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Thread: Ladies LP

  1. #436
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    And now we interrupt our regularly scheduled thread for a KW rant on the absurd business practices of Speedy & Co....

    Quote Originally Posted by kyla2 View Post
    Michelle Kwan literally carried the sport, nationally and internationally. She had several rivalries-Lipinski, Slutskaya and Cohen. They were all at the top of their game, with many fans of their own, but the star was Michelle. Her competitors were interesting people in their own right which added to the drama, and the media stoked the rivalries. The cyberspace was buzzing far more than it is now. Fan sites and the media were obsessed with her. Books, newspapers and the internet covered her every move. She had endorsements all over the place. Yu Na Kim and Mao Asada are pale comparisons. Not even close. Michelle had true star power because of her strong and appealing personality, and her ability to engage the audience with beautifully designed programs, which she skated with passion and heart. There is no one on the scene now who comes close and consequently, skating is taking a nose dive, especially in the USA. When Michelle skated, the arenas were packed everywhere she competed. Not anymore.
    Kyla - you are so correct but I also think the overall quality of skating was greater during the Kwan era - esp. in the US... People don't like to admit the impact Kwan had on skating here and abroad from casual interest to butts in the seat. But it is what it is...

    Quote Originally Posted by oxade21 View Post
    Oh please, give me a break. Why don't you compare Kwan's endorsements in South Korea and Japan while you at that. Just because Kwan was popular in US does not mean Mao or Kim are not as popular in their own countries.
    I think you're missing the point regarding endorsements... In terms of world wide endorsements, where else is Mao and Kim pulling in the big money? Or rather international endorsements. Also, despite the popularity of both of these outstanding skaters, either has penetrated the world wide market quite like Kwan or Irina. This might point to an overall decline in skating's popularity vs. individual countries or skaters.

    Quote Originally Posted by skate4ever View Post
    I agree with oxade21.

    Kyla2, I think you're talking from an American perspective and it's safe for you to delete the world "especially" from your claim. In Japan and Korea, the attention Michelle Kwan received in her hedays pales in comparison to what Yuna Kim and Mao Asada is getting today.

    Even in the U.S., Michelle was not the prime athlete of her day. She was not even close to athletes like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, and received less endorsements than her female contemporaries like Mia Hamm or Marion Jones (regardless of the fact that Marion was performing under the influence of illegal steroids).

    Yes, Michelle Kwan was a great skater but it's a stretch to say that her popularity at the time is incomparable to that of Mao and Yuna today in every part of the world.
    Skate 4 Ever: I used to do sports marketing for a living and I can tell you that with the expception of Mia Hamm & the Williams Sisters- no female athlete can compare to Michelle Kwan's ability to sell a product in the US. Marion Jones is a non factor in the female athlete endorsement world - even before the steriods.

    And no one, espcially a figure skater, can ever compare to Michael Jordon or Tiger Woods - so that's comparing apples to prime rib. These two defy logic.

    Where Kwan dominates is her ability to transcend a niche sport like figure skating and become an icon in her own right. She drove audiences to a sport that many might not even watch outside of two weeks every four years. Sometimes just to root against her but the INTEREST was there. That's the beauty of Kwan's influence across the globe. This is not the current reality. There is a difference between media interest and butts in seats. It is beautiful, howere, that Mao & Kim (esp. Kim) are inspiring young girls to skating rinks in their country.

    My Take on the Kwan Era vs. the CoP Era of Skating & Business...What I'm offering up is an analysis that goes beyond fandom and to the business of sports marketing. I do think that there are skaters with the same potential to reach Michelle's level of financial success, but Kwan's influnece came over a long, storied career. Mao and Kim will need to invest more seasons into the sport, competing and winning at the highest levels to have Kwan-level impact. With all the talk of Kim retiring after this season, this might might not be possible.

    One last thought for the "You're only looking at this from a US perspective, therefore you're wrong!" crowd... America drives sports marketing across the globe. And the athletes that get the big money are basketball, golf, tennis and football. Soccer / Futball is another sport that gets major endorsement dollars world wide. Extreme sports continue to grow in market share and influence. Skating does not fall into this catergory. Skating is a niche sport who has watched its ability to generate the money and interest decline since the 2006 games.

    The business of skating continues to decline and arguing about who is more popular should be secondary to actually securing the future of the sport with sponsorship dollars, corporate endorsements and television time. Don't argue with each other - argue with the geniuses running the ISU.

  2. #437
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    Thank you, KW. And if anyone needs more proof of what you say, look at who was the real star at Yu Na's own show last August.

