Sports Illustrated article on Alysa Liu

BittyBug

And the band played on
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No female skaters were doing quads until about a year ago.
Miki Ando was doing quad salchow in the mid 2000's, and Sasha did one even earlier than that, but I don't think she ever did it in competition - only in practice at a competition.
Ando is the first female skater to complete a quadruple jump successfully in competition. She accomplished this at the 2002–03 Junior Grand Prix Final in The Hague.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miki_Ando
 

MacMadame

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A dozen? Really? I can only think of two who have done them in competition.
Alysa hasn't done one in competition either. (And, if I'm reading the article correctly, is only doing them in practice with the harness.)

If we are comparing like to like, there are probably a dozen female skaters working on quads just like Alysa is.

Wasn’t Caroline Zhang projected to be the next Kwan and win 2 Olympic Gold medals during the time when she was slaughtering everyone on the JPG and won Jr Worlds? 🙄
Eh, yes and no. Caro was hyped but when Mirai beat her for the Junior title, then they were both hyped.

But I don't think anyone was projecting either of them to be "the next Kwan."

Caroline Zhang had bad technique from the very start with her mule kick and air position. Compare Alysa’s technique to Caroline and you will see a CONSIDERABLE difference. Also, Caroline wasn’t the only one hyped. Mirai, Ashley, and her were projected to be front runners from the very start. We kind of have the same case now with Ting, Alysa, and Hanna, but the difference is in the technique and how the hype just centers around Alysa. Ting reminds me of a young Mirai (remember when she was 1st after the Short at Worlds and bombed her Long). The thing with the US ladies is not a lack in talent, but rather a lack in drive because there are so many other things to do and we don’t have international ladies stars young athletes can look up to. With Alysa, Ting, and Hanna, that may change. No matter how well the men may be doing, the backbone of figure skating in the US has always been the women.
Where to begin, where to begin....

1) Technique.... People said Mirai would be the one who would get through puberty unscathed because her technique was better than Caro's. That isn't exactly how it happened. :shuffle:

2) Hype: Ashley Wagnor was never hyped from the beginning. She wasn't hyped at all until much later in her career. And she certain wasn't part of the Caro and Mirai are the future hype. Ting and Hanna are still being hyped and Hanna has excellent technique and Ting's isn't bad so the statement "but the difference is in the technique and how the hype just centers around Alysa" is off-base at best.

3) US skaters don't lack drive. Competitive nerves maybe. But they are driven.

4) The US has been a power in ice dance for ages now and the men are nothing to sneeze at. This idea that US skating rises and falls on the Ladies team is out-dated.
 

natsulian

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Alysa hasn't done one in competition either. (And, if I'm reading the article correctly, is only doing them in practice with the harness.)

If we are comparing like to like, there are probably a dozen female skaters working on quads just like Alysa is.


Eh, yes and no. Caro was hyped but when Mirai beat her for the Junior title, then they were both hyped.

But I don't think anyone was projecting either of them to be "the next Kwan."


Where to begin, where to begin....

1) Technique.... People said Mirai would be the one who would get through puberty unscathed because her technique was better than Caro's. That isn't exactly how it happened. :shuffle:

2) Hype: Ashley Wagnor was never hyped from the beginning. She wasn't hyped at all until much later in her career. And she certain wasn't part of the Caro and Mirai are the future hype. Ting and Hanna are still being hyped and Hanna has excellent technique and Ting's isn't bad so the statement "but the difference is in the technique and how the hype just centers around Alysa" is off-base at best.

3) US skaters don't lack drive. Competitive nerves maybe. But they are driven.

