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Thread: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

  1. #31
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    ah forget it.
    Last edited by R.D.; 08-05-2010 at 08:27 PM.

  2. #32
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    In 1998 I have to put Tara over Michelle. Some of Michelle's fans say she was "reserved", but when I first saw that Olympic footage I thought she had an understated glowing expression that suited the music just fine--it's only in comparison to herself at her Nationals that same season that you can see a slight loss of radiance (the atmosphere at Nationals amplifies the impression, I think.) I give credit to Tara not because of Michelle's so-called reservedness (I would still have put Michelle 2nd if she skated exactly like at Nationals) but because Tara edged Michelle with the higher technical difficulty of her program--it was close, but when it's a near-tie between technical and artistic, I have to go with the technical athlete. It is a sport first, and the Olympics are a sporting event. What is especially regretful about it, however, is that Michelle would have won an Olympic gold with that performance in almost any other year.
    Huh?? In 1998 the rules reward presentation over tech in the free program. You can't just make a case of Tara winnng on the basis of her tech. If MK skated Olys the same way she skated nats, then she should have won OGM, because of her presentation. I agree on the OGM result, because Tara won by both tech and presentation.

    Michelle is/was a tremendous skater with no real weaknesses and many strengths. I'm glad for her that she's looking forward to wonderful new horizons. However, I still don't think of the Olympics as "just like any other competition"; and the majority who medal/win are not merely lucky.
    Olys is not just another comp, but luck does play a small part. If the olys committee had not change the summer/ winter cycles e.g. having winter olys in 1992, and 1994, then 1996 should have been the yr for winter olys and is there any debate about who is the best skater in 1996?
    Last edited by rtureck; 08-05-2010 at 10:41 PM.

  3. #33
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I believe that the universe divided at that moment into two parallel universes. In the real universe, Michelle won and lived gloriously ever after.

    Unfortunately, somehow I got stuck over here in the other one.

    Oh well.
    I couldn't say it better!

    If I could be a skater, I'd rather skate like Michelle than like either of the two ladies (impressive though they are) who beat her for the gold in 1998 and 2002. (No surprise there.) Someone on YouTube said that when Michelle skates, she holds your soul in her hands. You may not all agree with that (tastes differ), but a large number of people do react to her skating that way, including me. She seems to distill the emotion in the music in a way that few other singles skaters do.

    By the way, I found a recording of the complete (four sections) Lyra Angelica on YouTube. What an enlightening experience for a skating fan. In its original state the piece is lovely, ethereal, but irather diffuse. Lori Nichol's edit of it (with a bit of Erik Satie thrown in somewhere in the middle) does an awesome job of shaping it to form a narrative. As Michelle was the ideal interpreter of Nichol's programs, Nichol was the perfect choreographer for such an artistic skater.

    Ironically, for years I couldn't watch that program, because of the results in the '98 Olympics. But then I got the brilliant idea of watching the Nationals version, which is the best one anyway. Now it's one of my favorite of Michelle's programs. It's so subtle, complex, and rich.

  4. #34
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by rtureck View Post
    Huh?? In 1998 the rules reward presentation over tech in the free program. You can't just make a case of Tara winnng on the basis of her tech. If MK skated Olys the same way she skated nats, then she should have won OGM, because of her presentation. I agree on the OGM result, because Tara won by both tech and presentation.
    Yes, I can just make a case of Tara winning purely on the basis of her tech. And no, I don't care about your opinion and criteria, which I disagree with. Michelle's presentation in 1998 was better than Tara's for the kinds of reasons that MKFSfan and others have outlined (TO ME, duhhhHHH)

    Quote Originally Posted by rtureck View Post
    Olys is not just another comp, but luck does play a small part.
    Luck plays some part in almost everything. Hail me, I am the sage of the universe, for I share such profound truths with all.

  5. #35
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    I feel that Lipinski went into the Olympics with ideas for what her "artistry" would be and when she started nailing all her hard jumps it created something new and totally spontaneous which beat the planned artistry of what Kwan had. Now in US nationals 98 Kwan was so good she made her planned artistry seemed totally new and spontaneous and amazing but at the Olympics it kind of sat there but with Lipinski the raw happiness won the day in Presentation scores.

