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24 January 2010 @ 12:04 pm
Figure Skating (and with Olympics/Worlds coming up, expect more of these)  
US National Figure Skating Championships ... thoughts


- I went into that round, as always, loving Johnny Weir and meh about Evan Lysacek. Sadly Weir was a bit out of it in the long program, but he at least made the podium and will be in Vancouver. The big story was Jeremy Abbott - defending his title. He was AMAZING! That long program of his was magnificent, flawless, just gasp-worthy gorgeous. Please, let him pull off something similar in Vancouver. PRETTY PLEASE!


- I remember nothing about any aspect of this race. Sorry.


- Oh, I adore Belbin and Agosto, but unfortunately, their free skate (while wonderful), really isn't as strong as Davis and White's and as long as D&W continue to skate it so well, they'll come out on top.


- I HATE THE SCORING SYSTEM! That was a complete and utter joke. Mirai Nagasu was fluid, graceful, magical, landing all of her jumps, her edges, her spins, her spirals, just glorious. Rachel Flatt? Once again, and as always, delivered a by-the-numbers performance with little comparable grace, and no magic. Yet, because Mirai slightly (and I mean *slightly*) under-rotated three of her triple jumps, she lost 10-11 points. Let me repeat that -- this gloriously magical skater lost TEN to ELEVEN points because of naked to the eye under-rotations, while the boring, comparatively graceless Rachel Flatt (who almost fell out of a jump!) scored insanely high because she didn't minutely under-rotate her triples. JUST FUCKING RIDICULOUS! And don't even get me started on how Ashley Wagner should have been higher than Flatt too because she's a beautiful, more exciting skater who landed several of her jumps (beautifully) in the last two minutes of her routine.

I get it; figure skating is a sport, and a hard one at that. However, what elevates figure skating into artistry is, you know, the artistry! When these skaters throw out technical moves after technical moves, but don't have the flow, the grace, the beauty, the artistry and yet get scored ridiculously high, it gives the sport a bad name. Mirai Nagasu, Ashley Wagner and Sasha Cohen were more gracefully beautiful out on that ice than Rachel Flatt was, hands down. Yet because Flatt threw in a bunch of naked to the human eye technical moves, she gets the win? Where's the enjoyment in that?!?!? The audience, the commentators (Scott Hamilton, for goodness' sake) were captivated by Mirai and convinced she won because she delivered what appeared to be a flawless program. But nope, some super-computer, slo-mo'ed replay of performances -- that completely undermines the visual, in-the-moment beauty of the sport -- steals her win.

Just ridiculous. Ugh!
Kammikammgirl on January 24th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
I used to love watching figure skating. I stopped watching at some point. I know I was very bitter when Michelle Kwan lost to Tara Lipiniski, but that isn't why I stopped watching. I don't remember the reason. But I am looking forward to the Olympics.
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Impossible Planetarabian on January 24th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not Kwan's biggest fan, but she was/is a gorgeous skater, while Lipinski was a by-the-numbers, technical skater too. I was huge into skating because I adored, adored Oksana Baiul (and Brian Boitano -- I know, very technical, but his artistry improved hugely in the 90's) and have been following it off and on since she began to fall apart (oh, Oksana). There are some wonderful skaters out there now (again, Nagasu is magic) -- this is her AMAZING short program:

And I really like Ashley Wagner; her downfall is her short program unfortunately. Her long programs are wonderful, though. Last year she went from 12th to 4th because her LP was so great. This year, she SHOULD have gone from 4th to 2nd, but Flatt (unfairly, imo) took the lead over Mirai and Ashley. At least Mirai will be at the Olympics.

Oh, and again, Jeremy Abbot's long program was spectacular.

Edited at 2010-01-24 05:50 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on January 24th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
It breaks my heart that Sasha isn't going to the Olympics. I agree about Rachel Flatt. She is graceless. Reminds me of Sarah Hughes.
Arabian: ATttD - Sorryarabian on January 24th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
I would have preferred Cohen over Flatt definitely. My dream US women's Olympic team would be Mirai and Ashley. But yeah, Sasha would have been waaaaaaaaaay better than Flatt. Graceless indeed. I never watched Sarah Hughes, but if she's anything like her sister, I know what you mean.
sourisvhosourisvho on January 25th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
ITA with you about the ladies. Mirai's routine was utterly enchanting and fabulous. It's ridiculous that she didn't win. She should have gotten enough points on grade of execution, IMO, to make up for any under-rotation. Her spins are insanely good.