  3. #438
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    Yes, you are absolutely right, the actual quality of skating has declined, Michelle is gone, and I am ranting (rage, rage against the dying of the light). Yu Na Kim's jumps are textbook, but I find her music and choreography lackluster. I feel like I am watching the same program again and again. I actually prefer Mao's skating when she is on. A more interesting skater. Neither of them Michelle. Neither of them Sasha, Irina, or Tara. Skating was once beautiful, now it's simply predictable. Also, where is Lori Nichol when we need her?????????? Well, I guess all things change and not necessarily for the better.

  4. #439
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    WoW!

    See? The Kween always wins! You thought Mao vs Yu-Na was bad? They ain't got nothing against Michelle! People will forget Asada and Kim when they leave the sport, but Kwan will always live on!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shallwedansu View Post
    WoW!

    See? The Kween always wins! You thought Mao vs Yu-Na was bad? They ain't got nothing against Michelle! People will forget Asada and Kim when they leave the sport, but Kwan will always live on!!!
    Holy, didn't check this thread for awhile and all of a sudden we're talking about Michelle.

    While I agree that Michelle will definitely be remembered, I don't think Mao and Yuna will be forgotten. They're still young, and I don't see them as the type of skater who retires after winning a big title. I think they'll stick around and compete as rivals for awhile.

  6. #441
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    Well, as I wrote in the beginning, I didn't want anyone to make comparison to Kwan because I knew this story will go forever like this. So let's stop talking about that in this thread. To me, it seems like Kwan lovers' best will be Kwan forever and Yu-Na lovers' best will be Yu-Na forever and Mao lover's best will be Mao forever. I also see that some super uber loyal fans are reluctant to admit what's against their belief, and yea that's natural. Just stop undermining other skaters for your favorite skater. Different people think in different ways. Again, every skater is different. Period.
    Last edited by ehdtkqorl123; 10-18-2009 at 03:11 PM.

  7. #442
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    Quote Originally Posted by herro View Post
    Holy, didn't check this thread for awhile and all of a sudden we're talking about Michelle.

    While I agree that Michelle will definitely be remembered, I don't think Mao and Yuna will be forgotten. They're still young, and I don't see them as the type of skater who retires after winning a big title. I think they'll stick around and compete as rivals for awhile.
    I agree with you. I do not know exactly the situation of Mao in Japan, but here in Korea I don't think that Yuna will retire so soon. Actually she attempted to quit skating several times before(because of the injuries, the financial problem and the horrible training condition here then), but she has continued. When she went to Canada for skating, the Korean coach who had coached her when she was a kid asked Wilson only one thing - to make her a happy skater, and Wilson made it!!

    Her short-term goal may be winning in the Olympic games, but she mentioned that that's not her untimate goal. As long as she remains as a happy skater without injuries, the color of medal may not bother her that much.

    My Japanese friend has once told me that Mao has grown as a princess on the ice and many Japanese have a high expectation for her. That's why I feel that she will remain on the ice, experiencing ups and downs like the others.
    Last edited by ilunga1965; 10-18-2009 at 03:27 PM.

  8. #443
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    Kwanford Wife

    Thank you for sharing your insightful view on the subject!
    All I can say is that the figure skating was lucky to have Michelle, and I hope the current and future stars can fill her shoes.

  9. #444
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin View Post
    There wasn't just one bunch of flowers on the ice but several. I remember a guy sitting two rows below me threw it like a discus thrower to the ice. It wasn't sunflowers, i think, but it was thrown near the spot where yuna later attempted her flip jump. I am not saying yuna missed the jump because of this but i felt uncomfortable by the items thrown unpacked.
    To me, the common sense solution would be, don't throw anything onto the ice, period. Instead, why couldn't the fans come down to the boards and hand them to the flower girls and boys.

    But then again, it's a tradition (sort of like throwing beer cans at the opposing team's centerfielder in baseball ) It lets the crowd get into the game and show support for their fave.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    ...Where I live there's a sizable Korean community. The local Korean newspaper often devotes a whole page to Kim, even for a Grand Prix event. (An acquaintance showed me the page from his current paper. The picture was a gigantic close-up worthy of a Hollywood A-lister.)
    My local newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, ran a big picture today of Savchenko and Szolkowy in their SP white-face clown outfits, under the caption, "Mimes on Ice -- and I dare you to think of a better can't miss combination" (snicker, snicker). No mention of the competition, just a picture designed to show how silly the sport is.

