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Thread: Did Michelle Kwan kill pro skating?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladskater View Post
    I agree whole heartedly! Kurt's "Singing in the Rain" program is my favorite of all time - of any skater and I saw Toller skate live many times over the years and enjoyed his specials. Also Barbara Berezowski and David Porter were probably one of the best looking ice dance couples to grace the ice.

    Thanks for this great comment.
    I saw Berezowski and Porter in Toller Cranston's ice show many years ago. They were wonderful--they and Colleen O'Connor and Jim Millns were the first ice dancers to make me realize what that discipline could do. And "Singin' in the Rain"--possibly the pinnacle of skating. What splendid use of the music and of Kurt's talents.

  2. #62
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Yes, MK killed pro skating by going to school. SOI needed MK, as did COI. She could have revived skating with the help of the other rich skaters, but they were not investing in skating. If MK had turned pro after 2003, or 2002, she would have helped sales and there would likely be specials. Kristi was done with SOI, Tara did 3 years and left, Sarah went to school, and she was too young to be so beloved by so many fans. Yes, MK killed skating altogether by leaving. This is of course tongue in cheek. Skating simply went back to the niche sport it always was. Skating clubs for the wealthy, and some talented ones get through if someone -usually many-will support 10 years before they hit the national scene.

    One thing is true, skating is pretty dead. I wish I could say that about football. (just kidding fans!).

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    This came up on Bluebonnet’s GOE thread (what didn’t? )

    In the late 1990s the ISU wanted to extend its influence over all kinds of skating. In pursuit of this goal they decided to allow Olympic eligible skaters to complete in pro-ams. The deal was, if the organizers of the pro competition wanted MK, they had to agree to use ISU judges and ISU scoring rules (and also pay a fee to the ISU).

    Michelle came out with performances like these (the technical and the artistic programs from the 1998 Landover event). Even the bone-headiest of the bone-head audience could tell the difference between what Michelle was putting out there and what they were used to seeing from the pros.

    Pro competitions never recovered.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzIMASKRm_4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcYTdxyoehk
    Thank you so much for posting these links. I haven't seen them since they aired on TV, and I was left speechless after seeing them again. I don't know that we will ever see anyone skate with such freedom and passion. Michelle was definitely so special. I knew it then, but seeing these programs after so many years of COP programs... Wow, what a contrast! Her artistic program (East of Eden) actually gave me goose bumps and made me tear up, and I don't know the last time anyone's skating made me feel like that.

  4. #64
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    Actually rewatching these programs of Michelle while she is great and awesome I realize how human she is. Under COP she might not do all that well. as expected She actually stalks a lot of her jumps. They lack amplitude. Her spin positions are rather simple and the layback not a Peggy FLeming or Don Button "Wow, wonderful leg extension". And I also see her programs looking actually quite similar to her other programs. Sorry folks, love Michelle but watch her jumps - puny and not necessarily the greatest height or speed. Consistent and well landed yes but not the amplitude of a plus 3 GOE.

  5. #65
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    Under COP she might not do all that well...
    So much the worse for the CoP.

    Michelle si, CoP no.

  6. #66
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Kwan's jumps had better flow out than most jumps do today. Not true about them all being puny either. They were +1 GOE quality, sometimes +2. Besides that, her blade control was simply the best, as was her performance quality, choreography, and interpretation.

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    Thank you, Blades and Math. I second each of you.

  8. #68
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    And I third each of you.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    It's difficult to maintain that level because eligible athletes train those jumps full time, and the pros understandably can't do the repetitions needed as their bodies age. But ITA when the focus is on the performance and the technical content is lacking, it doesn't feel like a real competition.

    Exactly. The pros were just posing most of the time, and who want to watch the boring programs over and over? I would pay to go watch Shizuka Arakawa though. She has gotten so much better as a pro skater. Much more interesting choreography and in between moves. watch this program. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EZKd...=results_video

    If all the pros worked as hard as shizuka, pro skating competitions wouldn't have died like it did in the 90s. Probably skating is the only sport that can get away without working hard when you turned "pro". It's usually the other way around..
    Last edited by ks777; 11-28-2012 at 11:26 PM.

  10. #70
    Custom Title Rachmaninoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    Exactly. The pros were just posing most of the time, and who want to watch the boring programs over and over? I would pay to go watch Shizuka Arakawa though. She has gotten so much better as a pro skater. Much more interesting choreography and in between moves. watch this program. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EZKd...=results_video

    If all the pros worked as hard as shizuka, pro skating competitions wouldn't have died like it did in the 90s. Probably skating is the only sport that can get away without working hard when you turned "pro". It's usually the other way around..
    A lot of the pro programs did suck (I distinctly remember some guy...I don't even recall who he was...literally making up his program as he went along. And he didn't have much of an imagination either.) But occasionally, someone would just skate his/her/their heart(s) out. And it was often someone who wouldn't be competitive in the amateur circuit for whatever reason. It's just nice to see that. Kind of like exhibition programs: I'm bored by the majority of them, but there's the occasional real gem.
    I don't know how to bring out that opportunity for the latter kind of program while minimizing how much you see the former kind.

