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Thread: Vassily Solovyov: "You Can't Tell the Truth About Figure Skaters"

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post

    It annoys when me non-Chinese / Korean / Japanese comment on the inter-relations between them and get it completely wrong. It's not a big brotherhood and it's not hate in all directions, either, and it will also vary between individuals of course.
    I guess it depends where the individuals are and what's the group they associate themselves with. It reminds me the former Soviet bloc: we have great big problems between ourselves and even greater with Russians, like, never-ending heated discussions about who did whom historically. But then we go West and suddenly everybody’s happy to communicate in Russian, read Russian newspapers, and feel like one big brotherhood

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadya View Post
    I don't question the fact that Kim is an amazing athlete whose appeal is cross-cultural. I only said the media coverage she receives is undoubtedly, beyond question, the work of her very professional and aggressive media team. And yes, there is always time for PR, and these things are prepared very well ahead of time.
    Not sure if this 2009 clips helps, but this is a rare insight into her very professional and aggressive PR team of one. Her agent Mr Goh was with her since the beginning of her career at previous agency IB Sport.

    Since Vancouver, Goh started ATS sport agency with Yuna's mum to look after Korean young skaters and do skating shows. In the clip the guy simply wanted to introduce Yuna at the Cricket club and this is what happened.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQltxv0Mpfs

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    To me, that's a tough question. Not all PCS advantages are unfair. Some skaters interpret music better than others, some are capable of more praiseworthy choreography, sometimes lightning strikes and someone performs the dickens out of the program. I would hate to see this aspect of figure skating "leveled" and the scoring reduced to arithmetic.

    Edited to add: Now I will grade Adelina: Musical interpretation, B. Praiseworthiness of choreography, B+. Lightning strikes, A.
    I agree with your grading! Adelina did strike lightning, skated the best I've ever seen her, and it was an exuberant, lightning fast skate too. I am not defending Adelina's win because I prefer her or Hanyu over Kim and Chan. I defend it because to me, it was a fair win, within the context of the evening and the strategy of the CoP. I did wish Kim had won, with a skate akin to Gershwin, but unfortunately, didn't see that at Sochi. Other than the big opening jump, her other jumps, eg. triple salchow, were underwhelming... I also wish Chan had won, Hanyu is the sweetest, the best jumper, etc., but I don't like what he packs in between the big elements, etc. I really *love* watching both of these veteran champions, but....it is most important above all to put aside personal biases and give credit where it's due. The right boxes were ticked, points were scored, Adelina had the skate of her life, and I think she deserved her leveled PCS (playing-field-leveling score...) more than Hanyu at Sochi, so I'm supportive of the results. I guess I have come round to being more sympathetic towards the younger up and coming future stars, Hanyu, Shoma, Kovtun, Pitkeev, Chen, Nyuen, Ten, Julia, Adelina, Han, Li, Gold, etc., I'm fine with their PCS inflation so they can go one on one with the veterans.

    Chan and Kim are still the most beautiful skaters out there for me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    ^THIS is why I heart

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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Not sure if this 2009 clips helps, but this is a rare insight into her very professional and aggressive PR team of one. Her agent Mr Goh was with her since the beginning of her career at previous agency IB Sport.

    Since Vancouver, Goh started ATS sport agency with Yuna's mum to look after Korean young skaters and do skating shows. In the clip the guy simply wanted to introduce Yuna at the Cricket club and this is what happened.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQltxv0Mpfs
    I fail to see the connection of a 5-year old clip to here and now. We'll have to agree to disagree on this. As a communications professional, I find it impossible to believe that a top-grossing athlete with major sponsorship deals does not have a benefit of professional PR & marketing team. Next thing you'll tell me is that she cuts her own hair. If you want to believe that media coverage just happens, I can't stop you.

    I am also flabbergasted by your belief that professional PR support in any way diminishes athletic achievements or belittles a skater. If anything, I'd think way less of someone who DOESN'T have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyskates View Post

    I am not defending Adelina's win because I prefer her or Hanyu over Kim and Chan. I defend it because to me, it was a fair win, within the context of the evening and the strategy of the CoP.
    Your understanding of the strategy of CoP must be very different from mine. It's not necessarily a bad thing but may I ask what it is?

    Me, I actually started to follow FS after the invention of CoP because then it became more like a sport – a complicated sport that I always like – and we had a good TV commentator in my country. She used to explain element scores and then she kept receiving questions what PCS is. Then, she kept answering that the strategy of PCS and CoP in general is bringing skaters to some degree of refinement instead of plainly delivering the elements. Given this, I’d say that the strategy of CoP fell out to the fullest with Sotnikova’s win

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna K. View Post
    Your understanding of the strategy of CoP must be very different from mine. It's not necessarily a bad thing but may I ask what it is?

