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Thread: Changing The Image Of Men's Figure Skating

  1. #166
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    I saw this on the news the other night. Elvis Stojko is campaigning here with Skate Canada to change the image of male skaters. It would seem some of the Canadian men viewers are watching their favorite past time - Hockey. Oh well....

  2. #167
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladskater View Post
    I saw this on the news the other night. Elvis Stojko is campaigning here with Skate Canada to change the image of male skaters. It would seem some of the Canadian men viewers are watching their favorite past time - Hockey. Oh well....
    Really? Just yesterday William Thompson, the CEO of Skate Canada, repudiated Elvis' remarks, saying;

    For the record, while Elvis Stojko is entitled to comment on skating as he sees fit, he in no way speaks for Skate Canada and the views he recently expressed are not representative of the views of the leadership team at Skate Canada.
    http://www.skatecanada.ca/en/news_vi...2009/may_6.cfm

  3. #168
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    gotta love PR clean up.

  4. #169
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Figure skating is what it is.

    Joe Six-pack is never going to like it, even if you promote it as a blood sport and advertise all the hideous falls the pairs have had.

    Changing the sport in any way to "butch" it up will more than likely result in very few new fans whilst simultaneously alienating and losing the old fans.

    Again, just because the US ladies are not at the top of podiums and keeping interest for US fans it doesn't mean that the rest of the world is not enjoying a boost in viewing figures for skating.

    Ant

  5. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Really? Just yesterday William Thompson, the CEO of Skate Canada, repudiated Elvis' remarks, saying;

    http://www.skatecanada.ca/en/news_vi...2009/may_6.cfm
    I would rather believe in Mr. Thompson than believe in the media.

  6. #171
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    if you took a poll of ardent fans and asked them which Division (Men or Ladies) they are anxious to watch, if both divisions have several top competitors, as the case in this coming season?

    In the USA, I would say Ladies much much much more than Men. And I think that is what Stoyko is driving at.

    As I said many times, it all started with Henie, and that is the fixture of figure skating. Button had a run with popularity but not nearly as much as Sonia.

  7. #172
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    In the USA, I would say Ladies much much much more than Men. And I think that is what Stoyko is driving at.
    I think that's the crux of it. I wonder what the response would be in other georgraphic areas.

    Personally I was never interested in ladies until 1995 worlds when , for the first time i actually enjoyed some of the ladies (lulu and kwan). Kwan kept me watching the ladies until she stopped competing. I can more or less pass on the ladies again.

    Ant

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    if you took a poll of ardent fans and asked them which Division (Men or Ladies) they are anxious to watch, if both divisions have several top competitors, as the case in this coming season?
    For the ardent fans I think there is quite a bit of interest in the men's division.

    It's the non-ardent fans that skating organizations would like to draw in. I think casual once-every-four-years fans hardly know that there is such a thing as men's figure skating.

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I think that's the crux of it. I wonder what the response would be in other georgraphic areas.

    Personally I was never interested in ladies until 1995 worlds when , for the first time i actually enjoyed some of the ladies (lulu and kwan). Kwan kept me watching the ladies until she stopped competing. I can more or less pass on the ladies again.
    Ant
    Me too! It was Kwan that directed me to Ladies figure skating. I used to love reading about fs when some Male skater did the first triple lutz and all those jumps men do better than ladies. However, I did see Bielman do her famous spin which I thought was a hoot.

    I believe Men's Division is more popular in many countries than in the USA, but which, I dunno.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    For the ardent fans I think there is quite a bit of interest in the men's division.

    It's the non-ardent fans that skating organizations would like to draw in. I think casual once-every-four-years fans hardly know that there is such a thing as men's figure skating.
    OK, I also think that the ardent fans are getting interested in male skating because it now has so many excellent skaters competing, and we see little of splatfests like in the old days. I just don't think it is nearly as popular with the audience which is overwhelmingly women watching LIVE FS. In Europe, however one does see more men in the arenas than in the US.
    Yes, I agree about the non-ardent fans. This is what Stoyko is complaining about. It's considered by many newmen as a little girl's sport. Nothing wrong with that but some male ardent fans don't like that label and support Stoyko.
    I don't think anything can be done about it. We live with it.

  10. #175
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    Personally I was never interested in ladies until 1995 worlds when , for the first time i actually enjoyed some of the ladies (lulu and kwan). Kwan kept me watching the ladies until she stopped competing. I can more or less pass on the ladies again.
    Lulu at 1995 Worlds was fantastic. There's a surprisingly good quality video of her LP on Youtube, and it's still really enjoyable to watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    For the ardent fans I think there is quite a bit of interest in the men's division.

    It's the non-ardent fans that skating organizations would like to draw in. I think casual once-every-four-years fans hardly know that there is such a thing as men's figure skating.
    I agree. Around the time of the Torino Olympics, ESPN, or MSNBC, or some American media source , ranked major Olympic achievements, and they put the ladies' OGM ahead of the men's, because apparently that's what Olympics-only viewers care about. But for those of us who really follow figure skating, I don't think the ladies hold more appeal than the men (or for some people, the ice dance). At 2002 Olys, I couldn't have cared less about the ladies, but the guys, that was Yagudin vs. Plushenko! Now that was something to get excited about. And then the pairs controversy ruined my fun . At Vancouver obviously we have an interesting matchup in the ladies - but also a bunch of serious contenders among the men.

    Joe, you're probably right that not much can be done to change the public's perception. Either you watch Michelle, or Torvill and Dean, or Yagudin, or whoever, and realize you love this sport, or you don't. Just like I'll never understand my brother's love for soccer.

