View Full Version : The Japan Open Results...

January 4th, 2000, 02:38 AM
I just found out Michelle won the competition.

January 4th, 2000, 02:41 AM
here the final result for the ladies: SP LP 1 Michelle Kwan 1 1 1.5 2 Maria Butyrskaya 3 2 3.5 3 Surya Bonaly 2 3 4.0 4 Vanessa Gusmeroli 4 4 6.0 5 Chisato Shiina 5 5 7.5

January 4th, 2000, 02:52 AM
Congratulations to Michelle! Go here for marks and other results: <A HREF=http://www3.airnet.ne.jp/art/99comp/open/results/index.html >http://www3.airnet.ne.jp/art/99comp/open/results/index.html </A> There are some details on a thread on the Competition board at FSW. I am worried by Michelle's marks though. She won, but not with ordinals across the board in either the short or long, despite having skated cleanly. She lost a judge to Surya (!) in the short, and a judge to Maria in the interpretive.

January 4th, 2000, 02:52 AM
this is from YUK at FSworld : I didn't attend his event this year but I know my friend/FSWer Sugar did! I'll wait for Sugar's report but untill then, here is my report from what I saw on Japanese TV coverage. ***LADIES' SP*** Michelle Kwan (USA) 2axel, 3lutz/2toe, 3toe 5.7/5.8 all across the board. *She was first to skate Chisato Shina (JPN) "Heart of Buddapest" 3lutz (under rotated), 3toe/2toe, 2axel Sometimes very slow, but I'm sure, you're gonna like this girl! And a very sophisticated costume that suited her elegance. She definitely has sence in use of arms, or upper body! 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.4 5.4 5.3 5.2 5.3 Maria Butyrskaya (RUS) 2lutz/2toe, 3loop (shaky), 2axel (shaky!) 5.2 5.2 5.4 5.0 5.5 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.6 STANDINGS after SP 1. MK (USA) 2. Surya Bonaly (FRA)... Fuji Television cut her! 3. MB (RUS) 4. Vanessa (FRA) 5. Chisato Shina (JPN) ***MEN'S SP*** Takeshi Honda (JPN) 4toe, 3axel/2toe, 2axel Oh my, he's skating better and better since Nationals! What makes his quad stand out is his short preparation into it, and FLAW out of it... Hopefully he'll win bronze in Nice. *Marks were not shown STANDINGS after SP 1.Yagudin 2.Honda 3.Eldredge 4.Urmanv 5. Candeloro ***MENS'S LP*** Phileppe Candeloro (FRA) Same program that he did in World Pros 3toe/2toe, 3lutz (stepped out), 3loop (fell), 2sal holding the stick, backflip 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.6 Todd Eldredge (USA) "13th Warrior" (I think he changed it from a bit) 3toe, 3loop, 3lutz, 3axel/2toe (!), 2axel He rocked! Don't you think this is his best program ever? *According to TV report, he was "doing (from original Japanese words I couldn't tell if it meant he landed it or just attempted it)" several quads. 5.5 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.7 Takeshi Honda (JPN) "I Could Not Ask More" 3axel (a beauty!), 2toe (supposed to be quad), 3loop, 3flip Well skated... I was expected him to use his Kitaro program though. 5.4 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.4 5.5 See? I told you! Alexei Yagudin (RUS) "Broken Arrow"...(edited) 3axel (stepped out), 3flip-step-3loop , 3lutz (under rotated and stepped out), 3toe (maybe added it at the last minute?) 5.7 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.8 all across the board *He seemed optimistic after he finished the program... Not pathetic at all. FINAL STANDINGS 1.Alexei Yagudin (RUS) 2.Todd Eldredge (USA) 3.Takeshi Honda (JPN) ***LADIES' LP*** Chisato Shina (JPN) "Festango" 3flip (fell), 3sal (she kicked her toe pick though), 2axel (fell...kinda like Tara's axel), 3toe (barely held on) She certainly has "it" for a junior girl. 5.2 5.1 5.2 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.2 5.1 5.1 5.1 And look at her cute smile Vanessa Gusumeroli (FRA) "Legend of Autum" 3lutz/2toe (her usual BIG yet unstable jump), 2flip, 3loop (under rotated and two footed), 3toe, 2axel Very Vanessa! (Meaning, she has lots of interesing and elegant moves and she does have some awkward moments...) 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.3 5.6 5.5 5.6 5.5 5.3 Michelle Kwan (USA) "Hands" 2axel, 3sal, 3lutz, 3toe, Elegant as ever! What I like this program better than "EofE". 5.8 5.7 5.8 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.987 Surya Bonaly (FRA) "Cuor Senza Sangue" Sophisticated costume and make up (you love it or hate it maybe...) 2loop, great spin sequence that I had to write down , 3toe/3toe (YES!), backflip, 2sal, 3sal (barely held on) I'm so happy for her! What a creative program! I could've enjoyed this program without the 3/3 and the backflip. She certainly became her own skater after she turned pro IMO. 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.6 Maria Butyrskaya (RUS) "Carmen 'Habanera' " 3lutz (smooth!), 3loop (big but a bit shaky landing), 2axel, 2toe, 3toe Cool program! This program showcases her best side IMO. 5.7 5.6 5.9 5.6 5.5 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.7 5.6 *She looked so disappinted... I wouldn't be surprised if she won! She skated THAT good. LADIES' FINAL STANDINGS Michelle Kwan (USA) Maria Butyrskaya (RUS) Surya Bonaly (FRA) Vanessa (FRA) Chisato Shiina (JPN)

January 4th, 2000, 03:41 AM
what do the 3.5 1.5 mean ?

