2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Ellen » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:25 pm

chuckiem wrote:JUDGES for the FREE DANCE: GEO AZE GER UKR JPN CAN ESP KOR FIN


What a strange panel of judges! Georgia, Azerbaijan, Japan, Korea are not really the "ice-dancing" countries.
And no Russian judge! If there was a Russian judge in the Free Dance then most likely Russia would get three spots for next Worlds.
I am not sure at all that the second Canadian pair takes the right place in front of Stepanova-Bukin.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby lexeoe » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:21 pm

chuckiem wrote:I'm quite well aware of the ballet, as I've seen it several times. However, I've never seen a ballerina in Don Quixote or any other ballet bent over at that angle while she dances. A classical dancer with posture like that wouldn't be hired for the corps de ballet, let alone in a featured role.
Didn't Sarah Hughes skate to Don Quixote during the 2000-01 season? Granted it was a different scoring system and she didn't need to back load her program and didn't have to wear a tutu.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby chuckiem » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:35 pm

Ellen wrote:
chuckiem wrote:I'm quite well aware of the ballet, as I've seen it several times. However, I've never seen a ballerina in Don Quixote or any other ballet bent over at that angle while she dances. A classical dancer with posture like that wouldn't be hired for the corps de ballet, let alone in a featured role.


It is difficult to dance as perfect as the ballerinas of the Bolshoi theater. But this does not mean that the girls can not take this theme for their programs. Even Kaetlyn Osmond was in the form of the black swan from the Swan Lake. Although, you agree, she is very remotely looks like a swan and her choreography is also different from the ballet-like.
I actually do not pay attention to the fact that Alina leans forward. If you had not pointed on that, such an idea would never came to my mind.


On first view, as Alina was wearing a tutu and skating to ballet music, my attention was immediately drawn to her faulty posture because I had been going to the ballet since I was a child and knew no ballerina would be bent over like that.

I'm just wondering how she will look in a normal skating costume.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Virginia » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:45 pm

I'd love to see Alina in a simpler skating dress, skating to non-ballet music and, most importantly, without backloading her program. Show us some variety, sweetie. Right now you seem over-packaged and gimmicky; we'd love to get a more three-dimensional look at you and what you can do.

I'd also love to see her hold her positions longer! Her skating seems quite choppy as she's constantly shifting positions. It racks up the points, but it can't be called lovely.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Trilogy86 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:30 pm

Virginia wrote:I'd love to see Alina in a simpler skating dress, skating to non-ballet music and, most importantly, without backloading her program. Show us some variety, sweetie. Right now you seem over-packaged and gimmicky; we'd love to get a more three-dimensional look at you and what you can do.

I'd also love to see her hold her positions longer! Her skating seems quite choppy as she's constantly shifting positions. It racks up the points, but it can't be called lovely.


Complete agreed.

In regards to seeing variety and something different: while I really like the French dance team of P/C, I really hope they use the next season to come out of their comfort zone a little bit. I understand that sometimes one would say, if the formula works, don't change it, but I think that they are very capable and should go for it.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby chuckiem » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:05 pm

As long as the rules permit, the young Russians are going to backload. That is how they are being trained and their programs are choreographed accordingly. If the ISU sets a limit on the number of jumps that can receive a bonus, they will backload to that limit.

As to Zagitova's meltdown at Worlds, that can be ascribed to overwhelming overload on a 15-yo: a Challenger event, 2 GP events, the GPF, Nationals, Europeans, Olympic Team, Olympics, Worlds----9 events closely packed into 6 months plus relentless practice time and lots of travel. Compare that to the previous season where she had two JGP events, the JGPF, Nationals and JW. Alina never even had the time to enjoy any of her triumphs this season, and then it ended in disaster.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Dragonlady » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:13 pm

Ellen wrote:
Dragonlady wrote:
sms29s66 wrote:Wow. What a melt down.


The problem with the back loaded program is that is something goes amok early in the jumping passes, there is no recovery time. The next jump is right there and there no time to gather yourself together and re-focus.

There are a lot of issues with this girls skating. She breaks at the waist which they cover by having her wearing tutus in both programs, and she’s very stiff in the knees. Nothing looked smooth or fluid today. Her footwork was jerky. Maybe she’s just tired.


