Figure Skating & Russia
What takes a good skating or a senior level skating?
It is your skating level, not your age that decide whether you are qualified for a senior skater. You may be eligible to join senior competition if you have passed a certain age the ISU set for senior competition. However, your age does not necessarily make you truly a senior skater. Figure skating is an age-sensitive sport. In figure skating, especially for female figure skater, 18 or 19 is the peak for figure skaters, after which skaters experience a rapid physiological decline. So, in general, younger skaters seem to have upper hand. Younger skaters have advantages over older skaters in many aspects. Typically, younger skaters are more flexible, like recently celebrated Julia Lipnitskaia. They can bend their body more easily than older skaters, and they also weigh less, so that they can make themselves good jumpers, as far as landing is concerned. Then, what's wrong with becoming junior skater? Are we just having a prejudice against young skaters? Not really. What critically lacks in young skaters is an ability to control their body and motion. They are too young to do that. To simply put it, their skating is largely unfit to senior competition for that matter.
Mao Asada and Julia Lipnitskaia
Case Study: Julia Lipnitskaia - Junior Skating
One of the most notorious examples for junior skating is Julia Lipnitskaia.
In 2013 through 2014 Lipnitskaia rose to a stardom sweeping the Grand Prix all the way to Sochi Olympics, but if you are familiar with figure skating, it is hard to digest.
Lipnitskaia is a talented skater. Especially she has shown some consistency in landing jumps. But Lipmitskaia's consistency never outdid its quality deficiency.
Unfortunately, Lipnitskaia's skating doesn't meet the minimum quality to justify astronomical GOE and PCS over other skaters. Rather, her skating is inherently subject to negative GOE in almost all jumps and her PCS at best cannot surpass medium of the field.
Her skating is full of bolts and nuts of junior warehouse.
A point to think about
Who do you think is the best Russain skater now?
Good Skating / Bad Skating
If you compare the two clips, you will marvel at the quality difference. In the 2005 Junior Worlds Mao Asada demonstrated an example of how to skate. In the footage, Asada, though unsophisitcated and unpolished, showed incredible maturity in skating level. On the contrary, Lipnitskaia in 2014, she skated what was perhaps to be her best program, and she was enthusiastically received by judges, but that's not how you skate.
Note this. The COP system is quality based, and that's what figure skating is all about.
Mao Asada in 2005
Analysis of Lipnitskaia's Skating
In terms of skating level, her skating as of senior level does not meet the minimum to ratify.
First her jumps are comprehensively deficient in balance, height, flow, continuity, position and accuracy. They are more like hopping. Landing impedes her entire movement and disruptive due to her physiological condition. They are all subject to negative GOE.
Due to her underdeveloped physique, she cannot control the landing impact, which kicks her free leg every time. Her jumps are the composite of all broken junctions that were just taped. There is little technical accuracy even in that hopping.
Worse, those landings always destroy her balance.
But the more serious problem comes in her overall skating. Because of her tiny physique and her lack of balance and control, she is unable to produce lines and extensions.
That's not her fault of course. Simply her body is not in control.
Lipnitskaia' skating is an extended jerking around. She throws her arms everywhere but unable to create the lines coherent with her body; they are randomly hurled tiny arms, legs and a rocking body without aesthetic presentation.
During her performance, the maddening shift of her center of weight disrupt her skating so terribly that it looked as if her skating consists of a series of one moment of her balance loss that is counterbalanced by another.
It looks as if her one arm always impedes the other arm or her leg , and so forth.
Her skating, except a few extraordinary merits such as flexibility and her consistency in jump, is in fact a total disaster as a high ranking skater.
Due to her age, I also try to be lenient but this is not a parent-invited kindergarten school event we are talking about. This is not a place for a barrel rolling on the unpaved road.
Through Lipnitskaia's skating, you will understand why Plato hated imitation so much.
It would be much easier for you to say that the naked king is wearing a golden robe, than applauding with the mad judges and the ISU.
Julia Lipnitskaia in 2014
Can you see the robe?
Now you already know that my protocol for Lipnitskaia's performance above won't be great. But still you are welcome to guess.