4) The US has been a power in ice dance for ages now and the men are nothing to sneeze at. This idea that US skating rises and falls on the Ladies team is out-dated.
1. It may not exactly be what happened, but Mirai managed to execute an 8 triple program at the age of 23... nothing to scoff at and shows that yes, Mirai did outlast Caroline and came out of puberty much better than Caroline. Also, what kind of skater can truly come out of puberty unscathed... especially women?
2. You are correct, Ashley did not receive the same attention the other girls did until much later in her career.
3. I respect your opinion, but from my perspective, US ladies lack the drive to technically compete against the rest of the world. There are only a handful of US women who can truly go toe-to-toe with the rest of the world and it'll be very interesting to see how the young ones fare.
4. Despite the power in ice dance and the mens field which is probably one of the deepest in the world right now, interest in US figure skating just is not there anymore. Multiple factors might be the cause of such a depletion in interest, but the US ladies were the bread and butter of figure skating for so long that it is kind of hard to not acknowledge that an absence in a strong ladies team might be one of the leading causes. Of course, there are a multitude of different opinions on this matter and neither one of us is correct or incorrect.
 

Sylvia

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Alysa hasn't done one in competition either. (And, if I'm reading the article correctly, is only doing them in practice with the harness.)
@MacMadame, Alysa went for the 4Lz at Central Pacific Regionals in October 2018 (this fact was posted in U.S. Ladies #23 thread when it happened). Here's Jackie Wong's tweet with a screen shot of her FS protocol: https://twitter.com/rockerskating/status/1051606025533620225
Just in: Alysa Liu attempted a quad lutz in her free skate at Central Pacific regionals (singled her first attempt, then underrotated and fell on her second attempt) - word on the street is she pulled out a clean one in warmup
 

Tavi

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I'm not sure why an article about Alysa Liu should talk about Gracie Gold.
I don’t care per se that no mention of Gracie was made, but the article made inaccurate statements (see quote below). It is simply not true that Alysa is our most promising talent and best hope for an Olympic medal in the past 15 years. It’s far too early to say that - she’s never even done a Junior Grand Prix and we’re three years out from the Olympics. In 2014, Gracie had absolutely competitive technical content in her programs, could have medaled at Sochi, and in fact, placed 4th. Alysa’s goal to have technically competitive content in her programs is laudable, but the fact that the technical bar has been raised considerably in the past year or so doesn’t make her more promising or a better medal hope - it just means she has to work harder to be competitive.

“The most promising American ladies’ figure skater to come along in the last 15 years....and the U.S.’s best bet for its first Olympic medal since the Bush administration”
 

kwanfan1818

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I'm not sure why an article about Alysa Liu should talk about Gracie Gold.
Because the author was purporting to describe US Ladies skating in the last 15 years or so and left out Gold + a couple of other (ETA: than Kwan, Cohen) world medallists to make a questionable point. Gold had great technique and 3/3 ability before quads were introduced this year at Ladies' championships and had great potential to contend for the championship podiums.

---

On another topic, citing IJS alone is vague and ignores the specific changes that put underrotations and edge calls in the hands of the tech panel and the ways that IJS has been tweaked to give him incentives for quad attempts. But the former especially has hit US Ladies with less than dependable technique pretty hard, and it's not quads alone: as Nagasu's and Asada's 3A examples have shown, a skater needs to deliver a lot after the big element(s) to contend, including some in the latter half of the program.
 
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Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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FWIW, this Sports Illustrated journalist who wrote the article on Alysa currently covers the NFL: https://twitter.com/kalynkahler
https://twitter.com/kalynkahler/status/1129054587179143168
As an NFL writer, I rarely cover female athletes, so this story was special (love hanging out w/ middle school girls!) Homemade slime, carpool, packed lunches. This is my fav pic, by @deanne_fitz, of Alysa & BFF Juliana. Girlhood & friendship forever.
Kahler's website: http://kalyn-kahler.squarespace.com/

ETA:

FWIW, I don't expect a journalist with little or no background in covering figure skating to write a feature article such as this one in SI (a U.S. sports magazine that covers many different sports) to be focused on skating details/history.
 
