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Thread: Things Non-Fans Say About Figure Skating

  1. #46
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    I also thought of the job parallel. It's funny to think that typists (I believe they were called typewriters in the old days, like the machines they used) were at first male. Well, think about it: respectable women were not supposed to work outside the home. Even earlier than that, political leaders, authors, and other men (of course, men) of importance had secretaries, who were generally male. The secretaries had to attend to important correspondence and keep the papers, speeches, and appointment calendars in order, which took more intellectual heft than it was assumed that ladies had. When John Quincy Adams was young, he served as secretary to his father, John Adams. Granted, if the VIP and his secretary had to do any traveling in those days, both the journey (in a crowded stagecoach or on a sailing ship, maybe) and lodgings would have been impossible for a man with an unrelated woman in tow.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Years ago, I remember that a far smarter sports writer wrote about an endurance test given to several athletes from different sports, including Randy Gardner. (Remember that in addition to being a skater, Gardner wasn't even very tall.) I seem to recall that Gardner beat out all the others. Well, think about it. He had to balance another person over his head, sometimes on one hand, while skating. Yeah, no muscles needed here.
    Agreed.

    I think that, regarding the ladies, they're imagined as wispy, well-packaged pixies doing figure-eights and spins for four minutes straight. It's not until you get up close on a slow-motion camera that you see how strong these girls really are. Their legs are unbelievably muscular, as they'd have to be to absorb 6 or 7 times their body weight coming down from a triple jump. This is even evident during sit spins, which most people don't realize until they try to hold a squatting position, one leg extended, for longer than five seconds at a time.

    Unfortunately, due to Hollywood and the general media, EVERY female skater is expected to be a music-box ice princess skating to "Swan Lake." Sexism, or at the very least traditional gender roles, at work in sports.

  3. #48
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    I liked it when I watched the movie <Ice Princess>, where it briefly showed a rival who was a rocker-chick with badass attitude, bubblegum in her mouse, all that punk hair, makeup and outfit, which consistently carried into skating with her program - Britney's "Toxic" :D

    It wasn't shocking or anything, but somehow left a long lasting impression on me; probably because I always imagined seeing one in real life.

  4. #49
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    On the other hand, if you do happen to be a petitie pixy, it's cool that there is a sport just for you. You're not big enough for hockey, you're not tall enough to make the varsity basketball team, but you can be a skater. Or a jockey.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    I understand the point that you are trying to make, KKonas, and I don't disagree.

    But in fairness to the NBC Olympics researchers, who are known for immersing themselves in their material:
    They were not responsible for the error-riddled article, as I noted in the other thread.
    The faulty article was written by an NBC "web producer" -- whose past tweets seemed to acknowledge that he is new this year to the figure skating beat.

    If we were to be so lucky that the NBC researchers wrote all the figure skating articles, I would expect their quality to be good.
    Well, you are certainly optimistic. I don't know the current crop, but as a former TV Figure Skating Olympic researcher myself, working with other sports journalists/researchers, I tend to be less optimistic.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    On the other hand, if you do happen to be a petitie pixy, it's cool that there is a sport just for you. You're not big enough for hockey, you're not tall enough to make the varsity basketball team, but you can be a skater. Or a jockey.
    Or a gymnast. Good point! I love that there's room for almost every body type in sports, and this reinforces it.

  7. #52
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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?
    LOL good point. Also, in Wrestling, the 2 guys are groping each other constantly.

    One of my guy friends said he watches skating because of the short skirt worn by the ladies in such good shape.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by HazyD View Post
    I used to work at a paper in L.A. A freelancer got tickets to a big competition and wrote a piece about it. The whole gist of the story was how people only watch skating to see the skaters fall. It was idiotic. I complained to the editor, my boss, and she looked at me like I was crazy.
    Then, once, Entertainment Weekly called something as "difficult as a triple lutz, triple salchow." I wrote a letter to the mag saying that not only was it difficult, it was impossible, and described the landing vs. takeoff edge problem. Needless to say, they didn't print it.
    My 13 yr old nephew said he enjoys watching the skaters fall so he can laugh at them.

