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Posted: 2/24/2006 2:47:43 PM EDT
sports.yahoo.com/olympics/torino2006/figure_skating/news?slug=ap-fig-skatingwrapup&prov=ap&type=lgns


Bumpy ride ahead for U.S. skating
By NANCY ARMOUR, AP National Writer


TURIN, Italy (AP) -- Get ready for a bumpy ride to Vancouver, U.S. figure skating fans.

Michelle Kwan is all but gone for good, Sasha Cohen could be next and there's no telling how long before there's another star with their wattage. The men are solid, but they've got a ways to go before they can be serious contenders for gold. Pairs are a disaster.

The brightest spot is in, of all places, ice dance.

"The goal for us right now is to be on the medals stand in the 2010 winter Olympic games in every discipline," David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating, said last month. "That's going to take some doing in some of the areas, and I look forward to the challenge of doing that."

The results at these games showed it might be an even bigger challenge than anticipated.

American skaters won two medals in Turin, silvers by Cohen and Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto. But Cohen fell into her prize -- literally -- and the United States was nowhere close to being in the same league as Russia, which fell one event shy of a gold-medal sweep.

"I think sometimes there's definitely too much pressure on winning a medal," said Kimmie Meissner, who was sixth at her first Olympics. "It's not always about what color medal you get, it's more about if you have a good time and you take away a good experience."

That's a nice sentiment to put on a poster, but Americans want medals. Lots of them. Especially in figure skating, the glamour event of the games, along with Alpine skiing.

There's been at least one American woman on the podium every year since 1964; the Innsbruck Games can't really be counted because the entire U.S. squad was killed in a plane crash three years earlier.

Though Kwan never won an Olympic gold, she defined her sport for a decade with five world titles and nine U.S. crowns. Her presence alone guaranteed the spotlight would be squarely on the Americans. That spotlight won't fade, but it won't be nearly as bright, either.

Try as she might, Cohen never really escaped Kwan's shadow. When she finally won her lone U.S. title last month, it was lost in the furor over the groin injury that kept Kwan out of the national championship and ultimately doomed her chances in Turin. After winning the short program, Cohen blew any chance at Olympic greatness with two falls in the first minute Thursday night.

"It's a lot of mixed emotions. Bittersweet," she said Friday. "I was really proud of myself, but of course I'm disappointed that things didn't go as I hoped."

Cohen said she plans to compete at the world championships next month in Calgary. Beyond that, her plans are less certain. Her body is already showing signs of wear and tear at 21 and she'll be 25 in Vancouver, the same age when Kwan broke down.

"I'd love to be there. I love the Olympics, but you never know if you're going to be competitive and if your body is going to hold up," Cohen said. "I'll take it day by day and see where the road goes."

Depth isn't the U.S. women's problem. But there's a big difference between quantity and quality. Meissner and Emily Hughes were sixth and seventh, impressive showings for their first Olympics. Does this seem impressive to you guys? I thought the only spots that counted were 1, 2 +3?But Meissner, 16, and Hughes, 17, are nowhere close to being as polished as Kwan, Cohen and Tara Lipinski were at their age. Or as Hughes' sister, Sarah, was when she won gold four years ago at 16.

Meissner has supreme technical ability, but lacks the finishing touches that turn a skater into a star. Her arm movements still look somewhat robotic. Ditto for Hughes, whose expressions and interpretations to music almost look forced.

"I feel I gained a lot of momentum for next season," Hughes said. "My season started kind of slowly, but I'm really happy about making it to the Olympics. I've improved so much from last season, and I'm looking forward to improving even more."

The bad news is, the Japanese are improving, too.

Shizuka Arakawa gave Japan its first Olympic gold medal in skating, and more could be on the way. Arakawa, 24, and Fumie Suguri, 25, aren't expected to last much longer. But there's a whole contingent of Japanese skaters waiting behind them, and they've got skating tricks that even some of the guys don't do.

