U.S. Ladies [#21]: Wrapped Up with a Neat Little BOW

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Wyliefan

Ubering juniors against my will
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I'll be very surprised if we earn three spots this time. I just feel sorry for the girls who are moving up to seniors next year who may lose out because of it. (Who's moving up, besides Starr? Is Ting planning on it, anyone know?)
 

Dobre

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17,308
Davin [Dabin] benefited from some calls at the Olympics and bei the home town girl. A good tech controller will call her jumps at Worlds.

Plus being under so much pressure to skate well at the Olympics is harsh. It's very likely she's mentally exhausted by Worlds.

IMO, she's a mental rock. (If she's exhausted, it's probably because she has been competing for that Olympic spot since last summer).

I do think Dabin benefited from a positive call on her triple triple in the short at the Olympics, but it wouldn't have changed her ranking. People constantly underestimate her, but she is ranked where she is because she puts out solid skates. She defeated Higuchi on the JGP the season she moved up to seniors. Finished as the highest ranked Korean lady at her debut Worlds. Defeated Mariah, Higuchi, & Pogo last year at Worlds. Defeated Mariah & Karen at 4CCs last year. Defeated the entire U.S. ladies squads at this year's 4CCs and the Olympics.

Dabin is not splashy. She's not a medal contender. But these wins are not accidents. She's solid.

If the U.S. ladies want to defeat her, they are most likely going to need to be solid.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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Wagner's 3 tweets: https://twitter.com/AshWagner2010/status/974740948834951168
A few months ago, I made the choice to listen to my heart and body and take an intentional period of rest away from skating, closing out this season. This time of heart healing has been essential, and not rushing the process is just as essential.
In preparing to take a step back, I notified my training mate, Mariah Bell, that I was not planning on taking the alternate spot should I be called in so that she could prepare and be ready for Worlds, just in case.
I am confident that she will head into this competition and shine the way she always does, and wish all of the US ladies the best of luck at Worlds!
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
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What about 2008, the year Mirai won Nationals and was too young to go to Worlds? As I recall, it was Kimmie Meissner (who had finished off the podium at Nationals), 16 year old Ashley Wagner and Bebe Liang. Mirai and Bradie have the ability to score higher than they did at the Olympics individual event. Both did well in the team event. I think they can move up over Dabin Choi if they skate well. Higuchi is hardly a lock to score above them. She didn't do well at World's last year and Mirai beat her at 4CCs that year. Sotskova bombed at Worlds last year and had a bad short program at the Olympics. It won't be easy, but three spots are not out of reach.
Boy - I have blocked out 2008!
 

aftershocks

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Who is replacing Karen at Worlds? ETA: Oh I see, it's Mariah Bell. Good luck to Mariah! It's been a tough season for Ashley, and for that matter, Karen too. I think Ashley will likely retire. I would be surprised if Ash decided to come back for one more year in order to leave the sport on her own terms. But I'd be all for it!

I was rooting for Karen early this season, but then after her first competition, she seemed to fall victim to indecision and whatever else was happening whether it was self-doubt, physical issues related to boot fit, and the unrelenting inability to decide on which programs to use in the Olympics season. She might have been better off focusing more on simply keeping her On Golden Pond sp right off the bat and sticking with her new fp with a few tweaks. She just needed to skate to something she believed in and that motivated her. Make a decision and stay with it. Ashley actually had similar problems (program indecision, physical issues, and periods of self-doubt). But US fed put all their bets on Karen over Ashley.

It's kind of interesting how this is always usually such a popular thread. :watch:
 
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vesperholly

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What about 2008, the year Mirai won Nationals and was too young to go to Worlds? As I recall, it was Kimmie Meissner (who had finished off the podium at Nationals), 16 year old Ashley Wagner and Bebe Liang. Mirai and Bradie have the ability to score higher than they did at the Olympics individual event. Both did well in the team event. I think they can move up over Dabin Choi if they skate well. Higuchi is hardly a lock to score above them. She didn't do well at World's last year and Mirai beat her at 4CCs that year. Sotskova bombed at Worlds last year and had a bad short program at the Olympics. It won't be easy, but three spots are not out of reach.
2008 is a poor example as that's where the US lost their 3rd ladies spot ... Kimmie was 7th, Bebe was 10th and Ashley was 16th. Plus Meissner was a World champ two years prior, though injured.
 

aftershocks

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It's a bit strange to look back and realize that Nationals may have been Ashley's last competition. That's just not what I was expecting or thinking about at that time. I'm sure it wasn't what Ashley was expecting, either. If it was her last competition, I'm glad I got a chance to see the La La Land program live in San Jose. I found it moving and lovely, it's a performance I will remember.

