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Thread: The Longevity of Figure Skating Fans

  1. #16
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrywidow View Post
    I've been a fan since the late 60's & have never lost my love for skating or for those who train, dream & participate. I've had personal favorites over the years but one thing I've enjoyed doing since I've aged is spotting the young talent (mostly U.S.) & following their careers. I agree with Toni that coming on the skating fan sites can be depressing at times & I have no clue why some fans can be so nasty & negative with their comments. I tend to put it down to their being unhappy with themselves & their life choices.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    It's definitely changed in tone from when skating message boards first popped up, eh MW? gone are the days of a bunch of happy go lucky fans with rose colored glasses on everything!
    I don't see the point of being nasty and negative either. I always wonder if these same fans would be willing to say those comments to the skaters' faces (or even in a telephone call). I would say most wouldn't. Still, I think there is a way to provide constructive criticism without having to attack the skater personally.

    However, social media/the Internet isn't all that bad -- it's provided us with opportunities to see skaters early in their careers and look back on how much they've grown (both in the sport/physically) over the years.

    I started following skating in 1991, when I was still in elementary school. I remember watching Midori Ito jump off the boards at the World Championships. I also remember buying those paperback biographies during the height of Nancy vs. Tonya. I followed it pretty intensely through the 1998 Olympics then took a break in high school and college as I was busy with various school/career things, though I still watched the Olympics during that time. I made a comeback in 2009 when I watch Yuna win her first World Championship on HDTV

    I think the biggest change for me from following it in elementary/middle school and now as an adult is how much more I appreciate Ice Dance. I think perhaps I might have been influenced slightly by all the "Eastern block conspiracy theories" stated by commentators during Ice Dance TV segments. But I didn't really care for the over the top style that seem to be prevalent in Ice Dance in the 1990s either (though I loved watching Klimova and Ponomarenko in 1992!) I think the requirements of COP really highlight the technical difficulty/prowess of Ice Dances today. I also like that there are a greater amount of variety in Ice Dance. The fact that the top two teams have very different styles is very encouraging to me.

  2. #17
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just very different from when I joined my first skating message board (Skate Forum) back in 1999.

  3. #18
    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    It's definitely changed in tone from when skating message boards first popped up, eh MW? gone are the days of a bunch of happy go lucky fans with rose colored glasses on everything!
    I agree, and I will admit I was a part of the problem back then. I appreciate this board, and Doris, because she runs a tight ship so to speak. Keep it to skating, stop the ad hominem attacks just for having an opinion.

  4. #19
    Tripping on the Podium
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    i've been a fan since '90! i'm sure i was on a list-serv or two in the mid-'90s before i started posting prolifically on message boards. nowadays, i mostly lurk, but it's nice to come out of the woodwork every once in awhile.

  5. #20
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    When I watch figure skating, I feel like my past life is flashing before my eyes-- especially my childhood and Christmases; there in my racing-car pajamas and plastic Santa in the corner; mom...well, mom being mom; and dad, dad drinking his hot liquids, et al. Maybe figure skating is really like that snow globe toy-- it allows beings like me to envision will as a conquest of nature; no no, not like an artificial abstraction-- like expecting Christmas presents from Santa-- but like stabling device for sentiments and emotions. ...And I live in darn-near tropical environment, imagine that!

  6. #21
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    ...Maybe I love figure skating so much because I love Christmas so much.

  7. #22
    ISU, stop promoting 2-foot skating!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan4ever View Post
    At some point near the end of each Olympic cycle, the thought crosses my mind that “maybe I won’t get so emotionally invested in figure skating over the next four years.” This thought especially comes if I know it’s likely that skaters I particularly enjoy will be retiring from competition soon.
    This is the best part! Old skaters that we've seen way too much of clearing out so we get to see some new faces.

    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan4ever View Post
    So, for us diehards, what is it about figure skating itself (as opposed to just Skater X or Skater Y) that keeps us constantly coming back for more?
    Sometimes I get invested in certain skaters more but in general a skater is only as good as their last program/performance, IMO. I have never understood fandom and never will.

    It's the sport itself that's amazing. The fact that it's so complex and that it has so many aspects to it.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllYouDoIsTalk View Post
    The longevity of the fandom for figure skating is largely dependent upon the perpetuity of cyber-culture discourse, flame wars. What makes you think why Mao and Yuna is still skating for god's sake, with the latter being already an Olympic gold medalist? - For their respective (and respectful) fans, that's why!

    Oh my God, I can't wait for the coming eight years of Lipnitskaya vs. Radionova! It's gonna be wonderful.
    I have the impression that Yuna wanted to be in the Olympic Committee as an athlete representative. To do so she has to be active within certain length of period of time. I forgot the detail but it was reported some time ago.

  9. #24
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    I've been following figure skating since the late 50's (and yes, I'm dating myself by stating that) It was difficult then because you didn't get to see much - only read about it. I think what kept me going in the later years was getting attached to people like Kurt Browning and Gordeeva and Grinkov, to name a few and those wonderful days when we had great TV coverage without having to buy a sports package. Having SOI and the World Champion tours just made it all the better because you could actually see some of these skaters in person that before you only saw on TV.

    There are times when I hate the internet because it allows people to be anonymous and tee off on anybody they want to - without responsibility for their comments. On the other hand, there are wonderful YouTubes where you can go back and look at classic performances, live streaming, etc. And I do enjoy some of the insider stuff that gets posted.