January 4th, 2000, 03:50 AM
Artec- Those are the "factored placings" from the short and long programs combined. For the short program, 1st place gets .5, 2nd gets 1, 3rd gets 1.5, etc. For the long, 1st place gets 1, 2nd gets 2, 3rd gets 3, etc. Therefore, Michelle got .5 plus 1 for a win in the short and long, Maria got 1.5 plus 2 for a 3rd and 2nd in the short and long, respectively. The person with the smallest total after the short and long is the winner.

January 4th, 2000, 04:37 AM
michelle lost a RUS judge in the long program. I'm not surprised by that. I am worried about the marks in the short but it looks like they were scoring hard for the short. I am surprised surya got a 1st for the short. Her tech marks should be good but I don't know about her presentation. What's up with the US giving michelle a 5.7 for presentation in the long? I wonder why she doesn't do KY anymore?

January 4th, 2000, 04:47 AM
Thank You very much AYS now I understand I'm glad that Michelle win. Go Michelle

January 4th, 2000, 05:43 AM
Good for Michelle!! I'm not really concerned about her SP marks, as she was the first to skate. They always hold back on the marks for the first skater. All that matters is that her marks were good enough to win :)

January 4th, 2000, 06:02 AM
ITA with Diane. Go Michelle!!!

January 4th, 2000, 07:35 AM
Great job MK!!! Yes...ITA with Diane about being the first skater!!!...what I'm a little bit intrigued about is that for the interpretive program...MK and MB's presentation marks are varied about the same marks. But does MK skating before MB have to do with it??? I haven't seen Hands...but anywayzzz... I visited that unofficial website...and apparently...(from that site) the RUS judge placed MK 2nd in the lp...and the US judge placed MB 3rd... Can't wait to see it on TV!!! Canada...it's gonna be on on the 22nd!!! article... <A HREF=http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000104/sp/odyssey_cup_skating_1.html >http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000104/sp/odyssey_cup_skating_1.html </A>

January 4th, 2000, 09:03 AM
AYS, I wouldn't worry about how the judges voted and Michelle losing those two first place ordinals. The judge in the short program voted for Surya Bonaly with a higher score in Technical Merit. I'm sure she did her usual bit of over-jumping just to prove she can. I don't get the 5.8 for tech merit, though because one judge marked her down really low (4.8 I think -- US Judge) and the other judges were .2 to .3 lower than 5.8. As for Maria winning the first place ordinal in the long? It was the Russian judge. 'Nuf said. He gave Michelle 5.8 for Presentation and Maria 5.9. If you look at all the marks together, then the loss of those two ordinals make sense. It wasn't that Michelle skated badly. It's just politics as usual in the world of figure skating.

January 4th, 2000, 09:21 AM
It's not Michelle's marks that are telling, it's the fact that a judge placed Surya ahead of Michelle in teh short, and a judge put Maria ahead of Michelle in the long. I don't htink this signifies that there is anything for Michelle to "worry" about, but I think it symbolizes that Michelle's going to have to do something amazing to keep these judges giving her the ordinals! Perhaps the judges just aren't as wowed by Michelle as they used to be... maybe her grace and elegance are just seen as common from her now-a-days, no matter how unfair that may sound. I just hope Michelle keeps upping the bar as I'm sure she is! It isn't like a few years ago where Michelle just had to skate clean and the title was hers! ;-) -Heather :-)

January 4th, 2000, 09:51 AM
ITA with HeatherV23 . I think they want more. I know that michelle is enjoying just skating but I wonder if she thinks about how they probably are looking for more from her because they see it in her.

January 4th, 2000, 10:15 AM
to WOW the judges. In a way I was pulling for her to use the 3 flip as her solo in her sp. This way, it's a practice for the Grand Prix. She really needs to up that 'cause the judges will soon be yawning. The article said that she skated conservatively. Maybe it's something about the Japanese air or something that makes her skate conservatively. That or she doesn't want to exert herself 'cause it is only an Open Comp. Skate safe to prevent injury mayhap. The season is far from over anyway. Again, I'm just speculating. Honestly though, us fans are so used to seeing her with straight 5.9's and 6.0's for presentation that anything less is preposterous. I hope she takes these comps as wake-up calls starting with skate Canada, then the US vs World and now Japan Open. Thing is, the other competitors are slowly gaining on her. She has to approach the rest of her comps as a fighter. Be aggressive and attack all aspects of her program, both artistry and jumps. Sheesh, I say these things and I haven't even seen her last two comps yet.

