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Thread: Phil Hersch answers questions at MKF

  1. #1
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    Phil Hersch answers questions at MKF

    This was pretty cool of Phil Hersch to do. He has some fascinating things to say. It's a very enjoyable read.

    http://pub165.ezboard.com/fmichellek...ID=21802.topic

  2. #2
    Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
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    I thought this was a great Q&A. Kudos to Mr. Hersh for his time and his honest answers.

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    He prefers Sarah's Olympic LP to Michelle Kwan's Nationals LP.

    He would've had MK 2nd and Sasha 3rd at the Olympics? I wonder where he would have put Irina? 4th?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    The Italian judge scored it just that way, Fossi.

    MM

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    If Michelle had been 2nd in the long program at SLC, she would have won the gold medal.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the link, Mpal. That was neat.

    To me, the most thought-provoking question and answer was about the state of the pairs discipline:

    Question: What do you think the United States needs to do to improve its' pairs skating?

    Answer: This is not only a US but world question, now that the Eastern Bloc no longer exists, and skaters have a choice of discipline rather than being paired. (You will notice China, with complete control of its athletes, is the pairs leader now).

    In the old Soviet system, Irina Rodnina once told me, a pair would spend a year just getting to know each other before trying to work together.

    Pairs is dangerous and underappreciated. Only after a U.S. kid fails in singles is he or she likely to try pairs, and there are far more female than male candidates. Frictions between partners (or parents) often cause breakups.

    Pairs takes patience, which is in short supply in our do-it-now world. The USFSA might try taking two or three very promising young pairs and giving them complete financial support for three years and see what comes of it.


    Most charming:

    Question: For what will Michelle Kwan be best remembered?

    Answer: For her dignity and grace in both victory and defeat. Her record speaks for itself. Her actions speak even more eloquently.

    I also was tickled to notice that there is a poster on that board named "Kwancierto de Aranjuez," LOL.

    Mathman

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    There was a time when I avoided Hersch articles. He used to either be so glowingly positive it was sickening, or would reverse himself and take an all-out negative, gloomy perspective. Lately, though, he seems to have become more balanced. I was impressed with his answers. He was honest without being an [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color]. I also thought it was interesting what he wrote about the 2002 Olympic Pairs' decision.

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    It seemed to me that he was a tad bit harsh concerning the Canadian skaters...

    I liked his answer on what needs to be done to help US pairs, and how to encourage pairs to stay together and develop for several years.

    I also liked his answer on limiting jumps, and how difficulty should be rewarded when executed well, and penalized just as heavily when it failed.

    There were several things I didn't quite agree with, but it was an interesting Q & A to read.

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    I know Phil thinks Sarah's program should be ahead of Michelle's Nationals performance just because of her jumps but it wouldn't have happened. The judges would have given it to Michelle. If Michelle would have stood up in that Sherz program (which I totally don't like) they would have put Michelle ahead. In fact there were a few who still tried which I didn't agree with.

    I wouldn't have mind because either way I think Michelle would have still won O gold.

  10. #10
    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    What a knowledgeable guy! I greatly enjoyed his frank, informed take on skating (and his nicknames for Sandra and Scott--tee hee )

    re: skating in the early 80s
    One problem is that the sport itself was not ready to be covered seriously, with warts as well as beauty marks exposed. If you want to be treated seriously, that means taking good with bad, as athletes in other pro sports do. It means fans should not overreact when their favorite skater’s (pick one or more ) performance/costume/music/attitude are FAIRLY criticized. Skating officials wanted the coverage, but they at first wanted it all to be saccharine, like the stuff delivered by TV broadcasts. Slowly, they have learned to take the good with the bad, as long as the reporting or columnizing is fair.
    After a disturbing visit to the USFSA forum, I feel like posting this interview over there! stop the insanity! the hatefest ends here!!

    ITA with his assessment of SLC pairs and I was really impressed by his assessment of Sasha and Michelle--it seems that, for him, each has to overcome personal demons (Michelle skating with that abandon of the past year and a half on the stage that has been her nemesis on two occasions--Sasha "keeping it together" in a pressure-packed situation, the most pressure packed situation in the sport) to make it a showdown for the ages

    Supposing Sasha does a perfect program in Turin, Michelle will need to ramp up the quality of many things, especially spins, to win the gold. She will need to find a thrilling piece of music for the free skate—by thrilling, I mean as much to her as to the audience and judges. She will, most of all, need to go to Turin not like Ahab in a monomaniacal quest but like someone who really believes the skating mantra of just trying to do her best. If Michelle can go to Turin feeling that she does not need gold to validate herself, she will have an excellent chance at winning it.
    Great stuff, mpal, thanks for posting it!!!!

    Sarah

  11. #11
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    That was a delightful read. Thank you for posting!! :D I agree with most of Hersch's comments, and he just seemed wholeheartedly honest and unbiased for the most part. Thats a major improvement and a definent step up for him

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