Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Op-Ed: Down But Not Out!

I'm fed up with the American women being written off in this Olympic Cycle!

Of course we all know that Kim Yu-Na as well as team Japan are expected to clobber everyone in Vancouver with only Joannie Rochette possibly putting any kind of stop to it...right?


Well...maybe? But can we see what happens next weekend in Spokane before we just write off the American women all together...can we? They may surprise us yet!

I seem to remember Rachael Flatt winning the Free Skate at Cancer.Net Skate America over...OMG...Kim Yu-Na! Two-thirds of our ladies Torino Olympic Team is competing in Spokane...expereince! I think these ladies, whomever makes the Olympic Team, go into Vancouver in the best possible situation. All the world will be focused elsewhere and while other competitors are dealing with ridiculous pressure, cameras in their face 24/7, and spectators criticizing every little detail, two American women will have the opprotunity to go for broke, hold nothing back, and maybe...just maybe...produce a star.

We don't have an 'it' women right now (ala Lipinski, Kwan, Hughes, etc.). That doesn't mean we are out of it! I dare anyone out there to put the enormity of the Olympics into perspective and reach the conclusion that I do, that's it's a big deal! Olympic pressure is not easy and haven't we learned that the skater with nothing to lose and everything to gain amongst the women has recently faired better. Consider '94, '98, '02, and '06 if you will. Who won? I'll help you with those answers...not the person who was supposed to!

Are you really ready to write off the American women so quick?


Anonymous said...

True. The people who won the Olympic were not the person who was suppose to win. However, those people were definitely the 2nd or 3rd in line to win. (Even though Hughes was deemed the 4th one inline, I always liked her much better than Squasha.) In this year's case, that means Mao, Ando, and Joannie. The Americans are relegated to maybe 5th-8th in line to win which basically means no one is going to win the gold medal. I can see perhaps if the top skaters fell apart that American ladies might (and that's a big might) get a bronze. Just look at Yuna. Horrible skate and still came away with gold at Mao's shakey skating at Japanese Nationals still top perfect American ladies with perhaps an exception of perfect Alissa. That's just the way it is. If Alissa (if she goes) has a dream skate and the top three contenders have a disaster skate, then I can see her possibly winning gold. But that's an awful tall mountain to climb. She always buckles under pressure and never had a perfect sp and lp (just like squasha).

Anonymous said...

Hah, ok, well I look forward to reminding you of this piece about one month from now after the Olympics.

evilapprentice said...

As long as we're talking opinions regarding the American women, I'm really starting to get fed up with the American media's obsession with Sasha Cohen. I absolutely adored her skating in her day, and a part of me wants her to come back in top form and clobber everybody.


I am SICK and TIRED of having EVERY single female skater that does an interview get asked about Sasha. Maybe these girls might have a bit more confidence--and therefore perform better overall--if people would actually take notice of what THEY can do well rather than constantly comparing them to the skaters of yesteryear. All of the girls have handled it pretty well, but I can't imagine what it's like to be skating all of those years, fighting for an Olympic spot.....and totally interviewed only to be asked about SOMEONE ELSE who hasn't even competed since 2006!

James said...

You should add Yamaguchi to the list of winners not considered top favorite. Ito was destroying the practice in Albertville, then imploded in the short program. So did Harding. Kristi had only had one good competition that season (Nationals) coming in and everyone was sure she would fade in the glare of triple axel glory and have to wait until 94.