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Thread: What's Your Take on the GOLD?

  1. #1
    Joesitz
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    What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    From another post one would imagine that only lst place matters in competitions. For me it certainly means that the gold medal winner was the best <strong>that night!</strong> - prior consistency or no prior consistency.

    But while gold is certainly an achievement, I would be the last person to put down silver and bronze - or even the top 5 for that matter.

    Figure skaters work long hours honing their skills. They deserve respect for even being in a Senior Competition. After an Olympic go-at-it, most skaters disappear into shows or continue their education - others give it another go.

    After a Worlds go-at-it, most skaters want to continue competing for the love of it - gold medal or not.

    IMO, to truly evaluate the success of a skater would be the same as in any <em>ART Form</em>. One should check out the number of medals as the <strong>Body of Work</strong> of a particular skater.

    Joe

  2. #2
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    Good points, Joe. About "body of work" I would go even farther. I think that a skater's body of work comprises the totality of his or her best performances, whether a medal is involved or not. Many of the performances that have endeared me to Michelle Kwan, and make me classify her even now among the legends of the sport, have been exhibitions. For instance, her Red Violin after the 1999 World Championships, or her Fields of Gold in Salt Lake City. Perhaps the fact that she did <em>not</em> win the gold medal in these contests added to the immediacy and the poignancy of these works of art.

    Kristi Yamaguchi and Kurt Browning are good examples of skaters who will be and deserve to be remembered for their "body of work" as artists. When I think of Kristi (about 200 times a day, LOL) I don't think particularly about her gold medal performance in Albertville or her two World championship performances. Rather I think of her entire career, win or lose, as a competitive skater and of her astonishing "body of work" as a professional performing artist. Yuka Sato and Brian Orser are two more skaters who are far more than the "sum of their parts" as measured by counting gold medals.

    Mathman

  3. #3
    tharrtell
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    Only first place matters – well, I think it depends on the skater. Was Sasha pleased by her 3rd and 4th place finishes at Nats and Worlds respectively? I doubt it. Was Ryan Jahnke happy with his 3rd place Nats finish? My guess is that he was ecstatic. Michelle has many gold medals but ‘only’ a silver and bronze form the Olympics. Does she care? I think so. Does she realize that it’s not life or death and that she’s still a da*! good skater? Yeah. From a fans perspective, Michelle’s fans will love her with or without an Oly gold. People that pay superficial attention to the sport or those that don’t like Michelle will say she choked when it counted most.

    I agree that a skater’s body of work makes that skater great – not just having the performance of one’s life at the right time – although there is something to be said about an athlete elevating their performance to a higher level when everything is on the line. I do find that impressive. I also agree with Mathman that the World’s exhibition of TRV was amazing. As was East of Eden at some pro-am later that year. Those are just two examples of skates from the heart with nothing of real consequence on the line – just the love of skating. They were both unforgettable performances – to add to her other unforgettable performances - which is what makes her great, IMO.

    So, I think it really comes down to one’s point of view. To some, the gold is the pinnacle. Others place more importance on other areas. To each his own.


  4. #4
    nymkfan51
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    Joe ... I think the Gold should NOT mean everything, but unfortunately it often does. Winning a medal of any color should be considered amazing. Heck ... just competing and doing your best should be enough. Sadly, to me, that is not the way most people look at things. I hate so many labels of "winners and losers." With all the hours of hard work these young athletes put in ... they should be able to get gratification from a job well done. I'm living in a dream world, I know. LOL

  5. #5
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    Thartell - Who was the hitter on the NY Giants when the call was 3 and 2 and then proceeded to hit the homer that caused the entire borough of Brooklyn to cave in?

    Bobby Thompson will always be remembered for that one ball game but absolutely nothing else.

    As for figure skating there can be no one close to Sonia Henie. If gold is the criteria in Olympics then that lady has three (count them). But aside from that
    Ms Henie had gold and losses with Euros and Worlds Later there was Movies, and Shows. Now that's a body of work with or without the Olympics.

    I do appreciate your conclusion. The last three ladies Oly champions took the gold and ran. That was their aim and they succeeded. Power to them. Competitors and Fans differ in that Fans want gold for their favorite only for the sake of the favorite. Fans are happy with their faves whether or not there is a win.

    How do you feel about any Oly achievement in silver and bronze and top 5 finishes?

    Joe



  6. #6
    tharrtell
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    Joe,

    I think just making it to the Olympics itself is an incredible achievement. Personally, as long as I can remember I've wanted to be on Oly athlete (knowing that it wasn't ever going to happen!). Being on the podium - that's HUGE! Top 5? To be in the top 5 in the world at any given time? Not many people can say that about anything that they do.

