U.S. Ladies [#26]: Bell, Boots, and Camel

Sylvia

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I guess it just depends on who is doing the jumping.
Or who is doing the posting.

It goes without saying that injuries are going to happen and the risk of injury increases if triple Axels and quads are being practiced. Skaters always are going to try the harder jumps in practice (and some will share attempts on social media) but actually including them in competition programs... we'll just have to wait and see.
 

Willin

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@rfisher From my point of view, the difference is this: US and Japanese skaters are learning quads and 3As entirely of their own volition, in a healthier manner, and train in a less pressured environment to do so. Mirai made the choice and worked her butt off to learn it. Alysa Liu is learning 3A and quads because once she learns something she wants to know what's next (and to be competitive), but it's her choice. Ting seems to be making the choice herself because she wants to be competitive. Rika Kihira wanted to learn the 3A and quads to better her own skating. Etc etc

And while I'm sure Eteri's girls want to learn the quads and want to be competitive - I'm not discounting that - it seems a lot of the choices in their training are less their own choice and less about what's best for them and their goals and more about what Eteri needs them to do to win: poor eating habits, over-training, starting to learn quads and 3As as young as 10ish, all of which are things that lead to injury, poor health, and short skating careers.
As far as I know Mirai, Ting, Alysa, and Rika all have healthy, well-balanced diets (lord knows Tom Z probably has a careful RD-concocted diet for perfect muscle-to-fat ratios to produce optimal jumping), and as far as we know are not being forced to overtrain or learn these jumps when they're that young. Alysa I think started learning too young, so I do have a big problem with that, but I do see (and hear) that she's being restricted on the hours and attempts she is allowed practice 3As and quads to hopefully cut down on the wear and tear. So, while I still don't necessarily approve of that, I think they're at least doing it in the healthiest way they can.

The other thing is this: Japanese and American skaters learning quads are generally older and more experienced. Idk about other posters, but I think it's a lot more impressive to see a full grown adult woman do a 3A or a quad than to see young kids that just whip around in the air easily. For an adult it requires a lot more power, skill, and technique. And I want to see those quads rewarded. I love Alysa as a person, but I don't think her quads (or the quads of Eteri's skaters) are nearly as pleasing or exciting to watch as Mirai, Tonya, or Midori Ito's 3As. There's something special about a skater who's a total package, and right now the race to quads and 3As favors kids who pretty much only have the jumps, which makes the sport less exciting for me. Kinda like when the men's quad race began after Vancouver.
 

Vagabond

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(y), but

As far as I know Mirai, Ting, Alysa, and Rika all have healthy, well-balanced diets (lord knows Tom Z probably has a careful RD-concocted diet for perfect muscle-to-fat ratios to produce optimal jumping), and as far as we know are not being forced to overtrain or learn these jumps when they're that young. Alysa I think started learning too young
Mirai Nagasu started training the triple axel several years before she made a concerted effort to incorporate it into her competitive programs. So too did Tonya Harding. Tiffany Chin was landing triple axels in practice when she was thirteen or so. I don't know whether these three skaters were "forced" forced to learn the jump, but clearly they did not overtrain them at the time.
 

coppertop1

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It's pretty dismissive to describe these teens doing quads and triple axels as kids who only have the jumps. Ladies figure skating has plateaued technically, so it's good to see it progress. It seems like a touch of sour grapes to be so tepid about the Russians and imply it's being force and that they're unhealthy but have no hang ups about others.
 
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Willin

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@coppertop1 I wouldn’t say it’s more dismissive than fans have always been of Junior-age skaters. I just didn't use the buzzword people usually use to describe Junior skaters who have great jumps but poor PCS. And I think that’s expected of Junior skaters. It takes time and consistent practice to learn great edge-work, performance, musicality, and the ability to carry good choreography. In the case of youngsters these days they’re also victims of an IJS that heavily rewards jump difficulty and cramming as much in as possible as opposed to anything else and it shows. A lot. So it’s not their fault and it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of having artistry or PCS in the future, it’s just that they don’t have it now at the same time as they have the quads. And that’s not just a Russia/Eteri problem. Tom Z applies the same strategy to much older skaters, and many young skaters around the world like Alysa Liu are using the same strategy.

