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Thread: Which skater's performance at Sochi 2014 is most likely to boost the sports popularity?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by treeloving View Post
    One word - Li Zijun. If she can land on the podium or became top contender in next quad, she will be big in China (and mat be Asia). She has big potential to be marketable (the same way as Son Yeon Jae), I would bet on her much more than Patrick Chan regarding market in China.
    So what would you like to bet on? No risk = no gain

    My money is on Chan. A 3-time Men's World Champion, a favorite to win OGM in the near future vs. an unproven young girl who has obvious consistent issues and never won anything of significance (aka. a blank resume) and nobody knows what will happen in 4 years time with much uncertainty - I don't think your odds are looking very good.

  2. #62
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The Question is not who will win, but who will make the sport more popular. If Zijun wins a medal of any color, or the Chinese team wins a medal of any color, I would definitely expect skating in China to become more popular.

    Otoh, skating is popular in Canada already. And Patrick as a 3 time world champion is already well-known. I doubt that Patrick's performances will affect skating's popularity very much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    Ironically, I think Chan may offer the biggest boost to the sports popularity if we measure it by the number of new viewers/fans who will be introduced to the sport. Should he win OGM in the individual event, not only he will be the first Canadian man to do so, thereby, giving a boost to FS in Canada - it would be the potential media frenzy that it could create in China that would get the ISU salivating. As it stands, Japan is by far the most lucrative market for FS whereas the Chinese market is largely unexplored due to the lack of major stars since retirement of S/Z and Lu Chen. S/Z only came out of retirement briefly in 2010 for the Olympics. In actuality, China has been without a major skating star for about 2 Olympic cycles already. Yet, during the same period, China's economic clout has dramatically increased, now ranking as the 2nd largest economy in the world. In a patriarchal society like China, a man's win will always be more highly valued than women's, just like Japan even though no one will openly admit it. Many current Chinese skaters such as Han Yan and Nan Song have openly stated they view Patrick Chan as their idol - not a coincidence when you think about it. With Worlds 2015 set to be in China, the Chinese media will be all over the place reporting Chan's win as the first OGM for a "Chinese" man in Figure Skating. This is typical given when Ang Lee (Taiwan) won the Oscar or Jeremy Lin (USA) became a household name, Chinese media immediately co-opted them as being "Chinese" notwithstanding there needs to be several * besides the use of word Chinese in those situations.

    Although a Chan's win will probably boil the blood of many here without a doubt, it may in fact be an outcome the ISU would be too happy to see.
    Very interesting.

    But I do think you didn't factor in the response Jason Brown got in Paris when he was there. For most skating fans who don't follow Juniors (which would be, well, most of 'em), this is their first exposure to Brown. And every time he has skated he has caused a stir. So I think that he could have a real breakthrough in the general public's consciousness at Sochi, as long as he has clean programs.

    That is going to be the key factor for whichever skater who is going to emerge as Sochi's breakout star. The general public won't care about quad rotations or edge calls or the like. But they will care about clean performances.

  4. #64
    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    I do think that if Grace Gold pulled herself together to medal she could make a mark. She is exceptionally gorgeous. Her face is stunning, even Grace Kelly would roll her white gloves down and have a throw down with her in jealousy. I hate to say it, but it counts. And she somehow pulls off the 'girl next door' look in spite of her physical beauty.

    I really thought Nancy Kerrigan was going to break through. She had those awful Chiclet teeth add ons which I do not think ever helped her. But she was also kind of a nasty B which anyone with a brain picked up on immediately. No one liked her. And then having the affair with her married agent? She was just as bad as Tonya, but she had those Scotwold's Chiclet teeth. She at least could claim the victim. That goes far.

    I think Patrick Chan is the second coming. In fact I think he is better than anyone before him. I do not want to see him win with three falls and a couple of doubles, but he is definitely someone I would pay money to see because I see how good and talented he is. He will ruin skating if he wins with several falls. I predict that. I hope that Chan does not win. He could ruin the sport.

    I called JuLip years ago. She got bigger, her jumps got bigger. And the fact that her LP means a heck of a lot to me, has me rooting for her. I would love a JuLip Olympic win. Mao and Yuna are so boring to me. Mao at least goes for that step sequence at the end of a sleep worthy program. I am still not sure what people see in Yuna's programs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post
    I called JuLip years ago. She got bigger, her jumps got bigger. And the fact that her LP means a heck of a lot to me, has me rooting for her. I would love a JuLip Olympic win. Mao and Yuna are so boring to me. Mao at least goes for that step sequence at the end of a sleep worthy program. I am still not sure what people see in Yuna's programs.
    You may be the first person in the history of the world who finds Julia less boring than both Yuna and Mao.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    You may be the first person in the history of the world who finds Julia less boring than both Yuna and Mao.
    I guess I like the color red???

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    축복, 축도 RABID's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    The Question is not who will win, but who will make the sport more popular. If Zijun wins a medal of any color, or the Chinese team wins a medal of any color, I would definitely expect skating in China to become more popular.

