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Thread: 'ICE' ISU Open Pro-Am series planned for 2012 (Scott Hamilton's brainchild)

  1. #31
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I see no where in this thread that Retired skaters will apply. I wish the Retired skaters would form a special annual competition for themselves and only for themselves.

    Apparently this Hamilton inspired competition is for a select group of skaters in each of the four disciplines, so naming your favorite retirees may not be that 'slective'.

    in fact we really do not know all that much about this competition. Are the international organizers agree to this?
    Will the organizers in Asia and Europe have the mid summer venue ready for their dates? Will there be TV coverage in the selected venue?

    How will the 'selective' skaters and judges be informed, and who are they?

    The logistics, as I see it, are overwhelming, and the competitions would never be ready this year. Most important, will the ISU approve?

  2. #32
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    I completely agree, skfan!

    I wouldn't want to be the lowly worker who has to contact Torvill and Dean and say, "Sorry, you don't fulfill the requirements to skate in our program." I wouldn't want to be the one to tell the audience that T & D weren't allowed into the competition, either!

  3. #33
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    The logistics, as I see it, are overwhelming, and the competitions would never be ready this year. Most important, will the ISU approve?
    They plan to start in 2012. The ISU Council has already approved the prospectus "in principle," with no doubt many details still to work out. The scoring system will be a "modified" CoP, with the ISU supplying the tech specialists and judges.

    The people behind this are Rob Dustin and Bobby Goldwater. Dustin is a former producer and sports entrepreneur at Icenetwork and Universal Sports. He produced segmnents of the CBS Olympic coverage in 1992, 1994, and 1998, and is credited with coming up with innovative ways to draw in the TV audience, such as mounting a camera on the front of a bobsled.

    He produced the three Skating with Celebrities shows and a bunch of documentary-type skating features such as the "My Sergei" tribute to Sergei Grinkov, as well as events like Ice Wars in the 1990s. His company is Red Brick Entertainments.

    Bobby Goldwater (The Goldwater Group sports and entertainment) has a long and impressive career in venue management and sports productions. He was part of the management team at Madison Square Garden for 24 years before becoming Senior Vice President of Staples center. He formed a coalition to bring baseball back to Washington DC in 2004.

    http://scs.georgetown.edu/department...m?a=a&fId=1161

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0244720/

    This new company (note that Scott Hamilt0n is the "Creative Executive Officer", not the CEO) is an LLC (Limited Liability Company). This status allows investors and sponsors to buy in without assuming personal liability for the company's losses. I would expect that they have already done quite a bit of preparatory legwork on this project before making this announcement.

    My only concern is that the project is geared more towards an entertainment exrravaganza that an actual competitive sporting event. For the cast, I am sure that they will just go down the list of who's available and select the skaters that they feel will be the biggest draws.

    I hope they can get Lysacek, Weir, and Lambiel, and Arakawa for the ladies.

  4. #34
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I hope they can get Lysacek, Weir, and Lambiel, and Arakawa for the ladies.
    they could play off of the Lysacek/Wear "rivalry" if that were to happen.

    Whatever happened to Evan's talks with organizers to do an xgames version of figure skating?

  5. #35
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Whatever happened to Evan's talks with organizers to do an xgames version of figure skating?
    It might not be too late! This guy Rob Dustin produced the 2006 Major League Video Gaming Circuit. Evidently there are teams of video gamers that compete against each other at live competitions on on TV (I must have missed it in my local programming guide).

    http://www.gamezone.com/news/item/re...t_tour_on_usa/

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I completely agree, skfan!

