Oh Michelle was such an Angel in that performance, just look at those pure joy and elation. Look at those hands gestures how they curl up as if like the Wings on an angel as she spin and turn. Her style is very free, open and inviting, like wearing her heart on her sleeves (is that the right saying?) type of style that is totally unique to her. So it easily entices the audience feeling how she feels. One can easily see why she was Yuna's idol, I think Yuna even had the same costume in her debut Lark Ascending, just wanting to be like her.
Originally Posted by brianjyw
I remember taking up a year of ice skating because of Michelle in my teens, but it was soo hard I simply give up!! She will always be the greatest to me, and when she didn't win at the Olympics, i was gutted (And partly due to the scandals of the pairs judging which left me totally disgusted). I hardly ever watch figure skating again until Yuna and Mao at the Olympics this year and hooked me right back. So been catching up on their careers ever since.
Last edited by os168; 06-02-2010 at 09:15 AM.
Originally Posted by os168
What a lovely testament to the power of Michelle's skating. I love that you started skating because of her.
Somehow, she created an inspirational effect that can't be explained by analyzing all the elements she brought to her skating. There are few skaters in history who have done that. Her impact hasn't been universal, but it's certainly been widespread. Of the skaters of today, YuNa and Mao seem to be the inspiring ones. They certainly have kept me absorbed! When I think back at the threads I posted on through this season, the majority of them have been about ladies' skating. I think that's largely due to the spark these two skaters have lighted this year.
I think Michelle's skating achievements and influences definitely went beyond what she means to the Americans and the world of figure skating. I know certainly her influences was heart felt by Asian little girls everywhere, beyond the west. It was also a different times then, when media doesn't have that many positive images or Asian faces in the main stream media, and what Michelle did was so special and spectacular that you don't need to know the English language to relate and to know how amazing she really is. Obviously there are other Asian faces before her, but for some reasons (may be age or charisma?), we like Michelle more.
I knew at least 2 other little Asian girls in my neighbourhood decided to take up skating because we all wanted to be like her. To glide, fly, twist and spin so gracefully on ice, coltishly pretty but awesome and empowering at the same time. At least that was the idea in my head, until I got on to the ice, then it was a flopping competition aganst myself. Lol...
Last edited by os168; 06-02-2010 at 11:40 AM.
On the subject of Queen Yuna, to be honest, I never knew the story of her and Mao before the Olympics, but I remember my first impression of her was her cool headedness and spectacular skates that went beyond my expectations and then exceeded them. I had also been amazed by this year's overall ladies standard which started my youtubing catching up on past few years in figure skating. So may be that is why I don't feel as much or particular affinity or loyalty to any particular skaters as many of the forum members do.
Other than the spectacular 3:3 jumps, speed and flows, I sensed Yuna played the ice like a fine instrument. Her phrasing of the elements almost at times mirroring bars of music scores to how she articulate her body movements and interpret the accents (could be due to choreography), her quiet moments, little touches here and there before the crescendos to fortissimos, then releases then rifts etc. She appeared almost super human like and has almost an attitude of indifference (some what different from Michelle Kwan), that is until right at the end of her FS where she finally teared up and revealed her human fragility. I must say, at that moment it kinda killed me and left shaken and wanting more.
How is it not possible to empathize and understood her if you are a lover of arts. If one were able to experience even a fraction of perfection at the peak/the highs in art/music even for a few moments, the experience itself, the artist within is surely moved, elevated, and never mind the release of pressure and the competition side of things. I can only imagine the amount of practice it took, and the many physical and mental traumas it’d takes to deliver something like this, in the way it did. To anyone who has ever experienced practicing or performing, or have been moved by a piece of music in a live concert, a movie, a theatre play, or even reading a story, you should know what I mean.
However, what cemented me as a serious fan, was when I youtubed her WC2009 Danse Macabre that I believe is her best performance up to date. Never had I imagine a ladies champion can kick *** on ice *hard* just like the men, yet still remain elegant, mysterious, poised and feminine at the same time. The speed, the precision, the height, the length of the jumps, it was as if darkness had met the light but not convoluted as if she was possessed and became almost spirit like. It was utterly spectacular, puzzling and left me stunned for days. So that was my (re)newbie ding dong moment, and I thought I’d share.
Last edited by os168; 06-02-2010 at 01:29 PM.
