Skaters you hated the first time around....
Since it's off season, I've been looking at old tapes. Much to my surprise, I wound up "liking" (more like appreciating) Nancy Kerrigan's skating much more now than I have the original time I viewed it (for those who didn't know, I absolutely hated Kerrigan's skating in the 90's).
I've also gone on Sarah Hughes' unofficial website to check out the costumes that Tania Bass designed for her and looking at photos of Sarah through the years, Sarah really photographed very well. I appreciate Sarah's skating much more from looking at photos of her verses watching the actual program.
Check out some of these photos, young Sarah almost rivals Sasha for grace:
So how many of you have hated skaters' programs when they competed yet when you watched the SAME program a few years later, wound up liking it (or at least thinking why did I think this skater sucked when I first saw them)?
Last edited by soogar; 08-05-2005 at 11:05 PM.
I think a lot of time I resent skaters that I see as "stealing" placements from my favorites. Coming back to the performances years later gives a new perspective. Perhaps the skaters that most come to mind are G&G. When they first came out, I resented yet another Moscow team stealing placements from my favorite Leningrad teams (such as Valova & Vasiliev). Now, of course, I really enjoy looking at their old performances.
I am in the "didn't like them when I saw them first but liked them later" category.
Originally Posted by soogar
I didn't like Bechke & Petrov as amateurs -- she always looked so cold and serious (I realize now that was probably just nervousness). But after they turned pro, they became one of my all-time favorite pairs, and I even enjoyed going back and watching some of their amateur programs. Ditto (to an extent) with Shishkova & Naumov -- couldn't care less about them as ams, again partly because she was also so cold looking but some of their pro stuff was really "Wow!"
I remember the first time I saw Barb Underhill & Paul Martini, I wasn't all that impressed. But they became my favorite pair team of all time. I can't remember why when I first saw them I didn't like them, because I have seen that program that they did since that time and thought it was great.
Kind of a reverse for Nicole Bobek -- saw her when she was about 12 in a Broadmoor Club show and she just knocked me off my seat. I thought she was going to really BE something. And she was, except I got so frustrated with her both as an am and as a pro because she simply didn't (in my opinion) live up to all that wonderful talent and charisma -- she just didn't seem to train enough. I can still watch her 12-13-14-year-old performances with a smile, and there are times in both her amateur and professional career that I just sit back enjoy -- but mostly, she's such a frustration that I don't want to watch!
Plushenko. Never liked the guy. And while I still don't get all the hype, and don't understand the pumped up PCS he gets, I'm starting to appreciate his skating more, and I don't want him to fall on everything anymore!
Carolina Kostner - I kept hearing hype on her and then watched 03 Euro's and Worlds and I thought "meh, I don't get it." Last year though, and especially this year I really have come to love her skating and think she's probably the most talented lady out there right now.
Sarah Hughes - During the time she was competing I thought she was too sloppy and just endlessly boring. Since the 03 I went back and watched some of her previous performances and she really had a nice freedom and pacing to her skating. She also had good power, spark, great spins with good difficulty, and programs packed with difficult in-betweens. Man, I miss her.
There are some skaters of whom I definitely respect their technical abilities, but I can not appreciate their performances. These skaters scream out 'look what I can do' and, unfortunately, the audience loves it. I like the 'tricks' to be just a part of the routine and not just stressing their genetic abilities. Another thing I'm not keen on is the 'stop and pose' (another crowd pleaser). It's ok if it relates to the essence of the music, but not for the sake of cheers.
I can not say any of these skaters I'm thinking of have changed with the years, and looking back on them, I haven't either.
Now the skater who can do a perfectly executed jump be it a 3A or a Quad, and continues the flow of his routine ignoring the cheers, is my kind of skater. Just my taste.
I didn't really hate any of these skaters, but I just didn't initially see anything spectacular:
Irina Slutskaya - I always liked her personality, but I didn't enjoy her skating until her comeback in 99-00. Before, I found her skating to be so sloppy and over-hyped in many ways. After 2000, she really worked on so many aspects of her skating and it showed. She was a much different skater in 2000 than she was in 1998.
Totmianina & Marinin - I found them flat and uninteresting in comparison to the likes of B&S, S&Z, S&P, etc. But, they took a huge leap forward for me in 2004 with their "Art on Ice" LP. They finally seemed to connect with each other and the audience. I think they are only getting better.....although they are still no S&Z to me.
Maria Butirskaya - Although I never completely loved her style (the shaky jumps and stiff-kneed approach), I did learn to respect her in 1999 when she gave the 2 performances of her life. I enjoyed watching her after that. I knew she had it in her to be spectacular, but unfortunately nerves always seemed to get the best of her.
Here are some other "hopefuls" for this category: Kimmie Meissner & Carolina Kostner
I was never very fond of Totmianina and Marinin during the first years I was seeing them, but now I like them very much.
I could also put Brian Orser and Brian Boitano in this category, but to a lesser degree.
T&M, Petrova&Tikhonov, and Z&S. I didn't enjoy any of these couples their first few seasons out, but they have all vastly improved, and I enjoy watching them now. There are plenty of couples I feel the opposite about.
Da' Spellin' Homegirl
I started off not liking Boitano that much because he always pouted when Scott beat him. Didn't take long to really like him. I just can't remember of very many that I really disliked.
Sorry, Grgranny, I've got to correct you on this one.
Originally Posted by Grgranny
Scott only beat Brian once in the pro ranks, but Brian didn't pout. He was stunned that Scott "won" inasmuch as he skated his heart out and the judges handed Scott the win on a silver platter, but he never pouted-- not as an amateur or as a pro. That's one thing I've always admired about Brian. He has never failed to take his losses like a mature man.
Da' Spellin' Homegirl
Well, I doubt I ever have time to look it up on my tapes but I sure remember him pouting. It was before he started improving as much. I know my memory has failed a lot but some things stay. So, unless I find some time to look it up, I'll consider it a draw. No offense taken or given.
Phillippe Candeloro (sp?). Talk about stopping and posing. Hated his Oly Bronze medal perf. Just a big ball of fromage in IMO.
Always totally schitzy about Irina: love her energy and athleticism but cannot stand her programs and execution - sloppy and frenetic and this aspect is always overlooked by the judges in marking. And still feel the same about her.
Yoshie Onda. Thought she had all the talent of a brick at first. Couldn't do anything but cram jumps into her program as though all she was competing in was a jump contest. Staring to like her now.
Plushy's arm movements and spins. I cannot stand them and never could.
You are absolutely correct, he not only pouted, he was very rude to the television interviewer, saying something along the lines of "I can't win all the time." (Those were not his exact words but it was something to that effect.) I remember being stunned by his poor sportsmanlike attitude because he was always so happy to have that microphone in his face when HE was the winner and because it did seem out of character for him to behave this way.
Originally Posted by Grgranny
I find that since I'm skating regularly and taking lessons, that I've been looking at skaters in a different way. As I've mentioned before, I've never liked Nancy's skating. However since I've gotten her book, Artistry on Ice, I rewatched her programs and now I find a lot of like/appreciate about Kerrigan: especially her great jump technique and the way her coach packaged Nancy Kerrigan (choreography and costumes). I find Sarah especially compelling as well. Sarah is another skater who doesn't quite whack you over the head with her artistry (her posture was the worse), however Robin did an excellent job having Sarah develop skills to compensate for her gawky look on the ice and Sarah too had nice costumes and had good music choices.