Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular
Did anyone watch? Joanie is singing to a singing prodigy named Grayson chance. Wow!
no, didn't watch, watching Tebow show folks he's not a fluke... the Ovation network will broadcast the repeat in March.
Too much gymnastics, not enough ice skating. Even the singing was subpar. THREE songs by poor man's Bob Dylan.
And the gymnastics boards are saying too much skating and not enough gymnastics
I went to this show last year as it was in my hometown. It's better live.
I watched one of these only once back in the 90's sometime, and I said never again.
Now I only watch gymnastics during the Olympics, that's it, stopped watching religiously once the Soviet Union dismantled and the best gymnastics powerhouse was no more, though there were still gymnasts from that era that lasted until about the year 2000.
It's changed way too much for me, lost everything that made it great, gymnasts going for the hardest elements with the best technique & perfection, no matter the cost. Ah, memories....
Gotta Have Music
Too much showing the singers. I want to see the athletes!
Was Shawn Johnson at the Spectacular? Is she even competing anymore?
Originally Posted by mmcdermott
Your post brought back so many memories, but we differ when it comes to difficulty, I stopped watching for that very reason, whereas you say it has become more difficult. I disagree, especially with skaters like Svetlana Khorkina & Nastia Liukin, to name a few. All they do is dance around, showing off their long spider bodies, they literally look like matchsticks imho. No difficulty, just a few three-turns on the beam and on the floor. No double twisting laybacks, flat out, like Lilia Podkopayeva, or running somersaults without using hands like Elena Produnova. Things like that.
I first started seriously watching gymanstics in 1976, though I recall Olga Korbut and her flexibility a little, but I was too young to remember much else. Nadia Comaneci was it for me, I even looked like her, though younger, and everybody called me Nadia at school that year. Anyhow, after that I was hooked, took up gymnastics myself, etc. Then BAM no Olympics for 1980. :( And the one in 1984 was by default imho because the greatest Russian Gymnastics Team was not there. Then came 1988 with the powerful Elena Shushunova, as well as powerhouses from other countries like Diana Dudeva from Bulgaria. And it got even more exciting in 1992 with Tatiana Lysenko (my favorite). By the way, that's the year I thought that Shannon Miller should have won, to this day I've never seen more perfect landings than hers, she deserved a 10, which would have made her the Olympic Champion. As much as I respect the best, which has always been Russia, Shannon took what she learned from them and beat them at their own game. Jmho. One more thing, I loved the 10s on the floor that year, well deserved from all the athletes from around the globe, especially the Romanians, and poor Kim Zmeskal her fifties routine was one of the most powerful & fun I've ever seen, period. Finally came 1996, which was all Lilia Podkopayeva, the last remnant of that once shining dynasty. Lastly, 2000, that was the last Olympic Gymnastics I watched. Yelena Produnova was thee BOMB! After that, no more. I can't stand mediocrity, and that's what it's become imho. Though I will catch a glimpse on replay maybe of 2012, but if it's anything like the past 2 Olympiads, no.
Back to skating, which has gone hand-in-hand with my love of gymnastics, found both Nadia in 1976, as well as Dorothy (even had her famous haircut that year, lol). :D I've been watching both sports since 1976, but stopped watching gymnastics religiously after 1996, then stopped watching all together after 2000. Here's hoping my love of skating doesn't end with mediocrity, because that alone will kill it for me.
Some memorble gymnastics routines:
OOoh, Lyssenko! One of my favourites It sounds like we have similar tastes in gymnasts. Shushunova and Podkopayeva were some of my favourites too.
Originally Posted by Nadine
By difficulty I didn't necessarily mean the big tricks, but more the amount of difficulty being packed into routines these days. Women are doing four tumbling passes on floor now, not three. That's surely harder, but once you add in the point-grabbing but ugly turns and leaps there's almost no time for choreography or showing some personality or anything like that. Beam is the same. And I also imagine that the big exciting tricks like double layouts or double fronts are hard to do while keeping stamina for three more big passes...
When they re-evaluated the scoring system in 1997 and again in 2004 the emphasis was on properly evaluating difficulty. Which was needed, but then that became the focus and the fundamentals were left in the dust. Prior to 1992 there was also a small score awarded for "Risk, originality, and virtuosity". A lot of fans think that the removal of ROV was a big part of the sport's decline.