About Alina Zagitova's costume-pack and jumps in the second half of the program. You probably forgot that her long program was on the music from the Don Quixote ballet by Minkus.
Look at this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOIZyYbidAU
Starting from the 12th minute, only jumping elements come and the ballerina in a red pack twists the fouette. Look and you will understand why Alina jumps exactly where it is demanded by the music and by the theme of the ballet.


This is not the ballet and Alina is no ballerina. Ballerinas have straight backs and the don’t dance with stiff knees and jerky movements. Putting tutu on and learning how to hold your hands doesn’t make you a ballerina. In figure skating, the sport used to require a “balanced” program, neither front loaded, nor back loaded. The last half bonus was put in place to encourage skaters to do some jumps in the back half of their programs as many skaters were doing all their jumps early when their legs were fresh. Now it appears that rules are needed to limit the floppy arms over the head, and requiring jumps in the first half.

I also think the judges needed retraining on PCS marks. Skaters should need to have actually skating skills, like not coming to a stop on their jump landings, deep edges soft knees and strong, powerful stroking to get 9’s in SS. They need to use the entire ice surface - both ends, and not just skate around the middle of the rink for 9’s in choreography. Junior girls, need junior PCS until they learn to skate like adults.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Jonas » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:39 am

Finally caught the ladies FS:

Bradie Tennell was back to her jumping form from San Jose after a bit of a let down in Pyeongchang. She did rightfully get two carrots here though.

Better FS here for Mirai than in the individual event in Pyeongchang. She put in cruise control, i.e., not much performance, but she did stand up all her jumps. No 3Axel though, and LOTS of carrots. Nothing memorable, really, if that's a wrap competitively for Mirai. She'll always have her Olympic Team Event FS.

Wakaba Higuchi was absolutely fabulous!! Talk about redemption for not making the Japanese Olympic Team this year! Everything that I find sorely lacking in Zagitova I easily find in Higuchi -- effortless speed, great ice coverage, solid edges and good posture. She doesn't intentionally backload her jumps to game the system, but they're powerful, impactful, and have flow in and out and again with nice posture. Higuchi can easily be sterotyped as the powerhouse athlete, but she's paying attention to her music and is much more musical than I think she gets credit for. Higuchi is only a year older than Zagitova, yet it's clear to me which teenager skates like a senior lady and hence should be getting the PCS that reflect. And yes, that's some shade towards the judges!

Kaetlyn Osmond looked calm, collected, and confident. We've been saying for years that she has the goods to be THE best in the World. Nice to see her deliver and get rewarded for it!

Your thoughts...
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Andy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:30 am

My compliments to all the medalists of this competition. My highlights were Savchenko/Massot and Osmond. I am very happy for them. I think that it was Savchenko's farewell to competitive skating, but I hope Osmond will continue to delight us with her performances.
I had to feel sad for the Italian team: they came close to the podium three times, and three times medals escaped them, on home ice. It was sort of a sad farewell for Kostner and Cappellini/Lanotte, assuming they will retire.
I am not sold on Nathan Chen yet - but the guy made history. Kudos to him.

I think this season should have though the ISU and the judges a couple of good lessons about skating, in which direction we are going and what skating should really be. In my book, modifications to the CoP are hardly necessary, since the scenario's which pushed the sport to where it is now are already contemplated. I do not even think that judges need re-training: I think what judges need a proper feedback and sanctions when the scoring guidelines are not applied. would this be applied, the backload of the programs, the obsessive arm aloft and the poor ice coverage would disappear like a charm.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Ellen » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:10 pm

sms29s66 wrote:
Dragonlady wrote:
sms29s66 wrote:Wow. What a melt down.


The problem with the back loaded program is that is something goes amok early in the jumping passes, there is no recovery time. The next jump is right there and there no time to gather yourself together and re-focus.

There are a lot of issues with this girls skating. She breaks at the waist which they cover by having her wearing tutus in both programs, and she’s very stiff in the knees. Nothing looked smooth or fluid today. Her footwork was jerky. Maybe she’s just tired.


I totally agree about the back-loaded program. How long do you think it will take the powers that be to address this horrible misuse of the CoP?


