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Thread: The Kween and the Queen

  1. #61
    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Prettykeys, I don't know if I agree with you about 1998, but I have always wondered what possessed Kwan to leave Frank Carroll (and Lori!) and not have a coach at all (!) for the Olympics. Someone (doubtless someone from this site) once pointed out that no matter how good you are, you can't tell for yourself how your jump approaches and positions are decaying. You need a coach's eye on you every day. If she had had Carroll shepherding her, she most likely would have stayed on her feet for the entire Long Program in 2002 and would have won. As someone else said recently on this site, your father can't coach you to a gold medal. (Unless your father is a coach of the level of Yuka Sato's father, Nobuo Sato, of course.) She's still my favorite for so many reasons, but I do wish she hadn't decided that that was the year she needed to rebel.
    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    I enjoy your posts, mostly Prettykeys. Thanks for your opinions. I don't "adore" Michelle. I'm rather objective. But she has had such stellar, moving skates. Actually, I prefer the balletic style of Sasha. But Sasha was no great competitor. I just cannot make a case for any other skater to do what Michelle did for 10 years. As a fan you must know how extraordinary it was. Yes, she was the crowd and insider fave. Some folks said she did not deserve all that. But it's pretty groundless, don't you think, Prettykeys? Love your avatar as that is a real smile on YuNa's face, BTW. Tara won in Nagano because she did two triple/triples and the most difficult one. Michelle skated earlier and the judges left room. Some think Chen Lu was far more exquisite. You may disagree but Tara was an incredible skater and very mature and polished. She was no flash in the pan. She had reasons for going pro and good ones. So did Sarah, yet they get bashed for not having the longevity of Kwan.
    I think Sasha at her best was a great performer and had eye-popping moves that made audiences go "Wow". Lu Chen was artistically subtle, and deep. And, I have never disrespected Tara; I think her skate in Nagano in 1998 was awesome, and I consider it to be the toughest Olympic program from a lady I have seen yet (including over Sarah's, which I felt had more technical flaws.) I hesitate to call Kwan the most "artistic"; I don't think it's quite the right word. If artistry is something visually stunning, then Sasha in some ways has a leg up on her (pun intended ). If artistry is painting images on the ice, I think Lu Chen did it just a little bit better. However, from what I can tell, Kwan has so far been the most transcendental skater. She didn't do it all the time, even when she won, but at her best she transcended the skating and the competition itself. It's something I wish YuNa had been able to do (and sometimes she looked so close to reaching that point; I fear that YuNa may give up skating competitively too soon); it's something I hope to see Mao achieve one day.

    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    ...in SLC. Michelle fell. I don't think it would have mattered a bit if Carroll was there as MK said she felt she had gone as far as she could with him and implied she had learned all he could teach her. Was she arrogant to think she could win without a coach?? Not at all. She was a very experienced, very decorated compeitor at 21 in her second Olympics. Something else happened that we might never know. Doubtless someone here has an idea but I don't. Some say it was money issues. Michelle was wise not to just get any old coach to stand by the boards. She loves and trusts her dad. Makes sense to me Later on she went to Artunian as she knew she needed a jump coach. Her presentation/style was fixed and as matured as it would ever be long before Salt Lake. There are those who bashed Tara Lipinski to bits and Sarah for having the gaul to take away Michelle's gold. I saw an interview where Flemming says she was devastated Michelle lost to Tara and called her a "showoff." This was a private interview, not during her commentary, but still, it shows how Michelle was loved inside the community. It surprised me. The comment, I mean coming from PC Peggy.
    I actually think (and I disagree a little with gentle Olympia here), like you, that Michelle going with her gut feelings and having her dad by her side rather than Carroll was right, as well. I imagine (though I can't be sure) that there was a little strain between Michelle and Carroll leading up to 2002, perhaps stemming from Michelle wanting the Oly Gold so much and Carroll wanting it so much for her, too. At that point in her career, I am unsure whether Michelle's issues were technical matters, or things of a different nature. In any case, if Michelle felt that Carroll was not helping her at that point in time, it was right for her to have her Dad support her in a way she felt she needed in Carroll's stead.