January 4th, 2000, 10:19 AM
Could be...I was just debating with my friend whether some people are getting a little "bored" with MK...I mean she has been around for many years...and some people may not be as mesmerized as usual...my friend said that it might have been better if MK took the year off and came back next season to sorta let us miss her...and then come back to re-establish her status...I dunno...we were debating for a while...actually still are!!!... Anywayzzz...I'm glad MK won!!! I can't wait to see Hands!!!... and about the ordinals...just 1 in each program right??? When MK won her first world title...she didn't get all the votes either!!! Oooh...I'm just so excited about the whole season!!! Go MK!!! MANO...I sorta agree...we are so used to seeing 5.9 and 6.0's for MK...if I remember correctly...back in 98...MK got 5.9's...and MB got 5.8's!!! Now it's sorta all meshed together!!! Ooooh...May be MK is prepping us for a big suprise of ALL 6.0's coming up!!! :-) Also wanna add...in the interpretive (from the unofficial page!!!)...only 1 judge (RUS) gave MB a higher technical mark than MK......so I went back to check their jumps from the report!!!... MB had I think 1 more jump than MK...the 2toe...and she did the 3loop...whereas MK did the 3sal!!!...but from the report too...MB's loop was shaky...So I dunno what to say until I actually see the competition!!! But then from watching the 2 skaters for so long...MK's spirals are 2 thumbs up...and MK's layback position is definitely gorgeous compared to others...but MB's spin are faster than MK (though I prefer MK's positions big time!!!)...and her overall speed is probably faster than MK??? Oh well...

January 4th, 2000, 10:46 AM
Do you guys think that there's a different feeling to her skating? I wonder if maybe she now has more interests like school and new friends and she's older. Remember skating use to be her like and she was so excited then. Sometimes I wonder if she is not as interested in skating like she use to. From her experiences in skating she might feel that she may not win the gold 2002 so why focus so much on skating anymore. Just me speculating and thinking to much.

January 4th, 2000, 10:55 AM
Lavender...you have a point...but I think it's more like "Life is not a triple lutz"...not that MK is not interested in skating as much anymore...but may be because MK is so happy to be "a normal" teenager now!!!...that skating is no longer HER life... :-) But I still believe that MK still has that joy in her face when she is skating!!!...it's the pure fun she is having...evident in ADITL!!! I don't think that feeling of freedom will ever be gone (again...like when she was so tense about 97)!!! I just hope we'll be seeing 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 sometime!!! Hopefully!!! Hee hee :-)

January 4th, 2000, 11:48 AM
I've thought that this year she doesn't have the fire or intensity that she used to. I miss it, but I understand. What really does she have left to prove in skating? Winning the Gold Medal in 2002 really won't PROVE anything more than she already has. Maybe she just has a DIFFERENT fire now that her life has changed. For me things don't have the same meaning that they did before. Moms, remember before you had kids? You had to have THIS funiture and THOSE clothes and "OH MY GAWD, you can't see my house being dirty" and endless gossiping about what friend said what. It's so funny the things I used to care about so intensly. Now, I still like a clean house and nice things, but it isn't "life or death." It's not the most important thing anymore. SNIFF SNIFF, Michelle grew up! I do believe she is still competitive thouogh and doesn't really like being in 2nd, as gracious as she is.

January 4th, 2000, 12:04 PM
I think that I have to disagree about Michelle not having the fire & intensity or the interest she used to have, and about her not wowing the judges. I've never seen her at such a peak as she's been this year---the artistry, the trying new styles, the complexity and virtuosity, but yet the more relaxed and confident feeling. I find her programs more and more artistically masterful, emotionally overwhelming, and technically sound than ever. She keeps improving and re-inventing herself to the point that I don't think any judge will be tired of her--it's always new territory that she's forging into, and that will keep their interest. One ordinal here or there---I don't see that as anything. The one from the Russian judge was politics as usual. The one in the SP, it's just Surya, Michelle's never going to compete against her in eligible competition. Didn't MK actually lose a first-place ordinal in her Olympic SP to someone, although she won every other judge? Nothng new in losing an ordinal or two. But I do think that Michelle has pushed the envelope again, set a higher bar again, this season. If she doesn't make mistakes in her remaining competitions, she has an excellent chance of winning all of them.

January 4th, 2000, 01:13 PM
ITA with you. There is an ease and maturity this year that is lovely. I think having another life is good for her...in a way, marriage seems to have worked wonders on Irina, being a "co-ed" may be doing the same for Michelle.

January 4th, 2000, 01:38 PM
That's what I meant by saying that it's "different". It doesn't mean it's not better, actually I think she is better. I don't think anyone here thinks she's boring I thought they were talking about the judges.

