It's amazing to think of it now, but I disliked both Yagudin and Plushenko when they first came on the scene. At the time, I felt both of them had little to offer but jumps and that both of them made it onto the podium at Worlds far too quickly.
With Yagudin, I changed my mind pretty fast. I became a fan of his during the Nagano Olympics, when he skated so well despite having the flu. I admired his courage and competitive spirit. Then the next year at Worlds, I was blown away by his brilliant Lawrence of Arabia program. Now, of course, I think he's one of the all-time greats.
With Plushenko, it took a little longer. The turning point was actually his Sex Bomb program! That number was just so outrageous, yet he managed to pull it off and make you laugh. I had to admire a guy with the confidence and sense of humor to do a number like that. Once I started to appreciate Plush's style, I became a big fan. Also, seeing Plush skate live, in person, made a big difference. When I saw him live, I was able to fully appreciate the power, flair, and charisma he has on the ice.
Other skaters whom I didn't like initially, but grew to appreciate very, very much over the years, include Todd Eldredge, Klimova & Ponomarenko, Yuka Sato, and Ilia Kulik.
There are also, unfortunately, a number of skaters whom I disliked from the beginning and never was able to warm up to. Even though I know they're very talented, I just didn't personally like their skating. In this group would be Irina Slutskaya, Tara Lipinski, Maria Butyrskaya, Grishuk & Platov, Krylova & Ovsiannikov, Fusar-Poli & Margaglio, and Moniotte & Lavanchy, among others.
Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport
I think seeing someone skate live makes all the difference in the world. For me it was seeing Carolina Kostner skate live and really how fast she goes. Watching skating on TV certainly is different than watching live.
Originally Posted by eyria
I used to love Phillipe Candoloro, especially his competitve years. When he turned pro, he just lost my respect for him as a skater. One example is his George of the jungle program, stupid, stupid. I never understood what that was all about.
Other skaters I dislike before and still are Kristy Y., Scott Hamilton, and Jamie S. and David P.
Never liked Sarah Hughes, Tara Lipinski or Plushy. Still dont.
A lesser name but definitely on this list is Yoshie Onda. Her appeal remains a mystery--- she's like a refrigerator on skates.
Matt Savoie~Soul Skater
Maria Butyrskaya was never a favorite of mine at all. But then, I made a friend who was an avid fan of hers. If you hear good things about someone long enough, at least in this case, I started to root for her. I've also been told I look like her, so I guess, I can't dislike her, loL!
If you look like Maria -- Whoo-oo-oo!
I never cared for Elvis' style --all of the martial arts themed programs etc. I never did warm up to his programs-- but I grew to have respect for him as a very gutsy skater. The discipline he showed in skating with that groin injury was incredible. It wasn't the wisest move-but you had to respect the classy way he conducted himself.
I grew to appreciate Pet-Tikhs more and more once B and S weren't around to distract me! They seem to be very nice people and I want to root for them after reading several of their interviews.
You've written this before, and I'll call you on it once again. Brian has NEVER been rude to an interviewer, and I am 100% positive on that one. I have every major competition he's ever done as an amateur and every competition he's done as a pro on video tape, and I know for certain that he's never been less than a gentleman.
Originally Posted by RealtorGal
My being a fan of someone has a lot to do with their character, and I would have been very dissappointed in him had he acted that way toward anyone. I have never been embarrassed by how he acted toward a reporter or interviewer, ever. Your shaky memory of this event does Brian a lot of disservice because people are going to read this and believe what you've written, and it's really unfair to him.
I'm don't care whether anyone likes Brian as a person or a skater, but I won't sit by and let you or anyone else make false accusations about his character.
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.
He was less than a gentleman... much less.
Originally Posted by SingAlto
I really don´t understand how a sentence like "I cannot win all the time", would sound rude or show poor sportmanship. Besides, in my opinion it is natural for an athlete to be feel disappointed when losing a competiton.
Originally Posted by RealtorGal
T&M... They always seemed a bit stiff and expressionless to me- until this year. Their Ave Maria SP was brilliant, although I was not as fond of Scheherazade. I think the more liquid they become with their movement, the better they will be, since their technique appears to be top-notch.
D&S (France)... Their Frida FD this year really won me over. To me, that was the complete package- technical difficulty combined with wonderful artistry. And the 'lack of expression' that the commentators tend to mention on his part seemed to work here, in the manner of 'abstract art'.
Hughes... Ironically, I was won over by Sarah in the season that most people considered her worst- the '03 season. I never really cared for her skating before that, but I think that, jumps notwithstanding, her movement on the ice that year was becoming much more refined and watchable.
