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Thread: Who will be the next sweet heart of American figure skating?

  1. #46
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think Olga Korbut had the perky personality to pull off the "sweetheart" role outside the competition arena. Also Mary Lou Retton.

    IMO Nadia Comenici was more the perfect gymnastics machine.

  2. #47
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think Olga Korbut had the perky personality to pull off the "sweetheart" role outside the competition arena. Also Mary Lou Retton.

    IMO Nadia Comenici was more the perfect gymnastics machine.
    Well, when some agency can define America's Sweetheart we will be able to understand it better.

  3. #48
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Does America's sweetheart have to be American? Russian gymnast Olga Korbut charmed the USA via television at the 1972 Olympics.

    Why aren't U.S. promoters aren't all over Yu-na Kim? Kim is probably too busy being Korea's sweetheart, but still...
    They might if she keeps skating and keeps winning titles.

    Most Americans probably had never heard of Kim Yuna until she won the OGM medal. And then they probably thought, "who? Huh. Yeah, she's pretty good. Remember that Michelle person? I wonder what happened to her?"

    Kim Yuna rose up when figure skating's popularity had hit a low in the U.S. And she had no American rival to help draw attention to her in the U.S. Promoters know that and there are better known athletes. That's why I can't help but wish she'd keep competing. It seems such a pity that such an extraordinary skater is not as known to Americans as she should be.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    They might if she keeps skating and keeps winning titles.

    Most Americans probably had never heard of Kim Yuna until she won the OGM medal. And then they probably thought, "who? Huh. Yeah, she's pretty good. Remember that Michelle person? I wonder what happened to her?"

    Kim Yuna rose up when figure skating's popularity had hit a low in the U.S. And she had no American rival to help draw attention to her in the U.S. Promoters know that and there are better known athletes. That's why I can't help but wish she'd keep competing. It seems such a pity that such an extraordinary skater is not as known to Americans as she should be.
    Here is an interesting NY Times article that addressed the death of skaters as "America's Sweetheart."

    http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/20/we...l?pagewanted=1


    Nike can introduce ads in the US market featuring Yuna and couldn't Samsung, Hyundai and Korean Airlines too?

    If they are not it is because they don't believe she has the name recognition in America yet or in the case of Korean based corporations they might want a more American image selling their products in the US market.
    That could change in the future and I am sure this has been discussed.

    Or Yuna may prefer to keep a lower profile in N. America and she has mentioned how much she likes NOT being so easily recognized and swamped by fans in Toronto.


    Here is Katerina's commercial for Diet Coke from back in 1991. Different times........was it the second OGM, the extensive touring Kati did in N. America - or does it matter that it was before Harding and the SLC scandal?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDm_JIUq_hk
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-07-2010 at 12:44 PM.

  5. #50
    Mashimaro on Ice
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    For a foreign athlete to the appeal to the American public, they have to something more than what is seen on ice. Katarina had the sex appeal and I read somewhere that she was often compared to Brooke Shields, who was pretty popular in the eighties. Oskana had the sob story and also she benefitted greatly from the skating scandal in the early 90s.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    They might if she keeps skating and keeps winning titles.

    Most Americans probably had never heard of Kim Yuna until she won the OGM medal. And then they probably thought, "who? Huh. Yeah, she's pretty good. Remember that Michelle person? I wonder what happened to her?"

    Kim Yuna rose up when figure skating's popularity had hit a low in the U.S. And she had no American rival to help draw attention to her in the U.S. Promoters know that and there are better known athletes. That's why I can't help but wish she'd keep competing. It seems such a pity that such an extraordinary skater is not as known to Americans as she should be.
    Hmm... Yuna probably got as much U.S. media attention during the Olympics as any non-American athlete possibly could. She was on the front page of NY Times, as well as on the front page of virtually all U.S. internet sports site, even Wall Street Journal(!) ran an in-depth feature about Yuna. Not to mention being selected on Time 100 list, bunch of Hollywood stars publicly talking about Yuna (e.g. Kirk Douglas's blog, Sarah Jessica Parker), bunch of American fashion blogs commenting on Yuna and her dress, and NBC constantly gushing over Yuna, with even Brian Williams hosting a segment on Yuna.

    Honestly, I think Yuna got more U.S. media attention than any other Korean that I am aware of, including President Lee.

    With all that public exposure, I would think something is seriously amiss with figure skating if Yuna's still doesn't have name recognition in the U.S, even to people who don't follow figure skating. Or maybe you just ran into people who have lived in caves for the past few months...

