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; 08-06-2005 at 01:05 AM.
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
In all honesty, I've never been a fan of Nancy Kerrigan. I've always felt that her skating was highly overrated. She habitually blew competitions, and her "gracefulness" was stilted, IMHO. Well, OK, I thought she skated very well in 1991, the year the US women swept the medals at Worlds, but that's the only year I thought she really skated like a champion. I admired her tenacity in quickly recovering from her knee bashing at the 1994 US Nationals, and Kerrigan skated two strong programs at Lillehammer, but, again, I just wasn't impressed with her skating. Perhaps I was just turned off at the crass commercialism of that time.
I remember that immediately before she skated her Olympic long program, one of her television advertisements was aired - for what product, I don't remember.
I thought, "Egads! This girl expects to win this competition, and she hasn't even skated yet." IMHO, of course.
About Brian Boitano and Scott Hamilton, IIRC Scott mentions this competition in his book (Landing It). I don't have the book before me, but he said something like, this was the first and only time that he beat Brian in a pro competition, and Brian was disappointed that he hadn't skated his best. Scott said that it meant a lot to him to be victorious in this contest because Brian always won, so it was nice to be able to say that he (Scott) won at least once.
A. Y. & E. P.: Tzars Of The Ice, Lords Of The Rink
It's been a VERY long time!
"Hate" is such a strong word. I may not like a certain skaters' style or technique or both, but I really don't "hate" anyone LOL.
Skaters I strongly disliked, however, from the first moment...
Timothy Goebel (but he's growing on me, ever so gradually)
Tara Lipinski (first time I saw her she butchered Anastasia, pun not intended however I owe her my dream of becoming a choreographer someday; I vowed to come up with a program ten times better to it that captures the majesty, mystery, magic and power of this magnificent score, and I have come up with 10 programs to it since)
First time I saw Sarah I liked her, but over time I noticed her horrible technique, now I really can't stand her LOL.
That seems to be all I can think of LOL.
Last edited by anya_angie; 08-17-2005 at 08:43 AM.
I've never had much respect for Nicole Bobek. Here's a skater who squandered a great amount of talent and her entire eligible career with terrible training habits, constant coach switching (something like nine coaches, all told), a bad attitude, and lack of focus. What a waste of time for her coaches, as well. I just have no respect for people in any line of work who cannot and will not apply themselves.
Da' Spellin' Homegirl
I kind of had different thoughts on Nicole. I did get really disgusted with her but in the back of my head I always kind of blamed it on her mother. (Don't we always get the blame? ) She obviously was really spoiled. It's really too bad these things hinder someone's talent. Too bad we didn't have Dr. Phil back then!
I guess that i'm much more forgiving of young skaters given that they're usually either really young or in their teens, at the most early 20s. The level of commitment to succeed in skating is huge and i just can't blame a child for not always wanting to apply themselves fully to it. I'm in my mid 20s and i still have those days where i just can't get my work done!
Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
I wouldn't say Nicole was spoiled. if anything (launching into Dr. Phil mode) I would say she suffered from low self esteem. She had a trying and unconventional upbringing, including brushes with the law. I was glad that she had such a long and successful pro career.
Sasha Cohen - still far from my favorite but I respect and admire her stretched-out positions.