Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 World Championships Ladies' Recap



Our recap of the ladies' event at the 2013 World Championships.

75 comments:

  1. Very interesting comments about Carolina by Jenny. I totally agree!

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  2. Two best moments: Yuna Kim, of course, and Zijun Li. I've been a big fan of Zijun's since I watched her on the JGP and I am delighted with how she's competed this season! This girl is a star. Her jumps and spins are excellent, she has a presence to die for (she's so young!). I honestly felt she was held down a bit in the marks, but after such a tremendous senior debut I'm sure she'll see some bump in her components.

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    1. I like her, too. I am a bit worried, though, how she survives body changes in a few years. Currently, her jumps are so light and airy. She flutzes and sometimes underrorates her jumps. All of these seem to indicate that she needs a lot more power when she grows up.

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    2. She has such a slight frame, I don't think puberty is gonna be a big issue. Plus, she's already 16. The UR aren't a chronic problem - her technique is great, her speed is great. I think she'll only get better.

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    3. Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I hope she will survive.

      The reason why I worry is because even a skater like Mao, who didn't gain much weight, lost her jumps when she grew up. She didn't UR during the 2006-07 season. Her jumps were as light as feather. Likewise, Zijun airy jumps seem to rely on her light body and pre-rotation. Yu-Na's jumps at her age were more like a senior lady's. Yu-Na has never lost her jumps. Seeing Mao under-rotate almost every jump except for her old friends solo 3Lo and solo 2A, I worry that Zijun might lose her jumps. Good news are that Zijun's techniques are not as bad as Mao's, except for the heavy flutz.

      But a Zijun at 13 years old had a heavy flutz, and a Zijun at 16 still has it. Why hasn't her coach fixed it? Does she have a good tech coach? I know her coach is Lu Chen's past coach and wonder if she is a good one for her.

      Aside from jumps, she definitely needs to have more power to her skating. Her skating skills are rather weak, which affects her PCS.

      Currently, I am trying not to expect too much until she proves herself in the next few years.

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  3. yuna. in awe of her mental strength and her technical superiority. skating last and under the pressure of being the olympic champion.
    i was very impressed.

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  4. Did I miss you talking about Liza (and Adelina), or did you miss them out?

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    1. We did not go in depth with them this episode due to time restrictions. We are constantly trying to figure out the best length for these shows.

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    2. 30 min would be ideal.

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    3. I don't mind longer podcasts.

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    4. And maybe like an hour for interviews, or an hour and half for big interviews like Dick Button!! C'mon Dave, get on it!

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  5. Should Carolina keep Bolero for Olympic year?

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    1. I think so. As with Yuna Kim's Arirang (which I also hope she brings back for the Olympics, though I doubt she will), I think Carolina's Bolero is the kind of program that can only get better the more she performs it.

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  6. I love recaps at any length. I'm so sad that you didn't get to discuss that LP of Adelina's. Xtina's wailing was horrible. I felt bad for Alena Leonova and want to help Liza find a new dress.

    I can't wait for the pairs and dance!!!

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    1. We went into Adelina's long in our preview show, which is why we didn't discuss it here.

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  7. What do you make of Mao's components? It seems the judges have placed her a half tier below Yuna and Carolina. If not for the gap in pcs, she would've won silver here.

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    1. Under Sato, Mao has been working on her speed that she lost after she left Artunian. She is noticeably slower than other skaters (compare her with Caro, Yuna, Murakami, Osmond, and Gold), the differences are obvious. The lack of speed in itself is a problem in terms of SS. Also, the lack of speed makes the program look flat because it's difficult to bring ups and downs. Caro has far better SS than anyone else. Caro, Yuna, Ashley, and Murakami have better interpretation of music than Mao. Mao has good lines, but these are the two areas I would like to see her make improvements.

