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Thread: Skating as art

  1. #166
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    Golly, I hope not. If I wanted an art that was just an art, I'd watch only ballet and folk dance troupes. Like your beagles, I wouldn't know who Michelle Kwan is either. A dire fate!

  2. #167
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post


    From the article:

    The nation’s new top dog was clearly the fan favorite, and drew a roaring, standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden when he was picked."
    Madison Square Garden is where you watch basketball games?
    Or only dogs?

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ But seriously, what is the thesis that you are pressing here? Are you saying that figure skating ought to abandon all pretense of being a sport, acknowledge that it is just a dog and pony show, and then try to reap the financial benefits that the real dog and pony shows do?
    I did not write the article, I just quoted it.
    You can draw your own conclusions.

    My conclusion is that Americans on the whole are not intrigued by this idea of skating as real sport.

    The fan base in USA, particularly the casual fan that demographics showed was primarily women watched skating for reasons other than sport.

    It always had so much to do with the music, choreography, costumes, little mock dramas as seen in the never ending fluff pieces, and the charm/charisma of the skaters.

    Put it all together and something unique was created, and as far away from speedskating not to mention baseball or football as anything could hope to be.

    Times change and when a sport changes as much as figure skating did after the scandal it needs to be in step with the changing cultural trends or it will become less important, even irrelevant.

    The dogs have already booked Madison Square Garden for next season and have a TV contract with 6 hours of broadcasting on USA network, a station owned by NBC.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-06-2011 at 08:05 AM.

  4. #169
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    The board seems quite depressing this morning. Figure skating is such an unsporty sport that no sports fan will ever watch it, it is so unartful that art fans turn up their nose at it, and figure skaters are nowhere near as pretty as dogs -- especially Nancy Kerrigan and the Shibutanis.

    But I'm glad I watched the fun-in-the-snow video (Ulrich Salchow).

  5. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    The board seems quite depressing this morning. Figure skating is such an unsporty sport that no sports fan will ever watch it, it is so unartful that art fans turn up their nose at it, and figure skaters are nowhere near as pretty as dogs -- especially Nancy Kerrigan and the Shibutanis.

    But I'm glad I watched the fun-in-the-snow video (Ulrich Salchow).
    What was it about this performance that caught the eye of so many Americans?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKmUW8wPB0s

    Was there something so "sporty" about it or did it have more to do with things I mentioned in post #168?

    Was there something special we saw in the personality and charm of the skater or was it because we thought she was just like Michael jordan and capable of superhuman athletic feats?

    Some could argue for both points but I believe we were enthralled seeing the talent and beautiful artistry from a skater who was developing right before our eyes.

  6. #171
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    Hernando, what do you think explains the decline of figure skating popularity before the 2002 SLC scandal?

  7. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Hernando, what do you think explains the decline of figure skating popularity before the 2002 SLC scandal?
    Is that a trick question

    Leading into 2002 USA was preparing to host the Winter Olympics. Skaters were seen on the cover of Time magazine and many other major publications.

    There was still plenty of skating on TV and if it had dropped a little it was nothing like today.

  8. #173
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    Article from EW

    While it mentions the sky high ratings for the SLC Pairs (66 million!!!) and mentions the Olympic short program from 1994 (Kerrigan's first competition post wack, right?), it includes this quote.

    It's unclear how long the snow-dusted luster will last. Viewership of non-Olympic skating events on network prime time has been in decline since the sport's mid-'90s post-Nancy-and-Tonya peak, with only eight prime-time skating events airing in 2000, down from 22 in 1997, according to an Initiative Media report.
    So in three years, it lost approximately 68% of network coverage it had in the past. Obviously, it's even less now. I'm just wondering if you had an explanation for this "little" drop?

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Is that a trick question

    Leading into 2002 USA was preparing to host the Winter Olympics. Skaters were seen on the cover of Time magazine and many other major publications.

    There was still plenty of skating on TV and if it had dropped a little it was nothing like today.
    It's all so sad that a once popular sport which was covered in all the print journals, doesn't even get a small notice of competition results.
    The only coverage in newspapers today is about incidents not for scoring. Even as late as a year ago, there was more mention of Bobek and drugs. Love him, or hate him, Phil Hersch writes about the sport.

    I do not think the decline is world wide, but I am not sure of that.

  10. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    My conclusion is that Americans on the whole are not intrigued by this idea of skating as real sport.

    ...Times change and when a sport changes as much as figure skating did after the scandal it needs to be in step with the changing cultural trends or it will become less important, even irrelevant.
    So do you want to disband the real sport of figure skating and give the athletes who have devoted years of their lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars of training no place to go, and replace it with a pageant or soap opera featuring performers on skates that will appeal to fans who aren't interested in sport?

    How about letting the ISU continue to run the sport for the athletes, and have the ISU allow someone else to produce the show that the fans want. If fans don't want to watch the sport, that's their loss. The athletes still want to compete. Just like the athletes in kayaking or diving or curling want to compete, with or without fans.

    If the fans and the TV networks want the stars of their nonsporty show to demonstrate a fairly high level of skating competence, then work out some agreement so that the ISU gets some money in exchange for running a sport that encourages athletes to develop skills needed. If the idea of televised skating is purely to please fans, then televised skating should probably be run by entertainment producers, not the ISU. And it can be produced differently in different countries to appeal to fit in with the cultural trends there, which may differ across the globe.

    But meanwhile, the ISU will continue to run the sport as sport, maybe with less money if there are no fans.