Miki Ando tried a quadruple salchow here. Mao Asada, who at 15 was too young for Turin, does two triple axels in her program -- two more than any other woman even tries right now -- and triple-triple combinations in bunches.

On the men's side, Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir were fourth and fifth, and both plan to compete through Vancouver. While both showed flashes of being world contenders -- Weir was second after the short program and Lysacek was third in the free skate -- they still need work. Neither even tried a quadruple jump in the free skate, and Lysacek fell on his in the short program.

Then again, the quad wasn't nearly as popular as in years past. Only nine of the 24 men tried quads in the free skate, and only five landed them. Nobody landed two. That's in sharp contrast to Salt Lake City, where Tim Goebel won the bronze medal after doing three quads, two in combination, and gold medalist Alexei Yagudin did two quads.

"I'll be back in four years," Weir said. "Hopefully, for a medal."

None of the U.S. pairs teams was close to a medal, and that's not likely to change in the next four years. There are some good American pairs in juniors, but there's no guarantee they'll stay together for the next four years.

Belbin and Agosto have taken U.S. ice dancing from being the butt of jokes to the Olympic podium. And with gold medalists Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov retiring, the Americans will be the couple to beat as long as they keep skating and stay healthy.

The other Americans, Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, and Jamie Silverstein and Ryan O'Meara, aren't close to contending, but all plan to stay around for four years. And don't forget Morgan Matthews and Maxim Zavozin, the junior world champions who missed out on Turin.

"I know for a fact it will not take another 30 years," Belbin said emphatically. "Anyone who was fortunate to witness our U.S. nationals, you would be so impressed with the level of ice dancing in the United States. I think it will be less time for more medals for the U.S."




Can't we have some GOOD sports for the olympics???? Ice Dancing? Figure Skating? PULEASE! How about some "Frozen River Swimming" or Polar Bear Wrestling? Maybe some Avalanche racing? (Where all athletes on the hill at the same time attempt to outrun the avalanche. All survivors get a Gold.)

Oh and the worst game EVER is that curling bullshit! Who thunk this shit up!?

Decaf.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 2:55:23 PM EDT
in answer to your question: yes, 6th and 7th in the world at 16 and 17 years old does sound impressive to me
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 2:57:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 52brandon:
in answer to your question: yes, 6th and 7th in the world at 16 and 17 years old does sound impressive to me



No kidding. We have two children place 6th and 7th, who are going to have four years to improve before the next olympics and the sky is falling? Give me a break.

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:02:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 3:03:49 PM EDT by Poodleshooter]
Skating is nice and all,but it saddens me that we suck at biathlon. Don't we have more people in the US who can ski and shoot?
It's also a pity we can't go back to the pre 1980 use of high power rifles instead of using .22's.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:13:43 PM EDT
Why does it seem that depression 101 is taught at "I wanna-be-a-journalist" school?
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:17:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:23:02 PM EDT
If you are better at ice skating, then go out there and show them how to do it then. 6th and 7th in the world are pretty good considering.

We owned snowboarding, I think the judges let a couple non americans in to show that the world might have a chance at winning in the halfpipe.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:25:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 3:27:48 PM EDT by sigman]
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat
.

- Theodore Roosevelt
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:27:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 3:28:23 PM EDT by Stealth]

Originally Posted By Bubblehead597:
Why does it seem that depression 101 is taught at "I wanna-be-a-journalist" school?




Because the headline "Everything's Cool" doesn't sell newspapers.

edit: doh! punctuation.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:31:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sigman:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat
.

- Theodore Roosevelt

damn. They could publish a book with his quotes. The only quote I can think of for W. is "a fool man can't be fooled again". Things sure do have a way of changing
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:31:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 3:38:35 PM EDT by RenegadeX]

Originally Posted By HKTackDriver:
"I think sometimes there's definitely too much pressure on winning a medal," said Kimmie Meissner, who was sixth at her first Olympics. "It's not always about what color medal you get, it's more about if you have a good time and you take away a good experience."



