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

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Japanfan

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No one, except police, legal system, tax authorities and your parents (if one is under-aged), has power over anyone. It's all in people's heads, how much they give up their freedom or willing to accept "power" from another.
Yeah, you would say that.

But in reality, people do have power over others. It's not always in their heads, and you know that. But even if it is all in one's head, it can be very real.
 

Tinami Amori

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Yeah, you would say that.

But in reality, people do have power over others. It's not always in their heads, and you know that. But even if it is all in one's head, it can be very real.
Others are not responsible (in general) of "what's real" in another's head (unless we're talking about crime or illegal action).

Look, abstract situation. A coach has spots for 10 students a week. This coach is of a certain level and all his students make it to Regionals/Nationals. One student is "heavier" than what coach thinks he/she has to be in order to do the technical content that will get him/her to Regionals/Nationals. Coach tells the student "you need to be X-kg in order to do tech content and jumps". Student can't/won't do it.

What to do you expect a coach to do? Step on his own one life, career, goals and force himself to work with a student that he does not see any prospects in? Do you want to twist this coach's "arm and brain" and FORCE him to work with this student? I don't think so. This relationship is pretty much a contract, and both parties must enter and stay in it willingly.

If one comes into a sea-food restaurant, and asks for raw-fish sushi, and the cook says "we don't serve sushi. we only serve cooked fish". What will you do? yell "but this is sea-food! and i want sushi! you must bring me raw fish"? This restaurant does not serve sushi. Find the one that does.
 

Japanfan

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Look, abstract situation. A coach has spots for 10 students a week. This coach is of a certain level and all his students make it to Regionals/Nationals. One student is "heavier" than what coach thinks he/she has to be in order to do the technical content that will get him/her to Regionals/Nationals. Coach tells the student "you need to be X-kg in order to do tech content and jumps". Student can't/won't do it.

What to do you expect a coach to do? Step on his own one life, career, goals and force himself to work with a student that he does not see any prospects in? Do you want to twist this coach's "arm and brain" and FORCE him to work with this student? I don't think so. This relationship is pretty much a contract, and both parties must enter and stay in it willingly.
Except weight in figure skating often tends to have more to do with aesthetics than performance. I think some of the lady skaters in particular sometimes compromise strength and power to maintain a certain weight.

No, I wouldn't want a coach to be forced to work with a student. But nor do I want to see coaches push their athletes to engage in unhealthy practices - disordered eating, over-training, or training while injured when its inadvisable. And those things do happen.
 

Ruby999

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I think attacking anyone and being “hateful” is generally wrong, but I don’t think Alysa should be treated with kid gloves or heaped with especial praise just because she’s a young and extremely ambitious athlete. By skating senior domestically and junior internationally, she herself has chosen to compete directly with older skaters, not with her peers.

So for me the appropriate comparison is how she stacks up against her direct competitors, regardless of age. If it’s okay to say, look, Alysa is capable of executing much harder jumps, than, say, Mariah Bell, why isn’t it also appropriate to say that Mariah has more power, better SS, more beautiful lines, or whatever?

Similarly, while it’s great to appreciate and get excited by someone’s potential, I think skaters should be judged on what they actually put out on the ice at any given time. If your focus is making a name for yourself and gaining points by executing very hard jumps - a strategy that is becoming more and more common - then you’re choosing not to focus on other things, and should be judged accordingly. JMO.
I didn’t even know I felt the same way until I read this expressed so well!
 

Tinami Amori

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Except weight in figure skating often tends to have more to do with aesthetics than performance. I think some of the lady skaters in particular sometimes compromise strength and power to maintain a certain weight.
It's up to skater/parents to distinguish between "aesthetics" and "tech. issues". It's also up to skater/parent to decide if they want to, and if they do, then how, approach either of the issues.

No, I wouldn't want a coach to be forced to work with a student.
I don't want either. It's not right. If it is a private one-on-one type of work that requires inspiration and creativity from both parties, and one of the parties is not "inspired" for whatever reason, he/she should not be forced.

