Gracie Gold is not "the one"! She has been very disappointing on the senior curcuit. At skate detroit she was beaten by hannah miller. At nelborhorn she was beated by caroline zhang and at skate canada she was beated by just about everyone. her short program is very juniorish. why was she not told at champs camp. she is a beautiful girl and I am sure a wonderful role model, but can not keep pace with her foreign peers who are around her age. I hope USFSA can get it right. I like Christina Gao!
Gracie did not have a good start in Canada, but she still had a lot of good qualities to be positive about. I like her speed on the ice, she has good edging, lots of height on her jumps, as well as distance. I think she needs to work on her posture a bit and her artistry, however, she is very musical. And her 3lutz3toe is awesome.
Caroline Zhang really needs to work on her speed, and that double axel technique is unacceptable. There's no jump into it, and lands it at a stand still. Just not good.
Christina Gao is a great jumper but also needs to work on her speed and transitions. Her 2axel technique could also use some work. She does not jump into it as well as she does with her other jumps. Same problem as Zhang's; lands it with no speed or flow. Christina could also work on the technique of her 3salchow. It's a bit awkward.
I think the top American lady currently is Ashley Wagner. She has become the complete package skater. And if Agnes Zawadski got herself together, she'd be pretty tough to beat and probably the best skater in North America.
Gracie has not been beaten by Caroline Zhang. Ever. Gracie was not at Nebelhorn.
At Skate Detroit, the long program was a couple weeks old. SLC, she rushed the pick on the 3F in the SP, otherwise she would have won there.
If you saw her practices at SC, they were awesome, amazing! She was hounded incessantly by the press at SC - the brightest spotlight was on her. She's never been in that situation before. Who's to day this didn't throw her off her game? Just because she had ONE had international outing doesn't make her a bust. Sheesh! Give the kid a break!
I already covered this. She was only beaten by Zhang in the SP at Skate Canada. She has never finished behind her overall (although to be fair, this is the first time they've met in competition). She did not skate at Finlandia (Zhang was terrible at her Senior B event with a 75 in her LP). She was beaten by Zawadski at US Senior B due to missing her jump combo in the SP, but she won the long there and lost by about a point overall.
Do you expect someone to come in and win everything right away? You DO know that Kwan was 6th at her first Senior Nationals, 8th at her first Senior Worlds, then 4th before she ever medaled, right? Does that mean Kwan wasn't "the one"?
Gracie has everything she needs to be successful: two different 3+3 combinations and clean jumps (take offs on the correct edge and landings are clean) level 4 spins, level 4 steps, excellent speed and transitions. She did not expect to be the "queen" of the press there and I believe this affected her focus. She's able to learn from her experiences and she has a desire and drive we haven't seen in an American skater not named Ashley Wagner (who now seems to have that desire and drive harnessed and working FOR her rather than against her) since Kwan. I believe she will get this sorted out and will show everyone what she's capable of.
I think looking at the newer comers to seniors (Tuktamysheva, Sotnikova, Gold, Osmund, Wang when she gets there, Lipnitskaia), they are all strong technically and have decently constructed programs but they either don't have that ability to step to the next level yet from one of the following:
a focus and consistency standpoint (Gold so far as a Senior, Osmund even though she won SC with highly inflated PCS marks as there were still a LOT of technical mistakes, Sotnikova who seems to consistently shoot herself in the foot with one or two technical mistake in a program to leave her off the top step),
they are lacking something fundamental like speed and decent programs (Tuktamysheva and Lipnitskaia)
or they are a total unknown entity at the Senior level (Wang who has put up some impressive numbers on the JGP circuit so far).
I could be totally wrong, but I see this season's World podium and next season's Olympic podium with a majority of 20-something ladies who have learned to handle the pressure and for the newer comers to dominate and flip-flop results among themselves beginning in '15.