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feraina

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FWIW, this Sports Illustrated journalist who wrote the article on Alysa currently covers the NFL: https://twitter.com/kalynkahler
https://twitter.com/kalynkahler/status/1129054587179143168

Kahler's website: http://kalyn-kahler.squarespace.com/

ETA:

FWIW, I don't expect a journalist with little or no background in covering figure skating to write a feature article such as this one in SI (a U.S. sports magazine that covers many different sports) to be focused on skating details/history.
Wow. The writer says on Twitter this is the first figure skating story ever for Sports Illustrated! Is this really true? They never ran a story on Michelle Kwan or Harding and Kerrigan?!
 

giselle23

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Alysa hasn't done one in competition either. (And, if I'm reading the article correctly, is only doing them in practice with the harness.)
(And, if I'm reading the article correctly, is only doing them in practice with the harness.)

If we are comparing like to like, there are probably a dozen female skaters working on quads just like Alysa is.
A dozen Russians doing them is what the poster said. I questioned that and still do.
 

overedge

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Sports Illustrated has a long-standing reputation as an authoritative "voice" in sports media. I guess they no longer have sportswriters like E.M. Swift who were very knowledgeable about figure skating. And I understand that hyperbole like "best chance for a medal in the next Olympics" gets attention and clicks. However, I do wish they had assigned someone to the Liu story who understood more about the sport.
 

skatfan

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Sports Illustrated has a long-standing reputation as an authoritative "voice" in sports media. I guess they no longer have sportswriters like E.M. Swift who were very knowledgeable about figure skating. And I understand that hyperbole like "best chance for a medal in the next Olympics" gets attention and clicks. However, I do wish they had assigned someone to the Liu story who understood more about the sport.
It says a lot about the US fixation on ladies skating to do a big feature article on a skater just entering juniors while there’s a two-time World Champion over on the men’s side. :rolleyes:
 
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sharsk8s

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From what I've seen/heard, there are five/six?
Trusova, Shcherbakova, Tursynbaeva, Valieva, Kanyesheva, Akatieva, Berestovskaya, Samodelkina (i am pretty sure), are all confirmed to have landed quads with Zagitova and Medvedeva confirmed to be training them. Also, there are a few other ET/CSKA/snow leopards girls that many believe are working on them. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few more confirmed by the end of the summer. In addition Kihira has a confirmed quad and I think I read that a few of the other Japanese ladies are working on them/have landed them. Next year on the JGP Alysa will have to face two Russians (at least) with quads.
 

natsulian

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Trusova, Shcherbakova, Tursynbaeva, Valieva, Kanyesheva, Akatieva, Berestovskaya, Samodelkina (i am pretty sure), are all confirmed to have landed quads with Zagitova and Medvedeva confirmed to be training them. Also, there are a few other ET/CSKA/snow leopards girls that many believe are working on them. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few more confirmed by the end of the summer. In addition Kihira has a confirmed quad and I think I read that a few of the other Japanese ladies are working on them/have landed them. Next year on the JGP Alysa will have to face two Russians (at least) with quads.
Thanks for the breakdown. I wonder if Alysa will go for a 3A+2T, 3A, 4Lz, 4T program or two 3A's and one 4Lz. Kamila will probably be the more artistic skater and her spins, step sequences, and jumps will probably garner higher GOE which will put Alysa at a disadvantage after the Short since she can't do a 3A as the axel jump. Alysa will most likely have to make up some ground after the Short in the Free where Kamila will put up a good fight since higher GOEs are a given for her. I'm thinking a range of 66-70 for the Short and around 140-145 for the Free for Alysa whilst Kamila will easily get past 70 in the Short and score in the high 130s to 140s as well. Wow... it'll be a very tight competition between the two. As for under-rotation and edge calls, I'm sure the judges will be scrutinizing on Alysa since her jumps are relatively small and her lutz edge is flat at times. Also, Kamila's flow out of jumps and the extension and reach of her skating overall is simply better than Alysa's at this point, so that's why I'm saying she'll probably garner higher GOEs should she continue to improve at such a pace. However, one never knows... ice is, after all, slippery.
 

