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Thread: Instant gratification in figure skating

  1. #16
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Good thread. One can say the same for Mirai and Rogozine from Canada. While we're on the subject of Canada, I do worry about Miss Osmond. Great season so far, but the media has her hyped to be the next Rochette. Folks were almost begging for a 'Plushenko return' from Rochette for 2014 OG. I read that there wasn't much hope or attention in ladies figure skating in Canada. It's like the ladies get no respect llike the other disciplines from what I read. I can't imagine the pressure on these Canadian women! There was no menton of a Canada's sweetheart! How sad! My wish for Osmond is that she continues to smile and have fun on the ice.
    For years, it was the same for Russian women until Irina Slutskaya and Maria Butyrskaya had their fantastic breakthroughs. Now Russia has an abundance that is always under the magnifying glass. Don't forget Elizaveta T.'s enormous debut last season. Now she's a cross between almost washed-up and a classic puberty case!

  2. #17
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    Excellent thread! I, a Canadian, wish everyone would just back off and let Osmond do whatever she's going to do and let us just sit back and enjoy the ride. I was truly surprised at how quickly the hype started. It sure happened with Gold as I recall. Any many others.
    As a whole we seem to be more and more impatient, wanting what we want and wanting it now. Everyone has their own fantasy of your Favourite skater (usually from your own country) defying the odds, getting the Hollywood ending. I have it too. Just once, I'd like to see a Canadian man get Olympic gold. So I want Patrick to win in Sochi. Sadly, skaters can't always do it and then get hammered for it.
    The part I hate the most is when "the win" becomes more important than the actual performance. I would never trade the excellent body of men's figure skaters in Canada for one Olympic gold though.
    As to Osmond, I was amazed at how good she actually was at National's; she had a new maturity. She even has a smile that resembles Barbara Ann Scott's!
    I'm not sure if the women get criticized more than the other disciplines. I wonder if this is true in the U.S. because of the Kwan reign. She gave a lot and now a lot is expected? Not sure.
    Anyway, I'm going to sit back and let the universe unfold and not get my knickers in a twist over it. Too many other issues in the world to worry about.

  3. #18
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    I found the hype for Gold to be much because people were already hyping her at ridiculous levels, based one one skate (this was before Jr Nationals/Jr Worlds) I felt this was a girl who didn't even make nationals last year..... This doesn't mean I don't think Gracie is talented.

    I think Adelina deserved some of her hype because she won a number of competitions for a lot of years..Osmond is starting to earn hers.

    However, my problem with the hype is writing people off too quickly (and this includes Gold)...This level of competition has ridiculous amounts of pressure and if you tell someone you most win, or your a failure that's even worse. Sotnikova, Gold etc needs to get use to this level of competition.. .Asada/Kim they didn't win everything their first full year in Seniors. And Plushenko as talented as he is, and as good of a competitor as he was, didn't either.

    I even recall Evan Lyseck having short program problems early in his career.... These skaters need time to get use to competition at this level, and in someways putting on the pressure can make it go faster...

  4. #19
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    The problem with instant gratification is that people expect skaters to peak and then maintain a level of perfection as if there's no other competition or upcoming skaters. Skaters have good and bad seasons, and they are athletes. You just have to look at Chen Lu to see that a skater can have a terrible season and then a great season. Everyone loves a winner, but the day after said win they face the same pressure. It's ridiculous.

  5. #20
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    We could all wax philosophical about this question - which, by the way, I thought was a good one for discussion. But IMO it comes down to something I think Scott Hamilton said one time "the ice is slippery!" No matter how good a skater is, no matter what they've done in the past, they can have an off night, they can have a growth spurt that throws their timing off, they can land on a cut in the ice, they can have a tummy ache or they're mad at their coach or 1000 other things that could affect their skating. What one does one year doesn't necessarily mean they can pull it off the next year. It might take a couple of years to get back in form. I honestly don't see how a skate at a competition this year means definitively that the skater will medal at the Olympics next year. It goes back to all the discussion about Evan Lysacek and how he would have been a force to be reckoned with at Nats this year - why would someone say that just because he won the Olympics 3 years ago? Skating is in the moment. And the moment is NOW. Skaters can have big-time potential based on what they've done in the past but the ice is slippery, people fall, bodies change. I think all we can do as fans is hope they continue to grow and improve and, like LRK says about Joubert, sit in the stands or at home with our hands at our mouths and our fingers crossed.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    We could all wax philosophical about this question - which, by the way, I thought was a good one for discussion. But IMO it comes down to something I think Scott Hamilton said one time "the ice is slippery!" No matter how good a skater is, no matter what they've done in the past, they can have an off night, they can have a growth spurt that throws their timing off, they can land on a cut in the ice, they can have a tummy ache or they're mad at their coach or 1000 other things that could affect their skating. What one does one year doesn't necessarily mean they can pull it off the next year. It might take a couple of years to get back in form. I honestly don't see how a skate at a competition this year means definitively that the skater will medal at the Olympics next year. It goes back to all the discussion about Evan Lysacek and how he would have been a force to be reckoned with at Nats this year - why would someone say that just because he won the Olympics 3 years ago? Skating is in the moment. And the moment is NOW. Skaters can have big-time potential based on what they've done in the past but the ice is slippery, people fall, bodies change. I think all we can do as fans is hope they continue to grow and improve and, like LRK says about Joubert, sit in the stands or at home with our hands at our mouths and our fingers crossed.
    I think that Evan very well could be a force to be reckoned at US Nationals. However, I don't think he'd be a force to be reckoned at the international level. Evan was never the best quad jumper...I think mens has moved on. And frankly I don't think begging Johnny/Evan to come back is what USFSA needs. What they need is to get someone like Farris some experience/and maybe pray Dornbush also gets more consistent.

