I recently viewed some of the ladies' programs from the Grand Prix Final.
Yu-Na Kim is gorgeous. She makes everything look so easy! Mao Asada fell on two jumps and missed a combination. Still, her program was beautiful!
The outcome of a competition depends on the athlete's performance. It was a shame for Mao, but really, she didn't perform as perfectly as she often does. I think, though, that the greatest shame would be to lose on a poorly planned program. To lose out on points that "could have been".
As a math major working in operations research - and a figure skater & coach - it is not surprising that I'm trying to derive ways and means to up levels of spins, step sequences, etc... and ways to optimise the elements and layout of the program so as to
max total points achiveable
s.t. skater's ability
(by the way, it is okay if you didn't understand that.)
So, I'm really very curious why Yu-Na Kim, Fumie Suguri and Mao Asada all had only level 2 step sequence in their free program. Was it planned that way? Is there a further objective? Or is the effort for a level 3 more what it is worth? If so, perhaps we mortal souls shouldn't even crack our heads and waste our energy trying to up the level of a step sequence!