Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shuffling, Part Deux: Zhang Goes with Wong (Who Used to Go with You-Know-Who)

Will the shuffling be in waves this summer? Given the season, “waves” might be as apropos as anything else.

Wave 1 was the pre-GP assignment flurry of activity, where the news about Nagasu, Abbott, McLaughlin/Brubaker, and Inoue/Baldwin was only slightly overshadowed by the retired-who-said-we-retired? announcements of Sasha, Plushy, and Shen/Zhao.

Wave 2 is perhaps underway now, with Caroline Zhang’s do-si-do over to Charlene Wong after 4 years with Li Mingzhu. As
this article will tell you, it’s pretty much the same old clichéd “need a change” thing… at least on paper. The fact that Wong was, until recently, the coach of Mirai Nagasu can’t be overlooked though. Here’s how the two skaters have compared side by side over the past few years:

Junior Nationals 2007: Nagasu 1st, Zhang 2nd

World Juniors 2007: Zhang 1st, Nagasu 2nd

Senior Nationals 2008: Nagasu 1st, Zhang 4th

World Juniors 2008: Zhang 2nd, Nagasu 3rd (Rachael Flatt was 1st )

Senior Nationals 2009: Zhang 3rd, Nagasu 5th

All in all a very close race between the two of them, but Zhang’s had the upper hand most recently. Which makes it all the more intriguing that she’s opted to go with Wong, if you ask me. Wonder if she’ll try to talk her away from doing her back-breaking “pearl” spin quite as much?

Zhang’s exhibition from this year’s 4CC is the
Clip of the Day… I picked it because of the music… Vienna Teng is a lovely (though relatively unknown) artist.

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