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American young Ladies aiming Sochi

#1 User is offline   GiuliaPlumm 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:38 AM

View PostSquallB, on Mar 29 2010, 12:39 PM, said:

3. Even if Yuna retires, Mao may not be No. 1 - that may be Mirai.

4. Mirai is the exact same height as Yuna (164cm) and has almost same body shape as Yuna (long graceful arms/legs). If her face is covered up, one would be hard to tell whether she is Mirai or Yuna. :camera: ^_^

5. Mirai demonstrated that in terms of power and speed, she may even be better than Yuna, and she is better than Yuna was at age 16.

I actually happen to agree, although I don't see Mirai coming close to matching the grace and elegance of Yuna. Any thoughts?

I tend to agree. If Mirai would have skated like at the Olympics, even with a mistake, she would be the new World Champion now. Anyway... Her programs would beat Mao's this season, ok, but I bet Mao will come up with COP-friendly programs wih a proper coach. She better go back to Lori Nichol because is the perfect PCS coreographer. Chan and Nagasu can get those scores without quad/triple-triple thanks to her. Laura Lepisto, who does not have the flip and doubles several jumps in every competition, is an other skater who perfectly matches the new system. She and Chan are really appreciated by the judges for this reason and that's why they can get big, yet controversary, medals. About Nagasu: she skates with fire and freedom when she has no pressure. Now she must get the experience and this problably means she will have ups and downs. Mao definitely has the experience. Mirai has a terrific talent and showed impressive improvements, but she still looks "juniorish" at times. She has to connect with the music and develop a mature personality. I wouldn't say she is much gracious and elegant...instead she is lively and strong.

#2 User is offline   waba 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:10 AM

Well its true that Mirai will be a threat in the future, but I am still selfishly and greedyly want min-jung to be a threat too :camera:. I just hope that Rachael would quit soon and have another American girl going into competitions with Mirai...I really can't stand Rachael's skating ^_^.

Anyways, with the rise of some of the junior Russian girls...in the next few years or the next olympic...it would be very hard for Mao to try and get a gold medal competing with them.

This post has been edited by waba: 29 March 2010 - 09:11 AM

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#3 User is offline   Common 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:22 AM

Should we make a new Mirai thread or something like that?
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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:05 AM

I don't think Mirai would have won if she skated like she did at the Olympics. I think Mao is still better than Mirai right now, and I think Mao still would have won. Remember that everyone here got lower PCS than they got at the Olympics. And there was no way they would have given Mirai 65 in PCS if they gave Mao only 62. And 65 would be around what Mirai needed to score anywhere close to Mao.

#5 User is offline   shallwedansu 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:13 AM

Just because Mao is more experienced and has been a senior for longer, it doesn't mean Mirai should be held down. I love Mao but it's become evident to me her priority on the triple axel has made her lose focus on all the other elements. She's lost some of her speed, her looseness, fluidity on the ice, and her programs are poor based on choreography and lack of transitions.

Mira already has better choreography, better performance skills based on the programs this season and she has great speed and skating skills. If she had performed to her ability like at the Olympics, I wouldn't have been surprised if Mirai would have won gold over Mao.

#6 User is offline   dlnnyc64 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:16 AM

View Postnyss111, on Mar 29 2010, 10:23 AM, said:

Hrm... I don't agree here. If anything, I think Yuna and Mao are more similar physically. As far as power and speed, yes, Mirai does have that. Who knows if she is better than Yuna at age 16 now, but she has huge potential. I just think she still has the "junior" look (less than Min Jung does)- Yuna seemed much more mature at 16.


i agree with you. yuna has much longer arms and legs than mirai. she does have a jr. look. i think when she hits her opening pose she puts on that fake smile and it looks v. young girlish. when i think of yuna at 16 skating to lark ascending, she looks v. mature on the ice and her 3/3 is soo effortless, she seems to just float on the ice. plus the program and music is way more sophisticated than mirai's carmen and pirates.

to me, lark was perfection for yuna. the music has a melancholy tone to it and it makes yuna look vulnerable emotionally like a bird that she is portraying. i still rewatch it and it moves me.

mirai doesnt become the music the way yuna does.

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:38 AM

Separated from Yuna's thread.
Soon it shall also come to pass.

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:50 AM

Personally I think Mirai has the possibility to do well at Sochi on the assumption that her growth spurt is finished.

