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I'll bet you all the other ladies in skating are damn glad she's 87 days too young to go to the Olympics. I'll guaran-damn-tee you somebody would be going home with no medal who'd otherwise win one, and maybe 1 or 2 others would get a lower one, if she were allowed to skate in Torino. The high muckety mucks in the ISU are taking heat over the age rule because of her, and I would feel sorry for her if she got hurt before Vancouver and couldn't go there after not being allowed to go to Torino, but I bet you not one of the older ladies going to Torino feel sorry for her at all. She'd walk outta there with a medal for sure.
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I guess I am not seeing something. I mean I think she is ok..but I don't think the artistry is there, which is why I watch. I'd much rather watch Sasha Cohen or even Alissa Czisny skate, but I'm just an observer, not a judge.

There's no such thing as a sure thing either. Sarah Huges sure wasn't supposed to win last time. Even if she went she could fall or just not skate well.
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Asada might not have the artistry yet, but she's money in the bank on the technical stuff. Even Sasha Cohen or Irina Slutskaya would have trouble beating her if she lands the triple Axel, which she does routinely. If she does 2 and lands them both, fuhgeddaboudit. She'd whoop them all, badly. That's why nobody except the media and some fans are shedding any tears fo her.
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It is my understanding that the triple axel is equivalent points wise to some of the (supposedly easier, it all looks hard to me) triple-double-double combinations, which is why most of the women don't do the triple axel - the reward is not worth the risk.
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That may also be why the men aren't doing as many quads these days. A tough jump has to be pretty much money in the bank for you to be worth risking the -1 deduction for landing on your keester plus the -3 GOE's most judges will give you rather than doing a combo of easier jumps that add up to the tough jump. But for Mao Asada, triple axels are close enough to money in the bank for her that they are worth the risk, because a well done triple axel will make up for a lot of reductions in program component marks.
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The high muckety mucks in the ISU are taking heat over the age rule because of her

And when they put the rule in place they were taking heat over the incidence of anorexia among skaters. That and the ever-present injuries. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes anyone?

As they say "Hard cases make bad law." I mean, it isn't exactly "right" that the Japanese men only get to send one man to the Olympics. Takeshi Honda was injured and didn't compete in 2005 World's but almost surely would have placed high enough to get more than one spot. But thems the rules. Everyone knew the rules beforehand. 1996 was the time to contest the rules. Not mere months before the Olympics start just because there is one skater who is young but a good jumper.

I hope they don't cave. It annoys me to no end when people want to change rules by whining. "But she's so goooood." Great. I don't disagree. But she isn't old enough. She should be well prepared for the 2010 Olympics.

She'd walk outta there with a medal for sure.

Nothing is a sure thing.

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Also -- yaaaaay Tanith! I was thoroughly impressed by the way that Tanith and Ben handled their situation. In every interview they were consistently gracious and classy. Which makes me all the happier that she got her citizenship in time to be considered for the Olympics.
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I wouldn't change the age rule at this late date for this Olympics either, but if Asada gets hurt before 2010 and that keeps her from skating then, she and her people will have every right to be mightily pissed off about the rule ever being made in the first place. The rule is a load of crap, and whoever thought it up ought to be ashamed of himself for not considering this possibility. It really didn't have anything to do with anorexia, but was really caused by the epidemic of injuries among young skaters. Well, they're still skating just as young, an they're still getting hurt, so what good did the rule do? Jack squat, that's what!
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But for Mao Asada, triple axels are close enough to money in the bank for her that they are worth the risk, because a well done triple axel will make up for a lot of reductions in program component marks.

It will be interesting to see what happens to her ability to do triples as her body matures.

And yes, it is my understanding that that is why the men don't do so many quads anymore, though my understanding is limited by the fact that I only know what they tell me on TV.
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If Michelle Kwan doesn't heal from her groin pull in time for Torino, and very many others get hurt, Cinquanta might wish he had Asada's star power in Torino. Of course, Japan still doesn't have to send her even if the age rule were waived.
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I thought the buzz was all Slutskaya this year anyway....
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Slutskaya can be beat. Asada kicked her butt in the Grand Prix final. And that was with Slutskaya skating good, too.
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Slutskaya can be beat. Asada kicked her butt in the Grand Prix final. And that was with Slutskaya skating good, too.

Of course - anyone can be beaten at any time. She's just "supposed" to win this time. Not that that means much, as Sarah Hughes wasn't "supposed" to win last time.
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"Supposed" to win don't mean squat anymore, with the New Judging System in place. You can still get reputation points, but it's harder to do and somebody who shoots out the lights technically will still beat you. One thing we can be certain of, and that's that nobody who skates crappy will win in Torino. There are too many good ladies for at least a couple of them not to skate well. Slutskaya could skate her best ever and come out of there with diddly squat, that's how tough the competition is these days.
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