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Thread: Skating Too Tough To Create Stars?

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    Skating Too Tough To Create Stars?

    This is kind of amusing. Speedy says skating is now too difficult to create the stars the sport needs! And, now just whose fault is it that the sport finds itself in that state?

    http://in.reuters.com/article/worldO...44242520091125

    Also he remarks on about the 100th anniversary of the World Championships.

    This is not the 100th anniversary of the World Championships. They were started in 1896, not 1909. This year will be the 100th championship when you take into account the years it was not held due to the world wars.

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    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    This article...

    "Carolina Kostner...is the world's top-ranked female ice dancer..."

    Hmm!

    "...but has struggled to catch the public's imagination at home."

    I wonder why!

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I believe that the ISU is content to let figure skating contract into a self-contained activity whose primary audience is the competitors themselves.. Sort of like speed skating.

    Yes, it is cool that one speed skater can skate faster than another, and that this speed skater set a new world record. But I do not especially want to watch this speed skater winning a race or setting a new record.

    Even if the race itself is fun to watch, we do not record it to watch over and over, and for the most part we do not follow the careers of the stars of the sport from one race to the next.

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    Hmm, this article definitely has some credibility issues, and I'm hoping Speedy's pronouncement about "skating being too difficult now" is a lost-in-translation kind of thing.

    Skating hasn't become more difficult, just programs have become more contorted and cluttered with crapola, and Mr. Cinquanta has to look no further than the nearest mirror to find the cause of that. If this quote from him is accurate, and if I were one of the not-so-distant past highly competent skaters with 5-6+ triple programs (Kwan, Slute, goodness knows how many men, etc.), well, I think I'd be rather insulted.

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    And BTW, it is only the 100th championship for the men. Ladies, Pairs and Dance all started their championsips in later years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I believe that the ISU is content to let figure skating contract into a self-contained activity whose primary audience is the competitors themselves.. Sort of like speed skating.

    Yes, it is cool that one speed skater can skate faster than another, and that this speed skater set a new world record. But I do not especially want to watch this speed skater winning a race or setting a new record.

    Even if the race itself is fun to watch, we do not record it to watch over and over, and for the most part we do not follow the careers of the stars of the sport from one race to the next.
    You got it, Mathman! And short-track skating is even less interesting. The only time I really enjoyed watching Apolo Ohno was in Dancing with the Stars. This is what happens when we let people treat figure skating solely as a sport.

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    I was happy when Apolo won his gold in '06. It sort of came out of nowhere.

    As for figure skating, how can we make it more popular? Maybe if Rachael hired somebody to whack Ashley's knee ......

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    This is what happens when we let people treat figure skating solely as a sport.
    I think that's the problem in a nutshell. The Powers That Be are so fearful that some sportswriter will say figure skating is not a sport, that they forget to celebrate and promote what figure skating is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think that's the problem in a nutshell. The Powers That Be are so fearful that some sportswriter will say figure skating is not a sport, that they forget to celebrate and promote what figure skating is.
    This is already an issue with many sportswriters especially regarding ice dance. Phil Hersh's opinion, that ice dance is not a sport, is what most sportwriters think. It wasn't too many years ago that a Canadian IOC member actually proposed eliminating ice dance from the Olympics. Fortunately it didn't go anywhere. If we don't continue to promote figure skating as a sport in all it's discipliines, it will be out of the Olympics and that would be a disaster for all figure skating fans.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    If we don't continue to promote figure skating as a sport in all it's discipliines, it will be out of the Olympics and that would be a disaster for all figure skating fans.
    I don't agree with that at all. Figure skating as an Olympic sport did just fine for 100 years before anyone ever heard of Phil Hersh or that grouchy Canadian IOC member.

    I think we are falling into a trap if we say, "figure skating is a sport just like baseball. Figure skating is a sport just like tennis. Figure skating is a sport just like the 100 meter dash."

    IMHO figure skating is a sport that is different from baseball, or tennis, or the hundred meter dash. Vive la difference!

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    A few years ago, I didn't know curling was a sport. In fact, I still don't.

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    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I believe that the ISU is content to let figure skating contract into a self-contained activity whose primary audience is the competitors themselves.. Sort of like speed skating.

    Yes, it is cool that one speed skater can skate faster than another, and that this speed skater set a new world record. But I do not especially want to watch this speed skater winning a race or setting a new record.

    Even if the race itself is fun to watch, we do not record it to watch over and over, and for the most part we do not follow the careers of the stars of the sport from one race to the next.
    I have short-track speed skating events favourited on YouTube, as well as horse races (especially of a certain chestnut colt)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    If we don't continue to promote figure skating as a sport in all it's discipliines, it will be out of the Olympics and that would be a disaster for all figure skating fans.
    That is certainly the bogeyman the ISU (speedy, et. al.) always pulls out to coerce people into accepting unpalatable changes to the sport. I have yet to figure out if this is really true -- that is, what the IOC really thinks about whether skating must be an athletics only activity to stay in the Olympics. If I have the time, maybe I will try and find out while I am in Vancouver covering the Olympics.
    Last edited by gsrossano; 11-29-2009 at 08:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I believe that the ISU is content to let figure skating contract into a self-contained activity whose primary audience is the competitors themselves.. Sort of like speed skating.

    Yes, it is cool that one speed skater can skate faster than another, and that this speed skater set a new world record. But I do not especially want to watch this speed skater winning a race or setting a new record.

    Even if the race itself is fun to watch, we do not record it to watch over and over, and for the most part we do not follow the careers of the stars of the sport from one race to the next.
    You see, whereas I can watch Usain Bolt run for ever. His Beijing and Berlin sprints I watch just as much times as any Kurt Browning routine. This man is pushing the limits of what a human body can do, and I find that just as exciting as watching a beautifully constructed and skated program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    This is already an issue with many sportswriters especially regarding ice dance. Phil Hersh's opinion, that ice dance is not a sport, is what most sportwriters think. It wasn't too many years ago that a Canadian IOC member actually proposed eliminating ice dance from the Olympics. Fortunately it didn't go anywhere. If we don't continue to promote figure skating as a sport in all it's discipliines, it will be out of the Olympics and that would be a disaster for all figure skating fans.
    Figure skating as a whole isn't in any danger of being tossed out of the Olympics. It's one of the bigger moneymakers among all the Winter Games sports, and one of the few Winter sports that consistently attracts considerable female audiences both live ticket sales, and especially television. The IOC isn't completely stupid. The main issue that has threatened ice dance before is a perception that it is completely rigged and corrupt, in favor of the Europeans and especially the Russians (which is historically true). But those same countries' Federations are powerful both in the ISU and the IOC, so I think ice dance is pretty safe whether you consider it a sport or not. And whether you consider it rigged and corrupt or not. Fortunately, last time I checked, neither one of these sports bodies is consulting with Phil Hersh.

    (PS My guess is that with the rise of V/M and their success with intl judges, the Canadian IOC member who proposed elimination of ice dance is probably laying low right about now.)

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