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Thread: Figure skating-Kim unable to lift sagging interest at worlds

  1. #16
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    If Gracie Gold won gold, skating's visibility would explode in the US.
    That is not so clear to me. Skating's decline started at a time when we had multiple world champion Michelle Kwan front and center (and well before the Salt Lake City judging controversy and the CoP).

    Look at what's-her-name -- the girl who won the gymnastics all-around in the last summer Olympics.

  2. #17
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    Skating was still popular enough during the SLC games. It was when the cop system was introduced that it started to decline.

  3. #18
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Heres to Gracie's grace and huge jumps. May she win in Sochi a la Sarah Hughes!

  4. #19
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    Skating was still popular enough during the SLC games. It was when the cop system was introduced that it started to decline.
    I don't think COP is the main problem, I think burnout was also an issue. Speaking from a U.S perspective, it seemed that, beginning in the 90's up untill the early 2000's, skating was everywhere in the winter. Nearly every weekend there was some type of show and/or a competition. And all those shows got boring after a while because it was usually the same skaters doing the same programs.

  5. #20
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The fact that the skaters were doing the same programs was a problem; it made it feel like the events were reruns somehow. I don't think there is any real solutions for that.

  6. #21
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Actually, the "Tracie Gold" mistake is pretty funny, coming in the context of, "Americans would be hard pressed to name the two U.S. female representatives in London..."

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That is not so clear to me. Skating's decline started at a time when we had multiple world champion Michelle Kwan front and center (and well before the Salt Lake City judging controversy and the CoP).

    Look at what's-her-name -- the girl who won the gymnastics all-around in the last summer Olympics.
    If it's true that not even a photogenic American ladies gold medalist can revive skating's popularity (even if temporarily), then things are pretty dire.

    You're making me feel like one of the last of the Mohicans.

    (Fortunately, I'm a bit more optimistic about the prospects for revival in such a scenario ).

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That is not so clear to me. Skating's decline started at a time when we had multiple world champion Michelle Kwan front and center (and well before the Salt Lake City judging controversy and the CoP).

    Look at what's-her-name -- the girl who won the gymnastics all-around in the last summer Olympics.
    I am confused, Mathman. For all this time, you have been blaming the CoP a gazillion time for the decline of this sport. Now you are saying the sport started declining before CoP and prior to SLC? So the CoP is not to be blamed then if that's true.

    Can you please clarify what you mean?

  9. #24
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ I will try.

    I think the reason for the decline of popularity of figure skating in the United States (I don't know about other countries) is simply cultural drift with respect to our tastes in entertainment.

    The golden age of figure skating was not the 1990s, but the 1940s and 50s. Sonia Henie brought skating to Hollywood. Touring Las Vegas type shows like the Ice Follies were big time. In fact, the main reason why amateur skaters competed for titles was so that they could hook up with a professional show and earn lots of money. Sonia Henie made US$ 50,000,000. Janet Lynn was the highest paid female athlete in the world. As late as 1976 Dorothy Hamill said, "It was either win the Olympic gold medal and sign up for Ice Capades or else go back to Chicago and my job as a secretary."

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1...wh2ro1_400.jpg

    Time passed. The appeal of that kind of razz-ma-tzz faded. We got more sophisticated in out entertainment tastes. (Spiderman movies, Justin Bieber concerts, monster truck demolition video games). The only thing that saved figure skating for a little while was the explosion of interest in all sports, especially on television.

    Anyway, nobody's fault, but the country moved on. I believe it was in 1999 that USFS lost it's big television contract worth 20,000,000 or whatever it was. Nobody's fault, just that the television networks could see the handwriting on the wall. The newspaper guy who wrote that when the old skating fans die out, there will be a bunch of new ones coming along to take their place -- no, I don't think so (unless there is some kind of retro-kitch revival of that old-fashined cornball stuff that grandpa used to go on about.)

    Now, about the CoP. I think it is a hindrance to marketing the sport to any audience. Although we can't go back to the days where the circus came to town every July and the Ice Capades every December , we can still do the best we can to offer something of interest and value to whatever audience we can attract. I think the ISU's attitude, "The CoP is really swell, if you don't like it go to hell," is not helping.

  10. #25
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    I don't know but Sarah wasn't that popular so I hope if Gracie wins that it be closes to what a Sasha would have done if she had won worlds or Olympic gold.

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    I think a smart use of publicity could do a lot. I have said before that it's relevant to notice that the supposely niche and declasse sport/art of ballroom dancing has become one of the hottest things to watch on TV. It even has people with names most Americans can't pronounce and certainly can't spell, people from out-of-the-way places like Albania, and men wearing brightly colored satin. To add to it, the show features celebrities of all varieties, including some who are old enough to collect Social Security and some who are far from svelte. Surely we can think of ways to make skating hot also. And I don't mean by having Chloris Leachman try to skate with a professional partner.

    Of course, such a show would be a lot easier to sell if Tom Bergeron were the emcee.

  12. #27
    Six Point Zero Krislite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Heres to Gracie's grace and huge jumps. May she win in Sochi a la Sarah Hughes!
    I don't think even Gracie winning the OGM will save figure skating in the US. Also, she's almost certain to retire right afterwards just like Hughes and Lipinski if she wins OGM.

  13. #28
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    If you read the comments at the bottom of the article, you will notice the main complaints were that people just don't trust the judging anymore.....and the results in the mens competition are not going to help the sport gain anymore fans.

  14. #29
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    Just so impossible to explain those results to anyone...not that any of my friends are asking. Skating is doing an abysmal job of selling itself.

  15. #30
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    I think Steve better give his head a shake. The CBC did a wonderful job of media/tv coverage and from where I sat at home it looks like it paid off. Sure some interest in Figure Skating has wavered, but here in Canada the fans love it just as much as they always have. With hockey taking a bit of a haitus there with the "strike" (lock out) folks were tuning in to other sports like Figure Skating again. The reason the this years Worlds were held in London - a smaller city - was likely for financial reasons and sometimes arenas are harder to come by when hockey is back in full swing, which it is now. It think it was great that London got put on the map by hosting this years worlds. I don't think Steve is much of a reporter, he does work for "Yahoo" after all.

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