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    2. ETA: I failed to add that Akiko also had great speed (too bad about the FS though). Ashley had little speed at this time, which I believe affected her PCS.
      Back to Mao, I really loved her Nocturne SP and Fantaisie-Impromptu FS. At that time, she had good speed, and I didn't mind the lack of expression, either, b/c she was so young and the music suited her so well that her programs had what I call the "understated beauty."
      Under TAT, she finally started to "perform." The Bell and Liebesträume were among the best.
      Yet, she still gives an impression that she is going through the motion and facial expressions that her choreographers told her to do.
      For example, she gets less and less engaged in her choreos as the season progresses. At this event, she dropped some choreos at the sacrifice of big jumps. She was also behind the music. But she doesn't seem to care. Compare her performances with Ashley's, Carolina's, and Osmond's. The differences are very clear. They are really engaged in their programs and sold them to the audience and judges, by being in the character, moving to the music, and making eye contacts with judges etc etc.

      Yes, Mao performed her SP well. But she is now 22 years old. It was the kind of program that was most suitable for a young girl.
      Yes, her FS was also a masterpiece. It was choreographed so beautifully and her ballet basics helped her. But compare her performance with Oksana Baiul's. A 16-year old Oksana interpreted the music and connected to the audience so much better.
      In Mao, I fail to see intellectual engagement in the programs. It was fine when she was younger and I interpreted it as the "understated beauty." But having seen the maturity of Yuna, Caro, Ashley, and Akiko, what I had thought as the "understated beauty" when she was younger now comes to seem like the emptiness, I am afraid, and I hope that she grows.

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  8. Man, for a sixteen year old, Elizaveta Tuk looks like she's going on forty. That damn dress didn't help either in that regard.

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  9. Yu Na has yet to draw me in the way Michelle did - but man, what a CHAMPION. And unlike someone like Plushenko who just relied on his great jumps and blew off everything else, Yu Na with her AMAZING jumps has the RESPECT for the art of skating to be well rounded.

    IMO Li Jjzun had the program of the ladies event. Great music, great choreography, great dress, great performance. Too bad she didn't do well in the SP - it would have been nice to see her get a medal.

    Even though I have been watching skating many years now, I am not seeing what Murakami's technical flaws are - but I take other people's word for it that they exist. I enjoyed her performances a lot.

    Mao I just wasn't feeling this event. Hate her SP dress (hunter camouflage orange and silver: shudder). I think her LP is empty up till the end. Hopefully she'll get better programs next year.

    Carolina: there should be a rule in skating that people have time to stop nose bleeds - it is distracting to watch someone just waiting for blood to come spurting out onto the ice. Anyway, thought she was overscored (as usual) both programs, but do like Bolero a lot and hope she brings it back next year.

    There is just something about Gracie Gold that makes me think "Rachel Flatt 2.0" She has a lot better skating body but is lacking in artistry in a similar kind of way. Calling her pageant-like is so accurate and yeah, a big happy grin during music that is related to the holocaust is just really inappropriate.

    Ashley Wagner: Ever since the Grand Prix finals she seemed to have lost her mojo. Too bad. Kind of reminded me of what happened with Takahashi.

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    1. Murakami's flaws are obvious. Her toe jumps are terrible, and most of her take-offs are hunched - her picking technique is an abomination. Makes Julia Soldatova's terrible picking technique on her Lutz/Flip look flawless by comparison.

      She has a rather delayed rotation on some of her jumps which has led to constant UR issues in her jumps (Asada has this same issue). Her jumping technique - namely the take-offs (air position is fine, for the most part) is just off.

      It seems a pandemic in Japan. A lot of their women come onto the scene with some rather unorthodox technique IRT their jump take-offs. Suzuki and Azada also have a "different" (to be nice) loop technique and Mao has that flip take-off that I'm not sure why the coaches haven't changed it to something more "traditional" in an attempt to get her to rotate a bit more efficiently on that jump.

      Lastly, her (Murakami's) posture going into her jumps is BEYOND AWKWARD and borderline impossible to understand. Look at her arms going into her toe loop, for example. I think the commentators on USN (Peter Caruthers?) bought that up.

      And that coach (Yamato) doesn't seem to give a shit because she churns out skater after skater with sloppy technique.

      I don't see Murakami landing a (ratified) quad anytime soon.

