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vagansmom

Figure Skating: Skate America

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Did anyone see this competition today? Cohen skated beautifully- no concentration lapses, and won. (Michele Kwan did not compete). Last week, in another competition that included Kwan, Cohen had another beautiful skate, as perfect as one could get, and beat Kwan for the first time. It was the first competition of the season - I don't remember what it was called.

BTW, Jennie Kirk also skated the performance of her life. Very lovely, no mistakes! She placed second.

Cohen is skating to Swan Lake. Her program is nicely balanced, skated with feeling. I can't wait to see her as the year progresses. I am "hoping against hope" the demons of her past insecurities remain firmly in the past.

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I saw both events, and I thought she was quite delightful! No one came close except Kwan, and she was clearly second last week. I liked Jenny Kirk too. She was lovely.

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I'd actually read the results that were posted on the web prior to seeing the skate today. I was busy doing legal stuff, so I only got to see Cohen doing her free skate. She seems to have found a comfort level previously unseen. I'm glad she dropped the attempts at the quad, which seemed to be a great distraction in the past (with her former coach). With those incredible spiral sequences, she doesn't need extra 'tricks.' She looks a little taller to me this year. Sometimes they get those late growth spurts. I read she was quoted as saying she is "thinking less" about her skating, and just doing it.

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Sorry I missed it -- are there more events in this series? Is it on ESPN or network TV?

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Yikes, I spoke too soon. Just checked out the latest news from the magazine "Blades on Ice" and Cohen's coach, Tatiana Tarasova, is quoted as saying that Cohen is very near the quad now. In fact, she's been working on her jumps with Victor Petrenko's brother, Vladimir, and is reportedly jumping higher this year. She's working on a triple-triple-double combination. Her jumps did, in fact, look quite secure this early in the season.

Among other news is that Brian Boitano is planning to compete in his 10th Ice Wars on November 13th.

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Gosh, I remember Brian Boitano when he was a skinny little guy with lots of hair. :blink: I saw him win a junior men's competition. His parents sat behind us and were nervous wrecks.

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His parents were quite astute, though. As I recall, Boitano was his coach's only star, and his parents stuck with her. His training seems extremely sound; hence, the longevity.

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Tarasova seems to have great success in coaching single skaters! I didn't see Cohen at Skate America, but from what you are describing, she seems to have made great progress. Do you remember the change of Yagudin when he switched to Tarasova? Suddenly he had the artistic ability as well as the technical :thumbsup: ...

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Unfortunately, his career has been seriously threatened by hip problems, which seems to be a growing trend ((Tara Lipinski, etc.). There was talk that he would have to give up the sport completely, but he is reportedly continuing to train. He is currently unable to do an axel and, I believe, a loop. I am wondering what the longterm effects will be on young skaters from their intensified schedules and multiple revolutions.

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Any thoughts on why there's been an increased incidence of hip injuries among figure skaters? Is it somehow the jumps? Are they being asked to turn their hips out?

Not enough ballet? :thumbsup:

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Paul. as I understand it, there's one more competition in this series. Maybe it'll be this upcoming weekend since the previous two occurred a week apart? It was shown on ABC. I think that there's a winner per competition but then the 3 are also averaged together to get a (grand prix?) winner.

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The hip and other bone/ligament injuries in skaters has been a problem for a very long time. The pressure on kids at a VERY young age to accomplish jumps is overwhelming. The USFSA (United States Figure Skating Assoc.) has placed age restrictions on the lower levels of skating. This means to qualify for Junior Nationals at the Juvenile level, you must be 12 or under. The jumps allowed for this level consist of all double jumps including the double axel. Now, figure out how early the kids in this level are practicing multi revolutional jumps. Most of the children attempting this are at a critical growth time where their bones have not come close to full maturity. The damage done by the constant falling, over time, can damage growth plates, joints, and bones and may not show up for years. I know this from first hand experience. My daughter was working on a double axel at 10. She was doing all other double jumps and some double/double combinations. Many of the jumps are practiced with a harness, but not for long. Many coaches do not want the child to get too comfortable and then be afraid to fall. The only levels in skating without age restrictions are the higher levels....Novice, Junior and Senior. Although, I may be wrong about the first 2. Obviously, we left the ice long before reaching those levels.

I know several kids at our old club that have had injuries more severe and continue to skate. Most are tendinitos in the ankles or feet, a lot of knee problems, some stress fractures in the feet and other bone development problems. Not to mention the emotional toll that level of competition takes on a young child. My daughter is much happier and has never regretted her decision to quit skating. I admit, I do miss it a bit, but watching her dance and the light that sparkles in her eyes when she dances was worth giving up my visions of gold.

