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Thread: Why all the hate?

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Doesn't this happen every Olympics?
    It does? This is my first Olympics on the forum, and to tell the truth, I was really shocked by the reaction to the men's event. That's why I've been mostly lurking.

    I can understand people being passionately disappointed about their favorite bombing or not agreeing with the results but ..wow... (I an still heartbroken about Jeremy and I thought P/T should have won pairs... ok I am running away now)

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by UM84 View Post
    I thought the Olympics was supposed to be about the world coming togther, but for some reason this board has turned into a very hateful place.
    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    I'm watching Olympic coverage on American television, which gives me a very valid excuse for expressing my hate. If I could choose a commentating team that wasn't so biased and actually respected and appreciated all the world's athletes equally maybe I wouldn't be suffering from male PMS, mkay.
    You both raise valid points. My Olympic excitement is at an all time low and part of it is the nastiness on the boards and part is the biased reporting on NBC/Universal.

    I thought the cold war ended years and years ago but NBC is hellbent on fanning the flames and keeping the hatred going. And even though Plushenko's programs (Lysaceks as well to be honest) weren't particularly inspiring I do like him as a person but I'm disppointed that he (Evgeny) doesn't mind playing into NBC's portrayal of him as the evil Russian. The other night Bob Costas was interviewing Lysacek and proceeded to read a list of all the things Plushenko had said since the mens event had ended. Why not ignore that and allow Lysacek to talk about his skating and his coach.

    Part of the reason so many NA's believe that any good result by European and especially Russian skaters is all bloc judging is because of the years the American networks have spent drilling that into their heads. Look at how NBC was trying to rile up people before and during the pairs event. "The Russians" were finally going to lose their "stranglehold" on the pairs event. Will "The Russians" manage to keep their hold on the pairs title?

    Even before the event began I think everyone knew the answer to that would be no. K&S are good but are just starting out and were contenders for bronze if they had good skates but they were not gold medal contenders. Of course why tell the truth when being so OTT dramatic might be more interesting. Even here people would rather upset themselves by getting all dramatic over something that wasn't going to happen. I lost count of how many times I read about people being disgusted that the Russians were going to cheat poor S&Z by pushing unworthy K&S onto the top of the podium.

    Don't get me wrong, there have been instances in which teams were helped along or held up in the past but IMO most of the Russian and European triumphs in the past were deserved. The Russian had a "stranglehold" on the pair title because the Russian federation gave the same attention to their pairs that the U.S. has given to their own ladies skating program. I recall Peter Carruthers back when he was allowed to do pairs commentary explain why the Russian teams were almost always ahead. The basic skating skills and speed and polish of those teams were first rate. I remember reading an old copy of Blades on Ice and one of the American coaches stated that in the U.S. the kids wanted to do the big tricks but didn't pay as much attention to the basics.

    Now with the influx of Russian coaches into the U.S. that dominated of course has ended and thus the pairs are good and have potential but aren't as good as their predecessors. Thus no Russian team on the podium in Vancouver. No drama required.

    I wonder if Peter Carruthers' fairness and failure to automatically hint that certain teams were being cheated is one reason why he doesn't do color commentary anymore.

    Even on the message boards the nastiness began. Automatically Russian D&S must have been held up if they are first in the CD. I got the feeling that some people just saw a Russian team and didn't pay attention to what was on the ice. I've seen some descriptions of D&S's CD last night that bear little or no resemblance to what I saw on my own television.

    I'm American and for the most part am proud to see my country men and women do well but ever since I've become a figure skating fan I've also loved and appreciated the style of the European and Russian skaters.

    It's sad to see so many nasty comments flung at the skaters and each other.

  3. #48
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    Whole post
    Nicely said.

    The irony of the whole pairs thing is that the Russian stronghold was toppled by ... a pair from a still communist country. I'm not trying to be anti-communist or anything, but am just noting that NBC is making such a cold war fuss about Russia, which is NO LONGER a communist country, but yet has completely ignored that the country that has shown its dominance in pairs now is from a communist country that has a similar skating program to what the USSR had in the 60s to the early 1990s. I have to find the link, but AP wrote a blog post about how basically that who Yao Bin is able to coach is hand picked by the Chinese sporting academies as opposed to people coming to him. Actually, I'm glad they didn't and I don't think they could anyway because quite frankly Yao Bin and his teams trascended those politics. They're just hard working skaters that really made the sport a bit better.

    And yes Dom/Shabs did deserve first place in CD. They were sharp. And CD is their best element. And goodness there's only 3 points that separate 1st and 4th...so I don't know why everyone is calling foul already.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    You both raise valid points. My Olympic excitement is at an all time low and part of it is the nastiness on the boards and part is the biased reporting on NBC/Universal.