Rachel Flatt lumbers across the ice like Frankenstein, IMO. I know that's harsh, but she is in no way graceful. Clump, clump, clump. She reminds me a bit of Irina Slutskya, who I could never figure out why she was so highly scored.

I missed the first half of the skating on NBC today, so I didn't see any of Ashley Wagner's skating, which is annoying. Did they even show her long program?

I used to be hugely into figure skating, but I lost a lot of interest after Michelle Kwan quit skating -- she utterly enchanted me. She and Brian Boitano are my all-time faves.
Arabian: ThorneField01arabian on January 25th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
Yup, agree. The beginning of Flatt's SP was atrocious. Ugh. She SO did not deserve to win, and I agree re: Slutskaya.

Yes, they did show Ashley, in fact, they actually talked her up. I was shocked; I'm used to her getting treated like the red-headed stepchild!

I lost most of my interest after Oksana just fell apart. She and Brian were my absolute faves. I saw them skate live three times. AMAZING!
this girl's mostly fictionanti_social_ite on January 25th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
agree with you completely on rachel flatt v. mirai nagasu. i've only seen the short programs, but mirai is definitely more beautiful on the ice. a lot of the kids at my rink were also really disappointed that sasha didn't get in, but i suppose that's what happens if you take three/four years off competitive figure skating, i guess.

on the other hand - yay johnny weir! :P for getting into the olympics at least - he didn't do so well at nationals last year, if i remember correctly, so i was worried. :)
Arabian: Allison Janneyarabian on January 25th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Sasha took that time off and she's never skated a clean long program so it's not really surprising.

I just hope that Mirai gets those under-rotations under control so that she doesn't get dinged in Vancouver. I don't think that the non-US judges will fall for Flatt's technique over artistry. I sure hope not, at least.
something holy used to love mehyacinthian on January 25th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen them, but ugh, I used to be so into figure skating, and I've just grown so disenchanted with the new scoring system. It is a sport, but you're right, it's sport and artistry and they're totally disregarding that (though I guess presentation still gets its own general score), but even above that, I think it'll eventually weed out the people who could be upcoming Irina Slutskayas and Oksana Baiuls, if that makes sense. They were graceful, even if they were older than a lot of the other competitors, but that just made them more dignified, imo, and with the new scoring system, if you don't have the ability to try and throw yourself into as many triples as possible, then your score is going to be a decent amount lower than most of the other girls who do so. I don't even know - the old scoring system definitely had its problems, but can't they find some way to strike a balance between the old and the new that doesn't quite suck so hard?
Arabian: Feelings Journalarabian on January 25th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
That's my problem; they've taken such care to make sure they cover ALL technical aspects of the sport, but they've screwed up two main things, in my opinion.

1. I think a fall should count for a LOT more in deductions, but it merits so little in deductions, it's ridiculous because a fall does disrupt the program big-time.

2. The artistry/grace SHOULD count for a helluva lot more because that IS what separates it from just plain sport.
(Anonymous) on February 13th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)

Flatt's skating is boring and without true artistry. The only thing she offers is consistency, and she will need more than that to make it to the podium. I am tired of skaters making it to the podium only because they can do a triple-triple. Whatever happened to artistry. Cizney showed us that last year but unfortunately couldn't bring it with her this year. She skated beautifully. As for Nagasu, she is so immature. I personally don't feel she should be at the games this time. She had a less than stellar year, other than her second place win at Nationals. But if I had to choose between boring Flatt and graceful Nagasu, send Nagasu. I have to mention Wagner. She won more medals this year than any other US Lady. She brings artistry and athleticism to the sport. She totally deserved to go to the games. They also should have sent her to senior worlds, not juniors. Unfortunately, I feel the committees based their decision on who would make the most money for NBC and for USFSA. Wagner does not/is not getting the attention she not only deserves, but that she has earned. I am heartbroken for her and for her family. I feel she could have brought home the bronze.

I agee with those of you who hate the new judging system. It just bites.
Arabian: Belbin & Agostoarabian on February 13th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
I do think that Nagasu deserves to be there, but I agree about Ashley Wagner. She's actually my favorite and it sucks that she was close to getting to go the games.