The up and coming ladies
Anyone who is worried that the ladies division will become dull after the assumed retirements next year of Irina, Michelle, and others might be in for a surprise if you haven't checked out Mao Asada and Yu-Na Kim in addition to the up and coming American young ladies.
LOL as you can probably tell it's been a slow "pre-holiday Friday" at the office. So I was thinking about skaters I want to keep my eye on next season, and watched Mao's LP from Jr. World's again. That got me interested in trying to find something on Yu-Na Kim as I have not seen her skate before. A woman kindly posted her exhibition program from Jr. Worlds. I was mightily impressed! For 14, she seems to be well on her way in the presentation department. While I suspect she's probably teeny tiny, her legs in proportion to the rest of her seem long, which gives her IMO a nice line. I believe that was a 3/3 in her EX program (I'm always impressed by those confident enough to put their toughest jumps in the EX). I also really liked her unusual change of position in the camel spin. And of course I LOVE a nice Ina Bauer! If you want to see it, it can be downloaded here.
My concerns about Yu-na Kim have nothing to do with her skating. Everything I have read about her gives me the impression that she gets little pleasure out of her skating. In her report on Junior Worlds in Blades on Ice, Alexandra Stevenson writes:
"Despite the fact that she is the first Korean skater ever to win a medal in figure skating, Kim, a workaholic, was not satisfied. Afterward, with their medals around their necks, Kim sat next to Asada as the press grilled them. While Asada smiled, Kim's face was without emotion. "I will go back home and practice harder so I can get a better medal," she said....
"(Kim) does not attend school or receive private tutoring, a situation which would not be allowed in most countries...
"Asked abouit her off ice activities, she says, "Once in 2 or 3 months, I go to see movies and have a chat with my friends, and that is my only free time."
I have also read from people who observed her training in Ontario last summer (Jeff Buttle helped with her choreography) that she appeared to be totally miserably the whole time. Maybe she was homesick. I hope I'm wrong, but the overall impression I keep getting is that this is a girl who has been told, if you don't win a gold medal you are nothing.
My opinion on Kwan and Slutskaya. They have been on top of their sport for almost a decade, Kwan a bit longer. Its really un-heard of in figure skating to be a Olympic gold medal contender in two consecutive Olympics. Usually old champions are surpassed by the young talent, but they've proven time after time that they are here for the long haul. Any competition gets that much more interesting with both of them competing for the title. One might favor one for the other, but nobody could deny what they have accomplished. They have had a huge impact on the sport, once they decided to hang their skates, I think the skating world will feel their absence for a season or two.
With that said, they're will always be new talent and new skaters to take over after the great ones retire. They will added new excitment to the sport. Mao and Yu nam(Korean girl) are examples of new talent who could take the sport to greater heights. I think Kostner will stay around, she might be world gold medal contender in Calgary, so she'll probably stay around to win Europeans after that.
There is Rochette, who I think is talented but will have to do a lot of work to hold of Moa and Yu nam, Kostner and etc.
I've been hearing a lot about Vika Pavuk, she's from Hungry. I don't think i've seen her skating before, but I hear she is talented.
Sasha Cohen will probably stick around and dominate for couple of season, although I hope she wins worlds with both Kwan and Slutskaya participating in it.
Me, i'm still stuck with the oldies, following their career and staying up to date with their events that I have not been able to spot the new talent, case being, Mao. I can't wait for next season.
From what i've read in articles and other sources, my heart does break for this little girl. A journalist ones asked her which female figure skater she wanted to be like and her coach kept on pushing her to say "Michelle Kwan, Michelle Kwan" and I think she responded with what her coach was presisting her to say.
Originally Posted by Mathman
I don't want to speculate but is her federation bribing her? Like, "if you don't skate and bring honor to our nation, we won't feed you or your family". I have never read/heard of her speak of her parents, where are her parents? I hope she has the courage to listen to her heart and do whats good for her, your only 15 one time.
Tripping on the Podium
MOST of the time the "old champions" gracefully retire from amateur skating and then the up-and-comers get to up-and-come.
Originally Posted by Excidra2001
Just to clarify the point that I always seem to be trying to make on these message boards.
Ah, the good old days!
I hope that Yu-Na Kim is not being overwhelmed with pressure/responsibility to do something she doesn't want to do. Heck, I can imagine at 14/15 that under enough pressure, I would stop enjoying something I WOULD enjoy under different circumstances.
I was just thrilled to watch her skate for the first time (for me) and I sure hope she can find enjoyment in the sport, and hence provide us fans enjoyment for years to come. But if she's not enjoying it....it ain't worth it. I'm sure we will all be "blessed" with more press on this as she moves through the Jr. division into the Sr. division.
