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Christine Brennan's Article on USA Ladies: "U.S. women's skating lacks dominant star"

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by TheIronLady, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

  2. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

  3. rayhaneh

    rayhaneh Well-Known Member

    Nice to see that she's suscribed to the USFSA's propaganda program :lol:

    Seriously, it's not her, or the federation's, job to designate who is a star and who isn't. It's the spectators' prerogative. And I am not sure they're doing Gracie Gold any service by forcing her under the spotlight so soon - but then again time will tell

    That being said, I must agree that they are sending a good team to Worlds with Wagner and Gold. The only question mark is over Gracie Gold's mental strength on such a big stage, but she can only gain experience by going (and it's not as if they had a stronger and more solid skater to send to secure a third spot anyway)
  4. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

    I agree, overall I think these are the two strongest ladies that the US has right now, and the best chance to secure back a third spot. In some ways it may be better that Gold isn't going into Worlds as National champ- less pressure. It will be good for her to compete at 4CC too and get another international competition under her belt.
  5. madm

    madm Well-Known Member

    What you really need are the Skate Radio and Ice Network commentaries during the events. They explain the scoring and give insightful comments about each performance. It would be so great if the Skate Radio broadcast (a volunteer activity by PSA) would be added to the Ice Network video site, so that we could have a choice of what to listen to when watching the videos. Another place the SR audio would be most welcome would be on the SAP audio channel on TV, but that will never happen.
  6. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    Maybe many of us, if not all, are just spoiled Americans used to our skaters being on top all of the time. Maybe it does go in cycles, 'cause after years of languishing, our ice dancers seem to be doing very well.
  7. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Funny that you refer to them as youngsters! 17 used to be considered over the hill for Ladies Freeskating......
  8. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

  9. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yes, one hopes Gracie and the people around her will pay attention to her not growing a big head. It's a fine balance between being happy about your success and learning how to be gracious and sportsmanlike. In this case, although the first part of Gracie's comments (taken from the post-skate press conference) were congratulatory toward Agnes and Ashley, the second part could have been phrased differently. I agree that last part smacks more of self-importance than it does of self-confidence.

    It must not be easy, especially since rivalries are bound to happen in a sport where so few can make it to the top, despite having equally wonderful talent. I think Gracie should have not been seeming so pissed about Ashley placing ahead of her overall. Being in the second spot is an important achievement for Gracie in her senior debut. She should not be so wrapped up in the trappings of the sport or in the hype and attention she is receiving, because it can all go away very quickly. Instead I think Gracie should be thrilled about how she was able to come back in the free skate, and she should focus on the lessons she's learned and realize the importance of treating her competitors with respect no matter what happens.

    I suppose the backstage goings-on initially after Mirai's skate and the judges' marks, was just an awkward set of circumstances in general what with the camera eager to witness and amp up the drama. NBC seemed overly interested in catching everyone's reactions simultaneously. Still, Gracie should just stay focused on herself and tone down any growing diva attitude she may be susceptible to under the overly hyped media attention she's receiving, which is one of the many casualties of this sport.

    Interesting, but not unexpected turn around in Brennan's tone and emphasis regarding U.S. Ladies.
  10. Bosha

    Bosha Active Member

    Gracie's jumps are spectacular, but if she keeps up those comments, it will be hard for me to root for her and her PR machine.

    Besides, I'm 5'7" and from the Midwest, so I'm happy rooting for Agnes. I was an adult recreational skater back in my '30s and early '40s. I'm no athlete, but it seemed that we gals over 5'4" or 5'5" really had a harder time with everything than the more petite skaters. Agnes does amazingly well for her height. Really, she does amazingly well period. Two U.S. bronze medals aren't chopped liver!

    Come on Agnes!
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  11. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    What I liked most about Gold's LP was how free she was. Her presentation is quite generic, but dang, she committed to it. I was more blown away by her finer attention to details, I mean you could tell she was on and was going to hit her jumps. I thought she presented a nice program. And she moves well, has a beautiful Clairol perfect smile and complexion. I *think* I am a fan now, and not just because she posts 3/3/3s to her YT. I was impressed with what she put down, and I'm not even referring to the jumps, since Lipnitskaia does these things in her SLEEP. I saw a real skater, a real competitor. I would hold off on the hype machine, since that doesn't get anyone anywhere anytime unless your last name is Lipinski. Lay low, do more programs like that.
  12. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I don't know if you have caught any of Lipnitskaia this season. She has grown a bit (or something). She doesn't look like she can do the jumps asleep anymore.
  13. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    Haven't read the article or this thread, just the title, and in response to that I have to say:

