Your podcast was more entertaining then Nationals. Don't agree with Gracie being the winner last night. She is like watching paint dry. Your bias for Tara Lipinski is annoying Aunt Joyce.
Considering that AJ is a huge Kwan fan, I think it is ok that he appreciates the positive qualities of Tara Lipinski.
Yeah but in 97 Michelle didn't get gold like he just implied. She fell and fell and got the silver behind mini me.
He did NOT imply that she won. Are you thick? This is why people like AJ get burned out and stop posting for a while. He was just comparing Ashley's win to something as outrageous as IF Michelle was given the gold in Nashville. That is what he felt it looks like/would've looked like to the casual viewer. I would be my house that AJ knows that Tara won 1997 Nationals. I would be your house and my child's life.
First anon is right. AJ does let his bias get in the way of good blogger-ism and he better have a thicker skin if he is going to insult other blogs and message boards. Pay back is a bitch and he deserves all the complaints he gets when he is biased.
Aunt Joyce is great overall but I to believe he lets his "friendships" get in the way with his opinion.
I'd like to read your summeray than more watch/listen the podcast.Simply because it is more efficeint for me to do that.
I don't know how you intended this, but that is such an insulting comment. Jenny and Dave are spending hours and hours each week to provide entertainment for you and all you do is criticize and say you'd rather him write. Would you like him to have a life? This is why he gives up for months. I wouldn't want to do what he does and deal with the crap from people like you. He isn't getting rich or making money off of this. If you think he is, you are sadly sadly mistaken.I cannot believe that you have to tell him to write instead. Jenny and Dave work hard, very hard to put out content every single week. At the same time one of them is editing, the other is researching and planning for the next week's interview. What part of that aren't you getting?Oh, it isn't convenient for you to watch? They also have an itunes option (which is great) that allows you to listen to the podcast while doing other things if that is more convenient for you.I'm sorry, but I've followed Dave for years and I cannot believe how much some people on here expect from him. He does not have to do this. He genuinely loves the sport, writing and entertaining. I find it ridiculous that you would leave such a negative comment like that.
You are the one being ignorant not the other comment. Write ups take less time and Dave isn't doing this for the fans. He is doing it to fill his need for attention.Not like we don't already know that most of the comments defending AJ are idiots like Margaret Thatcher who is his friend.
Some funny business went on with PCS scores. I think the best two are going to Worlds (hopefully) but the scores that held Gracie up in the SP ad Ashley in the FS are a joke. Anyway, it's done. Here's hoping they'll hit and bring back 3 spots for Team USA at the Olympics next year.
will there be more commentary for the rest of the events?
AJ...you know Tim Goebel that well?
And you guys are SO RIGHT. I consider myself a savvy Figure Skating fan...but after the first Pair team (that was broadcast) skated I was asked if that was a good score.How in the hell am I supposed to know? They skated well...but they weren't in the lead after the SP, so I don't know if they were the "chosen" Pair...plus allowing for any inflated Nationals scores, ect.All in all, I feel I am much more than a casual fan...but I don't know what is a good score...I can only compare them to other scores.
LOVED this podcast!! Please do more do more for Worlds and don't forget gymnastics! Wagner's FS scores were a head scratcher as were Gracie's PSC scores in both phases of the competition. I just hope the USFSA made the right decision. Dave, the math analogy ROTFLMAO!!!! Brilliant!!
Dave has the greatest analogy for any situation. He is so quick. It is impressive.
I think Tim and AJ live together and are a couple
They have been friends for years. Definitely not a couple, nor do they live together. They don't even agree about skating that much from what I've heard, but they are certainly friends and funny together.
ITA re Mirai and Caroline. How discouraging it must be for those girls. Also come on. Christina Gao was under marked as well. If the USFSA keeps holding up boring skaters then why would anyone watch. Part of the reason we only have 2 spots is due to their holding up of Flatt for so many years
From what I see, it looks like Caroline trains her major elements very hard, but everything in between is very sloppy. I would say Mirai COULD be a great skater if she found the right 'headspace' but I really don't see much hope for Caroline, unfortunately.
