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Thread: Where are Russian Ladies & Men?

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Where are Russian Ladies & Men?

    Was wondering about the lack of new Russian men & Lady singles skaters?
    If they are not as dominant as they once were in pairs or as deep as they once were in Dance atleast they are still fielding very good championship caliber teams.
    It was nice to see Alena at Worlds this year and although I believe she is as old as Yuna and Mao, it was still nice to see one Russian lady in the competition.
    Plushenko is probably an automatic lock to make the men's team if he is healthy but what happened to the almost dynastic sitaution the Russian men were presenting only a few short years ago?
    I have heard the excuse that all the Russian coaches have moved to USA. If that is the case then why aren't we doing better?
    I don't believe even 10% of the Russian coaches have moved here. On top of that Russia is a country that was floating in oil and mineral money for the better part of this decade and their economic situation is much better than it was in the 90's.
    So I wonder what's up? Are there new stars on the horizon?

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    Last year's Russian Championship was won by 11-year-old Adelina Sotnikova, , with 11-year-old Elisaveta Tuktamysheva in second place. 12-year-old Polina Shelepen was in 6th place.

    Shelepen will be eligible for the JGP this coming season, with Sotnikova and Tuktamysheva eligible in 2010-2111.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    On top of that Russia is a country that was floating in oil and mineral money for the better part of this decade and their economic situation is much better than it was in the 90's.
    It's obvious. Those girls and boys who are skating now for Russian team are products of the country destruction in 1991 and following bad 90s. It's true - a lot of upscale coaches and retired sportsmen left Russia in 90s but recently at least main names came back - Tarasova, Moskvina, Vasiliev, Zhulin etc.
    Those girls who were mentioned by chuckm are products of "oily" 00's, so let's see what they are able to do. Not so long left to wait.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The previous political scene in the USSR inspired their athletes to win. After the end of the USSR, Russia continued strongly for a while with those skaters who were brought up to inspire and so they did well in all disciplines.

    The new batch of Russian skaters are as talented, but they do not seem to skate with the inspiration that the Soviet skaters had. With Irina and Evgeni gone, no new challengers appeared on the scene. There is a demand for Evgeni to return to competitive skating to bring back some glory to Russia.

    Imo, Evgeni will be a strong contender if his standards haven't dropped. Alena Leonova is a strong Tech skater and consistent. However, her presentation has much to be desired.

    I would love to see as many youtubes of the Russian Nationals as possible. Lutai can be impressive as well as Borodulin.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Russia has about 3 men "out there" who all seem to be about the same level..fighting for top 5 finishes at GP events. None of them have really broken from the pack or lived up to their potential as of yet. I guess that Russia pushes most talented young skaters into pairs or dance...but thier most successful pair team is half japanese and aren't Domina and Shabalin originally from Ukraine?

    I think the fall of the soviets spelled doom for figure skating and it's full effects are just now being felt. By this time in history all the skaters have started skating after the fall of the soviets.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Joesitz;395343]

    The new batch of Russian skaters are as talented, but they do not seem to skate with the inspiration that the Soviet skaters had. With Irina and Evgeni gone, no new challengers appeared on the scene. There is a demand for Evgeni to return to competitive skating to bring back some glory to Russia.

    Imo, Evgeni will be a strong contender if his standards haven't dropped. Alena Leonova is a strong Tech skater and consistent. However, her presentation has much to be desired.


    Thanks for the replies. When you say "inspiration" I don't doubt there were patriotic feelings (along with fear of failure). But we also note how many skaters and coaches left for the west at the earliest possibilty. Of course there are many different factors to consider but patriotism might not be on the top of the list. No one has mentioned this but it seems obvious that the major factor in the downturn in Russian skating is the loss of state sponsorship and the system that sought out and made possible for children from any socio-economic background to receive the best training from an earliest age possible.

    I dont mean to sound cranky or anti- Soviet as I know there were pros and cons to that form of government just as there are for the democracies.
    I sort of miss the Russian factor in the singles arena and look forward to the return of the sometimes great and inspirational skating they brought to the competitons.
    I always find myself in the minority but for me Plushenko was about the greatest male skater ever. I look forward to his return and like many I wonder if he still has enough to reclaim his Olympic title.
    Elena is enjoyable and with some improvements she could get to the next level.
    So maybe a year or two after Vancouver a strong Russian presense will return - perhaps first at European championships and then at Worlds.
    It should be interesting seeing it happen.
    Last edited by janetfan; 05-18-2009 at 08:25 PM.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinymavy15 View Post
    but thier most successful pair team is half japanese and aren't Domina and Shabalin originally from Ukraine?
    Nope. She is from Kirov and he is from Samara (formerly Kujbyshev). Shabalin did, though, skate in Bulgaria for a bit.