    My personal belief is that when Yuna retires. touring in the U.S. with the likes of Scott Hamiltion would be the first thing she will consider.

    Anyway, since this thread is about the next "swee heart" of US figure skating, I cast my vote for Mirai.

    I was blown away by her Olympics performance (both SP and LP), and I actually think that she has a very similar style and physique as Yuna. She just needs to be more refined and polished, which will come as she matures both mentally and physically.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by YunaBliss View Post
    Hmm... Yuna probably got as much U.S. media attention during the Olympics as any non-American athlete possibly could. She was on the front page of NY Times, as well as on the front page of virtually all U.S. internet sports site, even Wall Street Journal(!) ran an in-depth feature about Yuna. Not to mention being selected on Time 100 list, bunch of Hollywood stars publicly talking about Yuna (e.g. Kirk Douglas's blog, Sarah Jessica Parker), bunch of American fashion blogs commenting on Yuna and her dress, and NBC constantly gushing over Yuna, with even Brian Williams hosting a segment on Yuna.

    Honestly, I think Yuna got more U.S. media attention than any other Korean that I am aware of, including President Lee.

    With all that public exposure, I would think something is seriously amiss with figure skating if Yuna's still doesn't have name recognition in the U.S, even to people who don't follow figure skating. Or maybe you just ran into people who have lived in caves for the past few months...

    My personal belief is that when Yuna retires. touring in the U.S. with the likes of Scott Hamiltion would be the first thing she will consider.

    Anyway, since this thread is about the next "swee heart" of US figure skating, I cast my vote for Mirai.

    .
    I think what you wrote here is factually correct and USA has alot of media coverage. Yuna had good coverage in the USA during the Olympics. NBC made a nice fluf piece about her too. But I think you overestimate the importance or lasting impact it may have had.

    Some have what we call their "15 minutes of fame," in Yuna's case it would feel more like "15 seconds," and although the clock may have stopped for the moment - it could start ticking again if she were to tour here and appear on some highly viewed TV broadcasts.

    But the Olympics are over, and other sports and news are in the headlines everyday. There is a disaster going on in the Gulf of Mexico, other troubles around the world, and life goes on without Yuna or any other skater having any impact here. News we get here about Korea is typically bad or annoying because it usually has to do with N. Korea.

    I think Mirai has a chance to become more popular and she did do the SOI tour this spring.
    But as the article I linked pointed out, the innocence has been taken out of skating and the idea of a skater as "America's Sweetheart" seems to be in our past.

    It is possible but far from certain that simply winning a few medals is any guarantee to bring a skater the fame and celebrity Peggy and Dorothy enjoyed. Certain other things need to align in the press and general culture - and of course the skater needs some personality or a special look, something besides their skating to set them apart.

    Skating really hasn't been the same here since the SLC scandals. There is less and less TV coverage and touring than in the past. It just is not very important and I feel sure Evan is more popular now from his appearance on DWTS as opposed to being the Olympic champion.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-07-2010 at 03:15 PM.

  8. #53
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    okay-=yes other countries people can be sweetharts--like olga korbut, nadia to a point,
    gordera & grinkov, katarina--but --i repeat but they wasn't AMerican Sweetharts,
    yes they were sweetharts of the sport of gymanstic or did something the people of U.S. took notice and like and fell in love with-but wasn't American Sweetharts,
    they were young, cute, bubbly personality for their sport and country of russia, east germany, romania, we thought them of that sweetharts of their country representing their sweethart role in the U.S, but not AMercian sweethart,
    you can be sweethart in the U.s from another country but you don't fulfill the American sweethart role.
    we like what you do, did, and tha tyou represent your own country well and nice, but you don't officially represent the U.s. --a little distinction but nonetheless a distinction indeed,
    you wil get our backing to a point, but there is a cutoff they is totally reserver for our American sweethart.

  9. #54
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Was she America's last skating sweetheart?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VMI0dAx1Aw&NR=1

    Geez, what a likeable girl and wishing her all the best!

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by YunaBliss View Post
    Hmm... Yuna probably got as much U.S. media attention during the Olympics as any non-American athlete possibly could. She was on the front page of NY Times, as well as on the front page of virtually all U.S. internet sports site, even Wall Street Journal(!) ran an in-depth feature about Yuna. Not to mention being selected on Time 100 list, bunch of Hollywood stars publicly talking about Yuna (e.g. Kirk Douglas's blog, Sarah Jessica Parker), bunch of American fashion blogs commenting on Yuna and her dress, and NBC constantly gushing over Yuna, with even Brian Williams hosting a segment on Yuna.