    Comparing the elite is getting nit-picky, but there's always going to be talk about who is considered the absolute best. Is it based on one competition? A career? Lulu has two Oly medals and a World Championship. How does Sarah's one gold compare? I'd guess a lot more people know of Sarah than Lulu. Does that make Sarah a better skater? Not necessarily, but I'm sure people would argue it does as many people, myself included, think that the Oly gold is the ultimate athletic achievement (in most sports).

    As to Ms. Kwan. I honestly don't care what types of medals she's got and from which competitions. I think her place in the sport of figure skating is secure - she'll be considered one of the greatest of all time, IMO - ahead of the one hit wonders - because of her cumulative record. So, maybe gold isn't everything. And, if she's not considered one of the greatest, I don't really care because I have personally gotten so much enjoyment from watching her skate.

  7. #7
    IceCastles1814
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    I was checking out the other thread on the olys and I was sorry to see it locked, but I think that it really depends on how you look at the big picture, too. I agree that body of work tells a story better than one Olympic win, in terms of longevity and dominance. Those who win the OGM or any medal are to be admired, even thought the OGM is the most prestigious. But like I argued in the other thread, I don't believe it will hurt those who are OGM contenders if they have established a body of admirable work over their career previously and after the olys. They retain their fan bases and often get the same amt. of endorsements. I don't know. I just think that it's incredible to compete at that level anyhow. I think the pressure is enormous for all athletes and perhaps, sometimes, unbearable for those in OGM contention. I'm sorry that Kurt, Michelle, et. al (all OGM contenders who did not get that medal) didn't win, but life is really strange sometimes. I can think of a lot of people who are certainly capable of attaining something, but who never do for various reasons. I don't think there's anything wrong with them for that and in many ways, they have become better people for not having attained their goal immediately or never, because it's made them value what they have accomplished in spite of that.

    For the casual fan, perhaps an OGM matters, but I don't see how anyone who loves a specific sport or the olys cannot admire all athletes for making it to the worlds or olys. and surviving the pressure whether they win Gold, Silver, Bronze, or have a personal best, whatever that may be.

    oh, and thanks for the welcome mathman



  8. #8
    Jaana
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    I think that for those top athletes who have the possibility, meaning that they are seen as strong contenders to win a gold medal in any competition, a silver or a bronze medal is a definite loss. The goal of the top athletes is to win a gold medal, not a silver or bronze one, I´d say.

    On the other hand a silver or bronze medal is a huge achievement in a competition for those athletes who were not seen as such that they might get one.

    I also think that for athletes who come out of other countries than the NA ones, an Olympic gold medal has a much bigger meaning for their future skating career than for those who are from NA.

    Then, what happens after e.g. an Olympic win, that is for the athlete to decide. Sometimes an injury may not give other possibilities than to leave the eligible skating. Some skaters have also other aims than skating in their life. Some skaters are interested in doing choreography, trying out new things in their skating, which would not have been possible for them if they had stayed in eligible skating. Besides, who knows in how many cases some injury may also be a cause for the leaving, although it may not be given as a reason?

    Like I mentioned in the earlier thread about men´s skating, since John Curry in 1976, Urmanov is the only Olympic winner who remained in eligible skating after the Olympic season. Yagudin is an open case this moment. And in Urmanov´s case, after his win which still is seen as a contraversial one (not by me, LOL), I think it is also good to remember that he probably had no other choices? I don´t think he got any lucrative offers and so far as I remember, on the 1994 Olympic COI tour he was skating among the earlier skaters..., long before the intermission.

    Oh, and one more thing, can anyone say for 100 % sure that Michelle Kwan would have stayed in eligible skating if she had won the Olympic gold medal at Nagano in 1998? Anyway, she is an extremely popular US skater with all her Nationals and Worlds gold medals and will go into statistics as a great champion. On the other hand, in the same time she will also remain in the Olympic statistics as the only female skater with more than two World gold medals, but no Olympic gold (unless of course she wins one in Turin).