  7. #22
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    This is one thing that was good about 6.0, wait-your-turn ice dance - it allowed teams time to grow and develop their skating and identity before they were thrust into the spotlight and had to face expectations that they win. Interestingly, there is one dance team that did compete at the senior level under the old system, and their career has pretty much developed in that way: Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat took several years to get out of the lower ranks, but eventually they came into their own and got some great results. Whereas these days it seems as if a team has to excel out of juniors or shortly thereafter, or they will be considered a disappointment.

    Daisuke Takahashi and Stephane Lambiel are also good examples of skaters who were not instant winners at the senior level but achieved quite a bit nonetheless. So, for that matter, is the new European Champion, who didn't even make it out of the SP when he first competed at the event.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I don't think it was hype. It was genuine excitement. Sasha had a pretty decent career. From 2002 to 2006, she was never less than fourth in the world, I think, and was fourth and second in her two Olympics. She was on the World podium several times, though never champion. Most countries would be delirious about a skater with such a record, and we would be today, come to think of it. She was also a uniquely graceful skater. She deserved whatever praise she got.

    Kimmie had a triple-triple and a triple axel, which makes her one of about six ladies ever, and she was world champion once, a record Nancy Kerrigan and Janet Lynn can't equal. She wasn't around at the top for long, but she made the most of it. The only place she didn't succeed was in leading the U.S. for an entire Olympic cycle.

    Nam was splendid but was injured. Kirk probably had the least success of the ladies named in this group, but I don't think that at that point, with Kwan and Cohen in their prime, there were unrealistically huge expectations for Kirk. She was just a really, really good skater in a flock of great skaters.

    As for Tara and Sarah, well, their records speak for them. Neither stayed in skating very long, but, hey, they won the Olympics plus at least one other World medal (gold in Tara's case). The only hype I can think of in connection with Tara and Sara was the assumption that they would continue at that high level for several more years. Sarah wasn't able to--she sank through the ranks the following year and left to go to college. Tara left right away, largely for physical reasons and partly for financial reasons, I would imagine. I do remember that people at that time looked forward to a prolonged rivalry between her and Michelle, and that possibility vaporized almost at once.
    Except for Ashley Wagner; Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner, Sarah Hughes, Tara Lipinski, and even Jenny Kirk were all better skaters in their prime than the current crop of US women will ever be.

    Hmm. Interesting topic. It seems that these days winning USA's junior nationals automatically qualifies you for the title of "The next Michelle Kwan."

    Kimmie Meissner, Tara Lipinski, and Sarah Hughes were extremely talented skaters.

    Kimmie peaked from the 2002-2003 season to the 2006-2007 season. Only she had to run up against Kim, and Asada (who arguably had the best pre-senior careers ever), and then Kwan and Cohen.

    Sarah Hughes had SEVEN triple programs at the 1999 and 2001 Worlds.

    Sasha finished 4th at her first major international event (Olympics).

    Tara Lipinski won worlds at age 14.

    Jenny Kirk's PB score is higher than Caroline Zhang's.

    Unless Gracie can go to worlds and land 7(rotated or not) triples, I think the hype needs to be reeled in.

    Another thing, is I think that the US skaters today do not have much potential.

    Even if they skate clean, they can't beat the best in the world.


    All of that being said, I like hype. I am eagerly awaiting the day Starr Andrews, Karen Chen, and Nathan Chen compete in their first senior nationals.

    I just think that the rest of the world has gotten a lot stronger in skating. Yu-Na Kim and Mao Asada have raised the bar. Russia and Canada are a lot better than they were from 1998-2006.

    Some skaters just peak in juniors. Just like some college basketball or college football stars are not expected to do well in the pros, some skaters have a skill set that they can get away with at the junior level (Caroline Zhang), but will not work in seniors. I think that we need to recognize this.
    Last edited by Reginald; 01-26-2013 at 05:27 PM.

