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Thread: Did Michelle Kwan kill pro skating?

  1. #16
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I wouldn't say that Tom Collins withdrew his support. COI just couldn't make it any more.

    In 2002 the show played in 90 cities, but by 2006 it was broke. Collins sold out to Anschutz Entertainment (I believe Michelle was dating Abschutz' son at the time ), but it was more a fire sale than a business move.
    I meant more about pulling out of backing the competitions... that was his first way I think of trying to save $$, but at the same time he pulled out before his company did iirc

  2. #17
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Is this another "trick question."

    With the income Michelle was earning as an "amateur skater" there was never any reason for her to serioulsy consider a Pro career.
    Couple that with the fact that she had already been skating at the highest level for so many seasons what possible incentives could Michelle have had to continue - not to mention her body needed a break.

    It was different with Peggy, Janet, Dorothy and up through Kristi.
    The families of these girls had made financial sacrifices for years and most likely it was always part of the plan for them to turn pro after the Olympics.

    Michelle was the family busines at what - 15? When Peggy was 15 her mom had to to sew her skating dresses to save money for her training.


    I don't think if Michelle would have "turned pro" after Nagano it would have had much effect on Pro skating.

    Sure she could have given it a boost but the writing was already on the wall.

    Besides I doubt if the skating world would have been better off if Michelle stopped competing when she still had so much more to give,
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-28-2012 at 12:08 PM.

  3. #18
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    Agreed, Janetfan. One thing that made Michelle such a titan in skating was that we got to see the complete arc of a skating career, as she became a more assured and mature interpreter of music and developed a smoothness of technique that young jumping beans rarely have. If she had left eligible skating after Nagano, she would have been just another comet. She wouldn't have had so much glitter to bring to pro skating if she had shown up at the age of sixteen with her Olympic silver medal, I think--but in any case, it's a moot point. I think that as you say, she gave us the best of herself by remaining in eligible skating.

    In a way, Michelle did take a turn at experiencing the pro life, because she toured with Champions on Ice every postseason year for many years. She was even featured in a few Disney specials on TV, back when they were doing such things. In her one true televised starring role that I can remember, she skated as Mulan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    But I always thought that over saturation killed pro competitions. For a while they were on all the time. And of course the skaters invited were skating the same numbers over and over again.
    I agree completely with this. I think the overrepetition of programs was the single biggest problem. You could only watch Kristi perform "Doop Doop" so many times. I've always felt that the pro skaters should have formed a union, or a governing body, that would have set guidelines for the benefit of all. If such a group had existed, and mandated, for example, that each pro number be used in, say, no more than 2-3 competitions, I think it all would have been much more successful. Instead, I think the public just got bored seeing the same routines every couple of weeks.

  5. #20
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    I agree completely with this. I think the overrepetition of programs was the single biggest problem. You could only watch Kristi perform "Doop Doop" so many times. I've always felt that the pro skaters should have formed a union, or a governing body, that would have set guidelines for the benefit of all. If such a group had existed, and mandated, for example, that each pro number be used in, say, no more than 2-3 competitions, I think it all would have been much more successful. Instead, I think the public just got bored seeing the same routines every couple of weeks.
    they do have a pro skaters association.

  6. #21
    Custom Title merrywidow's Avatar
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    I've always blamed the ISU for turning amateur skaters into professionals by giving out cash rewards to the elite skaters. It was done to prevent the best amateurs from turning pro back in the 90's. Consequently, not many left the amateur ranks after the Olympics as formerly had done. And that meant the same pros were competing against one another & appearing in shows together.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrywidow View Post
    I've always blamed the ISU for turning amateur skaters into professionals by giving out cash rewards to the elite skaters. It was done to prevent the best amateurs from turning pro back in the 90's. Consequently, not many left the amateur ranks after the Olympics as formerly had done. And that meant the same pros were competing against one another & appearing in shows together.
    That seems to be something no one else pointed out - but that had alot to do with it.

    At a point it was never a question of whether Michelle was a professional skater or not - but a matter of who had the most clout and money to keep her in their camp.
    In this case it was ISU.
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-28-2012 at 01:41 PM.

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    So you are saying Kwan ruined pro skating with her quality but you know Kristi Yamaguchi was no slouch! She did not take it easy. She did a lot triples. But I am more interested in the barely ever skating from Kwan. Sure she was in COI but COI was not SOI and joining SOI would have been much better for pro skating in American if Kwan was with SOI and not COI.

    True pro skating it is not only where money is now. GP has money.

  9. #24
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    Sure she was in COI but COI was not SOI and joining SOI would have been much better for pro skating in American if Kwan was with SOI and not COI.
    Michelle could not have skated with SOI and retain Olympic eligibility. Tom Collins paid an annual fee to the USFSA and ISU for their blessing in using eligible skaters on his tour. Scott Hamilton refused to pay such a fee.

