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Thread: What things would you change/add/remove to make figure skating popular again?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    From an advertizing point of view, figure skating skews to an older, female demographic and we're an easy audience to reach. There's no particular advantage to sponsoring the sport. Golf attracts and older, affluent, male demographic which is very difficult to reach so that sport gets lots of high-end advertizers like Rolex, various luxury cars, and why golf bumps figure skating every time it runs over.
    True. What is more frustrating, though, is there is network coverage of sports like women's softball and the WNBA. Most men have little interest in these sports (much like figure skating), so I wonder what the governing bodies of those women's sports are doing to successfully market to the networks. In other words, these sports are marketing to the female demographic more successfully than figure skating.

  2. #32
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    That's a good point, drivingmissdaisy: almost every women-centered sport (except maybe gymnastics, and that's little girls) is hard to sell on TV. Oprah's network should do stuff like that, except--drat!--you have to pay extra to see her network, and I already pay about as much as I can for cable. (I don't order any of the premium channels like HBO for that reason.)

    Will Ferrell...I can't watch him. Even the trailers made me look away. I don't care if the entire cast of Stars on Ice has cameos in a movie like that, I can't watch. All I can say is, thank goodness he's made his skating movie, so he won't bother us again. He can go on to besmirch some other career. I have a low tolerance for that kind of comedy. I couldn't watch Steve Martin for years, and he's a heck of a lot smarter and more creative than this Ferrell person. (Then finally Martin did Roxanne, and I could understand and enjoy his talent.)

    A script; someone can start the thread in the Cafe, and I'll be happy to help make suggestions. I've always thought that a good story would be to follow a pro group trying to tour, which might or might not succeed by the end of the film. Then there would be an excuse for more innovative skating. It could be like the combination of a backstage musical and a road picture. There could be various subplots with the skaters from different countries. There's a lot to say about the skating world once you move beyond the "blind girl does double axels" or "cute Disney actress must win the Olympics by the end of the movie; stunt skater required."

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    A script; someone can start the thread in the Cafe, and I'll be happy to help make suggestions. I've always thought that a good story would be to follow a pro group trying to tour, which might or might not succeed by the end of the film. Then there would be an excuse for more innovative skating. It could be like the combination of a backstage musical and a road picture. There could be various subplots with the skaters from different countries. There's a lot to say about the skating world once you move beyond the "blind girl does double axels" or "cute Disney actress must win the Olympics by the end of the movie; stunt skater required."
    That would be so cool. Chorus Line meets This is Spinal Tap!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    Figure skating has always been a niche sport with no fan base outside of families and friends of the skaters except in Olympic years when it was the glamour sport of the Winter Games. If you look at tapes of big competitions from the 60's and 70's, there were three or four rows of spectators except at the Olympics.
    That's a good point. I guess what I should have said, with respect to Ice Follies, etc., is that professional skating used to be more popular. Many amateurs competed with the goal of lining up professional opportunities afterward.

    Dorothy Hamill famously remarked about the 1976 Olympics, "It was either win the gold medal and skate with Ice Capades or get silver and go home to Chicago to my job as a secretary." Even as late as 1992, when Kristi Yamaguchi won the Olympic Championship, she sat down with her financial advisors to figure out if she could make more money by turning pro immediately and signing with Stars on Ice or by staying amateur for two more years.

    Here is a short article about the career of Richard Dwyer from the 1950s, to get the flavor of the times.

    http://figureskating.about.com/od/sk...st/p/dwyer.htm
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-27-2012 at 10:36 PM.

  4. #34
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    Movie ideas:

    How about an ice dance soap opera with lots of partner switching and double crosses on and off the ice?

    Ice dance might be a little easier to choreograph for actors who can skater, since it might be hard to find enough skaters who can act.

    But chances are no matter what the plot, if there are going to be skating performances from the main character(s) that would be captivating enough to turn movie fans into skating fans, there will be skating doubles and weird editing to cover up that fact.

  5. #35
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    Heh.

    Past, present, future

    Science, art, sport

    I think figure skating can be made more popular.

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    Oh yes. a movie! I can think of a fact-based story from the not too distant past. It would be an ice-dancing sex comedy involving bed hopping, partner swapping, the Russian wedge and chicken soup. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait, the protagonists are still living. It might have saved figure skating.

  7. #37
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Oh, joy ! Who will direct ?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    Oh, joy ! Who will direct ?
    Woody Allen, I don't think Cronenberg would be right.

  9. #39
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    Add: An annual USA vs Japan competition such as was held in October 2006 and October 2007
    Music with Lyrics
    Various music types including trance, hip-hop, and smooth jazz
    Aggressive recruitment in intercity neighborhoods
    Kurt Browning as a commentator for ALL events

    Remove: Figure skating's reputation as a "gay" sport (for guys)
    Age minimum (would be more exciting if we could see the same skaters duel it out at 4 consecutive Olympics)

  10. #40
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    Sasha Cohen has some acting credits.

    But yeah. Finding a skater who happened to be such a natural at acting that he/she could sustain a leading role in a movie would be as unlikely as finding an actor who coincidently could skate at the championship level.

