11-23-2009, 02:42 AM
Also, I believe Lysacek's win took place late at night on the west coast, which would mean the wee hours of the morning on the east coast, where a huge chunk of the US population lives. Most of the LA Worlds coverage was hidden on a low-profile cable network. Only the ladies free skate, which, ironically, was the one event the Americans didn't stand a chance in, got televised on network TV. And, as expected, the ratings were quite low (worse than the US championships IIRC). NBC did, however, re-show Lysacek's winning FS at the conclusion of the telecast.
(On a side note, if an American pairs, ice dance or male skater happens to win an OGM, and the ladies don't medal, I wonder if NBC would ever consider airing that discipline in prime time during the US championships instead of the traditional ladies event)
Last edited by R.D.; 11-23-2009 at 02:48 AM.
11-23-2009, 06:50 AM
In the '80's there may not have been a US Ice Princess but there was a lady who (whether you love her skating or not) transcended boundaries and was nearly always fascinating to watch--and her name was Katerina Witt. From 1984 and for the next 10 years, I can't begin to count the number of US skating fans--including lots of red-blooded males--who had no problem sitting down with a tall cold one and a competition with Katerina in it, first eligible and then pro. They knew about her more than most of the US lady competitors. That their interest wasn't necessarily in the skating per se is beside the point--they were at least tuning in and watching. And this was a time when figure skating only had TV coverage of the big events (cue ABC's Wide World of Sports music here). Katerina wasn't necessarily the most technically proficient skater but she had presence in spades and a broad based appeal across a lot of audience demographics. And like Michelle, Katerina was a ferocious competitor.
Originally Posted by janetfan
Two points: 1) Right now, post-Michelle--there is not a Larger-than-Life presence among ladies' elite skaters that can singlehandedly pull in US live show and TV audiences. Not a US lady nor a lady from elsewhere. I look out there and don't see anyone with that "IT" factor....yet.
2) Most casual fans want to see LADIES (or at least women )skating and not pre-pubescent girls. I think this cuts across nearly all adult demographics of gender and age group. This tends to support not lowering the minimum age for senior competitions.
11-23-2009, 08:55 AM
Last edited by janetfan; 11-23-2009 at 09:00 AM.
11-23-2009, 09:08 AM
Layfan and R.D., interesting points about Evan. Regarding TV networks treating ladies' events well over other disciplines despite lack of close competitions, same is happening in Japan. NHK (the broadcaster) decided to show ladies' live and you know how the competition turned out. Many wonder if it would've been wiser to show men's live instead with so many great performances (not to mention the huge crowd reaction). I happen to be enjoying men's much more this season.
Fascinating to learn about the 80's and 90's with Katarina Witt and Brians and Button and all that!!
11-23-2009, 09:52 AM
If Yuna had been an American skater, I'm sure she could've filled the void since America is desperate for another top female skater, and Yuna can deliver -- look at the record-setting scores from her over the years even with her back injuries. (08-09 was the 1st time she skated pain-free.)
Originally Posted by janetfan
But she's not, and given that many American fans want American skaters to win, I highly doubt she's going to have the level of fame and popularity enjoyed by top American ladies such as Dorothy, Peggy, Kristi, Michelle, etc.
BTW -- Korea has a big problem w/ the next generation of skaters since it doesn't have anyone who can be Yuna II. So after Yuna retires, I'm sure FS popularity will dwindle in Korea.
11-23-2009, 10:32 AM
Do you still think that, Joesitz? I certainly find that their great triumvirate of Kulik, Yagudin, and Plushenko are very different from one another, and very individual. Or do you mean right now? If that's what you mean, I suppose I could agree with you. But not across the sweep of Russian/Soviet skating history.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
Granted, they haven't had distinctive solo competitors until recently. I heard that in the days of Soviet dominance, they used to channel their best skaters into pairs and ice dancing, where they ruled the world, leaving the lesser skaters for the individual disciplines. Certainly the skaters I call to mind from those days haven't left much of a mark on my memory.
I also agree that there are sometimes Russian pairs who have been what one could call businesslike. (Out of charity, I will not name the ones I see that way.) In their time, they were technically solid as all Russians are but never brought any special personality to their competition. They showed up, they skated, they won, and in a few years they retired. But the standouts through the years have been unique and are still beloved: Rodnina with both her partners, Gordeyeva and Grinkov, Dmitriev with both his partners, ice dancers like Klimova and Ponomarenko or (favorites of mine) Usova and Zhulin.
11-23-2009, 11:04 AM
Dreaming and dancing
Wow, you know very well.
Originally Posted by hikki
I wonder which countries have more people who skate themselves. I feel that I come across a lot of skaters and ex-skaters on this board. But I wonder if the situation is similar elsewhere. I have an impression that the US and Canada have lots of rinks.
11-23-2009, 11:05 AM
"Hold an edge and look sexy!"