That is what all the LOSERS say. I am surprised she did not quote Teddy Roosevelt like most other LOSERS do. Show me anyone who goes to the Olympics for a good time and a good experience, and I will show you a LOSER.

This year's crop of athletes are a joke. One clown breaks his back showing off for the cameras, 2 females lose gold showing off snowboarding before it is over, ice skaters fall down, male & female hockey players can't even make it to the medal round, Female skiers more concerned with wearing beads and reindeer ears than competing. Speed skaters bickering... What a bunch of LOSERS. I guess they got what they came for, an experience and not medals.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:33:18 PM EDT
What's wrong with curling? I see nothing wrong with curling, not to mention the guys took the bronze.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:35:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 3:36:43 PM EDT by Voldermortist]
The olympics are stupid anyhow. I never watch them, in fact I get irritated when they come on because that's all they show on the TVs at the gym. It gets annoying watching two dumbasses using brooms in front of these weird looking puck-like fatass knobs trying to get it to move......


I'll be one happy camper when they get rid of the goddamn olympics and put Wheel of Fortune back on or whatever it is that is normally on at the gym.


ETA: That or the food network, at least the cute chick making the chocolate cakes and greek food was fun to look at.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:36:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By HKTackDriver:
"I think sometimes there's definitely too much pressure on winning a medal," said Kimmie Meissner, who was sixth at her first Olympics. "It's not always about what color medal you get, it's more about if you have a good time and you take away a good experience."



That is what all the LOSERS say. I am surprised she did not quote Teddy Roosevelt like most other LOSERS do. SHow me anyone who goes to the Olympics for a good time and a good experience, and I will show you a LOSERS.



What is "a losers"
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:59:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By HKTackDriver:
"I think sometimes there's definitely too much pressure on winning a medal," said Kimmie Meissner, who was sixth at her first Olympics. "It's not always about what color medal you get, it's more about if you have a good time and you take away a good experience."



That is what all the LOSERS say. I am surprised she did not quote Teddy Roosevelt like most other LOSERS do. Show me anyone who goes to the Olympics for a good time and a good experience, and I will show you a LOSER.

This year's crop of athletes are a joke. One clown breaks his back showing off for the cameras, 2 females lose gold showing off snowboarding before it is over, ice skaters fall down, male & female hockey players can't even make it to the medal round, Female skiers more concerned with wearing beads and reindeer ears than competing. Speed skaters bickering... What a bunch of LOSERS. I guess they got what they came for, an experience and not medals.


Tell me what you've done that is so remarkable,renegade.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 4:00:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sigman:

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By HKTackDriver:
"I think sometimes there's definitely too much pressure on winning a medal," said Kimmie Meissner, who was sixth at her first Olympics. "It's not always about what color medal you get, it's more about if you have a good time and you take away a good experience."



That is what all the LOSERS say. I am surprised she did not quote Teddy Roosevelt like most other LOSERS do. Show me anyone who goes to the Olympics for a good time and a good experience, and I will show you a LOSER.

This year's crop of athletes are a joke. One clown breaks his back showing off for the cameras, 2 females lose gold showing off snowboarding before it is over, ice skaters fall down, male & female hockey players can't even make it to the medal round, Female skiers more concerned with wearing beads and reindeer ears than competing. Speed skaters bickering... What a bunch of LOSERS. I guess they got what they came for, an experience and not medals.


Tell me what you've done that is so remarkable,renegade.



+1

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 4:05:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By HKTackDriver:
"I think sometimes there's definitely too much pressure on winning a medal," said Kimmie Meissner, who was sixth at her first Olympics. "It's not always about what color medal you get, it's more about if you have a good time and you take away a good experience."



That is what all the LOSERS say. I am surprised she did not quote Teddy Roosevelt like most other LOSERS do. Show me anyone who goes to the Olympics for a good time and a good experience, and I will show you a LOSER.

This year's crop of athletes are a joke. One clown breaks his back showing off for the cameras, 2 females lose gold showing off snowboarding before it is over, ice skaters fall down, male & female hockey players can't even make it to the medal round, Female skiers more concerned with wearing beads and reindeer ears than competing. Speed skaters bickering... What a bunch of LOSERS. I guess they got what they came for, an experience and not medals.