That's exactly why I love skating: for moments like that! Thanks for articulating the experience so fully. I'm so glad there's YouTube so we can go back and study the skates that other fans describe, and look for what they have seen in there. Listening to all of you, I realize how much I've missed even when I thought I was absorbed in a program.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears does it still make a sound? It really doesn't matter the size of an audience at a competition. The skaters do their best and most top skaters practice like it is a competition. Champions are made on lonely practice ice through thousands of hours without cheering fans. Now there are infinite fans to make Kim very wealthy, but it won't change her skating skills. It is interesting to know that the phenomenon in Korea is very young. One can only imagine how many Korean girls want to be skaters. It sounds like Kim may compete another year at least and make many happy, I'm sure.
Originally Posted by brianjyw
Michelle is the "idol" of many skaters because she is so consistent, that consistency is un rivaled. She won a great deal. I don't see much similarity in their styles but both were considered more athletic than artistic, at least when they began.
Michelle had all those spectators in 98 because she started as a senior skater at age 12. So she was so well known by 98. Michelle came on the scene the year Nancy Kerrigan was attacked at Nationals. Huge viewership resulted for figureskating at the Olympics. As the USA team alternate and all the fluff pieces Michelle became famous at 12. She was of course a little girl at the time and benefitted from a "perfect storm." She was talented. All the big names Kerrigan, Baiul, and Harding left (one way or the other) the sport after 1994. Kwan had a wide open door as well as millions of new fans watching all the TV shows. She had a great coach, great family and was very lucky regarding injuries over her career. Also, after she lost in Nagano by a small margin, she was very humble and said the right things, gaining favor with many. Then Tara left and she was the sole star of USFS again. We Americans watched her grow up from a talented very juniorish skater to a polished female champion. Believe it or not, there were some who wished her to retire, feeling she stayed two long.
Long live the Queen!
Originally Posted by os168
I agree that the single most impressive performance by Yuna may have been 2009 WC Danse Macabre - although Yuna's Olympics LP will always remain as my personal favorite.
Just check out her trademark jump combo at 2009 WC:
I challenge anyone to show me a more impressive jump than this.
Wicked Yankee Girl
YuNa's jumps are the very best today, and I love the flow she gets out of them. However, here are some equally impressive jumps:
Triple axel triple toe loop
Double loop triple loop
Today you don't see anyone doing a triple loop as a second jump because it is so easy to underrotate it
3t3t2t2t2t and lots more 2ts
Waiting for on-ice perfection.
Haha YES I love that video of Shizuka! I was looking for it, thank you. I'm able to watch Youtube videos again (in China, where it's blocked. I found a proxy the other day), and I'm going through a lot of the old posts (esp. those on the top ten lists) to watch the many spectacular performances I missed out on since the government deemed the video network subversive. I would include Harding's jumps to your list. Some of Julia Sebestyen's 3Lzs and Caroline Kostner's jumps (so crisp and clean in their prime) also make my list.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
And os168 what a way of articulating Yu-na's talent. My all-time favorite Yu-na skate will always be Danse Macabre WC 09 (for all the reasons you have mentioned). The intricate details make me watch it over and over again. Every movement is in sync with the music. The particular position of the head, the angle of her arms, the skating edges that top off her upper body movement -- everything works together.
She combines what I love most from the man and lady skaters (except superhuman flexibility).
But Ito's 4-shaped-leg bothers me
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
can't come down to Earth
os168, I love your posts, especially regarding art, music, Michelle, and YuNa.
I liked Danse Macabre and would like to see her revisit it in a few years to see how she approaches it. But I thought her Olympic year programs were the best fit so far and showcased her strength. As Doris points out, there are some amazing female jumpers. Yu-Na seems to beat most in terms of the ice coverage of her 3x3. She covers half the rink. Someone on another thread characterized her skating as sleek like a greyhound. I found that interesting. The word panther comes to mind when I see the speed and the approach. The one thing about speedy skating is that positions are not always finished. We saw this with Irina, too, tho Kim I find to be a more elegant skater. Irina's triples had a lot of spring. She answered the question, as Button would say, where is the jump in that jump? Kim has huge jumps, no debate there.
I do like to see skaters have slower sections to their skating as that is where we see the lines and control.
Last edited by princess9; 06-03-2010 at 05:15 PM.
What on earth is a "4-shaped-leg"?
Originally Posted by ehdtkqorl123
I think ehdtkqorl123 means a wrapped leg technique..?
Originally Posted by chloepoco