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  1. #1
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    What must Gracie Gold do to catch / compete with / beat Sotnikova, Lipnitskaya, et al

    The games are over. Time for assessment of the new stars and possible future rivalries (Sorry, my brain is always fast-forwarding ).

    With the retirements of Mao, Yu Na, Akiko, most likely Carolina, Valentina and maybe even Kanako, I think the next cycle for Ladies is shaping up to possibly be a battle between Russia v. U.S., much like the tail end of the 1990s - the early part of the new millennium. Perhaps Osmond and Li ('15 Worlds are in Shanghai) will pop up to spoil the hegemony.

    It looks like Gracie at the moment would be the chief foil to any Russian dominance.

    What does she need to do to supplant them?

    1. Would backloading her programs more help at all? Adelina does a monster 2x-3t in the 2nd half of the LP and it seems to impress the judges. She currently does 4 triples in the first half in 3 different jumping passes and repeats the 3toe and 3lutz
    2. Go to the next level and train a 3x? IIRC, she was doing 3x's w/ Ouriashev in a harness. It would be a point-getter but is it too risky? A rumor swirled that Adelina might start training a 4toe!
    3. Use the 3loop as a back end to jump combos? It is a jump that has improved markedly for her. 3loop would be improve her base value by supplanting the 3toe.
    4. Concentrate on trying to get a true flip?
    5. How about PCS, especially Choreography and Interpretation? I actually like her skating skills more than either of the Russians, but she appears to skate w/ less passion than either of them (when they are on). I think she does OK, especially under FC, but she needs a certain je ne sais quoi to be as noticeable as the uber-bendy Lipnitskaya, Russia's Sasha Cohen.

    Her and FC's partnership seems great, solid! But I hope she gets back a little of that wild explosiveness. He seems to have reined her in. Or would that be too risky? It certainly grabs attention!

  2. #2
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    Before worlds in Boston, the USA needs to break up into several different countries with each having a former usfs judge on the panel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    Before worlds in Boston, the USA needs to break up into several different countries with each having a former usfs judge on the panel.
    LOL. I see you recycled Christine Brennan's joke.

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    Gracie has and will benefit for being the US #1 but since she has a peaceful skating personality and doesn't have uber flexibility She needs to learn to always be clean. If she can get a consistency rep, it will help her in tech and PCS. But the two Russian's won't be having that Russian crowd's uber excited for them and muted response to everybody else. So things will be much closer soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tarotx View Post
    Gracie has and will benefit for being the US #1 but since she has a peaceful skating personality and doesn't have uber flexibility She needs to learn to always be clean. If she can get a consistency rep, it will help her in tech and PCS. But the two Russian's won't be having that Russian crowd's uber excited for them and muted response to everybody else. So things will be much closer soon.
    Perhaps. Adelina and Julia's marks will come back down to earth at least a little outside of Russia. I don't know by how much, though

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    Gold's technical score in olympics very good actually. 69 with a fall. Kim with her perfect jumps got 69 as well. If two weeks ago I say ''Gracie going to get same TES with Kim Yuna, even with a fall'' everyone could laugh at me, including myself. Looks like judges loving her jumps/spins so there is no worry. She should concentrate her programs. Especially her free.
    Last edited by elif; 02-23-2014 at 04:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    LOL. I see you recycled Christine Brennan's joke.
    No! Did she beat me to it? Damn! Well, I guess it's not exactly a genius observation

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    Get Russian citizenship!

    In all seriousness, continue developing artistically, but more importantly, skate clean consistent programs! She didn't have the best grand prix season but look what happened by the time the Olympics came around, after skating clean in the team event, they gave her a rep boost in the individual! She's much closer to the Russians than the scores here in Sochi indicate, I'm predicting we'll see scores simmering back down to roughly 135 - 140 for clean programs from the top skaters in the next quadrennial until 2018, where of course, the scores will climb exponentially during the Olympics in South Korea (except this time, there may be a mandatory Russian skater deduction rather than a bonus)!

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    She reminds me more of Caro Kostner.

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    Just my opinion, but personally I find Gracie a bit bland. I enjoy her more this year than last year (where I found her still pretty junior-ish), but I think she needs to put more visible passion into her programs. She has the technical aspect, but I'm not really 'wanting' to watch her yet.

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    As Frank has tried to get Gracie to sort of ease up on the ice and skate just like it's a practice run-through we just saw Adelina rewarded for the exact opposite approach.

    Adelina did not hold back on her speed, and if anything jumped bigger than ever.

