U.S. Ladies [#28]: Achieving 2020 Vision

alexikeguchi

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673
Way to go Isabeau Levito, who must be the second coming of Sasha Cohen. She wasn't even born yet when Sasha did Malaguena, but from the funky lutz technique to the pointed toes, flexibility, and general look at me performance quality, that was a great homage!
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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5,000
Ok Kitty girls

Check out this fabulous article on Alysa by the Wall Street Journal


America Looks Toward the Future as Alysa Liu Defends Her U.S. Figure Skating Title

The 14-year-old is the only American female skater with the blockbuster jumps to keep up with the world's elite

 

Willin

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2,094
Isabeau Levito's are some of the least UR'd jumps I've seen from a US lady in a while. I think that bodes well for her. Isabelle Isthisone seemed to be very UR - must be an off day for her. I can't believe she got that score with how sketch her jumps were. Love the beautiful big synchro crossovers Elsa Cheng has.
 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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14,960
Let's not get ahead of ourselves re: Gold. She omitted the 3loop in the opening section and most of her oxygen depleting steps, as well as the flying spin (assuming last flying spin will be combo spin) and still had two significant issues.

It's amazing that she's here looking healthy and strong. That's a victory in and of itself. I hope she enjoys the experience and has two skates she can be proud of.
 

Teamgracie

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100
I hate the title of that article. Let’s just throw away any other talent in the ladies and look onward, ugh! Hopefully the women competing don’t read it..... best of luck to all the ladies, I hope they have a great competition. :cheer2: I hope for Gracie that she skates for herself and feels proud of her skate! 💖


Actually on second thought maybe it’s good, take the pressure off the ladies. That has been a problem, too much pressure on skaters to be the next big hope. So maybe that will help some of our talented skaters. Yeah, I’ll think of it that way 🤔🙂
 
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aftershocks

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16,441
For the free skate start orders, unsurprisingly it turns out that Alysa will be skating last.
Apparently, it just turned out that way in order for Alysa to bring down the house with her quads if she doesn't happen to UR (and it's ignored) or step out on another triple-axel.

It is nice to see Alysa smiling so brightly still, enjoying the journey and looking improved overall. She's definitely amazingly talented athletically, but I'm still not all-in on over-promoting and over-aggrandizing teenyboppers whose prepubescent bodies give them lots of rotational advantages.

Bradie was brilliant in the sp. Mariah was sparkling and rad -- aside from the slip on footwork. Kudos to Amber and keep up the great work! I enjoyed Starr Andrews too, and how cool is it that Gabby Izzo is not only a talented skater, but also a stellar academic achiever who plans to study neuroscience at Harvard!

I hope all these ladies lay it down in the fp! Go Bradie! Go Mariah! Go Amber. I hope Alysa performs well also, but I'm not really into Alysa winning here again just to uphold some desperation for 2022 Alysa being in the mix for an Olympic medal.

Ladies sp press conference:

Oh wow, Bradie had a hematoma that formed on her elbow after a fall sometime ago. She's very brave. It's a good thing too that Alysa breaking out has placed pressure on Mariah and Bradie to step up and deliver their best, which they have been doing.


I hate the title of that article. Let’s just throw away any other talent in the ladies and look onward, ugh!
ITA if you are talking about the article title and headline ANL linked in bold caps in post #573. :drama:
 
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euterpe

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12,389
I had to leave Nationals because I had a medical emergency and spent 2 days in hospital. I wish I had been there to see Gracie's FS live. Just watching it at home made me cry. It wasn't a perfect skate, but she was really into the performance and yes, it was beautiful.
 

Teamgracie

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100
I had to leave Nationals because I had a medical emergency and spent 2 days in hospital. I wish I had been there to see Gracie's FS live. Just watching it at home made me cry. It wasn't a perfect skate, but she was really into the performance and yes, it was beautiful.
Oh, I’m sorry you had to leave and hope you are okay. Just watching at home. That’s all the performance I needed to see, best one no matter what else happens.
 

Lizziebeth

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6,712
I had to leave Nationals because I had a medical emergency and spent 2 days in hospital. I wish I had been there to see Gracie's FS live. Just watching it at home made me cry. It wasn't a perfect skate, but she was really into the performance and yes, it was beautiful.
I hope you are OK. I am so sorry this happened to you.
 

aftershocks

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16,441
An interesting free program event for the ladies. Kudos to Gracie for having the courage and the fight to be able to make it back to Nationals on her own terms to skate and demonstrate who she really is. Formerly, she was apparently swamped and overwhelmed by the pre-packaged porcelain Grace Kelly doll image others had devised for her and expected her to be. It was so poignant to see Gracie's reaction to the audience's standing ovation, as they encouraged and cheered for her, the real Gracie.