And it’s not sour grapes to say Eteri’s skaters are doing it in an unhealthy way as opposed to most skaters. Listen to anything her skaters say about nutrition and puberty and tell me that’s healthy. Watch the documentary and read the articles about how her skaters train. Now compare that to scientific studies saying that too heavy exercise at top young an age makes you prone to more injuries. Compare that to the literature tying poor diets closely to high risk for injury and high risk for future disease. Compare that to the litany of literature about how the public weighing and focus on weight she has are shown pretty definitively to lead to anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Then come back and tell me my assertion her training methods is just sour grapes.
 

Japanfan

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@clairecloutier It was taken down from YouTube as far as I can tell, but it showed the scale she uses to weigh her skaters in front of each other and how strict she is about them gaining even a few grams.
Was it Med who made the comment about restricting water in a recent interview? Whomever it was, it was scary. The person being interviewed talked about skating 'dry' and the problem of 'swelling up' due to drinking water.

I think the same person commented about not being 'allowed' to gain more than 200 grams?
 
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I think you are right. USFSA has to make a choice. Do we promote artistic skaters that probably won't win internationally thus limiting ourselves to one skater for Worlds and the Olympics or do we keep up technically with the rest of the world?

I do get the impression that posters in this room would rather have artistic skaters who don't have the technical skills and can't compete internationally, rather than developing competitive athletes. Remember that if we don't stay competitive, we won't be able to send skaters to Worlds or the Olympics. If we don't have skaters that win, we can watch figure skating die a slow death in this country.

I hate to say this but I think Gracie, Polina and Karen had better come back for the love of skating. I don't think at this point they are going to get a 3 Axel or a quad and I think that's going to be the requirement probably by the next Olympic games. I may be wrong, but it does feel like we are heading into that model for Ladies just as we have for Men.
 

layman

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@clairecloutier It was taken down from YouTube as far as I can tell, but it showed the scale she uses to weigh her skaters in front of each other and how strict she is about them gaining even a few grams.
Was it Med who made the comment about restricting water in a recent interview? Whomever it was, it was scary. The person being interviewed talked about skating 'dry' and the problem of 'swelling up' due to drinking water.

I think the same person commented about not being 'allowed' to gain more than 200 grams?
I think this is a realistic article about Gracie Gold at this point in time: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019...-in-philadelphia-thoughts-competitive-return/
This article about Karen Carpenter's struggles with eating disorders broke my heart. I never knew how tough the battle really is. I really hope our young figure skaters (that are battling eating disorders) have the time and the expertise they need to heal.

Karen Carpenter's Tragic Story: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/oct/24/karen-carpenter-anorexia-book-extract
 

layman

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I think Karen Carpenter was murdered, but there is no denying her very painful struggles with anorexia. Such a tragedy.
I am pretty sure that singer Karen Carpenter's death was attributed to an eating disorder. Here is a quote from the coroner's report: "An autopsy released on March 11, 1983 ruled out drug or medication overdose, attributing death to "emetine cardiotoxicity due to or as a consequence of anorexia nervosa".
 

Sylvia

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I do get the impression that posters in this room would rather have artistic skaters who don't have the technical skills and can't compete internationally, rather than developing competitive athletes.
I'm not sure where/how you are getting this impression from posters in this thread (what do you mean by "room"?). My impression is that the discussion in the U.S. Ladies threads during the 2018-19 season has, more often than not, noted the increasing technical (jump) content of the ladies, especially at the levels below Junior, due to USFS' implementation of the jump bonus point system in recent years.
 