  11. #71
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    Michelle I agree would have had a less mind blowing career under COP, still an excellent one, but would not have won 5 Worlds, 9 Worlds medals, even 9 U.S titles, been a top 3 skater for a whole decade of time, etc...However there are others who would be hurt even more by COP. Sarah Hughes would have probably never gotten into the top 5 in the U.S with URed jumps, bad flutzing, poor quality jumps, simple spins, mostly mediocre components. Katarina Witt under COP would not have fared well even against the skaters of her own era. Oksana Baiul under COP would have been mired in relative obscurity. Her TES would have been super low, very little jump content, chronic two foot landings, no combinations. She couldnt do any complicated spins, barely did any footwork or spirals. Even her PCS wouldnt be that high thinking of the areas they stress- transitions (she didnt have many), interpretation (her Swan Lake was a masterpiece of interpretation, but the rest meh), skating skills (ok, nothing remarkable), only performance would she have been superb. There is very little way to vaguely reward charisma, character, presence, flirtatiousness, pizzaz, overall magic, which is what she was deemed to have in abundance.

  12. #72
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    So much the worse for the CoP.

    Michelle si, CoP no.
    Exactly. Watching MK programs and then watching this year's GP ladies programs shows exactly where artistry and skating skills have gone. Its now all about the points. As for pro skating, especially in the US, the Tina article was excellent, but I wish she would write another, circa 2012. We are a different culture entirely now than we were back in the last century. Young people have the attention span of a gnat and would rather starve than give up that $500 a year cell phone. They need movies with vampires and car chases, and I doubt many will go see "Lincoln" but I suspect the actual demise of pro skating, and skating in general, is pretty complex. I would go cross country to see an ISU run Pro skating event. I wouldnt drive 100 miles to see many of the pro events we were subjected to in the hayday. One thing is for sure, When you have SkateAmerica in the LA area and even the local skating fans/skaters/club members can not be enticed to watch the practices for free let alone the event, then we are in big trouble. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but its all about the money. If people would fill seats and tune in their TVs to skating events in the US, the bucks would follow. But when I go see a play or attend a skating competition, I see old people, and we
    who still have an attention span longer than an NFL play are dieing off. Watch the casual fan young people who are attending a skating event, and they will be taping on their phones during great performances.....or looking around....they are bored after 30 second. Look at the jumbotron before the event and the intro will have a bunch of on 2 or 3 second clips of many skaters...MTV style.....with rock music. I hate it. MK didnt kill pro skating.....MTV did.

  13. #73
    Custom Title ks777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Michelle I agree would have had a less mind blowing career under COP, still an excellent one, but would not have won 5 Worlds, 9 Worlds medals, even 9 U.S titles, been a top 3 skater for a whole decade of time, etc...However there are others who would be hurt even more by COP. Sarah Hughes would have probably never gotten into the top 5 in the U.S with URed jumps, bad flutzing, poor quality jumps, simple spins, mostly mediocre components. Katarina Witt under COP would not have fared well even against the skaters of her own era. Oksana Baiul under COP would have been mired in relative obscurity. Her TES would have been super low, very little jump content, chronic two foot landings, no combinations. She couldnt do any complicated spins, barely did any footwork or spirals. Even her PCS wouldnt be that high thinking of the areas they stress- transitions (she didnt have many), interpretation (her Swan Lake was a masterpiece of interpretation, but the rest meh), skating skills (ok, nothing remarkable), only performance would she have been superb. There is very little way to vaguely reward charisma, character, presence, flirtatiousness, pizzaz, overall magic, which is what she was deemed to have in abundance.
    Sarah Hughes had simple spins because her spins were one of the best in the business. I am pretty sure if she was forced to do more than simple beautiful spins, she was more than capable of doing them. It's not easy to do those beautiful simple spins. How many people have those beautiful layback and camel spins? Just because they didn't do any complicated spins doesn't mean they couldn't. It's like Michelle doing a catch food spiral.. who would want to see that when you have a beautiful spiral already? Isn't that why some skaters started doing so called "complicated" spins and spirals because they couldn't do the beautifully positioned spins and spirals? Isn't that why Slutsukaya always did catch foot spiral because she couldn't do a beautiful spiral otherwise?
    Last edited by ks777; 11-29-2012 at 01:25 AM.

  14. #74
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    Well Michelle's jumps didn't get the goe's Slutskaya often got. She was still good but her programs had a similar look as did her costumes as did her hair other than when she hacked it off.

  15. #75
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    Well Michelle's jumps didn't get the goe's Slutskaya often got.
    Do you mean hypothetically, or in real life? As far as I can tell Irina never got more than +1.00 GOE on any jump element in any competition. (I checked Worlds and Grand Prix events, not sure about Europeans. Under modern rules those +1's would have been 0.7.) Michelle competed in only one event under CoP scoring, 2005 Worlds, at the very end of her career.

    True about her hair, though. Here she is with her hair just growing out from being hacked off the year before.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptj_tO7tIXg
    Last edited by Mathman; 11-29-2012 at 03:15 AM.

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