You are so outraged by the jumps in the second half and the unbalanced programs. But the girls, at least, perform these jumps without falling !!!. The exception is Alina's one single start out of her total nine events.

Why are you silent about men who, in pursuit of points, perform the quads which they are unable to complete. That makes the program a set of pieces from one fall to another. From your point of view this is normal, whereas an unbalanced program is the horrible horror.

In the World's last warm-up, the 6 strongest skaters fell 14 times in sum!!! Why does no one write that something must be done about this? for example, limit the number of quadruples or to reduce their cost.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby chuckiem » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:13 pm

Ellen wrote:
You are so outraged by the jumps in the second half and the unbalanced programs. But the girls, at least, perform these jumps without falling !!!. The exception is Alina's one single start out of her total nine events.

Why are you silent about men who, in pursuit of points, perform the quads which they are unable to complete. That makes the program a set of pieces from one fall to another. From your point of view this is normal, whereas an unbalanced program is the horrible horror.

In the World's last warm-up, the 6 strongest skaters fell 14 times in sum!!! Why does no one write that something must be done about this? for example, limit the number of quadruples or to reduce their cost.



About those falls:

Shoma Uno had an injured landing foot but had to skate, since Hanyu was not there, and Japan needed him to place high to ensure Japan earned 3 spots for 2019 Worlds.

Boyang Jin seemed to be skating injured also. He had an injury early in the season which had healed, but likely doing Olympics and Worlds put strain on the old injury and reactivated it.

Mikhail Kolyada always has at least two falls on quads in his FS, and he did the same at Worlds.

Vincent Zhou must have injured himself in practice, because he has never had that many falls in a FS.

I would add that for all these men, the pressure of Olympics followed by Worlds and the long practices before each made them all more vulnerable to injury. And of course there was no mention of Nathan Chen, who landed six quads, five of them clean, with no falls.

Injury is something that should be considered when young teenage skaters are practicing quads. What happened to these men is something that could happen to any of the ladies as well. Perhaps it IS a good idea to limit the value of quads especially for juniors because it would be a shame for a 13-14 yo skater to incur a career-ending injury without ever getting to Seniors.

Extreme backloading can also lead to multiple falls. If quads are re-valued and limited, then backloading should be also limited. Alina's FS performance at Worlds provides a timely example of the dark side of extreme backloading and the potential for injury.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Dragonlady » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:51 pm

I’m against backloading of programs because it’s sgainst the rules!!! And as we saw with Zagitova, when the skater falls in a backloaded program there’s a domino effect due to lack of recovery time.

Men’s skating has been headed in this direction since the rules were changed to encourage quads. The final flight this year at Worlds was a disaster, but as has been pointed out, injury and exhaustion are a huge factor in an Olympic year.

At least the skaters weren’t getting +2’s and 3’s for poorly done quads with no ice coverage and landings which come to a stop. They’re also not getting 9’s in PCS with shallow edges, using only the centre of the rink.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Virginia » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:48 pm

Dragonlady and Chuckie (two members with whom I ususally agree) have pointed out that this year's final flight of men was a disaster, but that most of the falls were probably due to injury. But isn't it safe to conclude that most of those injuries are probably down to excessive quads?

I often take different views to Ellen's, but she has a point here. Backloading among the ladies (which will probably spread to the men's ranks next season, since it was so effective this year) is no worse than too much emphasis on jumping. Both are symptoms of the same problem: sacrificing artistry in pursuit of points.

A backloaded program is, as we have seen, unbalanced and less pleasing to watch than one in which the jumps are distributed evenly. But a splat-fest isn't exactly an artistic delight, either.

Most of us would agree that the most elegant, powerful and dynamic skater of the past decade is Patrick Chan, no contest. He may not be able to keep up with the jumping beans, but nobody commands the ice like Patrick. His musicality, his speed, his intricate footwork, his spins -- all of these set him in a class by himself. In another era, these qualities would have made him Olympic champion in 2014 at least. His artistry is unmatched.