    I thought the cold war ended years and years ago but NBC is hellbent on fanning the flames and keeping the hatred going. And even though Plushenko's programs (Lysaceks as well to be honest) weren't particularly inspiring I do like him as a person but I'm disppointed that he (Evgeny) doesn't mind playing into NBC's portrayal of him as the evil Russian. The other night Bob Costas was interviewing Lysacek and proceeded to read a list of all the things Plushenko had said since the mens event had ended. Why not ignore that and allow Lysacek to talk about his skating and his coach.

    Part of the reason so many NA's believe that any good result by European and especially Russian skaters is all bloc judging is because of the years the American networks have spent drilling that into their heads. Look at how NBC was trying to rile up people before and during the pairs event. "The Russians" were finally going to lose their "stranglehold" on the pairs event. Will "The Russians" manage to keep their hold on the pairs title?

    Even before the event began I think everyone knew the answer to that would be no. K&S are good but are just starting out and were contenders for bronze if they had good skates but they were not gold medal contenders. Of course why tell the truth when being so OTT dramatic might be more interesting. Even here people would rather upset themselves by getting all dramatic over something that wasn't going to happen. I lost count of how many times I read about people being disgusted that the Russians were going to cheat poor S&Z by pushing unworthy K&S onto the top of the podium.

    Don't get me wrong, there have been instances in which teams were helped along or held up in the past but IMO most of the Russian and European triumphs in the past were deserved. The Russian had a "stranglehold" on the pair title because the Russian federation gave the same attention to their pairs that the U.S. has given to their own ladies skating program. I recall Peter Carruthers back when he was allowed to do pairs commentary explain why the Russian teams were almost always ahead. The basic skating skills and speed and polish of those teams were first rate. I remember reading an old copy of Blades on Ice and one of the American coaches stated that in the U.S. the kids wanted to do the big tricks but didn't pay as much attention to the basics.

    Now with the influx of Russian coaches into the U.S. that dominated of course has ended and thus the pairs are good and have potential but aren't as good as their predecessors. Thus no Russian team on the podium in Vancouver. No drama required.

    I wonder if Peter Carruthers' fairness and failure to automatically hint that certain teams were being cheated is one reason why he doesn't do color commentary anymore.

    Even on the message boards the nastiness began. Automatically Russian D&S must have been held up if they are first in the CD. I got the feeling that some people just saw a Russian team and didn't pay attention to what was on the ice. I've seen some descriptions of D&S's CD last night that bear little or no resemblance to what I saw on my own television.

    I'm American and for the most part am proud to see my country men and women do well but ever since I've become a figure skating fan I've also loved and appreciated the style of the European and Russian skaters.

    It's sad to see so many nasty comments flung at the skaters and each other.
    Thank you for this refreshing post. I agree with everything you've said, and I think you've given a pretty insightful possible answer to the question posed in this thread.
    Last edited by sarahmistral; 02-21-2010 at 12:51 AM.

  5. #50
    Go marry the quad if you love it so much DesertRoad's Avatar
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    Um what? Modern China is about exactly as Communist as modern Russia is: not very. Both still have highly autocratic and centralized regimes that control the major industries, but have relaxed a lot of the ownership rules, enough to create a burgeoning and enterprising middle class. The difference is the US has intricate economic ties with China, far less so with Russia, with whom the US still has an often contentious relationship.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    whole post.
    As others have noted before me, thank you for posting this message. Ever since NBC got the Olympics in 2002, I've had mixed feelings about watching it. I love the competition, but I hate the filter in which I have to watch it on my tv. I guess I could watch it live on the internet, but I prefer to watch it on tv with my dvr etc. For the people that hate NBC's coverage of the Olympics wrt figure skating, maybe we should start a campaign and list our complaints against the network? Maybe if NBC received enough complaints, they might reconsider changing their coverage and tone of these Games?

  7. #52
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRoad View Post
    Um what? Modern China is about exactly as Communist as modern Russia is: not very. Both still have highly autocratic and centralized regimes that control the major industries, but have relaxed a lot of the ownership rules, enough to create a burgeoning and enterprising middle class. The difference is the US has intricate economic ties with China, far less so with Russia, with whom the US still has an often contentious relationship.
    I wasn't trying to get into an anti-communist debate or what communism is or whatever. I'm just saying that the USSR-era sports programs has clearly influenced the ones you see in China today. And I find it funny while NBC seems so anti-Russian but they're just going crazy over a pairs program that I think in some ways is influenced by the Russians. And yes you're right, that might have to do with the bigger-political relationships we see between the U.S. and Russia and the U.S and China.