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    Leslie Browne spoiled me. She was such a wonderful actress, and because she was a dancer you could see that her every move was balletic. She sat like a dancer. She nodded her head like a dancer. She even got slightly tipsy as a dancer. After seeing The Turning Point, I came to expect that kind of seamlessness between the acting and the dancing in every performance movie. And then there's Baryshnikov. He was so believable in that movie, and he has continued to convince in films like White Nights. (The latter also starred another convincing dancer-actor, Gregory Hines.) I live in hope that we'll find the right people and the right story for our skating movie.

    One set of movies that I find inspiring are the flamenco movies of Carlos Saura of Spain. His leading man was always Antonio Gades, one of Spain's leading flamenco artists, and his leading ladies were dancers Laura del Sol and Cristina Hoyos. Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El Amor Brujo have varying degrees of plotline, though the dance takes center stage. Has anyone seen them? And then there's the grandparent of all ballet movies, The Red Shoes. Think about it: You don't have to have a bunch of skaters who can act; you only need two or three for the prominent parts. The rest can be walk-ons who are there so we can enjoy their skating.

    A segment from Saura's El Amor Brujo (don't know why the movement is so choppy)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydf1oIp6vyU

    And here's the Ritual Fire Dance:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L18b3...eature=related
    Last edited by Olympia; 05-28-2012 at 10:52 AM.

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    Fundraising calendars of skaters in swimsuits. That's how the public will see how hot they are.

    When I looked at a recent issue of Sports Illustrated with the impressive photos of athletes in action, I realized skaters do their things fully clothed and the public never get to see their muscles and bodies making those amazing moves, dripping in sweat with determined facial expressions. They are not considered athletes and figure skating not considered a sport because skaters dress in costumes and make the most difficult maneuvers look easy and artistic. Many other winter sports demonstrate easily understandable speed and risks and many winter athletes these days are promoted with photos of them scantily clothed.

    Adam Rippon has been twitting vacation photos of his very fit and toned body in a swimsuit.

    https://twitter.com/Adaripp/status/2...644353/photo/1
    https://twitter.com/Adaripp/status/2...515457/photo/1

    More skater should get on these kinds of pages: Sportsnet magazine: The Beauty Issue. Objectify them! It pays.
    Last edited by SkateFiguring; 05-28-2012 at 11:28 AM. Reason: It's not the photos that are scantily clothed.

  13. #43
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    The girls of figure skating get lots of exposure. They wear short, skin-tight dresses with lots of sequins and sparkle, that look more like bathing suits with skirts. This is why skating is the glamour sport of the games. They don't need to do bikini calendars to show off how hot they are. In fact, figure skating has been criticized for marketing underage girls so making the girls appealing is really unnecessary.

    What does need to be addressed is the notion that all male skaters are gay. I hear this even from members of my own family who skated and who should know better. I don't know how we go about changing this perception.

    Skate Canada tried to address this issue with their "Not all of us are gay" and I don't think anybody liked the campaign - not the public and certainly not the skaters. One skater who participated (and who shall remain nameless here) said it was the most embarassing thing he'd ever been asked to do.

    As for the girls, skating used to be one of the sports that girls could do. When I was growing up, we couldn't play hockey or football, a lot of other sports, but figure skating was fine. Today, there are women's hockey leagues and teams play at the Olympics. All sports are much more open to female participation and skating is being left behind.

    The sport is expensive, and there's a perception that it's all fixed. Even posters here are convinced that politics matter in figure skating. Are you willing to spend $150,000 to train your kid in a sport where the results are pre-determined and your kid has no fair chance at winning? Few are.

    Figure skating could be marketed as a extreme sport with the focus on athletics. Quads, triple axels and 3/3's, throw jumps and twists are all amazing feats on a par with those in snow-boarding and other extreme sports. Instead of focusing on the great athleticism to sell young people on the sport, skating focuses on the pretty, the exquisite, the artistry. Not the way to win young fans.

    Using commentators in their 60's and 70's also does little to make the sport appeal to young fans either.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Dorothy Hamill famously remarked about the 1976 Olympics, "It was either win the gold medal and skate with Ice Capades or get silver and go home to Chicago to my job as a secretary." Even as late as 1992, when Kristi Yamaguchi won the Olympic Championship, she sat down with her financial advisors to figure out if she could make more money by turning pro immediately and signing with Stars on Ice or by staying amateur for two more years.
    Kristi would have had a great shot at repeating as WC in 1993 and OC in 1994 with her technical content.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady
    What does need to be addressed is the notion that all male skaters are gay. I hear this even from members of my own family who skated and who should know better. I don't know how we go about changing this perception.

    Skate Canada tried to address this issue with their "Not all of us are gay" and I don't think anybody liked the campaign - not the public and certainly not the skaters. One skater who participated (and who shall remain nameless here) said it was the most embarassing thing he'd ever been asked to do.
    I think what people objected to about the Skate Canada initiative was that it seemed like they were were saying, "Gay is bad, but you don't have to be gay to skate. You can be OK and still skate." No wonder skaters were embarrassed to be associated with it.

    Gays are well represented in many artistic endeavors. Skating is open to everyone, come one, come all. The issue that really needs urgent action is bullying children. Last week in Detroit a 7-year-old boy hanged himself after being bullied at school.

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