      I'm sorry, but it's hard to appreciate a program when your attention is constantly being drawn to what she does in the jumps. The jumps should be woven into the program seamlessly. This excessive telegraphing with shitty posture and ****ed up take-of mechanics into the jumps slaps you in the face on every program, every time she goes into a jump.

      Sorry Kanako, everytime you have a nice program and I buy a ticket to enter that little world you're inviting me in, you slam the door in my face before the first jumping pass.

      At least she back loaded her SP, so I get to see a little more before I decide to get up and go do something else until it's over...

      As for Kostner's SP: The second 3T was almost forwards when she lands. Some coaches teach a flexed landing foot, pointed free foot air position as it allows the skater to straighten their legs better (which obviously helps them rotate quicker), and Kostner apparently was taught to rotate that way. She landed almost forwards while her landing foot was still flexed. She literally landed on her free foot's toe pick. The jump was so obviously two footed (it wasn't possible for her to not have all her weight on that foot) and UR (should have been <<)... Not calling that practically robbed Asada of a Silver Medal. I simply don't think the judges wanted Kim to have a 5+ point lead going into the FS, so they propped Kostner up to give the competition a bit more Drama, otherwise it would have been predictable (Kim was not going to implode away a 5pt lead, not with the way she was skating/practicing).

      I actually laughed my ass off she she fell in the FS, because it was the exact same kind of fall that she did in the SP, just a different jump. Especially with it being right at the end of the program. Umm... Jenny said those falls hurt. Yes, they ****ing hurt. She's probably still feeling that one...

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    2. I agree that the second jump of Caro's combo in SP seemed URed. I felt that her second jump of her combo in her FS was also UR. But I don't think that it robbed Mao of a Silver b/c I also felt that Mao had a lot of UR's that were not called. Many of her jumps in her FS looked URed, e.g., 3A (wasn't she forward on her left foot when she landed it?), 3Lo-2Lo (the landing of the second jump looked very tight), 2A-3T (the landing of the second jump looked tight), and 3F-2Lo-2Lo (all of them looked UR in slow-mo). I also think that Mao should have received -3 on her 2-footed 3A. That was really a big two foot and they are supposed to give -3, not -2. If a skater can score more than 6.0 on THAT landing, both Liza and Gracie should have tried their 3As. She also shouldn't have received a positive GOE on her two-footed 3A in SP. It was not a very serious two-foot, but still deserved minus GOE b/c the jump didn't have many good qualities such as the flow in and out. Besides, I don't think that anyone who had mistakes on all three jumping passes in SP should have remained in the final group. She missed the levels on her spins. It was because of the ratified 3A and her massive PCS that enabled her to remain in the final group. If there was anyone who was robbed, it was Akiko for missing the final flight and Kanako for missing a Bronze. Mao looked angry at the medal ceremony, but considering the number of mistakes, questionable calls, and rule changes that have helped her (e.g., allowing solo 3A in SP, increased BV for 3A, 70% value for GOE of triples, 70% BV for UR, less severe penalty on edge calls), she should have been grateful to be on the podium.

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    3. Now that you mention it, you're right. I looked at my twitter feed as I was calling the competition and noticed for Mao's program I had a bunch of (ur?) in the tweet...

      I need to get the 720p videos off YouTube and load them into my analysis program to see for sure, though. Kostner's UR in the SP was just so blatant that it was a slap in the face to see such a high score flash up, and then it wasn't 3T3T<< in the protocol... I mean, it was almost the same type of UR she had on the Salchow in the Long Program.

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  10. I want new programs from everyone this year (I although I wouldn't mind seeing Danse back from Kim.. (by far her best short)...Mainly because I like to see what they are coming up with next. Kostner's long was just amazing stuff....Those three though Kim, Asada, and Kostner are such fabulous skaters we are so lucky to have them....

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    1. agree. However good a program is, I've been getting bored with programs 2 years in a row.

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  11. In terms of Ashley I think she knew she was not medaling when it was clear Yu-na really was coming back and so was Kostner.