I'm glad for Amber that she finished overall in 5th, but that was largely because she skated so well in the sp and the judges had given her a huge vote of confidence for her sp performance. I hope she can regroup and find music next season that is less emo ballad for both programs. It might be more motivating to choose contrasting genres and themes for each program. Maybe that would serve her better. If Amber has a fear of skating the fp (as JohnnyW pointed out), then hopefully she can conquer her fear with help from a sports psychologist.

Karen looked good and started out great, but being 90% as she reportedly said in interviews means she wasn't as fit and fully trained as she needed to be to get through the minefield of a ladies free skate. Still, Karen is so talented -- her speed, spins, and artistry held her in good stead, combined with the points from her sp. Starr also benefited from having skated very well in the sp, since she had a few hiccoughs in the fp too, but she kept fighting, as did Karen. That was good to see.

That was an amazing performance by Mariah! She has come so far this season, and it's been a long time coming. I'm disappointed for her that it wasn't enough to give her the U.S. National championship win that I think she deserves. But, oh yeah I forgot: 3-axels and quads by teenyboppers are the order of the day in ladies figure skating.

Alysa is very delightful and I hope she never loses her spark, but her program simply did not draw me in the way Bradie's, Mariah's and other ladies' programs did. Tara called Alysa 'a machine' as she rattled off all the difficult jumps seemingly without nerves (albeit she was under-rotated on the quad). As Johnny said, it is never easy to go out there after someone else has set the house on fire, as Mariah did, so I give Alysa credit for her competitive mettle. Still, as an athlete gets older, their perceptions mature and the stakes get higher, so we'll see how Alysa's future transpires. At this juncture, I was more invested in seeing how well Mariah performed under pressure than watching Alysa under-rotate her quad and eke out her 3-axels better than in her sp. Ah well, who can beat teenyboppers with quads and 3-axels?
 
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natsulian

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491
Alysa
- Alysa Liu manages to nab gold from behind in a repeat of last year's circumstance. Great improvements made in the skating skills, speed, and performance departments but still lacks the effervescent and effortless quality that I am sure she will attain with experience. Alysa answered Mariah's war cry and put down a gauntlet for all to be wary of. Alysa may suffer from lack of speed going into and out of her jumps, but make no mistake because this girl is truly special.

Mariah Bell
- Bell managed to put forth one of the greatest Free Programs ever performed at Nationals. Maybe it was not as technically demanding as Bradie Tennell or Alysa Liu's programs, but coupled with her ethereal presence on the ice and a performance oozing with emotional viscosity, Bell entranced viewers and brought down the arena. Bell has always had the "IT" factor... the unexplainable quality that makes a person magnetic, allowing them to attract those around them without much effort and tonight, she brought it all together.

Bradie Tennell
- Tennell had everything going for her: body of work, consistency, Grade of Execution, performance components, and coming off of a career best Short program performance. However, something was troubling her and it showed in her skating tonight. There were lapses in the performance where she seemed robotic and seemingly going through the movements. We do not know of what has happened in her personal life or if it was the injury but I am sure that Bradie will go into Four Continents and Worlds improved and ready to tackle her programs like never before.

Honourable Mentions
  • Sierra was stunning and the way she moved was like liquid gold. What a talented performer and her musicality was immensely nuanced and her jumps were superb tonight.
  • Rena has so much potential and her jumping quality is very reminiscent of Wakaba. What a talented lady and I hope she gains some international assignments. Her double-Axel has enough room for a triple and her talking about wanting to up the ante in terms of jumps for next season is quit exciting.
  • Gracie Gold... where to begin? Practices indicated that the qualities that made her a staple and a star are still present, but due to nerves and stamina Gold did not deliver a technically challenging skate. HOWEVER, tonight was a huge win and her emotional performance ranks as one of my favorites of the night. Gold stated that she will start preparing for next season and I am HERE for it because if a few months of TRUE training can produce a four triple program... what will a full six to eight months produce?

What an EVENTFUL night brimming with emotional stories, triumphs, tears, and sheer determination. Dare I say one of the most exciting and emotional Nationals in recent memory.

P.S. - This event made me realize how talented our B to C tier ladies were and I hope the federation focuses on developing depth instead of sensations that flicker like candles in the wind.
 

JeffClair1979

I wanna move to France...
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552
What can I say, this evening was one of the most thrilling nights of skating I've seen live, maybe only second to Boston Worlds.

