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Thread: The "Ice Queens"

  1. #16
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Rachael..........I was thinking of Aren Neilsen too. He had a great line and flow over the ice, very much in tune with Paul Wylie. I was dissappointed when he left her and found another coach....42

  2. #17
    SkateFan4Life
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    So what do you all think? Are women figure skaters expected to be "Ice Queens" out there - both appearance-wise and behavior-
    wise?

    Is there any validity to the "goody two-skates" statement made by Dorothy Hamill that I included in one of my previous posts on this thread?



  3. #18
    SkateFan4Life
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    Well, it looks as though this thread has come untangled, so I'll just close my entries in it by saying that I do believe the women skaters are expected to look like princesses, as much as possible, when they compete, and they are also expected to behave like ladies on and off the ice.

  4. #19
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    I certainly believe that women are held to a much higher standard in this sport. And yet, if we're going with the "Ice Princess" idea, I'd have to say that to me is more of an American idea. Look at the list of America's premier ice princesses: Tenley Albright, Carol Heiss, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Kristi Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski. All were pretty girls from middle class backgrounds that made their dreams come true through a combination of hard work and talent. But, that wasn't all, it seemed to help that they also shared pleasant, somewhat simple personalities that were incredibly endearing (especially as the sport became televised and more open to the media). The majority were lyrical skaters, more known for their artistry and beauty on and off the ice...certainly different when you look at the men's champions. Much more is expected of an American Ice Princess. It isn't enough to skate well. You also need to be beautiful and media-friendly. Tonya Harding may have been attractive as well...but she didn't conform fully and was punished for it. Nancy Kerrigan was poised to become the darling "Ice Princess" of the 90s until she opened her mouth and ruined the aura of perfection that had surrounded her. Tara and Sarah achieved this status for a short time, but didn't really stay long enough to cement their positions (Sarah could still pull through). Michelle continues to shine and plays the part brilliantly. Who's next? Who will succeed Michelle? Sasha? Anne-Patrice? Some unknown novice skater? I can't wait to see.

  5. #20
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    Tonya Harding may have been attractive as well...but she didn't conform fully and was punished for it.
    I don't think Tonya had a chance at becoming an "Ice Princess". Even with all the spotlights on her about how hard her life was, etc. trying to make people sympathize with her plight, I think a lot of people perceived her as "Trailer Trash". {I know that's an awful term.} She just didn't fit into the upperclass mold that most skaters come from.

  6. #21
    SkateFan4Life
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    OK, I'll re-enter the conversation. Tonya Harding really never was a candidate for "Ice Queen", even with her distinction of being the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition, her 1991 US title and 1991 World silver medal. Tonya was attractive, but she was too rough-edged to conform with the media and public's expectations. Nancy Kerrigan's background was lower middle-class, but she had a loving, very supportive family, and she was very attractive and looked like a princess when she skated.

  7. #22
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    Originally posted by SkateFan4Life
    Nancy Kerrigan's background was lower middle-class, but she had a loving, very supportive family, and she was very attractive and looked like a princess when she skated.
    Yeah, Nancy was attractive once she got her teeth capped. I wonder what other skaters have had "work" done to be more media friendly. At first I wondered if Michelle would get her nose done, but I think she's grown into it nicely. LOL

  8. #23
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    "Tenley Albright, Carol Heiss, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Kristi Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski. All were pretty girls from middle class backgrounds"

    ???

    Yamaguchi was the only one that I know of that was middle class: Dentist's daughter from CA suburb.

    Albright and Tara were definately upper class, Albright being the only Mayflower WASP among them, the Lipinski's being more Texas oil rich. Hughes is also from a boom money family.

    Heiss, Fleming and Kwan were all from blue collar ethnic backgrounds (Heiss's parents were immagrants with accents, the complete opposite of Albright's).

    Hamill I don't remember anything about.

    I think if you look at Heiss, her personality and manerism, and then look at Albright and Vinson, you'll see the source of the comment and how Carol had to play the game and tone down her natural tom-boyishness to be accepted by the media. She definately had looks on her side: I remember a Jim McCabe interview at the 56 Olys where he made a big fuss about her being pretty and asked all her about her costumes, etc... rather than her skating. Totally what we would call sexist today.

    I think that Nancy fell prey to the changing times in the way Gary Heart and/or Bill Clinton did. Tons of former presidents misbehaved, but the general public wasn't all up in their face and private business in the blow-by-blow way that the media is today. Hamill could have said a heck of a lot worse than "this is so corney" but we just didn't have it broadcast all over the news 24/7.

    Tonya never even pretended to play the game. In fact, she seemed to go out of her way to show the skating world her contempt for thier stupid rules. Maybe she was a pioneer, or mayb she was just a typical person with fear of sucess, throwing obsticles in her own way.

  9. #24
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    Linda Fratianne grew up in a comfortable Southern California family, as the daugher of an attorney. And I believe that Linda, per the advice of coaches and others, had her nose fixed when she was a youngster. Guess she wanted to look like a princess when she skated.

  10. #25
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    Carol Heiss students

    Wasn't Scott Davis a Carol Heiss student? He had tons of presentation but was inconsistent with his jumps.

    As far as Timmy's posture improving: bah ha ha ha. If you rilly rilly look close, with a microscope and a magnifying glass, you might see perhaps a nanasecond where he stands up straight at the end after he's taken his bows...

    Linny

  11. #26
    SkateFan4Life
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    Re: Carol Heiss students

    No, Scott Davis was not a student of Carol Heiss. I don't remember who his coach was, but the late Brian Wright was his choregrapher for his excellent "West Side Story" long program that won him the 1993 and 1994 US titles. Davis had very strong presentation skills to compliment his strong technical skills.

  12. #27
    Old school Tim fan
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    Scott was coached by Kathy Casey for a long time then switched to Galina Z (sp?).

  13. #28
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    Back at the 1976 US Nationals, Linda Fratianne, then a 15-year-old up and coming skater, landed two triple jumps and skated what many considered to be the best long program of the competition. Dorothy Hamill, by contrast, had skated a very safe and comfortable long program, omitting several key jumps. The judges, however, placed Hamill ahead of Fratianne in the long program, and Hamill won her third consecutive US title. Dorothy later said she felt she had not deserved to win the competition, based upon her performance.

    The media asked Fratianne what she thought about finishing second. Was she pleased with her marks? Did she feel she was marked unfairly? Linda showed a lot of class, I thought, in that she responded that she was just happy to make the Olympic team, and she felt her marks would improve as she gained more experience on the senior level. That's a classic "Ice Queen" response!

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