    My statements were rhetorical, not my actual opinions, but they mirror the way I feel when you say things like "YuNa's hype" prevents her from improving herself, or her coaches from pushing her. Of all people, it seems YuNa least believes in her own hype and in some abstract notion of invulnerability. She clearly remains unsure; she openly questions whether she is as good as the marks she posts at times. "YuNa's hype" - that phrase alone implies some sort of arrogance on her part, and that the laurels/admiration she receives are, in some way, undeserved in your eyes. It's not a pleasant thing for me, and probably some others, to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    I think you can feel or believe whatever, it's who you enjoy that matters most, and for any reason. That's valid. But if you watch Lyra Angelica at US Nastionals 98 and her Olympic performance of it, I think you might see a masterpiece.
    Her US Nationals performance of Lyra Angelica was superior, and if you search YouTube for the first video that pops up, my comment on it is in there somewhere. That, and her 1996 Worlds SP Romanza are my two fav programs she's done, I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    MKFSfan, which performances of MK had her sucessfully completing the 3t/3t?
    1995: SA Salome
    1996: GPF Salome
    1997: GPF Taj Mahal
    1997: Worlds LP Taj Mahal (beat a clean Tara in the LP, who won Gold overall)
    1999: Nats Ariane
    1999: SA The Red Violin
    2000: Worlds LP The Red Violin
    2001: GPF Song of the Black Swan
    2001: Worlds QR and LP Song of the Black Swan
    2002: Worlds QR Scheherazade

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    I agree with you, Princess9, that Lyra Angelica may be a masterpiece, especially as Kwan skated it at Nationals that year. I watched it recently for the first time in years. There's a moment when she finishes a jump and then lifts her head a bit, just a tiny movement, but so original and graceful. Lori Nichol's choreography dealt with every moment of the music, and yet it all flowed together. I like your characterization of her as a transcendent skater. Whatever alchemy Michelle has to pull everything together, she does it in a way no one else manages to achieve. Of course I'm a fan of hers, so I may be seen as biased, but keep in mind that I became her fan because of the way she skates.

    You and Prettykeys probably have a point about Michelle having some valid cause to leave Carroll in 2002. So far, she's been too much a lady to divulge any reasons, and I find that admirable. I still regret it, but since I'm totally clueless about the situation, my feelings on it are mere speculation and may be totally off base.

    I certainly think you're right, Princess9, that if she had won that supposedly "inevitable" gold at Nagano, she might have left skating. In a way, that thought was one thing that helped me come to terms with her not winning. (I never think of it as losing. A skate like the one she delivered can never be considered a loss, nor can Chen Lu's bronze medal long program!) Once I realized that, I was almost grateful to Tara--after all, she may have been a factor in our getting to see the Song of the Black Swan, and all the other grand programs Michelle skated after 1998.

    And now we have Kim. I share your suspicion that she might not continue as a competitive skater. After all, what's in it for her except more tension (and hunger)? The pressure of having always to exceed herself, so that each silver medal is considered a disappointment, would be intense. On the strength of her career up to now, she can be a star in almost any direction she wants to be in Korea for the rest of her life. She can revitalize ice shows in North America if she feels like it. And really, after the Olympics she had, she's given us all an unforgettable experience. How often do we get to see the incoming favorite win by giving the skate of her life? And the incoming rival also giving one of the skates of her life? And the next four contenders also giving the skates of their lives? We'll be savoring this one for generations to come.
    Last edited by Olympia; 05-30-2010 at 10:35 PM.

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    Thanks MKSFfan for the info. Prettykeys, I'm not saying Kim hypes herself. It's her whole entourage/coaches and an entire country. She seems rather humble. She needs honest feedback if her goal is to be the best she can be, whether as am or pro.I'm glad she questions these scores -FS judging is often very obtuse. She's remarkably down to earth at least from what I can see.

    Olympia, I just watched Song of the Black Swan tonight. Oh, it's great! I was trying to decide if the costume was my favorite, the burgundy jewel tone dress. Loved it!

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    I LOVED that burgundy dress...and it was intended to be Michelle's practice dress! Her luggage was lost so she wore this one instead.

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    I love that dress, too. It suited the haunting, mysterious quality of the music. The combination of the Dvorak/Villa Lobos music, that dress, the choreography, and Michelle's performance make that one of my favorite skates of all time by any skater. It's one I watch frequently. And she even does a triple-triple!

  7. #67
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    I enjoy your posts, mostly Prettykeys. Thanks for your opinions. I don't "adore" Michelle. I'm rather objective. But she has had such stellar, moving skates. Actually, I prefer the balletic style of Sasha. But Sasha was no great competitor. I just cannot make a case for any other skater to do what Michelle did for 10 years. As a fan you must know how extraordinary it was. Yes, she was the crowd and insider fave. Some folks said she did not deserve all that. But it's pretty groundless, don't you think, Prettykeys? Love your avatar as that is a real smile on YuNa's face, BTW. Tara won in Nagano because she did two triple/triples and the most difficult one. Michelle skated earlier and the judges left room. Some think Chen Lu was far more exquisite. You may disagree but Tara was an incredible skater and very mature and polished. She was no flash in the pan. She had reasons for going pro and good ones. So did Sarah, yet they get bashed for not having the longevity of Kwan.