But nor do I want to see coaches push their athletes to engage in unhealthy practices - disordered eating, over-training, or training while injured when its inadvisable. And those things do happen.
No coach intentionally pushes a skater into disorder eating. People react differently to comments about their weight. Some decide "i'll run an extra mile", some decide "i'm fine the way i am, and see what happens", some change coaches, some starve themselves..... It is not illegal for a coach in sports/ballet/performance arts (all that is visual and athletic) to say "in order to accomplish X you need to weigh Y". It's up to the person to decide if she/she wants/can do it and how.
 

vesperholly

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If you take a look back at Nathan's 2015 Junior Worlds fp, and you still rate his artistry as 'average,' then it's not even worth engaging with you further about Nathan Chen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwTUs71GEPc
There's a reason I always like Nathan's SPs more than his FS - he has space for choreography and expression when he's limited in the jumping. Can he have good artistry? Absolutely. Does he drop a lot of it to cram in quads? Definitely.
 

AxelAnnie

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Except weight in figure skating often tends to have more to do with aesthetics than performance. I think some of the lady skaters in particular sometimes compromise strength and power to maintain a certain weight.

en.
I disagree. Weight is way less about aesthetics and much more about physics, strength and power. You train at a certain weight because that is what works. Add 5 lbs...grow hips..grow 4 inches the dynamic changes.

It is not like losing 5 lbs for a friends wedding. FCS.
 

aftershocks

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Meanwhile, the fed and the media ignore athletes like Ashley Wagner (who never got the hype, even though she won 3 Golds, 1 Silver, and 3 Bronze medals at US Nationals), Rachel Flatt (1 Gold, 3 Silvers), Agnes Zawadski (2 Bronze), and Mariah Bell (2 Bronze). Being ignored hurts too, because it denies these athletes the funding they need. The fed always put all their eggs in one basket.
I agree with you generally in terms of U.S. fed often being willy nilly 'what have you done for me lately' with their favoritism. However, they did favor Rachael Flatt for a time until they dropped her after the incident at Worlds where she participated knowing she was injured and it was determined she didn't give a heads-up so someone else could be substituted if necessary. The fed gave Agnes Zawadski chances, if not a lot of outright favoritism. Perhaps they didn't provide enough support and encouragement when she really needed it. She was given the heave-ho rather abruptly I suppose when they likely felt she wasn't delivering as anticipated.

Possibly, Mariah would have been rewarded with the win at this past U.S. Nationals had she not made the unnecessary error on one of her jumps late in the program. She needed to skate clean. Ashley certainly was taken for granted by U.S. fed and not always given the respect she earned and deserved. Ashley had to work very hard for everything she achieved. She surely made some mistakes in her decisionmaking at times, but she deserved a bit more support too rather than constantly having to prove herself. Some would probably argue she was helped by the fed on a number of occasions. Still, I think they sometimes made it hard for her because in general they tended to favor other talent while taking her accomplishments for granted.

U.S. fed has shown favoritism, often unfairly and unaccountably. OTOH, there has been a lot of depth and usually an embarrassment of riches for the U.S., unfortunately without a lot of opportunities available for talented skaters to receive international assignments, further complicating competitive development. There are not always easy answers, but more transparency and greater efforts toward fairness and an even playing field are desirable. And more importantly, it would be beneficial to encourage and promote more skaters, with less hype and over-expectations placed on the shoulders of the precociously talented.


@vesperholly, I'm going to respond to your post in the U.S. men's thread...
 
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Tinami Amori

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Meanwhile, the fed and the media ignore athletes like Ashley Wagner (who never got the hype, even though she won 3 Golds, 1 Silver, and 3 Bronze medals at US Nationals)..
The Feds did not ignore, they were simply too busy doing damage control from the hype Wagner started herself, at times internationally ...🤣
 

aftershocks

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What on earth are you trying to push buttons about now TA? Be careful you don't trip over your own hype. One day you may be made to answer (and not in a good way) for your own regrettable sins of making things up and trolling for the heck of it. No one cares what you wish to trot out next about skaters you don't like.
 