sharsk8s

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Thanks for the breakdown. I wonder if Alysa will go for a 3A+2T, 3A, 4Lz, 4T program or two 3A's and one 4Lz. Kamila will probably be the more artistic skater and her spins, step sequences, and jumps will probably garner higher GOE which will put Alysa at a disadvantage after the Short since she can't do a 3A as the axel jump. Alysa will most likely have to make up some ground after the Short in the Free where Kamila will put up a good fight since higher GOEs are a given for her. I'm thinking a range of 66-70 for the Short and around 140-145 for the Free for Alysa whilst Kamila will easily get past 70 in the Short and score in the high 130s to 140s as well. Wow... it'll be a very tight competition between the two. As for under-rotation and edge calls, I'm sure the judges will be scrutinizing on Alysa since her jumps are relatively small and her lutz edge is flat at times. Also, Kamila's flow out of jumps and the extension and reach of her skating overall is simply better than Alysa's at this point, so that's why I'm saying she'll probably garner higher GOEs should she continue to improve at such a pace. However, one never knows... ice is, after all, slippery.
I must say I was extremely impressed with Kamila's 4T. On the list of all the ladies quads which compared the height/prerotation/underrotation/etc it was only behind Trusova's 4T (which everyone will agree is the best quad ever performed by a lady). I noticed she has a different axel technique than most of the ET girls, reminds me a bit of Tuktamysheva. I am sure a 3A is in the works for her as Daniil said it is a goal for all his girls this summer. If she gets it and the 4T consistent she will be difficult to beat. Even last year Kostornaya was on Trusova's heals without a quad. Imo Valieva has a very special presence on the ice in a similar way to Kostornaya. And once you add in Kanyasheva to the mix it will be a free for all.
 

sjs5572

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Thanks for the breakdown. I wonder if Alysa will go for a 3A+2T, 3A, 4Lz, 4T program or two 3A's and one 4Lz. Kamila will probably be the more artistic skater and her spins, step sequences, and jumps will probably garner higher GOE which will put Alysa at a disadvantage after the Short since she can't do a 3A as the axel jump. Alysa will most likely have to make up some ground after the Short in the Free where Kamila will put up a good fight since higher GOEs are a given for her. I'm thinking a range of 66-70 for the Short and around 140-145 for the Free for Alysa whilst Kamila will easily get past 70 in the Short and score in the high 130s to 140s as well. Wow... it'll be a very tight competition between the two. As for under-rotation and edge calls, I'm sure the judges will be scrutinizing on Alysa since her jumps are relatively small and her lutz edge is flat at times. Also, Kamila's flow out of jumps and the extension and reach of her skating overall is simply better than Alysa's at this point, so that's why I'm saying she'll probably garner higher GOEs should she continue to improve at such a pace. However, one never knows... ice is, after all, slippery.
However, Alysa can do a 3A3T, 3Lp and 2A for her short program. The individual jumps must be a double/triple loop and double axel. The combo can be any 3/3, 3/2 or 2/2 that does not repeat the loop or double axel. 3A is only worth 2.1 more than Lz, and doing 3A combo in first half vs Lz combo in second half would sacrifice an additional .5 points. Is a net.of 1.6 points worth the risk?? Hmm.
 
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natsulian

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However, Alysa can do a 3A3T, 3Lp and 2A for her short program. The individual jumps must be a double/triple loop and double axel. The combo can be any 3/3, 3/2 or 2/2 that does not repeat the loop or double axel. 3A is only worth 2.1 more than Lz, and doing 3A combo in first half vs Lz combo in second half would sacrifice an additional .5 points. Is a net.of 1.6 points worth the risk?? Hmm.
I don't think she'll risk doubling the 3T on the end of the 3A or even singling the axel. Furthermore, the risk and payoff of including a 3A-3T when you can include a 3Lz-3T or 3Lz-3Lo instead which will probably gain higher GOE is simply not worth it in my opinion.

