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Thread: Why Kwan won't go pro...ever

  1. #46
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    Re: Re: Why Kwan won't go pro...ever

    Originally posted by Skate Sandee
    I don't think the original poster meant she would skate eligible forever. I think what the original poster meant was that once Michelle decides she done with eligible skating, she'll stop skating completely - never actually giving up her eligibility to "go pro".

    Yup that's what the original poster ment:D

  2. #47
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    Re: I coudn't have said it better myself

    Originally posted by Panther2000
    I do belive that some of the fans think that if someone can jump higher. that they should win.

    Not to mention, most flexibility! Flexibility is a given in ballet. It would be difficult to decide which ballerina had the most flexibility and once decided, so what? They all have flexibility as do most skaters.

    Apparently, those beautiful spirals and camel spins we see from 90 per cent of the Ladies are not considered flexible by some fans unless they are the best. Oh, the nitpicking of it all!!!

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 09-10-2003 at 01:28 PM.

  3. #48
    Alexei he's my MAN Panther2000's Avatar
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    Re: Re: I coudn't have said it better myself

    Originally posted by Joesitz
    Not to mention, most flexibility! Flexibility is a given in ballet. It would be difficult to decide which ballerina had the most flexibility and once decided, so what? They all have flexibility as do most skaters.

    Apparently, those beautiful spirals and camel spins we see from 90 per cent of the Ladies are not considered flexible by some fans unless they are the best. Oh, the nitpicking of it all!!!

    Joe
    I agree. Michelle Or anyone else for that matter may not be able to wrap their legs behind their head & neck. But, They have the TOTAL PACKAGE. Michelle is still able to pull you into her programs & be able to feel along with her while she skates. Just like Alexei. There is no faking it with them even with their simplest moves.

    Will she ever go pro. I don't know. But, I do belive that if she ever wants a Skating TV special. You can bet that Disney & Many other people would give her one. She could probably write her own ticket on that one.

  4. #49
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    BerthesGhost, Vietgirl,
    I loved your posts (Vgirl! You remembered something nice that Rgirl said about Michelle! Yay!).

    Anyway, here's my obnoxious contribution: Look, I know there is a contingent of MK "haters" who say, "Move on, old broad!" But in all seriousness, how many of them are there compared to the billions (and I do mean billions) of fans Michelle has worldwide who want to see her on the ice competing forever? I think this whole "Everybody (the antiKwans) wants Michelle to retire" is more overblown than the Goodyear blimp. I think for some people it may even be an excuse to keep Michelle in the underdog position, as in, "Boy, that Michelle! Look at the courage she has! Staying eligible when EVERYBODY is SCREAMING for her to retire!" I just think this is hooey.

    If "everybody" wanted Michelle out the door, then what does one make of the close to 20,000 fans I saw on their feet screaming for Michelle at Nationals and Worlds? They sure weren't yelling, "SoCal girl, turn pro!" They were practically orgasmic over watching Michelle turn in possibly her most transcendant and technically superior programs ever. Somebody tell me seriously that 99% of the people in those arenas and at home watching on TV didn't want Michelle to do a repeat competition next year, and the year after that, and they year after that...

    So my question is: Where are all the antiKwans yelling for Michelle to retire? I know, they're at TaraWorld--that enormous site--there are some at SashaFans, right next to the Michelle fans arguing with them, and at the large general forums such as FSU, you might find 5-10% who might, that's MIGHT express an occasional, "I think Michelle should move aside yadda yadda."

    So my first point is: Why are people so upset about something that IMO does not even exist in sufficient numbers to warrant anything but ignoring them? Let's see, I put the number of antiKwans who want her to retire at about, oh, let's be generous and say 20,000--that's in the world--whereas I would put the number of Kwan fans who want her to keep skating eligible competitions until she's 101 at, oh, let's be conservative and say 3 billion. 20,000 to 3 billion. Mathman, would you do the honors and calculate that ratio please?

