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Thread: Will The Shibutani's Get A Top 6 Finish in World Debut?

  1. #46
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    Completely agreed. I think there is still tweaking required in the COP to make it less prone to gaming the system and political lobbying. In any sport where there is a subjective component (skating, diving, gymnastics, aerial skiing, etc.) there is never going to be 100% agreement on results, especially where there are a number of fantastic competitors. But the principle is true: integrity in the scoring is key to broader acceptance and respect.

  2. #47
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    I could never understand why some people don't consider ice dancing to be a sport, while ice dancers are probably the best skaters of all four disciplines and since now it's even more athletic than before.I always attributed it to the fact that NA didn't have teams in contention so people were usually more inclined to watch singles.But now that the top two teams are American and Canadian I find it strange.
    So, there are people that accept curling as a sport but consider ice dancing not to be one?
    Of course it's subjective, as every judged sport is but since the talk was initially about the Shibutanis,I'll try to get to the point.
    If the Shibutanis win a medal it will be well deserved, but if B/S or C/P win a medal it will be because of politics?
    If next year or this year I/K go ahead of the Shibutanis it will be because of politics but if they finish behind them it will be well deserved?Maia and Alex are wonderful skaters but they're basically still kids.I'd prefer them to be ready to get into medal contention in 3-4 years time and be up to their game than being rushed to the top.
    Federations promote their skaters and it's not only the Russian federation that does this.It's the French Federation, the US federation, Skate Canada, etc.Because this is their job., that's what they're supposed to do for their skaters.
    I don't think people are getting extra marks for being non-caucasian, nor they're getting lower marks because of it.They may get lower marks in the beginning for being from let's say Bulgaria, or another small federation,but not because of their race.
    And if, suppposedly , this happens, will it be ok if they get a medal because of that?I wouldn't want that for any of my favourite skaters.
    Looks play a big role but it's not about being handsome in a pageant way.It's about being well matched, suitable to the theme you're skating to, having good lines,and not that much about your facial features.I can't remember many world champions that were strikingly beautiful but I can remember a lot of lower ranked dancers being stunning.

  3. #48
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    Here is an article about the Olympic aspirations of Ballroom Dancing (DanceSport).

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121279417265153475.html

    "Is it an art, like ballet? A sport, like fencing? Or a contest, like hot-dog eating?

    "So ballroom dancing was rechristened as "DanceSport." A video was made in Germany of splendidly fit dancers swimming laps. A split screen showed an 800-meter runner alongside a couple doing the quickstep. Then, a German researcher from the University of Freiberg performed tests demonstrating stress levels in the two events to be equal. "And our women do it backwards in high heels," says Mr. Pover."
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-07-2011 at 08:19 AM.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    I'm definitely with Northern Dancers on this one. I also think the IJS has made Ice Dance more sporting by the way it is now judged with specific elements that must be done in each dance. As for the Shibs - I said when I first saw them practice in Canton in Sept that they would be competitive this year and so they are. They could very well make top 6 if they skate like they did at Nationals. And someone said they don't have power - wrong! Their glide across the ice is powerful with great deep edges, which is why they get good PC scores.
    Then maybe power is the wrong word. Presence, performance, strength.... those types of things. They sell their programs well - the joussaince of their FD in particular is a delight. But they dont fill the arena like some of the top teams (or lesser teams below them). Obviously, this isn't the only requirement to be a top/great team, but I do think they could use a bit more OOMPH.

    I can't remember many world champions that were strikingly beautiful but I can remember a lot of lower ranked dancers being stunning.
    Really? You didn't think Gwendal Peizarat/Angelika Krylova/Tatiana Navka/Denkova and Staviski were strikingly beautiful? ....Maybe my standards for beauty are just low (insert joke about why I love COP here!)

    In general, alitha, I think the main reason was yes, there were no North American teams involved. Or even if there were, they seemed to be harmed by politics/rule quirks (to whit, Blumberg/Seibert losing to Klimova/Pomamarenko at 1984 Olympics due to what felt like a rule quirk; Torvil and Dean losing 1994 for the same reason). The repetitive nature of the podiums didn't help. The more easily entertaining losing to the less so (1995 WC, Bourne/Kraatz were another big victims of this - they were entertaining, so why did they lose? I'm being rhetorical here).

    But at the same time, they see something like the Aboriginal OD from DomShab, one of the most outrageously awful programs of our time, scoring an 8.8 for Interpretation at the Olympics and they get confused.

    If the Shibutanis win a medal it will be well deserved, but if B/S or C/P win a medal it will be because of politics?
    If next year or this year I/K go ahead of the Shibutanis it will be because of politics but if they finish behind them it will be well deserved?Maia and Alex are wonderful skaters but they're basically still kids.I'd prefer them to be ready to get into medal contention in 3-4 years time and be up to their game than being rushed to the top.
    My opinion?

    1. If the Shibs, B/S or C/P win a medal it'll be because V/M didn't skate. If B/S or the Shibs get a medal, I can imagine it being deserved. As much as I love C/P, winning a medal this year would raise my eyebrows a little. If any of these teams beat P/B or D/W, I would be floored.