  10. #25
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    NO, michelle didn't kill pro skating.

    it started before her with only1) IMG productions picking IMg skaters for the competitions & tours like soi
    2) pro skaters skated in 1994 olympics and some backing out of pro-ams due to judging issues which was a laugh considering the
    "pro competitions" was rigged and picked the winners ahead of time
    3) the U.S. pro skaters backing Jaime and David for the "clean skate" in 2002, and not saying a word regarding michelle,
    4) some of the Pros wanting Michelle to turn pro in 1998, and getting mad with her staying in.
    5) some of the pros getting mad at michelle making money, yet same said skaters made alot of money themselves and seem to not
    want her to get anything.
    6) By michelle staying in some of the pros stayed in SOI and blamed her for not turning pro so they couldn't do what they wanted
    to do.
    7) the list goes on, these are a few of the highlights friends, family and I keep talking about when they bring up thing stuff again.
    also i forgot the internet, youtube etc, why go when can watch on youtube but at same time usfsa, isu, should have cashed in by allowing the people to buy some of the shows, tours, competitions way back when-now a bit to late

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Michelle could not have skated with SOI and retain Olympic eligibility. Tom Collins paid an annual fee to the USFSA and ISU for their blessing in using eligible skaters on his tour. Scott Hamilton refused to pay such a fee.
    That explains a lot of that but why not after COI went out of business. Kwan was very busy with school but what if there was no school - like she could do a Yuna show but never ever SOI? Now SOI is going out of business in all reality and may not have money for Kwan but maybe Kwan could help a little?

  12. #27
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonixhelle
    ... and the judging became even more reputation based than before..
    .
    Yes, I think that was a big contribution too. That's why they were called "cheesefest".
    Actually, I think both the skating and the judging of cheesefests got quite a bit better after the ISU took them over.

    One of the ISU's concerns was that people would see these silly "competitions" featuring the men versus the ladies and scored by celebrity judges as being real skating. The new ISU rule was that anyone putting on a cheesefest with "their" skaters had to use certified ISU judges and the official ISU scoring system. There were also rules requiring participation of skaters and judges from several countries, if the event was advertised as "international."

    The ones I saw in the early 2000s were excellent competitions. Here are the judges' scores for the 2004 December Marshalls. Far from "reputation" or "crowd favorite" judging, a peppy Irina Slutskaya got first place ordinals over a so-so Michelle from all five ISU judges (JPN, USA, RUS, CAN, FRA). Sasha got third (5.3 for tech, reflecting a fall, 5.6s and 5.7s for presentation).

    In the men's, three countries were represented. Plushenko dominated, but Evan Lysacek edged Joubert and Weir for second. This was the first time most of the fans had seen Lysacek, and it was very exciting because Evan went first and laid down a great skate, so the audience was on pins and needles after every ensuing skater to see whether he would overtake Lysacek. Only Plushenko, skating last, did.

    OK, the stakes weren't life-and-death. Still...it seems now like the golden age, when audiences could enjoy events like this. (I was there. I counted the live house at about 10,000 - 12,000. )

    http://www.usfigureskating.org/event.../men-final.htm

    http://www.usfigureskating.org/event...dies-final.htm

  13. #28
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Michelle could not have skated with SOI and retain Olympic eligibility. Tom Collins paid an annual fee to the USFSA and ISU for their blessing in using eligible skaters on his tour. Scott Hamilton refused to pay such a fee.
    Hmmmm.... I don't know that he refused, the USFSA saw a conflict of interest is how I remember it - but after COI tanked Scott DID use the eligibles for a couple or so seasons (still does I think?)


    and gmyers - it was bound to happy to MM - once Michelle declared her love for another, thus breaking our Dear Mathman's heart it was only a matter of time before he would turn on his beloved Kween.


    (and my post quoted above was not about the pro-ams... just some of the cheesier pro competitions)
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 09-28-2012 at 05:21 PM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    That explains a lot of that but why not after COI went out of business. Kwan was very busy with school but what if there was no school - like she could do a Yuna show but never ever SOI? Now SOI is going out of business in all reality and may not have money for Kwan but maybe Kwan could help a little?
    I think after she had to withdraw from Torino Michelle was done.

    She not only had to get healed up but knew the next Olympics was four years away.

    Maybe she felt in her heart it was time to move on and go to school full-time.

    I was looking for a clip of her press conference from Torino where she announced she was pulling out.....anyone have it?

    I haven't seen it for years but seem to remember it was an emotional announcement from Michelle.

    Since this is actually a Kwan thread here is a clip with Terry Gannnon talking about Michelle's petition and the selection process for the Torino Olympic team.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlL7H198mmQ
    Last edited by janetfan; 09-29-2012 at 05:13 AM.

  15. #30
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Here is Michelle as a pro. She holds the audience in the palm of her hand.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGmlM...eature=related
    Last edited by Mathman; 09-28-2012 at 09:07 PM.

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