  10. #445
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    It's About The Whole Sport

    Yes, the Golden Age of Skating= Michelle Kwan. I guess our point is that it doesn't have to be the end of the golden age if a skater would step up to the plate and the ISU backed off. By that I mean put together a program that has music that brings the audience in (something that evokes emotion and not this monotone, uninspiring elevator music that is interesting only as a dissection project to PHD's in music), skate it like you actually have a connection to the music and not going through the motion, and choreograph it with steps that actually relate to the music (not this flailing around with the arm stuff that makes a pretense to graceful and purposeful movement). This is all doable. Without a connection to the audience, a skater will not be memorable. Right now, there is no one with an international connection. So for those of you that are unhappy about Michelle being part of the conversation, too bad, so sad but this will be the case until someone rises to the challenge of making skating a sport people care about.

  11. #446
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Long before there was a Michelle Kwan there was...JOANIE WESTON, the highest-paid female athlete of the 1960s.

    Joanie was the star of the San Francisco Bombers roller derby team. (She was played by Rachel Welsh in the 1972 movie, "Kansas City Bombers.")

    He-e-e-re's Joanie
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-18-2009 at 05:24 PM.

  12. #447
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    I guess I just don't see how "Danse Macabre" or "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" or "Rhapsody in Blue" "The Piano" are pieces of music of interest only to PHD students. I don't see how something as playful as Kim's Bond piece can described as monotone. I just don't get it. I don't get NEGATIVE comparisons of the current crop of skaters vs. Tara Lipinski (seriously, you lost me utterly with that statement).

    I think Figure Skating is essentially a niche sport. Michelle Kwan transcended that and it's to her credit. Yu-Na Kim has transformed herself into the most popular person in South Korea and that's to her credit.

    The fact the sport isn't as popular in America now as it was fifteen years ago, well - it's natural. But all this handwringing about the ISU and the current judging system just sounds like empty nostalgia ("Back in the good old days....")

  13. #448
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    Now that is a real conspiracy!!
    I thought a young GIRL cleaned up the mess, not a boy.
    So was it a boy or a girl?
    there was a girl and a boy, both over the top with flowers and gifts,these suspicious sunflowers were left last cause boy went to pick them and couldnt then girl came to help and clean, but really I didnt pay attention who had what at the end cause they were both up to the sky with gifts, and I had near me fans of Japan who were teaching me words, and then the announcement came not to throw things unwrapped and I took notice..if i knew the whole fuss about it I would have taken serious notes
    I dont like the throwing things habit much, especially when you sit and things behind you dont reach the final destination and are dropped on your head But if it is good for the skaters and it gives them a smile it is fine

    MAo was not on the end of exhibition, maybe she left for russia right away?

  14. #449
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyla2 View Post
    Yes, the Golden Age of Skating= Michelle Kwan. I guess our point is that it doesn't have to be the end of the golden age if a skater would step up to the plate and the ISU backed off.
    I don't think it's that simple. I like Michelle, but she is not the be-all-and-end-all of figure skating. She was the right skater (attractive, talented, and consistently victorious) who, perhaps more importantly, rose to prominence at the right time: when interest in figure skating was coasting at an all-time high thanks to the knee-whack hoopla. Michelle's meteoric rise to fame would perhaps be quite different if she started to work her way up the ranks today.

    Popularity, like fame, is often a fickle thing--it comes and goes, especially for a niche sport like figure skating. Figure skating's popularity has indeed waned in the US, and blaming the current figure skaters for having lousy, unmemorable programs that don't connect to the audience does a disservice to the many very talented figure skaters today, and really doesn't answer any questions at all (emotions are subjective, after all).

    And really, I don't think you can watch programs like Lambiel's Poeta LP or Yu-Na's Danse Macabre SP and sincerely say that they are unmemorable programs with monotone, uninspiring music and flailing-arms choreography.

  15. #450
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    there was a girl and a boy, both over the top with flowers and gifts,these suspicious sunflowers were left last cause boy went to pick them and couldnt then girl came to help and clean, but really I didnt pay attention who had what at the end cause they were both up to the sky with gifts, and I had near me fans of Japan who were teaching me words, and then the announcement came not to throw things unwrapped and I took notice..if i knew the whole fuss about it I would have taken serious notes
    I dont like the throwing things habit much, especially when you sit and things behind you dont reach the final destination and are dropped on your head But if it is good for the skaters and it gives them a smile it is fine

    MAo was not on the end of exhibition, maybe she left for russia right away?

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