Here's my take: ice dancing is the only discipline in which the US is world class. Davis and White were sublime in their free dance; the Shibs were very good and the second and fourth teams were as well. The women were so inconsistent. Gracie has the jumps but she isn't at the level of Yu Na, Mao or even Carolina or Akiko. She will only be able to beat them if they mess up. And the men--Max Aaron is an interesting newcomer, but he is a regional medal-winner compared to Takahashi at Japanese Nationals.
That Hamilton keeps saying if she skates like that she will have Yu na scores. I don't think so. I like Gracie but her program and her artistry is pretty generic right now.
I have only seen Gracie and Ashley's skates. I disagree with the idea that Gracie "brought in the crowd" I find Gracie to be completely devoid of artistry-no connection to the music. She has strong basics though and she's not sloppy so maybe an artist can be made for her.Wagner was a mess-and I think is overrated anyways. So yes Gold's PCS were ridiculous but so were Ashleys...I suspect one of the other girls may have been screwed....But it doesn't sound like anyone else-really light up the ring either...
Let's not pretend like Nationals doesn't give inflated marks compared to what skaters would receive worldwide. And this doesn't just happen at US Nationals- it happens in Canada, Russia, Italy, etc. It's no surprise every year that many skaters post "personal bests" at Nationals. Consequently, I'm not sure bringing up Ashley's scores from the GPF is a good argument. However, I do think that Ashley's LP score relative to the rest of the field was too much... I think they were trying to make sure she had enough points to beat Agnes.
...And by giving her enough points to beat Agnes, she was assured a spot on the World team, whether or not she ended up finishing ahead of Gracie. Considering she barely beat Gracie, it seems the judges would have felt fine with either one of them finishing ahead of the other, as long as they were both in the top 2.The National judges are under so much pressure to not only judge the event, but to try as hard as they can to make sure that the best US skaters end up in the top 2/3 and therefore will represent the US at Worlds. It's not easy. They are put in an extremely difficult position when one of the best skaters happens to have a bad night.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yes other nations inflate scores but not every nation blatently holds up skaters that badly either. Other nations have actual selection procedures, which means they don't have to base selection one result. So, ie the Russians can let Menshev finish ahead of Kovtun based on the skate and say we are sending Kovtun. And same goes for Kostner and Valentina back in 2010... The US system right now is ridiculous.
Agreed. Other countries have better selection systems.
when results have been close in Canada, they've relied on performance @ 4cc which seems reasonable imo. i don't know why the USFSA doesn't go this route for extra spots when it's tight and contentious
This didn't talk about Gracie's bitch face when Ashley hugged her. Or the fact that Ashley basically said, yeah I just got rewarded for a strong season. Both were hilarious
Haha yeah - I LIVED for Gracie's bitch face. And Ashley was very open about the fact that she got held up because of everything she did before she got to nationals. At least she knows it wasn't good.
Loved the podcast - I hope there are more in the future:My thoughts about the USFA: f*ck them - a great thing about being a skating fan is we don't HAVE to be fans of American skaters, yes, I liked the old 6.0 system better, even so, there are some great skaters under the current system, first and foremost Takahashi but also Hanyu and Kim Yuna. I will say - I DID enjoy the Ice Dancing competition - lots of worthy routines - not sure about Chock & Bates getting silver but Charlie & Meryl the best ice dancers the US has ever produced.I'm not sure what to think about last night's ladies competition because I didn't really care for any of them. IMO Christina Gao sucked least but still was not up to her skate America performance. For the first time, I DID appreciate Gracie Gold's jumps, but her footwork is lousy and she has two expression, a creepy phony smile and a blank stare. If I was a judge I MIGHT have been inclined to give Ashley the benefit of the doubt, chalk up her bad LP to being sick - but it was not good and I agree, the dress is heinous. I felt REALLY bad for Mirai - makes me wonder if Frank Carroll dumped her because he 'knew' USFA had the knives ready if she made one mis-step.As for the death of skating...I have to wonder if in the US its become an elitist activity like ballet or Opera, where a small club of very rich people LIKE having it to themselves and prefer to keep the riff-raff out. I get the feeling there is a small circle of people behind the scenes in US skating who enjoy pushing their favorites and paying off judges to advance the careers of - say - Rachel Flatt - just because they can.The worst moment of the competition was seeing Tom Z having ANYTHING to do with a gold medal winner. IMO that guy should have been banned from skating for making Joshus Farris skate on a broken leg. Somebody PLEASE get Max Aaron away from him ASAP.
