Monday, December 27, 2010

Countdown to US Figure Skating Championships: 24 Days!

Alissa Czisny (Detroit SC)

  • 2005 US Collegiate Champion
  • 2005 Skate Canada Champion
  • 2009 US Collegiate Champion
  • 2009 US National Champion
  • 2010 Skate Canada Champion
  • 2010 Grand Prix Final Champion

Alissa is an incredibly talented skater, but like the other US Ladies' skaters of this generation, she struggles with consistency in her jumps. Her spins are among the best in the world and she is one of the most graceful and elegant skaters competing today. Though she never received the same international recognition, she reminds me so much of Sasha Cohen in that she has moments of such brilliance in her skating that are often eclipsed by mistakes in her jumps. I've always doubted that Alissa could come up big in a clutch situation, but she proved me wrong this season, winning the Grand Prix Final. Not only did she win, but she beat a very strong field of talented skaters who put up solid programs. This event was the first time I have ever remembered Alissa putting together 2 clean programs in the same competition and it was such a treat to see her at her best. If she can put together two clean programs at Nationals, she may regain her National Title, but more importantly she will be all but guaranteed a spot at the World Championships. Since the US only has slots to send 2 ladies to Worlds, it will be crucial for these skaters to put together clean programs and try to place in the top two, though there is a chance the USFSA may elect to send another skater to the World Championships even if they do not place among the top two. Alissa has done well internationally this season and may be sent to Worlds regardless of her placement at nationals, but it is in her best interest to do well at nationals to build on her confidence going into Worlds and to prove that her Grand Prix Final win was not a fluke. Though other skaters may most likely top Alissa on the technical mark, look for her to outscore the rest of the ladies field at Nationals on program components, the old artistic mark. I would say that her biggest competition will come from Rachael Flatt or Mirai Nagasu, but in the case, Alissa's biggest competition is herself and if she can stay out of her own way, she can really shine in Greensboro in January. 

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