Kostner... She really seems to be growing into her body, better I think than Ando. A couple of years ago, she seemed awkward on the ice, but I see an improvement in her recent programs, especially her last couple of SP's. And I think she's one of the few skaters whose speed really comes across on TV- Suguri is another.
Sokolova... She's perhaps one of those skaters who comes across better live. I never enjoyed watching her on TV, but when I saw her at Champions on Ice in 2004, I was impressed by her speed and flow across the ice- and I didn't even notice her 'choppy stroking'!
Went to my tape of 1994 Gold Championship. This is what was on it, interview-wise:
Order of skate in tech program: Petrenko, Boitano, Hamiilton (all got great response, BB and SH got standing Os).. No interviews after either of the first two programs (this was a live broadcast). Petrenko had a couple of problems in his program, though did a triple axel-triple toe (slight two-foot on the triple toe). Boitano did old standard Carousel Waltz with Tano triple lutz, triple axel-double toe, triple flip-triple toe, triple toe, triple salchow. Scott did old standard "In the Mood," with some music added at the front to put in triple lutz and triple flip. Also did triple toe, triple salchow, single axel-double axel-double axel sequence. After Scott finished (both he and Brian got a mixture of 5.8s, 5.9s and 6.0s), Scott was a tenth or two ahead. Interview with Scott in kiss-n-cry (he goes out for an encore bow during the interview):
Mary Ann Grabavoy (after some patter about Scott declaring himself a "beacon of light for short bald men everywhere:"):
SH: I can't even talk, I'm supposed to be a commentator and I can't even talk. ... I was really nervous and I've been skating so well. All I wanted to do was deliver the jumps cause against these guys you can't make any mistakes.
MAG: You threw down the gauntlet, four triple in a row, two double axels and the kitchen sink, you knew you had to go for it.
SH: I couldn’t miss anything if I wanted to stay close for the second number, the second number is one I’m really looking forward to. I mean, what can you say, seven 6s (artistic mark), thanks Sarah, Sarah Kawahara, that's your mark.
MAG: And you're switching gears for the artistic number, from Glenn Miller to Aerosmith.
SH: Yeah, it's one of my favorite numberss to do and I think that they'll like it (indicating the audience), I'm here for them, not here for anything else.
(Then some patter back and forth about Scott being one of her "favorite people" and wishing him luck).
Hannah Storm (she and Kurt Browning were commentators): Thanks Mary Ann, now let's throw it backstage to Paul Wylie.
PW (sitting with BB, who is dressed in sweats, in interview cubbyhole with TV monitor):
PW: Brian, what a great job tonight, you have to be thrilled with the way you came through solidly on those technical elements ... and what do you think about Scott, you watched him skate on the monitor.
BB: Well for one thing I felt really great about how I skated it was a full out clean program for me so with the pressure that we were under there was considerable ... Scott was great, I only got to see him from backstage on the monitor but he just keeps improving with age and it’s a real inspiration for me.
P: That's terrific. So what is your strategy for the second number
BB: I’ll be doing pretty much a signature piece of mine, Nessun Dorma by Pavorotti, it sort of emulates what my skating is all about.
Then on to women's competition with Kristi, Kat and Oksana. After they finish, there is a fairly longish feature/interview with Boitano on his return to the Olympics, why he did it, how he felt about it, with clips of him falling out of the axel in the short program. He said one reason he wanted to is he felt he didn't want to rest on his laurels and wanted to keep trying to "earn" his good luck. Said he wouldn't have gone back to the Olympics if he didn't think he could win or earn a medal. Said his knee was bad, but was afraid waiting four more years might mean he'd "miss his chance" to try again, said the knee injury didn't allow him to train the way he'd like, that he wasn't "really happy" with his skating, but felt it was more his body letting him down, and he felt he had enough "background and consistency" in his life that it would still work for him. Said the Olympics had been a very hard experience for him, felt very different about his skating, felt all the pressure had come down at once, felt like a failure and felt defeated. It took a toll on his pscyhe, his ego, everything. But, said he truly believed there was something to be learned that would make him a better person and better skater and he had learned to allow himself mistakes and that highs are so much higher when you have a low before it, it's more special to get to the top of a mountain from the bottom.
Another short interview with Scott:
PW: Scott, in the lead, no surprise to me, I've been against you with this number. What are you looking for in the second number?
SH: I'm just looking to stay vertical. Scott in the lead, no surprise to me I’ve been against you with this number, What are you looking for in the second number.
SH: Just stay vertical. ... I’m just so surprised you never beat Brian Boitano and Viktor Petrnko in a technical program, never, it just never happens.
PW: Well, you did ... back to you, Hannah.