Totally agree about Gracie's facial expressions- she has a "I have to land all my jumps" blank stare and "I'm supposed to be smiling" smile. Her jumps are phenomenal, but the scores she receives certainly aren't really encouraging her to go out and improve her weaknesses.
I have to agree with your comment about Max Aaron. I think what really kills me is that fact that the kid went out there, did 2 quads, basically stood around waiting for the halfway point, then threw a jumping clinic in our faces. And this gets crazy reward bonus points because of the new scoring system. Terrible! What happened to balanced programs and actual, you know, skating? He looks like he could create lovely lines and actually be a pleasing skater to watch, but he barely skated! I can't say he didn't deserve to win because the other men skated like crap (it kills me because half of them can skate but not jump, and the rest can jump but not skate), but it was painful to watch.
Man, I never had figure skating playmobils. Also, agree w/ anon, text notes are preferred.
LOVE the podcasts but I too like to quickly go thru text notes. Faster for me. I am SO glad we are sending someone else besides Jeremy to Worlds. I LOVE LOVE his skating but he is still a boy emotionally. See his pout face after the other guy won?
Jeremy needs to think about throwing in his towel.
Felt so bad for Mirai and Caroline. Both got screwed!
And I agree we shouldn't have to pay to watch skating.
I really really enjoyed the video! I'd love to sit and chitchat about skating too...and I agree with you guys: last night was a joke. Terrible scoring all around.
My favorite dance commentary moment was Tracy Wilson's astonishment at Bates & Chock's 2nd place.
Haha yeah! I felt like Marlie and the Shiblings looked SO MUCH BETTER than they had all season. Very crisp, smooth, polished, and fast. I had worried about the Mariana/Igor split because it seemed like the Canton teams were less technically accurate than usual during the entire Grand Prix season (especially on the compulsory portion of the SD) - but they looked fabulous at Nationals. I think the Shiblings were screwed out of a legitimate second place finish - this was probably they best they have looked since their 3rd place finish at Worlds a few years back. I like Chock/Bates as a team, but I thought they should have been 3rd. They were precise and accurate, but too slow and reserved. It seemed pretty obvious that the US judges are playing both sides of the Mariana/Igor fence until they see which way the international judges are going to swing.
Hopefully, as far as the number two and three US dance teams, the judges at Worlds will put each in their proper place in spite of U.S. Nationals. Kind of like they did for Mirai at the Olympics.
Although I ain't a US citizen, when I was watching NBC, I know it should be Gold and Wagner to go to worlds. They don't want the best skater, but A Star.
Say what you want about Ashley...but she DOES hold a candle to the 3 ladies who beat her at Worlds last year...so she isn't that mediocre. But even if she is, she was the best the US had last year, and has established a bit of a name...so she NEEDS to go to the WC with Gracie. They are the best pair to go to Worlds (one has experience, one has jumps) and bring back a third spot that will go to Agnes or Christina Gao. I feel bad about Mirai...but why would they tell her goodbye, and constantly welcome Alyssa back?
I will hand you Suzuki/Leonova (especially Leonova).. But Kostner-No...Kostner may not have had a 3lutz, but its not like Wagner has a real 3lutz (so lets get real there) But Kostner in terms of basic skating is out of this world.... Once Kostner gets her difficult 3/3s back, she's up there with Kim.. (she's actually faster than Kim)Same can't be said for Wagner.
Never say never. Anything can happen in a year and Mirai may yet crawl her way back to the Olympics. And hopefully she'll be in top form and excellent health (go away flu bugs!).
I think this is a case where I didn't feel like either one of the top two didn't deserve the title-- kind of like at the men's event at the 2010 Olympics. Their programs were "meh"-worthy, even with Gracie's spectacular jumps--I hate watching skaters actually THINK through their programs AND she had bombed in the short. I wish Christina and Agnes switched placements. Agnes's jumps have a considerable amount of height, yes; but Christina's a better all-around skater. Oh, and Agnes wasn't (isn't) much of a long program skater. My only consolation is that Christina's being sent to 4CC.And the backstage cameras recorded what was pretty much the most awkward exchanges/expressions in U.S. figure skating in quite some time.Also, poor Mirai and Caroline. :(
I look forward to the future with our young men, Max, Josh, Alexander Johnson and Jason Brown. Some really great skates yesterday!Gracie had better jump on the artistry bandwagon, tout de suite!