    I think it's great to discuss whether or not Michelle will ever turn pro, but let's keep it in the realm of earthly reality and not just use it as a place to b**** and moan about a relative few (note the word relative) antiKwans who have never liked Michelle and never will.

    Also, I don't see ANY trend toward fans wanting "term limits" for skaters. In fact, I see the opposite. I see fans saying, "This is LADIES skating. I want to see ladies or at least young women skating. We've seen jumping beans come and go. So been there, done that. Yes, new skaters are exciting, but only if they have staying power. I want to see these ladies stay around until they have some life experience outside the rink that they can bring to the ice." Even though she beat an admittedly ailing Michelle, the vast majority of the people I read were thrilled for Bute's World championship at age 26. Thrilled. Not even the dumb old ISU favors young skaters. IIRC, it was when Tara was competing that the ISU INCREASED the age of eligibility for Worlds and Olympics. In '00, I think, you could get a bye to Worlds if you were under the age limit by medaling at Jr. Worlds, but you can't even do that anymore. I believe you have to be 15 by July 1 of that year or the previous year, I forget which (BerthesGhost, help me out here; I know you'll know). But the point is that the trend as I see it among both the ISU and fans is that they want to see the best skaters competing, meaning those who have the full range of qualities needed to be a top skater (aka, full package), go on and mature. You may not like Irina's opera programs, but I think most will agree that they are a heck of a lot better than the "Klinka" LP she did in '98. If you need a reminder, it was Irina in a woman's body skating in a young-girl style to a Russian folk tune with puff-sleeve costume to match. (Nothing against folk music, just want age appropriate folk music.)

    So, this is it: The number of skating fans who want Michelle to go pro is miniscule and certainly not worth all the fist-pounding and outrage I see from some in this thread, IMHO.

    And I am 100% behind BerthesGhost's Point 5: "Quit Dissing Pro Skating." ITA with BG that it was the class of Kristi, Midori, Yuka, Oksana, Paul, Kurt, Brian, and others who made pro skating the valuable creative offshoot of eligible skating that it was in the mid-90s. Just think of the innovative programs Kristi Y and Paul Wylie came up with during that time. Classics! And these were programs they could NEVER do as eligible skaters, not even as exhibition numbers because they were too difficult. True, it was an unusual period of time when a certain group of very talented and creative skaters made the pro scene what it was. IMO, it had a positive effect on eligible skating because the pros, who were no longer focused on increasing their jump content, focused instead on high quality creativity, meaning programs such as Wylie's "JFK," "Schindler's List," "On the Waterfront," "Carmina Burana," and others, and Kristi's "Doop Doop," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Romeo and Juliet," and others. Even Midori Ito worked her heart out to connect with the audience AND do a 3Axel, which she did the one year she beat Kristi for the World Pro Title (though Midori might have beaten Kristi twice, I'm not sure). And let's not forget that G&G did many of their most memorable programs as pros. Who can ever forget Sergei and Katia skating to Ella Fitzgerald's rendition of "The Man I Love," something they never could have skated had they not turned pro. If eligible skaters did not get the message that a lot of the magic of any program, competitive or otherwise, is in its heart and expression of the skater's individuality, then they were not watching.

    In fact, I'll give you an example of a skater who I don't think would have a second Olympic bronze medal if it weren't for the lessons learned skating in pro shows and competitions: Philippe Candeloro at the '98 Olympics with his "D'Artagnan" LP. For many, Candeloro was the highlight of the men's event.

