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Thread: The Returning Skaters for the Olympics

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The Returning Skaters for the Olympics

    It's difficult for me to think of a 'comeback' skater as someone who is doing this as a lark. I do believe they will be disappointed in not winning gold. Of course, ardent fans will stick by them win or lose. However, .....

    After being Olympic gold medalists or podium medalists do they lose something in the final estimation of the public?

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    representing Italy eleonora.d's Avatar
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    I don't know. I just believe they are too many this time, that must mean something.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    As far as "the public" is concerned, it probably has no idea they retired in the first place.

    If the media pumps it up as a comeback effort, people will be sympathetic. That's just how they are. If they win or come close - fabulous story and lasting fame. If they fail - well, it's still a good story and a day of fame.

    BTW - who tries for the Olympics "as a lark"? It's got to be an incredibly grueling and expensive way to spend a year, to say nothing of the pressure. I think that's a very trivializing, even insulting idea. Why is it so hard to accept that athletes love to compete?

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    I doubt that any of those returning for the Olympics consider it a lark. I think it is to satisfy a deep need to compete. For some who have maybe been in transition from living a life on the ice to trying to find something equally as meaningful and satisfying to replace it, it seems a return to something they love.

    Win, lose or draw, the fans will be the winners for seeing some of their favorites from earlier times on the ice once more.

    I applaud the willingness of these skaters to put themselves through the rigors that it takes to be at a competitive level after having been either off the ice or only on "show" ice in the meantime. I wish them well.

    Hopefully, regardless of final placement, they will all feel at the very least the satisfaction of having given it their best shot one more time.

    I don't think it will dim their "fame" should they not win gold. They will forever be remembered for the glory years and loved for the effort, regardless of the result. It gives some of us one more time - or perhaps a first time - to see some of them compete live and in person.

    I'm sure those eligible skaters who've stayed in the mix all along will keep on doing what they've always done - working to improve their own skating from year to year. On any given day, any one of them at this level, continuing or returning can have the skate of their lives and claim the prize. All of them are better than they would've been without the effort.

    What a fabulous season ahead for fans! Can hardly wait for it to start. Bring it on!!

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    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrybari View Post
    whole post
    I agree

    And it is not like they say I come back and they can magically come back and jump triples and quads and win medals again, if a skater needs an effort to improve from previous season, they need double and triple training to pass all the difficulties mentally and physically and be competitive athletes again. If they can do it kudos to them. Even if all the odds are against them from the beginning. And I see it as good for the sport in general. Does it matter they retired for one, two or ten seasons?Who says athletes have a dead line unless they decide to?
    It is easy for us to judge from outside but it is their lives and their effort and we see only the outcome. Thats why medals are not important.
    It is 44 degrees today here, i m whining a bit.

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    After being Olympic gold medalists or podium medalists do they lose something in the final estimation of the public?
    Maybe in the immediate aftermath of the Olympics, but not overall. On the one hand, if you're good enough to come in second, you're good enough to be disappointed by not coming in first (courtesy of Sports Night), and I think that disappointment rings true for both the athletes themselves and the general public. But their career remains. It's not like their previous achievements are wiped out from the collective memory. If anything, it can throw them into sharper relief. Is the "Battle of the Brians" any less memorable because Boitano's performance in 1994 was not up to his previous best? How do you remember Katarina Witt? As the gutsiest and most consistent ladies figure skater of the 80's or as the woman who's last international performance gave her her worst ranking since 1980's Worlds.

    And this was during the sport's heyday. Now, with the sport dwindling in coverage, the casual public don't always know who's been gone for what reasons.

    I'm actually more curious about how die-hard fans approach this, truth be told. And, of course, that varies from person to person and via athlete vis-a-vis our own expectations.

    What are we expecting from Lambiel? From Plushenko? From Cohen? From Shen/Zhao? I think that's what dictates how we view their performance.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong just placed 3rd in the Tour de France at age 37 after 4 years away. He's already announced his plan to compete again next year. What a feat. Who would tell someone like that to step away? A spoilsport, IMHO.