  11. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennylovskt View Post
    You and I only have difference in the degrees. I do like Johnny Weir's "My Way". But his style is often "like" and "not like" borderlined to me. I am bored with his last two years' competitive programs. The most recent example of what I think is charming was Brian Joubert's 2009 World's Exhibition program. Brian's this number is a perfect example of masculinity blending with tenderness. I love it! I feel that I have just discovered a new Brian Joubert.
    Hm.. I don’t have any borderline when I’m watching artistry. Whether it’s figure skating, dancing, painting, sculptures , photographs and fashions. If it’s great, I’m totally into it. No borderlines.

    Sorry, but I don’t think we only have difference in the degrees. Sounds like our view of figure skating is completely different.
    The most recent programs I was very impressed and thought charming is Weir’s “ Poker Face “ ( in his NY fashion on ice show and also at FOI ) and “ you impressed me “ at FOI. His movements are like a cat to me. They are completely different types of programs and artistry. And I do like some of Brian’s programs, because I found some of his movements impressed me.

  12. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancingqueen View Post
    Hm.. I don’t have any borderline when I’m watching artistry. Whether it’s figure skating, dancing, painting, sculptures , photographs and fashions. If it’s great, I’m totally into it. No borderlines.

    Sorry, but I don’t think we only have difference in the degrees. Sounds like our view of figure skating is completely different.
    The most recent programs I was very impressed and thought charming is Weir’s “ Poker Face “ ( in his NY fashion on ice show and also at FOI ) and “ you impressed me “ at FOI. His movements are like a cat to me. They are completely different types of programs and artistry. And I do like some of Brian’s programs, because I found some of his movements impressed me.
    My mistake. It sounds like that you have a great variety of tastes. Good for you! In general, I am very picky whether it's figure skating, dancing, painting, sculptures, photographs, or fashions. Some I find great, others I might find absurd.
    Well, that's me - enjoyng being picky.
    Last edited by jennylovskt; 05-08-2009 at 11:02 PM.

  13. #178
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think casual once-every-four-years fans hardly know that there is such a thing as men's figure skating.
    Yeah but our boys changed that in 06 - ironically the one that got the hate mail from those casual fans is the reaosn they even noticed the men's event love him or hate him Johnny did more for men's skating in the US in 06 than Evan's comeback in the LP at that competition...
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 05-09-2009 at 05:13 PM. Reason: oh for ironic typos *facepalm*

  14. #179
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    Antmanb

    As someone else said, Japan and S. Korea actively promote their figure skaters because they are at the top of their game. So there is some money in those countries for the sport for the time being.

    Figure Skating, as an International sport, has always been U.S. focused. Meaning this is where the money was to support it. The U.S. is where coaches and skaters came from all over the world. That has changed and the money is drying up. I don't think Britain is going to pick up the slack either, or Italy or anyone else for that matter. There isn't any money in Europe or Britain for them to fill the vacuum that is currently being created. So it is not a good situation for the sport.

    I think it is great that the Eurosport commentators do such a wonderful job, but that has nothing to do with the U.S. CoP is unintelligible to the average U.S. viewer. I don't believe our commentators buy into this European designed system either. We need to see it from the perspective of the average viewer, and not our own insular little skating world, or the sport will die.

    Yes, it's true if Michelle Kwan suddenly announces a return to skating you will see the arenas filled to capacity. But that isn't likely. If Sasha returns and is successful, it may transform the skating landscape somewhat, but she must be successful for that to happen. While she has most certainly been missed, she didn't have the connection with the audiences that Michelle had.

  15. #180
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyla2 View Post
    Figure Skating, as an International sport, has always been U.S. focused. Meaning this is where the money was to support it. The U.S. is where coaches and skaters came from all over the world. That has changed and the money is drying up. I don't think Britain is going to pick up the slack either, or Italy or anyone else for that matter. There isn't any money in Europe or Britain for them to fill the vacuum that is currently being created. So it is not a good situation for the sport.

    I think it is great that the Eurosport commentators do such a wonderful job, but that has nothing to do with the U.S. CoP is unintelligible to the average U.S. viewer. I don't believe our commentators buy into this European designed system either. We need to see it from the perspective of the average viewer, and not our own insular little skating world, or the sport will die.
    Japan has had successful skaters for some time now, and there is money there and should be for some time. In several European countries, skating is very popular and skaters don't need to go to the US to train unless they want to work with specific coaches. It's true, however, that the US market is extremely important.

    I don't believe the problem is CoP. Like you also suggested, I believe it's the lack of female starpower. As has been shown on other threads, the ordinal system could be just as confusing. The only difference is that Michelle Kwan was skating under it. If the US had another top female skater who the general public could connect with, I don't think people will find it that hard to understand that going over 200 is good.

    The Eurosport model has everything to do with the US, because it shows that without requiring an unreasonable amount of effort from the broadcast team, the viewers can easily understand how the judging is done. Eurosport showed more figure skating this season than it had since I started watching (1999).

    A much bigger problem than the judging is that with so many media sources and options, it's much harder to get people interested because there's so much to choose from. Do TV shows still get the kind of ratings they did 10-15 years ago? They don't, right?

    Even major American sports have had times when interest declined. Obviously the total numbers are different, but it can happen. The NBA lost popularity starting in the mid-1990s. The NHL is much more popular in Canada than in the US. And so on. Only the NFL seems to be nothing but successful.

    Finally, I believe CoP is Canadian and not European-designed. This is what Mathman posted about it on this thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Actually, I would say that David Dore -- the long time president of the Canadian federation -- is Cinquanta's right-hand man. Dore is the ISU vice president for figure skating and was the primary architect of the CoP.
    Last edited by Buttercup; 05-09-2009 at 01:54 AM.

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