    Me, I actually started to follow FS after the invention of CoP because then it became more like a sport – a complicated sport that I always like – and we had a good TV commentator in my country. She used to explain element scores and then she kept receiving questions what PCS is. Then, she kept answering that the strategy of PCS and CoP in general is bringing skaters to some degree of refinement instead of plainly delivering the elements. Given this, I’d say that the strategy of CoP fell out to the fullest with Sotnikova’s win
    My understanding is that since it became a numbers game with every element being assigned a specific score, the skaters, choreographers, coaches all plan programs that maximize the scores for each and every element, point by point, meticulously, and also strategize about beating their competitors, often by tiny point differences, but a win is a win. Programs get more difficult, complex, packed full, eg. moves are planned before or after jumps to get even higher GOEs, the "wow" factor does go up, but certain qualities are lost, especially the time to perfect skating skills, edges and to develop posture, line, carriage, definition, etc. The younger champions under CoP just don't look as elegant and compelling as their older rivals, to me at least, even though they do score higher and are technically spectacular.

    PCS is supposed to keep those seasoned veterans out of reach, to award them for these non quantifiable qualities, but because of home inflation, PCS of younger skaters gets a boost, but not exceeding the formers'. This allows them to pit their one skate against another, and they all know if they bring their points-packed A game to the table, they stand a chance to beat the veterans and get a crack at the gold.

    It is fair, imo, to attract fresh blood to the sport. And yes, it is a sport, stronger, faster, higher, better.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadya View Post
    I fail to see the connection of a 5-year old clip to here and now. We'll have to agree to disagree on this. As a communications professional, I find it impossible to believe that a top-grossing athlete with major sponsorship deals does not have a benefit of professional PR & marketing team. Next thing you'll tell me is that she cuts her own hair. If you want to believe that media coverage just happens, I can't stop you.

    I am also flabbergasted by your belief that professional PR support in any way diminishes athletic achievements or belittles a skater. If anything, I'd think way less of someone who DOESN'T have it.
    Sometimes too much knowledge can hinder to profound possibilities. May be you should do some more research in her unique situation before making generalization. I work in the media industry myself and let's just say I was very surprised to find a world athlete got as successful as she with out a world class PR agency that should come as standard. Just as an observer, I feel almost like her agency became complacent over the years due to Yuna's increasing popularity, and her Korean fans became more organised feeling obligated to do her PR for her out of almost necessity. She is hardly unique in any case, I seem to remember Angelina Jolie is known for not using a publicist in Hollywood for longest time, she simply spoke for herself and got into trouble many times earlier on in her career as a result. She is still among the most publicized woman in the world.

    About your bolded statement. I don't know how you figured 1+0 = 2? One thing doesn't have got to do with another. Where did I say/imply it diminishes her athletic achievement. Good PR is always useful, it can certainly help to correct some of these odd perception of her seriousness and hard work to pursue her 2nd Olympics. Even take some of the English translators that have been provided for her for ISU press conferences over the years, they are usually of poor quality so how can the rest of her western PR be any good if they can't even get the basics right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyskates View Post

    And yes, it is a sport, stronger, faster, higher, better.
    And above everything it's a sport whose rules bubblegum during the game to add some fresh blood if necessary or keep veterans out of reach if necessary

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    Since it's a sport, I don't like the veterans win by PCS when they are outskated in the TES. Hanyu closed the PCS gap with Chen at GPF because it's in Japan and Hanyu beat Chen in the TES.
    The momentum (impression or reputation?) had been carried by Hanyu's SP in the team event and in the individual competitions at Sochi. Otherwise, Hanyu's PCS in the FS should have dropped a lot with 2 falls and Chen would get the OGM because he didn't fall. At Sochi, it's the first time this season, Sotnikov and Lipnitskaya competed with Kim, and with a TES base value 5 points ahead of Kim's and a skate of her life and home advantage, Sotnikov's 14 points PCS rise doesn't need a corruption or conspiracy to happen.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
    Since it's a sport, I don't like the veterans win by PCS when they are outskated in the TES. Hanyu closed the PCS gap with Chen at GPF because it's in Japan and Hanyu beat Chen in the TES.
    The momentum (impression or reputation?) had been carried by Hanyu's SP in the team event and in the individual competitions at Sochi. Otherwise, Hanyu's PCS in the FS should have dropped a lot with 2 falls and Chen would get the OGM because he didn't fall. At Sochi, it's the first time this season, Sotnikov and Lipnitskaya competed with Kim, and with a TES base value 5 points ahead of Kim's and a skate of her life and home advantage, Sotnikov's 14 points PCS rise doesn't need a corruption or conspiracy to happen.
    I agree with you about PCS vs TES.