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    The "dynasty" that see,s most at risk with this Olympics though is clearly pairs, where I believe a Russian team has either won outright, or shared (Salt Lake double gold debacle) the Olympic title at every Olympics since the incomparable Protopopovs.

    They are still skating up in Lake Placid! Maybe they should be asked to return to eligibility along with Evgeni!

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Does the decline in figure skating have any correlation with a similar decline in Russian gymnastics?

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    Banned Simone's Avatar
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    ... Bring back the Soviet System...

    http://i40.tinypic.com/293j4n9.jpg

    ... Uncle Joe knows the way...

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    Quote Originally Posted by lcd View Post
    I believe a Russian team has either won outright, or shared (Salt Lake double gold debacle) the Olympic title at every Olympics since the incomparable Protopopovs.

    They are still skating up in Lake Placid! Maybe they should be asked to return to eligibility along with Evgeni!
    :chorus:

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    Denis Ten

    Do you guys remember Denis Ten?

    If a "Russian skater" on this thread means a skater from a former constituent republic in USSR, I'd like to say that Denis Ten is the skater who fall into this category.

    Denis Ten, 2006 Kazakhstani national champ, showed his astonishing potential in the LP choreograhed by Tarasova at Worlds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeZM5Ilt4qA

    I think he could be one of the biggest threats to 2014 Olympics given his age.
    Last edited by szidon; 05-19-2009 at 08:30 AM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    janetfan - Yes the fear factor was a element in skating well. Those athletes during the Soviet times were living a good life compared with others, and they did not want to lose that. I do think they also were proud to be soviet citizens.

    After the fall of the USSR, some artists left Russia, particularly ballet dancers, but many remained. And those skating coaches who left also went back. Mischin and TT are considered by many as the best, and they are still there.

    The World is totally based on money now and national inspiration is not enough. I can't imagine a return to the Soviet system of athletics. I think the present coaches are fine and awaiting for their special pupils to start winning gold. I think it will happen.

    Evgeni is one of those returning skaters such as Kat, Kurt, and Brian B. It was more for them, personally, than for their countries.

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    Russia has about 3 men "out there" who all seem to be about the same level..fighting for top 5 finishes at GP events. None of them have really broken from the pack or lived up to their potential as of yet. I
    It is a lost generation. Personally I don't expect anything from them to show.

    .but thier most successful pair team is half japanese
    It doesn't mean anything global. Why not?

    And talking about the "bad 90's" I'd like to add that that time children's sport almost disappeared, a lot of ice rinks all over the country were closed and as it was mentioned earlier governmental sponsorship diminished dramatically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    .... would love to see as many youtubes of the Russian Nationals as possible....
    Ditto, ditto, ditto. Thanks, Joe!

    Fortunately, more than one person did upload videos from last season's RN; I just checked my bookmarks and discovered that all those uploaded by one user have been withdrawn. My guess is that the user uploaded something from a category other than RN, something over which a copyright claim was staked, so *all* the videos that person had uploaded are gone now, including those over which the complainant did not have any rights. Sic transit gloria mundi, and thus goeth the present way of the Net. This is why we need RN videos to be uploaded by more than one YouTube contributor.

    As to the general subject of this thread, Alexei Yagudin publicly warned that Russian skating would go through a difficult period, due to the lack of any kind of support system for their talented children, after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is indeed remarkable how much of Russian skating has recovered lately, particularly in pairs and ice dancing. Moreover, we have to remember that Soviet skating encompassed skaters of many nations, which gave an advantage that Russian skating, of course, does not now possess. Nonetheless, it was a golden age for specifically Russian men's skating, when Urmanov, Kulik, Yagudin, and Plushenko (Plyushchenko) won Olympic gold in a row, in 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006.

    Now we come to the next Olympics, with bated breath. Will Plushenko return? If he does, can he win again? Will any other of the Russian men be able to win? As I recall, Russia has two entry slots for this Olympics, so they can give one to a veteran winner, and one to whomever they consider their best hope among the next generation of skaters, from among whom a giant is yet to emerge.
    Last edited by Dodhiyel; 05-19-2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: To add RN to the word "videos"

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