    Gracie Gold (aka G.G.), ROCK STAR, 'nuff said. :hat1:
  14. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Well-Known Member

    I'm a real big fan of Gracie but I'd more like to think of her as "deserving to be there" with Ashley. I wouldn't be so impressed had Ashley said that but it seems even worse from Gold. Slap on the wrist for you GG!
  15. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    The international judges will have something to say about Gold, unless everyone skates so wretchedly that Hernando's Hideaway wins by default. I am hopeful about Gracie's potential, but nobody internationally will endorse such swagger based on those programs.
  16. IceJunkie

    IceJunkie Well-Known Member

    In all fairness, we're basically the "seasoned insiders" that Brennan is referring to, as well as skaters, judges, coaches etc. The general public really has no idea how many points are allotted to what. The 6.0 system was basic. IJS isn't.
  17. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    I disagree. I think the general public has a much easier time with COP (not that I have done any scientific research into the matter ;) ) It is, IMHO, some seasoned insiders, who actually understood 6.0 that pine for the old days.
  18. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    COP is easier to understand, but the general viewer wouldn't know that with NBC not explaining basics about the it. How hard is it for them to give a base value for each skater in the Kiss n Cry before the audience can see what the TES actually becomes. They also don't show a break down of the PCS of the skater, so it just looks like it's a random number added to TES.

    I think people would have a much easier time with COP if simple things like that were explained. It'd be even better if once they saw say Mirai's score, that the audience have it explained just how costly underrorations and downgrades are (like a triple Lutz going from 6.0 base score to almost half that or in terms of a downgrade even less). Or how about during a spin, just explain how a skater is trying to achieve a level 4 by talking about each position of the spin (or edge change) as a leveling up feature (this would also help explain why all the female skaters are doing the same exact layback spin and a layback is an easy spin to show the leveling up).

    It's not enough to have Tracy mildly explaining it in the beginning. It needs to be explained (and not by Scott and Sandra who are practically useless in that regard) just how those scores are really added up throughout the broadcast. Maybe NBC prefers that viewers are left in the dark because disputing marks and results is part of the fun, but as you can see on this forum, people still find ways to pick a fight about the score (i.e. Patrick Chan). Plus, having information gives people a feeling that they really know what they're talking about before they complain about a result.

    The audience didn't really get 6.0, but at least it was a basic understanding that the judges thought the tech score ranged from 5.7-5.9 and the "artistic mark" (presentation but that was never explained nor was what the judges were looking for in that mark) represented how convincing the judges thought the skater was in presenting his/her routine. In a way, it sort of shows the spirit of skating...trying to quantify something that's you can't really define by numbers.

    BTW, based on personal experience (so this is not quite the scientific method), but every time I watch a skating event with non-fans who I somehow convince to watch with me, they all want 6.0 back. Even after I try my hardest to explain why a skater got the score they did, they simply didn't like it because they thought it was too complicated (they also think the routines look too busy and the spins have become contorted). I think it was their way of saying that skating became too by-the-numbers. Of course, there's always a routine in which shuts them up and they say "I really liked that." (last time this happened was during Abbott's Muse LP).
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  19. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    So would Tara Lipinski and Sarah Hughes, the two US Olympic Gold Medalists.

    And three time Olympic Gold Medalist Sonja Henie would come in last.

    Actually I think Kwan in her prime would be competitive under COP. I don't think her career would have lasted as long, but I do think her 1996-2001 (especially 1996-1998) self would be a podium threat.
  20. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    You've got to be kidding me! Where would your new fave Gracie have placed under 6.0 after that horrid short? She may have moved up to 6th or 7th..... Under 6.0, Short program was do or die, you had to skate clean, now that's pressure! Not like the b.s. movement you see in placements under COP. It's beyond ridiculous....
  21. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Rather than ridiculous I think it makes a heck of a lot more sense. You get points for what you do. How you did in the short program shouldn't effect the scores you get for what you do in the long program, but of course it effects your final placement. Gracie lost this national championship because of her short program, she won the silver because of her long.

    Max Aaron would have had no shot under 6.0 because he skated first in the short. WTH kind of system is that that holds early skaters down just in case something good is coming up later?
  22. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    and that didn't happen at this year's Nationals?!
  23. Polymer Bob

    Polymer Bob New Member

    Last week, I told my mother the National figure skating championship was taking place.