I think what is most important at this point is her jump height which is directly connected to DG issue. I think if she can raise her jump height a little more and if she can maintain that until when she becomes 20, she will be one of the top contenders.
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#9 User is offline   silverlake22 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:05 PM

Mirai is not the same height as Yuna just fyi. On her isu bio it says she is 164 cm but she's actually only 161 cm. An article right before the Olympics came out and said that she was 5'3.5" and 110 lb so I tend to think the ISU bio is wrong, they overestimate a lot of people's heights, Elene Gedevanishvilli is NOT 159 cm like it says and Alena is not 165 cm like it says. On Yahoo olympics she is only listed as 160 cm so I think that is more correct. Yuna is about an inch or inch and a half taller than Mirai and 5 pounds lighter. There build is also not quite the same, Mirai has those broad shoulders and no hips where Kim is more willowy with a defined waist and hips. They are both very attractive, fit girls but I wouldn't say they have the same body type.

I want Kwak to be a threat too, but I think she really needs to gain some muscle mass for that to happen. She got dinged with 3 URs in her LP at worlds and that's why her score was so low :) , though I'm sure being exhausted from all the flying from Korea to Canada to Italy and hurting her hip when she fell in the SP here also contributed to that. Even though her score was low I thought it looked like she had improved her speed and worked on her choreography. She has such a nice presence on the ice and gorgeous spins and spirals, I think if she can get stronger it will help build her speed and fix the URs and hopefully get a 3-3 :blush: . We'll see how Orser handles her, I tend to think he thinks she has potential though considering he agreed to be her coach. It might take a little while but I tend to think we'll be seeing a lot of improvement from her in coming seasons. She also grew 7cm this year so that may be part of the reason she is so skinny and not quite as strong as some of the other girls. I just find her so adorable :wub: , I think we'll see her on the GP next season though, I'm excited to see what programs she'll have, probably ballet ones if I had to guess.

#10 User is offline   jaylee 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:07 PM

Ok, I'm going to talk about both Mao and Mirai, since that was in the original article.

One of the most interesting things about Mao versus Mirai is that in light of what happened in the LP, any controversy over the SP was lost. Mirai, with a clearly cheated triple/triple won the SP over Mao with a borderline downgraded triple axel? About the same PCS too.

I was surprised about that as well, but upon further reflection, I think it was correct, and not unfair to Mao. Mao would have won the SP if she had her triple axel ratified, just as she would have won the LP if her second triple axel was ratified.

Honestly, neither Mirai nor Mao's SP is jam-packed with tons of choreography, which is understandable since it's a SP. Neither are empty either, so I would say based on how they performed, the PCS was correct. It's clearer than ever that PCS is not equal to the presentation mark in the old system. Nor is it a ranking/ordinal (although I think it has been used that way in the past). You can have high PCS with a performance that has jumping flaws if your _program_ is filled with the appropriate choreography, transitions, movements that show off your skating skills (you can't just have decent basic skating--you have to highlight it), and you interpret the music throughout. That's what happened with Laura. You will not get the highest PCS even if your performance has clean jumps IF your program doesn't have enough choreography, transitions, etc. That is what I think happened to Mao in the LP. It is such a bare bones program, with repetitive arm movements, that outside of the triple axels, it is no wonder she did not get higher PCS though everything was clean.

Now, going forward, Mirai has a number of things to work on, aside from her mental issues. For now, I would say she is the top US lady, until Agnes or Christina prove otherwise. But Mirai absolutely needs a consistent 3/3. Her speed is fabulous, absolutely comparable to Yu-Na's, but she tends to slow down going into her jumps and doesn't translate her speed into height in her jumps. Since she no longer rotates as quickly as she did as a tiny junior, she has underrotation problems. Her transitions are adequate. Her choreography, I honestly find Lori's programs kind of empty for her and I think there's more that she could be doing with her arms and whole body. But her flexibility and her positions are gorgeous, she has excellent posture, and she holds the landings on her jumps just wonderfully, which add an aura of elegance even though I don't think her overall package can be described as elegant. In terms of her artistic range, she hasn't shown much--she basically goes from happy to perky to bouncy back to happy in most of her programs. She interprets the music adequately. What she has is just this JOY in her skating that she lets out that makes the audience love her. It's very unique, and makes her into a special skater, but when she's "off", you can see that it kills her program.

