Emily Is True Class Act
I have just taken a look at the team envelope for the 2008/2009 season. While I was elated with the Kimmie's team A assignment; even though she did not do well by “our" standard this season, however she did well enough to achieve Team A status. What really threw me on a tail spin was Emily's assignment. Instead of her, Bebe Liang made the Team (A). While I understand the mechanics of the assignments, I feel some reparation could have bee made in this case.
Let me clarify that I am a fan of Bebe as well, and I think she is a great skater. Though I've yet to meet her, fellow skaters who have, have sung her praise. However, that is beside the point. It is obvious the reason that Emily did not make team A is due to the fact that she had not compete at Nationals nor worlds', yada yada. . . however, she had a hip injury. Whatever happened to all of those loopholes skaters can use to circumvent those types of unforeseen circumstances? Is this the dawn of an early retirement for Hughes?
As I perused the Team envelope, honestly, the only strong person standing there as far as I am concerned is Meissner. And NO! I am not looking at it through my “fan colored spectacles. " Nagasu must automatically make the team since she is the “champ". Yes she is cute and all that, but there is no art to her skating. Meissner, on the other hand, despite her lack luster performance this season, had held her own, and had earned the spot. However when it comes to Liang and Hughes, it is quite a different story. Hughes should have been assigned if not to team A, at least to Team B assignment. And don't get me started about Katrina Hacker, whom I thought had given a much more mature and more artistic performance than Zhang. I know Zhang reminds us a bit of Kwan. And, Kwan she is not. And, Zhang can grow on anyone, she is so cute and so sweet. Despite What they say about the new system being fair, the fact still remains, if your name is not well known, you can still be swept under the rug, and unless you make jumping and flopping around the ice your main focus you can kiss any title GOOD BYE! And this fact has led me to ponder “what will happen to those young girls’ hips by the time the reach the ripe age of 40. "
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I remember, the 2006, 2007, season I had felt that regardless of that “chance" performance that Alissa Czisny had pulled that year, (She is a beautiful skater, extremely artistic on the ice. ) I had felt strongly that Liang should have been the one to have gone to the World Championship. This season 2007/2008 after watching a pleasant almost flawless Katrina Hacker at four continents, her performance had forced me to rewind my Tivo and watch her performance at Nationals, ( hers and part of Kimmie's performance only, my heart was hurting too much for Kimmie, I could not have witnessed such debacle. It hurt too much) I had made the decision to skip Nationals this season. It just was not fun. Call me a sore loser if you must. I was hard-pressed to conclude that maybe our team should have been Meissner, Wagner, and Hacker. I am most definitely sure she would not have disappointed US.
Now the Team envelope with Hughes being benched in Team C, is not helping our team as much. Has this scoring system done away with skating? She is very artistic and has one of the best choreographed programs. She had a hip injury, I am sure might have been due from executing an element on the ice, probably a jump. The new judging system really sucks! This judging system has divorced the casual viewer from what's happening on the ice. Now it is alienating athletes who display flow, finesse, and an effortless movement in time to the music. Hughes may not be flopping like a bird all over the ice; however, she skates with style and clarity. It's astounding that figure skating still maintains its self-image as an art form in the face of so much flopping. This is the beginning of the end.
Since the Olympics have ended we haven't seen nor heard much of Emily. Apparently, she will always be in the shadows when other skaters are talked about. Emily, not only has to deal with talk about her sister Sarah; but Michelle, Sasha and Kimmie just to name name a few other skaters.
Amy Hughes was being commemorated as a top mom recently: She was referred to as “Amy Hughes, the mother of Olympic skating gold medalist Sarah Hughes. " There was no mention of Emily. Emily, titles or not is a quite accomplished young lady. So, shame on the press for not acknowledging her. Even if Emily were to win a medal which does not seem likely, since she is more artistic than a jumper, she is unlikely to get the type of coverage the other skaters get and everyone will be assuming it was mere chance. And now she has been assigned to Team C, what are her chances.
Emily definitely deserves a better assignment than the one she's got. She might not have the “softness" that so many people love these days, but it's refreshing to see someone who is still powerful, with beautiful stretch and spins. Emily has risen to challenges and has showed her true spirits.
That young lady is a true class act!