I just wish he was skating in a system that rewarded it more.
Last edited by Virginia on Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Dragonlady » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:52 am

For me, the Men’s programs are almost unwatchable these days, even when they do land the quads. Nathan Chen is a prodigious jumper but his programs are just a series of jump set ups. His spins are adequate but not outstanding. It just takes too much effort and practice to do all those quads.

You may be right about the quads causing the injuries, Virginia, but there were a lot of injuries in all of the disciplines. Daleman was skating on a bad ankle, Kristin Moore-Towers in Pairs, Medvedeva dropped out due to injury, and Hanyu. Chuckle mentioned one of the US Pairs has injuries too. It’s a long season.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby Andy » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:40 am

Virginia wrote:Dragonlady and Chuckie (two members with whom I ususally agree) have pointed out that this year's final flight of men was a disaster, but that most of the falls were probably due to injury. But isn't it safe to conclude that most of those injuries are probably down to excessive quads?

I often take different views to Ellen's, but she has a point here. Backloading among the ladies (which will probably spread to the men's ranks next season, since it was so effective this year) is no worse than too much emphasis on jumping. Both are symptoms of the same problem: sacrificing artistry in pursuit of points.

A backloaded program is, as we have seen, unbalanced and less pleasing to watch than one in which the jumps are distributed evenly. But a splat-fest isn't exactly an artistic delight, either.


It is a valid point in my opinion. I agree with Dragonlady as well on the quality of Men's skating at the moment. I would also say that the part that was sacrificed wa not only artistry, but also skating.

Take the big quads away from skaters like Zhou, Jin or Chen, and there is very little left. Uno (up to certain extent), Hanyu (mainly in the past seasons), Fernandez are skaters that busy themselves with skating too, next to the big quads.
Pairs skating has been protected from the 'degeneration' of the programs composition because there are fewer jumping elements - and to my taste, Pairs is the most interesting discipline at the moment. It is interesting to note that Savchenko/Massot dropped their big throws (4 sal and 3 axel) and used two comparatively easier throwns to get two outstanding wins. Savchenko injured herself last year with the 3A, and I think that moving away from the element was for them the right choice to make - focusing on fluidity, pairs skating, transitions, program design, elements set-ups.
Again, the problem is not the skaters, the problem is the judging. Until we will see the PCS of Zagitova and Chen as they are now, I do not think there is a lot of hope. My other big worry is for the health of the skaters. It was a very long season indeed, but the amount of injuries (without taking into account the mental exhaustion) seems to be skyrocketing, and having a damaged body before age 20 does not speak well for the advancement of the sport.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby chuckiem » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:24 pm

Then we are seeing JUNIOR ladies---13/14 yos---doing quads in their programs in addition to backloading, and this is touted as "the exciting new era in ladies skating". So now we will see juniors open the program with a quad (or quads) and then backload the rest of the jumps.
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Re: 2018 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 3/20-25 MILAN ITA

Postby bumphystars » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:33 pm

While I agree that the artistic quality of the mens and women's skaters is indeed declining overall, I hesitate to lump Chen into that assertion.

He is still a very young skater and has already come along a great deal since his emergence on the senior scene in terms of his artistry. I LOVED his short program this year, it was very stylish and skated with a lot of musicality and attention to detail. (I hope he keeps it next year.) I think his long was less interesting and suffered from the same problems that DL points out, but, again, I'm keen to see where he goes with it next season. I have high hopes.

THAT SAID, I will be shocked if he is able to keep this up for the next Olympics. Like Patrick Chan, I feel his timing is a little bit off. No one could touch Chan in 2012, when he came out with his short program quad and two quads in the free. He was head and shoulders above the rest technically speaking, just as Chen is now. But that is simply impossible to sustain; eventually someone comes up behind you and overtakes you. Which is what happened with Hanyu in 2014—and in 2018, when Zagitova overtook Medvedeva (and shortly it will happen to Alina too).

Of course, there is a strong possibility that Chen will get injured before 2022 anyway, given the enormous strain on his body from these amazing quads.

Any sport loves a CHAMPION, someone who can repeat excellence again and again, so that they themselves become the sport. (See Roger Federer in tennis, for example, or even Michelle Kwan.) If we put all of this emphasis on ever-more rotations to jumps, we'll never come out with the kind of stars that will grow our sport.
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