U.S. Women [#1]: The Contenders Unmask Themselves

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AxelAnnie

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I am getting quite annoyed with people (regardless of gender ;-)) telling other people how to live their life. Especially in regard to how much enjoyment they themselves get out of it. Entitled much?
Gracie still skates and why and for what purpose is to decide for her and her alone and not by people watching her. If she does not bring you enjoyment than stop watching her. It is that easy.
No one is telling anyone how to live their lives. People are expressing their opinions and engaging with others about the opinions or news.

As for Gracie: Skate away. Just remember Gracie's best thinking is what got her in a mess in the first place. I hope that the people around her are giving her good advice, and realistic goals. She certainly is not skating as she skated before, and probably never will reach that level again. I worry about the blow that could leave on her psyche. To once be great on the world scene and then be mediocre, or inconsistent, or whatever is hard for anyone to take.
 

layman

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Protocol is now linked from "Judge detail scores" on that Silicon Valley Senior Ladies final results page: https://ijs.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/2021/30003/SEGM043.html

ETA: Alysa's jumps were called 3A<+2T, 3Lz, 3Lo, 2A, 3Lz+3T<, 3F!+1Eu+3S<, 3F; all level 4s on spins & footwork.
I like the fact that Alysa was aggressive and went for everything! That's so impressive for her first competition of the season. Seems like she means business and correct me if I am wrong, but that looks like the highest scoring freeskate of anyone so far this season.

Crunching the numbers, she scored 205.70 for the competition. I don't think anyone has matched that so far and it was not a perfect competition. She has the potential to earn 20 to 25 points more with her current layout (for the short and long). With a perfect version of those skates she would have been second at the last World Championships!
 
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natsulian

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Summer competitions are in no way an indication of how a skater will perform once the season begins. Furthermore, no skater wants to peak at the beginning of summer. Thus, Alysa’s first summer competition and the results she produced are highly encouraging—made even more-so considering this was their first true competition since January. They seem to be on the right track for not only Cranberry but her Grand Prix events as well.

If Alysa can clean up their under-rotations and consistently land the triple-Axel(s), then her score will surely increase greatly.

A 3A, 3F / 3Lz3T layout for the short program sounds like a safer bet than one with a 3Lz3Lo. The bonus for the loop-combination is not worth it because of the under-rotation and downgrade possibilities. As for their free skate, Alysa might add a second triple-Axel later on or even a quad-Lutz. Adding those elements (or even just a second triple-Axel) alongside higher PCS results in a scoring range of 225-250.
 
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Exactly! It’s, quite frankly, the most entertaining and absorbing medium in any form (TV, streaming, podcasts, fora, hard-copy book or magazine, etc) for English-language information on figure skating. Period. Full stop.

It is the absolute joy of an average weekend for fs fans. Sunday afternoons - and, if we’re lucky, early editions on Saturdays - are extra special thanks to TSL. Teatime ☕️ with Dave, Jonathan & friends...especially Coach Galina, who is often a prominent part of the show, yet has never been an actual on-air guest, that I recall, LOL!
I must admit that I began to exhibit symptoms of withdrawal when the most recent episode dropped a little late!
 

Marco

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MacMadame

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This article on Paige Ryberg was posted in the Fan Zone. It seems she's won Collegiates putting her in good company with people like Mirai Nagasu.


It also says her SP is to Fever covered by Celine Dion. Who the heck thought the world needed a Dion cover of Fever? :yikes: Not looking forward to that at US Nationals.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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How did Gracie do at Cranberry? Did she show the heart of a champion and fight for every element? Does anyone still think she's on track for the Olympic team? Or maybe even the podium?
 

Hedwig

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I think your problem is that you cannot believe that someone skates for the joy of it. You probably don't skate yourself. I do and I will never make an Olympic team but I still love it and do every camp and every hour I can get.
Gracie herself said in an interview that (I paraphrase) the pressure is more off for her than before because she does not need to prove anything anymore. She can just stop if she does not enjoy it anymore.

There are a thousand reasons to skate and to start at competitions and none of them are about making the Olympic team.

Maybe she will make it - I doubt it very much - but that is no reason to stop skating. Ask Midori Ito ;-) Ask the thousands of people who get up at 5 a.m. to get an early morning skate session because that is the only time they get ice. Just because they love it. Ask the people in adult competitions why they compete - they just do it to have something to work towards, to show their programs, to compete. I don't pretend to know Gracie well enough to know what drives her and what are her reasons to skate but I am pretty sure it is not just about a tiny chance to skate at an international event or make the Olympic team.