So... how much money did you donate to the US Olympic committee???
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 4:16:55 PM EDT
You don't like the Olympics, then find something else to occupy your time. Goddamn, get a grip.

If these kids and adults want to spend their time training for some Olympic competition, then at least it's better than what most kids spend their time doing.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 4:23:55 PM EDT
curling blows figure skating away
it actually has some strategy, and isn't scored on some dumb ass subjective scale
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 9:15:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By HKTackDriver:
"I think sometimes there's definitely too much pressure on winning a medal," said Kimmie Meissner, who was sixth at her first Olympics. "It's not always about what color medal you get, it's more about if you have a good time and you take away a good experience."



That is what all the LOSERS say. I am surprised she did not quote Teddy Roosevelt like most other LOSERS do. Show me anyone who goes to the Olympics for a good time and a good experience, and I will show you a LOSER.

This year's crop of athletes are a joke. One clown breaks his back showing off for the cameras, 2 females lose gold showing off snowboarding before it is over, ice skaters fall down, male & female hockey players can't even make it to the medal round, Female skiers more concerned with wearing beads and reindeer ears than competing. Speed skaters bickering... What a bunch of LOSERS. I guess they got what they came for, an experience and not medals.



These two examples go to show how unprofessional some of our "olympians" were. Personally, I think the one who tried a tail grab on the last jump should be banned by the US olympic committee from ever competing again. I also hope when she comes back, she's booed from the second she steps off the plane until she retires. She is the complete LOSER of the games. At least everyone else TRIED. She's just a fuckin clown and a disgrace.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 9:21:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 9:22:32 PM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By sharky30:
curling blows figure skating away
it actually has some strategy, and isn't scored on some dumb ass subjective scale



+1


Curling kicks ass!! It absolutely rocks that they've showed all the important curling matches, in their entirity (for both men and women). And I've watched all of them!!


That and biathlon are the ONLY winter sports I even bother to watch anymore.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 9:25:51 PM EDT
We cant do shit in the old established winter sports. So we manufacture them and dominate for awhile. Like half pipe. WTF, how did that become a sport.

Why cant we win in plain old X country skiing or bobsled?
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 11:00:44 PM EDT
I've always liked the winter Olympics. The summer Olympics have never done much for me. They are too big and too overhyped. I specifically like several things about this year's Olympics, though.

1) All of the American athletes who were hyped by the media and corporations have fallen flat on their faces.

2) Most of the American athletes seemed narcissitic and, to be honest, like a bunch of stupid stoners and hippies. I'm glad to see them not get what they wanted.

3) The hated Canadians lost a bunch of stuff.

4) Bode, the worst of the ones in #1 and #2, has done the worst of them all.

5) The showboating snowboarder girl failed worse than I thought possible, then lied about it, and it was all captured in the public spotlight.

6) A lot of figure skaters and ice dancers fell down and hurt themselves.

7) The Russian hockey team is GOOD again.

8) The Swiss hockey team had a nice run.

9) I like seeing athletes from countries who take these sports seriously succeed and be appreciated for the hard work they put in.

10) The women speed skaters have very nice legs. They could probably crush a man to death, but man, what a death.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 11:25:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By sharky30:
curling blows figure skating away
it actually has some strategy, and isn't scored on some dumb ass subjective scale



+1


Curling kicks ass!! It absolutely rocks that they've showed all the important curling matches, in their entirity (for both men and women). And I've watched all of them!!


That and biathlon are the ONLY winter sports I even bother to watch anymore.



+1 on curling.
Started watching it about a year ago.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 11:32:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2006 11:32:42 PM EDT by Soljah46]
"Polar Bear Wrestling..."

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 11:44:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Poodleshooter:
It's also a pity we can't go back to the pre 1980 use of high power rifles instead of using .22's.




No shit, whose dumbass idea was that?
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