Ashley and Gracie have been the subjects of such heavy & constant criticism on this board. Although neither ever reached the pinnacle of a World or Olympic title, they kept U.S. ladies skating afloat and relevant for the past 8 years, which is something I'm grateful for. The future of U.S. ladies without them does not look very bright right now. :(

Very well stated, and thank you. US fed historically can be all over the place in terms of trying to choose favorites rather than respecting and supporting all of their skaters. Sometimes US fed has to make difficult decisions, but they've also gone out of their way to make demands of skaters that didn't always serve those skaters well (Mirai, Gracie), and to choose favorites in a negatively impactful way, and to take certain skaters for granted. Ashley has been a skater who they've taken for granted, and haven't always fully respected and supported. The onus has usually always been on Ashley to prove again and again and again that she's worthy. And still they often treated Ash as an also-ran.

Of course, skaters who have never been in the 'top favorite' column have made their share of mistakes. But yet, if it'd been left up to US fed, Ashley's, Adam's, Johnny's, and Mirai's careers would have been over before they could have achieved their greatest successes. IOW, they built their own careers, sometimes with the active passivity and in Johnny's and Mirai's cases, the active opposition by some members of US fed.

ITA with you regarding Ashley's lovely La La Land performance at U.S. Nationals. I wanted to see Ashley have the chance to perform it at the Olympics. But Ash is a strong lady. She is a survivor and she'll turn that bittersweet into something beneficial and productive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQJvLOnRaKs
 
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coppertop1

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Neither Karen or Ashley had a great season. Without the BOW, it came down to Nationals. IMO, Ashley peaked in 2016. It's too bad Ashley didn't keep her LLL program for the entire season. I wish her the best. She persevered and had a pretty good career.

It will be a tall order to keep three spots.
 

Tinami Amori

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Bradie was very consistent in her performance all season, and SP fall at the Olys was atypical for her. She probably is over her first major competition "stage fright", and will do well at the Worlds. Mirai is very driven this season, and did land 3A... so one hit, one miss.... next one maybe a hit. So maybe it is not over until it is over... :D

Also, i suspect (don't know, but suspect) that Wagner's tantrums over her scores at Nationals added an element of anxiety to the other 3 top girls. While Wagner did not state which of the 3 girls she should be ahead of, the fact that she felt entitled to be on the team, by default meant that either Bradie, Mirai, or Karen should not be there. I had a gut feeling, when it happened, that all 3 girls felt extra pressure to prove they have a right to be on the team.

Wagner did not just blur out the phrase one time while emotional. She went on and repeated her position to the Press, and became a national discussion in the sports. Wagner was loud and insistent, taking away all the attention from the 3 girls who earned the spot. Then her commercials, appearances, tweets and the hoopla over "personal issues" got shoved into everyone's face... while Karen, Mirai, Bradie seemed like some "upstarts" favored by Federation, lucky to be on the team over "Big Sh.t" Wagner... I knew then, during pre-Oly times, it will have effect on the 3 girls and will add to the anxiety. And then it went as it went....
 

Vagabond

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Neither Karen or Ashley had a great season. Without the BOW, it came down to Nationals.
The "body of work" considered for selection to the Olympic and World Teams primarily included last season's Nationals, last Season's Worlds, and this season's Nationals. Chen finished ahead of Wagner at all three.
 
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MRani

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The "body of work" considered for selection to the Olympic and World Teams included (but wasn't limited to) last season's Nationals, last Season's Worlds, and this season's Nationals. Chen finished ahead of Wagner at all three, which were the only times they were in direct competition during the pertinent period.

This is untrue. They competed against each other at Skate Canada and the Skate America SP too. Ashley won both of those meetings. But yes, Nationals 2018 and Worlds 2017 were the tier 1 competitions so they count for more.
 

aftershocks

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I believe she has always wanted to be a D-list celebrity and she may very well come close to that goal.

Maybe Ash and Kathy Griffin can join together for a D-list reality television project. :p Actually, there might eventually be something in the works for both Adam and Ashley in a television hosting capacity (fingers-crossed)!

Also Benji Schwimmer was recently interviewed on a dance-related interview show on Dance Network during which he spoke about his friendship with Adam, choreographing O/ Fly On, working with Jeremy Abbott, etc. Benji also seemed to hint that Adam might be on DWTS. And Benji also spoke about the possibility of a reality show that he and Adam are thinking of collaborating on.