    ................ She asked me if Nancy Kwan was skating. :rofl:
  24. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    And Gracie Gold is NOT my new fave. I was literally shaking my head over Zhang, Nagasu, and Gao scores. Plus shaking my head negatively over Agnes scores.

    It was Wagner/Gold before the week started. How convenient it all turned out like that. At least COP offers objectivity, right?
  25. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member


    I don't even know where to start with this post.
    Next you'll judge Sonia Henie or Katarina Witt by 2013 COP standards.

    First of all, we'll never truly know how a certain past skater would've performed in this or that era - it's all just wild speculation. Even the way a skater is trained from the beginning starting at ages 6, 7 is vastly different now than from the 80's.

    And for your information, COP can be easily gamed to a skater's advantage if you do your research, and you DON'T need to be a flexible gumby to get level 3 spins, as some skaters in this current era have shown. At the very end of Kwan's career in 2006 (when she was extremely injured), she did a test skate for the Olympic callers and they were telling her what to do to level up. They clearly all acknowledged that in the end she was able to reach level 3's and 4's on her elements, including her spins and spirals. We have had countless topics on FSU about how to get high levels for spins even without extreme-flexibility, with or without Biellmans, etc. It seemed as if Kwan was in denial about COP rather than anything else.

    Her footwork was always among the best of the ladies FOR HER TIME, and even during the 2005 world championships where she placed off the podium for the first time in a decade her footwork was given the same level (level 2) as Sasha, Irina or any of the top contenders at the time. It would not be a stretch to assume that had she been born into the COP era she would've managed level 3 footwork, or that she was capable of level 3 footwork had she not been injured.

    Whine whine whine all you want about Kwan's "empty programs", "subpar elements" and being "propped up" but from a purely technical standpoint she fairly won most of her medals under 6.0 (even if a few results were questionable as with any skater). Let's not forget a few years ago our freaking US ladies champion landed only 4 clean triples in her winning LP. You win some you lose some.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  26. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Yikes. I didn't find Gold all that much more exciting than the others, and reading that comment...put a cork in it, honey, if you want people to LIKE you. How rude. The ladies were not exactly riveting in general and she didn't do anything that warranted a comment about the other medalists (especially one who placed above her.)

    That was really my takeaway from watching Ladies, besides "Will someone please explain what Mirai did to get slammed THAT hard?" If her URs were that bad, okay, but you'd have no idea from listening to the commentary. Men's was a lot more interesting and ironically I saw a lot more skating TO the music, as opposed to wandering around trying to look graceful while some sort of twinkly quasi-classical music played in the background.
  27. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I watched the entire gymnastics coverage on Canadian TV, and Kyle Shewfelt spoke about relative difficulty constantly: ("He just doesn't have the same technical difficulty, and it will be very difficult to catch gymnast X.") When Arthur Zanetti beat Chen Yibing on rings, he spoke about the relative difficulty and the creativity in Zanetti's routine, even though I got the impression that he preferred Chen. There was a side-by-side clip of the two doing their routines which helped to clarify his points, one of the rare times this was used, but he had prepared his audience before that. He was able to explain why a major flaw on the final element of one of the Chinese women's trampoline gymnasts did not disqualify her for a medal -- she knocked a second Canadian woman off the podium -- and how the Chinese gymnast's hang time compensated for the flaw. He did this while having a co-commentator who wasn't nearly as sharp.

    The commentators don't have to throw a lot of numbers around to make themselves clear: a discussion of relative difficulty, relative complexity, and relative quality can go a long way in explaining what is happening in the competition.

    It takes people like Shewfelt and PJ Kwong on BOLD, people who have a clue not only about the sport itself, but who knows what is important for an audience to hear at any given time.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  28. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I see you were too polite to point out that the generally clueless co-commentator was ROD BLACK :p
  29. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I couldn't remember if he was the clueless gymnastics co-commentator, or the diving commentator I couldn't hear over Blythe Hartley's squeal. (It's a good thing diving doesn't suffer much loss from the mute button.)

    It's the mark of a truly good commentator who can un-do the damage done by an uninformed co-host.
  30. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Did they explain what the gymnasts were doing, specifically, that was difficult or not so difficult? Would viewers learn to recognize specific skills by watching to this coverage and listening to this commentary?

    Or was it more just explaining in general, relatively unbiased terms which gymnasts had skills that gave them more points without detailing what those skills were?