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Thread: Why were so many skaters having emotional breakdowns at US Nationals?

  1. #16
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    In my experience.....when a skater is showing alot of emotion after a good skate there are also people throwing a bunch of stuff on the ice which delays the next skater..... Those stupid annoying Smucker's strawberries, for example, should have been outlawed. In any case, Rachel and Jeremy both were well off the ice before the "sweepers" could pick up all the crap that was thrown!!!!

    Not even sure why this is grounds for discussion. People react to winning or losing in different ways. Personally I like to see emotion - it means that person put their heart and soul into what they were doing!

  2. #17
    Ice Dance Obsessee lmarie086's Avatar
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    Why would an athlete showing emotion bother anyone? I mean, that's like being offended just because you want to feel offended. These are athletes who train very hard, year in and year out, to progress and do well in competition. And for many it comes down to this one competition; it is make it or break it. If a skater has the skate of their life, or of their worst nightmare, an emotional reaction is more something that I would not be surprised to see.

    I rowed and was in marching band in high school. Marching band you say is not a sport (though our instructors certainly treated it like it was!), but when we won championships (in both), I can say there were a lot of happy tears. When we lost, there were sad tears. It's a human reaction.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I have no idea how national judges would feel about a skater doing this at Nationals.

    At a local level, I imagine officials -- especially the referee, and the competition chair, who is often a club official but not necessary a USFS official, and especially if the competition is already running behind schedule -- would get impatient with skaters gratuitously staying on the ice longer than necessary because they've contracted for a certain amount of ice time and may not have the luxury of running past the scheduled end time.

    But that would apply to delays for any reason, and annoyance at a skater if the skater causes the delay for any reason, not only indulging in emotional displays.
    True, local competitions run on a very tight schedule and everyone from officials to ice monitors are working long days anyway, so all delays are a nuisance. Since the topic came up in relation to Yuzuru being exhausted and slumping on the ice after his skate, the coach (who coaches on National level and used to compete internationally) was clearly referring to elite level competitions. Even if the coach is right in general, I would imagine that the judges must know if a top level competitor has asthma, like Yuzu and Charlie, and would not hold the exhaustion against them? Or against any skater when the competition is on high altitude...

    Personally, I'm all for showing emotion after the skate (and emoting during the skate, pretty please!)

  4. #19
    Ya'll just need to ignore it. aftertherain's Avatar
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    That is a horrible original post--that last sentence is just--wow.

    After listening to some candid interviews featuring former and current competitive skater, I've gotten the sense that Nationals is a big deal.

    I remember some skaters had mentioned that Nationals was their most nerve-wracking and pressure-packed competition every year. Just stop and think for a second--even in a non-Olympic year, the National championships pretty much determine the latter half of the current season as well as the beginning of the next season. Just one competition might just determine what competitions a skater will prepare for in the long run. The stakes are even higher when it is an Olympic year. If a skater bombs badly at Nationals, there is no guarantee that their Federations would give them a second chance in the following season's GP assignments. So yeah, this one competition is incredibly tense and I don't see why anyone should stupidly penalize skaters for letting out their emotions.

  5. #20
    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    I'm not fond of excessive carrying on. A first pump, a dazzling smile... yeah, that's part of the deal, and I like it.

    What I really like is someone who has an awesome skate, and has the "cat ate the canary" grin on their face. "Yeah, I knew I could do that." and politely bows and acknowledges the crowd, and skates off like it was no big deal.

    When they go on a crying jag or something, I think, "They must not skate well very often."

  6. #21
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    Not only in sports, but school or your job as well. Finalizing a goal you have worked for is a big relief, I hope everyone of us had the pleasure before and will have it again multiple times.

    While I didn't see the US "Trials" yet, I fully understand that those skaters go emotional there.

    To show human emotions can never be wrong, of course you need to keep a clear head so you don't influence other skaters. (that's why you should not sit on the ice for 10 minutes crying)

    At tennis we have players that cheer after every point they do, that I find bad sportsmanship - yet again, others see it as ok. Or the constant "now I pick my towel and let my opponent wait" - its not fun.

    Imagine this at FS.

    You skate and whenever you make a mistake, the skater currently leading screams "yes" "cmon" to him or herself

  7. #22
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    It's pretty simple. The Olympics only come around every 4 years and for most of these athletes this is their peak time and they probably won't even be around in 4 years so it's now or never. Anything can happen in four years whether it's injuries a slump or just plain age.

  8. #23
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    It is interesting how it can affect other skaters, though. We saw two prime examples during the men at Nationals.

    In the short program, Jeremy Abbott blew the roof off the building. Joshua Farris had to wait on the ice while they cleared it, while the crowd was still cheering Jeremy, while they announced his scores; he had nowhere to hide from the scores or the crowd's reaction and had to stand there and hear it all. Even I, his ardent fan, thought he couldn't handle it. But he applauded Jeremy and then turned around and skated his best SP of the season.

    By contrast, in the long program, Jason Brown blew the roof off the building. Richard Dornbush had to wait on the ice while they cleared it, while the crowd was still cheering Jason, while they announced his scores; he had nowhere to hide from the scores or the crowd's reaction and had to stand there and hear it all...and he turned around and promptly popped his opening three jumping passes. He also had problems having to skate his long program after Max Aaron's last year too. So some skaters handle it differently.