    What does bother me, however, are the fans who literally worship their favorite skater to almost a fault - offset by the fans that criticize everything down to a skater's hairdo. Neither polarized opinions are very entertaining after awhile. But for longevity, there always seems to be someone up and coming that attracts my attention and makes me want to see what their future will hold in the sport.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    It's the sport itself that's amazing. The fact that it's so complex and that it has so many aspects to it.
    I share this sentiment completely.

    The reason I like skating more than other sports is the complexity and the tensions between contradictory aspects.

    Well, and it's just fun to do it, as well, even at a much lower level.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    I've been following figure skating since the late 50's (and yes, I'm dating myself by stating that) It was difficult then because you didn't get to see much - only read about it. I think what kept me going in the later years was getting attached to people like Kurt Browning and Gordeeva and Grinkov, to name a few and those wonderful days when we had great TV coverage without having to buy a sports package. Having SOI and the World Champion tours just made it all the better because you could actually see some of these skaters in person that before you only saw on TV.

    There are times when I hate the internet because it allows people to be anonymous and tee off on anybody they want to - without responsibility for their comments. On the other hand, there are wonderful YouTubes where you can go back and look at classic performances, live streaming, etc. And I do enjoy some of the insider stuff that gets posted.

    What does bother me, however, are the fans who literally worship their favorite skater to almost a fault - offset by the fans that criticize everything down to a skater's hairdo. Neither polarized opinions are very entertaining after awhile. But for longevity, there always seems to be someone up and coming that attracts my attention and makes me want to see what their future will hold in the sport.
    Thanks noskates. You said it all for me.

  12. #27
    I got your program components right here. Pepe Nero's Avatar
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    Thanks for this thread, skatingfan4ever. This is the sort of thread I think is really interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    After rooting for Tonya Harding, I learned not to get too caught up in the fate of any specific skater.
    Ha! That's exactly when I got caught up in figure skating, and started identifying with particular figure skaters, my moods shifting with their successes and failures.

    Quote Originally Posted by AllYouDoIsTalk View Post
    I love figure skating because I like to cry.
    I can relate to this. There's something about the drama of figure skating that draws me in. Most other sports seem to provide an opportunity for athletes to recover (within a single competition) from a small mistake and win the gold medal they've spent their life training for and have long been predicted to win. Figure skating is unforgiving, however. This can be terrible, but the potential tragedy of it always sucks me in. Having written this, I feel like a terrible person.

    One other thing that occurs to me, upon reflection, is that I like figure skating, among sports, because it is one of few sports one can enjoy without too much obnoxious masculine posturing, the likes of Elvis Stojko notwithstanding. One of the reasons lay folk complain that figure skating is not a sport is that (at least in North America) figure skating is considered feminine. Figure skating's (culturally imputed) femininity is one of the reasons I think it is one of the best sports.

  13. #28
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    I've been watching Olympic Figure Skating since 1968, but really starting following the sport avidly since 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Watching the Battle of the Brians, G&G, & Midori Ito did it for me, and got me totally hooked on the sport. Now we try to follow everything - Olympic eligible/pro. We do miss the glory days of more complete coverage from ABC/ESPN (96/97, for example, when we could see the top 2 flights of men from worlds). We have been lucky enough to attend COI from 1988 until it's demise, and SOI since 1993, several Skate Americas (2003, 2005, 2007 - Reading, PA, Atlantic City, NJ), US Nationals in Phila. - 1998, Cleveland - 2009, Greensboro - 2011, San Jose - 2012, Boston in January 2014, & 2003 Worlds. The Liberty Summer Competition is in our area, so we always try to go to that as well. So, we have been extremely lucky to have had many opportunities to see live skating, get to watch the up & comers as well as the established skaters.

    Re: the skating boards, I appreciate it when people are respectful of each skater's talent, and hate to see anyone ripped to shreds, which does happen @ some boards. I do wonder if the anonymity of the internet makes those who resorting to putting down certain skaters has something to do with it. I would hope that they wouldn't behave that way towards a skater in person (but I wish they would refrain from that kind of behavior on the internet as well).

  14. #29
    “Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.” skatingfan4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    This is the best part! Old skaters that we've seen way too much of clearing out so we get to see some new faces.

    It's the sport itself that's amazing. The fact that it's so complex and that it has so many aspects to it.
    This is what I'm discovering as the years go by. I'm discovering that I actually enjoy the sport itself, regardless of the particular skaters or scoring system involved. At first, I thought IJS could never be as great to watch as 6.0. but then skaters like Patrick, Dai, YuNa, Mao, Carolina, Akiko, etc came along and made IJS beautiful to watch. It's always fun to see skaters grow and develop over time. When new faces come on the scene, they often have a youthful exuberance that is contagious. I love to see skaters succeed. Their excitement gets me excited!

    This is such a happy, positive thread. Thanks for all the wonderful posts so far. Keep them coming! Pepe Nero, you're welcome. I also find these types of threads very interesting.

  15. #30
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    I started to watch figure skating in early sixties and got really interested in men´s skating because of John Curry in early seventies. It is the the sport of figure skating that really I love, lots of favourites have appeared and gone and new ones have arrived on the ice, but the sport goes on... Figure skating forums I started to read in 1996 and to follow skating competition reviews as I got my computer for that reason (had seen at work what wonderful things a computer can offer for a figure skating fan).

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