Figure Skating History: A Mystery of U.S. Ladies Figure Skating
Many hope Gracie Gold to lead U.S. ladies out of a long medal drought
Who Will Save U.S. Ladies Figure Skating?
Like the current severe drought in California, U.S. ladies figure skating's medal drought in a recent decade seems unending. Overshadowed by Asian big names such as Yuna Kim, Mao Asada or Carolina Kostner of Italy, our leading skaters, such as Ashley Wagner, or Gracie Gold, have only served a note of ladies in waiting.
And it appears permanent.
No U.S. ladies skaters have ever touched the podium since Kimmie Meissner who had won the 2006 World Championships. What went wrong in the house of U.S. ladies figure skating and its rich legacy?
People wonder, then try to rationalize the mystery on why the historic power house has been struggled so long in living up to its legacy. Some blame the ISU's current policy heavily favored technical proficiency.
According to them, techincal demand in triple jumps not only unjustly penalizes skaters whose training would be less aggressive in order to avoid injury but also hampers the rising of a new star.
Indeed, perfecting triple jumps potentially pushes skaters to the edge of injury. It literally causes skaters to gamble with their career.
But figure skating has been a sport in which skaters' promising ealry careers were often snuffed by a misfortune of injury.
That's the nature of the sport, given and long recognized. That's why the fall of U.S. ladies figure skating in a recent decade has left many questions.
Perhaps U.S. was too careless because of the celebrated Michelle Kwan's tenure, so grandiose and overwhelming in 1990s through 2000s.
In retrospect, when Kimmie Meissner won the 2006 Worlds, everybody thought she would form a new generation trio with Asada and Kim to lead the world of ladies figure skating, but Meissener quickly faded due to her injury.
And so did the U.S. ladies figure skating.