January 4th, 2000, 02:28 PM
I don't have anything bad to say at all about how Michelle is skating...I completely agree with your assessment SJB. My nervous reaction lies solely with how the judges seem to be marking her recently (even if they are pro-ams). This is the second competition in a row where a judge has awarded a lower presentation mark than technical mark. And we haven't seen this many 5.7s from her in past years. I'm afraid the change may be in what the judges are expecting from her. BTW, the ordinal she lost in the sp at Nagano was to Lipinski. And I took that as not a good sign at the time, either, since they both skated cleanly.

January 4th, 2000, 03:26 PM
I think the reason why Michelle's mark at Japan Open is not as high as before has to do with her skate before Maria. Come on, Maria is the reginig World champion this year, as always the regining World champion always gets the advandage of getting high marks. And I also believe that the judges don't like Michelle as much as before has to do her missing the GP last year. I mean Maria is consider a "good skater" who would compete in France, Japan, Canada,and Germany unlike Michelle who only competes in Skate America and Skate Canada for the past two or three years. Some may think Michlle is a little bit biase of only competing at North America and that is propably the reason why the judges seem to hold up Maria's mark despite a bad skate. Personally, I think Michelle needs to compete more in European country, so the European judges will get to appreciate her skating more. I mean many other federations outside U.S would die to have Michelle to skate in their country for T.V ratings. Last but not least, we all know that figure skating involves politic, I bet if Michelle competes more in European country, her marks will be higher than what she is getting this year. I even believe that because Tara competeted in the 98 GP final, it gives the edge to Tara over Michelle at the Olympics since Michelle was injured and did not "show up" to boost the T.V rating while Tara did. makes the judges think her as a "good

January 4th, 2000, 03:31 PM
ITA with AYS. The judges seem to be expecting more now. What are they going to expect from her then. I know they are looking for someone new. I have read those skating books and I see how they are in control of things. Whether they are bored or not michelle's skating quality is top notch. It's just something about the smoothness of her skating. It's like B & S skating. They are just smooth. But anyway I think michelle is grown up now and her skating is more relaxed which feels different but still the best. I kind of wish that she was still that little girl all excited about skating but she does seem happier. Enough worrying for one night. Next stop is grand prix. I'll worry then.

January 4th, 2000, 03:57 PM
I have yet to see any performance by MK this year so please take what I am about to say with a LARGE grant of salt... I am happy about the Japan Open for several reasons: 1) she did not fall, not in sp and not in lp. I am very gald because she did fall in the last two competitions she was in and I am so happy she did not fall this time. 2) remember this is her 1st competition after she finish her finals in UCLA, little more than two weeks ago. I am just glad to see how well she readjust herself from the life of a student to one of a competitive skator 3) not getting all the 1st place does not bother me. Why? Because MK team is smart and they pay attention to what the judge is trying to say. Maybe this is what is needed to push MK to next tech and artistic (if possible) level. MK push herself harder when she knows there are other who trying to catch up to her. And I am just glad it is taking place here in pro-am then at National or the World. 4) I am glad MK is doing another new lp "Hands" (not only because that is one of my fav song) but because we can see even w/ the pressure of school, MK didnot short change her fans and gave us a new program. Overall, I see this year as a trial yr for MK, who is trying to handle school and skating. Plus there are 2 more yr til Olympic MK owe it to herself to try different things. (the judges might not like some of them, but at least MK try something new? right?)

January 4th, 2000, 07:08 PM
I'm sorry, but I think some people are being a bit alarmist here, and perhaps not taking things in context. First off, you have to remember Michelle just finished her finals a couple of weeks ago, she took off a couple of days to spend with her family, she just left for Japan a couple days ago and is probably suffering from a certain amount of jet lag and fatigue from travelling. Second, she did skate first in the SP, where the judges had to hold down her marks, and the judge that gave the nod to Surya was Korean, and given the current state of Korean ladies figure skating, there's unlikely to be a Korean judge at worlds. Regarding the LP, remember this is only the *second* time Michelle has competed the Hands program, and she probably hasn't had as much time to work on it as any of her other programs, and therefore is probably a lot less comfortable with it, not to mention the fatigue of performing two programs in one day. As for losing the 1st place ordinal from the Russian judge, now that's a real shocker. :-) Who'd have thunk politics and nationalism might creep their insidious way into the pristine and perfect world of figure skating? :-) And some are not taking into account the relativity of the situation. OK, Michelle lost one judge each per program. So what? She still placed 1st with both programs, and she skated cleanly without falling, popping and supposedly without shaky landings. She isn't going to win every competition with straight first place ordinals and 5.9s and 6.0s. On the other hand, look at Maria's situation in comparison. She's been skating poorly all season, she's lost ordinals to a 14 year old and a 17 year old who have never medalled in major international events, she's barely eked out her GP wins, and she's recently lost her national crown. To top that off, in the SP, she placed third behind her most hated rival and Bonaly, who hasn't medalled at worlds in what, nearly five years and isn't exactly at her technical prime? Moreover, her technical marks in the SP were pretty embarrassingly low for a reigning world champion competing in front of ISU judges, who historically have preferred eligible over pro skaters. Placing second in that field is hardly an impressive accomplishment on her part. Kwan is looking pretty good in comparison right about now.