Alysa's tech was truly outstanding, but yes, I agree with @natsulian that the Wow factor just isn't at the level of Mariah. I believe it will get there with her development. She's only 14 for goodness sake, and already a 2x Nat Champ! I see great things for her!

Mariah- HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP! You could have supplied the power for the whole city of Greensboro with the electricity in the air during her program. I don't know what else to say... I was completely mesmerized... Stunning. One for the ages, and one that I will NEVER stop talking about. Even if my friends tell me to stop :)

Bradie had a respectable skate, with one mistake really. But, with the top 3 here, there was no room for error at all. But she has a full set of Nationals medals now, which is nothing to be ashamed of! (ETA no Pewter, but I'd prefer to keep it that way!) I'm still a huge fan and think that she will finish out the season with aplomb.

Gracie- I was so moved not only by her expression and the feelings she expertly shared with the audience, or at how subtly beautiful her free skate was, but how the crowd basically picked her up and hugged her with the ovation. Witnessing the standing ovation and cheers after her FS is just what I needed to experience in this time of national polarization. For that moment, thousands of people with different beliefs and backgrounds poured out the love for one of our most treasured skaters in recent time. What a feeling to be a part of that!

OK I'll shut up now :) Of all the times to be "in the room where it happens," I'm still reeling! Tonight was worth the price of going to nationals and then some! Glad I talked myself into it! :D
 
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aftershocks

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16,441
Alysa answered Mariah's war cry and put down a gauntlet for all to be wary of. Alysa may suffer from lack of speed going into and out of her jumps, but make no mistake because this girl is truly special.
Alysa can jump and she has a delightful personality and she's got full backing from U.S. fed, her coach, her Dad, agents, Nichol, Kostner, whatever. How can she lose, I guess. I didn't really care if Alysa won, frankly. I would have preferred seeing Mariah prevail.

Although ladies skating at 2020 U.S. Nationals was a very well skated and fun to watch event, ladies figure skating these days in general I largely find to be boring, just as men's skating was for a time when it became all about quads whether or not they were landed. My interest was at least held by some of the more exciting male skaters who made the men's discipline interesting with or without quads. And then fortunately, the rocketing blast-off of Nathan Chen (who came with amazing jump technique, musicality and creativity) gave the ISU more quads than they bargained for which led to some sensible changes in the scoring system for quad values, finally.

But now, the ladies division has become infected with multiple rotation-itis, this time dominatingly by young Russian females who have become a dime a dozen. If Alysa lasts in the sport nearly as long as her mentor, Kostner, maybe by then there's a chance I might become more invested in Alysa's skating.

The Wall Street Journal blares about the U.S. needing Alysa to fend-off the dominance of the 'world's elite.' Uh, make that 'Eteri's latest assembly-line Russian teenybopper phenoms.' :yawn: Wake me up when they grow up.
 
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feraina

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2,258
Hey guys! I think we have our first US ladies competitor who’s got both exquisite talent and nerves of steel since... Michelle Kwan! I mean, we had Cohen, Gold, Edmunds etc as wonder kids, but nobody could consistently put out clean programs. But Alysa! She’s so gutsy. She can’t even be derailed by USFSA or NBC’s hype machines. I really don’t feel like — omg I hope the media will not hype her to the sky and destroy her in the process. I think she’s truly the strongest competitor we’ve had since Kwan. I’m so happy for her.

Good job to Bell and Tennel as well. What a night!
 

Jammers

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The fact that Alysa instead of trying to block out the noise from the crowd for the previous skaters instead watched Mariah have the skate of her life and still went out there and did what she did was extraordinary. Clearly she is made of the stuff of champions and doesn't shy away from a challenge. Yes she has much work to do but being a competitor isn't one of them. The US is lucky to have her.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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5,000
US ladies did great tonight. And I love Alysa more this year than last year. She is so the future!

Question, Bradie does 2 3 lutz/ 3 toes. What was Mariah most difficult jumping passes in the free? I’m still confused as to how she beat Bradie even with her fall. Granted I don’t think Bradie’s free program is that exciting artistically but it just seems her technical content over powers Mariah. I guess I’ll go check protocols


What was Tara saying about Bradie’s elbow?
 

VGThuy

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30,596
US ladies did great tonight. And I love Alysa more this year than last year. She is so the future!

