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Thread: Suceessful pro careers

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby
    It's absolutely amazing that Yuka Sato, who turned pro in 94, could beat the Oly Gold and Silver medalists at a 2003 event (World Hallmark Challenge.) It could probably be argued that Slutskaya + Hughes weren't at their best. But no matter how lousy the two Olympic Medalists were, Yuka's victory is a still a testament to her skating abilities. No easy task competing against the amateurs, when you have been a pro for about 10 years.
    I love Yuka's skating but the competition you are referring to was a cheesefest, with results being predetermined. I don't remember Sarah's skate, but I do remember that Irina skated very well. I thought she was robbed. This was one time I did not particularly care for Yuka's performance because her expression was same, regardless of what music she was skating to. Irina had a more difficult program technically but the judges seemed to completely ignore that.

    Vash

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    I also felt Irina should have won the Hallmark title over Sato in 03. Both skated beautifuly, but Irina had a triple lutz and overall much harder jumps then Sato who topped out at a triple loop. That still does not mean I wasnt very impressed by Sato's win over Slutskaya and Hughes at that event though.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob43
    Also- Fleming bassically invented the concept of a pro career and Hamilton re-invented it.
    Correction.. It was Sonja Henie who invented the concept of the pro career, by virtue of being the first Olympic/World Champion skater to ever have one, and one of the most successful ones to boot. She starred in the first touring ice show (and she toured internationally/overseas, unlike today's ice shows). Plus, she had the movie success that Tara WISHES she had, being the 2nd place Box Office draw at one time, and her house parties were attended by Hollywood's A-list celebs.

    She did more to popularize skating in this country than any American skater has ever done, either during her time or since, amazing considering the fact that there were no national TV networks carrying skating footage into millions of homes during her time. The only exposure people had to elite-level skating was to go to her shows or to see her movies. Even when she was skating competitively, she was a huge draw. The Ladies Free Skate in Lake Placid in 1932 had an SRO crowd, and it was because she was there. And she made more money than any male pro athlete of her time, and was undefeated in that honor until Mohommed Ali. She was already retired from performing at that time.
    Last edited by karina1974; 06-10-2006 at 08:47 AM.

  4. #34
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    Thanks for the great post, Karina1974, and welcome to Golden Skate.

    Sonja Henie was one of a kind, that's for sure.

    Mathman

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by karina1974
    She starred in the first touring ice show (and she toured internationally/overseas, unlike today's ice shows).

    She did more to popularize skating in this country than any American skater has ever done, ...
    Thanks for posting, great post. Before reading this realize I am NOT disagreeing as far as I know, just trying to clarify and give my opinion. And if you have ever read any of my posts you will know I AM the likely least knowledgeable frequent poster. So as everyone does, correct me when I am wrong.

    Did she "start / organize," come up with the idea for the first touring ice show?

    And would it be safe to say that the comment "She did more to popularize.." would be that she had more success at making it popular?

    I will have to say I think that Scott works harder at it then anyone has at keeping the "ice show" alive. So IMO, he does more than anyone, and will probably ever do, to popularize skating because it is much harder to do now than it was then. So I have to agree with ...
    Quote Originally Posted by rob43
    ...and Hamilton re-invented it.
    I don't really know about the Peggy comment either, but it kinda has the disclaimer of "Basically.." saying to me that they aren't giving full credit to Peggy, more like "Kudos." But I am glad you clarifed that Sonia would have this title before Peggy would.

    I think Sonia was the biggest draw in a sport that had allot more draw at that time. She contributed GREATLY to the appeal growing I am sure, and did a lot of work with touring, movies etc... But she was able to capitalize on something that was more popular, and her great personality (that I myself, am only recently discovering) added to the sport's popularity.

    I definitely think she was a catalyst for its popularity - it would not have grown to the extent it did without her contributions. And Much like Fred and Ginger made dancing MORE popular, I think it is safe to say there still would have been dance movies without them. Maybe not as good, and dancing not as popular.....
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 06-11-2006 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Bad spelling influance

  6. #36
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    I think it is very sad that skaters generally don't get work as pros unless they have impressive competitive results (i.e., Nat titles, World or Oly medals). There are too many skaters whose competitive results do not measure up to the skaters currently on the pro circuit, but are extremely entertaining (Ryan Bradley and Jenny Kirk are the two that come most quickly to my mind).

