Monday, November 15, 2010

Brief thoughts of Skate America: Ladies Free (Final 6)

I did not take extensive notes during the ladies free, but I certainly did have a few thoughts on it.

Before I get started, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Ms. Murakami; We're all indebted to her for helping keep Kostner off the top step of the podium, even if she still has some rough patches in her skating. Thanks Kanako!

Amelie Lacoste: Well... there goes that Fantasy pick! (Come on.. if you picked her, you were so thinking it too!:P)

Caroline Zhang: Gorgeous dress. Sorry to see that she's gained some weight... it's not gonna do her any favors on her jumps, especially with the technique corrections still in progress. The triple flip-double toe didn't seem so bad, but then the mega highkick into a 1 and 1/2 lutz results in that spectacular fall into a near split position. Dang Zhang! I don't think I've ever seen a singles girl manage to do that kind of a fall. One bright point though... she really does have a lovely layback spin, unlike most of the ladies I've seen recently.

Rachael Flatt: Her highkick on her flip and lutz made me insane today, worsened by the fact that she landed them cleanly aside from that, excepting the underrotated first lutz. It may sound mean, but I wish that the highkick would give her more trouble on those two jumps so that she'd be forced to learn a better technique for them if she wished to remain competitive. Other than that though, I was bored.

Joshi Helgesson: I kind of liked her dress.I think she underrotated the back end of two of her combos, but I appreciate the fact that she completed a triple lutz without a highkick, very, very much.

Kanako Murakami: She does the high kick too.... good heavens! (Why do these girl's coaches abide in this kind of poor technique? I was working on a single flip before I had to quit skating, and every single time that I would dp the highkick to try to tap in harder for more height,  my coach would screech at me not to do it. Every. Single. Time. And I never even tested!) Watching her and several other of these ladies makes me long for Dick Button's commentary- I can just imagine his reaction to their laybacks. ;)  It's good to to see a lady with some spunk though, although I do think it sometimes makes her skating appear sloppy. There's a glimpse of Yukari Nakano's infamous leg wrap in at least one of her combinations too, albeit to a lesser extent (thankfully!). I quite enjoyed her footwork though; that was pretty smooth, interesting, and well done.

Carolina Kostner: I am amazed that Scott Hamilton and the other commentators are trying so hard to make her lack of difficulty sound like a good thing! The upbeat outlook on that didn't do her many favors though; falling on her first triple loop and doubling the second, and even singled a double axel,  making her scant technical content even more watered down. She even was sloppy on a spin. She isn't my cup of tea to begin with, but that was a really poor freeskate. I'm so thankful that the judges didn't give her the win this time.

Overall, from what I've seen and heard from this event and the other Grand Prix's thus far, the ladies certainly have been lackluster this season. I'm certain that I am not alone in missing Michelle Kwan.

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