  9. #24
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    I think I get what you are saying and it is as simple as this...Because figure skating is such an exacting sport and learning to figure skate takes much patience and time becoming a champion takes a lot of work, sacrifice and perseverance. Some skaters are blessed and blossom right away while other skaters take their time to develop. It's not always instant success for every skater. Some skaters love to compete while others find out it's too demanding. I've known many talented skaters over the years who tried competitive skating and decided it was not for them. They are still wonderful skaters and love to skate just for the joy of it. Some end up coaching or joining an ice show. Still it is thrilling when one sees a skater who does have that "it" factor right away. The first time I saw Kurt Browning skate at Canadians I knew he was that kind of skater. Kurt is still my favorite male skater of all time.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladskater View Post
    I think I get what you are saying and it is as simple as this...Because figure skating is such an exacting sport and learning to figure skate takes much patience and time becoming a champion takes a lot of work, sacrifice and perseverance. Some skaters are blessed and blossom right away while other skaters take their time to develop. It's not always instant success for every skater. Some skaters love to compete while others find out it's too demanding. I've known many talented skaters over the years who tried competitive skating and decided it was not for them. They are still wonderful skaters and love to skate just for the joy of it. Some end up coaching or joining an ice show. Still it is thrilling when one sees a skater who does have that "it" factor right away. The first time I saw Kurt Browning skate at Canadians I knew he was that kind of skater. Kurt is still my favorite male skater of all time.
    That's how I felt the first time I saw Jeffrey Buttle skate at the 2002 Nationals. (I missed out on the Kurt era, sadly). That was also the first time I saw Joannie Rochette and I followed her career ever since. It was several years before she got her act together and rose through the ranks. I enjoyed every step! I also got a slight glimpse of that "it" factor with Osmond at last year's Nationals. I became a fan of her then because of her skating and programs, not because I saw OGM in her future.

  11. #26
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRK View Post
    . All I can say is that I hope that fans of Kaetlyn REMAIN fans of her, and don't take out their disappointment when she doesn't win everything in sight by an opposite and equal reaction (as we've seen with Adelina) - plus of course all the people annoyed by the hype, who may take the opportunity to pounce.

    Hell hath no fury, like a fan disappointed?
    This is interesting. I've never turned AGAINST a skater that I became a fan of simply because they don't win competitions. Disappointed, yes. But the skater doesn't owe me to win competitions or achieve success. It's not a particular medal that has made me a fan of the skater in the first place.. I wonder what is with that sort of mentality?
    Last edited by shine; 01-27-2013 at 11:03 PM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    This is interesting. I've never turned AGAINST a skater that I became a fan of simply because they don't win competitions. Disappointed, yes. But the skater doesn't owe me to win competitions or achieve success. It's not a particular medal that has made me a fan out of the skater in the first place..
    After 10+ years on these message boards, I've seen it happen time and again... and when those fans do turn it's UGLY.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    I found the hype for Gold to be much because people were already hyping her at ridiculous levels, based one one skate (this was before Jr Nationals/Jr Worlds) I felt this was a girl who didn't even make nationals last year..... This doesn't mean I don't think Gracie is talented.

    I think Adelina deserved some of her hype because she won a number of competitions for a lot of years..Osmond is starting to earn hers.

    However, my problem with the hype is writing people off too quickly (and this includes Gold)...This level of competition has ridiculous amounts of pressure and if you tell someone you most win, or your a failure that's even worse. Sotnikova, Gold etc needs to get use to this level of competition.. .Asada/Kim they didn't win everything their first full year in Seniors. And Plushenko as talented as he is, and as good of a competitor as he was, didn't either.

    I even recall Evan Lyseck having short program problems early in his career.... These skaters need time to get use to competition at this level, and in someways putting on the pressure can make it go faster...
    I'm pretty sure both Asada and Kim medalled their first year in senior competition. I know Yuna got the gold at the TEB and the GP Final, as well as the bronze at Worlds that 2006-07 season.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmelanie View Post
    I'm pretty sure both Asada and Kim medalled their first year in senior competition. I know Yuna got the gold at the TEB and the GP Final, as well as the bronze at Worlds that 2006-07 season.
    But they didn't win everything, which is what the section you bolded says.

  15. #30
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmelanie View Post
    I'm pretty sure both Asada and Kim medalled their first year in senior competition. I know Yuna got the gold at the TEB and the GP Final, as well as the bronze at Worlds that 2006-07 season.
    They didn't win everything though. Kim had a lot of falls in the free that year as well (including in her almost all of her wins but the GPF and she wasn't perfect in the GPF either.)....She became a much better competitor later on.

    They weren't perfect straight of the bat skaters. But somehow Adelina is a failure because she wasn't perfect, straight out? Europeans is Adelina's biggest competition ever, and she performed well there. ...

    I say give them time to get use to the pressure of this kind of competition.
    Last edited by bekalc; 01-27-2013 at 11:33 PM.

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