January 4th, 2000, 07:20 PM
I enjoy reading your posts a lot!!! Hee hee!!!

January 4th, 2000, 07:33 PM
me, too :) I agree. We should just chill out for now! Next competition... the GPF!!! The true test, I guess you could say, before Worlds.

January 4th, 2000, 07:44 PM
In one of the articles posted in another thread, Michelle said that she was happy with her performance, that her jumps were solid, and she felt increasingly confident as she approached the world championships. When it all comes down to it, isn't that what ultimately matters here? How Michelle feels about her performances, her programs and her confidence in herself and her skating. If MK feels confident and secure, she generally skates like it, and almost invariably wins, so instead of worrying and looking upon every little thing as a sign of impending doom, why not look on the bright side and be happy and satisfied that she had a good time, did a good job, and feels increasingly confident about worlds?

January 4th, 2000, 07:44 PM
AYS, I remember that too and I had the same reaction. When Tara got hte ordinal over Michelle from the French Judge, I knew it didn't matter because Michelle still won the short program, but the fact that it wasn't unanimous indicated to me that the judges are expecting more than just Michelle to perform-- they were demanding magic, and the electricity seemed to be a factor in the long program, despite the fact that my opinion of hte long program matched the minority of the 3 judges scoring that event. I think Michelle and her team are smart enough to have seen what happened, and to take into account the level, not only of national competition, but the level of the World competition, including a field of 5 amazingly strong Russian Ladies. You can argue about Maria getting scores that don't always seem to reflect her skating (i.e. good scores for faulty performances), but you can't change it-- and I'm sure Michelle knows that if she wants another world title, she'll have to blow the socks off the judges, and leave them no reason to even THINK about having the results another way around. Because if ONE judge thinks that someone besides Michelle should win, then it's plausible that all of them can think the same way. I hope Michelle works her magic! But I'd perfectly understand if she doesn't this year...she's got too much on her mind. But if Michelle is a perfectionist to the degree I am, being busy and being tested with changes in lifestyle and schedules inspires harder work. I know my first semester GPA at college reflects my work, and I'm sure Michelle's results will reflect hers. :-) Okay enough babbling for me.. time to go to bed! -Heather :-)

January 4th, 2000, 09:42 PM
Any comments???

January 5th, 2000, 07:14 AM
You have a point!!! I think it would be cool if MK skates in Europe more too...but I think we'd miss her here!!! :-))) Hee hee!!!

January 5th, 2000, 07:32 AM
But, HeatherV23, didn't Tara's SP at the Olympics have more difficult jumps than Michelle's? If it was the SP she did at 98 Nationals, it had a 3 lutz-2 loop combination and a 3 flip solo triple jump. Both of those are more difficult than MK's jump elements, so that one judge may have placed Tara higher does not seem unexpected. And, I would argue that the five top Russian ladies are for the most part not at all competitive with Michelle. Volchkova, Soldatova, and Sokolova are not in Michelle's league, either technically or in presentation. Volchkova might improve to become a really first-rate skater, but as of now she has a long way to go. I don't see Yulia or Elena ever reaching this point--JMO at this moment. Maria and Irina are (or can be) competitive with Michelle. I think, based on this season so far, that Irina is close to (but not ahead of) MK, and that Maria's performances have not been competitive. So, at the moment, I look to Irina to be one of the top contenders for gold in the remaining competitions. Maria may pull herself together and really be competitive with the top two (she has the capability), but at the moment she is not. So I think that the Russian competitors who really are on Michelle's level boil down to Irina and perhaps Maria. Nothing new there, it's been like that for several years now, hasn't it? I guess the GP final will tend to show whether my thoughts are way off base or not. But, again, I think that the large number of Russian ladies in the final has more to do with the very long list of injuries this year--Malinina, Hubert, Guessmeroli, etc., weren't competitive. That the GP final includes four Russian ladies may be more an artifact of the injury list, rather than extraordinary depth of talent among the Russian competitors. Well, just to say that I'm not worried, that right now I see Irina (and maybe Malinina?) as almost the only skaters on Michelle's level, and that, as I say, if Michelle skates without mistakes, she has an excellent chance (chance, not certainty--anything can happen) of winning the remaining competitions.

January 5th, 2000, 07:59 AM
I really don't want this to become a Tara/Michelle debate, but I do think that it should be pointed out that difficulty of the jumps planned in a short program are not all that determine the scores in a short program. Execution of jumps (i.e. height, flow of landings, speed, quality of edges, correctness of edges), quality of spins (position, speed, rotations, center), sprials (height, position), footwork (difficulty, speed), presentation including variation of speed, coverage of ice, appropriateness with the music, etc, and all of the misc. things I forgot, ALL determine the marks for a skater. When I saw the ordinals go the other way during the Olympics, it was a sign that the judges are placing emphasis on different things now. And this occuring again symbolizes to me that Michelle is going to have to bring out the big guns! She's going to have to take some chances! I hope she does because it will be more exciting and more competetive! I think Michelle knows she can't hold back anymore, and if she gets used to that now, the better off she'll be in 2002. -Heather <A HREF=http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/3143/michelle.html>http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/3143/michelle.html</A>

January 5th, 2000, 08:41 AM
I don't wanna come between your discussion...but I just wanted to say...I sorta agree with both of ya!!!... Yes...they look at all the elements...but I thought that the actual base mark is determined by the difficulty of the jump...(of course the distance...height...etc...are all important!!!...MK is great at that!!!) Also...IMO...the skate order and marks have a relationship!!!