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    1. Looking back the Ladies Preview done by Jen, Dave, and PJ, PJ was really off, predicting that either Ashley or Yuna would win the Bronze and it was for Ashley to lose because Yuna was away for so long, was doing shows, and not participating in 4cc etc. I wondered if she watched her Korean Nationals.
      That said, I really think that she had a chance for the Bronze. Although Jen said at this PodCast that she wanted Ashley to go for 3-3, I am glad that she didn't. I also don't think that she should go for 2A-3T that was so clearly under-rotated. They could have predicted that Mao would probably go for the elusive 3A and 3F-3Lo that she had rarely succeeded during the official practices. Ashley could have moved up with a clean skate. She was really tired at the second half of the program. After a strange fall during the step sequence, she lost energy and was really slow, and even her edge slipped during the cross-cuts, setting up to the final Flip. Without those mistakes and better speed and energy to live up to the strong, fast music, she could have scored a lot higher on both TES and PCS. Her interpretation and transitions were better than Mao and Kanako and her choreos were as good as theirs. With better PE and SS, she could have earned at least the same PCS as Mao's. She could have won a Bronze.

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  12. Yuna Kim was absolutely amazing! Yuna is in a league of her own.

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  13. Yuna is really similar to Kwan for me in the sense that the judges are always going to put her first if she stands up because of the artistry. Not saying that's a bad thing I guess. I agree Ashley has lost something recently. I loved the comment about "Kimmie Meissner arms," always love when he comments on something that has driven me crazy in the past.

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  14. IMO, Ashley was nervous I think because of the pressure to get three spots for Sochi. After the marks came up, first words out of Mr.Nicks mouth is that they got the three spots. I think she was conservative to try and assure getting that extra spot.

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    1. Agree. USFS would have buried here if she had gone for a 3/3 in the Short program and ended up not being able to move up far enough to get 3 spots for the Olympics.

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  15. Zijun Li was giving Princess Aurora realness in everything she did. Loved the dress, too. She is the takeaway from this worlds pour moi.

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  16. I am so sad for Akiko. According to practice reports, she was SO consistent throughout the official practices and I thought that she could get on the podium again. She had never been off the podium at the international competitions throughout this season. She won the GPF Bronze Medal and a Silver at 4CC. How great these accomplishments were and how strong she has been despite some consistency issue. I couldn't believe what happened here. It was definitely the worst performance of hers in many years. I thought that she overcame her nerves at 4cc. I am really sorry for her.
    Akiko, so many fans love you. Have a good rest and please come back strong.

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  17. From Wagner's interviews, it was clear that she felt personally responsible for losing that third spot, and she desperately wanted to make up for it. I think that was what made her conservative here; If she'd felt like she was skating just for herself, she might have had more fire. I'm hoping that we can look forward to the return of 2011-2012 Ashley in the fall.

    I agree about Kostner's Bolero. It is a thing of beauty, and she performed it beautifully on Saturday despite the mistakes.

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  18. did you completely forget about the russians? how about the fact that the 3 spots that seemed given, turned into two spots? and how it seemed that lipnitskaya seemed guaranteed a spot next year, but now she has to battle with sotnikova and tuk for those 2 spots?

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    1. We made an editorial decision to cut them for time and flow of the show. I personally don't think it was a given that they would have three spots.

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  19. I went to London for the ladies' long program. First, I was astounded by how many Japan flags were flying around the arena. Those fans really represent! Korean fans, too.

    The next day, I ate breakfast at the hotel with some Japanese folks who actually suggested that the judging was unfair because Mao should have won, not Yuna! I was astounded. I'd always heard about the major rivalries between the Korean/Japanese fans, but this blew me away. Gotta love the crazy passion!

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    1. In my experience - many (not all) people from east asia are vociferously disdainful towards those of neighboring countries in ways that many in the west either are not or at least try to hide or disguise.

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    2. Hi I am Japanese and it seems that you've met people who are called MAOTA in Japanese, i.e., Mao bots. Basically, they are crazy cults.