This is why I'm so impressed with skating's IJS. It explicitly recognizes the sport's fundamentals in the program component marks. Things like transitions and linking moves are almost completely gone from womens' gymnastics now. The routine I posted above from Mostepanova (the real 1984 Olympic AA champion ), showed outstanding line, extension, form, toe point, flow, grace, elegance, presentation, finesse, transitions, choreography etc. that is missing from today's gymnastics. There should be a better balance between these qualities and the tricks.
What I don't understand, though, is why the athletes seem to be happy with getting low 9's or less for execution while maximizing their difficulty. It seems like they could get the same scores for doing less difficulty with better execution. But gymnastics doesn't publish scoring protocols so who knows what's actually going on there...
By the way, I remember someone at the last world championships did that front layout-double front that Produnova used to do but I forget who it was ... one of the Americans I think (not Wieber...)
ETA: I also hate all the fiddling with competition formats. The 6-3-3 team format is ridiculous. And when are Worlds being held now?? The encouraging of specialists vs. all-around gymnasts is also annoying. All in the name of making the sport more attractive to fans. Clueless.
Last edited by mmcdermott; 01-11-2012 at 01:49 PM.
Thanks for the update on all the various changes.
All's I know is what I see, and what I see I don't like, and that includes all the dancing around in gymnastics, and now figure skating. With IJS I see figure skating going the way of gymnastics, which lost me around 2000. And figure skating has been on a downward trend for me as well since IJS was introduced. I literally left the sport there in protest for years off & on, though I made sure to watch the Olympics, and
Worlds when I got the chance, only coming back full-time when Evgeni Plushenko came back in 2009.
Style, and stars, make all the difference in the world, no matter the sport. Those athletes that go above & beyond, easy to see they alone are doing the most difficult elements, and with style & pizzazz! Take for example, Produnova, she was way ahead of her time. Sure others may attempt what she did, but they have neither her style, nor her ability. This is why I've never been a fan of Mary Lou Retton or Shawn Johnson and even Kim Zmeskal. Tiny little girls built like linebackers. Whereas Produnova was a a woman with elegance + power + style. One whom didn't rest on her laurels, rather was pushing the sport and doing it with finesse & class, introducing innovative new elements along the way. The opposite of her would be Svetlana Boginskaya, whom also had a woman's body, but none of Produnova's beauty, power, elegance, charisma. Jmho.
Produnova was one of a kind, now you have Nastia Liukin, dancing around with her long spider body, no difficulty. The opposite being cowgirl Shawn Johnson. Give me somebody that can do both, and who is also a star, has style & charisma. Here's hoping 2014 brings forth that elusive star, whom has it all.
For now, Zhenya and some of the men competing today give me that thrill of being a figure skating fan! (:^D The women not so much (hopefully that changes), same goes for pairs.
But it was good discussing a sport that once I was so passionate about, mmcdermott, you've made me dust off all my old rotting gymnastics tapes from the 80's/90's/2000. (:^D And it was a joy re-watching old routines on youtube, though none of them convey what it felt like to be watching them on t.v. the very moment they took place (chills). (:^)
Sorry cannot quote easily with this ipad, but loved your post about former Olys in gymnastics, Nadine. I really thought Miller deserved a 10 esp. for her interesting and dazzling bars routine in96. Was never an overall fan of Zmeskal but I did like her Devil Went Down to GA floor and it was sad to see her fall apart at a few big events after being so solid at other events. But I enjoyed Shannon in both 92 and 96 though perhaps her peak was between the two Olys? And loved Podkepayeva and was happy for her all around title. And I did like the 96 US team, dawes and the rest, though I thought Strug was silly if she risked permanent injury on the unneeded vault, and Moceanu was a bit cutesy for me. Still, those were the days! ( s)
When did Kim Zmeskal do a "Devil Went Down to GA" floor routine? Dominique Moceanu did one for her 1996 Olympic routine but I only recall Kim performing floor to "Rock Around the Clock" and also I think a big band number "In The Mood".
Originally Posted by rallycairn
Anyway, I happen to have enjoyed Nastia Liukin at the Olympics. I don't just like 'power' gymnasts and for me, apart from Anna Pavlova, she came the closest to blending artistry and athleticism. Her twisting on floor and double front may have looked easy but apparently the international panel of judges at the Beijing Games didn't think so-they handed her the AA gold and a bronze on floor, not to mention her silvers in Team, Bars, and Beam. She couldn't have been too shabby with a 5 out of 6 Olympic medal haul.
My favorite all-time gymnast is Daniela Silivas who imo was the best-especially in the exacting compulsories which were a part of the competition in her day.
Last edited by Sasha'sSpins; 01-12-2012 at 09:15 AM.