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Kimmie Meissner: the last Ice Princess
Kimmie Meissner: the last American ice princess
Kimmie in 2006 topped the world.
At that moment, she was ahead of Asada or Kim. But the fate has it that she couldn't follow that up. And with Kimmie struggling, unable to recover in the end, aggravated by injuries, U.S. ladies figure skating quickly succumbed to a long sleep of depression extended to today.
Kimmie was a critical momentum for U.S. ladies figure skating.
You may wonder why I so bother about her. I saw a great potential in her despite her failure, and with some timely support, I think, she could have risen higher than she had ever achieved.
Kimmie was perhaps one of the most desirable body types as a skater, and if she had mastered technicality optimized to her body, she could have made an ideal skater.
Kimmie was a rare skater who made me fall in love with her bodily language; her body knew aesthetics. She was simply a beautiful skater to look upon.
Kimmie Meissner in 2006
What do you think is Kimmie's merits?
Kimmie: a skater who could have been a great champion
This is the best of Kimmie's.
One thing strikes me. How healthy her skating was!
Second best you can have in figure skating, if you are not a master technician like Yuna Kim, is honest and healthy skating.
What I mean by honest skating is something not pretentious or fake like today's Russian skaters play upon. You may not be a great jumper; you may not be a great spinner; you may not be great in edge. But you still can be a good skater with honest skating.
We have those skaters. Alissa Czisny, Kiira Korpy, Joannie Rochette, etc. Their skatings are typically straightforward and healthy in many aspects. They don't show bad habits or glaring edge or balance problem and more importantly they look physiologically good.
Kimmies here did seven triple jumps to win the game.
Kimmie Meissner is also the first woman to win Worlds on her first appearance since Oksana Baiul in 1993.
Kimmie Meissner in 2006
In fact, Kimmie lost her chances to catch up with her competitors in the 2007 Worlds, while Kim and Asada kept pushing ahead .
Basically Kimmie hadn't improved from 2006, barely hanging on. She was rather on downswing. But as you can see, Kimmies' on-ice moves are impressive, mature and smooth. Kimmie's moves are even more mature than Yuna Kim's in some aspect at the time.
If you compare Kimmie to Gold, you can tell a huge difference. What lacks in Kimmie was jump. I think Kimmie should have used a conservative strategy. While trailing Kim and Asada, she should have focused on developing her own skating.
It's easier said than done.
Anyway it's a great treat to watch Kimmie's skating. She had almost everything: body, speed, balance, edge, expressiveness, spin, power and maturity. I miss Kimmie. If we can't have Yuna Kim, we want more skaters like Kimmie, Alissa, Lepisto or Kiira.
They may not be winners but their skating is something healthy and beautiful that the current generation of deformity cannot offer.
Kimmie Meissner in 2007
Figure skating philosophy is critical to skaters
This is my unverified speculation, and nothing more. I kind of think that Kimmie's failure lies more in figure skating philosophy than her ability or injury.
Kimmie tried triple axel like Mao Asada. Asada succeeded in her triple axel quest, something Kim couldn't, well wouldn't do, to be accurate.
In retrospect, that has proven to be wrong. Asada's quest has been satisfactory in part, yet in a larger perspective, her quest wasn't as desirable as she had envisioned in first place.
The main reason is, I think, that Asada's figure skating philosophy wasn't quite correct. This goes exactly same with Kimmie. Kimmie once focused on triple axel, but as you notice in her skating, her technique wasn't good enough to render her consistent success even in other triple jumps in general.
As I witness, the most important thing a skater must bear in mind while competing is not how to win the game, but how to envision his or her own skating. Skating philosophy or skating principle is the key for skaters to be successful in career.
In fact that's coach's job to guide skaters to grow healthy. Figure skating is a sport that pursues aestheticism in the end. Its technicality can't be complete without satisfactory aesthetics, that is, a realm of ultimate quality.
Kimmie Meissner in 2008
I think 2008 was the last season for Kimmie.