Toe to toe, can Mirai compete against Mao? Yes and no. Yes, she was competitive against Mao here, but that's a Mao with the weakest programs of her senior skating career, both in terms of jump content (triple axels aside, the rest of her jump layout in the LP is just terrible), and choreography/transitions/etc. In the future, if Mao recognizes exactly how and why her programs are lacking, and is able to regain her prior form (2006-2008), then it will be much more even. Mao, when she is on, can be as exciting to watch as Mirai in her own way.

I'd say once again that Mao is a big question mark going into next season. There's only so much you can do in a season. If she wants to elevate her skating to Yu-Na's level, whether or not Yu-Na is around, then she has so many things to change, I think it would be difficult. It's not just about Mao adding in a 3/3 or lutz. Yu-Na's rise this past season was incredible. Yu-Na not only upped her 3/3 combo, she added difficult, creative exits or entrances to almost all of her jumps, from the solo flip and lutz to the salchow and solo double axel. Her jumps also have always had supremely good height and flow in/out.

Mao's jumps have always been good, but not THAT good. If Mao ever wanted GOEs like Yu-Na's, she needs to do things like that. AND she will need to add in tons of varied choreography, which she is capable of doing in an exhibition, but so far has not been able to do in competition recently (triple axels too much of a drain?). Mao's programs in 2006-2008 were absolutely competitive with Yu-Na's in term of choreography, and she had an edge in terms of the jump content (though I preferred Yu-Na's programs because the choreography was more unique and I personally felt more reflective of the music, but still, Mao packed plenty of choreography in). But post 2008 worlds, Yu-Na elevated the execution of her jumps and increased the choreography and just took it to another level this past year. It took 4 years for Yu-Na to get to where she is today, while Mao I feel not only did not progress after worlds 2008, she regressed. Terribly.

I trust that Mirai has the right team around her to guide her. Mao? She's looking for a new coach, which is the right step, but presumably she will stay in Japan. However, though she can make herself more competitive than before, I am just skeptical that she can drastically fix everything and remake herself over to equal Yu-Na at her best. I sincerely hope that she stops obsessing over Yu-Na's record scores, and takes a long, hard look at her programs and the scores she's received, and understand why she got what she got. She would not have beaten Yu-Na at the Olympics even if she had been clean, but it's not due to unfair judging, it's due to Mao's programs not being competitive enough. Unfortunately, I think it's unhealthy for her to be surrounded by the belief that the score differences is because of the judges. If she gets the right CoP-savvy coach to put her on the right track who gets her to focus on her own strengths, it's a start, and I can conceivably see that in four years, she'll be completely competitive for Sochi, as should Mirai.
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#11 User is offline   silverlake22 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:20 PM

View Postnyss111, on Mar 29 2010, 01:59 PM, said:

For sure Yuna was almost a stick at 16, almost like Min Jung but not as skinny. Mirai is more developed. I really hope that Min Jung continues to grow under Brian because she's such a lovely skater. With more speed, height in her jumps, and more artistry, I think she can be a good contender for the years to come.


I think so too, I'm crossing my fingers for her. I always like it when a skater who initially wasn't that good becomes a contender after years of hard work and perseverance. The prodigees are fun to watch too, but I like being surprised. Christina Gao is also as skinny as Min-Jung so I'm hoping their skinniness is natural and not self-induced.

Mirai I think will actually end up being a stronger build than someone like Yuna or Mao, just because she is pretty muscular and has those broad shoulders. She is likely done growing taller but she may continue to fill out and gain muscle mass, and if she does this could help her with the 3-3 and URs.

Christina I like very much and think she has a lot of potential and Agnes seems promising too but do people really think Kiri Baga doesn't have much of a future :( ? She has consistency issues but I really like her skating and think she has potential too, she is just so alive and expressive on the ice :) , she's like a mini-Sasha but with a good attitude!

This post has been edited by silverlake22: 29 March 2010 - 01:21 PM


#12 User is offline   poloska 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:24 PM

Mao already stated that she will choose softer music for the next season (like 2007-2008 season) and bring back her 3f-3lo combo.