Question, Bradie does 2 3 lutz/ 3 toes. What was Mariah most difficult jumping passes in the free? I’m still confused as to how she beat Bradie even with her fall. Granted I don’t think Bradie’s free program is that exciting artistically but it just seems her technical content over powers Mariah. I guess I’ll go check protocols


What was Tara saying about Bradie’s elbow?
From the protocols, Mariah had a slightly higher base value with both she and Bradie receiving URs with Mariah on the Lutz and Bradie on the Flip. It was the GOE that did Bradie in. Those add up. Also, remember, it’s a math game. It doesn’t matter if you do two 3Lutz/3Toes if someone can get the same base value as you doing other combos. However, I do think perception is a thing like judges won’t be impressed with 2axel/3Toes back when that was still competitive.
 

aftershocks

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I think we have our first US ladies competitor who’s got both exquisite talent and nerves of steel since... Michelle Kwan!
Alysa has marvelous athletic talent, but she's still developing athletically and artistically, and she's still growing which means there are a lot of aspects of her skating where she needs to improve. Since she doesn't have great presentation skills, I personally wouldn't characterize her overall talent as 'exquisite.' I would describe her as charming, precocious, athletically adept, and a fast learner. At this point, it doesn't appear to me that Alysa has any substantial nerves or nervousness. She seems to mostly have desire, energy and excitement for competing.

Wengjing Sui has nerves of steel. Aliona Savchenko has nerves of steel. Maybe that's because those ladies have been through hell and back, and understand into their bones about what they are up against when engaged in high stakes competitive battles. Yes, Alysa knows a bit about what tough battles are like, but she's only in the early stages of learning what those battles are and can be about, and measuring what she's made of. Alysa has miles to go, and she doesn't need to get too far ahead of herself.

Reminder: Michelle Kwan hit a competitive wall in 1997 due to a disastrous boot switch decision that was out of her control, and also due to personal life changes that affected her emotions. Michelle later overcame a foot injury to skate sublimely at 1998 U.S. Nationals, but she missed out on winning gold at the two Olympics she was expected to own. Michelle did not let missing out on Olympic gold medals define her career. Maybe we should allow Alysa to be herself and not compare her to anyone else. Alysa's father was inspired by Michelle Kwan, but I don't think Alysa is that much because MK is from a totally different generation.

The fact that Alysa instead of trying to block out the noise from the crowd for the previous skaters instead watched Mariah have the skate of her life and still went out there and did what she did was extraordinary.
It's not easy to do and it's impressive. But to be honest, sometimes it's easier to be able to let the pressure roll off your back when you're young, eager and worry-free. It will be interesting to see how Alysa continues to develop, because let's face it, she's still growing in mind, body and spirit. As has been said in other threads here, young teenagers are still simply innocent chlldren.

I love Alysa more this year than last year. She is so the future!
I get your excitement @ANL. Alysa has a delightful personality and she's grown quite a bit with all the guidance and assistance she's been receiving and that's great. Personally, I found her ease in completing an arsenal of technical difficulty under high pressure circumstances very impressive. But after all, Alysa is still a young bubbly optimistic teenager with idealism and few to no signs of fear or worry. Let's see how she fares as the pressure increases and she gets older. Adversity is always a given in this sport, and the ability to overcome challenges is how great champions are made.

I'm personally not that excited over Alysa's skating, and I'm not invested in her programs. I'm impressed by her personality and her athletic talent and her steady, optimistic outlook, but I'm fairly detached at this point about all the female teenybopper quad & triple-axel hype both domestically and internationally. I'm sure those who are excited about Alysa are enjoying her rise.

Saying 'she is the future,' is cliche even though I get it means there are huge expectations being placed on her shoulders by a lot of people who are invested in her success. But seeing as Alysa is now a back-to-back 2-time National champion, it looks to me like 'she's the present,' especially in the eyes of U.S. judges who apparently can't wait till Alysa is eligible to compete at the senior level.
 

sk9tingfan

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Adam Rippon is in Greensboro with Mariah Bell. It will be interesting to see if he gets a coach credential
Well, beyond sitting with Mariah in the Kiss and Cry, here is the acknowledgment of the role he played in her success last evening.


 

UGG

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2,372
I am so sad Mariah didn’t win with that skate. That’s one of the the best U.S. ladies free skates in the history of nationals! I was actually crying at the end. I have a new fave 😭
 

Jammers

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6,634
Crazy that two of the greatest skates in US Nationals history never won the title. Jason and his Riverdance didn't win either back in 2014 but this was more impressive. Jeremy had a big lead after the SP and could afford a mistake or two but Alysa didn't have much of a lead and couldn't afford to make any mistakes and she just went out like it was another day. You can't teach that.
 

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