    Honestly, I think Yuna got more U.S. media attention than any other Korean that I am aware of, including President Lee.

    With all that public exposure, I would think something is seriously amiss with figure skating if Yuna's still doesn't have name recognition in the U.S, even to people who don't follow figure skating. Or maybe you just ran into people who have lived in caves for the past few months...

    My personal belief is that when Yuna retires. touring in the U.S. with the likes of Scott Hamiltion would be the first thing she will consider.

    Anyway, since this thread is about the next "swee heart" of US figure skating, I cast my vote for Mirai.

    I was blown away by her Olympics performance (both SP and LP), and I actually think that she has a very similar style and physique as Yuna. She just needs to be more refined and polished, which will come as she matures both mentally and physically.



    I have to wonder through what spectacles you are peering. Mirai had she kept it together would have won worlds. She is Asian and petite but the similarity ends there, IMO. At 16, she is as polished as anyone out there though not as sophisticated as Rochette, nor the consistent competitor equal to Mao or Kim. She has more natural talent than Kim if you are not talking big triple jumps. Her skating does not look like Yu-Na. All the top ladies are very distinctive. She is 8 years younger than Rochette, 3 years less experienced than the top two.

    I suspect she will have to fight confidence issues, as she has before and may be more like Sasha as a competitor. So many objective non-partisan fans of FS found her Oly Skates to be a highlight. She has tons of charm and charisma. I think only Mao was that "polished" at 16. People everywhere are so impressed with the total package she is. As they all say about Evan, Mirai has not the one thing, but "the everything." Her artistry and grace while performing jumps, spins, spirals, footwork is second to no one. She has only just begun on the world stage. I hope she is lucky barring injuries.

    As many have said before, they all want to skate like Sasha but compete like Kwan or Kim. Only consistency should keep Mirai from being the best in the world. Even if she doesn't win the big events due to nerves, she is quality, quality, quality to quote Hamilton.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    [/B]

    I have to wonder through what spectacles you are peering. Mirai had she kept it together would have won worlds. She is Asian and petite but the similarity ends there, IMO. At 16, she is as polished as anyone out there though not as sophisticated as Rochette, nor the consistent competitor equal to Mao or Kim. She has more natural talent than Kim if you are not talking big triple jumps. Her skating does not look like Yu-Na. All the top ladies are very distinctive. She is 8 years younger than Rochette, 3 years less experienced than the top two.

    I suspect she will have to fight confidence issues, as she has before and may be more like Sasha as a competitor. So many objective non-partisan fans of FS found her Oly Skates to be a highlight. She has tons of charm and charisma. I think only Mao was that "polished" at 16. People everywhere are so impressed with the total package she is. As they all say about Evan, Mirai has not the one thing, but "the everything." Her artistry and grace while performing jumps, spins, spirals, footwork is second to no one. She has only just begun on the world stage. I hope she is lucky barring injuries.

    As many have said before, they all want to skate like Sasha but compete like Kwan or Kim. Only consistency should keep Mirai from being the best in the world. Even if she doesn't win the big events due to nerves, she is quality, quality, quality to quote Hamilton.
    Overall, I agree with your assessment of Mirai, princess9. I like Mirai quite a lot, both for her skating and her personality. If she were ever to leap that final hurdle and become a champion, particularly OGM, I think she's got what it takes to become an American celebrity athlete (the indefinable sparkle), and would probably become huge in Japan and Asia to boot.

    The one comment that doesn't make sense to me is highlighted above. Granted, Mirai has gorgeous positions, flexibility and lines, maybe even better than Mao. I don't think anyone can accuse me of being obsessed solely with the physicality of skating , but "talent" has to be measured in reference to what helps you score/win in figure skating. And by that measure, the "hugeness" and consistency of jumps is where the points are at, quite frankly. To say that a skater is more talented except for the triple jumps is akin to saying a Formula 1 driver is unrivalled in his driving skills...except that he's a bit slow. More than anything else, this is why it makes no sense to say that Mirai is more talented than Yuna (or Mao) at this stage. If Mirai can prove that she can bring the spectacular jumps when she needs them, then and only then will she truly be their peer.

    Secondarily, I don't think it's accurate to say that Mirai is more talented even if one excludes jumps. In terms of physical technique, she's better than Yuna in positions/flexibility/lines (although the impact on scoring will be relatively minor in the larger scheme of things), but Yuna is superior in terms of speed and ice coverage, and IMO footwork/steps is pretty much a wash, and any qualitative differences are too small to matter. In addition, the difficulty of Yuna's non-jump package is at least as good as, if not better than, Mirai's.