    However, I think the dispute here is that Sotnikova was not better and stronger than Kim in TES either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
    Since it's a sport, I don't like the veterans win by PCS when they are outskated in the TES. Hanyu closed the PCS gap with Chen at GPF because it's in Japan and Hanyu beat Chen in the TES.
    The momentum (impression or reputation?) had been carried by Hanyu's SP in the team event and in the individual competitions at Sochi. Otherwise, Hanyu's PCS in the FS should have dropped a lot with 2 falls and Chen would get the OGM because he didn't fall. At Sochi, it's the first time this season, Sotnikov and Lipnitskaya competed with Kim, and with a TES base value 5 points ahead of Kim's and a skate of her life and home advantage, Sotnikov's 14 points PCS rise doesn't need a corruption or conspiracy to happen.
    You know, I can accept any sport, any rules, and any athletes if they give me a reason to respect them for their achievement.
    I can accept a teenager sport where the top form is achieved at very young years of age and I like to watch also veterans in these sports despite that they’re no medal contenders. It’s always exciting to watch a race; they race against the time and I’m looking for new records.

    I can accept a sport that is also an art and respect the fact that athleticism is only rewarded if it comes with refinement and I enjoy watching clumsy teens how they pick up elegance year after year. That’s their race and their achievement, no matter if they finally medal or not.

    What I can’t accept is stretching the rules in either direction to trade medals between big federations and host countries that, plain and simple, has nothing to with an achievement, junior or senior, sport or art. Actually, attaching the name of sport or art to this marketing activity is sacrilege. I agree it’s fun to watch because it’s performed so shamelessly but it’s still sacrilege

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna K. View Post
    What I can’t accept is stretching the rules in either direction to trade medals between big federations and host countries that, plain and simple, has nothing to with an achievement, junior or senior, sport or art.
    Well said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anna k. View Post
    you know, i can accept any sport, any rules, and any athletes if they give me a reason to respect them for their achievement.
    I can accept a teenager sport where the top form is achieved at very young years of age and i like to watch also veterans in these sports despite that they’re no medal contenders. It’s always exciting to watch a race; they race against the time and i’m looking for new records.

    I can accept a sport that is also an art and respect the fact that athleticism is only rewarded if it comes with refinement and i enjoy watching clumsy teens how they pick up elegance year after year. That’s their race and their achievement, no matter if they finally medal or not.

    What i can’t accept is stretching the rules in either direction to trade medals between big federations and host countries that, plain and simple, has nothing to with an achievement, junior or senior, sport or art. Actually, attaching the name of sport or art to this marketing activity is sacrilege. I agree it’s fun to watch because it’s performed so shamelessly but it’s still sacrilege
    thank you!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
    Since it's a sport, I don't like the veterans win by PCS when they are outskated in the TES. Hanyu closed the PCS gap with Chen at GPF because it's in Japan and Hanyu beat Chen in the TES.
    The momentum (impression or reputation?) had been carried by Hanyu's SP in the team event and in the individual competitions at Sochi. Otherwise, Hanyu's PCS in the FS should have dropped a lot with 2 falls and Chen would get the OGM because he didn't fall. At Sochi, it's the first time this season, Sotnikov and Lipnitskaya competed with Kim, and with a TES base value 5 points ahead of Kim's and a skate of her life and home advantage, Sotnikov's 14 points PCS rise doesn't need a corruption or conspiracy to happen.

    THIS...sums up my views too. Those of us who thought Adelina deserved the gold saw a better skate from her, and the reverse is of course also true. Opinions can be subjective.

    However, the arguments, eg. PCS inflation outrage, Levels cherry picking, don't make sense as others have enjoyed even higher PCS inflation without any controversies. Adelina deserves her TES because her jumps were the biggest of all the ladies that evening, she managed to control them too, her spins were fast, positions good, her program was complex and difficult, she skated almost flawlessly, better than Hanyu. Adelina is athletic, and she made it work for her. Her PCS increase I accepted, just as I had accepted Hanyu's spike for GPF to enable him to beat Chan 1.5 months earlier.

    It is a bit shocking for me how Adelina is being torn to pieces, I haven't seen such vendetta, global mobilization and media vitriol blitz directed at any skater, eg. not even when Lysacek won over Plushenko, and Russians are no less passionate about Plushenko.

    She's on her own because unlike Plushenko and Yuna, she hasn't built much of a fan base for herself.

    This bothers me more than the debate over the win, and I just wish the ugliness and endless bashing of any skater, from Russian or elsewhere, will stop.



    I hope this gets saner as Sochi gets further behind us.

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