On the Ice
Figure Skating's Love Affairs with Little Girls
Twenty-nine heartbroken girls for every one smiling dictator.....and the Yulia hype I experienced during the course of the Sochi Olympics made me quietly whisper words like 'voyeurism' and 'pedo fetish' in the wholesome guise of sports and feel sad for girls retiring at the ripe old age of 23, with multiple injuries. It made me wonder, above all, what it means to be a fan of Olympic figure skating. Are we pure aesthetes, oblivious to its political underpinnings, and how it reflects on what the society sees as an ideal female body and women's place within it. Your thoughts....
Some reading about what it was like to be no longer a little girl
Last edited by verysmuchso; 02-27-2014 at 11:55 AM.
Reason: wanted to add this link http://en.actu.net/p/the-fallout-olympic-figure-skatings-love-affair-with-little-girls
I started a thread a while back on something similar. These little girls sent out to physically damage themselves. We would never allow this in a work environment. A
Originally Posted by verysmuchso
On athleticism, I have never understood how you can compare a whispy jump by an 85 lbs 15 year old to a woman - let´s say Nancy Kerrigan. What people call athletic is actually a small window where girls have lower bone density and a favorable ratio of muscle to fat. Of course they can more easily get into the air. Is it all that interesting?
What the judges of late have been ignoring is the quality of the moves. (I´m not talking artistry.) We saw with Gracie Gold where she landed the jump but there was a wobble in it. Or Yulia. Her foot is in the right direction but her body is askew. Adenia did the tricks but the line and flow out weren´t there . The mature, top skaters develop control. They land with everything in position, no settling. They have devloped all the little muscles that plant you firnly in position on landing.
It makes a difference. I don´t know why in figure skating this is not understood. In diving, for example, many high-school athletes can do triple layouts, etc. But only the Greg Louganis-es rotate with everything perfecdtly aligned and enter the water soundlessly. A 15 year old just isn´t develooped enough to understand much less perfect all these details.
As a side issue, at least with this new Russian group there isn´t the hyper-femininity thing going on. It seems reactionary to me to see these American and Japenese girls in loads of make-up, sequins over everything, and suggestive fleshy material. What view of women is that?
Wholeheartedly agree with you that 23 is way too young to be retiring with injuries, especially when those injuries are brought about by pressure to reach peak performance too early.
Not sure about love affairs with little girls, though. Was the response to Yulia *because* she's a little girl, or because she's a little girl who stepped into the Olympic moment with two amazing performances in the team competition?
There are lots of 15 year olds who don't debut to that kind of reaction. Otoh, eight years ago there was buzz about Mao before she was even eligible to compete, not so much because she was a little girl, but because she could jump like nobody else. True, her young age added to the sense of wonder, but if she hadn't that talent, she would have made a more anonymous debut and risen up the ranks in the more customary way.