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24 February 2010 @ 12:38 am
Olympics: Ladies short program  
Okay, my thoughts on the top six ladies tonight. Warning, if you're a Rachael Flatt fan? You won't like what I have to say about her. Just lettin' you know.

Okay, someone who knows more about figure skating than I needs to explain why Mao Asada and Kim Yu-Na's scores were SO MUCH higher than Mirai Nagasu's. I get that she did a triple/double combo, but does ONE jump really make that huge a difference? Mirai's spins were GORGEOUS, her footwork, her grace, her spiral sequence, her jumps landed, all beautiful. Asada? Ugh. Big-whoop-dee-doo! She landed a triple axle, but her spins looked slower and she traveled while spinning. Her arms were flailing about like nobody's business, she isn't terribly fluid and frankly did nothing that stood out to me other than one flippin' jump. As for Yu-Na, yes, she's a beautiful fluid skater, extremely musical, but other than her triple/triple combo, what did she do that was so much better than Mirai? I'm really curious to know what it was that gave the two of them 12/15 points over Mirai. If it's just the damn jumps, then I'm really pissed. I am SO tired of the stupid jumps being the begin-all and end-all of this sport. Ugh! If there was more intricacy, difficulty and higher levels in the other areas, I get it. But I'm still bummed that Asada with her not-quite graceful skating wasn't knocked down more for that.

My heart goes out to Joannie Rochette. I lost my mother in 2001 and I was a complete wreck the following month, so to see her in this situation only a few days later, I so feel for her. I think she's out there skating her absolute best because she has too. If not, why is she there, now with this happening to her. So she's skating for her mother. She has to. She's a beautiful skater, lovely lines, her jumps, her movements graceful, but being honest, I can't be objective about her. I feel too much because of what happened. I get why Scott was crying, I was.

Blech! Rachael Flatt. Oh, look! It's America's own Frankenstein's Bride on Ice. Ooh, she landed all her jumps, never mind that she looked like she was plowing through snow in order to complete all of her moves. Let's give her credit because she's a workhorse! Blah! A little grace, musicality, presence would be nice to see as well. And her scores are exactly WHY I hate the reliance on the technical aspect of the sport. Yes, the technical is important, but I wish so very, very much that the artistic component got *at least* as much credit as does the technical. If it did, Rachael Flatt would NOT be an National Champion, she wouldn't even be on the podium. But, of course, the technical is sooooooooo much more important than the artistic, so here she is. And scoring higher than the beautiful, graceful, piquant Mirai. What. The. Eff. Ever.

Miki Ando, she's been around awhile. She's good, but she doesn't have much flow in and out of her transitions, slow in her movements and her spirals are shaky, as well as the landing of some of her jumps. But she landed a triple/triple combo, she'll be above Mirai. Stupid jumps being so damn important, never mind that so much was so not clean, and her work wasn't nearly comparative to Mirai, yet she gets higher than her simply because of a stupid triple/triple combo.

Almost done, but first a bit more on Yu-Na ... I've heard nothing but superlatives about her, and I can't quite see what it is that is so amazing about her, but she is easily my third favorite skater on the ice. And to be fair, my thoughts on Rochette are influenced by what she's going through. Yu-Na does have a special quality, that I can definitely see. But I still love my Mirai bestest, and other than having a triple/double combo as opposed to a triple/triple (or triple axle/double) combo, I don't know why she scored so much less than the top three, and why the hell flippin' Flatt scored above her ... again! Double ugh!

My favorites ...

01 Mirai Nagasu
02 Joannie Rochette
03 Kim Yu-Na

At the end of it, I get why Yu-Na, Rochette were higher than Mirai, but no one else. I guess I just can't tell the difference in the spins, footwork, etc. to explain the degree of such higher points over Mirai that the other skaters had though. Ah well, at least Mirai is in the top six and thus will be in final group of skaters. That's something at least.
sorryno: penny sheldon synchronizedsorryno on February 24th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
I LOVED Mirai. She was so freakin' fierce. Those spins were crazy amazing. And her facial expressions made me :D
Arabian: Sheldon & Penny - Shenelope FTW!arabian on February 24th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
She was fantastic, and confirmed my fandom of her. :)
hiddeneloisehiddeneloise on February 24th, 2010 06:22 am (UTC)
You are ranting a bit. :)

This being a technical program, and this being, you know, still a sport, I get the emphasis on athletics first, artistry distant second. I don't have to like it, but I get it. It's not a dancing competition. It really is not. Not even ice-dancing is a dancing competition. I know you hate this, but surely you realize the difference. For me, I watch the championships and the Olympics with half an eye, and wait for the exhibitions and the pro-skating. That's where the actual beauty of movement, music, fun, and innovation live. The competition is never much about that. It helps, but it's not the central thing. Never was.

I am no expert and I am sure someone will dissect the programs up and down to calculate the scores, or to figure why Mirai keeps scoring lower than what she seems to deserve. It's more than just jumps, obviously. Perhaps her steps are easier? No idea.

Yu-Na impressed me. Rochette ... impressed with strength and as a person. As a skater? Eh. Asada? Not so much. Yes, she got a lot of marks on the strength of that Axel. But it'll carry her only so far. The rest of her jumps were unstable, she can't spin worth a damn, and she can't make really fluid connections. At least she didn't tonight.

Oh, and Flatt. I kept listening to the commentary, and by now, I think I cracked Scott Hamilton's code. "She's got SUCH EXUBERANT PERSONALITY" usually means the skater is making grotesque faces at the audience, mouth hanging open. "She is SO ENERGETIC" means the arms are flailing. "She is SUCH a SOLID PERFORMER" means she moves like a dump truck, only fast. And "this was simply a SPECTACULAR performance" means she managed not to fall on her ass. Honestly, commentary cracks me up.