January 5th, 2000, 10:59 AM
SJB is right about the Olympics. Tara received a 5.7/5.9 from the French judge; Michelle got a 5.6/5.9. So in that judges' eyes, they were equal artistically but not technically - clearly that was b/c of Tara's combination and the triple flip. All Michelle needs to do is get a triple flip in her short program. Remember - she only needs 5 of 9 judges to put her first to win. She can easily get 5 judges if she skates clean.

January 5th, 2000, 11:09 AM
SW....from now on I'm just going to wait for you to post and then agree with everything you say! On another note....I think part of this same discussion is going on over in Skating Chat, so I'm just going to repeat myself instead of thinking up new spiffy comments.... My comment is about the technical difficulty of Michelle's jumps. Okay, we all love her dearly, but I think we all need to own up to the fact that Michelle's programs are NOT as difficult technically as they could be. Now, for you detractors of my theory who don't have a problem with her jump combinations/jumps...Do you honestly think that if Tara Lipinski hadn't gone pro, or if there was a serious jumper-challenger coming along right now that Michelle would still be doing the easier combination jumps -- triple-toe/triple toe as opposed to triple lutz/triple toe or triple loop/triple loop -- that she's doing now? Let's be honest here...Michelle has been using the triple toe/triple toe as her triple/triple combination since she was 15. As D. Button is always pointing out...Michelle is a near perfect technical skater, she's capable of much harder jumps. The fact that she has two triple lutzes in her long programs is nice, but it still doesn't make up for the fact that she uses an easier triple/triple combination OR the fact that she's still using the triple toe as her single triple in the sp. I realize the line that Frank takes is better safe than sorry and I could agree with that if Michelle had a serious competitor right now, but she doesn't. (Alright, all you Sarah Hughes fans stay calm. She's still learning what it takes to win. She doesn't have that "I want to win and I want to win YESTERDAY" mentality of Tara L. (and no, that wasn't a slam on Tara, so let your blood pressure lower back to normal TL fans!)) Michelle used to comment that it was great to have Tara there pushing her to improve and without a serious threat I just don't think Michelle is being as aggressive as she could be. I know she's got college to worry about now, but it's not like she's learning to skate for the first time. She's got the wherewithall to be a better jumper. To my mind it's just a matter of she and Frank deciding to go for it. Michelle's improving in baby-step increments while some of the other skaters are taking giant leaps (Slutskaya for instance). Michelle is a great skater and a legend in the making. It'd just be a shame if she didn't at least try to exploit her full potential athletically. It's funny because the argument about skating is always that the skaters aren't artistic enough, but I find myself thinking more and more that Michelle isn't demostrating her full athletic potential. But...If had to choose between Michelle not doing harder jumps and winning and Michelle doing harder jumps and losing a few titles along the way...well, heck, I'd still have to go for doing harder jumps and losing a few times. I like to compare where Michelle is right now to where Tiger Woods found himself 2 years ago after his win at the Masters. He knew he could play with his old swing and win a few titles every year, but he knew that to win EVERY TIME OUT he had to rebuild his swing from the ground up and suffer the losses in the meantime. Michelle doesn't need a total make-over, but I do think she needs a little nudge in the jumping department.

January 5th, 2000, 11:29 AM
I don't think Michelle needs a nudge in the jumping department! If she feels she needs the 3flip in the short, I'm sure she would put it in. Michelle is an ALL-AROUND skater, which I think, is better then being just a good jumper or just a good artist. Shes got the Full package man!

January 5th, 2000, 11:57 AM
Well, Chica, we know from eyewitness reports that Michelle is practicing the 3lutz-3toe and at least one more 3/3 that I can't recall right now. (And that she is "really close to her triple axel"--I always wondered just what that meant, LOL) If the harder 3/3's aren't in her competitive programs yet, I can only assume that they're not consistent enough yet. But she is working on them, so I suppose we may see them when they are ready, perhaps in a year or two. However, she does have the 3 toe-3 toe consistently enough, apparently, for her to be doing it in all her LP's this year. So that's what she's going with. And, MK's other jumps are right up there in technical difficulty--her LP's always include a 3 lutz in combination and one solo lutz, just about as difficult as you can get. So I do think that she's pushing herself in the jump department. I think that she's improving only "incrementally" (I don't think I quite agree with that) because there just isn't that much that needs improvement. I see very steady improvement in other difficult technical elements--layback position, Charlotte, opposite direction spins, forward scratch, etc. And the 3 toe in the SP is a strategy decision that I agree with right now, for reasons I stated in the other thread. She's, of course, quite capable of putting in the flip, but she & Frank will do it only when they decide that it's the right strategy. I'm pretty confident in their ability to make the right choice as to when that is.