    I wouldn't want to be the lowly worker who has to contact Torvill and Dean and say, "Sorry, you don't fulfill the requirements to skate in our program." I wouldn't want to be the one to tell the audience that T & D weren't allowed into the competition, either!
    you know just now i imagined torville and dean skating to air on a G string, carmina burana, pachelbel canon, some of the great classical warhorses or that brahm piece from 'tree of life' whose name i only learned yesterday (thanks to youtube). i would also like to see angelika krylova again heck, i'd like to see shae-lynn bourne skating by herself, with victor kraatz or a new partner! darn, a lot of the people i'd like to see wouldn't qualify by their 10 year rule (well, not shae-lynn's new partner, for sure).

    was cinquanta's concern that the quality of the technical elements would be too deficient if they let older skaters compete? i remember appreciating lisa marie allen and dorothy when they were more than 10 years out of their ISU competition years. but this might be the reason for the money bonus for difficult jumps--cinquanta doesn't want anyone winning with the hardest jump being the double axel? of course that would be unlikely if arakawa and rochette were to participate.

    i don't want to get behind this only to be disappointed, but i must admit at this moment i'm starting to feel even slightly hopeful

    ETA
    on the other hand the money bonus for difficult jumps might be inducement for amateurs to add these pro-am events to their already full GP + nationals + 4cc/Euro + worlds schedule. for instance suguri or murakami can almost count on getting some bonus money just from the jumps alone--even if they didn't win overall against arakawa. unless the bonus money jump is the 3-lutz? i have not checked if she would even qualify for these competitions, but i would love to see yukina ota again, even if she didn't try a single jump.
    Last edited by skfan; 06-11-2011 at 01:03 PM.

  7. #37
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    What if Plushenko and Chan could earn more money from Pro-Am jumps than prize money from GP events?

  8. #38
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ Personally, I think it would be very good for skating if they could. This was certainly the case for Michelle Kwan in her most productive years. The top prize in a pro-am or all-am cheesefest was $50,000 -- the same amount that a skater got back then for winning the World Championship. Plus, I would be surprised if she didn't get extra appearance money under the table.

    Michelle never missed a cheesefest, not even the audience vote-in show in December of 2005 where she could barely walk, much less skate. (All of the "judges," Dick Button, Peggy Fleming and Peter Carruthers voted for Sasha, but the Sleeping Internet Kwanster (I mean Monster) awoke; a rumbling as of distant thunder was heard in the land; the Internet and call-in vote came in, at first a gentle rain, then, gathering to a mighty head,... )

    I don't see how it would do the ISU any harm if, say Patrick Chan skipped the Grand Prix in favor of the pro-ams. For that matter, if he has the legs for it, Chan could do both and really clean up. (The rules stipulate that the pro-ams must be scheduled so as not to conflict with other ISU events or with National Championships.)

    In the best of all possible worlds both the pro-ams and the Grand Prix would make money for the ISU, which would surely be music to Mr. Cinquanta's ears.

    Edited to add: Yu-na Kim might do the pro-ams. too. That way she could keep her hand in without killing herself, and also keep her options open for the future.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-11-2011 at 03:20 PM.

  9. #39
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    I hope they can get Lysacek, Weir, and Lambiel, and Arakawa for the ladies.
    Why not the active skaters? Did they mention only for retired skaters? I'd like to see Ashley, Hanyu, Sotnikova, Chen

    I agree, this comp will not be taken seriously. It's the latest in the long list of cheesefests. The lovers of campy routines will be happy. Maybe it might make some money for the coffers of the ISU and its affiliates.

  10. #40
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Michelle never missed a cheesefest, not even the audience vote-in show in December of 2005 where she could barely walk, much less skate. (All of the "judges," Dick Button, Peggy Fleming and Peter Carruthers voted for Sasha, but the Sleeping Internet Kwanster (I mean Monster) awoke; a rumbling as of distant thunder was heard in the land; the Internet and call-in vote came in, at first a gentle rain, then, gathering to a mighty head,...
    C'mon, everyone knows those cheesefests paid for that new fabulous rink in LA. I'm sure she got a hefty stipend just to enter.

    ]

  11. #41
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    C'mon, everyone knows those cheesefests paid for that new fabulous rink in LA. I'm sure she got a hefty stipend just to enter.
    That's what I said. Michelle never turned down a cheesefest, even while skipping the Grand Prix, because she could win $50,000 plus appearance money under the table.

    Unfortunately, that was then, this is now. I doubt if this venture will make that kind of money to dole out to the skaters.