Adam has been on a whirlwind, but he said in a recent interview how much he appreciates his friends who have known him and supported him for so long. He alluded to Ashley, and as we know, she's among his closest friends. Adam also credited Ashley's outspokenness in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics as having had a profound effect on him, and that her forthright honesty and fearlessness was instrumental in his later decision to come out, but in an understated way in the pages of Skating magazine (which he hoped would inspire younger skaters).
 

olympic

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I didn't expect her to pull out but maybe she'll take this extra off season time to find some damn skates that work! I can't take a 3rd season of "my boots, my boots...":violin: I love her skating to death but TBH the boot excuse is played out at this point.

I'm not shocked to see Ashley decline. I honestly feel she's done with competitive skating. The federation basically wrote her off last year when she placed behind Karen at nationals and again this year with her placing 4th. Besides, her skating hasn't been strong since the 2016 season. I think she'd be a great correspondent and spokesperson for a number of things. I'd be surprised to see her competing next season.

As for Mariah, I hope she's been training.

I sure hope Bradie, Mirai and Mariah can pull out their best next week. Even with the field slightly thinner this year, it may still end up being a tall order to get 3 spots for next year.

I often wonder what happened to AW. Many comments have been thrown out into cyberspace regarding her less than stellar performances for the past two seasons. She was the 2016 World Silver Medalist. She had broken through and has a rep as a real scrapper. I'm just surprised we didn't really see that do-or-die attitude from her since 2016. Injury? Other distractions?
 

Anita18

It depends!
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I actually agree with this. I think that's one thing that I've noticed ever since the Russians began dominating the field. The name of the game is "get it while the gettin' is good" i.e. win while you can.

Julia dominated the junior level but had a relatively short senior career (3 years): 6 GP medals (2 gold), GPF silver, Euro gold, Oly team gold, world silver. She struggled beyond 2014 but it doesn't matter. She got her medals.

If Evgenia never wins another title in her life, she's already set. She dominated this past quad and will be remembered for it. If Alina wins worlds next week and retires, she would retire as an undefeated GPF/National/European/Olympic/World champion. She'll have literally won everything there is to win.

I was used to the longevity of Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, Carolina Kostner, Mao Asada, etc. but that's not what is important anymore. It's about winning the titles while you can. If you don't win more than one or two, it doesn't matter...you still won.

I honestly think it's going to take US skating several more years to catch up to Russia and Japan.
I feel sad about the attitude of "winning while you can," with no chance of any longevity. If Carolina had retired back in 2005, we would not have the good fortune of witnessing her artistic development. There's something to be said for skaters staying in and developing their skating skills and style over time.

I can see Alina's artistic potential in her frenetic movements. That's what it is right now - potential. (Although the scores may not reflect that...) But if she'll be retired by next season after having won everything, that's a loss for the sport, IMO.
 

aftershocks

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Without the BOW, it came down to Nationals.

IMO, it didn't. US fed made their choice at 2017 U.S. Nationals, when the win could have gone to either Ashley or Karen. That win was not a slam dunk for Karen. It was the best she'd skated all season, and US fed believed in her talent, and apparently were ready to go in a different direction. Always with Ashley, they were ready to go in a different direction whenever the opportunity arose.

At 2018 U.S. Nationals, both Ashley and Karen had similar problems. It's just that Karen was held up, and Ashley was not. Of course, Karen is younger and she's got amazing technical and aesthetic skills, but her competitive nerves are unreliable. As a veteran, with less technical difficulty talent, Ashley still gutted it out and skated to La La Land beautifully, but US fed members had their eyes set on Bradie Tennell after 2017 Skate America; Mirai was the finally accepted triple-axel back-up; and US fed was willing to give Karen an Olympic berth because of her 4th place showing at 2017 Worlds. Ashley was once again the 'also-ran,' despite her years of backbone effort competing internationally for U.S. ladies.
 

UGG

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Bradie was very consistent in her performance all season, and SP fall at the Olys was atypical for her. She probably is over her first major competition "stage fright", and will do well at the Worlds. Mirai is very driven this season, and did land 3A... so one hit, one miss.... next one maybe a hit. So maybe it is not over until it is over... :D

Also, i suspect (don't know, but suspect) that Wagner's tantrums over her scores at Nationals added an element of anxiety to the other 3 top girls. While Wagner did not state which of the 3 girls she should be ahead of, the fact that she felt entitled to be on the team, by default meant that either Bradie, Mirai, or Karen should not be there. I had a gut feeling, when it happened, that all 3 girls felt extra pressure to prove they have a right to be on the team.