January 5th, 2000, 12:52 PM
ITA with SJB...Michelle & Frank will make the right decisions...

January 5th, 2000, 12:52 PM
last year where Mk says she can't worry about what other skaters are doing? If skater B could do a 3 ax and Michelle can't, ....Michelle and Frank do know best. Heck, I would like to see her do the 3loop 1/2 loop 3 sal...but can she? If she can't what's the point? Tara had the more difficult jumps, no question....

January 5th, 2000, 01:21 PM
This discussion has veered off toward the technical side of things, but that is not really the basis for the concern I expressed early in this thread. What concerns me is that MK has been receiving some lower marks recently in the presentation department. A couple of judges marked Butyrskaya *and* Bonaly the same as Michelle in *presentation*. Sarah Hughes was marked comparably to Kwan in *presentation* if I remember correctly, in the USA vs World. What the heck are those judges seeing in her skating that they don't like as well as last year. BTW, IMO, Lipinski won the gold not because of her technical content (that was expected by everyone, including Frank and Michelle, and put her in a position to win), but because some judges gave her the same *presentation* scores as MK. I'm not forecasting doom and gloom here, just wondering about the sudden 5.8s in *presentation* that used to all be 5.9s.

January 5th, 2000, 01:41 PM
I wouldn't worry too much...Does anyone remember MK scores from last years JO? I dont..im just curious if its just that they score low. Look at SC, no one got over a 5.8, i dont think. Don't worry, this years nationals michelle will show em all!

January 6th, 2000, 06:32 AM
AYS, I don't know what to say about MK receiving lower presentation scores than last year, because I really don't know about judging. Some people say that it's all relative, the actual number doesn't matter, just the ordinal, etc. I don't know if that's the case. A lot of scores in the competitions seem lower to me this year--did the judges get pulled aside and given a lecture on "grade inflation"? (this happens to me a lot, so just wondering :) My understanding of USA vs. World was not that MK didn't get great presentation scores, but that Sarah really had a great skate, so she got rewarded with scores like MK's. But I guess we'll see on Sunday. Maria's presentation has really really improved this year--that' why I'm interested in watching her. I know it's hard to see when she's struggling with a program and making lots of errors, but she has really begun to show some great qualities here. So again, maybe it's a case, not of the judges wanting more from MK, but the other skaters' improving to MK's level (in the opinion of a few judges, anyway). But, as to why the scores are now 5.7 and 5.8, when they used to be 5.9--I don't know. I guess I wasn't thinking it was important, as long as Michelle's ordinal was 1. I don't see how they could want more from MK in presentation, since we agree that she's just superb---but we shall see, I suppose, if these lower scores really mean something. I confess to not having given this much thought---my major interest in Michelle is watching her great skating and (blushing to admit) if she wins or not is of lesser importance. Of course I want her to win, but I've been so happy collecting videos of incredible performances this year that I guess I may be complacent. I would be really peeved if she gave a stellar performance and some judging silliness denied her what I felt was a well-deserved win.

January 6th, 2000, 09:29 AM
remember the heartbreak from the 1999 WORLD'S? michelle was going to do all those new programs,new jumps(more difficult ones!) BUT she was not feeling well, talk about a bitter virus flu!!! michelle is ok. she just needs to really take good care of herself. physically and mentally...she needs to remember COACH CARROLL's strong words everytime she skates: undaunted courage,undaunted courage - which really means she is the MASTER ARTIST.When she is THE MASTER ARTIST WITH UNDAUNTED COURAGE, she is invinsible,captivating,inspired. As I watch her grace the white ice canvass...can't help but silently hum to myself MONA LISA MONA LISA ,add that disarming smile and the 6.0's follows!!! keep going MK, you're Y2K ok. cheers to perfection!!! she's so good! THANKS!

January 6th, 2000, 04:48 PM
and not to other skaters when they judge her. She has managed to do some mind blowing performances but usually is just amazing IMnhO and so when she is scored I worry that some judges thing "Oh she was wonderful and met all the requirements and was better than the rest, but I know she can do better than that so no 5.9." And when it comes to 6.0s the judges needs to believe that MK couldn't do that program any better than that not just that she was the best of the field. I might be over reacting but I worry sometimes but the main thing is I hope the judges will give MK the scores she deserves even if I don't always totally understand them.

January 6th, 2000, 05:33 PM
and I say you managed to shed some new light. I think you have a point, maybe some judges think MK is not taking skating too seriously since she limits her cpmetitions in numbers & geographically. In fact I am starting to see why Maria said she wanted to beat MK in the States. And it would be great if MK could skate in European competition, in fact it has not hurt Borne & Kratz! But whatever ways we find that MK could improve we also need to remember that there are some people who do not like her & will find the slightest excuse to mark her down. If MK can improve then she needs to do so & if she has done her best then we need to accept that. Also I agree with Chica, MK needs to start debuting(sp?) her 3 axel & 3/3 combos in every comp, because as far as I can access she is not consistant with her 3toe/3toe. And how much more testing does team Kwan have to do before they replace the 3 toe in her short program? If MK anounces that this is her best then I will support her & accept a 3 toe but if she knows that this is not her best then I await her upgrading.