  7. #37
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    I'll preface this because I don't want people to think I am a big fan of Sonia. I was not infatuated with her especially after seeing Suspense with Belita.

    However, when I say Henie was the mother of us all, that's the thing that Henie gave us. Love her or hate, there isn't anyone else who made the sport and the 'show skating' as pronounced as she did.

    During her heyday, there were numerous ice skating shows - not just hers, and all very successful in the US. I think too, those shows sold out in other parts of the world. There were also night club acts with skating performers as patrons ate and drank in many hotels around the country. there were also little ice shows in fairs (National and Worlds). There were paper dolls, and contests for Sonia lookalikes. You all saw the movies, and nobody except Heiss' bit it The Three Stooges has there been another one about a single skater. (Today's movies are all about Pairs and the actors are not skaters. You figure.)

    NOBODY DID MORE TO PROMOTE THE SPORT AND ART OF FIGURE SKATING THAN SONIA HENIE.

    I have no idea what was going on in the Soviet Union during the Henie period, but prominent skates from Europe emerged.

    Joe

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    ...

    I have no idea what was going on in the Soviet Union during the Henie period, but prominent skates from Europe emerged.

    Joe
    I thought that most of the prominent skaters were European until after the second World War. Also, IIRC, the Henie period correlated with Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union (Hitler didn't rise until the end of her career), under Stalin, I think most Soviets had more important things to think about.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I'll preface this because I don't want people to think I am a big fan of Sonia........

    NOBODY DID MORE TO PROMOTE THE SPORT AND ART OF FIGURE SKATING THAN SONIA HENIE.


    Joe
    So I think I get this but not to sure. Is the thought here, that FS would never have became popular without her, or that she was the only reason it became popular...I don't know if I am being clear, and I don't want you thinking I disagree. But as I am seeing this whole "history of," it appears to ME be a right person, right time, doing right actions. Not so much they Could Be the only reason. Am I wrong or just off base?

    I mean, there is no real way of telling, but did she really create FS as we know it, or become the most influential at the time it was becoming that way. Help shape, or create. I really don't know and I am really asking. I can't really tell from a Bio or a website, most of the time they "Fluff up" the person their writing about to be the greatest thing ever. A good example is reading about Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holliday. As far as those authors are concerned, both of them invented "Ladies Jazz."

    I agree with the "Mother of us all" comment in it's context, but is that meant as gave birth or ran a successful orphanage. Man I hope I don't make anyone mad, I am just asking. And if I do I am sorry, I guess it doesn't mean that much now that it is a part of the past, just comes down to "how" vs. "why."

    I do know this though, if frustration is a factor in how hard you work, I stick with the comment about Scott. Particularly in this fickle and over stimulated era. But that is JUST my opinion.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 06-11-2006 at 06:48 PM.

  10. #40
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    That's a great point, Seanibu. It can't really be answered definitively, of course. Did Caesar crossing the Rubicon cause the downfall of the Republic and usher in the Roman Empire, or would the societal forces that created the Roman Empire just have seized the next guy to come along if Caesar hadn't?

    Usually (old Marxist fellow-traveller that I was in my carefree youth), I'm on the side of economic and political forces creating the leader, rather than the other way around. In the case of Sonia Henie, though -- there must have been something about her, that's for sure. For a time she was a bigger box office draw than Shirley Temple, and Shirley could tap dance!

  11. #41
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    Seanibu - There are many popular artists in varied artistic industries. It's not necessary to love all of them but if I believe they contributed something to their artform then I will respect them, certainly. Sonia did that for figue skating.

    I'm not well versed in the sport before Sonia except it began with only men in the sport. When women were allowed to compete, there were restrictions. However, one gal, I understand, did a jump in her free skate program, and that revolutionized Ladies in figure skating. Much later, Henie comes in with a short skirt, wins 3 gold Olys and Darryl F. Zanuck's company didn't go bankrupt.

    I would say, Henie's movies spurred the growth of figure skating, and with her travelling show which was able to make ice inside an arena, it was everything skating needed to become popular in the US and even more popular in Europe than it had been. btw, Scott was a super school figure skater.

    So, in my opinion, she was the mother of us all. I welcome anyone to say that someone else did more for the growth of figure skating.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    I'll preface this because I don't want people to think I am a big fan of Sonia. I was not infatuated with her especially after seeing Suspense with Belita.
    What's this "Suspense" thing you mention? She was never in a movie by that name that I know of.