Wagner did not just blur out the phrase one time while emotional. She went on and repeated her position to the Press, and became a national discussion in the sports. Wagner was loud and insistent, taking away all the attention from the 3 girls who earned the spot. Then her commercials, appearances, tweets and the hoopla over "personal issues" got shoved into everyone's face... while Karen, Mirai, Bradie seemed like some "upstarts" favored by Federation, lucky to be on the team over "Big Sh.t" Wagner... I knew then, during pre-Oly times, it will have effect on the 3 girls and will add to the anxiety. And then it went as it went....

If any of these ladies felt they had to prove something to Ashley and they screwed up, they likely felt they did not belong on the team either.
 

Willin

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Bradie was very consistent in her performance all season, and SP fall at the Olys was atypical for her. She probably is over her first major competition "stage fright", and will do well at the Worlds. Mirai is very driven this season, and did land 3A... so one hit, one miss.... next one maybe a hit. So maybe it is not over until it is over... :D

Also, i suspect (don't know, but suspect) that Wagner's tantrums over her scores at Nationals added an element of anxiety to the other 3 top girls. While Wagner did not state which of the 3 girls she should be ahead of, the fact that she felt entitled to be on the team, by default meant that either Bradie, Mirai, or Karen should not be there. I had a gut feeling, when it happened, that all 3 girls felt extra pressure to prove they have a right to be on the team.

Wagner did not just blur out the phrase one time while emotional. She went on and repeated her position to the Press, and became a national discussion in the sports. Wagner was loud and insistent, taking away all the attention from the 3 girls who earned the spot. Then her commercials, appearances, tweets and the hoopla over "personal issues" got shoved into everyone's face... while Karen, Mirai, Bradie seemed like some "upstarts" favored by Federation, lucky to be on the team over "Big Sh.t" Wagner... I knew then, during pre-Oly times, it will have effect on the 3 girls and will add to the anxiety. And then it went as it went....
Maybe she wasn't eloquent about it, and ultimately her mistake on the second 3-3 made the difference, but she had every reason to be angry about her PCS. Just look at this chart - with the PCS bump the other ladies got, that would have made the difference as well. Not to say I don't think she was mostly to blame for the problem - if she hadn't had the mistakes, the lack of a PCS bump wouldn't have mattered - but I do think it's valid for her to question why she didn't get that PCS bump.

If anything all the focus on Wagner would have taken pressure off of the other girls. The Olympic pressure is all about being in the spotlight, and no one was in the spotlight less than Karen during the Olympics. Once Mirai got a lot of media attention for landing the 3A she struggled. Bradie was the most pushed by USFSA as far as a medal hope goes (and by US fans) until the start, and while it affected her, she wasn't exactly as exposed as other Olympic skaters have been.

I often wonder what happened to AW. Many comments have been thrown out into cyberspace regarding her less than stellar performances for the past two seasons. She was the 2016 World Silver Medalist. She had broken through and has a rep as a real scrapper. I'm just surprised we didn't really see that do-or-die attitude from her since 2016. Injury? Other distractions?
Ashley said that after winning the World Silver she lost all motivation to train and had to take a while off. The next season she also broke up with her long-term boyfriend.

From what I've heard, she was very scrappy, intense, and competitive when she wasn't the only top name. Most people agree that she thrives being the underdog. I almost wonder if being the clear US #1 (with Gracie struggling) made her lose that motivation to maintain that #1 spot - after all, if you have no good competition to challenge you, how can you say you're not the underdog?

I think this season just continued the motivation struggles. When she was so confident she was still USFSA's #1 and most people (even insiders) thought she was a lock for the team, I wonder if she was able to get motivation up. The ankle infection certainly didn't help at all.
 

kwanatic

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Bradie was very consistent in her performance all season, and SP fall at the Olys was atypical for her. She probably is over her first major competition "stage fright", and will do well at the Worlds. Mirai is very driven this season, and did land 3A... so one hit, one miss.... next one maybe a hit. So maybe it is not over until it is over... :D

Also, i suspect (don't know, but suspect) that Wagner's tantrums over her scores at Nationals added an element of anxiety to the other 3 top girls. While Wagner did not state which of the 3 girls she should be ahead of, the fact that she felt entitled to be on the team, by default meant that either Bradie, Mirai, or Karen should not be there. I had a gut feeling, when it happened, that all 3 girls felt extra pressure to prove they have a right to be on the team.

Wagner did not just blur out the phrase one time while emotional. She went on and repeated her position to the Press, and became a national discussion in the sports. Wagner was loud and insistent, taking away all the attention from the 3 girls who earned the spot. Then her commercials, appearances, tweets and the hoopla over "personal issues" got shoved into everyone's face... while Karen, Mirai, Bradie seemed like some "upstarts" favored by Federation, lucky to be on the team over "Big Sh.t" Wagner... I knew then, during pre-Oly times, it will have effect on the 3 girls and will add to the anxiety. And then it went as it went....