Tinami Amori

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What on earth are you trying to push buttons about now TA? Be careful you don't trip over your own hype. One day you may be made to answer (and not in a good way) for your own regrettable sins of making things up and trolling for the heck of it. No one cares what you wish to trot out next about skaters you don't like.
If you see Wagner, tell her "the evil Russian Sonograms" the Russian National and International Champions are saying hello.. ;)https://cdn23.img.ria.ru/images/154851/81/1548518120_0:0:2955:1663_1036x0_80_0_0_84afa67ac5f288952223e681244d6c8e.jpg

... and the "lump-sided, messy" Alina is now a World Champion..:p
 

Finsta

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295
Ashley wasn’t talking about those skaters with her sonogram comment. They weren’t even a thing. Wasn’t she talking about the younger US skaters? That comment was years ago.
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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There was nothing "evil" implied. Wagner was saying that she was competing with skaters who were in the womb when she started to compete seriously. It wasn't that much of an exaggeration when she said it.
 

aftershocks

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There was nothing "evil" implied. Wagner was saying that she was competing with skaters who were in the womb when she started to compete seriously. It wasn't that much of an exaggeration when she said it.
Right. Plus, Ashley was constantly being asked again and again and again about younger competitors, especially younger Russian ladies competitors. I appreciate her attempt to brush off the relentless media queries with a try for humor. But some Ashley haters are relentless in making mountains out of molehills, ad infinitum.
 

natsulian

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Per her Instagram, Alysa Liu is at the Kids’ Choice Sports taping. The awards show will officially air on August 10, 2019. Liu might take part in a segment or two.
 

Tinami Amori

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There was nothing "evil" implied. Wagner was saying that she was competing with skaters who were in the womb when she started to compete seriously. It wasn't that much of an exaggeration when she said it.
Wagner used the term "sonograms" to describe "young russian girls", not "all junior girls". Her comment is gone from the internet, or not easy to find, except from this website, where they use Wagner's phrase in their text.
"The main problem of all American top girls is that they can deliver a great performance only when it’s already nothing to loose, when is no expectations, or when they already had a bad a short program. And you can’t win Worlds (or a medal there) with such a mindset! With such an attitude Russian sonograms (c) will jump over you and won’t even notice".

I hope Wagner enjoys her "Making the LLL" 2 part film she made about herself... while "sonograms" are practicing quads and 3A... :D
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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Since the only non-Russian young skater she was competing with for top placement leading up to and around 2016 was Miyahara, while she was competing with a steady stream of young Russians, who were about to be replaced by upcoming Russian juniors, it's not surprising she said Russians.

Evil is your projection on her comment.
 

natsulian

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Finsta

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Why rahash a comment made by Ashley that wasn’t referring to any of the current Russian competitors? Aren’t they all moved on now, including Ashley.
 

Marco

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But it was definitely shady as hell. Regardless of whether she intended to or not, a comment like that denigrates her competitors and oversimplifies their accomplishments as products of their youth.
A lot of those accomplishments were in fact products of their youth. Sot, Tuk, Lip and Rad emerged as jump machines during Ashley's peak times and while they all had moments of utter brillance in competition, they lost their consistencies once they grew / bodies changed. Same can be said about the last batch of 'sonograms' (Meissner, Zhang, Flatt, Nagasu). None had the longeivity that Ashley had.

I believe Ashley was extremely proud to have been the lady in a sea of girls and to have a decent level of longeivity near the top. The only others who were close were Leonova, and also Tuk and Nagasu who weren't consistent but have had recent comebacks.
 
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UGG

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I always thought the sonograms comment was made because everyone in the media always asked her about being old compared to everyone else. I thought it was funny. 🤷‍♀️
 

aftershocks

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"The main problem of all American top girls is that they can deliver a great performance only when it’s already nothing to loose, when is no expectations, or when they already had a bad a short program. And you can’t win Worlds (or a medal there) with such a mindset! With such an attitude Russian sonograms (c) will jump over you and won’t even notice".
You are direct quoting the comments of a reviewer from the old FS Gossip article you linked. The exact quote and context of Ashley's response (and the press query) are not included in the source you linked. But anyone who was following skating at the time and read the original reference should have sense enough to understand the humorous intent, and the fact that Ashley also praised the technical prowess of her competitors.