    From the point of view of expressiveness, Yuna is Mirai's superior at this point. Part of this may have to do with age and maturity. No doubt she's loaded with charm and charisma, but off-ice personality, and on-ice persona and expressiveness are not the same thing. There are plenty of artists who are quiet and withdrawn by nature, who seem to burst out like some dazzling doppelganger when they perform. Conversely, the arts (and especially Hollywood) are loaded with outsized characters who can't translate this into art. Don't get me wrong, I believe Mirai has lots of expressive potential, but at this juncture her charm is still jejeune, and she has yet to demonstrate her ability to evolve the way Yuna and Mao have done (her interpretation of Carmen being a case in point; my own idiosyncratic view is that skaters should be discouraged from doing that piece until they are at least 18 or 19, unless they're sticking to the fanfare only ).

  12. #57
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Here is an interesting NY Times article that addressed the death of skaters as "America's Sweetheart."

    http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/20/we...l?pagewanted=1


    Nike can introduce ads in the US market featuring Yuna and couldn't Samsung, Hyundai and Korean Airlines too?

    If they are not it is because they don't believe she has the name recognition in America yet or in the case of Korean based corporations they might want a more American image selling their products in the US market.
    That could change in the future and I am sure this has been discussed.

    Or Yuna may prefer to keep a lower profile in N. America and she has mentioned how much she likes NOT being so easily recognized and swamped by fans in Toronto.


    Here is Katerina's commercial for Diet Coke from back in 1991. Different times........was it the second OGM, the extensive touring Kati did in N. America - or does it matter that it was before Harding and the SLC scandal?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDm_JIUq_hk
    I think the second gold medal matters. Especially the longetivity. Kat was on top for so long it was impossible for her not to be a household name. And I think it also matters that she had a big American rival. I imagine the battle of the Carmens was pretty hyped up leading up to the 88 Olympics.

    I also agree with miki88 about the sex appeal thing, though.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    [/B]

    I have to wonder through what spectacles you are peering. Mirai had she kept it together would have won worlds. She is Asian and petite but the similarity ends there, IMO. At 16, she is as polished as anyone out there though not as sophisticated as Rochette, nor the consistent competitor equal to Mao or Kim. She has more natural talent than Kim if you are not talking big triple jumps. Her skating does not look like Yu-Na. All the top ladies are very distinctive. She is 8 years younger than Rochette, 3 years less experienced than the top two.

    I suspect she will have to fight confidence issues, as she has before and may be more like Sasha as a competitor. So many objective non-partisan fans of FS found her Oly Skates to be a highlight. She has tons of charm and charisma. I think only Mao was that "polished" at 16. People everywhere are so impressed with the total package she is. As they all say about Evan, Mirai has not the one thing, but "the everything." Her artistry and grace while performing jumps, spins, spirals, footwork is second to no one. She has only just begun on the world stage. I hope she is lucky barring injuries.

    As many have said before, they all want to skate like Sasha but compete like Kwan or Kim. Only consistency should keep Mirai from being the best in the world. Even if she doesn't win the big events due to nerves, she is quality, quality, quality to quote Hamilton.
    What the?? How so? Yuna never miss a podium in her entire career. If Mirai has more natural talent than Yuna, she would have been better in every aspect of skating. She would have placed higher than her. Outside of her big triple jumps, she's more than that (Ok, she's not greatest, I have to pointed that out again).

    Currently Mirai is definitely on her way. But I like Christina Gao especially her jumps.
    Last edited by brownfox; 06-08-2010 at 10:08 AM.

  14. #59
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Great footage of Mirai practicing at the Olympics!! I just cannot get enough of this girl. It's like the exuberance of her skating matches that smile. And there is a really cute moment towards the end where she skates over to Frank and they chat and she skates back into the rink with this huge smile on her face.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_R-4...eature=related

    For me, she's sweetheart material, no question. I'm so nervous for the next season. I want it so badly for her

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    Great footage of Mirai practicing at the Olympics!! I just cannot get enough of this girl. It's like the exuberance of her skating matches that smile. And there is a really cute moment towards the end where she skates over to Frank and they chat and she skates back into the rink with this huge smile on her face.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_R-4...eature=related

    For me, she's sweetheart material, no question. I'm so nervous for the next season. I want it so badly for her
    I feel the same way about Mirai. I hope she has a happy and healthy season next year.
    Definitely looking forward to seeing her new programs and can't wait to see what Frank and Lori come up with.

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