I think that's rather a rather presumptive way to look at it. Blaming Wagner for everyone having sub par skates b/c they felt pressure from her "hoopla" is a total cop out and essentially means they take no responsibility for the way they skated.

Ashley is always loud and insistent when it comes to her viewpoint b/c that's what you do when you have a position; you stand by it. When women are loud or insistent for some reason that's looked at as whining/bitching/being difficult/etc. when all she was doing was voicing her opinion. Because she actually speaks her mind unlike so many women in this sport, of course the media were all over her to explain her controversial statements...also, it was the Olympics and controversy = ratings so, yeah...

But saying Ashley is the reason the team was unable to perform is total BS IMO...
 
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aftershocks

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Also, i suspect (don't know, but suspect) that Wagner's tantrums over her scores at Nationals added an element of anxiety to the other 3 top girls. While Wagner did not state which of the 3 girls she should be ahead of, the fact that she felt entitled to be on the team, by default meant that either Bradie, Mirai, or Karen should not be there. I had a gut feeling, when it happened, that all 3 girls felt extra pressure to prove they have a right to be on the team.

Gosh, what a trollish imagination you've got there. :duh: Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong... Maybe you need to consider keeping your 'gut feelings' to yourself. :rofl:
 

Tinami Amori

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I think that's rather a rather presumptive way to look at it. Blaming Wagner for everyone having sub par skates b/c they felt pressure from her "hoopla" is a total cop out and essentially means they take no responsibility for the way they skated.

But saying Ashley is the reason the team was unable to perform is total BS IMO...
No such comment was made.
I said a) it is my gut feeling. b) it may have partially affected...

Ashley is always loud and insistent when it comes to her viewpoint b/c that's what you do when you have a position; you stand by it.
It's nice only when "loudness and insistence" are not "louder" than one's actions and results where it counts.... :D

Gosh, what a trollish imagination you've got there. :duh: Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong... Maybe you need to consider keeping your 'gut feelings' to yourself. :rofl:
If everybody did that then we would not have sports chats like FSU.... and you might have to take up piano to keep your fingers busy. :saint:
 
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mag

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IMO, it didn't. US fed made their choice at 2017 U.S. Nationals, when the win could have gone to either Ashley or Karen. That win was not a slam dunk for Karen. It was the best she'd skated all season, and US fed believed in her talent, and apparently were ready to go in a different direction. Always with Ashley, they were ready to go in a different direction whenever the opportunity arose.

So I am wondering how this happens? How exactly does the “US fed” orchestrate all of this with the judges. I have no doubt that judges have favourites, or at least favourite styles, but for there to be an organized effort seems very implausible. It also seems a bit like revisionist history. If I remember correctly Ashley popped her last jumping pass in 2017 and that is what put her behind Karen. I also don’t remember her seeming terrible upset. I did wonder at the time if she subconsciously didn’t want to go to Worlds as the US Champion and preferred a more underdog role. She certainly didn’t complain about her placement at least to my knowledge. Anyway, it just seems a bit much to suddenly start a conspiracy theory about the “US fed” having some master plan way back before 2017 Nationals.
 
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kwanatic

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Ashley said that after winning the World Silver she lost all motivation to train and had to take a while off. The next season she also broke up with her long-term boyfriend.

From what I've heard, she was very scrappy, intense, and competitive when she wasn't the only top name. Most people agree that she thrives being the underdog. I almost wonder if being the clear US #1 (with Gracie struggling) made her lose that motivation to maintain that #1 spot - after all, if you have no good competition to challenge you, how can you say you're not the underdog?

I think this season just continued the motivation struggles. When she was so confident she was still USFSA's #1 and most people (even insiders) thought she was a lock for the team, I wonder if she was able to get motivation up. The ankle infection certainly didn't help at all.

I do think not having Gracie there to push her caused her to slack off. She lost that driving force that kept her moving forward, however slowly, to stay neck and neck with Gracie on the US stage. With maybe 1 or 2 skaters to contend with, all Ashley had to do was stay in the top 3 to keep getting shots at the big international events which was a breeze considering the US field of women pre-SA 2017. Half the reason the Russians are so scary is b/c they have to battle like hell just to get an international event. Their toughest competition is in their own country. The competition in the US is ridiculously weak compared to Russia and Japan.

Ashley didn't have to fight to stay near the top so she didn't...until she did and by then it was too late. The federation found a new star to push (Bradie) and they didn't need her anymore.
 
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