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Thread: "Ice Castles"

  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    "Ice Castles"

    Do you remember the 1978 movie "Ice Castles", which paired Lynn-Holly Johnson and Robby Benson in a tearjerker romantic story about "Lexie", a young skater from Iowa who came out of nowhere to become a would-be champion skater, and right after winning the Midwest Sectional title, lost her eyesight in a freak skating accident? (sorry about the long sentence!)

    Lexie was noticed by a reknowned coach when she competed at the regional competition. The coach pursued her to her home and asked her if she would allow her to coach her. Lexie moved to Colorado Springs and quickly developed into a media darling and future champion.

    I loved the soundtrack for the movie, especially Melissa Manchester's rendition of "In the Eyes of Love".

    The story of a complete unknown rising to the fore intriques me.
    Does anyone out there think that such a scenario is possible in North America? We have the example of Oksana Baiul, who rose to a World title from out of nowhere (seemingly), but could that happen in Canada or the United States? Can you imagine the shock if a complete unknown came into US Nationals and won the title over Kwan, Cohen, and the rest?

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think it could happen. Both Naomi Nari Nam in 1999 and Sasha Cohen in 2000 came out of nowhere to give Michelle a run for her money and finish second. Like Oksana, they were not very well known to the general U.S. skating public at the time.

    If Beatrisa Liang makes major strides this year, a lot of casual fans might be saying, where did she come from?

    Mathman

  3. #3
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    In 1988 at the Calgary Olympics, Elizabeth Manley came out of "nowhere" and upstaged both Katarina Witt and Debbi Thomas. Nobody expected little Liz to skate away with the silver. There is an "Ice Castles" finish for you!

  4. #4
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    This is a little off topic, so forgive me. You mention "Ice Castles", but does anyone remember the made for TV movie with Jimm McNichol called "Champions, A Love Story"? This is my favorite skating movie...it's has a similar story as Cutting Edge, but it was much better from what I remember.

  5. #5
    Fan of The Incomparable Sonja Henie Glacierskater's Avatar
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    SKATEFAN:
    My coach and I watched this with another friend of ours that skates just last night! It is so outdated...we giggled all the way through at the dialog, but the story is good. I love watching skating shows with people that actually skate...we commentry all the way through.

    NANSINGER: I am going to try to find that show...it sounds good. Cutting Edge is one of my favorite movies. Although I wish that they had skated more. Toepick!

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    I am not that familiar with Canadian lady skaters (singles), but in the USA it is not unlikely to see someone come from nowhere and win a title or come in second.

    Oksana Baiul just happened to be from an Eastern European country. She could have been from any country. What she did in her first worlds is simply incredible. It is considered very difficult to medal in the first appearance at worlds. She actually won the championship. G&G came out of nowhere in their first world championship when they won the gold.

    Vash

  7. #7
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    I love that movie. The kicker was that Lexie was "too old" to train (I think she was either 15 or 16). I wonder if that senerio would apply today. Lexie wasn't just an "unknown", she wasn't professionally trained, but still had all the talent needed to succeed. The underlying theme was that coaches want potential "winners" to train, not just kids with the talent or the drive to learn..........42

  8. #8
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I think that genre of movie has been forthcoming since the beginning of films, and in stories from the beginning of homo sapiens. The last one I saw was Rocky. It was enough.

    What about a movie where the Oly champ is kidnapped for ransom?

    Joe

  9. #9
    Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL! Cinderella on Ice's Avatar
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    OFF TOPIC - Just had to say that when I was a kid, I skated with Lynn-Holly. She was a year or two younger than me, but had been skating since she was 4 (I was 7). Her mom and mine had gone to high school together, so there was sort of a built-in friendship (or at least friendly acquaintance). I forget the year, but I think the movie was from around 1978, so Lynn-Holly would have been about 20 years old. We were on the phone, all giggly over her having worked with Robby Benson. Also, there was an irony in her having to (somewhat) train to "get back" (at the age of 20) her skating skills enough to have them cut and paste the skating parts together.

    OK, sorry to be "off topic," but it was fun to reminisce for a minute.

  10. #10
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Cinder: That's so cool. I actually like Lynn-Holly more playing the um, shall we say "eager" and bratty skater who went after Roger Moore's James Bond in one of the Bond films (I can't recall the name). She was a total hoot, going after Bond like a major hussy!

  11. #11
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Question LYNN-HOLLY

    So where is she now?

  12. #12
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    Mathman-Yeah, I agree with you about Beatrisa Liang, she took me by surprise this year at Nationals, so did Ye Bin Mok! Have any of you seen "The Cutting Edge"? That's another skating movie!

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    Of course it happened in the US - it was called Tara Lipinski. She had an agent bought for her for her birthday and he created enough hoopla for her that the USFSA had to take notice. Otherwise she'd have been held back for a bit longer.

  14. #14
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Tara not only had a PR man long before anyone had heard of her except some roller fans, old man Lipinski hired a top PR man for her who had Diane Sawyer interrupt a news program to announce her triple jumps at such a young age.

    Her story is hardly a rags to riches story.

    Joe

  15. #15
    Tripping on the Podium Jennifer Lyon's Avatar
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    Tara and Oksana weren't really unknowns in the same sense as the character in "Ice Castles." The Tara hype began when she won the Olympic Festival at age 12. After that, she was on TV all the time and her family's story was discussed in Joan Ryan's "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes" as well as in Christine Brennan's books.

    As for Oksana, it's true that she was an unknown in the USA before she won the silver at the 1993 Euros. But at that time, she had already established herself as one of the Soviet Union's (and later Ukraine's) up-and-coming skaters. I don't know all the details about her early competitive career, but I do know that she competed at the Soviet Nationals when she was 12 or 13. (IIRC, she finished twelfth.) Although Oksana wasn't famous, the skating officials and coaches in the USSR/Ukraine certainly did know about her, just as their counterparts in the USFSA know who their talented 12 and 13-year-olds are.

    Now that the Internet is widely available, it's a lot easier for diehard skating fans to learn about young, up-and-coming skaters, especially the ones from North America. For instance, I'd heard of Sasha Cohen and Yebin Mok and saw their pictures on the Internet long before I actually saw them skating on TV. Ditto for Russia's Lyudmila Nelidina and the Japanese ladies who competed at Junior Worlds. Almost every time a "new" skater appears at Nationals, Worlds, Junior Worlds, or one of the GP events, I am at least familiar with that skater's name, if not his/her face.

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