    During the 1992 Olympics, I made a friend leave my house. The 7th-12th position ladies pretty much splatted during the LP (as did many of the top 6). I had to 'kick him 'out because he was distracting me with his boisterous laughter each time someone fell. He was in his late20's at the time.

  9. #54
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    I have a friend who doesn't seem to understand a skating 'season'. If she's seen a program during the GP, and then sees it repeated later at Nationals or Worlds for example, she's asked me, "Isn't this the same program as before?" She just doesn't grasp why skaters don't perform new material more often. Recently when she saw me watching a summer competition, she asked if the couple would be performing the same routine at the Olympics. I thought, "Oh, she finally knows that this program will be performed throughout the winter!" but, she had really just wondered if the Olympic figure skating had different rules than other competitions. :/

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tereska View Post
    I have a friend who doesn't seem to understand a skating 'season'. If she's seen a program during the GP, and then sees it repeated later at Nationals or Worlds for example, she's asked me, "Isn't this the same program as before?" She just doesn't grasp why skaters don't perform new material more often. Recently when she saw me watching a summer competition, she asked if the couple would be performing the same routine at the Olympics. I thought, "Oh, she finally knows that this program will be performed throughout the winter!" but, she had really just wondered if the Olympic figure skating had different rules than other competitions. :/
    The same happened to me! A lot of people tend to think: "If the jumps are always the same, why don't you change the choreography for every competition?" well...

  11. #56
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    I never thought of that one. But I see why people might think that there should be a new routine every time. I mean, on Dancing with the Stars, the contestants and the pros learn two new programs every week, so an inexperienced viewer must conclude that it isn't that hard to learn new skating programs every week or two. Someone should film a practice session and put it up on YouTube.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by bebevia View Post
    I liked it when I watched the movie <Ice Princess>, where it briefly showed a rival who was a rocker-chick with badass attitude, bubblegum in her mouse, all that punk hair, makeup and outfit, which consistently carried into skating with her program - Britney's "Toxic" :D

    It wasn't shocking or anything, but somehow left a long lasting impression on me; probably because I always imagined seeing one in real life.
    I remember Debbi Wilkes being her coach!

  13. #58
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    "Well, if their partner quits, they can just do singles skating...."

    "Well, they can't do the triple axel anymore, so why not do pair skating?"

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    About figure skating, though, I don't think it was ever a big-time sport before Sonia Henie. She glamorized it, "feminized" it, went to Hollywood and made movies about it. This ushered in the golden age of figure skating, when a lot of ladies tried to win some sort of amateur title (like the world championship) so they could sign on with a show like Ice Follies or Ice Capades.
    Oh, yeah, there are some sports that are just pretty obscure and no one really has much of an opinion about at all - curling, archery (although apparently that recently got a boost from The Hunger Games...). And skating could have remained one of those as well. What got my attention was the different treatment of sports with mostly male high-profile stars versus mainly female ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by heyang View Post
    My 13 yr old nephew said he enjoys watching the skaters fall so he can laugh at them.

    During the 1992 Olympics, I made a friend leave my house. The 7th-12th position ladies pretty much splatted during the LP (as did many of the top 6). I had to 'kick him 'out because he was distracting me with his boisterous laughter each time someone fell. He was in his late20's at the time.
    Heh. The song "Schadenfreude" from the musical Avenue Q mentions watching skaters fall as an example of taking pleasure on others' misfortune.

    YouTube vid of Schadenfreude song (a bit of crude content)


    I've gotten similarly annoyed with "Olympics only" viewers by the way they only care about Canada's medal count. One person went so far as to start mocking a Russian rival team's music as soon as they started skating and looked at me expecting me to be amused. Leave me be to watch by myself if you can't appreciate good skating for what it is.

    Oh, I also knew someone who used to insist that when they changed the camera shot during televised ice shows, it was because the skater fell and they were trying to "cover it up."

  15. #60
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    The last Olympics I was watching with my dad, and cracked up when during the final flight, he asked if the "two blonde soccer players" had any chance of beating any of the little asian women. In other words, he called Rachael and Joannie soccer players and asked if the north american figure skaters all were involved in other sports, because they all seemed like jocks, of course the only other two he was familiar with were Tonya Harding and Sarah Hughes lol.

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