      They are extremely bothersome people who attack every party that they perceive to be against Mao, including rules ("Rule changes target Mao's weaknesses!" - Mao is not the only one who flutzes or URs.), judges ("Why does she receive such low PCS?!" - Are they aware of her slower speed and weaker interpretation than others?), tech panels ("They target Mao's URs, but not others'!!" - Don't they know that her coach has made so much effort to address her URs?), the media ("The media undervalue Mao and praise Yu-Na" - Mao is the media darling and Yu-Na has achieved so much to deserve all the praises). Sadly, they attack Yu-Na A LOT. Yu-Na being Korea certainly makes things more heated. But they frantically attack their countrywomen such as Kanako (for stealing the media love when Mao was going through a slump in 2010-2011), Miki (for winning over Mao many times), and Akiko (for winning 2011 NHK over Mao), and her coaches ("The coach is ruining her!" - Isn't coaching choice her own decision?).

      Right now, I guess they are getting desperately mad because Yu-Na won over Mao by 20 points like she did at Vancouver. The situation looks even more disappointing and desperate with the knowledge that Mao has worked so hard revamping her techniques and that newer rules are advantageous for Mao and disadvantageous for Yu-Na.

      Sorry that you met them in person, but I hope you can understand that not all skating fans in Japan are like that. They are crazy..... So sad, but it's the best to stay away from them. Whenever you say anything that is slightly negative about Mao or about Mao fans, you get attacked. I don't know what to do about it. But not all Mao fans are like that, either.

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    3. That kind of Mao uber fans take over Yuna's vids on Youtube.

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    4. Original London poster here -- thanks for this insight. I would say that the Japanese fans I met seemed nice and reasonable, and they were not overly aggressive in saying Mao should have won -- it was a touch subtle but they definitely revealed their true opinion. I was just shocked that they could even think this after watching the two skates. But your response does put into perspective why I felt they were cold to me when I praised Kanako's skate -- I thought they'd take it as a compliment because she's Japanese, but now I see why they may have taken this as a further insult from me: not only did I think Yuna deserved her win, but I lauded Kanako and did not even mention Mao!

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    5. >AnonymousMarch 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM
      >That kind of Mao uber fans take over Yuna's vids on Youtube.

      I don't know why but other skaters vids(including Japanese) were deleted on youtube by the allegation of Korean Broadcast SBS, days ago.

      Though ITALIAN was spoken on the vids. :P

      However, now they are restored.

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    6. Yeah, I felt so sorry for Kanako when she had a successful senior debut. Whenever her news came up, haters post terrible comments on the Yahoo news. She was only sixteen years old and how much she, her family, and her friends would have been hurt reading those hateful comments. The haters didn't think Kanako deserved to be hyped as the Mao Second.
      Hateful comments on Yu-Na's news are definitely a lot more dreadful. I'm sure you'd have seen them often on YouTube. Sadly, I must say that prejudice against Yu-Na is pretty widespread. I always feel shocked when a blogger who seems nice and intelligent turns out to be prejudiced against Yu-Na and her skating. It's like brainwashing. So you have to be careful with whom you want to connect to on the net.
      Fortunately, there are lots of skating fans in Japan who appreciate not only their countermen/women but also foreign skaters including Yu-Na and her skating. I appreciate that she donated her 2011 Silver prize money to earthquake victims as well.

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    7. >not only did I think Yuna deserved her win, but I lauded Kanako and did not even mention Mao

      This kind of reaction is typical from Mao bots. They not only get defensive when someone criticizes Mao's skating, but also cannot accept people who praise other skaters without mentioning her. They pressure you into praising her. This is why they often attack the media and skating experts for being "biased." In reality, Mao is the focus of attention and the media keep publishing encouraging stories for her. But that's not enough for them. They can't take anything less than worships. Former skater Onda Yoshie was attacked in 2008 when she analyzed how difficult it could be for Mao to beat Yu-Na. Many other skating experts also received negative responses from the Mao bots. When Shizuka Arakawa started commentating, she received lots of negative responses from the audience for pointing out Mao's mistakes. Since then, she's become very careful. For example, she and another commentator, Ms. Junko Yaginuma, remained silent when watching the reply of Mao's two-footed 3A in SP. Mao bots are active claimers, who make phone calls and send emails etc. As a result, the public have less access to the objective opinions by skating experts. Because Mao's skating tends to look nearly clean with minor URs or two-foots, people cannot get the idea why she receives lower scores than what they expect, and start to believe that Yu-Na receives inflated scores even with visible mistakes. Many Mao bots love conspiracy theories probably because they have had difficulty accepting Mao's losses. Mao has so many sponsors that the media needs to hype her positive brand image by publishing encouraging stories. It's been many years that they have hyped the Mao vs. Yu-Na rivalry. In reality, Yu-Na has been a class of her own for the last few years, but Mao bots cannot accept it. Probably they believed that Mao would win bc she'd been winning everything. But she lost. Then the media now defends her that she has the "highest BV" and "can only get better."