I think she is an inspiration in her fight against mental health struggles and that she is doing what she wants even though she gets criticised for about every thing under the sun. More power to her. 💕
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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I think your problem is that you cannot believe that someone skates for the joy of it.
I think your problem is that you cannot believe that I and ALOT of other people do not see her skating "for the joy of it". Is she "selling" her program despite the jumps being off? Does she sell her spiral, spread eagle, flying camel, choreo, WHATEVER to show she is indeed invested in the performance? What I am seeing is a detached skater skating to a piece of music that can really carry itself because it is so uplifting, and she's just going through the motions with no emotional commitment. Every. dang. time. If there is joy in her skating that I'm not seeing, could you please reference to me even one second of her performance where she exhibits such? You accuse me of being unable to believe that someone can skate for the joy of it, which is just incorrect. Nugumanova skates for the joy of it, and she'll never make a World/Olympic team, but her skating is compelling because you can see that she's skating "for the joy of it" (also because she's a beautiful skater as well). I love watching Nugu's performances, even when she usually bombs. I'm not poo-pooing her skating and saying she should retire, because it's clear to the eyes that she is happy and enjoying herself. So yes, I can believe that someone can skate FTJOI. Do I see Gracie skating FTJOI? No. Almost the opposite.
 
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Frau Muller

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How did Gracie do at Cranberry? Did she show the heart of a champion and fight for every element? Does anyone still think she's on track for the Olympic team? Or maybe even the podium?
Hi. She was /is standing in 15th place, out of 24. If memory serves she missed (popped) the first jump in her combo & that affected the rest of her performance. It’s a lovely program but she didn’t reflect joy in her face.

Hey, at least she’s at Cranberry, which is important for being named to Nebelhorn and/or to fill the TBDs on the fall schedule. My dear Starr Andrews isn’t even here. I was hoping that Starr might get the SkAmerica TBD but guess not possible now. 😢

I see surprising Shin & Rydberg really shining so far at Cranberry, one of them likely getting that TBD SkAm spot. Alysa seems strongest so far for Nebelhorn unless Bell pulls a miracle free skate later today (and Alysa bombs, which I can’t imagine happening).
 
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Hedwig

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this is bullshit. (Btw you can make a point without hiding behind ALOT of people. Either you believe it or not. But why do you feel the need to be validated?)
Skating and skating in competitions are two different animals. I think it is hard to see from the outside if someone truly enjoys competing or not but it looks to us a certain way. If I see Gracie competing I don't see her enjoying it, especially if she makes mistakes. And it would surprise me if she would enjoy skating while she is popping a jump to a single. That would be quite weird.

But skating is more than competing. Of course she will be frustrated if she can not show in a competition what she can do in training.
But the ONLY relevant issue is if Gracie wants to keep on skating and competing or if she does not. She does not owe you or anyone to skate great or to make any team or to bring joy to you. This is such a self-centered opinion and self-righteous notion that I can only shake my head.
She clearly wants to go on skating and competing at the moment. And if she wants to stop, then she will stop. It is absolutely up to her to decide wether or not she enjoys skating or not and not for some self-righteous skating "fan" who does not get enough enjoyment out of it. These kinds of expectations are what makes people struggle with mental health issues and I really wonder about you claiming that you have a history with this as well and then not realizing how great it is for someone like Gracie to come back from such an illness and then take matters into her own hands. Not because the skating federation is pushing her. Not because she is such a young talent who need to be nurtured. But just because SHE wants it.

Anyway, that is my last response to you - we are MILES apart on what we thing about human beings and decent behavior towards other people on the internet or in real live.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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this is bullshit. (Btw you can make a point without hiding behind ALOT of people. Either you believe it or not. But why do you feel the need to be validated?)
Skating and skating in competitions are two different animals. I think it is hard to see from the outside if someone truly enjoys competing or not but it looks to us a certain way. If I see Gracie competing I don't see her enjoying it, especially if she makes mistakes. And it would surprise me if she would enjoy skating while she is popping a jump to a single. That would be quite weird.

But skating is more than competing. Of course she will be frustrated if she can not show in a competition what she can do in training.
But the ONLY relevant issue is if Gracie wants to keep on skating and competing or if she does not. She does not owe you or anyone to skate great or to make any team or to bring joy to you. This is such a self-centered opinion and self-righteous notion that I can only shake my head.
She clearly wants to go on skating and competing at the moment. And if she wants to stop, then she will stop. It is absolutely up to her to decide wether or not she enjoys skating or not and not for some self-righteous skating "fan" who does not get enough enjoyment out of it. These kinds of expectations are what makes people struggle with mental health issues and I really wonder about you claiming that you have a history with this as well and then not realizing how great it is for someone like Gracie to come back from such an illness and then take matters into her own hands. Not because the skating federation is pushing her. Not because she is such a young talent who need to be nurtured. But just because SHE wants it.

Anyway, that is my last response to you - we are MILES apart on what we thing about human beings and decent behavior towards other people on the internet or in real live.
Hedwig, first of all, calm down. I believe you are far too emotionally invested in this than you should be. NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE is telling Gracie how to live her life or thinks that Gracie owes us ANYTHING. That notion is all a concoction in your mind. You should disabuse yourself of that notion immediately. You need to stop acting like some self-righteous defender of Gracie with your incorrect notions.