I think Jenny's comment about making skating about skating and not about rewarding "tricks," like Biellmanns, is spot on. Being able to pull your foot over your head or do a Sasha spin (I-spin) may add some excitement to a program, but has more to do with innate or learned flexibility than with skating skills. Here are some of my ideas for improving the system: Get rid of levels in the long program and just score grade of execution on spins and footwork. Use a mandatory GOE deduction of -1 for 1/4 underrotated jumps. -2 for 1/2 under-rotated jumps and -3 if the jump doesn't even get half-way around. No downgrades and no double penalties. I like the idea of a single score for the second mark. And get rid of anonymous judging!
I don't agree about the Sasha spin or the Bielmann either for that matter. It takes skill to stand on one foot with your leg overhead and spin. I don't see why a sit spin, a scratch spin or any other kind should be considered more 'legitimate' skating since they don't involve much flexibility. Even the classic spiral which U.S. women have excelled at forever requires a certain level of flexibility. Sasha was one of the first to make the EXTREMELY flexible spiral popular but I'm talking about the good old-fashioned Kwan, hand-held Kerrigan, Fleming type of spirals. Holding your leg back and gliding in around the rink is hard even for the best in the sport. Cohen took it to the next level-it's still skating.
But no points are awarded for the classic spiral position. As for Biellmanns and I-spins, it's difficult to do lots of things on skates, like back-flips, but those are not considered part of skating. And, by the way, I see little kids at public skating sessions doing Biellmanns.
Blame the powers that be if no points are awarded for the classic spiral. It was a stupid decision to remove them as a requirement in the SP. And the I-Spins, etc. are no more illegitimate 'skating' than a sit spin or scratch spins, nor the Biellmann for that matter. They're not turning over in a somersault in the air which is basically gymnastics or acrobatics. The I-Spin and Biellmann STILL require having one skates on the on the ice at all times. The somersault is no comparison. Heck, in a flying sit spin or in a butterfly the skater's feet actually LEAVES the ice-and yet I suppose you consider that more 'legitimate' than an I-Spin. It's all a matter of opinion. In the end I'm glad the ISU recognizes the difficulty of such spins. They are beautiful when they are done well and I for one am glad they're not going away any time soon. And for the record I never considered somersaults or aerial walkover actual skating. Those are best left for exhibitions. Again-that's my opinion. Some here may disagree.
I totally agree with Tim re: Christina Gao. It makes absolutely no sense to me that Wagner's PCS was so much higher than hers. I am mystified by Agnes Zawadzki's placement here. What's the point in holding her up so much? She has proven time and time again that she absolutely cannot deliver when it counts. Yet her PCS in both phases of the competition told me that the judges were actively trying to send her to the World Championships. BS with the numbers all you want, but there is no way in hell that a girl should be 2nd in the short program with a fall, especially over a slew of clean skates. I also cannot believe that they scored her high enough to stay on the podium after a pretty pitiful free skate. Again I have to ask: what is the point? What was there to gain in so blatantly holding her up? To an extent, I understand the logic in cheating to give the win to Wagner. But why cheat for Agnes Zawadzki?
That was my confusion too. She never does well, so why hold her up? Especially when Gao had a good season on the grand prix. I would have had Gao 3rd, Hicks 4th and then Agnes.
I could not help but think that over the years, there was a particular person propping up Rachel Flatt, and that said person has picked Agnes as their new 'girl'.I DO think Agnes has 'something' - but is being COMPLETELY mis-packaged - I don't think she comes off well at all framed as a sexy siren or glamor queen - IMO she should go for a sporty, exuberant image - sort of like Slutskya.
Whoops - this post was INTENDED as a reply to AnonymousJanuary 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Agnes strikes me as a skater with some really good skating skills & jumps but I agree she's definitely mispackaged. Her skating seems way more palatable to watch than Flatt but her personality/style is completely wrong for who she is as a skater. I guess the question is who's making the decisions and is it reversible at this point?
