U.S. Men 2018-19 season (cont.) - news & updates

Sylvia

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Copying over 3 WTT article links posted earlier in the 2019 World Team Trophy threads in Kiss & Cry...

Pre-WTT quotes from Tom Zakrajsek, Vincent Zhou, plus Cain/LeDuc (the latter three skaters continued their training in Japan after Worlds): https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/...r-team-usa-competing-in-japan-is-magical.aspx
Zhou-related excerpt:
Zhou, too, trained in Japan following his bronze medal win in Saitama. The U.S. silver medalist trained in Osaka with Mie Hamada, coach of Japanese stars Rika Kihira and Satoko Miyahara, with whom he has worked several times the past two seasons. A recent Instagram post showed off a quadruple "Rippon" Lutz, done with both arms overhead.

"Vincent was 100% healthy in Saitama, and he has been for a while," Zakrajsek said of Zhou's late-season improvement. "Earlier this season, he was competing injured (with back and shoulder problems), which was not fun."
Jack Gallagher's article recapping Day 1 (Men's & Ladies SP, Rhythm Dance): https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports...-give-u-s-slight-lead-japan-world-team-trophy
Excerpts:
Chen skated to “Caravan” and leads [101.95] despite attempting just one quad. He opened his program with a nice triple axel, then hit a quad toe loop and went on to add a triple lutz/triple toe loop combination.
...
“It’s so different from worlds, but I’m still in pretty good condition,” Chen stated, when asked about his motivation level for the event. “Knowing that worlds was the peak of the season, I just want to give my body a little bit of time to recover so I can start fresh from next season and start offseason training.”
Zhou competed to “Exogenesis Symphony Part III” and wowed the crowd with a huge quad lutz/triple toe loop to start. He followed that with a quad salchow and also landed a triple axel.
Zhou’s score [100.51] marked a career high for the 18-year-old from San Jose, California. He hit triple digits despite only receiving a level three on his step sequence.
“I thought the quad lutz might have been under-rotated, but the judges didn’t think so,” Zhou mentioned. “I know I can do it better. Everything else was fairly clean in the program.”
Gallagher's Day 2 recap article: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports...l-u-s-takes-commanding-lead-world-team-trophy
Excerpts:

Nathan scored 199.49 [105.91 TES / 93.58 PCS] in FS:
“I’m upset about that triple axel. It was the last axel of the season and I didn’t hit it,” Chen stated. “I kind of ruined that streak, but it’s something to look forward to for next season.”
The Salt Lake City native was satisfied with his performance under the circumstances.
“I think the program went OK. I was definitely holding back a bit as I am a little sick right now,” Chen noted. “I put 100 percent effort into the program and was happy I was able to do it.”
Vincent scored an ISU season best of 198.50 [110.14 TES / 88.36 PCS] in his FS:
“That was the best skate I have ever had,” Zhou noted. “I felt more relaxed and confident in my technique than before. I think the reason for that is working with Hamada-sensei has really helped me develop my jump technique to a point where I can be more sure of where my body is and stack over myself so I have a better axis and landing.”
Zhou was very pleased when he saw the scores of the judges after his free skate.
“All the jumps were called clean. I think that was right this time,” Zhou remarked. “Everything felt super good and I’m proud to finally have a truly clean protocol.”
 
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BittyBug

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I am super happy with the way that Vincent Zhou tackled and conquered this season. He is very mature for his age so it's easy to forget that he is still relatively young with lots of room to grow and improve, but I think this season he showed that he is an aggressive competitor.
 

BittyBug

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It makes me nervous that he’s planning to work with David on another free program.
This year's free may have been a bad fit for Brown, but that was primarily due to the music not the choreo. Wilson is more than capable of producing compelling programs. For example, Takahashi's "In the Garden of the Souls" short program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytSVCcEEnTM

Or Jeffrey Buttle's Ararat program, with which we won Worlds (one of my all-time favorite free programs). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuDgYw6aDTI
 
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Firedancer

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Agree. I loathed Jason’s long program this year. It makes me nervous that he’s planning to work with David on another free program.
Me too! I do know David Wilson is very capable and has done some really good programs. But I really would have liked to see Jason work with someone else...maybe Shae-Lynn Bourne.
 

wickedwitch

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This year's free may have been a bad fit for Brown, but that was primarily due to the music not the choreo. Wilson is more than capable of producing compelling programs.
Wilson's programs in recent years have been generally mediocre. (Although, I do like the stuff he's done for Cha.) And it's not like Wilson isn't responsible for choosing that awful music.

