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Thread: Why is pairs skating the least popular of the 4 disciplines amongst fans?

  1. #61
    Custom Title chapis's Avatar
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    I think pairs need "stars", not necessary american stars, it help but Yu-Na is korean, Mao is Japanese, V/M canadians and all of them are very popular, so is not indispensable to be american. I remember the first time I watched Shen/Zhao 2003 worlds, I was so impressed, I immediatly thought that pairs was the most amazing category, I thought there two persons, jumps, twist, throw jumps, spins, footwork, lifts, what else I can ask? but I really was blinded because Shen/Zhao were so wonderful and the true was the others pairs were simply not so great, but I think the four categories have much to offer, it simply need to have someone to shine to show the best qualities of the discipline, It is more difficult in pairs because I think almost nobody thinks to be in pairs since kids, neither their parents, and I understand them, it is very dangerous, I remember an interview with Shibutanis about why they did not choose pairs and they answered "because the lifts", Alex said "I don`t want to be responsible for a fall". A lot of skaters swith to pairs when they are older because they are not doing good in singles. V/M and D/W are very good because they are competing and training ice dance since they were children.

  2. #62
    Tripping on the Podium
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    I think pairs is shaping up to be the most exciting event at the Olympics. VT (I expect they will win in Russia) vs. SS (I love their long program and if they can land that axel and V&T make mistakes you never know) vs. PT (I thought they should have won last time) vs the DR...not to mention quite a few teams like Denney and Coughlin, Zhang and Cheng, Sui and Han and the second Canadian team who could really put on the pressure....maybe pairs just needs more/better marketing.

    When I went to US nats in San Jose I almost didn't go to the pairs long (given that US pairs aren't usually that great) but it turned out be the best skated event of the championship...very exciting and mostly clean.

  3. #63
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    a) COP as hindered pairs the most

    b) Russia/Soviet Union was the powerhouse and they had a significant decline. China was the next powerhouse and they've stagnated (the same three-team team for three consecutive Olympics!)

    c) The lack of a romantic duo for that easy narrative hook (more North American audiences, admittedly)

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    Welcome back, Imaginary Pogue. I have missed your posts.

  5. #65
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    In North America it is the least popular since North America generally sucks at it (Canada having two strong teams who have only established themselves in the last year notwithstanding).

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by leoncorazon View Post
    I think pairs is shaping up to be the most exciting event at the Olympics. VT (I expect they will win in Russia) vs. SS (I love their long program and if they can land that axel and V&T make mistakes you never know) vs. PT (I thought they should have won last time) vs the DR...not to mention quite a few teams like Denney and Coughlin, Zhang and Cheng, Sui and Han and the second Canadian team who could really put on the pressure....maybe pairs just needs more/better marketing.

    When I went to US nats in San Jose I almost didn't go to the pairs long (given that US pairs aren't usually that great) but it turned out be the best skated event of the championship...very exciting and mostly clean.
    Honestly there is nothing right now that indicates V&T wont run away with it by a huge margin (and based on how everyone is skating currently they would also fully deserve to). So I am not sure what is so exciting, unless you mean the silver and bronze battles, which I agree could be very exciting.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie View Post
    Pairs is the most popular discipline in China right now and has been for years.
    Exactly. Where one is having success it will be popular. Pairs was very popular where I live in Canada in the days of Underhill & Martin, Lloyd Eisler, Sale & Pelletier. Pairs has been our least successful discipline in the last decade (considering Rochette's success) so of course it isn't popular anymore. The U.S it would be even more evident why it isn't.

    There is also no global superstar team who captured everyones imagination in the last decade plus apart from Shen & Zhao. The Germans are too erratic to become legendary, while Totmianina & Marinin were too business and machine like in their approach. Volosozhar & Trankov are along the same lines as T&M thus far, albeit with more power and spectacularity in their skating and tricks atleast.

  8. #68
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    I agree at the moment pairs is the least popular discipline in North America, but I think it's quite popular still in Russia and definitely the most popular in China (in contrast, pairs threads on forums there generally get the most 'views' and 'replies'). I don't buy the whole blame COP reasoning. At least for me, I like it just as well under both COP and 6.0, different but enjoyable nevertheless (though admittedly the new lift rules are making some of those look beyond awkward, not to mention dangerous). I'm not sure it's always the failed singles skaters that end up in pairs either, or at least there are plenty of exceptions out there to that rule. I'm pretty sure Tong Jian used to be an ice dancer before switching over to pairs, for example.

    I think ultimately it comes down more to if there are people you can really root for (either from one's own country or a pair that just seriously WOWs and makes you adopt them as your own). Pairs is still my favorite discipline, but Shen/Zhao were really the last pair to make me so nervous that I have to watch their performance on a delay. IMO the current crop of skaters just haven't been as captivating in that regard. V/T are quite spectacular, but I don't feel all that invested in them for some reason (plus they are so unimaginably consistent at this point anyway - I didn't even see them make one mistake at SA practices). S/S is more rootable for me personally, but their inability to skate clean usually keeps my excitement (and expectations) in check (the same goes for some of the lower-profile teams I enjoy). P/T are inspirational for their longevity, but when I watch them now I just hope he holds it together and retire in one piece ...