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    This just makes the Olympics, and the Olympic Season, that much more exciting!!!!

    Seriously, can you imagine (rhetorical question here) skating amongst the best of the best, and you win! Ah, I don't even have words for that, one for the ages, for sure, one for the ages, and the history books...

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    It didn't hurt Brian Boitano's or Katarina Witt's career in 1994 even though they had less than the best skates... *shrugs* they're still remembered for what they achieved as well as their efforts in 94...

    Torvill & Dean came back and medalled, but didn't win, and while it was disappointing to their fans, they're still regarded as the best ice dancers by many who just casually watch the sport (granted they believe that because that's what they've been told for eons by the media but that's beside the point)...

    "failure" from "past greats" will be easily forgiven by those that care, and those that don't

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I think much of the replies are from ardent fans of the Sport and of those who skate. I suppose that counts, but the Oly's arena will be filled with ticket holders who are not so savvy in the Sport but will enjoy a bit of a show in the evening after spending so much of the day outdoors. A good chance to relax They will know from the media that so many prior OLY medalists are there to give it another go. That should give the event a boost in popularity.

    Of the returnees, thus far, only 1 has a prior Oly gold AFAIK, so one can understand the desire of others to try again for that coveted prize. That is one of the motivations. There are other motivations, of course.

    There really were no returnees in 2006, so maybe this will be a blast especially if a winner is not a returnee.

  11. #11
    Rinkside
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    Yeah - I think because there will be quite a few returnees - the 2010 is going to be one of the most exciting Olympics for a while, who know's who'll win!

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for joining us, xSk8m8x. Post often, post long!

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    Custom Title fumie_fumie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    Lance Armstrong just placed 3rd in the Tour de France at age 37 after 4 years away. He's already announced his plan to compete again next year. What a feat. Who would tell someone like that to step away? A spoilsport, IMHO.
    You will notice that there are a lot to his comeback, then just straightforward comeback.

    In pro-tour circuit, you see a rider past or pushing 40 still being competitive (aka Jens Voigt). It is an endurance sport, which is a different kettle of fish. It is also a team sport, too. He had Levi Leiphimer (4th before DNS) and Andreas Kloeden (6th in GC) doing pace-making for him in the Alps, Pyrenees, allowing him to conserve a huge amount of energy. Who else had the luxury of two super-domestiques who were so high up in GC standings? He also had Johann Bruyneel, the master tactician, telling him exactly what to do at crosswinds.

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    You know today I was thinking about all the returning skaters thus far, and how much respect and admiration I truly have for each & every one, in every discipline. My hat goes off to these warhorses/gladiators/champions/dog soldiers/et al.

    They all have been tested, and bear the scars to prove it, yet they continue on with the true heart of a champion, a warrior.

    I just hope the young ones out there know how lucky they are to skate against these titans, how very special it is to have them return for one more battle, the honor to skate amongst the best of the best. This is what real sport should be all about in my humble opinion.

    And maybe one day these youngsters will one day themselves return when they too have been tested & bear the scars as well. And they can tell their kids & grandkids about it, from one generation to another.

    All of this reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "The thornbird pays its life for that one song, yet the whole world stills to listen...and God in his heaven, smiles." - The Thornbirds

  15. #15
    Down With It
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    I seriously wonder why all these comebacks are taking place. There must be something going on that we don't know about.

    I can't imagine they are coming back solely for the "experience". Like Jenny Kirk said in one of her blogs, this "I want to skate my best" is just PR filler...these skaters really think they can win again (or win for the first time, if they came up short in '06). Time will tell how much of a chance they really have.


    After being Olympic gold medalists or podium medalists do they lose something in the final estimation of the public?
    Journalists like Phil Hersh claim that a comeback attempt, even if it fails completely, "wouldn't take away from their past accomplishments". I'm inclined to say YMMV here, but it might depend on the skater. The more the skater has accomplished, the less likely there is to be disappointment among his/her fans if they were to come up short or pull out.

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