    I just don't understand how some people are constantly berating and belittling pro skaters and their fans, saying the skaters do nothing but gimmicks in cheesey costumes, and at the same time those very same people say, "Oh, Yuka! She is glorious!" Yeah, she's been glorious as a PRO skater since 1996, IIRC. I find quotes like the following to be both uninformed and offensive to those fans who enjoy QUALITY pro skating:
    Pro competitions is for fans who are more interested in gimmicks and far out costumes than sport, imo.
    It's not the fans who are telling the skaters what to perform. When Ilia Kulik skated his '98 Olympic program to win what was to be the last event entitled the World Pro Competition in '02 with every jump except the quad and skated against Kurt Browning doing "Nyah," I can only think that the people making those comments never watch pro skating or if they do, they focus only on the gimmicks of the skaters over 40.

    Certainly pro skating is in a significant slump--or I should say US pro skating, and I do feel it is specific to the US pro skating system for some very specific reasons. Where I see the problem is not in the fans or even in the skaters but in the USFSA who ONLY makes a distinction regarding the "pro" status for US skaters if they skate with SOI. Any skater from any other country, at least that I know of, can skate with SOI one year and go back to eligible skating the next, if they so choose. To me, the USFSA's stand on this, which has to do with the $$$$ the federation gets from COI, is a pure and simple kickback scheme. COI skaters from the US can stay eligible forever. Only those US skaters who want to skate with SOI have to give up their eligible status. The USFSA is in bed with COI and not SOI and who pays? The US skaters and the fans. Personally, I think it violates the RICCO statutes and why SOI doesn't sue the USFSA is beyond me.

    As for the actual topic of this thread, I have no doubt that Michelle will stay eligible as long as it is in her best interest. Why shouldn't she? She's committed to COI for personal reasons (though as we've seen, personal reasons can fall through), so as long as that relationship stays good, Michelle has no reason to make a choice. She could remain an Olympic eligible skater for as long as she lives. If and when the time comes that she does not want to compete, she can still skate with COI. As for me, I'll stick with the 3 billion skating fans around the world who want to see Michelle compete for as long as possible. After all, if people were "sick" of seeing Michelle, as some on this thread have claimed, why would the USFSA have called her to please, please come do Skate America when Sarah Hughes dropped out? Why did ticket sales for SA zoom up as soon as it was announced Kwan would skate? I'm all for differences of opinion; I'm just urging that hyperbole and exaggeration be reined in. Michelle is the world's most beloved skater and has been since '96. Why try to make her into something she's not, that is, unwanted?
    Rgirl

  5. #50
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    RGirl, as always your post is dead on and beautifully explained. Michelle isn't for everyone, but she certainly does appeal to a majority of fans. And I don't think any fan, even a casual one, wants to see a favored skater retire (especially when it seems they are just reaching their seasoned prime). So...I think this just becomes another one of those threads that with only a very few semi-negative Michelle mentions becomes the focus of much heated debate. Many love her, some don't. It will always be this way. And, I kind of like it. If everyone was "orgasmic" (LOL, loved it RGirl!) over "Aranjuez" what a boring, sedate board this would be. Also, I agree that the notion of a mass of non-Kwan fans calling for her retirement is ridiculous. Those that are doing so are quite vocal and loud, but they aren't many. So, if Michelle can do what she did last year and maintain that level of precision until she is 40, fine by me!

  6. #51
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    Rgirl, I think you set up a straw man who has a little straw man of his own. I don't think that Kwan fans care very much whether or not a few non Kwans want Michelle to retire, and I don't think that the non Kwans really care much whether she retires or not.

    But I'm probably wrong.

    Mathman

  7. #52
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    Rgirl is Right...as usual

    Rgirl,
    Your posts are always very well thought out and balanced. I think you are right the anti-Kwans are a small(but vocal) minority. Most skating fans like Michelle and the almost all casual fans like her know her and like her too. For anyone to have meet her she is truly a respectful, humble, gracious, young lady. And wheather or not one does not like her skating, one can't take her postive off ice persona away.