Short Layout:
  • 2A, 3Lo, 3Lz-3T
Possible Long Layouts:
  • 3A-2T, 3A, 4Lz, 3Lo, 3Lz-3T, 3Lz-Eu-3S, and 3F
  • 4Lz-3T, 3A, 3A-2T, 3Lo, 3Lz-Eu-3S, 3F, and 3Lz
  • 4Lz-3T, 4T, 3A, 3Lo, 3Lz-Eu-3S, 3A-3T, and 3F
 

mollymgr

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I liked the article. Alysa is fresh and bubbly with oodles of confidence. That's the best place to be in as an athlete. Who knows what the future holds but she is not afraid to take risks. I don't think it is a bad thing to get used to the hype. The USFSA/NBC etc. are going to turn up that hypemeter until it breaks (Nathan Chen anyone?). At least she is at a point where things are going well and she can make herself immune to the hype at the same time. Beijing is still a little ways away and getting used to the distraction is also a part of training. Arthur seems like a good dad from the article and I'll take that at face value.
 

MacMadame

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FWIW, I don't expect a journalist with little or no background in covering figure skating to write a feature article such as this one in SI (a U.S. sports magazine that covers many different sports) to be focused on skating details/history.
Especially when it's an article about one particular skater.

If the stats she cites are not correct, that's one thing. But complaining she didn't write a different article is another.
 

Sylvia

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^^^ RT.com used that video (it's a 4Lz not 4F) in their recent article about Alysa.

The original source of that video was from Christina Carreira's IG story clip filmed at the SC of San Francisco's gala show (finale, I think) back in late March - here's her photo of the 3 of them on the ice: https://www.instagram.com/p/BvrSxLiHQb5/
 

Sylvia

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More recent practice clips of Alysa's 4Lz are posted in this thread here: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/usfs-2019-jump-on-it-camp-may-9-11-video-of-keynote-speakers-wagner-nagasu-zhou.105610/#post-5584813

ETA:
However, Alysa can do a 3A3T, 3Lp and 2A for her short program. The individual jumps must be a double/triple loop and double axel. The combo can be any 3/3, 3/2 or 2/2 that does not repeat the loop or double axel. .
I'm told a 3A combo is not allowed in the Junior Ladies SP. Can anyone else confirm?
 

Vagabond

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Wow. The writer says on Twitter this is the first figure skating story ever for Sports Illustrated! Is this really true? They never ran a story on Michelle Kwan or Harding and Kerrigan?!
The writer has evidently read every Sports Illustrated article published since April 2019, so she knows what she's talking about! :respec:
 

coppertop1

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AxelAnnie

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It says a lot about the US fixation on ladies skating to do a big feature article on a skater just entering juniors while there’s a two-time World Champion over on the men’s side. :rolleyes:
We Americans are very shallow. Easily enamored with a bit of razzle dazzle. Alysa fits that bill.
 

PDilemma

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It says a lot about the US fixation on ladies skating to do a big feature article on a skater just entering juniors while there’s a two-time World Champion over on the men’s side. :rolleyes:
It's kind of exasperating. Nathan and Vincent do get a brief mention in this article. But how about a whole piece about a two time world champion instead of one about someone who maybe, possibly, if the stars align, could win something someday. :rolleyes:
 

coppertop1

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It's kind of exasperating. Nathan and Vincent do get a brief mention in this article. But how about a whole piece about a two time world champion instead of one about someone who maybe, possibly, if the stars align, could win something someday. :rolleyes:
Especially since she won't be old enough to compete at the senior ranks until 2021-2022.
 

Tavi

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It's kind of exasperating. Nathan and Vincent do get a brief mention in this article. But how about a whole piece about a two time world champion instead of one about someone who maybe, possibly, if the stars align, could win something someday. :rolleyes:
Rightly or wrongly, the media - and maybe USFS - seem to think that US fans only care about ladies’ skating, not so much about men’s. Remember all the “medal drought” articles before Boston Worlds?
 

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