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Thread: Michelle:Dividing line

  1. #31
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    As a fan Kwan has taken me thought a awesome rollar coster ride with highs and lows. It's been an "Kwanderful" time.

    Michelle Kwan:

    Lady World Champion (5 titles in all 2nd on the all time list)
    1996(7 triples)
    1998(6 triples)
    2000(7 Triples including 3/3)
    2001(7 Triples including 3/3)*sucessfully defended world title*
    2003(6 Triples)

    Olympic Medals
    1998-Silver
    2002-Bronze

    Natinal Champion(8 titles only 2nd on all time list)
    1996
    1998
    1999
    2000
    2001
    2002
    2003
    2004

    Seven time Skate America Champion(Most Skate America Titles by skater)
    1995
    1996
    1997
    1999
    2000
    2001
    2002




    Peak Years: 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004
    World Titles: 5
    National Titles: 8
    Olympic medals:2

    Records of note
    *Most medals at the world championshiops by any US skater
    *2nd on the all time list of most lady world champions
    *2nd behind Owen for most Ladies US titles(8)
    *Most consecutive ladies US titles(7)
    *Nearly 10 consecutive years of podium finishes. 1995-2004

  2. #32
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mathman
    Tony, that's cool, because you do feel that inspirational spark for your favorite skaters.

    actually sometimes I just like them because the guy is hot j/k


    but hey! watch the spelling there ton I

  3. #33
    Custom Title Ogre Mage's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that while I have always loved Michelle's skating, my impressions of her programs have varied over the years. I thought pretty much all of her programs from '96-'98 were outstanding. I thought Ariane was outstanding as well even though she didn't perform the number particularly well. After that, things seemed to taper off a bit. It took me awhile to come around to The Red Violin, but when I did I really appreciated the unusualness of the piece. However, at this point I noticed technical flaws beginning to creep into her skating. I did not like SOTBS and liked Scherezade even less. She seemed quite disconnected with a program which wasn't all that inspired to begin with.

    What I liked so much about Aranjuez was she addressed many of the flaws in her skating and seemed to have found a fresh new way of moving. 2003 became one of my favorite seasons for her.

    This year, her technique still looks great, but I was disappointed that so many of the moves seemed recycled from Aranjuez. Her skating is outstanding, but I haven't warmed up to this program as well as some in the past.
    Last edited by Ogre Mage; 03-22-2004 at 03:40 AM.

  4. #34
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    Salome did it for me as well. The '95-'96 season was incredible. I was so stunned to see her transformation from a little girl into a woman in just one summer, and she was still only 15 years old! She wore makeup and her hair was up in a bun. She was dead serious. And she's never looked back since.

    Most skaters improve artistically in little steps each year, but she gained all her artistry full blast that summer right before the '95-'96 season. Unbelieveable. I've never seen anyone do that before.

    I think I remember her saying that once she heard the music to Salome, that's what did it for her. That's how she discovered and understood what artistry was; the music affected her that much.

  5. #35
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Love her or hate her, Michelle has reached a pinnacle of accomplishments in her career which will long be remembered as in the case of Lynne. She is unique both lyrical as well as bravura. There is no music she can not interpet as her own. At this point in her career, what can another medal whatever color mean? Absolutely nothing. She'll be remembered for many years to come somewhat like Sonia Henie.

    Joesitz

  6. #36
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    If Michelle doesn't win another competition from this point on (which is highly unlikely), I will forever consider her to be the greatest ladies competitor of all time.
    .........Ditto.........42

  7. #37
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, if you don't buy into the Michelle mystique, it's not enough. The Olympic judges haven't been buying it. If they had, she would have won at Nagano.
    .......SusanBeth.......I have to disagree. The Oly judges were totally ready to crown Michelle "Queen of the World", but due to several factors, one of them being Tara, and the other her recently healed fractured foot, prevented her from skating the same program she did at Nationals...........42

  8. #38
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    Unfortunately, if you don't buy into the Michelle mystique, it's not enough. The Olympic judges haven't been buying it. If they had, she would have won at Nagano.
    LOL! And good thing they didn't just give it to her because of the "mystique", she really didn't deserve it either time (in my opinion). She will next time. And, SusanBeth, I can see your point about the crowd reaction in Atlanta....but I can't say that I agree. Maybe I've bought into the Michelle mystique until the end of time...hell, I have Michelle mystique credit and I'm maxed out probably, but even when she just skates and jumps....she skates and jumps like no one else (to me). She moves the way I want to see a skater move. I can name only a few skaters that I could happily watch just doing crossovers...and Michelle would be one. I don't think it is too farfetched to say that some people have a way of making even the most simple moves the most effective ...she creates a mood I guess, even when she is just standing there (in that opening pose of "Tosca" especially....what a stare!). But, it all comes down to subjectivity I guess...and here I've rambled on and on, gushing all over and making several of you ill. Tough....I needed my bi- yearly Kwan gushathon to preserve my sanity! LOL!

  9. #39
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    First - I have to say, I agree Michelle is an incredible skater and a class act all the way.

    Michelle has a unique place in skating. I have heard her referred to as an icon more times than I can count. That image is part of what I mean by mystique. Another part of it involves letting past success color your evaluation of her performances.

    I try to focus only on the performance she gives at the competition. I know she is a legend. That shouldn't matter. I know she has thousands of screaming fans. That shouldn't matter either.