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  20. Akkiko is a great skater to watch! Keep your chin up and just do your best. Many of us are rooting for you. I hope that she is not in the early phase of some injury like Cziny suffered and will get herself checked. Maybe her mind played tricks on her? I think she would also be great at dance too if it's found there is an injury that makes training triples all day bad for her.

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  21. Yuna was fantastic and killed it. I used to irrationally hate Carolina and thought her as world champion was a joke, but I totally forgot about that and loved her Bolero. And I usually hate Bolero unless it is Torvill and Dean doing it. And I did hate her costume (the front anyway). But yeah, forgot all of that and loved her and loved Bolero and thought that even with the fall and pop, she deserved silver. If Yuna hadn't been there, I would have been okay with her getting gold too. Converted.

    Gracie needs to get her bum to Jeff Buttle for some choreography. I think he could bring out some artistry in her and help people forget about the pageant queen. You got ten months, girl, make the most of it!

    Ashley...meh. She isn't Rachel Flatt by any stretch but she is missing something. The genuine-ness maybe. Her skating seems very mechanical--Ash, decide why you are out there on the ice and make us believe you love it. It could also be that I just don't see her as the "temptress" so the program didn't work for me at all. Do something portraying an ice queen and maybe we'll talk.

    Finally, note to the ladies, men, pairs, and dancers: NO CARMEN. Oh, please, no Carmen. Please?

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    1. I've never realized that jumps can actually be beautiful as much as other choreographic movements in women's figure skating until I watched Yuna's Les Miserables. Her jumps in the free skate were magnificent and inspiring as if sending a message of their own. While some skaters typically lose choreography and speed for difficult jumps, Yuna’s jumps looked like an integral part of the music and choreography. Almost a work of art with precision and sophistication. To me, her free skate was one of the most unforgettable performances in women’s figure skating.

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    2. ITA. Carolina's jumps are pretty gorgeous too, when she is on.

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    3. When you said mechanical, it reminded me of Kimmie M. I think both of them probably didn't have ballet training when they were young. So their skating tend to be stiff, not much flow, and nature extension. That also goes with Garcia Gold.

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    4. >I've never realized that jumps can actually be beautiful as much as other choreographic movements in women's figure skating until I watched Yuna's Les Miserables. Her jumps in the free skate were magnificent and inspiring as if sending a message of their own. While some skaters typically lose choreography and speed for difficult jumps, Yuna’s jumps looked like an integral part of the music and choreography. Almost a work of art with precision and sophistication. To me, her free skate was one of the most unforgettable performances in women’s figure skating.

      What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!!

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  22. Plushenko and Kim : Enigmatic!!!

    Competitive skaters would know how difficult comeback after years away from the game. So, I have no complaint about Ladies' Preview with Pj Kwong .
    At least, she put Kim on the podium.

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    1. Kwong actually put Wagner over Kim saying that Kim would be at 3rd if Wagner makes mistakes. I want to believe she was joking. Otherwise, I won't consider her any future prediction seriously lol.

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    2. Yeah, actually many ppl jokingly say that if she predicts your favorite as the Gold contender, you have to worry bc it's a bad sign. If she puts your favorite as Silver/Bronze, you feel received. Sorry PJ, I love you, but you won't be offended bc of your splendid prediction records this season.

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  23. No, Yuna is more than phenomenal..

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  24. was impressive Kim skated that amazingly out of the crap boring program. lol
    Waste of talent and time.