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hmm about those injuries. Correct me if I'm wrong but my impression here is that (since I'm in a country where figure skating is a very small sport) the coaches in figure skating don't empasize safe training as much as the dance teachers do. To me it seems as there are more profound sience in dance training than in figure skating. But then again, it might be because we have a dance college for dance teachers whilst the coaches usually are people who are working for free. (That's the tradition here: In sports, the coaches work for free, while art teachers have a salary)

Wasn't it back-problems that Tara suffers from??

Enough said about that.

Whatever the problem is with his hip (or other body parts for that matter :thumbsup: ) he developed to a wonderful skater. I remember the first time I saw him at Europeans along with Urmanov and Plushenko, I thought that Yagudin was another of those "jumping machines".

The step is very far to the short program to "Winter" wich I think certainly was one of the best single skates program I've ever seen (between 1989 and 2003), and I'm not even a fan of him!

So I'm really looking forward to see Sasha Cohen this season! I'm a little surprised that Kwan hasn't turned pro yet?

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Tonight on ESPN2 8-10 will be a recap of ladies and dance and the first broadcast of men and pairs.

I am adding a link that is my skating on TV bible:

skating tv

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I can't recall a time when there weren't complaints from some quarters about Too Much Jumping. I remember reading an interview in the mid seventies with the late John Curry, who had to perform a grand total of three triples to take the gold in 1976, that these days it was all about the tricks these days and there was no artistry, blah blah. Lipinski's injury was to the right hip, I believe. I haven't heard of back trouble but it wouldn't surprise me. She was well known for being self-willed, her coaches' influence was limited, and the parents were not much of a help.

Susanne, the pro scene here is not what it was. Since they changed the rules about "amateurs" earning money, an eligible competitor can now earn almost as much as a pro, so there's far less financial incentive to turn professional than there was before. In addition, since the professional scene isn't covered by the media as the competitions are, Kwan's public profile would fade pretty quickly in today's environment. And she clearly loves competing – it is a sport, after all. Until she starts losing with regularity, there's not much reason for her to quit, unless she just gets tired of the whole thing. We'll see. I must say I have never been less impressed by a program of hers.

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Until she starts losing with regularity, there's not much reason for her to quit, unless she just gets tired of the whole thing. 

Oh, yes there is! Once she starts losing regularly, her value on the pro circuit will drop precipitously!

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In the case of an ordinary skater that might be so, but not Kwan. Everyone fades from the limelight eventually, but she has already proved herself a special case.

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I recall that Sascha Cohen had a stress fracture in her back a couple years ago that kept her off the ice for several months.

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So much of this seems jump related. I wish there was more emphasis on the skating part of figure skating. And the spins, like Lucinda Ruh's. Heavenly. I hope if any of you haven't yet seen Dorothy Hamill skate in person, try to do so in the near future. You never know how long she'll continue to tour, and her skating is still so pure and incredible to watch. Every dancer should study her back and use of arms. Ditto for Yuka Sato. Those two are so inspirational to me. I just can't stand seeing otherwise promising young dancers with flapping, throw away arms, combined with weak spines. THe upper body is too often an afterthought.

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I agree with Funny Face on Lucinda Ruh's spins. I wish I could see more of her on television.

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Yep Lucind Ruhs spins were awesome (haven't seen her since she turned pro)

But there is a new Swiss guy named Stephan Lambiel who is worth watching! His spins, oh la la! During Europeans in Lausanne 2002 he had the audience support as well so he did an incredible program and placed quite good (5th or something) without even attempting the triple lutz!

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Actually, during Ruh's first pro competition, she got great marks -- better than most of the other, more traditional skaters -- as the judges seemed intent on rewarding an aspect of figure skating that has been neglected for too long. I have it on tape, and when I show it to people who haven't seen her before, they're awestruck.

She was also on the Today Show last year and entered the Guiness record book for number of consecutive spins which she performed on that show. I think it was well over 100. :dizzy:

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100 is amazing, but what makes Ruh's spins so mesmerizing is really the beauty of her positions. :ermm: It is the combination of elegance, steadiness and "lotsa" that prevents her skating from looking like a sequence of stunts, which on a lesser skater, it would.

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With the new judging system the skaters will be rewarded for quality of skating rather than quantity. Instead of seeing a large amount of triple jumps, many not even making a complete rotation, you will see more spins, footwork and artistry. A perfect example was a recent competition in Nebelhorn Germany where Jennifer Don took first place. She had maybe one triple and a beautifully choreographed program with gorgeous spins and excellant footwork. She won over other skaters who attempted a much more difficult program but did not execute it to the perfection that Jennifer did with a much less difficult program.

The new system will bring out a much broader range of skaters. The emphasis will be more on the quality of the overall performance not on how many cheated jumps can be crammed into a 4 minute program. A skater like Sasha Cohen will do very well with the new system because she is not only an exceptional jumper but her artistry is comparable to Michele Kwan, not to mention her extension. I was really glad to see this new system in play. It is being used in this current round of competitions as well. It will be interesting to watch. Also...the new system takes a lot of the power away from the judges, so no more hanky panky deal making.

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