    Sarah technically skated lights out and with great joy/freedom. She was very good for 16 though we never saw her mature as a skater. Her body was changing quite a bit still. It was very close in Nagano. Not close at all in SLC. Michelle fell. I don't think it would have mattered a bit if Carroll was there as MK said she felt she had gone as far as she could with him and implied she had learned all he could teach her. Was she arrogant to think she could win without a coach?? Not at all. She was a very experienced, very decorated compeitor at 21 in her second Olympics. Something else happened that we might never know. Doubtless someone here has an idea but I don't. Some say it was money issues. Michelle was wise not to just get any old coach to stand by the boards. She loves and trusts her dad. Makes sense to me Later on she went to Artunian as she knew she needed a jump coach. Her presentation/style was fixed and as matured as it would ever be long before Salt Lake. There are those who bashed Tara Lipinski to bits and Sarah for having the gaul to take away Michelle's gold. I saw an interview where Flemming says she was devastated Michelle lost to Tara and called her a "showoff." This was a private interview, not during her commentary, but still, it shows how Michelle was loved inside the community. It surprised me. The comment, I mean coming from PC Peggy.

    I think you can feel or believe whatever, it's who you enjoy that matters most, and for any reason. That's valid. But if you watch Lyra Angelica at US Nastionals 98 and her Olympic performance of it, I think you might see a masterpiece. I do think if everyone is kissing your tuckus and saying that you are perfect, you won't improve. As Doris the mod said in another thread, no skater is above criticism. I don't have a great emotional attachment to Michelle and sometimes I felt she got the reputation mark. I don't have a great emotional attachment to any skater, but after so many years, so many amazing performances, I have to say Michelle had something, well several things no one else has. When she competed, MK forum was very big and active and her fans were legion on the net. Now it is YuNa for different reasons.

    There is little doubt in my mind that had she won Nagano, she might have gone directly to college. It was her lack of that Gold Oly medal that kept her in, Having been beaten twice in the Olympics, she wanted to have more national titles and world titles. Michelle LOVED to compete. YuNa finds it stressful said she and likes show skating. There is the big difference. Kwan is like Yagudin and Plushenko. They loved to compete and want to win so badly. With the changes in the sport, we may see better jumper, better footwork, better dancers in singles , but Kwan had a little of everything and was a born competitor.

    Kim is a softer lady, I think without the killer instinct that Tara, Sarah and Michelle displayed. She is a shyer person and I smile when I see her say she wants to eat and have a normal life. With the demands of CoP I don't think we will see anyone stay in competition for 10 years. It is just too difficult. And why bother if you already have the major medals? If Kwan had an equal in dominance in the modern era I guess it would be Plushenko. There simply are no females. Yes, 6.0 skaters. Did they have it easier? No, look at the jump requirements that won 10 years ago. Did Michelle get a big ego, i.e. believe her own hype? I don't know. I would say she is very, very confident but not arrogant. As far as feedback, Danny Kwan is one very knowledgeable guy re FS and a Michelle expert. She also had feedback I heard froom Karen Kwan and Peter Oppegard. Her parents kept her very grounded and MK was always saying, "this is just a sport, not brain surgery." Michelle performed well. She was prepared in SLC. It's still ice. Two others outskated her. Who knows, maybe she would have been worse with Frank there. There was tension between them. I can tell you one reason I heard at the time, was that Michelle felt Frank did not push her on her 3x3 as she usually won with a 3x2 with a clean performance. As Slutskaya matured and got better second marks, Michelle would lose to her based on the jumps and speed. There was a time when Irina beat her six out of eight meets. There were only 3 skaters who could beat her in a decade. All pushed the jumps.

    Had Michelle a 3x3 as consistent/difficult as Kim's, no one could touch her. Michelle who came into the sport as a jumping bean child got her beautiful finesse from Lori and Frank. I hope when she writes her autobiography she gives them the credit they deserve.
    Did Peggy really say that about Tara?

    I'm really sad to hear that...

    I agree with most of your post but I can't help but play devil's advocate with the bits about Kim:

    Are you sure you are not questioning Kim Yuna for the same reasons as you say Tara and Sarah "get bashed?" For not having same longevity as Michelle?

    Tara and Sarah both quit fairly soon after winning their OGM medals. They seemed to have similar reasons as Kim (if indeed she decides to retire): they wanted to move on after dealing with the enormous pressure and pain of competing at the elite level.

    Sarah showed in 2003 and she could not muster the same motivation that she did to win an OG the previous year.