    Otoh, skating is popular in Canada already. And Patrick as a 3 time world champion is already well-known. I doubt that Patrick's performances will affect skating's popularity very much.


    I don't know about that. I live in Toronto and just up the road from us a World competition in figure skating had just completed with local boy, Chan winning gold and YuNa giving a return performance for the ages. And yet with all the media available in Toronto all anyone was talking about non stop was whether a mediocre hockey team could make the playoffs, months down the road. Not even a whisper about figure skating. And when one does hear talk about figure skating it will be on something like "talk radio" over something silly like whether we should be offended by some offhand remarks Patrick might have made.

  8. #68
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    The only thing that will boost the popularity of this sport is another scandal like Tonya/Nancy. COP has alienated casual fans that can't understand how a skater can fall three times and still beat a clean skate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danibellerika View Post
    I think Jason Brown has that potential for the men while Julia Lipnitskaya does for the ladies. I could see them comparing her to Sasha here in the US for her flexibility.
    If Jason skates well I think he could be a big boost for the US, which has been sorely lacking in star power. Not as good as another popular ladies champ would be, but he's just so darn likable, that even though the men's event is traditionally less popular in the US, I think he has star potential.

    If any of the US ladies pull off some miracle upset, they could provide a boost, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Lipnitskaya is one of the most charming ladies skaters, but casual fans in the states don't tend to go Gaga over non US skaters. I think she'll be a hit with more devoted fans everywhere though.

    Honorable mention to Charlie White's hair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyaHardlyEver View Post
    The only thing that will boost the popularity of this sport is another scandal like Tonya/Nancy. COP has alienated casual fans that can't understand how a skater can fall three times and still beat a clean skate.
    Casual fans didn't care about the sport under 6.0 either. The sport got lucky because Tonya/Nancy brought in viewers and they stuck around for Kwan & Sasha. COP has it's flaws, but the 6.0 system also notoriously confounded casual fans because judging bias and politics often resulted in winners that appeared inferior to skaters ranked lower. The controversy over the pairs double gold that brought about COP to begin with hit at a time when the sport was naturally trending back to its pre tonya/nancy obscurity and the US' most popular stars were on their way out.

    I think the largest reason popularity is down in the US is we haven't had a star in the ladies event since Sasha. In other parts of the world, I suspect the sport is doing better because of popular skaters in those countries.

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    OMG - you made me laugh out loud with "Honorable mention to Charlie White's hair!" Isn't that the truth! I was also sorely disappointed when Adam Rippon cut off his curls.

    And I certainly hope it ISN'T a scandal that boosts the popularity of figure skating.

    I agree, and said earlier, that I think Jason has the potential to be well-liked and appreciated by people who are not traditional figure skating fans. But as always it comes down to exposure. He was cute, funny and articulate on Arsenio Hall. Figure skating needs positive exposure.

  12. #72
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    Jason Brown in the US if he does well. Not even a medal, just if he makes a nice splash. People send me links to see his riverdance who never cared to watch skating before asking if i've seen it. I think he has a charming personality that will go far towards success of promoting mens skating. I have forwarded back to them his YAS performance and they love that as well.

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    I hate to sound jaded, but our sport is one that is internally popular (as in, for us it's popular). I mean, it takes a scandal for people to start talking about it, for crying out loud. I get that skating needs to expand its breadth, but it's pretty futile in the face of most professional sports. To be honest, I actually think at least in terms of household names, skating is very popular (the average person can name many figure skaters moreso than speedskaters, or skiiers).

    Instead of hoping for the next big thing, to get people watching, it's more important to promote skating on a local level to get people skating. I understand that one skater can inspire many to start skating, but the future of our sport shouldn't have to depend on them.

    Virtue and Moir won gold... in Canada... and post-Olympics not many people knew even cared very much that they won gold... outside of those in the skating community, of course (well, more people know them now, thanks to the W series!).

    The question of this thread is an interesting one in that a) I don't think any skater can for certain boost the sports popularity as a whole these days given such a saturated sports market, and figure skating being a B-list sport in terms of popularity and marketability, and b) a skater will more likely boost popularity in a country (e.g. Javier in Spain) than cause a worldwide boost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loopy View Post
    Jason Brown in the US if he does well. Not even a medal, just if he makes a nice splash. People send me links to see his riverdance who never cared to watch skating before asking if i've seen it. I think he has a charming personality that will go far towards success of promoting mens skating. I have forwarded back to them his YAS performance and they love that as well.
    On a purely flesh level analysis. I am not sure Jason Brown will have the desired affect. He will charm those maybe who are already fans but probably not gain new ones. Many will find his skating to affected or feminine to gain new viewers and fans; the old will like him but that won't help skating grow. A sexy Joubert cold do that or if Jason was more charismatic even than love him hate him Johnny Weir.

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    no one winning would increase the sport's popularity. figure skating is the very definition of a four year sport

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