#13 User is offline   GiuliaPlumm 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:36 PM

View Postnyss111, on Mar 29 2010, 08:16 PM, said:

Nice post. I think the main issue is Mao's chosen music. Both her SP and LP this year had really heavy, repetitive music that reflected also in her choreography. If she chooses softer, more emotional music, then I think her PCS will go up. And Mao can be very graceful and elegant on the ice with the proper music and choreography. Mirai didn't impress me much with her LP, but I think that her SP is really nice and flowy. Her LP, Carmen, isn't as mature as Katarina Witts, for example. She looks a bit too perky skating to Carmen so it doesn't fit well. I think that with Frank Carroll, though, Mirai will improve. As for Mao, she is a wild card but she's so fierce that I expect her to be the next OGM at Sochi if Yuna decides to retire. I don't think Tarasova is a bad coach (look at her track record), but maybe she just wasn't a good coach for Mao.

Just hoping that Carroll doesn not pick Sheherazade/Bolero/Phantom/Malaguena for her next season :(

#14 User is offline   poloska 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:42 PM

View PostGiuliaPlumm, on Mar 29 2010, 02:36 PM, said:

Just hoping that Carroll doesn not pick Sheherazade/Bolero/Phantom/Malaguena for her next season :)

Thinking about Evan's programs this season I think he can pick all these :(

#15 User is offline   Lilith11 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:31 PM

Frankly, here's how I see it. Mao still has the edge over Mirai. Mao and Mirai are neck-to-neck when it comes to spins and spirals (just look at her older programs like her 2008 SP) and flexibility and posture. So there goes what would have been Mirai's advantage over Yu-na. Furthermore, to me at least, Mao is more mature artistically; just look back on her older programs. I got chills, even w/the fall, from her 2008 SP. It was that good. Mirai is joyful when she skates and yes, that's nice to see, but I wonder how that would translate into more mature skating; could she pull off more dramatic, darker pieces of music? Not to say Mao is able to do that very well, BUT I do think Mao can express more artistically. But then again, artistry is subjective. Thus, let's look at the last thing; jumps. Mao has the edge. If she works hard to get her jumps back (and I believe she will), she will very much be a major threat. Let's remember, Mao and Yu-na, from earlier years, had the edge because of their jumps. Something Mirai is not known for.

And to some who believe Mirai is better than Yu-na when Yu-na was sixteen... I don't mean to be elitist or anything, but didn't Yu-na break a world record when she was 16? At her first Worlds? And I believe that Yu-na has never been off the podium, something that can't apply to Mirai, lols. I really couldn't believe that Yu-na was only 16 when she pulled off Roxanne and Lark; she was so mature and refined and elegant, it was just like "wow." Mirai? She's joyful and happy but that's about it. Yes, it's refreshing and a joy to see, but I wouldn't call that maturity in style lols.

#16 User is offline   silverlake22 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:56 PM

View PostGiuliaPlumm, on Mar 29 2010, 02:36 PM, said:

Just hoping that Carroll doesn not pick Sheherazade/Bolero/Phantom/Malaguena for her next season :(


Please no! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXBuZskWPiQ...feature=related I'd really like to see Mirai branch out and do a darker program, I think she'd make a gorgeous black swan, flirt a little with the audience and be powerful and elegant without being cutesy.

#17 User is offline   prettykeys 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:40 PM

View Postpoloska, on Mar 29 2010, 01:24 PM, said:

Mao already stated that she will choose softer music for the next season (like 2007-2008 season) and bring back her 3f-3lo combo.

I am so relieved and happy to hear that.

View PostLilith11, on Mar 29 2010, 03:31 PM, said:

Frankly, here's how I see it. Mao still has the edge over Mirai. Mao and Mirai are neck-to-neck when it comes to spins and spirals (just look at her older programs like her 2008 SP) and flexibility and posture. So there goes what would have been Mirai's advantage over Yu-na. Furthermore, to me at least, Mao is more mature artistically; just look back on her older programs. I got chills, even w/the fall, from her 2008 SP. It was that good. Mirai is joyful when she skates and yes, that's nice to see, but I wonder how that would translate into more mature skating; could she pull off more dramatic, darker pieces of music? Not to say Mao is able to do that very well, BUT I do think Mao can express more artistically. But then again, artistry is subjective. Thus, let's look at the last thing; jumps. Mao has the edge. If she works hard to get her jumps back (and I believe she will), she will very much be a major threat. Let's remember, Mao and Yu-na, from earlier years, had the edge because of their jumps. Something Mirai is not known for.