    Gracie looked more deliberate, and her jumps did not seem as strong as they have been in the past.

    It will be interesting to watch these two at Worlds. Will Gracie beat Adelina with her more careful approach? Will Adelina be able to duplicate or even come close to her best ever LP from Sochi?

    I think Frank's methods are terrific for the long haul - but just as Kwan lost to a more energized Tara in Nagano caution is not always best at the Olympics.

    Just my perception but Adelina looked like she was willing to risk a place on the podium by going all out to win the Gold.

    Gracie, skating after Caro and Adelina looked like she was trying to hold onto 4th place rather than risking everything for a chance to move up.

    Maybe others see it differently? This is not about judges or home ice but about skating under the bright lights and what it takes to win.

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    Get away from Lori Nichols? I know that sounds snide but Gracie needs choreography that builds upon her excellent technical skills. Her choreography now is a bit bland and ice princess-like. She needs choreography that showcases her huge jumps and fast spins in a more exciting way. Her technical scores, as has been pointed out, are already very high.

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    If she continues to skate to traditional "ice queen/pretty girl/princess" music, I don't think she's going to have a breakthrough.

    Her Chicago SP and her first SP show that she has great range and great capabilities. I think she needs choreography that she can have some fun with. I really hope Frank and Lori realize that it's 2014 and she doesn't have to compete against some ideal or style from the early 90s.

    From the interview with her mother that talked about how despondent GG gets over mistakes, it will be very challenging for her to thrive as the US #1. But Nationals and her team free skate must lift her spirits and give her confidence.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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    She has an impossible task. She must both improve her skating in many areas, but also change her citizenship to Russian. She has no hope to be 30 points better than Sotnikova and Lipnitskaya and most of all Radianova (the likely dominator the next 4 years) which is what is yet again back to being required to beat a Russian in figure skating.

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    Maybe, but seeing as Caro with Lori programs is the one person who literally kept Gracie from the podium, I'm not so sure. Also, Lori seems to have been the nudge that got Kwan and Caro onto podiums in the first place, so..

    I also think that article's idea that Frank took her more away from her "ice princess" default into a more "Grace Kelly" package with costumes and choreo means they are going in the right direction. Lori has done non-pwettypwincess programs, so I'm not convinced she's the main problem here. Maybe Gracie is just growing up.

    Frank hardly holds the pattent on skating safe (he wasn't Irina's coach in SLC), and I disagree Tim G got that surprise bronze by not skating all out. All-or-nothing is a risk. It paid off for Adelina, for Mao, not so much...

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    I find that with Gracie everything appears so rehearsed and very much like a pageant queen. She was very tight and cautious at the Olympics and on the defense. She needs to attack and execute everything full out with all of her energy, much like Adelina did at the Olympics and like she did at Nationals in Boston.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrLucky View Post
    As Frank has tried to get Gracie to sort of ease up on the ice and skate just like it's a practice run-through we just saw Adelina rewarded for the exact opposite approach.

    Adelina did not hold back on her speed, and if anything jumped bigger than ever.

    Gracie looked more deliberate, and her jumps did not seem as strong as they have been in the past.
    Thank you. I couldn't find the words, but I too saw the irony of Gracie dialing back because of FC, and Adelina upsetting the current Queen by going all out w/ huge, almost uncontrolled jumps. Thanks for posting this.

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    You have to learn how to skate clean to be consistent. If dialing it back makes you be able to hit even when you are off than I say that is the best approach especially when you are early in your career. If going all out and attacking your elements like it's now or never gets you to skate clean that is the best approach for you. Everybody is their own person so you have to know the person when deciding an approach.

    This Olympics was Gracie's first skate as the US #1. She did really good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    What must Gracie Gold do to catch / compete with / beat Sotnikova, Lipnitskaya, et al
    Hire an assassin?

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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    I find that with Gracie everything appears so rehearsed and very much like a pageant queen. She was very tight and cautious at the Olympics and on the defense. She needs to attack and execute everything full out with all of her energy, much like Adelina did at the Olympics and like she did at Nationals in Boston.
    You have perfectly described my feelings about Gracie Gold. Nothing about her, from her movement on the ice to her "smiles" appears really natural. I referred to her elsewhere as "Barbie on Ice" - she indeed does looks too rehearsed and too beauty queen-ish. And I really hope she doesn't think she only lost to Carolina because she fell (which she has suggested). She doesn't come close to having the energy and attack of Adelina or the beauty and effortlessness of Yuna and Carolina. But can overcoming this rehearsed look really be taught to her?
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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