Objectively, I think Yuna and Mao are far superior overall skaters to those who skated before them. I think my attachment to skaters like Kwan, Baiul, Sasha and a few others is because I like 6.0 programs better, especially after the ISU eliminated the popular spiral sequence. Good programs (those that score well) these days are far too busy for my taste.
Well, what did Janet do here that you don't see much any more?
1. She had music that was a mixture of slow and fast, loud and soft.
2. She skated to the music, speeding up and slowing down.
3. She was feminine but wispy or delicate.
Today, there's just an overload of very soft, gentle, slow music and skaters just disregarding it and jumping seemingly wherever and whenever they want to. I know, everyone has their favorite who they will say doesn't do that, but I would say it's well above 50% for the ladies.
The issue you describe is not only limited to skating, but is a subject of much fat-chewing and many a midnight bull-session as it applies to a slew of other sports.
Originally Posted by RABID
Whenever the subject of trans-generational comparison comes up, I always think of the old Eddie Murphy comedy "Coming to America". Not the greatest movie ever, but at one time Murphy's natural gifts bordered on genius. There is a brilliant scene where he plays an old barber (as well as a tour de force turn, in the same scene, as a geriatric Jewish customer ), and does a kind of improvisational riff on boxing champions of the past. This is basically what all such quarrels ultimately degenerate into: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWWw9LffCFY
That being said, I largely agree with you, RABID. Janet Lynn must and should be revered because she is the fountainhead of modern skating, and much of what made her great is still at the heart of some of the basic skills today. But to imply that there are no performances by Yuna and Mao that will be worth re-watching is a silly affectation. Why?
1) It attempts to make a kind of fetish of history, which is in bad taste on general principles.
2) Saying that the current greats are not worthy of their distant predecessors is somewhat like the ossified scientific establishment at the dawn of the twentieth century, who insisted that the newfangled and annoyingly complex physics of Einstein and Bohr were mere fads compared to the eternal verities of Isaac Newton.
Now, Newton was a foundational figure, as Einstein would have been the first to admit, but with the hindsight of further history, almost everyone in the scientific world now acknowledges that, while still relevant in a defined range of cases, Newtonian physics no longer encompasses all phenomena within itself.
My view is that, when Yuna and Mao have retired, and have themselves become "historical" figures, their value, importance, and influence will be more firmly established and recognized, Dave's reverse-chic sensibilities notwithstanding.
3) And what is the primary mechanism by which this will occur? I have said this in other places, but to my mind, more important than what viewers choose to watch, is what elite skaters themselves choose to watch. I will take a wild guess that, while some young skaters may still be dutifully watching some antique Janet Lynn film at the urgings of their coaches, most are probably watching again and again the Youtube videos of the skaters that Dave believes are unworthy of such attention.
At some point in the not too distant future, as the coaching ranks undergo generational shifts, there will probably come a point when even the coaches' exhortations to their young charges will be filled with Yuna and Mao's signature skates. That's just the way these things work, not only in skating, but in all of athletics and the arts.
Based on comments of any number of young elite skaters, and their coaches and choreographers, the evidence is pretty persuasive that this is already happening, particularly in the case of Yuna.
Originally Posted by Mathman
and Janet Lynn is considered the greatest female skater that ever lived by many, many knowledgeable people. I think Dave at TSL has a good point, actually, and I love both Mao and Yuna.
Originally Posted by jenaj
and I think Dave's point was about the spiritual, transcendent, transporting quality of both Janet and Michelle. So far, neither Yuna or Mao have this. Their lack of it may be in part due to the new judging system, however.
Very well put, Miki88. and I also agree with you that Dai has the most transporting and transcendent programs of the current crop of skaters. I do think Patrick's short and long this year have the potential to be timeless in the same way. and I found Pang and Tong's long mesmerizing and magical in the way Dave is talking about- I've already rewatched it 3 times!
Originally Posted by miki88