    So I can't agree that Sarah and Tara have killer instinct while Kim doesn't. Kim skated two of the most flawless OG performances I have ever seen with the whole weight of her country on her shoulders. Heck, even the S. Korean market dipped because the country slowed down to watch her skate. And she delivered. If that's not killer instinct, I don't know what is.

    Tara and Sarah both reached the pinnacle of their sports yet _ as you describe _ they will never been good enough for some because they are not Michelle.

    Will it be the same for Kim?

    And on the other hand, Michelle won nine national championships and five world championships but SHE'LL never be good enough for some because she never won an Olympic gold medal.

    Talk about great expectations.

    Anyway, I agree that it will be very difficult for another skater to become the next Kwan because it IS so rare for a skater not only to stick around for so long, but to stay on the top for so long.

    I don't think it's really COP's fault. If Kim retires, it won't be because of COP. It will be for similar reasons that Tara, Sarah and Oksana left competitive skater soon after their Olympic victories.

    At least Kim will have left competitive skating at 19 and not 15. Maybe that's one good thing about the age eligibility rule - it at least ensure some longevity among the top skaters.

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    Layfan, I agree Kim has or must have that competitive intinct to perform so well in Vancouver. It's her shy demeanor I think that is different from the American skaters mentioned and the E. German Queen of FS the great Katarina Witt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    Layfan, I agree Kim has or must have that competitive intinct to perform so well in Vancouver. It's her shy demeanor I think that is different from the American skaters mentioned and the E. German Queen of FS the great Katarina Witt.
    I think you hit the nail on the head, Princess. She may be shy, but she's not a wimp. That moment when she stood there to begin the long program, I swear my heart was hitting the roof of my mouth. I actually contemplated not watching. (I'm the wimp!) I can't imagine the pressure she was under. But she looked so peaceful. Then she gave that smile, and she went to work. Simply spectacular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF4e1mtzr_Y

    When Yu-Na does something that artistically profound, you can start debating who the best is. Until then, there is no debate.
    I believe there is someone else already who did something that artistically more profound than what Michelle did.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuSJh...eature=related

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I just went back and watched Kwan's 1998 Nationals Long Program of Lyra Angelica. Every little hand gesture was so beautifully placed and so fresh and new. The combination of Nichol's intricate yet flowing choreography and Michelle's ability to make it all sing is just astonishing. Its impact is never going to lessen for me.

    The great thing is that YuNa is also a skater whose impact is probably going to last. She has artistry and individuality as well as those mind-boggling jumps. So she won't be "replaced" by another skater who gets a larger point score than she has received. Her contribution to skating will endure. It's nice to know that we skating fans don't just have to look back to the "good old days" to see wonderful skating.

    Michelle is still my favorite. I think I've retired that trophy. But I'm happy with the skaters we have now, and that's a great thing. Now, if only we could get more skating shown on TV....
    I watched Kwan's 1998 Nationals LP of Lyra Angelica and was really amazed at the number of spectators in the arena cheering for her.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPRcajUQrM

    On the other hand, there were only handful of spectators (probably most of them might have been family members of stakers) outside the link when Yuna peformed at 2006 Nationals.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFymHZ5sjmY

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianjyw View Post
    I watched Kwan's 1998 Nationals LP of Lyra Angelica and was really amazed at the number of spectators in the arena cheering for her.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPRcajUQrM

    On the other hand, there were only handful of spectators (probably most of them might have been family members of stakers) outside the link when Yuna peformed at 2006 Nationals.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFymHZ5sjmY
    The difference is that skating was still very popular in the U.S. and it was relatively unknown in Korea at the time (and Yuna hadn't risen to fame quite yet, yet.)

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    Yeah, I suspect that now when YuNa skates, you probably couldn't fit any more people into all of Korea. She's pretty much universally admired and revered there now, and she seems to have cemented the popularity of skating in Korea for many years to come. That's certainly a lasting contribution on her part! She's probably equivalent to Sonja Henie in that respect, in her part of the world at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianjyw View Post
    I watched Kwan's 1998 Nationals LP of Lyra Angelica and was really amazed at the number of spectators in the arena cheering for her.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPRcajUQrM

    On the other hand, there were only handful of spectators (probably most of them might have been family members of stakers) outside the link when Yuna peformed at 2006 Nationals.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFymHZ5sjmY
    Figure Skating in 1998 was still popular in the US. In 2006 Yuna was still trying to hit her mark. Korea didn't even care about figure skating back then.

    If you want to post a video with spectators cheering for Yuna in a competition on her home country, you should have posted that Grand Prix event! It was crazy! Now that will be a fair comparison!
    Last edited by brownfox; 06-02-2010 at 06:58 AM.

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