    If the judges at Nagano had given points for past performances, crowd appeal, star quality etc. She would have won that OGM. However, they judged the performance she actually gave. That's what I meant by the judges not buying into the mystique. It would have been so easy for them to give her the gold.

    To be blunt, I think most of the crowd frenzy of the last 2 years is due to the fact that she is Michelle. I don't think her programs were even close to the quality of some of her earlier ones. She skated them beautifully but the content just wasn't there. It didn't make much difference to the mostly American crowds. They would have gone nuts no matter what. That's mystique and it won't be enough to get her that OGM.

  10. #40
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    SusanBeth

    I'm not sure if Michelle had "the mystique" yet at Nagano. At the time, Michelle and Tara had won one world title each so they were both favorites. I think by the time of Salt Lake City, the judges were ready to give her the gold had she skated cleanly.

  11. #41
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    It's debatable certainly. I believe her performance at Nationals that year was so amazing, we were hearing ''legend'' even before Nagano.

  12. #42
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    While I can see your point, I still can't agree. I don't think everyone automatically stamps everything Michelle does as brilliant just because she is Michelle. Sure, she has a stellar reputation and a history of brilliance, but when she gives a subpar performance it is usually called that by most (on this board and in the media). "Aranjuez" and "Tosca" received loads of criticism from fans and critics early in their respective seasons. Many that thought her performance in Atlanta was sublime were mostly part of a concensus that also stated she needed more choreography, faster spins, etc. I would say it is almost as if her illustrious past is sometimes a hinderance for her. Everything she does is constantly compared to what came before. The formula that had worked so well from 96-99 had started to seem less and less effective....the intricate programs and daring musical choices weren't cutting it anymore. She was stale. So, she tried to reinvent herself in 2002 and that didn't work. She went back to the drawing board and simplified her choreography in order to focus on other improvements. I thinks she's in a transitional stage and she's building on the 2003 and 2004 seasons. But, does that make what she did in Atlanta any less sensational? I don't think so. She outskated everyone in that event with a somewhat empty program. And, I don't think that people's (or the judges') reactions were solely based on the grand idea of Kwan....but more with what she showcased in comparison to Cohen, Kirk, etc. that night. I will definitely agree and say that as programs, the past two have not been among my personal favorites....but her 04 Nationals and 03 Worlds/Nationals performances rank among my favorites. Why? She had a fire lit under her butt and it showed. I'd choose an extremely spirited and passionate "Tosca" over a half-hearted or tenative performance of "Lyra Angelica" anyday. The biggest factor for me has always been performance level with Michelle....when she is cautious she hides the very thing that makes her amazing, but when she lets go she does so in a way that has never failed to move me (Paul Wylie has the same effect). So, I don't like to see a flat Michelle performance any more than the next person, but I do love to see her on fire....and even if the program isn't as difficult or daring as something she has done before, I'm still extremely impressed. She's still doing something so many other skaters can't. (However, Sasha seems to be able to harness that same sense of abandon at times....her 04 Worlds "Malaguena" SP was wonderful).

  13. #43
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I think the MYSTIQUE thing began because of Nagano. In the past, it was accepted knowledge that the winner of the Olympics is the BEST in the world.

    This "best in the world thinking" was accepted by the non fans of MK. they insisted that the gold Oly is for the best and only for the best .Not so says the MK fans. The Olympics is just one night of competition, and the results could change if the contest was held the following week. The mystique begins.

    Then came Irina's year, 2002, but the so-called Best In The World did not go to Irina. So the contention that the Oly winner is the best in the world has faded away. Michelle's mystique grows despite the tears of FOG.

    The medal, of course, is a rarity - it takes another 4 years to get one if you didn't get one on the first try.. I believe skaters want an Oly medal of any kind. It is so symbolic of personal achievement. At this point in MK's career,, and she already has two Oly medals, she is content with her career. The mystique will be there in 2006 if she so chooses.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 03-30-2004 at 08:31 AM.

  14. #44
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    WOW, Joesitz and BronzeisGolden: All I can really say, is "DITTO", I totally agree with both of you and loved your posts.

    I also agree that some of the fan reaction is simply because she is "Michelle" and so many of us have followed her for so long, through all her ups and downs. It will be interesting to see what she decides to do in the future.

  15. #45
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    Originally posted by SusanBeth
    I don't know where this puts me on the dividing line. I have a feeling I am part of a new group- ''Michelle Fans Who are Starting to Yawn.''
    I'm a member of this group too. I have been watching skating, and been a skater myself, for almost 20 years.

    My favorite programs of Michelle's are the ones by Lori Nichol. Lori really knew Michelle's best strengths and the programs were perfect for her.

    Before Michelle was at the senior level, figures were part of competitions and this was part of the reason that many of those who had success at the senior level were older. Michelle was the first skater to have such success at technicality AND artistry at such a young age. She figured out pretty fast how to capture an audience. She had the winning formula. Unfortunately, she really has not done much in the last couple of years to really try to keep the audience enthralled. Each year her programs seem to be only slightly modified from the previous one. It's like watching your favorite episode of your favorite TV show. The first time you see it, it's so fabulous! You love everything about it! The second time you watch it, it's still great! Maybe you noticed things you hadn't before! But it gets old after awhile.

    Michelle has been rewarded so much for what she has always done that I'm sure she doesn't feel the need to make any drastic changes. But while I will always enjoy watching her, it would be so much more wonderful if she would keep coming up with new ways to hold our interest, other than just smiling and being the wonderful Michelle that she is. I know she can do it!

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