Flatt is ... exuberant, energetic, and a solid performer. She'll do reasonably well in the sport. And that's about all I can say for her. She'll never be interesting to me. I can't see her having a post-competing career. Maybe she can skate in Nancy Kerrigan's thing, whatever it is.

Arabian: Feelings Journalarabian on February 24th, 2010 07:14 am (UTC)
I get that it's a sport, I get that completely. But the artistry should matter as well, and in not just the short program, but also the long (used to be called the artistic program), it doesn't. And that's what bothers me. I get that they are looking at the technique of the moves, and that technique matters. However, what makes figure skating a different sort of sport and one that draws in crowds, and interest beyond the Olympics is the artistry. And when that is put at such a much lower standard than the technical merit, it's a problem. Part of what makes figure skating, well, figure skating is that it pairs the technique *with* the artistry, and yet more often than not these days, it appears as if the artistry isn't paired at all.

Case in point? Rachael Flatt!
Sarah :)sarah_p on February 24th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC)
Oh, man, Joannie Rochette--I was in tears, too. That intro interview with Dan Jansen talking about losing his sister (another Olympic story that BREAKS ME), and him E-mailing her and being so supportive didn't help--GOD. She skated so well, and then Scott was crying, and, yeah, it was so emotionally charged that I don't think I can think critically. You're once again right in line with my brain, though--Flatt was BORING, and I thought Nagasu skated beautifully, and deserved better than sixth. Didn't the men's program teach us that technical skating isn't everything?? I didn't like Ando, either. Kim Yu-Na, while not my number one either, definitely deserves her spot at the top (like you said, with her, I UNDERSTAND why she was higher). It'll be an interesting long program, to say the least, with Rochette in contention!

Edited at 2010-02-24 07:54 am (UTC)
Arabian: Deanarabian on February 25th, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
Oh, man, Joannie Rochette--I was in tears, too.

It really did just get to me. :( I feel so much for her.

yeah, it was so emotionally charged that I don't think I can think critically

Right, I just can't. She had lovely lines and artistry, and skated well, but I was so struck by her grace under this situation that I just can't think critically.

You're once again right in line with my brain, though--Flatt was BORING, and I thought Nagasu skated beautifully, and deserved better than sixth.


Didn't the men's program teach us that technical skating isn't everything??

The technique is super-important. I get that and I do agree with it; I just wish that the artistry had as much importance. If not in this round, then in the free skate. But it doesn't; it's all about the damn technical and MOSTLY the damn jumps!

I didn't like Ando, either. Kim Yu-Na, while not my number one either, definitely deserves her spot at the top (like you said, with her, I UNDERSTAND why she was higher).

Yeah. Kim Yu-Na is just beautiful. I dunno, I might have actually appreciated her more had I not expected the second coming in figure skating, LOL! She was SO hyped up for me, but she *is* excellent. Ando? Not for me.

It'll be an interesting long program, to say the least, with Rochette in contention!

Yup. I agree.
leosgreens: twilightleosgreens on February 25th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Agree completely with your post. I watched all the programs on nbc.com tonight
Arabianarabian on February 25th, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
Isn't Mirai just the most adorable thing ever!??! I love her so. :)

We should try and talk this weekend? Is that possible for you?
leosgreens: harlowleosgreens on February 25th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
on the phone? maybe a little but i'm sure i could on fb or skype
Arabianarabian on February 25th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
I don't skype, and I dunno, I just wanted to talk, you know. It's been so long.
leosgreensleosgreens on February 26th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
so do i
i want to really talk too it's just that unless your cell is through at &t (mine is and so it would be free) i don't have a lot of time on my phone. I suggested skype or Facebook because we could do instant messaging
Arabianarabian on February 26th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Re: so do i
Do you have free minutes on the weekend? I do w/Verizon.
leosgreensleosgreens on February 26th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
Re: so do i
no silly, if i did i would have said yeah no problem! alas, if only i did. the only free minutes i have are to other AT&T phones. my sister got me this phone without consulting me. she is dumb.
Arabianarabian on February 26th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Re: so do i
Yes, she is. Damnit. You need to get Verizon, then we can talk all the time!!! Well, let me know when you're minutes are good and we'll talk. In the meantime, we can try and AIM sometime? I'm sunnystuffjk on there.
leosgreensleosgreens on February 28th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
Re: so do i
We could do AIM but that would require me downloading it to IM with when we could just do it on facebook w/o either one of us having to download anything extra. We could just set up a time to go on?
sorryno: benny and edonsorryno on February 25th, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
Finally was able to watch Joannie this morning at work. I'm so glad they didn't do commentary, and just let us all watch and absorb the moment. Best wishes to her on her long program. I can't imagine at all losing a parent and for her to be able to compete at all is just Wow.

From what I was able to watch, Mirai was my favorite. She was just so fun to watch. I actually liked Mao, too, (her facial expression when she saw her score was SO CUTE) but not as much as Mirai. Kim was a bit boring to me, I don't know why! Maybe it was too built up for me b/c I was on pins and angry needles waiting for more skating performances.
Arabian: Sheldon & Penny - Two Heartsarabian on February 25th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Hee! I dunno why but I was thinking of your icon photo shoot this morning.

I'm glad they were quiet too, but I think that might have been because they were as choked up as us watching it at home. :(

Mirai was delightful, I just loved her. As always. :) I did think that Mao's reaction was cute, but her skating left me cold, and the flailing arms?! Oy, I'm NOT a fan of flailing arms. It's not a big thing most people nitpick on, but I do. Oksana had the most graceful arm movements ... ever!

I wasn't in love with Yu-Na's program, but I could see her excellence, and again, I think she was too hyped for me. It will be interesting to see the long programs, that's for sure.