*sigh* What an underwhelming event this was . . . kind of remniscent of the 1997 Skate Canada prior to the Nagano Olympic Games where all the skaters had flawed performances. Joannie skated like no one at this event was pushing her (which was true), sort of like how she has been able to skate at Canadian Nationals and still win. I can't say that I blame her; no use in giving your best performances in November. It seems all the ladies are pacing themselves to peak at the right time later in the season, as we've seen many uninspiring performances from everyone. I hope we are treated to better performances at the Grand Prix Final and at the Olympics from everyone. GO LADIES!
11-23-2009, 11:11 AM
Dreaming and dancing
I don't know. They could get even more anxious for not skating well earlier. These performances won't help their confidence.
11-23-2009, 11:31 AM
Like these pairs?
Originally Posted by Olympia
(a) Eltsova & Bushkov
(b) Shishkova & Naumov
(c) Petrova & Tikhonov
I can't remember a single performance from any of these guys. Not even any of their music. I must have been either snoozzzzzing or on refrigerator break. Always got the impression they were mostly placeholders, and got the nod from the judges due to influence of Russian Fed on the panels of the times.
11-23-2009, 11:42 AM
Well all the Russian pairs teams had great basic skating skills. I remember in comments about Petrova/Tikhonov vs P/T and Zhang/Zhang at the Olympics was it Sandra? said that while the Chinese may be more fun to watch, that the Russian pairs will beat the Chinese skaters on basic skating skills every time...I'm not so sure this would work though with K/S but they aren't exactly an old school Russian pair.
Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie
I'm not sure either about all the Russians being alike I guess there are some similar styles. But I think Petrenko too while yes Ukranian was a Soviet skater, was different from Plushenko and Yagudin too.
I also think there were differences between M/D and G/G too. I mean of course all the Russians were pretty classical but there was differences within that. However, I think the core of Russian pairs great skating skills training/ballet training. Is something that frankly all the skaters should strive towards.
Last edited by bekalc; 11-23-2009 at 11:49 AM.
11-23-2009, 11:45 AM
You speak the truth on this. I am trying hard to think of a Russian skater in any discipline that showed up at major competition with crummy basics....and am drawing a complete blank.
Originally Posted by bekalc
11-23-2009, 11:52 AM
Well now its a big different. I don't think Leonova has great basics, although she's not as bad as Zhang by any stretch. But we have to take into account the flight of so many coaches/the fact that families couldn't afford training. However, now with their young juniors you can see that this is already really improving.
Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie
(Can't stand that they let people like Voronov have such bad posture though)
Maybe if some of those teams that had been mentioned had been American/Canadian etc. They would have gotten more attention on getting better choregraphy to stand out more etc. But considering the Russians ALWAYS had better teams, I wouldn't be surprised if that much attention was put on them.
Last edited by bekalc; 11-23-2009 at 12:00 PM.
11-23-2009, 12:24 PM
she takes the audience on her journey of emotions
Yes, you are absolutely right about Katerina, she transcended her sport and helped increase its popularity. (Of course, it helped that she was beautiful.) I didn't matter what country she was from.
Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie
Maybe Kim Yuna could eventually do the same - IF she wins an Olympic gold and then sticks around for the next games, like Kat did.
But the U.S. still needs a star for the sport to regain its luster in America. There may have been no Michelle Kwan in the 80s but Kat had an important U.S. rival in Debbie Thomas and, obviously, that kept American audiences interested. The problem isn't just that there is no Michelle Kwan - there isn't even a Debbie Thomas! (at least that's the common wisdom.)
11-23-2009, 12:52 PM
Okay the thing about really young/small skaters being the "best" is just that where the olympics are every 4 years, it kinda sucks for those that are just too young to go one year and then have to wait a full 4 more to have another shot. Yu Na would not fall into this category because she is even better now than she was at 15, that being said she is also the same size she was at 15 which probably helps. Mao on the other hand beat all 3 2006 ladies olympic medalists at one point or another the year before the olympics. Given her current troubles, there is a possibility she won't even go to the Olympics (though doubtful) and even if she goes she could very well end up not medaling if she keeps making the same mistakes. So for Mao if she goes to the Olympics this year and comes in say 5th place, she'd probably be pissed because if they had let her go in 2006 she probably could have won or medaled. Four years is a long time....Kimmie and Emily are basically out of the picture now even though 4 years ago they were the ones to beat. Mirai was national champion at 14 and now two years later she's grown half a foot and is struggling (though still amazing). If the judges are wanting her to wait four more years, she might not even be a force to be reckoned with anymore. Between now and the 2014 olympics at the rate she keeps growing she could be 5'8" and lose all her jumps. That's why I'm wondering if it's really fair to give the older girls a shot at going to the Olympics if the younger girls are technically better, but get lower scores because of highly controversial PCS. It seems as though skating has become all about PCS recently and jumps don't really matter. I think they SHOULD matter, and the fact that Mirai got the highest TES at SC and finished off the podium behind women who landed half the number of triple jumps she did seems bogus. It is a sport