future prospect but she lacks a lot of what is needed to compete among the top ladies in the world right now. She has jumps and spins but she lacks the poise, confidence, consistency and mental toughness needed to a #1 skater. These are all things she may/may not develop, but the point is she isn't soup yet.

    Ashley is complete. No, she doesn't have the best jumps or skating skills but she's solid across the board and she's improved each year. Her commitment to adding that 3-3 speaks volumes about her drive and determination heading towards Sochi. No one else in the US has shown that kind of steady growth in a long time. Everyone else will take a step forward and then three steps backward...no one continues to move forward. How long have we been waiting for Agnes, Mirai, Caroline, Alissa, etc. to make improvements? Each one of them has had a moment or two where it looks like they are improving and moving forward, only to see them revert right back to their old ways the next time we see them. Nothing ever sticks. That's what's been so frustrating and disappointing about this current crop of ladies...

  7. #107

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    Ashley is proof that hard work and the right attitude are key factors in anyone's success. I too am hugely impressed by her improvement the last few years. Although she didn't start with the same innate musicality or flexibility or skating skills of some of the other U.S. girls, she has stuck with it and built herself, bit by bit, into a champion. There have been missteps and setbacks along the way, but she has persevered. I really like her, both her personality and her skating. I love that she's honest and straight. And I love, absolutely love, her competitive fire and courage. Which is so lacking in the other U.S. ladies right now.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    And I love, absolutely love, her competitive fire and courage. Which is so lacking in the other U.S. ladies right now.
    Exactly. And I'd add to that her confidence. Confidence is what so many of the US ladies do not have and that's why they compete like scared little girls instead of confident women...

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    Ashley is proof that hard work and the right attitude are key factors in anyone's success. I too am hugely impressed by her improvement the last few years. Although she didn't start with the same innate musicality or flexibility or skating skills of some of the other U.S. girls, she has stuck with it and built herself, bit by bit, into a champion. There have been missteps and setbacks along the way, but she has persevered. I really like her, both her personality and her skating. I love that she's honest and straight. And I love, absolutely love, her competitive fire and courage. Which is so lacking in the other U.S. ladies right now.
    Major point right here. The U.S. ladies lately have been lacking so much confidence and they almost look scared of competition. Although Mirai skated lights out in Vancouver, I remember watching her by the boards with Frank right before she started skating. Mirai had a huge look on terror on her face, and I was really praying that she wasn't going to meltdown. Granted she skated well, but the current group U.S. ladies just lack that competitive fire and the confidence of some of the other ladies across the world or even from previous U.S. ladies. You go back to Michelle and Sarah and they always looked like they fed off of the competitive air within the arena at major competitions. Even more recently with Kimmie and Emily... I don't think I've ever seen them look afraid of competing.

    The U.S. ladies need to learn to not be afraid of competition and learn to thrive in it. That's what's been missing from the current crop of skaters.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    Major point right here. The U.S. ladies lately have been lacking so much confidence and they almost look scared of competition. Although Mirai skated lights out in Vancouver, I remember watching her by the boards with Frank right before she started skating. Mirai had a huge look on terror on her face, and I was really praying that she wasn't going to meltdown. Granted she skated well, but the current group U.S. ladies just lack that competitive fire and the confidence of some of the other ladies across the world or even from previous U.S. ladies. You go back to Michelle and Sarah and they always looked like they fed off of the competitive air within the arena at major competitions. Even more recently with Kimmie and Emily... I don't think I've ever seen them look afraid of competing.

    The U.S. ladies need to learn to not be afraid of competition and learn to thrive in it. That's what's been missing from the current crop of skaters.
    It's okay to be scared or terrified...they just need to learn to channel all of those feelings into competing. I remember Tara saying during the TEB broadcast that Anna said she was very scared to the point her legs were shaking before she competes. Yet you'd never know that judging by the way she attacks her programs. She doesn't skate like she's scared.

