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Thread: Things Non-Fans Say About Figure Skating

  1. #16
    the Golden Era sky_fly20's Avatar
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    * as of the current, only knows the word Yuna Kim related to figure skating
    * all male figure skaters look gay
    * it is a non sport like rhythmic gymnastics
    * punching bag before a hockey game starts

  2. #17
    Rinkside
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    "You mean figure skating doesn't just happen during the Olympics?"
    "Is Michelle Kwan going to skate in this competition?"
    "Ice Dance?" People will say this incredulously, often accompanied by a dismissive smirk. Then I show them Davis/White's Bollywood program and they walk away impressed as hell.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antiloquy View Post
    "Is Michelle Kwan going to skate in this competition?"
    Oh, this one. A few years ago, for a high school project, a partner and I did a presentation (for French class) on ladies' figure skating. We showed the 2010 Olympic Free skates of Mao Asada and Yuna Kim. Despite both of their names being highlighted, the class was split and bickering over which one was Michelle Kwan. They sounded so sure, too. It was impossible to get them to believe that Michelle Kwan was not there, and that she had not competed in years.

  4. #19
    I got your program components right here. Pepe Nero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    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.
    I think there's more to it than semantic quibbling, Mathman. Some other commenters have suggested something like this, but I think the main problem many people have in recognizing FS as a sport is that "sport" is culturally-coded as masculine/male (at least in the US, but probably most other places too), while FS is culturally-coded as feminine/female. (This is surely why so many people assume male figure skaters are gay.) Moreover, when people assert that FS is not a sport, they're generally (in my experience, anyway) not simply meaning to put it in another category; they are meaning to disparage it. Thus, there is a kind of subtle sexism often underlying the assertion that FS is not a sport, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by rvi5 View Post
    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.
    That is because there isn't a definition handed down from on high. What "sport" is is a matter of philosophical debate, which is not to say that some proposed definitions wouldn't be better than others. (Dictionaries just report common usage.)

  5. #20
    Custom Title spikydurian's Avatar
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    Here’s an interesting article in relation to figure skating as a sport. Apparently, poor Sonja Henie was 'blamed' for ‘feminizing figure skating’ and thereby creating a male bias against figure skating as a sport.

    Mary Louise Adams (2010) From Mixed-Sex Sport to Sport for Girls: The Feminization of Figure Skating, Sport in History, 30:2, 218-241,
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17460263.2010.481208
    CONCLUSION:Between the late 1920s and the late 1940s figure skating was feminized. In this era it was female skaters who contributed the most to technical and stylistic advances within the sport. Women’s competitions attracted the greatest crowds and the most interest from promoters looking to commercialize their performances. Sonja Henie was key to this interest; once she turned professional the effect of her visibility on public perceptions of figure skating cannot be overstated. In a pre-television era, her touring shows and films brought figure skating to a huge public audience for the first time. In earlier periods, figure skating had been a pastime of the elite, practised within private clubs. Most people had never seen figure skating of any kind until Henie appeared on screen at their local cinemas. In this context, she and figure skating became synonymous. Her sequinned and bejewelled costumes, her use of toe-steps, her wideeyed, cutesy, doll-like appearance led to popular understandings of figure skating as a feminine form of dancing on ice, rather than a competitive sport. While male skaters appeared in Henie’s films, their roles were secondary. The effervescent Henie, ‘a sort of grown up Shirley Temple’,65 always took centre ice. She helped to cement the public image of figure skating as a feminine one.

    In theory, the historical acceptance and success of female skaters should be a cause for celebration. However, in practice, over the past half-century the feminization of figure skating has led to a pronounced
    emphasis on gender difference in both technical and stylistic aspects of the sport. This has led to the devaluing of figure skating as a sport, to the hyper-feminization of women’s skating and to the social regulation of boys and men who skate. By their willing participation in a so-called feminine sport, male skaters are often presumed to be effeminate and/or gay. And, while skating has certainly been the sport of choice for many gay or effeminate boys and men, the decision to pursue it rarely comes without cost. The experiences of male skaters remind us that sports, especially strongly gender-typed sports, make an important contribution to the cultural apparatus through which gender conformity is enforced. Indeed ‘intense desire to participate in the games and pastimes of the other sex’ is one of five criteria that psychiatrists may draw on to diagnose gender identity disorder in childhood, as defined in the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association.

    What the story of figure skating makes clear is that the relationship between gender and sport has not always been, and does not need to be, structured or understood as it is now. Women and men have not always needed to compete separately; men have not always felt the need to eschew athletic activities that emphasize the aesthetic; women have not always been required to compete in versions of sport that are less valued than men’s. Thus the lesson to be found in the history of figure skating _ along with the history of bobsledding and other sports that have gone through periods without a heavy emphasis on gender segregation _ is not new: the social organization of gender is historically and culturally contingent; the ‘games and pastimes of the other sex’ in one era might at another time be the games and pastimes of one’s own.

  6. #21
    I got your program components right here. Pepe Nero's Avatar
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    Ooh, what an interesting article, spikydurian! Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I just downloaded it. I didn't realize at first that the author also wrote a book (Artistic impressions: figure skating, masculinity, and the limits of sport) that I have been reading off-and-on for a while now. (I swear I came to the ideas in my post above independently; wasn't meaning to plagiarize Adams. )

  7. #22
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    A very interesting article, Spikydurian. I always thought of Sonia Henie as making the sport less ladylike, because she was the first (I think) to wear shorter skirts and do athletic tricks. I see how this author's idea applies, though. Once women turned out to be really good at a sport (and keep in mind, it's done to music, which to some mentalities has to be questionable)...it couldn't be suitable for guys.

    Something else strikes me. A lot of girls and women who excel in other sports, such as track and field and team sports, are often thought of as lesbians. (Presumably because their enjoyment of and excellence in physical activity is somehow unnatural.) I just realized that skating is one of the few sports where that implication is absent. Hmmm. Maybe it's the skirts.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antiloquy View Post
    "Ice Dance?" People will say this incredulously, often accompanied by a dismissive smirk.
    It's funny, isn't it? There have been okay crowds at Skate DownUnder - but the second O'Brien and Merriman appeared on the ice, the place was packed!

  9. #24
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    This goes back to the 2010 men's controversy but what about "if plushenko likes quads so much why didn't he do 3 or 4 and just do only one they only take 2 seconds!" this was probably formed by lysacek and carrol saying a program is not about 2 seconds but 4.5 minutes! So people in the sport can say dumb crap which leads to non fans saying dumb crap.

  10. #25
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    My sister just claimed the other day that Austria has top figure skaters...I was tempted to start spitting out figure skating facts but restrained myself

  11. #26
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    Some non-fans can't tell a difference between pairs and ice dance, but I guess it isn't too surprising.

    Also in Korea, it seems like 3A is the only jump that non-fans know about, thanks to Korean media

  12. #27
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    Well, Austria does have top figure skaters, but they were all active in the twentieth century. Karl Schäfer, Trixi Schuba....

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnstep View Post
    Some non-fans can't tell a difference between pairs and ice dance, but I guess it isn't too surprising.

    Also in Korea, it seems like 3A is the only jump that non-fans know about, thanks to Korean media
    The second part is so true, and highly ironic for the obvious reason.

  14. #29
    Rinkside
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    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.

  15. #30
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    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.
    I think it is pretty much accepted that all wrestlers are gay. Certainly all bodybuilders are gay. All male models and movie stars are gay. All football players who wiggle their butts in the end zone when they score a touchdown are gay.
    Last edited by Mathman; 08-21-2013 at 10:42 AM.

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