  9. #24
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    OK, so it's human to show some emotion after you've done a good job, but it becomes a distraction (and super hokey) when you have every other skater producing a flood on the ice after finishing their programs (many of which were not even perfect). It just makes the whole sport look absurd when you have skaters (many of whom are SUPER PRIVILEGED to begin with) acting like crazy clowns after they skate a mostly decent performance. You'd think skating a good program was like their ticket out of abject poverty or something. Come on, folks!!! Even if you bomb your programs you'll most likely be fine since you were able to fork over in excess of 80 grand a year to finance your participation in this sport. Unless you're Tonya Harding or Agnes Zawadski, please try to take your skating in stride and not blow your accomplishments out of proportion.

    Rant over.

  10. #25
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    @Wootie - Your posts have me literally lol-ing. Whilst I understand why some of these skaters get emotional, I do agree with you that sometimes I feel like they're performing the skating equivalent of a tearful Oscar speech.

  11. #26
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    Wow - you people are harsh!

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by wootie View Post
    OK, so it's human to show some emotion after you've done a good job, but it becomes a distraction (and super hokey) when you have every other skater producing a flood on the ice after finishing their programs (many of which were not even perfect). It just makes the whole sport look absurd when you have skaters (many of whom are SUPER PRIVILEGED to begin with) acting like crazy clowns after they skate a mostly decent performance. You'd think skating a good program was like their ticket out of abject poverty or something. Come on, folks!!! Even if you bomb your programs you'll most likely be fine since you were able to fork over in excess of 80 grand a year to finance your participation in this sport. Unless you're Tonya Harding or Agnes Zawadski, please try to take your skating in stride and not blow your accomplishments out of proportion.

    Rant over.
    YMMV, I suppose. As I said, I was in the arena and I don't think people were particularly bothered by it. I wasn't really.

    Hey, people react at in different ways to a good performance. You have people calling Richard Sherman a thug because of what was basically a emotion-driven, adrenaline rush response after making the winning play in the Seahawks/49ers game. Was he a bit cocky? Sure...did he deserve the racist tweets he got afterward? Nope.

    Likewise I don't think the skaters deserve a penalty for what was likely a reaction driven by adrenaline, etc.

  13. #28
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    I think the emotional aspect of this sport is something that makes skating great! Some of these skaters could just simply be highly emotional people. I am a highly emotional person, it doesn't take much to get my tears flowing. I can (and do) cry when I'm happy, sad, mad, frustrated. It's a way that I express myself and my feelings and even relieve stress. I don't think anyone should ever penalized for that.

    It wouldn't be much fun if everyone went out and skated and acted like robots on the ice. There are some performances I can't watch without getting emotional; just to name a few:

    -- Katia's tribute to Sergei
    -- Rudy Galindo at the 1996 Nationals
    -- Michelle Kwan's "Fields of Gold" exhibition at Salt Lake City
    -- Michelle Kwan's SP and LP at the 1998 Nationals
    -- Torvill and Dean's Bolero

    The skaters have poured nearly their entire lives into this sport and sacrificed a lot for it. A lot of times, even their parents have made unimaginable sacrifices to support their children's skating careers. Tara Lipinski's parents lived ~1000+ miles apart and saw each other about once a month for four years, just so Tara could train at an elite facility with an elite coach. Nancy Kerrigan's father, at one point, was working three jobs to support her skating. Rudy Galindo's sister Laura gave up her own skating career so Rudy could skate.

    The point is, when you see a skater having an "emotional breakdown" it's not all about them. Yes, they are happy that they skated well or disappointed that they skated poorly; but they may also be remembering all the sacrifices their families have made on their behalf so they could get the chance to skate at Nationals in the first place.

  14. #29
    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    Wow - you people are harsh!
    I agree. Sheesh, Jeremy was all but written off, and though he was arguably the best US male skater for six years he always found a way to not reach his goals. I wasn't bothered by his emotions in the least, because they were 'real'. There is releasing unpent emotions after a winning performance and then there is grandstanding. The worst example of the latter in recent memory was that awful John Baldwin JR, kissing and overly honoring Rena and did he actually propose to her then? It was gross IMO. Many skaters are artists and have given their lives to this art of skating, so they have a sensitive temperament usually. I say let the tears flow if they come. But don't force them. Usually an audience can tell the difference. I always thought Scott Hamilton was an attention ***** who would overstay his welcome after a performance with an "Aww shucks... Was I really that good?" attitude. Blech.

  15. #30
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    In my experience.....when a skater is showing alot of emotion after a good skate there are also people throwing a bunch of stuff on the ice which delays the next skater..... Those stupid annoying Smucker's strawberries, for example, should have been outlawed.
    The audience cannot be denied. The skaters bow to the audience, the audience does not bow to the skaters. Those Smuckers strawberries are what pays for the whole show.

    What makes me smile, though, is those choreographed fist pumps that skaters use to try to convince the judges that they just saw something good. Alexei Yagudin was great at that. Akex Shibutani was no slouch at U.S. Nationals.

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