    Why not the active skaters? Did they mention only for retired skaters? I'd like to see Ashley, Hanyu, Sotnikova, Chen.
    I am lukewarm about that idea. I do not have much interest in seeing Stephane Lambiel "competing" against 12-year-old Nathan Chen for CoP points, or Shizuka Arakawa trading jumps with 14-year-old Adelena Sotnikova.

    The plan is to get a mix of still active world and Olympic medalists, together with recently retired skaters with the same credentials. As always, we will have to wait and see.

  12. #42
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    oh, man, the thought of seeing people like Lambiel and Shizuka again, and maybe Sasha...I won't wish for Michelle, because she's moved on for good, I think. Math, I too like the idea of YuNa taking part in them. She could debut new programs and have the fun of thrilling audiences without killing herself on the eligible circuit as CoP judges moved the rules around from year to year to up the ante. And Paul Wylie and Tara could do commentary!

  13. #43
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I am lukewarm about that idea. I do not have much interest in seeing Stephane Lambiel "competing" against 12-Nathan Chen.]
    Did I not read there would be a modified CoP judgement - whatever that means? I think the Organizers will take anyone who wants to skate in this comPetition including Alexe Gilles and Caroline Zhang.

    The plan is to get a mix of still active world and Olympic medalists, together with recently retired skaters with the same credentials. As always, we will have to wait and see.
    Who's to say what the plan is? Is it official? or just a dream of the fans' imagination?

    I didn't read much about the skaters names or their status in the mix. If active and retired skaters are going to compete with each other there better be a hefty under the table stipend before they even compete, and award plenty of money prizes for the top six finishers. Their Agents will demand it.

    Totally agree with you. Ir's a wait and see.
    Last edited by Joesitz; 06-12-2011 at 05:16 AM.

  14. #44
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Did I not read there would be a modified CoP judgement - whatever that means?
    The announcements say "free skating only." I would guess that the "modifications" would be along the lines of relaxing the requirements for 8 jumping passes, etc.

    Who's to say what the plan is? Is it official? or just a dream of the fans' imagination?.
    ISU Communications 1671 (resolutions passed at the April meeting of the ISU Council) puts it this way:

    The participants in this series may be among eligible and ineligible skaters and should be a medallist of either a ISU World Championships or Olympic Winter Games in their respective discipline within the previous ten years.
    http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=2601

    The announcement from the organizing company says:

    A select group of the world’s greatest skating stars, distinguished by having won Olympic and/or World Championship medals, will be invited to compete in a series of one-night events over three consecutive weeks. This “ISU Open International Competition Series” will provide the world’s outstanding skaters, both current eligible and former champions, an opportunity to perform on the same ice.
    This is kind of a short list. I hope it works out the way they plan.

  15. #45
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Looking at the proposed format, this will be a small competition in terms of the number of competitors. Each segment includes all four disciplines and will be squeezed into a three-hour show. (At least, they hope to have three hours of television.) So they are probably planning something like 6 men, 6 ladies, and probably only three pairs and three dance teams.

    The same skaters will then fly to the next continent and do a different routine the following week. Then in the finals, it is just the top two from each discipline (so they each probably have to do two routines.) The whole thing is over in three weeks.

    If they stick strictly to the “world or Olympic medal in the last tten years” criterion, for men the choices are Chan, Kozuka, Gachinski, Takahash, Joubert, Buttle, Weir, Lambiel, Plushenko; Lindemann, Goebel, Honda and Yagudin. Of these, Lindemann and Gachinski are not big draws, and Honda and Goebel are in full retirement. The rest are still skating, although I am not sure Buttle or Yagudin would want to do it.

    This leaves eligibles Chan, Kozuka, Takahashi and Joubert, and recently retired Lysacek, Plushenko (?) and Lambiel. Any six from that group (or Buttle) would make a strong competition, IMHO. I think Chan would win easily unless they “modify” the CoP to take away his point-getting advantages. If they give more weight to, as they put it,

    Exciting, fan-friendly performances featuring contemporary music.
    that would give crowd-pleasers like Lambiel and Takahashi an edge.

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