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Thread: Gold standard in men's skating

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I don't want to watch a competition with 30 John Currys because that to me isn't a competition worthy of 2014. That's not to say I don't respect the past but people should move forward instead of having a retrospective way of thinking, "Welllll, back in the good ole days, we didn't have none of these transitions and spins nonsense! Watching Curry do a walley on my grainy VHS was better than any goshdarn quad."
    There is an "it" factor that many of the legends of figure skating had that goes beyond technical accomplishments. What is "it"? I don't know, but some combination of performance, charisma, musicality, an ability to connect with the audience. Looks help, but are not required, although certainly Lambiel, Yagudin, Takahashi, Hanyu, and many others who had/have "it" also are good looking.

    Lambiel has it. Hanyu has it, although he still has a ways to go in developing some aspects of his skating. He is a compelling performer, however. Curry had it. Browning has it. Takahashi has it. Yagudin had it, and still has it, despite not being able to perform up to the technical standards of his competitive career. Button, back in the day, had it. Patrick Chan, not so much, at least, not in my opinion. I realize many here don't agree with me about Patrick. That's fine.

    I don't believe anyone suggested that figure skating should go back to the good old days, however they may define them. I do transcription work, and, yeah, it's a lot better now to be able to use my computer to download audio files and type a document. I wouldn't want to go back to the good old days because the modern way makes my life easier. Transcription does not have any performance component beyond technically doing my best to get everything typed up in the format provided with proper grammar, correct spellings, and so forth. Speed helps, too, but as long as I get the work turned in on time, no one cares about how fast I type a paragraph. No one cares whether my fingernails are filed or my hair is perfect while I'm typing.

    Figure skating, however, is not transcription. I think far more than the technical elements go into making a "gold standard" skater. Yagudin's Man in the Iron Mask program is pretty cheesy, if you just look at the elements, especially as compared with what the men are required to do today. Yet, the program stands the test of time, largely because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and because it was Yagudin skating it. He brought his charisma, presence, connection with the music and to the audience to that program and elevated it to something that people still watch and talk about. His 2002 Olympic performance of MITIM was not perfect, but it was exciting and memorable because of Yagudin. I don't think anyone else, even other skaters who have that "it" factor, could have performed that program the way Yagudin did and electrified an audience with it the way he did.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbiespectator View Post
    Who is to say the artistic skater is 'better' than the technical skater?
    Dick Button.


    Quote Originally Posted by Panpie View Post
    Figure skating, however, is not transcription. I think far more than the technical elements go into making a "gold standard" skater. Yagudin's Man in the Iron Mask program is pretty cheesy, if you just look at the elements, especially as compared with what the men are required to do today. Yet, the program stands the test of time, largely because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and because it was Yagudin skating it. He brought his charisma, presence, connection with the music and to the audience to that program and elevated it to something that people still watch and talk about. His 2002 Olympic performance of MITIM was not perfect, but it was exciting and memorable because of Yagudin. I don't think anyone else, even other skaters who have that "it" factor, could have performed that program the way Yagudin did and electrified an audience with it the way he did.

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    It's funny that out of all the overscored skaters at Worlds that Buttercup picked on Yuzru's GOE and PCS. Compared to skaters like Fernandez who was rewarded for his mediocre skating skills and poor spins, and Machida who got overscored 90+ PCS with that flappy bird program, Yuzru's GOE and PCS seem underscored. Machida also has stiff knees which make his landings look stiff and a bit labored. Yuzru's 4T are the best in the field, totally effortless and landed with soft knees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    The only Asian men who has a better Axel than Hanyu is Han Yan, but he is off-on-off-on-off.
    No way. Besides being off-on-off-on-off, Yan's 3A and most other jumps also have no height. I prefer Oda and Patrick's 3A more than Yan's. Only having good distance is not enough. I can't stand jumps with no height. Plus, unlike Yuzru, Yan has no difficult transitions into his 3A but he still fails it too many times.

  4. #79
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    It's funny that out of all the overscored skaters at Worlds that Buttercup picked on Yuzru's GOE and PCS. Compared to skaters like Fernandez who was rewarded for his mediocre skating skills and poor spins, and Machida who got overscored 90+ PCS with that flappy bird program, Yuzru's GOE and PCS seem underscored. Machida also has stiff knees which make his landings look stiff and a bit labored. Yuzru's 4T are the best in the field, totally effortless and landed with soft knees.
    Try again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    The scoring inflation has gotten absurd in recent years. Top skaters are showered with PCS and GOEs whether deserved or not, and nobody else can compete (see Abbott at this year's Worlds for an example).
    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Also, I think Abbott was lowballed on PCS and some of the GOE compared to the medalists at this year's Worlds. Abbott's FS is beautifully choreographed and he skated it very well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Fernandez can only dream about Kostner's skating skills and her range as a performer. Kostner gets high PCS (for a lady - who tend to be underscored compared to other disciplines) because her skating is very IJS-friendly.

    If anything, Fernandez is held up because he's a good jumper and from Team Orser. There is no bonus for being Spanish or some kind of all-Euro PCS boost.
    I didn't bring up Hanyu, Olympia did - though she was making a general point about rising scores not necessarily being indicative of better skating, and I went further than that. Of all the overscored skaters, why wouldn't I single out the one who won? Machida doesn't interest me enough to critique, Fernandez I mentioned, everyone knows Kovtun gets a PCS bonus for being Tarasova's current project and Abbott was underscored, so I'm not going to bring him up. That concludes the top five portion of this year's Worlds. Who did you expect me to bring up, Chafik Besseghier? Tomas Verner? Tomas should have won a small medal for the SP. It is absurd that he never even got that at Worlds, even Kevin van der Perren has one.