Agnes has great jumps, so the jumps she does land well always get scored well. She has one of the best 3/3 Toe Loop combos in the world, and a sky high Lutz. Her technique is good. Like it or not, but 2 falls on jumps from Agnes hurts HER less than 2 Wagner falls, cause her jumps are rated higher than Ashley's from a technical perspective.She also doesn't have a reputation for URs or Two Foots, so she tends to get the benefit of a doubt there, more than someone like Nagasu or Zhang. It's very important for coaches to teach the fundamentals of jumping correctly and not rush skaters to acquire triples they aren't familiar with, because when skaters are nervous or not feeling well they tend to fall back to old habits. Nevermind training time spent relearning stuff isn't necessarily the epitome of efficiency.As for her final placement, that had much to do with PCS and PCS was inflated for all the top girls. Some more than others, but it was used as a placement tool similar to the old presentation mark. Her PCS is decent, though...Her spins are good. She skates decently fast. I don't see a good argument for Zawadzki not to win the bronze, and given the score Kostner got at Euros with a fall on her combination I have no issue with Agnes' short program score, either...
Don't think a lot of people understand how this affects the sport. Skater mom is sitting around watching nations and sees Gracie Gold skate like that, then sees Ashley basically implode on the ice. What does she think?Do you have any idea how much skating costs, even at the lower levels? It's expensive. $60/hour coaching $10-14 ice time. These kids skate like 3 hours a day 3-5 days a week 2-3 lessons a week. Even at half hour lessons that's bloody expensive.Then you have to pay the coach's way to competitions, pay for lessons at competitions. Their Hotel Rooms. Their transportation. Etc.It is a huge burden, and when you give these people an idea that skating is turning into something less than a sport (but more of "pick your favorites"), that defeats the purpose for a lot of those kids.No one should be judged based on their season. If that's the case just let National Champions who win their non-Final GP events automatically on the Worlds team and they don't have to show up... What's the point in your child putting themselves on the line going out there popping off triple triples and 6-7 triple programs if they can have the skate of their lives and the judges will still hold them back simply because they're judging the wants of the federation and not what's going on on the ice.What they're doing is akin to letting Michael Johnson start at the 50 yard line in a 200M final at Nationals. It stinks. It rubs people the wrong way. It hurts the sport. It smells "Rhythmic Gymastics," and that is never (NEVER) a good thing.The results may have been right, but the logic many people are using to justify it is nothing short of laughable if not absolutely f*ck*ng retarded.
it's actaully $100-$130 per hour in new york area. $16-$18 per hour ice fee. Way too expensive to do it.
Anon above @1:11. There's a LOT of things in ice skating that make it seem way less of a sport! If you don't have lots of money you can forget even making it to nationals unless you are a natural like Tonya Harding. Dream but be realistic. Do not rack up bills for this so called sport that relies on who the judges like or who got politics working for them (shouldn't be allowed). You should be able to win in an all black outfit like Tessa/Scott and $$ in glittery outfits should not affect the final outcome enough to change your placements. I want to see more adults and sr. citizens out there competing and testing at a pace they can afford. More to skating than pressuring young girls
What Gao was able to put out there given she is going to college full time should be respected and looked up to by all Americans as well as world wide! Yuna Kim was not even in high school when she won. (Interview mentioned she couldn't find anything related to her Korean education at that time). She was however taking instensive english language courses.
Then, you have to respect Flatt. I don't care if he/she is a harvard or stanford student. Gao may be a good student,but she has no ''it''factor as a skater.
Yagudin and Plushenko also dedicated all their life to skating. She is no Dick Button or Paul Wylie. Those years're gone.
Yuna is a full time student now(loaded with the maximum number of credits ) and still manages to train full time. She's (it is said)never missed classes. No excuse for failure and mediocrity.Gao is a lovely skater but not champion material .
@Anonymous | January 28, 2013 at 4:52 PMIf I'm not mistaken, Yuna graduated before coming back to competition. And one of her university's top officials made it publicly known that she'd failed one or two classes while she was training in Canada.Yes, you can argue that she was overseas while taking courses in Korea, but it still indicates that no, you cannot do both full-time and expect to EXCEL at both.
Yuna is still in college.
It is a personal matter to go to the college or not. As a fs fan, I just want a good performance, not boring performances with a stanford or harbard certificate. I'm sick of commentator's repeating their sat scores on tv, which has nothing to do with the their actual performance level.