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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    I was thinking about this conversation last night, and it occurred to me that one reason Michelle is such a standout in skating history is how much she's poured into competitions after she's been thrown off the horse at the Olympics. A lot of skaters can't get themselves motivated after such a disappointment. But Michelle won a World Championships within a year of each Olympics. That's pretty tenacious. In some ways, I stopped agonizing about the outcome of the 1998 Olympics when I realized that she might have stopped skating in 1998 if she'd had that Olympic gold. Can you imagine going without Red Violin, Song of the Black Swan, Aranjuez, and the other immortal post-1998 programs?

    So Mathman, maybe that alternate universe isn't such a great place to be a Michelle fan. Maybe we're better off in this flawed timeline.

  7. #37
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by MKFSfan View Post
    Rehashing 1998...I thought Tara deserved to win on the 1st mark, but Michelle on the 2nd mark. I would've had them 5.9/5.8 Vs 5.8/5.9, so Michelle would've gotten the 1st from me.
    12 years ago, to be precise. But the debate goes on. I think Tara was over-marked on presentation. I also think Michelle was under-marked on tech. She did 7 triples, albeit no 3-3. Tara also was not penalized for her flutzing. I guess the difficult combos made up for that--? Michelle's skate was no more restrained than Yu Na's this year and as far as objective presentation is concerned, her positions and lines were perfect, her choreography intricate, her spiral impressive. I would also score Michelle 5.8 on tech, and 5.9 on presentation and Tara 5.9 on tech and no more than 5.8 on presentation, giving Michelle the FP win.
    Last edited by jenaj; 08-06-2010 at 11:32 PM.

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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by mousepotato View Post
    Winning and OGM does not make or break a great skater. You could win every competition you enter but the Olympic long program and that doesn't mean you didn't "make it" as a skater. All it means is you didn't get a gold medal at one of the competitions you entered.

    On the flip side you have skaters like Sarah Hughes who no one outside of the skating world knows who happens to win a competition at the Olympics and people think she is better than what she really is. She never won nationals and only won one world bronze. She didn't exactly set the skating world on fire. I would rather have Michelle Kwan's career even without an OGM.
    I would rather have Witt's career with the Olympic Golds and many World titles and overall dominance as well than either Kwan or Hughes.

    I would rather Yamaguchi's career with the Olympic Gold, World titles, and long and illustrious pro career than either Kwan or Hughes.

    I would rather Yu Na Kim's career being a trailblazer for her country and winning Olympic and World gold than either Kwan or Hughes as well. And if she were to win in 2014 I would rather Asada's as well.

  9. #39
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    ^ I hope you get your druthers.

  10. #40
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    Geez, this talk of parallel universes might lead one to think Michelle is not doing very well.
    Based on the way things have been going for Ms Kwan I suspect the next chapter in her life will be as rich and fulfilling as her now legendary skating career.

    Wuz wondering if anyone remembers this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ZrhqfvKdQ

    I guess she was 13 or 14 here and already such a charmer.

  11. #41
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    Re: Kwan feature in Sports Illustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I couldn't say it better!

    If I could be a skater, I'd rather skate like Michelle than like either of the two ladies (impressive though they are) who beat her for the gold in 1998 and 2002. (No surprise there.) Someone on YouTube said that when Michelle skates, she holds your soul in her hands. You may not all agree with that (tastes differ), but a large number of people do react to her skating that way, including me. She seems to distill the emotion in the music in a way that few other singles skaters do.
    I totally agree with this statement! It's an emotional experience whenever I watch Michelle skate. I like the concept of the alternate universe by Mathman. In my alternate universe, Michelle would be two-time Olympic gold medalist. She would be three if it were not for the fact that Mao already came onto the scene in 2006. Since I love them equally, in my alternate world, Mao would be allowed to go and win in 2006.

  12. #42
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    I wish that Michelle would do a performance in the US. She hasn't performed in her home country since 2006, but she's been in Yu-Na's show twice. Sheeshe - the USFSA should be working on a farewell to Michelle tribute show for Nationals - see what that does for ticket sales!!!

