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Thread: Things Non-Fans Say About Figure Skating

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    “Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.” skatingfan4ever's Avatar
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    Things Non-Fans Say About Figure Skating

    I’ve been thinking about the funny/annoying things that people who aren’t hardcore figure skating fans say about it. I’m sure the list is innumerable. I’ll start off the thread with two such remarks:

    - It’s not a sport. People who don’t care about figure skating sometimes try to justify their not caring by downplaying its worth. I’m sorry, but just because one happens to not enjoy a particular sport doesn’t mean it’s not a sport. Yes, music and costumes are involved in figure skating, but it takes a lot of hard work for skaters to find a package that works for them and present it well, not to mention that the footwork, spins, and jumps required in competition are just plain difficult. Synchronized swimming also has costumes, makeup, and music, and some people question whether it’s a sport too.

    - All the jumps look the same. I once tried to teach a friend of mine about the different jumps and how to tell them apart. She watched an entire long program with me (I don’t remember which one) while I pointed out what each jump was. At the end, she said they all looked the same to her. I guess if you’re not used to watching skating and aren’t looking at skaters' skates, you would miss all that. It made me laugh. How do you teach your non-fan friends about edges and how to tell jumps apart? I learned all I know from listening to Dick Button and Peggy Fleming for all those years when figure skating had its U.S. broadcasting heyday

    Let the hilarity/annoyance begin. This should be a fun thread!

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    Custom Title mary01's Avatar
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    awesome thread skatingfan4ever, where do I start the list is soo long, but one question I could never forget was: do the same skaters compete in both single and pairs

    last year I asked a classmate of mine, which current skaters he liked (since he previously said that he enjoyed watching figure skating) and his answer was Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan!(I figured out that he probably only had watched one figure skating program and that was because of that accident)

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    On the question, is figure skating a sport? I don't get too exercised over that one.

    To me, this is just quibbling over the definition of a word. It is a semantic issue, not a substantive one, IMHO. Call it a sport, call it a trops. I think trapeze is a pretty cool sport, myself.

    One distinction that some people make is that a judged sport isn't a real sport, Again, whatever.

    About telling the jumps apart, you can start your friend off by helping her to recognize an Axel. To tell the truth, that's about how far I have gotten in decades of being an avid fan.

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    That's why, being the lone figure skating fan in my social circle, I usually whip out videos of Yuna Kim's performances.

    They're so entranced that they don't have room to say anything silly.

    I've mostly encountered people who are genuinely interested, though. I have friends who will gasp aloud at a well-executed flying camel spin. I've found that, for the most part, it's reasonable to have a certain degree of awe when watching skaters do what they do. It doesn't take expertise to realize that twisting three or four times through the air and then landing on a tiny sliver of metal isn't exactly a small feat. It's even more impressive that they make it look so easy -- anyone not a skater who steps on the ice immediately comprehends how difficult it actually is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post



    About telling the jumps apart, you can start your friend off by helping her to recognize an Axel. To tell the truth, that's about how far I have gotten in decades of being an avid fan.
    I can identify an axel and tell a toe jump from an edge jump. Not much else. And in person, turns out my vision is not good enough to tell toe from edge on the other side of the rink from me.

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    It's pretty easy to tell an axel (forward takeoff) and a loop (feet together on takeoff). It's harder to tell a lutz from a flip, although sometimes the setup is a good clue.

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    Except when skaters approach the Axel backwards, then spin around into the jump. The backward entry deceives you into thinking it is a Toe jump or a Salchow if you are not paying attention. You need to be watching when they actually achieve lift-off, or whether they actually dig their free leg toe-pick into the ice.

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    "All male figure skaters are gay".

    Alas, I have to put up with this one in my own house every time Dad so much as catches a glimpse of one of my skaters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rvi5 View Post
    Except when skaters approach the Axel backwards, then spin around into the jump. The backward entry deceives you into thinking it is a Toe jump or a Salchow if you are not paying attention. You need to be watching when they actually achieve lift-off, or whether they actually dig their free leg toe-pick into the ice.
    Another sign of the Axel is that the skater lifts his/her inside leg just prior to vaulting into the air.

    Honestly, it's always been the loop/salchow that have confused me. I'm pretty good at distinguishing between Lutz and flip.

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    I can usually distinguish the loop, because the legs are crossed going into the jump. Unfortunately, on TV the camera angle is not always ideal to distinguish jumps. If I reverse and play it in slo-mo, or jog the frames forward from pause, I can usually distinguish all of the jumps :lol:. I would make a good competition judge, if everyone could be convinced to skate in slow motion.

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    During BOTB, guys at a Hockey board were commenting on the show because of it's Hockey connection. Some hated the show simply because they considered it to be Figure Skating. The gay stigmatism turns many against the sport, fearing they will be accused of being gay if it were remotely suspected they were watch anything Figure Skating related. Some will take a very strong anti-Figure Skating stance, and heavily criticize Figure Skating as not being a sport. Someone at that Hockey board argued Figure Skating was not a sport because it is just dancing on skates. Since dancing is not a sport, neither is Figure Skating (in their mind). I have never found a clear definition of the term Sport. With the IOC officially recognizing the game of Chess as an "intellectual" sport, the issue becomes further complicated. When asked the "exact" definition, most people don't actually know. They usually resort to listing recognized sports as examples. In other words..." I don't know. Here are some examples. You figure it out."

    I once saw a poll regarding BOTB viewers. The least likely to watch BOTB was male teens. Next were female teens. For men, the most likely to watch were males aged 50+. I guess at that age, men become more secure in their sexuality, regardless of what others may think. Of course, there were only about 30 participants in the poll. Hardly an accurate statistical population.

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    Those are the two main put-downs I can think of.

    Isn't it funny how some unenlightened guys look down on the glitz of figure skating and then get all excited about pro wrestling? All those muscle-bound wrestlers with long, flowing hair and glittering costumes. And skaters are too frilly? Phooey, anyway.

    If those skating anti-fans ever get married, they're going to be in for a surprise at their wedding receptions. When the music plays, they're going to have to dance with their wives, not wrestle them to the ground.

    I know, I know. I wouldn't be bold enough or articulate enough to say any of this to someone who was in the room poking fun at figure skating. Some useful fan I am.

    (I suspect I'm peeved at wrestling mostly because it seems to be on almost every night on TV. The only place I can see skating these days is YouTube.)

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    Let me try to understand this...

    Guys watching well toned physically fit women in short skating dresses is gay. Watching other guys is macho.

    ...why does that logic seem backwards?

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    "It's not a sport" and "All male skaters are gays" are two views that I have encountered many times. No matter how I explain to them, they just smiled and brushed it off like saying, "Yeah, right!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by rvi5 View Post
    Let me try to understand this...

    Guys watching well toned physically fit women in short skating dresses is gay. Watching other guys is macho.

    ...why does that logic seem backwards?
    Ooh, I have to use that one next time someone makes that comment to me. That's genius!

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