Yes, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. But I know when it's time to pick yourself up off your @ss and PRODUCE, and not just coast on decent people's sympathy. No one wants an 'emotional vampire' who sucks you dry emotionally, especially an Empath like me. I was a professor and we had a "problem" student who was going through a rough personal time and was on probation. I asked to be assigned to her so that I could encourage her and not be that "malignant" attending you'd dread having to spend the day with. Her heart wasn't in it, and I suggested that she take a LOA if she can't even TRY to look or act interested. I wanted so much to write her a stellar evaluation to get her off probation, but she just didn't do anything to help herself. It broke my heart, but that's life. Gracie has now had three years in this comeback. I wonder that she is only doing this because she feels obligated to skate through the Olympic season. And I'm also concerned what will happen to her after this season when this whole "skating to get my mental health back" project is over. She won't be able to use the rink as an excuse not to move forward with her life anymore, if that is what she is doing. I almost feel that this lengthy comeback is not all that good for her mental health and future. Just my opinion. I'm not "hating" on anyone, no matter what you squawk.
 
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Frau Muller

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No one knows any of this other than Gracie.
True. We can only go with the visuals, eg, Did we see a carefree smiling look on the ice yesterday? No but Maybe she was happy and just didn't show it. No need to guess what's inside any performer's head.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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@ErikWilliam , your pain is not an excuse to be a nasty person. Quit hiding behind it. It doesn’t give you free license to be an ass.
Except I really have no "pain". Just experience. I'm not a nasty person, just being objective and mature. I would certainly expect my family/friends to have this conversation with me if I was in Gracie's shoes. Sorry you are unable to see the difference. But as the saying goes that I live by: "Don't ever try to justify yourself to someone intent on misinterpreting you." So, I'll leave it at that. Cheers. Hopefully Gracie will do better today.
 
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Karen-W

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Except I really have no "pain". I'm not a nasty person, just being objective and mature. Sorry you are unable to see the difference. But as the saying goes that I live by: "Don't ever try to justify yourself to someone intent on misinterpreting you." So, I'll leave it at that. Cheers. Hopefully Gracie will do better today.
Erik - no offense but you seem pretty focused on just one skater in particular. You aren't attacking Gabriella Izzo, Finley Hawk or Rena Ikenishi, all of whom had, as indicated by their scores, worse skates than Gracie. You aren't questioning why they are still skating. Now, I realize that they're all younger than Gracie but Gabriella is in college, so by the rationale and logic you are applying to questioning why Gracie is still skating, shouldn't you be saying the same things about Gabriella? She should move on with her life, there isn't any joy to her skating, etc. Sure, it's hard to find much joy as a competitive skater when you know you can land the jumps and complete all of the elements because you do it every day in practice but, for whatever reason, it all comes apart on competition ice. They all were pretty disappointed in their skates yesterday but you aren't picking on them and "being objective and mature." Or maybe you are but because they aren't as high profile as Gracie you don't feel compelled to, in this thread of all places, snipe at their journey.

Being "objective and mature" here - you sound like a bitter, scorned former uber fan of Gracie who is hellbent on tearing her down because the alternative is allowing yourself to hope that, one day, she might again skate the way that made you a fan in the first place and you don't want that to happen lest you wind up with a broken heart again.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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Erik - no offense but you seem pretty focused on just one skater in particular. You aren't attacking Gabriella Izzo, Finley Hawk or Rena Ikenishi, all of whom had, as indicated by their scores, worse skates than Gracie. You aren't questioning why they are still skating. Now, I realize that they're all younger than Gracie but Gabriella is in college, so by the rationale and logic you are applying to questioning why Gracie is still skating, shouldn't you be saying the same things about Gabriella? She should move on with her life, there isn't any joy to her skating, etc. Sure, it's hard to find much joy as a competitive skater when you know you can land the jumps and complete all of the elements because you do it every day in practice but, for whatever reason, it all comes apart on competition ice. They all were pretty disappointed in their skates yesterday but you aren't picking on them and "being objective and mature." Or maybe you are but because they aren't as high profile as Gracie you don't feel compelled to, in this thread of all places, snipe at their journey.

Being "objective and mature" here - you sound like a bitter, scorned former uber fan of Gracie who is hellbent on tearing her down because the alternative is allowing yourself to hope that, one day, she might again skate the way that made you a fan in the first place and you don't want that to happen lest you wind up with a broken heart again.
It might seem that I am focused on just Gracie, but frankly she is the only one I notice out there who looks miserable and disinterested. Not Izzo, not Hawk, not anyone. This is a social media discussion group, and people should be free to post their opinions, questions, suggestions, etc. Being critical doesn't mean being nasty. Gracie has been very public about her issues, and opened her story to everyone. We all care about her wellbeing. Well, I do.

As for your last paragraph, well, I can only imagine you might be projecting your own issues. I'm not a bitter or scorned uber. I preferred Ashley actually, but Gracie's 2016 USN performance made me a fan. I just want the best for her, whatever it is. Hopefully someone in her circle is having this discussion with her, and not just being a "yes" person to her, like it seems some are.

ETA: I just remembered a skater that I had similar feelings about. Mirai Nagasu. Especially around 2015 when she placed something like 10th at Nationals. Should she retire? What should she do to improve her fate? Well, she had a fighting spirit, so she took up with TomZ, worked harder than she ever had, learned the 3xael and became an Olympic medalist. A happy happy well-deserved ending to her career. I wish that for Gracie, but I just don't see any fire or interest in her. I hope she'll find something that 'clicks' in her life.
 
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