    The US women look terrified when they compete and they compete like they're terrified. Women with "balls" is a contradiction of course but we really need our ladies to grow a pair and stop running away scared at every competition.

  11. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    Ashley is proof that hard work and the right attitude are key factors in anyone's success. I too am hugely impressed by her improvement the last few years. Although she didn't start with the same innate musicality or flexibility or skating skills of some of the other U.S. girls, she has stuck with it and built herself, bit by bit, into a champion. There have been missteps and setbacks along the way, but she has persevered. I really like her, both her personality and her skating. I love that she's honest and straight. And I love, absolutely love, her competitive fire and courage. Which is so lacking in the other U.S. ladies right now.
    ITA about hard work and attitude being key to success. But I am a little that you think some people are born with innate skating skills. Flexibility, yes, although hard work can get you that, musicality, maybe, although hard work can get you that (just ask Michelle Kwan and Joannie Rochette) but skating skills?? Those are just hard, hard work (ask Patrick Chan.)
    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

  12. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie12 View Post
    Someone mentioned that Sochi posters are all about Gracie.
    Every NBC Olympics ad I have seen on TV and online has included both Ashley and Gracie. One I just watched on YT includes clips of all the USA skaters (Zawadzki, Gao, etc.) that were invited to the promo shoot last spring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg1rPdmNuPc

    Re-posting from the Nagasu thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    Gold, not Wagner, is in all the NBC ads for Sochi.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
    Um, no. I've certainly seen Wagner ads on NBC.
    "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. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    It's okay to be scared or terrified...they just need to learn to channel all of those feelings into competing. I remember Tara saying during the TEB broadcast that Anna said she was very scared to the point her legs were shaking before she competes. Yet you'd never know that judging by the way she attacks her programs. She doesn't skate like she's scared.

    The US women look terrified when they compete and they compete like they're terrified. Women with "balls" is a contradiction of course but we really need our ladies to grow a pair and stop running away scared at every competition.
    I think the other thing is learning to hide that fear, reign in their emotions, and channel it into a competitive fire. Anna didn't look one bit scared or nervous to me at all. That isn't the case with some of the US ladies today. I remember also at 2011 Nationals when Mirai skated at Alissa's brilliant LP, and Mirai had the same look of terror again on her face before she skated. And of course, it ended up not being her best skate. But I'm not sure you can necessarily teach someone how to compete though.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Camel View Post
    I have been saying that Champs Camp is a joke.. Nothing seems to get done. It just seems like a social event.
    If Zhang was skating anywhere like her GP performances at Champs Camp, the USFS would be insane not to pull her out and sub Hicks in. Actually why didn't they wait til Champs Camp to announce that 3rd host spot?

  15. #115
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    Because they wanna invite all gp skaters to Champs camp

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    Courtney Hicks will debut her "Angelica" tango-ish SP (Hans Zimmer) tomorrow in Graz - live stream link is posted in the TV Alerts forum: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...(Graz-Austria)
    She is scheduled to skate #21 of 28 (in the 4th group of 5).
    "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

  17. #117
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    Agnes and Mirai are in 3rd and 4th respectively after the short and I can honestly say I did not expect that to happen. Way to go girls!

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    Congrats to Mirai for her Bronze medal at Rostelecom Cup! Excellent program, technically speaking, but much room for improvement in the performance/fire/spark area. Still, as a confidence building run-through, it was certainly a step in the right direction.

    eta: Her 175.37 score gives her the 3rd highest SB among the US ladies. Anyone who is writing off Mirai as a contender for the third Olympics slot should perhaps consider revising their position.
    Last edited by toddlj; 11-23-2013 at 12:13 PM.

  19. #119
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    So happy for Mirai! Almost can't believe she won bronze! There's work to be done sure but great comeback from NHK!

  20. #120
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    For Nationals, they need to house Mirai in a germ-free zone to keep her from getting sick like last year

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