    Why do I like Michelle Kwan?? (besides her skating, obviously)
    Children today look at athlets as role models. In a time when professional athlets are involved in much dubious behavior( to say the least) It is SOOO refreshing to see someone like Michelle represent our sport with the class and dignity she carries with her. It is really her off ice behavior that turned me from just a fan in to a Kwanatic. In my opioion she is exactly what this sport needed as a role model after the Tanya-Nancy episode. Think about it a whole generation of figure skaters grow up on Michelle's skating. In 20 years we'll see skaters saying things like "I used to try to learn all of Michelle's programs in my room and wanted to be just like her" I feel Michelle represents the best of our sport.

  8. #53
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    Great thread!

    Great Skater!

    Great role model!

    What else is there. Would love to see her compete forever no matter where she places. First place or 10th, she will always be the best "Whole Package".

  9. #54
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Great post, just a few clarifications:

    - One has to have turend 15 no later than the July before worlds.
    - Midori landed 3axels at world pros 2 years in a row. In 93 she won. In 94 Kristi bested her.
    - Yuka turned pro imediately after her 94 world title, and was skating in 94 world pros just a few weeks after.
    - One can also loose eligabliity by skating in Ice Wars. There were other's as well, but most have been cancelled, so it's a mute point, but there are other ways to lose eligability.

    Personally, I think that the good old days of pro skating are greatly exagerated. The events dropped off because people lost interest. Many are still there, but let's be truthful, Tara is no Kristi. After the 98 Olys, all 4 of the champs turned pro, but what excitement did they generate. Not much. G&P broke up, K&D are just a cheap copy of M&D, Tara has grown artistically at a Tim Goebel rate that can't ever seem to make up for the missing triples, and Ilia, good as he is, just doesn't have the charm of a Kurt to put NA's in the seats. 10 years later, and SOI is still dependant on Kristi to sell tickets.

  10. #55
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    Thank you for that beautiful post, Kwanisqueen.

    Mathman

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    Thanks, rgirl, for your dissertation on Kwan's popularity.

    What I have always found ironic was that Tara beat Kwan and won Olympic gold, but what Tara always wanted (and never got) was Kwan's fan base. Tara wanted to be idolized the way Kwan has been, as you said, since 1996. Tara thought winning Olympic gold would do the trick and make HER the icon of figure skating---but it didn't.

    And the ISU changed the rules about age eligibility to compete in Senior events because first Oksana, then Tara, immediately went pro after winning the OGM. Losing the stars of figure skating at such a young age hurt the ISU pocketbook. No wonder the ISU has inflated the point value of the Grand Prix in calculating ISU rankings! It's a quick way to punish top skaters who choose not to compete in what has become a cash cow.

  12. #57
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Is there an age limit on how long you can skate in amateur competitions ?

  13. #58
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    Originally posted by Mathman
    Rgirl, I think you set up a straw man who has a little straw man of his own. I don't think that Kwan fans care very much whether or not a few non Kwans want Michelle to retire, and I don't think that the non Kwans really care much whether she retires or not.

    But I'm probably wrong.

    Mathman
    You are right that we Kwan fans don't care that people want her to retire. I just don't see why there's any point but hatred. I'm certainly not Irina's number one fan but I certainly don't see why there's even a reason for her to turn pro. Even if one has a bad season that doesn't mean a thing. I say this because people tend to say someone need to retire if a skater has a bad season. However non fans want Kwan to go away bad. They want her to go away the most because she wins too. People who don't like Kwan care too much if you ask me.

  14. #59
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lavender
    People who don't like Kwan care too much if you ask me.
    This seems quite peculiar to me. If a person doesn't care for Michelle's skating, if he or she finds it uninteresting and overrated -- OK, that's what the remote is for. Switch over and watch a little curling on the other channel when Michelle is performing, then come back to see the next skater, if you like him or her better.(?)

    Mathman

  15. #60
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    Originally posted by berthes ghost
    K&D are just a cheap copy of M&D,
    Berthes, I know you are always rather... mmm... straight about saying what's on your mind, but I really do not think this is called for.

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