    On the other hand, I'm very excited by the new crop of pairs climbing the ranks in China, Russia AND the US (finally!). Cautiously optimistic for the next quad. Maybe the tide will turn here in the states now that we're actually developing some depth in this field. After all, ice dancing was for the longest time the least popular (imo), and it just took a couple of breakthroughs (B/A, D/W, V/M) to ramp up interest.

  9. #69
    Tripping on the Podium
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    As I said, if the Germans go clean with the throw triple axel they might win over a flawed V&T...that's why I think it will be exciting. How soon we forget SLC...the ice is slippery...

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    Quote Originally Posted by leoncorazon View Post
    As I said, if the Germans go clean with the throw triple axel they might win over a flawed V&T...that's why I think it will be exciting. How soon we forget SLC...the ice is slippery...
    SLC was always known S/P would take the gold
    your saying S/S landing the 3A they'll win ? they have to get the PCS too who should be lower than MT-M PCS

    P/T are still contenders might win silver over S/S
    S/S will battling for bronze with MT/M

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    Last edited by Mathman; 11-21-2013 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Edited for gratuitous name calling

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by leoncorazon View Post
    Denney and Coughlin, Zhang and Cheng, Sui and Han and the second Canadian team who could really put on the pressure..
    I assume your just a casual pairs viewer
    also there is No Pairs team called Zhang/Cheng

  12. #72
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    Zhang Hao (simplified Chinese: 张昊; traditional Chinese: 張昊; pinyin: Zhāng Hào; born July 6, 1984 in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China) is a Chinese pair skater. He currently competes with Peng Cheng.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by leoncorazon View Post
    Zhang Hao (simplified Chinese: 张昊; traditional Chinese: 張昊; pinyin: Zhāng Hào; born July 6, 1984 in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China) is a Chinese pair skater. He currently competes with Peng Cheng.
    last name is Peng - chinese names starts with their last names
    so its Zhang/Peng not Zhang/Cheng

    China has 2 spots so you wont see both S/H and Z/P , one will be left out
    and D/C wont make a pressure for any team for now

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    so its Zhang/Peng..
    Isn't it Peng/Zhang?

    A big welcome to meteorlight8! Post often, post long!

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    I have noticed over the last few years that pairs skating seems to have become by far the least favourite of the 4 disciplines (i.e. men's, ladies, pairs, ice dance) amongst fans. In the forums during major competitions, it always seems to be the pairs SP's and LP's that get the least 'views' and 'replies'. Moreover, whenever I do my video lists, it is always the pairs videos that are the most difficult to find. For instance, it was impossible to find any videos for the first warm up group for the pairs SP at TEB by the time I completed the lists (the situation may well have now changed since - I have not checked). This is in part because TV coverage for the pairs competitions seems to be less thorough. I imagine this is because viewing figures for the pairs events are lower, thereby given the TV companies a reason not to show them in full. I know Eurosport did not show the first warm up group for the TEB pairs SP.

    So, why have the pairs events become seemingly less popular in recent years?
    I don't think that you can say "pair skating is unpopular in the world of figure skating fans", but I believe your view might fit in if you talk about specific figure skating crowds around the world.

    North America seems to be a bit less focused on any type of duo skating, be it pair or dance - even though they do have great couples, but I believe anything but gold is not good enough for the media over there. It is quite funny if you think about it, as the North Americans have one of the largest TV broadcast´s among colleges and university sports, but ya it is of course a lot cheaper to buy rights for that than buying rights for worlds etc.

    In my opinion the popularity of a sport in any country, depends on how fundamental the sport is and how much support it actually get´s from the state, media, schools etc.

    I met a nice young lady from Russia at Bern, she was totally into Ice Dance and I am honest with you, it was one of a few occasions that I actually met someone at an event who was into Ice Dance as much as I am. It was a great joy chatting to her and she had a very big knowledge about the sport.

    If you go to Russia, you will find tons of such people - but for instance in Germany, Ice Dance seems to be non existent even though we have that amazing couple with Nelly & Alex, but also Kolbe - Caruso are always worth it.

    In Germany its all about Pair´s, obviously because of our top pair but also because the media usually only reports about pairs. A while ago they did only broadcast the pair competition live, I think that was even at the Olympics! Can you imagine something like that in the US or Russia? It would never happen, as the Ladies but also Men are most likely one of the big hitters in TV during the Olympics or Worlds.

    Also among the press you definitely see a decline of interest if it comes to some skaters & disciplines. It is usually the Russians that really follow a whole competition, but besides them the representatives of other countries seem to struggle a bit with their "interest".


    As for me, I absolutely love pair´s & Ice dance - to me it has some romantic touch, but can also evolve to some serious *** kicking. I like that


    What some of you said about the new judging system and how figure skating seems to suffer under it, well yes I agree with that in general. But that would go too much off topic I think, so I leave that to some other time

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