Tinami Amori

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The other thing is this: Japanese and American skaters learning quads are generally older and more experienced.
This is typical north american BS mentality. When Americans do something "it is right", when Russians do the same thing "it is wrong". That's why you think that only your country invades other countries, starts wars and revolutions, overthrows government, meddle in the elections, hack foreign politicians' telephones for the "right reasons and only you're allowed to do it".. but others are "wrong"..:p

Japanese and American girls are NOT older when they are learning quads... The only American girl who is learning a quad is Alysa Liu, and she learned 3A at 11 and now a quad at 13. Kihira also started learning 3A very young. Jr. Japanese girls who are not yet "adults" are also learning quads.

I know it hurts that there are no strong US Ladies contenders for the podium, but you got to handle your jealousy a little better... :smokin:
 
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As far as I know Mirai, Ting, Alysa, and Rika all have healthy, well-balanced diets (lord knows Tom Z probably has a careful RD-concocted diet for perfect muscle-to-fat ratios to produce optimal jumping)...
How would you know about their diets? How would you know about TZ's students diets? Vincent Zhou looks very thin and success of his jumps based on quick rotation...

North American skaters' struggles with anorexia have long history. I won't go back in times, but recently Gracie Gold has gone public about her struggles. Rachel Parsons has just finished her career due to ED. Gabrielle Daleman has been open about her ED. If you look at Kathleen Osmond now and compare her shape with the one from a year or two ago, you would see a significant difference, from which you can assume what was her diet and how it has changed.

When kids are young, including the Russian figure skaters, when they are 13, like Alysa Liu now, they often tell in the interviews that they can eat and drink whatever they want. Radionova, Sotskova, even Pogorilaya - they all told that at some point. And then - there is a growth spurt and things change.

It was Alina who told in an interview about lowering the in-take of water. I just wanted to mention that hydration is perceived differently in Russia comparing to the US. When I was in the US, I noticed that it was all about staying hydrated. If you felt sick, people immediately told you 'stay hydrated'. This 'stay hydrated' concept is very central to the American culture. Russians do drink water of cause, there is an everyday knowledge that an adult has to drink 2 litres per day, but you can't compare the centrality of this concept in American and in Russian culture. That is why Alina could tell that in the interview not worrying that it would be perceived as a "bad eating habit".

ED and anorexia are huge problem in figure skating indeed. It doesn't have borders. Someone from Eteri's crop can get it, cause she works with teenagers with changing bodies and there is always a risk. But any American skater is under that risk as well due to nature of this sport.
 

Japanfan

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This article about Karen Carpenter's struggles with eating disorders broke my heart. I never knew how tough the battle really is. I really hope our young figure skaters (that are battling eating disorders) have the time and the expertise they need to heal.

Karen Carpenter's Tragic Story: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/oct/24/karen-carpenter-anorexia-book-extract
I struggled with disorder eating as a young woman myself. For about a year I followed the Beverly Hills Diet, this very wonky fruit-based diet that consider pineapple to be a 'miracle' food. To this day I cannot look at a pineapple.

Thank the goddess I never crossed that thin line into a level of starvation that might have killed me. I remember being the over-the-moon once to eat canned ravioli after a week of pineapple and other fruits. Likewise, I remember treating myself to a rum ball. I only remember these things because I was fixated upon this horrible fruit diet and the treats were an 'event'.

I just wanted to mention that hydration is perceived differently in Russia comparing to the US. When I was in the US, I noticed that it was all about staying hydrated. If you felt sick, people immediately told you 'stay hydrated'. This 'stay hydrated' concept is very central to the American culture. Russians do drink water of cause, there is an everyday knowledge that an adult has to drink 2 litres per day, but you can't compare the centrality of this concept in American and in Russian culture. That is why Alina could tell that in the interview not worrying that it would be perceived as a "bad eating habit".
:confused:

I think that 'stay hydrated' is a basic requirement for health everywhere, not a concept specific to the U.S. Hydration is a requirement for life, and it's rather obvious that proper hydration is required for good health and certainly required for optimal athletic performance. I do not believe this is myth I learned in grade school.