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    If I could pick any skater I would like to able to skate like, it would be Michelle. No other skater has her connection to the music and the audience.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I totally agree with this statement! It's an emotional experience whenever I watch Michelle skate. I like the concept of the alternate universe by Mathman. In my alternate universe, Michelle would be two-time Olympic gold medalist. She would be three if it were not for the fact that Mao already came onto the scene in 2006. Since I love them equally, in my alternate world, Mao would be allowed to go and win in 2006.
    Are you selling tickets to this universe of yours? Put me down for one. And after Mao wins in 2006, YuNa wins in 2010. That's a trifecta I'd love to see.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    I would rather have Witt's career with the Olympic Golds and many World titles and overall dominance as well than either Kwan or Hughes.
    Witt is one of skating's greatest stars but she's also a testament to how much luck factors into winning a gold at the Olympics. In terms of sheer skating ability very FEW skating fans would actually put her anywhere near the top best skaters of all time, even if we factor in the evolution of skating and its difficulty over the years. She was lucky to be skating in the era she did, period. Besides her charisma on the ice she had little that was special about her skating and was simply a mediocre skater compared to some of the best. and then there's her steroid use...

    I would rather Yamaguchi's career with the Olympic Gold, World titles, and long and illustrious pro career than either Kwan or Hughes.
    Who seriously cares about pro-competitions? Besides the fact that they're effectively dead. I'm sure there are some skating fanatics here who do care about them and no disrespect to Kristi's career but I digress. 13 million US viewers tuned in to the 1998 US ladies' nationals to watch Michelle's legendary victory there. These kind of blockbuster ratings for a non-Olympics skating event speaks for itself and is unheard of these days (2nd only to the US nationals after the Tonya and Nancy fiasco which was fueled by scandal and not by skating skills). Kristi was NEVER anywhere near as beloved or popular as Michelle, or had anywhere near the same level of press exposure and major endorsements, in fact she's probably more known for her dancing with the stars win than her skating these days.

    Michelle's the only skater to consistently be voted yearly as one of America's 10 favorite female athletes even loooong after she stopped competing. she even made the list of overall top 10 most popular athletes (both sexes) after the 2002 Olympics. Kristi made the top ten of most popular female athletes during the year she competed in dancing with the stars, but dropped off immediately after that yet Michelle remained a constant on the list despite no major media appearances since 2006!

    Most people talk about Michelle's 5 world championship golds but she also has 9 world championship medals overall, including 3 silvers and a bronze. Compare that to Kristi's mere 2 world championship medals. As if Kristi's success in the pro circuit even comes close to comparing with amateur world medals.. not to mention michelle's 9 US national golds vs kristi's mere 3 national golds

    Do I even need to mention the Figure Skating Reader's choice Award which is voted by fans, and how that award had to be renamed the "Michelle kwan trophy" because she won it an amazing 7 times?? The only other skater to win that award more than once was Johnny Weir and he only won twice! that award has been given out since 1989 btw which happens to be the only year kristi won

    to the average american who doesn't watch skating, michelle kwan IS figure skating.

    there have been other american female skaters that have been icons during their time, such as peggy fleming or dorothy hamill, but their reigns were much shorter. in a way michelle's failures helped to solidify her fame and longevity to a very fickle and forgetful american public throughout FOUR different olympics (she first garnered major press during the 1994 olympics as an alternate after the tonya and nancy debacle, and in 2006 even after she withdrew her withdrawal was the biggest story of those olympics in the US).

    that in 2010 she still gets a spread/photoshoot in sports illustrated and a beautiful article says a lot.

    I would rather Yu Na Kim's career being a trailblazer for her country and winning Olympic and World gold than either Kwan or Hughes as well. And if she were to win in 2014 I would rather Asada's as well.
    So now we're potentially putting certain skaters' careers ahead of Kwan's IF they win an olympic gold in 4 years? I can see the pattern here, talk about reaching :sheesh:.
    Yes, yu-na's quite special for basically becoming the queen of skating in a country with a lackluster skating history. I would say Michelle's dominance is also special in that she became famous when skating was at its most popular in the United States after the Tonya/Nancy scandal, in a country with one of the greatest skating histories. If Korea fails to produce another champion after Yu-na leaves, skating in Korea will surely die a quick death. It means all the more that someone like Michelle is one of the most beloved of all time in a country with a long and illustrious history in skating.
    Last edited by ashdustannie; 08-08-2010 at 02:52 PM.

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