And to some who believe Mirai is better than Yu-na when Yu-na was sixteen... I don't mean to be elitist or anything, but didn't Yu-na break a world record when she was 16? At her first Worlds? And I believe that Yu-na has never been off the podium, something that can't apply to Mirai, lols. I really couldn't believe that Yu-na was only 16 when she pulled off Roxanne and Lark; she was so mature and refined and elegant, it was just like "wow." Mirai? She's joyful and happy but that's about it. Yes, it's refreshing and a joy to see, but I wouldn't call that maturity in style lols.

I agree with you 100%. First with the YuNa comparison: YuNa has had a magnificent 3F-3T for a long time and was generally known for the superior height and flow of her triple jumps and her general musicality; and she was indeed breaking/setting records with her Short Programs. Mirai has a more overt expression (something that YuNa only developed in more recent years with her growing confidence), but I don't know if Mirai has ever been able to have a softer, ethereal expression like YuNa had in Lark Ascending. Mirai is very good, and I might say that she is YuNa's equal at 16, but certainly not better.

The Mao comparison is a little more direct, because as Lilith put it, they both strike beautiful positions and have loads of flexibility. Mirai might be a little better on spins, but Mao wins, hands down, on jumping skills, and in my eyes, Mao has superior artistry. The next few years will be very interesting to me, and I will be keeping my eye on Mao, Mirai, and soon Elizaveta. I will definitely feel some heartache if Mao does not fulfill her potential, because I honestly believe her to be far and away the greater talent than Mirai, even accounting for the age difference...

If YuNa doesn't continue to compete, I am expecting a showdown between Mao and Elizaveta.

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:56 PM

View Postprettykeys, on Mar 29 2010, 05:40 PM, said:

If YuNa doesn't continue to compete, I am expecting a showdown between Mao and Elizaveta.


Mao and one of the young Russian girls, yes, I'm not so sure it will be Elizaveta though. There are so many young Russian girls who are very good, I think puberty will knock some of them out, but not all. Liza is one of the most promising now, but I think a lot will depend on how she handles puberty. I'm sure at least one of those girls will be a force to be reckoned with even after puberty, though. Liza, Anna, and Adelina are my favorites right now but that could change.

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:23 PM

Quote

Just because Mao is more experienced and has been a senior for longer, it doesn't mean Mirai should be held down. I love Mao but it's become evident to me her priority on the triple axel has made her lose focus on all the other elements. She's lost some of her speed, her looseness, fluidity on the ice, and her programs are poor based on choreography and lack of transitions


Well I don't think Mirai is better than Mao. Mao did two triple axels which isn't nothing and Mirai currently has nothing technically than can REALLY compete with that. While yes Joannie Rochette can be competitive with Mao, Joannie has all the triples, something Mirai doesn't have. And she also has a pure 3lutz, and 3flip. something Mirai does not have. Rochette's jumps are a lot better than Mirai's and that leads to more GOEs for Joannie.

As for the programs, I don't think that Mao's program in terms of transition or choregraphy shows up unfavorably against Mirai's either. And while Mirai's program has better music, I think Mao does a better job interperting hers. Mirai makes Carmen: cutsey. No, I don't think Mirai was going to beat that performance from Mao.

As for Mirai being better than Yu-na at 16, I truly have to disagree. Mirai is a better performer than Yu-na was. And of course Mirai's spins and spirals are better (I think Mirai is better than Mao in this area, Mirai's spins are a lot faster). But Mirai's jumps were no where near Yu-nas at 16. Mirai still has issues rotating her jumps. She got a lot of downgrades at Worlds, and while yes she didn't get downgrades at the Olympics. It seemed to me that the caller was actually really generous at the Olympics. Plus, there are the issues with Mirai's 3lutzs. When it comes to the jumps, Mirai still has some work to do. In the end, there's a reason why at 16, Yu-na accomplished more in her career than Mirai did. That doesn't mean that Mirai can't in the future become better. But as of now, Yu-na was stronger at 16.

This post has been edited by bekalynn: 29 March 2010 - 05:25 PM


#20 User is offline   mashi 

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:52 PM

I enjoy watching Mirai's skating a lot and she does have a lot of potential but I do not think she was better than either Mao or Yuna at 16. Mao was phenomenal as a junior and it is arguable that even present Mao is not as good as 16 yr old Mao, though I do think she has improved artistically. I also think Mirai's artistic range and depth is not as good as Yuna's at 16. She does seem to appear cute in all of her programs. However, she does have the talent to engage the audience into her performances, but I am still waiting for her to mature into her artistry.

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