I used to enjoy his work. But Jason should pick a choreographer who has regularly produced great work over the past 5 years and/or might be compatible with him, and I don't think Wilson qualifies.
 

olympic

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I think the USFSA should be smiling: If for some reason Nathan takes a year off for school or something else, Vincent can step up and continue to give the US a very legitimate medal threat at Worlds. Also, Tomoki and Andrew have had some eye opening competitions at the end of this season and show they can land multiple 4Ts While expanding in other areas joining the Seniors. Finally, Jason just needs to bring it all together. He is not done yet
 

aftershocks

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This year's free may have been a bad fit for Brown, but that was primarily due to the music not the choreo. Wilson is more than capable of producing compelling programs. For example, Takahashi's "In the Garden of the Souls" short program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytSVCcEEnTM

Or Jeffrey Buttle's Ararat program, with which we won Worlds (one of my all-time favorite free programs). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuDgYw6aDTI
Fine. The proof is in the pudding for seeing whether David has developed a better understanding of who Jason is, and how to bring that out on the ice. This past season's fp for Jason may have been well-intentioned, but it was never a good idea with either the concept, music or costume.
 

aftershocks

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Vincent can step up and continue to give the US a very legitimate medal threat at Worlds
I think the one-two (Nathan -- Vincent) punch works better. :) I am glad to see that Vincent is solving his URs. Although, he still had a visible UR that I noticed in his sp which I don't think was called. But perhaps it did get cited.

Was it Mie Hamada who assisted in helping Vincent begin conquering his UR tendency?
 
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I don't think Mie Hamada is helping him with jumps. His knee bend, skating skills and other things supposed. And he did have some UR in the SP at WTT and UR at worlds as well, so I don't think things are actually fixed but just getting better. He's still at the mercy of the tech panel for now.

I also can't see Nathan taking a break with people breathing down his neck. Lots of those guys at WTT are hungry and had crazy layouts they can't quite land just yet, but it's coming eventually.
 

Dobre

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I also can't see Nathan taking a break with people breathing down his neck. Lots of those guys at WTT are hungry and had crazy layouts they can't quite land just yet, but it's coming eventually.
Yes, well he took one here;). It's an interesting way of taking one, though, going for the quad sal and a second triple axel.

Great job, guys!
 
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Well, true and it was a bit of a subtle power move to throw in a quad he hadn't added in all season in a watered down program. :D

His 3A streak. :wuzrobbed

But our guys did so well. Very proud of them both.
 

Spun Silver

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I don't think Mie Hamada is helping him with jumps. His knee bend, skating skills and other things supposed. And he did have some UR in the SP at WTT and UR at worlds as well, so I don't think things are actually fixed but just getting better. He's still at the mercy of the tech panel for now.
In this article previously posted by Sylvia, Vincent credits Mie Hamada with helping him improve his jumps.
“That was the best skate I have ever had,” Zhou noted. “I felt more relaxed and confident in my technique than before. I think the reason for that is working with Hamada-sensei has really helped me develop my jump technique to a point where I can be more sure of where my body is and stack over myself so I have a better axis and landing.”
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports...mmanding-lead-world-team-trophy/#.XLJ2gRopChC
 

olympic

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I think the one-two (Nathan -- Vincent) punch works better. :) I am glad to see that Vincent is solving his URs. Although, he still had a visible UR that I noticed in his sp which I don't think was called. But perhaps it did get cited.

Was it Mie Hamada who assisted in helping Vincent begin conquering his UR tendency?
But, of course. I just meant in the event of Nathan, however unlikely, not attending Worlds, that Vincent alone would be a likely medal threat.
 

Dobre

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Well, true and it was a bit of a subtle power move to throw in a quad he hadn't added in all season in a watered down program. :D

His 3A streak. :wuzrobbed

But our guys did so well. Very proud of them both.
He's been practicing the sal all season, and was landing it in Jackie's initial set of notes from practices at Worlds. It was good for Nathan to do it in a competition setting. I was more surprised by the two axels because he hasn't done two since 2017 4CCs, I think. And a second axel could be worth more to him now as he isn't allowed to repeat a second quad. It was nice to see him go for it.

Also :cheer2: that he had a 3A streak.
 
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Spiralgraph

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About Nathan, I remember reading somewhere that he intended to take the Olympic season 2021-2022 off from Yale perhaps even have a two season break from school if possible. Of course he could change his plans, but that's what I recall reading.
 

skateboy

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I am super happy with the way that Vincent Zhou tackled and conquered this season. He is very mature for his age so it's easy to forget that he is still relatively young with lots of room to grow and improve, but I think this season he showed that he is an aggressive competitor.
Yep, Vincent is just 18. Even younger than Camden, Alexei and Tomoki.
 

Willin

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Also, a lot of prestigious schools will not let you defer admission for a year, but once you're there and taking classes they'll usually let you take a year or so off if you have a good excuse. Assuming Nathan stays healthy, training for an Olympic gold would probably be a good enough excuse for Yale. So it makes sense that he's going now both for a change of pace and so he doesn't have to reapply.
 