Order of skate in artistic programs, same as tech. BB has added some music to the front of "Nessun Dorma" to include a tano lutz and a bit of footwork and edgework, then does the triple salchow, double axel-double toe, triple flip and triple toe, along with usual other choroegraphy and spins. Very happy after, gets mostly 5.9s and 6.0s (Browning does say, "Gee, I don't know about those 6.0s, but he certainly did put in a lot of jumps).
Scott does "Walk This Way: double axel, triple lutz, triple toe, backflip, usual great footwork and great crowd interaction in one of his signature pieces. Went around kissing audience members and such to a standing ovation, came off and got four 6.0s technically and more artistical and won. As scores are coming up, there's a quick shot of Boitano back stage hurrying to follow Mary Ann Grabavoy into the backstage interview room, then back to Scott getting his marks. Scott wins, PW interviews him standing by the edge of the rink with the crowd cheering:
PW: You've got to be thrilled...
SH: I can’t believe it it’s like the best I’ve skated in 10 years, it’s unbelievable –
PW: It's unbelievable for us to watch, too, Scott. Take your victory lap (Scott goes out, shakes hands with all the judges, , etc., then there's some extreme closeups of BB's face in the interview room backstage, looking serious, listening to something somebody is saying to him there.
Kurt Browning from the commentary booth: Nobody takes a loss harder than Brian Boitano.
Hannah Storm: And we'll talk to Brian Boitano when we come back. Scott Hamilton beat him tonight ... (etc. etc.)
Back to Scott waving to the audience, throwing a backflip, etc.
When they come back, there's a quick shot of Kristi congratulating Scott backstage, then they hurried right into the women's competition. They never talk to Brian then or at any time through the rest of the broadcast. They have quick interview with Kristi and Kat after ladies, then show Kurt bowing to the audience from the commentator's booth. Just manage to end on time.
So, I guess it's up to you to decide whether BB was a good sport or bad sport or acted like a gentleman or not. That's all that was from he and Scott in the broadcast.
Story in the Edmonton Journal after the competition, quoting from a press conference all the skaters attended at once: Quotes Scott as saying, "This feels better than the Olympics, better than at least three of (his four) world championships. Skating third after two great skaters, knowing that no one, never, ever, will beat Brian Boitano in the air, as long as I live -- he's the greatest jumper in history of skating -- and then winning this ... it was one of those fantasies that you dismiss because it can't happen, except it happened." Writer goes on to call Scott a great competitor and saying that all three slugged it out and "weren't holding back." said BB "did a couple more triples the night he beat Brian Orser in Calgary but he may never have put together two purer, more beautifully skated programs back-to-back. The man is so fluid it's unfair. And doing it all in one evening and then finishing second. 'It was just nice to feel like me again,' said Boitano, who has been hobbled by bad knees. Asked if he had ever skated better in his life and not won, Boitano said flatly, "No." "Yay," said Hamilton, sitting at Boitano's left at the post-skate media conference. " Goes on to quote Scott about how much he was concentrating on hitting everything and how thrilled he was to win when everyone else skated great. Goes on with, "The world championships are a different mix of emotionsl and politics and judging styles. Boitano prefers this kind. 'Those judges ... tonight knew what they were seeing,' Boitano said. ..."
So, again, it's just a matter of what you think is gentlemanly or not.
Scott's book:, Page 273: I didn't want the night to end, especially after a row of 6.0 scores lit up the board -- four in the technical and five in the artistic. I felt chills. That was when I knew I had finally beaten Brian Boitano, the greatest competitor I've ever seen. It was what I had been waiting for all those years as a pro -- beating Brian after he skated well -- and it as the best I'd skated in a decade. ...This moment was the affirmation of my entire career. ... Brian was classy in defeat. I saw that he was down so I walked up to him and said, "Don't be upset. This is the greatest night of my life. And it's only the greatest night of my life because we both skated really well and it never happens like this for me. Never. This happens for you all the time. So I hope you're as happy for me as I am." Brian laughed and then shook my hand. Once he understood how much it meant to me to win, I think he appreciated that he was a big part of it. ...
Scott then goes on to say that he bought a Porsch with vanity plates "EDMNTN"
Last edited by mememe; 08-09-2005 at 08:49 PM.
Believe what you want. However, I think it's really mean-spirited of you to falsely claim something about a person just because you don't like him. You never hesitate to write something negative about Brian when given the chance. It's like you have an agenda.
Originally Posted by RealtorGal
Btw, mememe, thanks for providing the interview portions of that competition. It clearly shows that Brian did not behave poorly.
Same for me.
Originally Posted by eyria