    I t think there will continue to be fans of the sport as sport, just as there were fans who actually traveled to competitions and bought tickets to watch compulsory figures and compulsory dances long before the 1990s skating boom. Even more now because of the globalized access allowed by the Internet.

    That may not be enough to fund everything that the 1990s US TV money allowed. Skating as sport may become more and more of a niche sport if the public who funds it isn't interested in the sport.

    But shouldn't the kids taking skating lessons and entering competitions in hopes of someday reaching the top should be focusing on developing their skating skills, not their costumes and soap opera dramas?
    Last edited by gkelly; 04-06-2011 at 08:46 AM.

  11. #176
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    There are many members here, who write in the forum and /or have a blog on internet and they write also about the sport, they are far more interesting and correct (including you Joe) than Hersh, in my opinion of course.

  12. #177
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    Having been to a lot of LIVE competitions, I can easily say that it is confusing to many when the skater gets a standing ovation but loses to another skater by a few points who did not get a standing ovation. It's not the same thing as 'coming down to the wire'. Confusing the public is not the way to healthy sport.

  13. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Article from EW

    While it mentions the sky high ratings for the SLC Pairs (66 million!!!) and mentions the Olympic short program from 1994 (Kerrigan's first competition post wack, right?), it includes this quote.



    So in three years, it lost approximately 68% of network coverage it had in the past. Obviously, it's even less now. I'm just wondering if you had an explanation for this "little" drop?
    I would offer all of the "usual suspects."
    Your point is well taken but hardly news.

    I wonder what it would take to bring it back (not meaning another "whack" or to mid-90 levels) so we could see more or expanded coverage of skating events.

    It seems we have more TV stations than at anytime in history and online coverage too. But I wasn't able to find any American coverage of 4CC on TV or online that was shown during the event.

    I think the idea that skating is a sport like baseball or football, or heaven help us like speedskating is not only a false premise but a marketing disaster.

    The producers of skating shows should have learned by now that featuring 2nd rate Pop acts with skating is not a winner.

    If I were to look at this with a bit of historic perspective I might think back to the days when John Curry was producing very artistic shows that took place at Madison Square Garden and had were broadcaston Natl TV.

    Why were they as successful?
    Why is seeing Caroline Zhang skating to some Pop ballad with the camera going back and forth between her and the group seem so inadequate?

    I think skating needs to embrace it's artistic heritage and figure out who it's audience is here. Then create something that is enjoyable to watch for more than just the very small percentage of skating fans like GS members.

    Skating and gymnastics was an attempt but not very interesting and felt gimmicky.

    If I come up with any solutions I will let you know. But starting with a process of elimination is not the worst idea and could lead to something new or atleast something better.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-06-2011 at 09:13 AM.

  14. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    So do you want to disband the real sport of figure skating and give the athletes who have devoted years of their lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars of training no place to go, and replace it with a pageant or soap opera featuring performers on skates that will appeal to fans who aren't interested in sport?

    How about letting the ISU continue to run the sport for the athletes, and have the ISU allow someone else to produce the show that the fans want. If fans don't want to watch the sport, that's their loss. The athletes still want to compete. Just like the athletes in kayaking or diving or curling want to compete, with or without fans.

    If the fans and the TV networks want the stars of their nonsporty show to demonstrate a fairly high level of skating competence, then work out some agreement so that the ISU gets some money in exchange for running a sport that encourages athletes to develop skills needed. If the idea of televised skating is purely to please fans, then televised skating should probably be run by entertainment producers, not the ISU. And it can be produced differently in different countries to appeal to fit in with the cultural trends there, which may differ across the globe.

    But meanwhile, the ISU will continue to run the sport as sport, maybe with less money if there are no fans.

    It think there will continue to be fans of the sport as sport, just as there were fans who actually traveled to competitions and bought tickets to watch compulsory figures and compulsory dances long before the 1990s skating boom. Even more now because of the globalized access allowed by the Internet.

    That may not be enough to fund everything that the 1990s US TV money allowed. Skating as sport may become more and more of a niche sport if the public who funds it isn't interested in the sport.

    But shouldn't the kids taking skating lessons and entering competitions in hopes of someday reaching the top should be focusing on developing their skating skills, not their costumes and soap opera dramas?
    I like it when you write with more passion.

    If you want to believe Americans loved Michelle because they thought she was a great athlete that is fine with me. I think it was alot more than that though and of course you know I am right.

    Your ideas are fine and I am not against anything you wrote. But I see nothing wrong with questioning the state of skating at the moment.

    I live in a major metro area and it is too expensive for SOI , SA or Natls to hold events here. That makes me sad just as not being able to see more skating on TV makes me sad.

    Just about every sport under the sun is being shown on TV in USA these days. What is wrong with skating that we are seeing less andless of it?

    What we need is less denial and more creativity?

    Has ISU's strangle hold on the eligible skaters helped skating?
    Do we need Plushy suspended so Speedy can show us how powerful he is?

    Or how about threatening the Korean federtion with sanctions last year if Yuna skipped 4CC for a little thing like the Olympics?

    Is visionary leadership and management of skating or any sport important?
    How would you rate ISU in these important and necessary qualities?
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-06-2011 at 09:26 AM.

  15. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    There are many members here, who write in the forum and /or have a blog on internet and they write also about the sport, they are far more interesting and correct (including you Joe) than Hersh, in my opinion of course.
    Thank you Senorita. I'm not often seen as an an interesting and correct poster. Just a nasty troll.

    By the way, I believe you are based in Europe, Senorita. Would you say European newspapers cover Figure Skating competitions as they would other Winter sports?

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