    2. If I/K pass the Shibs will it be because of politics? Of course not. But I don't like I/K, lets make this clear. I saw inklings of what everyone else has been raving about in Berne, but generally, the internet hype REALLY turned me off this team (though not more so than their Schindler's List FD, perhaps the most misguided program I've ever seen).

    3. Race is an interesting question and one that needs to be seriously examined (full disclosure: I'm black. Not African American, black). In today's context, we can point out that some of the leading pairs herald from China and that the favourite for gold is a team where the man is visibly black (half Tanzanian, for those wondering), and another team that has a Japanese representing Russia. We can point out that the leading contenders in both singles events are either representing Asian countries (Japan, South Korea) or have their family history in Asia (Patrick Chan).

    But also in that context we have to point out that there's never been a non-white team in the top ten in dance. Given that ice dance is based on the cultural idiom of ballroom and theatre dance (ballet, etc), anybody coming outside that tradition (including, yes, people coming from Asia) is operating at a disadvantage, in my mind. It's telling that the team ready to break that barrier (the Shibutanis) are coming from within that tradition.

    4) "And if, suppposedly , this happens, will it be ok if they get a medal because of that?I wouldn't want that for any of my favourite skaters."

    And that's the problem with the presumption of politicking. It reduces the achievement. Even if everyone does it, it still makes the achievement on the ice less amazing.

  5. #50
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    I find it strange to decide who may deserve a medal and who may not before they even skate in the competition. Why are fans being political before the judges have a chance to be or not? People will find what they look for.

    Let the skaters compete.

  6. #51
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    I really like this team. Their La Vie en Rose was just amazing! Their edges,flow, and unision is going to the direction of that of V/M. Best wishes for World!

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    Ok, it's official!
    Just for the record, I am hereby informing any and all interested persons that the Shibs indeed finished "a top 6." They have finished the top 3!

    Yey, a bronze medal, baby!

  8. #53
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    Yeah, glad they actually skated this one out to determine the results.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post

    3. Race is an interesting question and one that needs to be seriously examined (full disclosure: I'm black. Not African American, black). In today's context, we can point out that some of the leading pairs herald from China and that the favourite for gold is a team where the man is visibly black (half Tanzanian, for those wondering), and another team that has a Japanese representing Russia. We can point out that the leading contenders in both singles events are either representing Asian countries (Japan, South Korea) or have their family history in Asia (Patrick Chan).

    But also in that context we have to point out that there's never been a non-white team in the top ten in dance. Given that ice dance is based on the cultural idiom of ballroom and theatre dance (ballet, etc), anybody coming outside that tradition (including, yes, people coming from Asia) is operating at a disadvantage, in my mind. It's telling that the team ready to break that barrier (the Shibutanis) are coming from within that tradition.

    4) "And if, suppposedly , this happens, will it be ok if they get a medal because of that?I wouldn't want that for any of my favourite skaters."

    And that's the problem with the presumption of politicking. It reduces the achievement. Even if everyone does it, it still makes the achievement on the ice less amazing.
    And now the gates have been opened. Hooray for the Shibutanis! I have yet to see their skates, but I gather they were pretty spectacular.

    Like you, I often wonder about what the barriers are to nonwhite participants in skating. Are they solely economic (including both expenses for individual families and a lack of rinks and coaches in majority black and Latino communities), or is something else at play? I suspect a certain amount of resistance comes from black and Latino communities themselves; skating probably isn't very popular there. But I live in hope.

    When I see someone like Szolkowy show up on the rink, I'm thrilled. In a country like Germany, which is ethnically not so diverse, his career might not lead to more, but I always hoped that Debi Thomas and Tai Babilonia would inspire others or even actively recruit black skaters in the diverse population of the U.S. and Canada. Likewise, I had hopes for Rudy Galindo's success as a Latino.

    While that hasn't happened, I'm happy to see the Asian presence in skating both in North America and from Asia itself. If skating is not to turn into a fossilized curiosity, it needs more fans in more places. Every example of greater diversity is an advance for skating.

    And the Shibutanis are just such cool skaters! Great for them!
    Last edited by Olympia; 05-01-2011 at 07:11 AM.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by CARA View Post
    Ok, it's official!
    Just for the record, I am hereby informing any and all interested persons that the Shibs indeed finished "a top 6." They have finished the top 3!

    Yey, a bronze medal, baby!
    Don't know if the link is already posted but for those who missed them, or just want to see something that will make you smile and feel good here is their FD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SLPbUFe-us

    I have to seriously question the judgement of anyone who says this team is "not good looking enough."


    If Ice Dancing wants to be a real sport it needs to get past the prejudice and not just racial prejudice but issues of age/wait your turn, and awarding medals based on looks as opposed to skating skills and actual performance.

  11. #56
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    Hernando, thanks for the video. The Shibs' reaction, when they realized that they won a medal, was priceless.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    I find it strange to decide who may deserve a medal and who may not before they even skate in the competition. Why are fans being political before the judges have a chance to be or not? People will find what they look for.

    Let the skaters compete.
    Amen.

    I know people here love it, but sometimes like you said, just let the skaters skate.

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