this, this, or that - the last two at least didn't make it through the entire season (though I'm not sure there was much improvement in Yuko's case).
To me, men's figure skating is much more exciting - more contenders, more variety, and, to be shallow, more eye candy . I'm all for making it the highlight of any figure skating event. I thought one reason they flipped the order at 2008 Worlds was that the Swedish men were much more competitive than the women. But whatever the reason, I was very happy about it.At worlds in gbg 2008 the final competion was the mens LP instead of as always the womens LP. I think the organizers had to fight a bit for that, but it turned out to be the right decision. I was there and felt the immense support from the large audience.
I agree that the men's division should be the finale - for the reasons stated by others.
Depth of field makes it less predictable which in turn keeps the people on the edge of their seats wondering who's going to bring their A game to the ice that day. 2009 men's worlds comes to mind. A nail biter right down to the last 45 seconds.
The women don't have that edge right now - with the top runners pretty much a given. I'd rather sit on the edge of my seat than settle into it.
Back to the topic, the point is that figure skating should improve its position as a sport. It's not about being a macho - it's about being an athlete. And the difficulty in passing this message lies in the fact that a lot of artistry is involved in this field and it cannot be separated.
the Toreros. Is bull-fighting a sport? Well, it could be considered one. Are the men athletic and powerful? Definitely! Is it considered masculine? Heck, yeah!
Why do you have to pick on the Russian costumes? That's pretty much what they have always worn for skating. Remember Gordeeva / Grinkov 1988, in baby-blue with pink-white flower ruffles for both of them. This is an international sport, people come together from all sorts of countries and cultures. And in some of those pink and shiny is also "manly".
That's what I don't get with this whole campaign: Does Skate Canada want to change their athletes, all the North-American ones or all the ones in the figure skating world? Well, good luck convincing the Russian Federation that what they have done for decades should now stop because Skate Canada says so. Or do they only want their athletes to appear toned down à la V/M at Worlds? What kind of message is that to the Canadian audience? "Our guys are serious sportsmen without the bling and any gayness - and the rest of the world sends a bunch of poncey costume puppets" - and therefore what should happen?
Let's say D/D look even more tame and well-behaved than normally next year at the Olympics, have a good performance and the audience thinks "Oh, our serious sportsmen were so great". They are followed by K/S, she completely over the top again with all the colours of this world on her dress, plus loads of shiny stuff - he in one of those tight tight body suits that show everything and with some really nice man-cleavage. They are clean and land the Quad, are of course in front of D/D.
Should the Canadian audience now get worked up because their serious sportsmen loose against the poncey costume puppets? Because that is what this campaign implies, if you look like that, you are not a serious athlete - or in the worst case scenario - even gay! (Not that I think that or that it matters, just an example of a very colourful and sparkly men's costume)
Last edited by Medusa; 05-04-2009 at 06:23 AM.
It's apparent that the female posters want costumes as colorful and glitzy as possible - not for the Sport but for fashion discussion.
I propose a Schism to request Men to skate in uniform and the Ladies to wear the glitz.
Still no one has given an answer to my question. What exactly is the purpose of ornate costumes? It's not traditional. No one back in St. Peterburg wore ornate costumes at the first World Championship. Everything was plain until Sonia Henie and her movies brought on the glitz.
how to do a tutu right - and by a dance team not known for their great sense of fashion... And it would have worked with a different color scheme, too. Plenty of Russian skaters have managed to wear colorful, fun outfits without going over the top.
That having been said, two of my examples were decidedly non-Russian. Ugly costumes are ugly no matter who wears them. Even my favorite skaters are not exempt. But you are right: the bottom line should always be who skated best, not who looked best.
The Big Question: Should those costumes be part of the scoring?
But seriously, Daisuke seemed to wear what his Russian coaches/ choreographers wanted him to.
The video refers to this creation (by TAT, I guess? Remember what she did to Evan?!):
The Romeo and Juliet thingy was a product of Morozov's genius.
I'm not sure Daisuke himself would have chosen the same outfits, he probably just obeyed.
Those K/S doll and clown costumes are theatrical, IMO. Yuko does look like a teenage girl sometimes, but ah, as long as they land their jumps...
Think who are the majority in the audiences? No matter what you do, the majority men in the general population won't like men's figure skating. People who like figure skating are the people who have found the beauty, excitement, attractiveness, and strength in this sport. Take any of these away will undermine the sport and drive away even the current audiences.
The thing that Elvis said in the interview article linked in this thread, that seemed most important to me, was this:
"There's no risk....There has to be risk in order for sport to happen. Without the risk, you've got nothing.'".
I think that he was trying to tell us something that may too easily be forgotten. When I watch a male sports competition, I do want it to be more than a Holiday on Ice exhibition. I want to feel thrilled. I have noticed at even the non-competitive shows which I have attended, when the audience gasps, and how enthusiastically they applaud various things, and I have seen that they do not respond equally to everything. When I saw Lucinda Ruh skate in a U.S. Stars on Ice show years ago, she did a fine job of showing her mastery of spins, but she did little if any jumping. The audience's response was tepid, at best. That stayed in my memory.
It was apparent that, even with a female skater, and in a non-competitive show, the audience wanted some thrills. The uncertainty, the *risk*, of landing jumps, provides those thrills. I believe that with a male skater, the majority of the audience most definitely expect thrills, and especially in an athletic competition. "Amaze us!" seems to be the dominant emotion; they come to be amazed, to be thrilled. The mass TV audience that can provide hefty financial support of the sport, does not consist merely of former skaters or those currently studying skating with their coaches; it consists of average people. Mathman once pointed out succinctly and eloquently that you cannot *make* people like a scoring system by scolding them. In the words of the old proverb, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.".
In business, the main thing is to "know your demographic", i.e., to know enough about your consumer or audience, to be able to give them what they want, so that they will keep coming back for more. No businessman ever got rich by arguing with his customers about why they *should* like what he has for sale. He has to please *them*, not himself, if he is going to make money.
Elvis points out that "It has nothing to do with your sexual preference. It's all about what men's skating is -- power and strength. Whether he's gay or straight, it doesn't matter." This is not about costume or orientation; it is about the power inherent in the male body. It is about why we are particularly impressed when a female can do the triple axel, because we *are* aware of the sheer anatomical differences that affect landing the most difficult jumps. Because of this, even the most fluid and lyrical of male skaters does have to be able to show power and strength, when in competition. This is why a solid, strong triple axel is the "without which, nothing" in men's competitive skating.
Exactly. Stephane had been the best those nights. He could win wearing a Speedo.I don't agree. I think anybody else would have looked ridiculous, but Stéphane managed to pull it off. I think it really fit with the music, the choreography etc.