Being repeatedly asked about Russian baby ballerina phenoms can become tedious. So, on one particular occasion, Ashley responded with the humorous, tongue-in-cheek reference to her young competitors as 'sonograms.' The context and meaning was humorous, not derogatory nor dismissive toward her younger rivals. Any dismissiveness you might interpret was actually being directed by Ashley toward the journalists' repeated, broken-record queries. And in turn, the reference was also a bit of self-mocking by Ash for the way she was always being labeled 'old' despite being in her early twenties. :duh:

What's getting way old and not so funny about now is your repeated trotting out of this 'dead horse' incident/ humorous quip. :rolleyes:
 
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aftershocks

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Same can be said about the last batch of 'sonograms' (Meissner, Zhang, Flatt, Nagasu). None had the longeivity that Ashley had.
But of the U.S. ladies you name in opposition to Ashley Wagner, Kimmie Meissner is a year-and-a-half older than Ashley. Meissner did not hang around very long competitively because of injuries. Meissner came up to seniors before Nagasu, Flatt, Zhang and Wagner. Also, let's be honest that Mirai Nagasu ended up having some serious comeback longevity and ultimately her own modicum of success. While I agree with the gist of your post, let's please understand that Nagasu, Flatt, and Zhang are all contemporaries of Wagner's. This U.S. group of 'sonograms' which includes Wagner, were on the U.S. scene before the whole Russian 'baby ballerina' BS rose up like a faux phoenix. Ashley Wagner indeed was once an understudy to two prized U.S. 'baby ballerinas.' :p

Further context: Ashley Wagner is only about a year and two months older than Rachael Flatt. And Wagner is two years older than Caroline Zhang and Mirai Nagasu. At 2007 U.S. Nationals, Nagasu and Zhang at ages 13 (soon to be 14) were 1 and 2 in junior ladies, while some fans likely forget that Ashley Wagner at age 15 (soon-to-be 16) placed 3rd behind Nagasu and Zhang. The latter two ladies were heavily touted and over-exposed by U.S. fed and the media, immediately after that competition. Meanwhile, Ashley (as 2007 U.S. junior ladies bronze medalist) would eventually become more competitively successful in seniors, despite the fact she was never seen as having Zhang's and Nagasu's level of overall talent. :D Nor was Ashley ever singled out as charmed U.S. fed favorite in the way that Rachael Flatt was for a brief period of time.

Ashley Wagner had her own unique measure of talent as a figure skater, even though it was not overly shiny and outsized. Therefore, Ashley learned that she was the person who had to nurture and maximize her talent. She had to believe in herself and convince renowned coaches that she was worth investing their time in. And even after succeeding against the odds, Ashley had to continue proving herself vs every new U.S. fed fave who shined bright like a diamond. Ashley had to endure and become the sapphire amidst sparkly shooting star diamonds.* Ashley had to pull herself up by her bootstraps and Ash Swag herself to the top by dint of her own desire and hard work. In remarkable fashion, Ashley accomplished these feats and then some by taking her career into her own hands after being written off by TPTB as the also-ran 'almost girl' circa 2010 U.S. Nationals. :kickass:

* "A diamond is about the brilliance, fire and scintillation. It is about the sparkle and the light that gets reflected back to the viewer's eye. A sapphire however is more about its inherent body color. It is about looking at the beautiful color and enjoying it for what it is."

Some people have never enjoyed Ashley Wagner for who she is, for her beauty, for her endurance, and for her stellar, self-made career.
 

thvudragon

Usova's Apprentice
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A lot of those accomplishments were in fact products of their youth.
Right, let's ignore the hard-work, injuries, and personal sacrifices these athletes had to make to achieve their success, even at a young age. You can choose to marginalize these athletes all you want. You can make the choice to denigrate their accomplishments. You can make the choice to disrespect these athletes by failing to acknowledge everything else that went into their success.