    Marjaana

  9. #9
    IceCastles1814
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    I think that's good point about the difference between NA and the rest of the world in terms of an OGM's importance, Marjaana. I agree it's true that Michelle's silver (where she gave a OGM worthy performance, actually IMO) and her bronze are seen (by quite a few) as losses because she was poised to win gold. And I won't pretend to know how she feels now about it or if she would have continued to skate if she had won it at Nagano or SLC. But, there's something that I think is true about sporting fans as well as skating fans. I think it's safe to say that a fan's take on an OGM is influenced in part by whether their favorites have won it or not. I see you like Ilia Kulik, an OGM, so I presume that's at least a small part of why you hold it the highest regard for a top skater to have it. That's not to say that a fan of MK doesn't value the OGM and want her to win one in Turin, if she goes, but that they don't admire her less in the big scheme of things for the absence of one. She has had a unique career to say the least (especially if, as you say, she ends it w/out one), so I'm not sure that this would be true for every skater in her position in the future, but I know that Irina is still widely admired w/out an OGM as well as other past skaters. I think they might be better and even more fondly remembered for not winning it or, if either wins in Turino, how she went about winning it.





  10. #10
    Jaana
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    Yes, that is true that I´m a fan of Ilia Kulik (and a few other skaters as well), but that does not define how I regard an Olympic gold medal. Especially as I have followed figure skating and other sports long before Ilia even was born, LOL. To me the Olympic gold has always been the greatest prize an athlete can win in those sports where it is seen as the ultimate prize. And that opinion and regard has of course remained as same in spite of whether some of my favourites have won a gold medal in Summer and Winter Olympics or not...

    As mentioned in the other thread some sports have some other bigger competition than the Olympics, e.g. Wimbledon in tennis. I believe that at least most sports have one competition which is seen as the biggest of them all, and in figure skating it definetely is the Winter Olympics.

    Marjaana

  11. #11
    LAVENDER
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    I thought the gold would make a difference for Michelle in ’98 but Michelle really is the exception. She’s the one treated like the Olympic gold medallist so she doesn’t need it really. I only say this (not because I’m a big fan) but because that’s just what seems to have happened. So I would say the gold medal has been a nice bridge to fame for the last few Olympic champs but it hasn’t lasted.

    Realisticly I think Sarah needed more body of work for people to see her in the same light as Michelle. Maybe it's her skating that hasn't grab audiences for more than one competition. Maybe it's her record.

  12. #12
    Mathman3
    Guest

    Re: What's Your Take on the GOLD?


    About Michelle, I guess I have to agree with EVERYBODY who has offered an opinion here: Michelle's place in figure skating and its history is absolutely unique.

    Mathman

  13. #13
    Custom Title
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    Re: Sarah & Lulu


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>I'd guess a lot more people know of Sarah than Lulu.[/quote]
    It depends where? In NA, yes. But in China, No. And don't forget China has 1/5 of world population.

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Does that make Sarah a better skater?[/quote]
    No.

  14. #14
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    Re: The Gold


    There were a lot opinions on another thread. Some I agreed with some not. But following was what I had experieced last Saturday, in which you would've seen how much an OGM means to a casual skating fans who watched Olymics every 4 years.

    I had 2 guys come in installed a pool table for me. They asked me if I has a radio for them to followup the Yankee's game. (Since the job was long and I don't hav a radio in my basement yet). Then after a while they asked me what sports I followed. I said Figure Skating and I didn't expect they say anything. But one of them imediately say "Michelle X (he didn't know her last name) She is the best right?". I was supprised "How do you know?". He told me that he sit over FS with her girlfriend.
    Then he asked what was the name of the other girl.
    I: The one won Gold?".
    He: no, no. The one won Silver". (Extria, you must be happy )
    I: Irina Sluskaya.
    He: Yeah the Russian girl.
    I: Do you know who won the Gold?
    He (was thinking for a while then): .... I know it was an American girl.
    I: Michelle is an American too. But that girl is Sarah Hughe.
    He: Yeah. Yeah that's her name.
    I: She lived in Long Island NewYork. (I menstioned that because I lived in New Jersy it is very close I thought if he followed the FS he would've know)
    He: She probably weren't skate like that any more. That's her best performance ever.
    I: Did you watch how she skated this year?
    He: No. Most of time I only watch Oly. And last year I sit with my girl friend.

    And then He mensioned that what was that tow couples both got Gold medal because of cheating judge? I said "B&S from Russia and S&P from Canada". He said it was insane to award two Golds.

    Then the other guyes mensioned a US male skater from very early year (Before the time I start following the FS) I don't know. Then he mentioned Elvis S. from Canada said he really liked his skating and the ability he dancing on the ice (I guess he propbaly mean to be Elvis exhibition number) . I commented that Elvis was one of the skater didn't get the second mark he deserved just becaus judge don't like his style.



  15. #15
    eltamina
    Guest

    Re: The Gold


    My take on the gold Au

    Off topic a bit

    Michelle is Platinum Pt :D

    www.bladesonice.com/mag/blaweb1.htm

    (scroll down)



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