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    1. ITA. I think Kim and Wilson have sort of depleted each other at this point. I believe she needs a new choreographer as strongly as I believe V/M needs non zueva routine.

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    2. Both of them should hire Pasquale Camerlengo or Shae-Lynn Bourne.

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  25. Urgh,plz,no more David Wilson for Yuna Kim!

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  26. Somebody is jealous of combination of Wilson and Kim IMO:)

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    1. Nope, David Wilson didn't work for Yuzuru either... his last year's long was much better..The short that Jeff Buttle did for him was awesome! :)

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    2. I agree. I waited patiently until he could skate to its full potential, but he fell sick and got injured at Worlds so that it never happened. But probably David learned his personality better after working with him for a year now so that he could give a better program next season.

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  27. I must be the only one who doesn't understand what's so amazing about Carolina's Bolero. It's perfectly fine, but it doesn't go on my list of great programs.

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  28. ITA w/those whom believe Kim needs and artistic makeover! Her programs continually bore me to tears. The same contrived expressions and movements. I want some real personality out of her! She needs something dramatic and daring!

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    1. Or you can learn that there are more ways to read different interpretation depends on the music the skater is expressing. If Kiss of the Vampire is not a daring and unusually dramatic program far from the typical ladies figure skating programs out there, I don't know what is.

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    2. I loved that program. Probably not as great as her masterpiece SP in 2008-2009, but pretty close to it. It was such a mature piece of work. I feel that the camera work was not great at this comp. I would have wanted to watch more of her closeup face.

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  29. Yuna Kim nailed the both short and free programs. I honestly didn't think that Yuna would come back this strong. She seemed like she was never been away!! Admire her mental stability and physical ability. Plus the musical interpretation on Les Miserable was exquisite. Yuna is a TRUE champion of this event.

    Carolina deserved the silver. I didn't like her version of Bolero though. Skaters gotta stop skating to Bolero. So sick and tired of the music. She paused too many times during her free program but overall, good performance.

    Mao didn't deserve the bronze btw. I was furious when judges gave credits for her two-footed 3A on her short program. what the heck?! Lori Nicole gave Mao self-repeating (almost identical)choreography from one of Mirai Nagasu's junior programs. Seriously it's the same music and same moves. Shame on Lori Nicole. Her free program, Swan was way better than her junior-like immature short performance. She put together herself on free.

    Still I believe Murakami Kanako should've won the bronze ahead of Mao. Kanako's free tango was good and better than Mao's. I was impressed by her bold performance. If she really works on artistry and keep the jump consistency, she'll be a top skater.

    Gracie was superb on her free program. Very impressive performance. It's her first senior world and I think she has potential to be in the podium of Sochi next year if she really pulls out. Gracie, train hard and come back strong next year! Can't wait to see how you would do in your first Olympic!

    Wagner was okay on short, but lost her power on free. I don't know why she looked so powerless and energy-less. For USA, I think Gracie Gold has more shot to take a place in podium than Ashley. But I hope Ash will come back strong as well and maybe both of them will land Top 3!!(just dreaming,lol)

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    1. I can understand that Mao's SP checks the necessary PCS boxes. Having said that, however, her facial expressions look like an innocent infant (in particular, her final facial expression at the ending pose), which makes me worried about her maturity. Her ex program has childish choreos that are very similar to her SP. Both costumes are horrible.

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  30. I agree that Murakami Kanako should have won the bronze. It was quite disturbing to see that Mao Asada’s two-footed triple axel received positive GOE, which seemed to have contributed to the medal change. I wonder who feed these judges what. They don’t seem to be afraid of anything or anyone anymore. If this is a prelude to another Salt Lake City Scandal, a world-wide petition should be made to ban the figure skating sport from the Olympics. Ironically, it may be the only way to protect the integrity of the sport and the sanity of the skating community.

    Anyhow, there must be a rule which prohibit two-footed jumps from earning positive GOE. Period. Otherwise, judges will be led to systematic and shameless cheating as was in the case of Mao Asada’s triple axel in the short.