But Gao was home schooled in high school. College is much more flexiable than high school, one can pick any course at any time.Pretty much one can pace it herself.To be a fulltime skater and full time high school student is a lot more harder.
To me Agnes has always been the "working class" skater...or at least came across that way.In 2002, I remember Sarah and Michelle having the complete package with their looks...while Sasha was skating in basic practice costumes. I get the same feeling with Agnes...still if you only have x-amount of dollars, you can use it in a different way.BTW, I did LOL when I heard her SP music was to "Sex and the City 2"...and then I saw the choreography..."it sounds like it's Egyptian music...or maybe it's Middle Eastern. Let's hold our hands flat like we are carrying a tray on them. That equals Egyptian/Middle Eastern choreography."
To David et Jennifer. So beautiful. So much enjoyment. I am no english first and you commiserate too fastly. With much difficulty to understand. Jennifer with lovely face but badly body. Analexic? Much enjoyment and much smile. Sotnikova shall triumph. Very much love David and Jennifer. I shall wish my english improve to make laugh with you.
analexic...lol. A specific type of anorexia?
Joycey dear, I wonder what your thoughts are on this (a post about Kwan)? I almost had a heart attack when I read ithttp://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?86726-Christine-Brennan-s-Article-on-USA-Ladies-quot-U-S-women-s-skating-lacks-dominant-star-quot&p=3812020&viewfull=1#post3812020
Hi AJ, Great job! Just please fix your Donate button. This is a second time I want to reward you for your excellent work, but could not. By the way my husband who is science blogger was also very intrigued by your podcasts.
Love the podcasts! So nice to hear conversation about skating. I feel like I'm hanging out with friends.(Always a huge fan of Jenny's) I started skating when I was 3 and gave it up when I was 18 to go to college. Never had any regrets. The sport has changed. A beautiful art form has been reduced to a jumping competition and how many different pretzel looking positions you can do in one spin. I miss the 6.0 system but what I do like about the new one is that someone can move up from a lower placement than before. Nationals used to me something I looked forward to and watched every minute of coverage but now I have to force myself to tune in.
NIce catty comments about Ashley Wagner, Jenny Kirk. You're better than this.
I agree. Her remark "It's not like she's some beautiful skater" when referring to Ashley were disappointing and unnecessary.
I don't think she was catty, I think she was honest. There is a big difference.
The highlights for me were watching the up and coming men. Jason Brown and Joshua Farris are both 18, beautiful skaters with good heads on their shoulders. They are the ones who in a few years will be competitive internationally. 2018 will be a strong mens team.
It was so great to see and hear from Miki - I so miss Lutz Chat! Have to admit, the first time I saw TheSkatingLesson I thought, wow - this is kind of like Lutz Chat, but with people who actually know what they're talking about. Keep up the great work Jenny and Dave and hope to see you again Miki!
Man, that podcast was too annoying to watch. I wouldn't finish watching that if someone PAID me to. It seemed to get no further than "LIKE OMG ASHLEY WON AND SHE FELL ON HER BUTT" Erm. Yes. Everyone who *watched* Nationals saw that. Also; not the first time this happens in figure skating. Also; Gracie lost Nationals in the short not the long. And don't you live for her attitude of hating Ashley? And the "they deserve to be here with me" comment in the presser? There is no grace in Gracie and that goes for her artistry too; still has a loooong way to go. She better stops letting the media hype get to her head and deliver in the short *and* the long. I can't listen to another whiner going "OMG GRACIE WAS ROBBED".And as for Ashley; if Agnes or Mirai had actually delivered in the long program, she would have lost her title. Yes she might be the champion by default but that's not unusual or 'shameful'.
I just love how in every forum and commentary the discussion is "who is the federation holding up or who did the federation want to push down". Nowhere is there the slightest thought that judges are supposed to be scoring, not USFSA officials, and that one should have nothing to do with the other. Were all the judges simply given orders by USFSA?
Why the hate for Chock's dress? I liked that she and Gao had LONG sleeves which goes along with a sport in a cold place. No bathing suits on ice please. Odd costumes for men can turn guys off from the sport. Yes I know there are other reasons too. Who cares if they wear gloves? It is cold there. Dave: How can you insult a sponsor?! A healthy sport like skating can go along with cancer prevention and treatments. Retract your statement please.