It doesn't matter how much training judges have had or how much time and money the audience spent. People are not infallible and can be criticized. The key is to do so without descending to nastiness and hyperbole.
Takahashi, Plushenko and Joubert all got their start under 6.0, and I would argue that the latter two remain 6.0 skaters at heart, with some needed adjustments to the current system: strong jumps and great showmanship are something that's important to them. There aren't many 6.0-oriented skaters left, and I think people respond to that style, when it's done well. Sometimes you want a skater to wow you by really being entertaining and putting on a great show, rather than with the number of transitions they can pack into a program (though Takahashi, when he has good programs, can sometimes do both).In the current CoP era, I've found plenty of personalities. To name a few top ones: Daisuke Takahashi (Don't be surprised that I said so. I do believe it), Evgeni Plushenko, Jeremy Abbott, Brian Joubert, Patrick Chan, Florent Amodio, Yuzuru Hanyu... and more.
I just finished watching the men's freeskate (taped it while I was at work) and, sorry to say, I thought most of the men were pretty boring with the exception of Patrick Chan. I felt like I was watching pretty much the same program - only the costumes (!!!!) and the faces were changed. It's not all about the jumps! Some of these guys needs to skate to their music and not just go thru the motions of throwing an arm up or doing a wiggle in their footwork. I was underwhelmed.
There have been other skaters that even more so I didn't really get until I saw them live. Yu Na Kim was another such for me.
And as a whole discipline, I'd say that pairs suffers from not being seen live. It is extremely impressive live and you really get that edge-of-your-seat feeling with the big tricks.
Also dance — when seen live, the difference in speed and flow across the ice between the top teams and the rest is really noticeable, far more so than just on a screen.
deedee, what was your favourite Lambiel program? Your favourite Buttle program? The reason I'm asking is because many of their programs are considered COP peaks - Naqoyqaatsi, Ararat, Rachmaninov, Adios Noninos, Poeta, Blood Diamond, Vivaldi......
Forbes stated that Lysacek earned 2.5 million dollars in endorsements, appearance fees, etc the year after his Olympic victory.
I think in terms of stars, there were two things going for the 6.0 era. An equal emphasis on artistry/presentation (now it's relegated to less than a third of the mark) means that they can be more superficially entertaining and still score well. I also think COP is harder on the body in terms of injuries, so the era of skaters really excelling over two or three Olympic quads is a thing of the past. So it's more difficult to acquire that body of work that the past greats had.
I know it's conventional wisdom that CoP is harder on the body and shortens careers, but I think the reverse may be true: there are a lot of old-timers currently competing - even Patrick Chan is a veteran! - and the skaters who do get injured aren't necessarily hurt on IJS-style elements. For instance: Dai's ACL injury happened on a bad 3A attempt, while Yretha Silete suffered a similar injury in a practice collision this past summer. Chan's one serious injury, the muscle tear in the Olympic season, has been linked with the effects of H1N1 (IIRC). Joubert spiked his blade into his foot on 3Lz attempts, Plushenko's knee issue predate the current system, Aliona Savchenko was hurt last year training a throw, and so on. Of course there are some repetitive strain injuries, but on the whole, I get the sense that the increased emphasis on footwork, spins, and correct technique is actually extending careers rather than shortening them.
Except maybe in dance, with the crazy contorted lifts the IJS pretty much requires.
Last edited by Buttercup; 11-12-2012 at 03:16 PM.
re artistry: Pretty much.
We will have to agree to disagree. I think skaters had a lot more opportunities to be adventurous in their choreo and program concepts under the old system. Not all of them took advantage of this freedom, but at least the possibility existed. But now everything feels so constrained with the IJS requirements and the unfree free skate; non-stop transitions are not a substitute for artistry, and neither are contorted lifts. Technical skill can facilitate artistic expression, but that doesn't mean it always does. I feel like I'm watching a lot of paint by numbers programs, even at the highest level. Maybe especially at the highest level, because the skaters are so concerned about squeezing every last point out of their programs.
I think the Olympic games are and will be judged differently from the ISU's own events, like the world championships. At worlds, no one is watching except other skaters. At the Olympics, a billion people are watching. You cannot give the gold medal to someone who falls -- not with a billion people watching.
That is what I was getting at in predicting Chan's preparation. I think he has set aside this year to work on his second mark skills, having already got the SS and TR part down Pat. He does not have to do any more jumps beyond the layout of his current programs. All he has to do is rotate them and not fall. He can accomplish this by cutting back on the fancy entrances, footwork, and moves in the field. This will not affect his PCSs very much, and he will still outpoint competitors like Fernandez with three quads in the LP and Hanyu with two quads and two triple Axels. (JMO.)
Here is the last short program contested under 6.0. Give the audience what it came for. What they came for is this sequence of four spirals (never mind that she did nothing but back crossovers and front crossovers entering the sequence).
And while we're at it, this is a layback spin front he same program. Nary an ugly change of position or change of edge to mar its beauty.
Our excellent thread-jacking abilities strike again