Is Russians have "everyday knowledge" about hydration, how is it less central in Russia than the U.S.?

And I'll add that I think it's nuts for athletes to worry about looking big when they drink water. It was Med, I think, who said her body would swell if she drank water.

Athletes need water. I can't ever recall a figure skater having a distended abdomen and thinking that he/she should have curbed the water intake before performing.

Do you have even one example of such an athlete?
 
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Vagabond

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It was Alina who told in an interview about lowering the in-take of water. I just wanted to mention that hydration is perceived differently in Russia comparing to the US. When I was in the US, I noticed that it was all about staying hydrated. If you felt sick, people immediately told you 'stay hydrated'. This 'stay hydrated' concept is very central to the American culture. Russians do drink water of cause, there is an everyday knowledge that an adult has to drink 2 litres per day, but you can't compare the centrality of this concept in American and in Russian culture. That is why Alina could tell that in the interview not worrying that it would be perceived as a "bad eating habit".
The everyday knowledge (including that athletic activity requires even higher fluid consumption) is founded on scientific research. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hm...er-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx

Are you suggesting that Eteri Tutberidze's strictures can be excused because they are founded on "Russian culture" rather than science? I somehow doubt that Tutberidze herself takes a science-be-damned approach to the matter.
 

Sylvia

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Coco

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I didn't mean to hijack the thread re:Karen Carpenter. When I have time this weekend I'll start a thread in the off-topic section.
 
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The everyday knowledge (including that athletic activity requires even higher fluid consumption) is founded on scientific research. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hm...er-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx

Are you suggesting that Eteri Tutberidze's strictures can be excused because they are founded on "Russian culture" rather than science? I somehow doubt that Tutberidze herself takes a science-be-damned approach to the matter.
I am suggesting that there is such thing as cultural context. Another example that I can give is ADHD. You can say it is part of universal classification of deceases, but if you check statistics, it's much more often diagnosed in the US comparing to Russia. Cause it's considered a version of normalcy here, not a decease that needs medical treatment. There are plenty of other things like that, but it's easier to stay in denial and refer to 'objective science'. And then again, if you are concerned about ED that much, why don't you discuss recent interview of Gracie Gold? It's been posted a couple of days ago. Why no discussion about another picture of Daleman, in which she looks like an alien rather than a human being because it's photoshopped to the extent that can signify the decease she acknowledge she's got? Why not Rachel Parsons, who just confessed? I understand posters' anxiety about risk that this sport puts on the bodies of young men and women, but why no one talks to/about Rachel, for instance, and discuss her eating habits? Or Kathleen Osmond's habits? They also have coaches, by the way, and it is not Tutberidze. What methods did they use to stay in shape?
 

believed

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And then again, if you are concerned about ED that much, why don't you discuss recent interview of Gracie Gold? It's been posted a couple of days ago. Why no discussion about another picture of Daleman, in which she looks like an alien rather than a human being because it's photoshopped to the extent that can signify the decease she acknowledge she's got? Why not Rachel Parsons, who just confessed? I understand posters' anxiety about risk that this sport puts on the bodies of young men and women, but why no one talks to Rachel, for instance, and discuss her eating habits? Or Kathleen Osmond's habits? They also have coaches, by the way, and it is not Tutberidze. What methods do they use to stay in shape?
There have been many separate threads about these subjects.
 

Vagabond

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And then again, if you are concerned about ED that much, why don't you discuss recent interview of Gracie Gold?
I didn't say anything about eating disorders. I posted something about fluid intake. Since you responded with evasion, I must assume that you can't back up what you wrote.
 
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There have been many separate threads about these subjects.
I answered one particular post which basically assumed that Tutberidze 'eats children', whereas our American kids all have healthy diets. I haven't seen discussions about Osmond's or Parsons' diets and didn't see any blame of their coaches.
 

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