I'm glad I live in America.
Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
This is sport. Why should they retire if they are still competitive and winning?
Originally Posted by icedancer2
The up-and-comers could come and get it if they want it badly enough and have the talent. If not ... well, too bad. There are no limits to the number of seasons a skater can compete, so the way to make them leave is to beat them.
Excidra ... ITA about Irina and Michelle. They have served the sport very well!
Last edited by nymkfan51; 07-01-2005 at 07:41 PM.
I get the feeling that my original post is possibly being interpreted as yet another thread about "who should retire." That is NOT my point at all. ITA that people should do what they wanna do. I admire everyone who stays in the game as long as they can and are happy doing it.
Originally Posted by nymkfan51
The purpose of this thread is NOT to predict retirements. It's to address the comments that "FS will be DEAD after _____________ (insert favorite skaters name here) retires."
I hope more people will post comments about up-and-comers to watch next season, although I acknowledge people are free to post what that want. Just want to make sure that the WWW knows I'm not trying to re-hash retirements predictions or recommendations - in fact my intent is just the opposite!
Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
Oh, I know that Doggygirl. I was just responding to Icedancer's post, which seemed to me to be a bit of a dig at the "older" skaters. If I'm wrong about that, I apologize.
No harm, no foul! I don't think anybody has any obligation to retire to "give the young ones a berth." History suggests that there will be retirements post Oly's, and I'm just looking to get a head start on 2010 predictions. I've traditionally "sucked" at those contests. I don't think I have a hope for 2006, but I want to get an edge on 2010.
Originally Posted by nymkfan51
Just watched the junior worlds from tape a few days ago. I would say presentation/musicality wise Kim came more naturally than Mao. But Mao's jumps were so effortless, especially that 3axel
They are both 15, right? I would say they both of their presentation skill and basics are better than Kwan at the same age. That said I think you can't simply compare the score they posted at Junior worlds to the top ladies in senior worlds. The judge panels were totally different. It was said normally judges at senior level competetions have more experience than judges at junior level competetion.
Bar injury, I see both of them having biger lead in top senior level in next generation. The US ladies have a lot catchups....Asia lady in a rise. Actually physically Asia lady's body development more suitable for FS, IMO. Their body usually not change too much before or after puberty....It has more to do with eating habbit than gen, IMO.
I think that's just the Asian way. I had friends who were pianists (and Korean) and their parents were very hard on them to compete well and win. Those girls had to practice all the time and if they didn't win, their mothers would make Tiffany Chin's mother seem fluffy in comparison.
Originally Posted by Doggygirl
BTW, both of my friends came out normal and appreciated the way their mothers pushed them to excel.
For some reason the Koreans have a reputation for being super-competitive. "The Irish of the East," LOL. A.P. McDonnough (that talented and beautiful young Scotswoman) was another one who seemed like she was pushed by her family but didn't enjoy the pressure of big-time sport very much.
About old champions who stay on and on like the Energizer bunny, clogging the pipeline for the next generation, the ISU has only itself to blame. As the whole concept of amateurism finally collapsed in the 1990s...
(OT -- The Olympic ideal -- amateur, good; professional, bad -- was an outgrowth of the European, especially British, class system. Lords and Ladies wanted to participate in sporting events as diletantes without having to come into contact with professional athletes who were commoners and thus had to -- yuck -- work for a living.
This notion gradually died out, the last nail in the coffin coming in 2001 with the retirement of long-time president of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antionio Samaranch. Juan Antonio, the Marquess of Samaranch, was a prominent fascist bureucrat and politician in Franco's Spain.
"According to critics, Samaranch was autocratic and intolerant of dissenting voices both within and outside the organisation, with a culture of secrecy surrounding its decisions." (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia) -- Sound familiar? " A number of incidents of outright corruption of IOC members occurred under Samaranch's reign, which critics claim was indicative of a widespread culture of favours extorted from bidding cities by IOC members."
Samaranch was regarded as the last bastion of the glory days of amateurism in Olympic sports.)
Anyway, on the figure skating side, the ISU noticed in the 1990s that professional skaters were making a lot of money and siphoning off potential revenue from the ISU. So they changed all the rules about earnings in a way that now encouraged amateur champions to stay in the competitive side of the sport as long as possible. Previously, as Icedancer2 suggests, the model was, grab your medal and get out as quickly as possible so you could join Ice Capades.
Kwan and Slutskaya, heros of the rights of the common man!
Last edited by Mathman; 07-02-2005 at 06:52 AM.
I'm shocked and surprised not to see Sasha listed as an up and comer. She entered the Senior Scene in '99, and was considered an up and comer until THIS season. It's about time!