Debbie S

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It's been noted in some articles on Nathan that Yale allows students to take a leave of absence of 2 semesters. Any more time off and Nathan would have to reapply. He did say in a recent interview that he plans to take classes this summer (I assume somewhere near Raf's rink) so perhaps he is planning on carrying a lesser course load next year (although I believe Yale has a certain credit minimum for each semester/year).
 
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He hasn't even fully committed to going next semester at all. He probably will, but he's not really saying yet. Raf wanted him to go for no longer than December of this year. So one more semester and then he'd have 2 full years to train. But who knows.

I doubt there would be any issue with him coming back after 2022 let's be real.
 

Carolla5501

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He hasn't even fully committed to going next semester at all. He probably will, but he's not really saying yet. Raf wanted him to go for no longer than December of this year. So one more semester and then he'd have 2 full years to train. But who knows.

I doubt there would be any issue with him coming back after 2022 let's be real.

I think what we fail to take into consideration is what does HE want out of college in addition to an education. If he feels like he would rather focus on schooling and take his chances he's not as ready for 2022 that's his right.

A returning older student could have a very different experience than a young man the same age as his fellow students. He's entitled to that experience of just being a normal college student if that's his priority.
 
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Of course, but as a fan who read all his interviews that's not really what he's saying lately. If anything he's moved more towards skating and mentioned it's not something that lasts forever while school is always there. But whatever he wants is fine. I know he has really enjoyed the whole experience of being with his peers and it'll be a totally different experience when or if he came back as an older student.
 
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aftershocks

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But, of course. I just meant in the event of Nathan, however unlikely, not attending Worlds, that Vincent alone would be a likely medal threat.
That's fine. Personally, I think Vincent is still a work-in-progress. He certainly overcame a lot this season, and his bronze medal at Worlds is tremendous. Shoma stumbling around on the ice all season finally caught up to Shoma in karma-like fashion. But Shoma is still loved by the judges, and if he's healthier and more consistent, Shoma at this point would get higher PCS than Vincent. If Kolyada ever figures things out mentally, he could threaten more consistently. If all things are equal, it's more likely on paper that we would see Nathan, Hanyu and Shoma on the podium at competitions where they are all three entered.

Meanwhile, Vincent is diligent and he keeps his nose to the grindstone, and he believes in himself, and that will take Vincent far. Figure skating is unpredictable though. A lot of factors will be involved in Vincent continuing to flex his muscles as a consistent podium threat. At the recent Worlds, Vincent performed consistently well, while other top guys struggled. Sure & steady can win the race when giants falter. In any case, I still think it's better for U.S. men's skating to see both Vincent and Nathan laying down podium-worthy programs and taking no prisoners. Jason too, even without a quad can do some damage. But Jason obviously needs reliable quads to be a full-on 'closer' level podium threat.
 

aftershocks

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Also, a lot of prestigious schools will not let you defer admission for a year, but once you're there and taking classes they'll usually let you take a year or so off if you have a good excuse. Assuming Nathan stays healthy, training for an Olympic gold would probably be a good enough excuse for Yale. So it makes sense that he's going now both for a change of pace and so he doesn't have to reapply.
Right. And with how successful Nathan has proven to be going to college, apparently doing very well in his classes, and still winning everything this season -- that's surely something Yale takes notice of and values. Nathan is so well-rounded in sports and academics, he could be a Rhodes scholar!
 

Sylvia

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Tim Dolensky's message today: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwXgrkCHuD5/

Copying over from another thread:
Tim Dolensky and Angela Wang have joined the cast of the skating show on the Symphony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwQkh8CFnId/

So I would say it's a safe bet that they are not competing at least this year;)
I think it's fitting that his ship is called Symphony of the Seas. :) I'll miss his elegant skating and headless scratch spins - all the best to Tim!
 
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I will miss Tim Dolensky as well. He was always great to watch, no matter how his jumps were going. I always really enjoyed seeing him in person at events, because that gave the best sense of his wonderful speed, extension, and musicality. I had hoped for a breakthrough season last year--unfortunately, it didn't happen--but I really enjoyed his skating and wish him the best in all his endeavors!!!
 

skatfan

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I don't think Mie Hamada is helping him with jumps. His knee bend, skating skills and other things supposed. And he did have some UR in the SP at WTT and UR at worlds as well, so I don't think things are actually fixed but just getting better. He's still at the mercy of the tech panel for now.
In one of the recent articles, Zhou credits Hamada with helping him understand where he is in the air, so she is definitely working on his jumps. But she does say that his jumps are really good, and the rest of his skating needs to catch up. I also imagine that his jumps are improving with him being healthy and able to train better the last half of the season.
 

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