January 6th, 2000, 06:04 PM
How about starting a thread of advice/suggestions for MK???

January 7th, 2000, 08:51 AM
Although I read this whole thread, it's possible I missed something, and am just repeating what someone else said ... if so, I apologize. I think that the relatively lower presentation marks MK got at the Japan Open can be directly attributed to her "skating conservatively". Usually, that means skating slower, with less fire. Remember, that's what cost her the Oly gold (according to Frank Carroll, who ought to know!). I wouldn't worry about it at all. Losing a few ordinals is nothing, very few wins are unanimous across the board in tech and presentation. Also, most important - this was a Pro-am! Makes perfect sense to me that MK would hold back a bit under these circumstances. Noone can be 100% "on" every single time, and best to save it for the real el comps. BTW, I don't know what song "hands" is, but I just hated KY (the music, not the pgm), so I'm glad to see something else. I just wish she would stay away from pastel costumes, I think the darker jewel tone costumes are much more flattering to her.

January 7th, 2000, 10:59 AM
michelle is just doing fine. no matter what, she has already captured our hearts. figure skating will never be total fun without her. she is still the one to beat....

January 10th, 2000, 12:30 PM
Having seen Michelle's "Hands" program in the USA v. the World competition, I'm not surprised that it didn't pull higher marks at the Japan Open. Now before anyone lynches me, it was beautifully executed and performed, and Michelle's jumps were near perfect. However, I have very conservative tastes in what I like, and I have noticed that my tastes are very much along the lines of most judging panels, who also have very conservative, traditional tastes. The music was the problem for me. Although it was a nice GFB, the program didn't have the *oomph*, the *zing*, the emotional impact that most of Michelle's programs have. I could very easily see MK skating it to perfection and only getting a 5.8 or a 5.9.

January 10th, 2000, 03:49 PM
Just a thought to throw into the pool for a moment.... I think that Michelle's "apparent" lack of "push" in the jump department is really just a very smart plan designed for her to pace herself between now and the Olympics to accomplish the following: 1. Not to create injury by over-training so far in advance of the Olympics. and 2. Not to give away her game plan too far in advance of the Olympics so that her competitors have a chance to match it. If she waits until her Olympic season to debut some of the more difficult triple/triple combinations that she's been practicing, and maybe even her triple axle, then it will be really too late for many of her competitors to "up" their difficulty to match or surpass hers before the Olympics start. This way she only has to worry about two things, first of all hitting all her elements, and secondly, fewer possible skaters with as much difficulty in their programs. Anyway, like I said, it's just a thought. But both Frank and Michelle have always exhibited some really smart game-plan thinking, so my bet's on them right now.

January 11th, 2000, 06:08 PM
ChicaRealidad, I am a fan of Tara, and I did not take your comment about her as a bash. ITA that she wanted to win, and YESTERDAY. It's that mentality that made her a champion. Do you remember when Carol Heiss was being interviewed before the '98 Olympics, about the similarities between herself and Tara (that both were coming up behind already established and much beloved skating stars). Heiss defeated Tenley Albright at the '56 Worlds, right after the Olympics that Albright won. Heiss was also a young teen at the time, and her win wasn't met with approval by many in the skating establishment. In the interview, Heiss said she understood what Tara was feeling, because she knew what if felt like when everyone came up to her and said, "You have time." As in, you don't need to win right now, wait your turn. I think Heiss and Lipinski had the same mentality as determined young girls: "Why should I wait?" I agree that having Tara as a competitor ultimately did help Michelle's skating, and if someone challenges her now, Michelle's skating will only continue to elevate. Not that it isn't always improving anyway, but having someone "nipping at your heels" always accelerates the process a bit. I do think Deetlebug may be on to something here. It seems like a sound strategy to me, if that's what Michelle and Frank are doing. It'll be interesting to see. Anyway, I know Michelle will continue giving great performances, and I am psyched because I will get to see her Nationals performance in person! I am too jealous of everyone who was in Philly in '98, so hopefully she performs with as much of her heart and soul as she did there. :-)

January 12th, 2000, 06:53 AM
That's cool that you're going to Nationals NicoleM. My Brother and Mom are going too. Go Michelle!

January 12th, 2000, 01:38 PM
In regards to Michelle upping the 3toe in her SP don't any of you notice that the 'connecting steps' into her 3toe in the SP are just like the 'connecting steps' into the 3flip in her LP?!? IMO this clearly shows that Michelle is going to go for the 3flip in the SP if she feels she needs it. I think she has the same steps in the LP so she can get a good feel for the 3flip so when she needs it in the short she'll have it. Was I the only one who noticed???