    During her heyday, there were numerous ice skating shows - not just hers, and all very successful in the US. I think too, those shows sold out in other parts of the world. There were also night club acts with skating performers as patrons ate and drank in many hotels around the country.
    None of them could boast having as accomplished a headliner as the Hollywood Ice Revue, though, especially one that Fate had decided would be the reigning Olympic Champion for 20 years.

    You all saw the movies, and nobody except Heiss' bit it The Three Stooges has there been another one about a single skater. (Today's movies are all about Pairs and the actors are not skaters. You figure.)
    Uh, you never saw Ice Castles, did you? And Lynn-Holly Johnson WAS a skater before starring in that movie.

    have no idea what was going on in the Soviet Union during the Henie period, but prominent skates from Europe emerged.
    Well, ALL of the prominent skaters before Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott emerged in the late 1940's were European. North American skaters had won a few silvers and bronzes but no Olympic titles until 1948. That proves my point about Sonja, that she really began pushing skating's popularity on this side of the Atlantic back in the 1930's. All of the skaters during the USA's Golden Age of Skating (1948-1960) are arguably products of Sonja Henie's popularity in this country.
    Last edited by karina1974; 06-12-2006 at 06:33 AM.

  13. #43
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    Awesome Info on your POVs.
    MM, love the analogy
    Joesitz, great clarification - although I am probably the only one who need it. I appreciate the post. I feel like I totaly understand the post / comment now. Thanks!
    And karina1974, I would love to see more posts from you!
    to all of you


    It appears that there was not "Dancing Adaptation" in ladies competitive FS until Sonia introduced it. Subsequently making her the "Ultimate improver" of competitive FS IMO. I might be wrong???

    Now whether or not the originator of the "career ice skating after you retire from competition" would have had success with the Ice Shows without Sonia's career / influance, that individual would be the inventor of the professional career. It is like saying Henry Ford was the inventor of the automobile, when in fact is is much more correct to say he was a "pioneer." Some might say Benz (he made the first one work) some might say DiVinci (had the theory).

    Somebody may have "drawn up the plans for an "Ice Show," but the first one to organize the skaters and perform in front of an audience would be the inventor in my mind - regardless of how big the crowd was. Ford made the auto successful, he was a pioneer.

    So regardless how Sonia got the ideas to make the changes - that she did at the right time as the right person to do them - she changed the face of FS into something that had more appeal and required more talent then before.

    I guess to not make this a Sonia Henie thread, she definitely had the most successful transition into becoming pro. But that is most likely due to the things she did prior that there would even be a substantial desire for pro skating. And she most likely has made the most money out of any FSer - possibly even accounting for inflation or investment (that might be a good one for MM to figure out). As far as comparing the amount of people who could have the opportunity to watch FS then to now, she had the largest audience and acknowledgment of her name.

    But I am still under the impression that Scott is the hardest working FS in the pro circuit ever. There were many more open arms then than now.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 06-12-2006 at 03:07 PM.

  14. #44
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    Wonderful MM thank you for "accidentally" from a different thread, leading me here. My questions are now answered on this particular topic via the Office.

    http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-222016

    You must be Mr. Stone's Cousin, 'cause you really Rock!!!!!!!


    It was all semantics, but those particular words were leading me to believe something that was different than the specific truth - my fault as the interpreter i guess?

    It was Sonja Henie who invented the concept of the pro career, by virtue of being the first Olympic/World Champion skater to ever have one.
    I thought this meant she acutely invented it. And obviously not if there were skaters getting paid to go on tour and Ice skate - definition. Soina was the MOST successful, and made it what it is, but not made (as in invent) it. If anything the comment going to Scott about re-inventing should go to Sonia, a pioneer. And as far as the thread topic in particular, she was the first Olympic / World Champion skater to ever go pro. I feel stupid for getting confused on this.

    So, in my opinion, she was the mother of us all. I welcome anyone to say that someone else did more for the growth of figure skating.
    I don't disagree with this at all - I am saying Scott works harder. She basically "gave Scott the Job." lol

    Again came down to How vs. Why and I am glad I questioned rather than just thinking that must be because.... The truth has set me fee - at least until the next time I have no clue what is going on.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 06-12-2006 at 04:08 PM.

  15. #45
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    I think both Sale & Pelletier and Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze have had very succesful pro careers as far as I have seen.

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