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    1. I am actually more bothered by her two-footed 3A in FS bc it was not called for UR by the Tech Panel and received -2 instead of -3 from most judges. She pre-rotated by nearly a quarter. When she landed it, she rotated on the ice by a quarter. Because she couldn't finish rotation in the air, her other foot came down on the ice. It's not like a touch down, but a big two-foot landing. Because she was still rotating on the ice, she lost the balance and stepped forward on that other foot, facing forward. If this is not an UR, what is? The tech panel was very sweet. The judges also should have given her -3's instead of -2's b/c it was not only two-footed, but also stepped out and URed.
      With her 3A attempts at this event, she earned a lot of points that she didn't deserve. In the past, her almost clean-looking 3As received UR calls and minus GOEs. I don't quite understand why they decided to reward more points for 3As with much worse qualities. Her 3A in FS received 6.36 points, which was greater than a clean 3Lz. What a joke. It's as if she were rewarded for "attempting" 3As. What a way to encourage difficult jumps.

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  31. Interesting video! So glad someone else is also frustrated with Gracie Gold's interpretation of Life is beautiful. If you've watched the movie, Gracie's choreography and facial expression to the music are just WRONG. That bittersweet emotion is probably really hard to pull off at her age, but then she should have just picked different music! Jeremy, Carolina, those are the kind of skaters that can pull this off, but not Gracie.

    Ashley needs to bury the 'play it safe'-mentality. She's gotten a lot of medals out of this season, she can cash in on them and do enough to make the Olympic team or she can grit her teeth and step it up one more level. I feel like she's so close again but not quite. Perhaps this new 'Almost, almost' will drive her like it has before. She still has WTT and the GP season to set her up as a contender for a medal in Sochi. She needs it because you guys are right, after this Worlds, people aren't seeing her as a serious medal contender anymore. I still see her that way, but I'm a die-hard fan ;)

    As for Yu Na Kim. I will never be a fan. Ever. I'm not a Mao fan either, though. With Yu Na, I've always missed that spark. She's never convinced me that she actually likes (let alone loves) what she's doing. Doesn't help that she's implied in interviews in the past that she skates for her mom and because it's what she's good at. That business-like approach just doesn't cut it for me. But of course she was the undisputed winner of the night. Nobody can touch her when she skates like that. But selfishly I'd feel like the Olympics would be boring if it's some kind of repeat of this event.

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    1. Do you really believe anyone endure the fierce working conditions of international level of competitions without the love of the skating?
      Get real.
      Mayvy, she skated for her mom for a start as children usually do to please their parents.

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    2. I judge people by the act. Talk is cheap. I know many skaters only by lips. ''I love competing'' ''I'll get two olympic gold medals" blah, blah, blah

      I sensed the fear in her face. Yeah I'm talking about some love -competing girl.

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    3. I love Ashley's performances. I don't think people count her out just because she finished at 5th. She can just do better next season. I love many other skaters and can't really predict who will win the medal except for YuNa and Caro.

      Mao is a medal favorite. Pressures won't be a problem for her because she's been used to the media attention since her childhood and likes it a lot. She will be able to perform like she does at practice. That's her strength. But I am skeptical how much she can improve at 22. According to her, her success rate of 3A, 2A-3T, and 3F-3Lo in run-through's is 30%. She also makes mistakes on her easier jumps. I'd also like to see a skater who can combine athleticism and artistry to be on the podium. She used to be a great athlete when she was 15-18 and the great choices of programs, her speed, and jumps all helped her artistry then. Without them, her programs look so empty. She hasn't developed the intellectual maturity to interpret the music (she is either happy or serious). She barely went to school and it shows in her skating.

      The other girls have more potential for growth. Gracie has amazing talent. She's like a diamond. She's so good. I hope her artistic growth. She's a fan of YuNa, which makes me hopeful. Adelina is the mature, complete package. So is Osmond. These are the ladies who I think have the potential to medal.

      I love Akiko but judges always undermark her PCS and GOE. Kanako needs to address her SS and URs and to skate clean. These may be too much to ask for. I love Liza and Li but they skate so small and probably 10 months won't be enough to address their SS.

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