    ETA: Please don't read too much into this!
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 02-21-2010 at 01:07 AM.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I wasn't trying to get into an anti-communist debate or what communism is or whatever. I'm just saying that the USSR-era sports programs has clearly influenced the ones you see in China today. And I find it funny while NBC seems so anti-Russian but they're just going crazy over a pairs program that I think in some ways is influenced by the Russians. And yes you're right, that might have to do with the bigger-political relationships we see between the U.S. and Russia and the U.S and China.

    ETA: Please don't read too much into this!
    No, I think the reason why the NBC commentators spoke highly of the Chinese is b/c they worked with North American choreographers and Shen/Zhao have skated in Stars on Ice, which is produced by Scotty Hamilton. I've found that the skating world here in the US (maybe Canada?) is very cliquish. It's not what you do on the ice. To get positive, gush-filled commentary by Sandra Bezic, Scotty Hamilton et al, you have to have some relationship with Scotty's side venture at SOI or especially in Sandra's case, you have to have had your program choreographed by a North American, preferably a Canadian.

  9. #54
    Go marry the quad if you love it so much DesertRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I'm just saying that the USSR-era sports programs has clearly influenced the ones you see in China today. And I find it funny while NBC seems so anti-Russian but they're just going crazy over a pairs program that I think in some ways is influenced by the Russians.
    You are absolutely right about that. It depends, though, on how much of the rivalry with Russia/USSR in Olympic sports is rooted in a distaste for their training program/philosophy, or a reflection of the larger political power struggle with the country. When seen through the lens of how the Chinese pairs have been received, it would seem that the US sentiment against Russian athletes isn't because of how they do things, but because it's them doing it. On the other hand, the US coverage around the Beijing Olympics also included articles and stories that frowned on the Chinese athletic program. The difference in pairs may be that: A) The US has no dog in this fight, none of the US teams are competitive, even the Canadian ones aren't. B) Shen/Zhao transcend politics in their appeal. And the three Chinese teams have been around so long they've been thoroughly humanized for the skating audience. It's no longer possible to pretend they're just interchangeable faces in some cold war athletic assembly line. C) While the Chinese athletic program is very similar to the Soviet one, Chinese pairs sure don't skate like Russian pairs. There just isn't that emphasis on balletic lines, but an emphasis on explosive tricks. D) Well, at least someone's beating the Russians!
    Last edited by DesertRoad; 02-21-2010 at 01:57 AM.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Doesn't this happen every Olympics? This is a once-in-4-years opportunity, the athletes have worked hard for this; there's naturally going to be some bitterness among some of the athletes that fall short of their goal, and among their fans as well.

    Things should cool off by off-season.
    I was just thinking the same thing when I saw your post! The Tara/Michelle argument of 1998, the G/G and M/D debate of 1994, the ice dancing of 1994 with G/P's time apart with no deductions, 1992 Oly ice dancing with K/P's FD having too many lifts with no penalties, Nancy & Oksana in 1994 being a 5-4 split, 1980 Oly with Linda Fratianne complaining of a "fix." This is nothing new. And does anyone remember the All-Around Men's Gymnastics of 2004 when Paul Hamm won but the South Korean was "given" a gold medal by his country because they thought he should have won? This stuff happens every Olympics and is only given a spotlight because of the Olympics. Where was this level of outrage in the world media at the 2002 Euros when Yagudin won over Abt? 2002 World when Chait & Sakh won over Drobiazko & Povilas? 1994 Worlds when Surya removed her silver medal at the podium? Every major competition in figure skating has wuzrobs and complainers. Without the world stage the losing athletes vent and then move on. With the Olympics, they do it into a microphone and it gets broadcast all over the world so it goes on a little longer before it's dropped. Nothing new here. As much as I love drama and I'm reading a message board at 2am this is all a soap opera and no serious sports scandal, nothing is going to drastically change in the judging system. The 2002 pairs scandal was a perfect storm of the best complaining athletes with the best complaining commentators with a homecourt advantage and a bumbling ISU president. I don't see anything past the USUAL post-Olympics complaining happening here.
    Last edited by goldberry99; 02-21-2010 at 05:18 AM.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mishieru07 View Post
    It's Figure Skating and come Olympics and Worlds, emotions tend to run high when we start pulling for our favourites to win. This is a subjective sport so it's not surprising to see two completely opposing camps (God knows how many times I've read hateful comments about my favourites). Hell hath no fury like a figure skating uber on a warpath.
    I agree. Such a major sporting event, like the Olympics, brings out a lot of passion in people. It's a big deal. And the Olympics only happen every four years. Add on the fact that athletes are representing their countries (in a number of sports, going after that medal tally), and it becomes political, like others have mentioned. And in judged sports, there is almost always some room for debate about someone being over or underscored.

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