Heck, you can even choose to continue to hold up "mature" skaters like Ashley Wagner on a pedestal, as if she was some paragon of "mature" skating. Meanwhile, you can choose to ignore her lack of skating skills, her poor spins and continuous carelessness when it comes to levels, her inconsistent jumps, and vastly empty programs.
 

aftershocks

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Right, let's ignore the hard-work, injuries, and personal sacrifices these athletes had to make to achieve their success, even at a young age. You can choose to marginalize these athletes all you want. You can make the choice to denigrate their accomplishments. You can make the choice to disrespect these athletes by failing to acknowledge everything else that went into their success.

Heck, you can even choose to continue to hold up "mature" skaters like Ashley Wagner on a pedestal, as if she was some paragon of "mature" skating. Meanwhile, you can choose to ignore her lack of skating skills, her poor spins and continuous carelessness when it comes to levels, her inconsistent jumps, and vastly empty programs.
All figure skating athletes should be admired for working hard, for daring to dream, and for taking a huge leap of faith. True fans of figure skating understand just how difficult a sport it is. But [to paraphrase part of Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech] it's each and every figure skating athlete to whom the 'credit belongs for being in the arena valiantly sweating blood [and shedding tears in pursuit of] the triumph of high achievement.' Us critics of all stripes ultimately do not count, especially not those of us who are 'cold and timid souls [blathering on the sidelines while] neither knowing victory nor defeat' in the athletic arena.

TBH, the Russian ladies should all be respected for what they have to go through in a different sports culture. For the most part, they are all amazingly technically proficient, at least in consistent rotating prowess, since not all possess the most durable and efficient technical skills, despite being able to jump lights out. What I dislike is the knee-jerk over-rewarding of many young Russian phenoms on PCS, which began in earnest during the lead-up to the 2014 Olympics, and has only become more set-in-stone since.

That said, your post is actually a 'denigrating' pile-on against Ashley Wagner. So in effect, you are doing in reverse the same thing you accuse others of doing. :p

Bottom line take-away: Ashley Wagner has always respected her competitors and given them their due credit. If you don't believe me, ask them. I'm sure they will all set you 'Ashley hates her competitors' critics straight. :lol:

Also, do you still not get the fact that Ash Wagner was not born 'a mature old-lady' figure skater? :drama: And the only pedestal she's ever been placed on has been the one she kickass created for herself!

Sigh, is it even possible for fans to be more thoughtful and reflective in how we view figure skating, if not in how we read each other's posts. :COP:
 

BittyBug

And the band played on
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21,841
Same can be said about the last batch of 'sonograms' (Meissner, Zhang, Flatt, Nagasu). None had the longeivity that Ashley had.
I'm not sure why we're discussing Wagner in the thread for current U.S. ladies, but I have to dispute your mention of Nagasu. Mirai competed for 11 years at the senior level in the U.S. - the same number as Wagner - and made the Olympic team twice, with a staggering gap of 8 years between her appearances. Moreover, at her last appearance at the Olympics she was almost 25, having learned a triple axel at the age of 24 to get herself that spot. If that's not longevity, I don't know what is.
 

aftershocks

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I'm not sure why we're discussing Wagner in the thread for current U.S. ladies, but I have to dispute your mention of Nagasu. Mirai competed for 11 years at the senior level in the U.S. - the same number as Wagner - and made the Olympic team twice, with a staggering gap of 8 years between her appearances. Moreover, at her last appearance at the Olympics she was almost 25, having learned a triple axel at the age of 24 to get herself that spot. If that's not longevity, I don't know what is.
Right. And thanks for elaborating on in more detail what I also touched on about Mirai Nagasu in my post #806. Why Wagner is being discussed becomes apparent if you follow the thread drift. :p It's the off-season, which is not an excuse. In lots of threads on this forum, topics of conversation often belong elsewhere (most often in Trash Can threads specific to the skater being picked apart, defended, bickered about or otherwise lionized and/or denigrated). :summer:

ETA:
It might be nice to have a dedicated general ladies thread in Trash Can, similar to the general ice dance and general pairs threads. A men's general thread had been started in TC sometime ago, but not sustained. It's just a thought. Meanwhile, this current thread is notorious for arguments and thread drift, to the point where it was once relegated to Trash Can, but eventually reinstated to GSD. :lol:
 
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