Oh, I get so nervous watching the competitions live... So I'm all for self-spoiling. Of course, if I have the chance to watch the competition live, I will, but I know it's gonna cost me a lot of nerves in the end. I get so excited that I start frantically jumping up and down (literally), the people in the flat below mine are not amused well, the jumping part concerns all the sports I watch.
But yeah, seeing my favourites perform live is really nerve-racking, so much so that sometimes I also switch the channel for a while or turn away. And even when the others are skating, it's not like I really dislike any skaters, so when I see someone fall I always flinch. I mean, they try their best and work hard all year, all of them deserve to skate to the best of their abilities, so when they fail it's always hearbreaking, especially if it's a favourite. Sooo... if there's a way to save myself the nerves and find out the results earlier — I'm in. Then at least if I know a skater skated badly, I can save myself from the excruciating experience of watching it.
I get very nervous too, I can't watch the TV many times. My heart beats strongly...
Okay, I'm still seeing self-soil so I guess I should clarify, especially for KitChase! And I know this could go in several directions but I prefer to think of it as food you dump on yourself when you get excited watching figure skating. In my case it's wine (red and white) or chocolate (and that could be on it's own or in an ice cream bar).
Yeah...I was thinking of a rather different kind of self-soiling. Hopefully no one does the kind I had in mind.
Truly, I hate knowing the results before I watch. And I feel the same way about gymnastics. I actually get mad when I click on my IN bookmark (each morning) and some Shibutani tweet has told me the results of the latest competition I've DVRed before I've watched it. Shibutanis!!
Myself, I love the edge-of-one's-seat-excitement of not knowing the results. Even though my favorite contemporary figure skater is Czisny. No drug matches the intensity of watching "live," and praying to do well, Czisny.
I couldn't watch the 2006 Olympics because at that time I was such a booster for Sasha and I..... just couldn't do it anymore. It wasn't until 2010 when I started hearing about a young girl out of Korea that I even started watching FS again (not really a fan of the Men's ever since Stoiko). I give sole credit to Yuna for bringing me back again and even still, this last World's I couldn't sit still; I was pacing and standing and sitting in places I never sit in and it was only when Yuna's performance was half done did I relax (somewhat) and sat back down in MY seat.
This thread got me thinking about how many folks left FS because of nerves and how many then returned, for whatever reason. For me, Sasha was bad for my nerves while conversely Yuna makes me feel like I am part of something special, even when she falls.
There should be a thread about who was the most disappointing skater of the last decade, in other words potential not realized. Reminds me of that book, "The Right Stuff" by Tom Wolfe. The right stuff was what it took for pilots to become successful astronauts who made it into space. Those who made it into space had to have more than stellar ability. They also had to have a light weight body frame, good eyes, timing, couldn't be ugly, had to be a family man, had to have accomplished credentials, etc. Think of all those great skaters or potential great skaters we don't know of because of reasons like wrong country, wrong race, wrong body type, wrong commitment, wrong luck/timing, wrong parents, wrong personality etc. Perhaps there is a young middle eastern girl of a shepherding family who if only were raised in California could be one of the all time greats. But we'll never know. What if Kim never had a TV to watch Michelle win all her World's? Apparently Kim used to spend hours as a kid pretending she was Michelle, even trying to copy all her expressions when skating; it is like Michelle, unbeknownst to her, was coaching a young Yuna to one day take over her crown.
These are the reasons why sports like basketball and soccer are the world's most successful sports because anyone and everyone has participated at one time or another in the world's two most ACCESSIBLE sports. Sports like figure skating are the opposite of that.
RABID, that's an aspect of skating that always makes me feel uneasy. It isn't just the monetary issue (which is tough enough) but the fact that so few countries have skating facilities, and even then, the body type is so specialized (though there is some variety possible within a range). I'd love for my favorite sport to be more democratic. The great soccer player Pele once pointed out that all kids everywhere can play soccer, because all you need is a ball. You can set up the field of play anywhere, and you don't need unusual weather to play the game. The most rudimentary forms of street soccer don't even require special shoes.
But there--one can't always choose what one falls in love with.
Kim is an amazing example of beating the odds. There she is in a country that barely has skating, and it certainly doesn't have the greatest coaches, and she somehow learns to skate well, with no bad technical habits, no improvised jump style that has to be unlearned... and she turns out to be the best CoP skater ever. I love your idea that Michelle was coaching her from afar.