I became a fan in 94.
I became a fan in 94.
Peggy Fleming in '68. I remember being so excited when my 8th grade teacher Sr. Mary Samuel had the class read a news clipping about her win as one of our assignments.
I remember watching ice skating most of my life, but I think I became the most interested in it was around 1990-ish. Scott Hamilton and Kurt Browning really caught my eye. And I have been an avid viewer ever since. :D
The first time I watched skating was the 1984 Olympics. I was nine and remember being enthralled by Torvill & Dean's "Bolero." I also watched the ladies event, but all I can remember was that Katarina was really pretty.
I watched occasionally for the next couple of years. At this point I began to notice differences in skaters -- some had good "presentation," while others were good "jumpers." I was really rooting for Debi Thomas in Calgary and was disappointed when she lost. I also enjoyed watching the "Battle of the Brians."
I think I became a "fan" when I saw Midori Ito win Worlds in 1989. She was one of a kind. By now I knew the different jumps and realized how hard the 3axel was. I also think I identified with Midori because she was the first Asian World Champion and I am Asian-American. Around this time, three other skaters attracted my attention -- Paul Wylie, who I thought was a wonderful stylist, Tonya Harding, who at that time could match Midori in the jumping department and Kristi Yamaguchi. I got hooked and have been watching ever since.
1994 Olympics. G&G. I was 8.
I became a big time fan back in 92 with Paul Wylie. I just had a basic understanding of what skating was. It went something like:
"Hey, that little Harvard guy was great, and he's only in 3rd?"
"Whoa, that dude from Canada looks mad."
"Hey, that Ukranian guy fell out all over the place and ran out of gas! What's up with those high scores! MOM!"
"Wheee, little Harvard guy did good! He's happy!"
"Whoa, this Czech guy looks serious. What's up with the skull?"
So yeah, not the most insightful fan. :o But I've gotten better over the years, I think.
1994. Torvill & Dean. I'd just had my 10th birthday.
Didn't start watching regularly again till 2001. Loved Irina Slutskaya's LP, Evgeny Plushenko's exhibition, Alexei Yagudin's SP and B&S's LP.
I actually wanted to be a skater before I wanted to be a dancer.
Back in the 1970's I would watch Robin Cousins and later John Curry training at the rinks I skated at (Queens and Richmond), and I fell in love with it. Mom said dance would be a good thing and would help my skating, so I started ballet and modern at 3years, and skating at 4yrs.
I landed my first axel when I was 7. It was the proudest day of my life! Back in those days skating actually got some coverage on the UK TV stations, and I'd be glued to Worlds and Europeans every year, trying to learn from every last skater. I particularly loved watching pairs, and wanted to try it, but the ballet school I was attending said no way to that. They didn't even want me to skate. I remember how much I loved John Curry, as he was always really nice in person and really complimentary. On TV I remember watching Gordeeva and Grinkov when she was just 14 and their music never came on but they skated anyway. I thought they were incredible. I loved T&D, and Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Brian Orser.
By the time I was 10 I was skating and dancing competitively, and actually doing better in skating meets (which I tended to win) than I was in ballet meets! Through doing well in skating meets, I got to skate in the UK's Sports Aid Figure Skating Gala, which was fantastic, as I got to meet so many of my heroes, including T&D, and they were all so friendly and kind. I also got to meet Kurt Browning when he skated in the same show as me, and he was so cool. I was just this star-struck 12 year old. I think that was actually a Nicky Slater tour, because I remember getting to meet him and Karen at the same time, and they were really lovely. The more I skated the more I loved it. I loved the feeling of flying you just don't get with ballet. I loved the jumps especially.
When I hit 16 they said I had to choose, skating or ballet, and there was a lot of pressure on me to go with ballet. I never stopped following skating, and attending live events whenever possible, and now I am sort of retired I get to skate again which is wonderful. I'm hoping to get my triples back, though I don't know if this is feasible!
So I guess I've been an avid follower since about 1975 (when I was 4!)
Sorry this turned into a bit of a life story!
That's a really nice story, Lilia (I'm from Britain too)
I think I first was aware of skating in 1961.The first time I can remember it being on tv.Then the plain crash. Don't remember anymore untill maybe ten years ago. Had to go back to work, and the babies kept me busy. Now all babies grown up. Pluss two more. Anyway I started going to COI. That got me watching again. Don't know much about the moves, just enjoy it all. mari
Very nice story, Lilia.
It sounds like we have the same knowledge of skating. I've improved over the years but I don't think I will every attempt to become a commentator.
Who: Scott Hamilton & My Auntie Marge
What (pre 1997): Scott Hamilton & pro skating
What (post 1997/pre 2000): professional figure skating
What (post 2000 - present): skating message boards/ pro skating/ am skating
I had skated until I was 9 yrs old & then I broke my leg in 2 places while skating so I ended quitting. Until then I had wanted to be a serious skater. Then in 1960 I saw Carol Heiss on the news for winning the Oly gold. She was so pretty & athletic (they showed part of her program) and I fell in love with skating all over again. I started watching it every time it came on TV. One of my biggest thrills was meeting Carol at 2003 Nationals & getting to tell her what she has meant to me.
but when I saw Elvis Stojko's Frogs in Space at the 1994 Olympics, I became a fan, and Michelle Kwan blossoming the next year didn't hurt matters either! I have taken lessons, and it is really an amazing thing (which is all I can do even if all I can do is skate around a rink with the odd fall or two)
I first started to watch figure skating on ABC television's Wide World of Sports, back in the early 1960s. I remember the black and white television coverage, always taped, showing the likes of Don Jackson, Maria & Otto Jelinek, and other great skaters of that era. I first watched the Winter Olympics in 1964 and remember seeing 14-year-old Scott Ethan Allen of Smoke Rise, NJ win the bronze medal, a great achievement. I enjoyed watching Canadian Petra Burka, who won the bronze medal with a wonderful performance. And, of course, the magical Ludmilla and Oleg Protopopov of the Soviet Union won the gold medal in 1964 with a stunning performance.
That started a decades-long interest and admiration of figure skating and the wonderful skaters who train so hard to achieve greatness in this sport. Peggy Fleming, Janet Lynn, Dorothy Hamill, Toller Cranston, John Curry, Ludmila Pakhomova/Aleksandr
Gorschkov, Jayne Torvill/Christopher Dean, Robin Cousins, Katarina Witt, Midoro Ito, Kristi Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan, Lu Chen, Elvis Stojko, Kurt Browning, Brian Orser, Brian Boitano, Scott Davis, Scott Hamilton, etc. -- so many of these great skaters have graced the rinks over the past decades. And that is just a small list!