    But that's okay, I've been on skating forums long enough to have been accused of being a hater and/or picking on many different skaters, including ones I actually like. I guess if you don't think a skater is OMG perfect, it's not good enough for some fans?

    For the record, I think Hanyu's 3A is gorgeous and I pointed him out as a future OGM five years ago. But I still think his scores are usually higher than his skating warrants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    No way. Besides being off-on-off-on-off, Yan's 3A and most other jumps also have no height. I prefer Oda and Patrick's 3A more than Yan's. Only having good distance is not enough. I can't stand jumps with no height. Plus, unlike Yuzru, Yan has no difficult transitions into his 3A but he still fails it too many times.
    Um, no height?! How do you think a jump can cover that much distance without getting any height? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMUdI73TC-A (look at the first axel, and tell me how that has no height). I personally prefer jumps that soar "up and across" rather than ones that go up and down. Also, it's very rare to find somebody with the transitions into their axel that Hanyu has.

  6. #81
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moviechick View Post
    I'd have Kulik at least above Plushenko. The 06' version of Plushenko's LP was so watered down and that performance was just him mentally running down the clock cause no one else stood a chance.
    Plushenko's program may have been watered down but he still had more expression than Kulik, a strong footwork sequence, better spins, and the 4Toe+3Toe+2Loop. Kulik's program had almost nothing in it. Great basic skating quality but virtually no choreography or non-jump difficulty and not an inspired level of performance.

  7. #82
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    The only inspiring thing about that 2006 performance were the jumps. Everything else was the most basic of choreography (makes Bonaly look like an Asada) and I don't consider multiple breaks with histrionics to be artistic expression. There was absolutely no program and if he had the misfortune of Lambiel actually going clean or Buttle being capable of doing a quad he would have been bronze at best. But he was technically way superior (even with the double) so the win is justified.

    It was far from the gold standard or a figure skating ideal. Doesn't hold a candle to performances like Yagudin's 2002 win, or Takahashi's 4CC win or Chan's TEB win.

    I do however place Plushenko above Kulik.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    the whole post
    Nice try. Ok, now I see what you mean. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Um, no height?! How do you think a jump can cover that much distance without getting any height? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMUdI73TC-A (look at the first axel, and tell me how that has no height). I personally prefer jumps that soar "up and across" rather than ones that go up and down.
    Some people jump up and down but not across e.g. Machida, some jump across but not up e.g. Yan and Lipnitskaia, and some jump up and across e.g. Yuzru and Patrick. Videos don't tell you the whole truth. It depends on camera angles etc. Height is something you may have to watch live to really see it, just like people always say you gotta watch Patrick live to see his speed and ice coverage because that's something videos don't show you. I've seen Yan live more than once and what struck me was that his jumps had no height, even lower than those of Takahashi, who's not famous for big jumps himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Also, it's very rare to find somebody with the transitions into their axel that Hanyu has.
    This is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    Plushenko's program may have been watered down but he still had more expression than Kulik, a strong footwork sequence, better spins, and the 4Toe+3Toe+2Loop. Kulik's program had almost nothing in it. Great basic skating quality but virtually no choreography or non-jump difficulty and not an inspired level of performance.
    ITA. I like Plushy more than Kulik.

  9. #84
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    That's surprising. Yan's 3A looks much superior to Takahashi's. Takahashi is not somebody any of us associate with big jumps although he's miles ahead of Yan artistically.

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    I was surprised when I saw them live too. But again Yan's 3A covers much more distance than Takahashi's. It's just that there's no height in both their jumps, especially Yan's. Well, Yan may improve in the height of his jumps, since he's still very young.

  11. #86
    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post


    Some people jump up and down but not across e.g. Machida, some jump across but not up e.g. Yan and Lipnitskaia, and some jump up and across e.g. Yuzru and Patrick. Videos don't tell you the whole truth. It depends on camera angles etc. Height is something you may have to watch live to really see it, just like people always say you gotta watch Patrick live to see his speed and ice coverage because that's something videos don't show you. I've seen Yan live more than once and what struck me was that his jumps had no height, even lower than those of Takahashi, who's not famous for big jumps himself.
    The fact that Yan's distance on the 3A is more impressive than its height is because he truly covers an enormous amount of ice, probably more than any 3A we've ever seen. But that in no way does it mean he doesn't have good height on the jump, also. Putting his axel in the same line as Lipnitskaya's is truly laughable.

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    The fact that Yan's distance on the 3A is more impressive than its height is because he truly covers an enormous amount of ice, probably more than any 3A we've ever seen. But that in no way does it mean he doesn't have good height on the jump, also. Putting his axel in the same line as Lipnitskaya's is truly laughable.
    Of course, you can't compare Yan Han to Julia. One is a male skater who is like over 170cm and one is a little girl with 150cm height. We all know Yulia's jumps do not have height but it would be fair if compare her jumps to other female skaters. I think what lakeside wanted to say is, unlike what we have seen in the video, Yan Han's 3A does not have such height as we have imaged. It's not like putting them in the same line, it's just some examples that come to her/his mind when she wanted to describe the height of jumps.

    Anyways, I am kind of surprised too, I guess we will have to watch live to truly get the idea of how impressive or unimpressive these jumps are.

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    What I love about Yan's axel is that it looks like he's going for broke. Like if something is slightly off he will totally wipe out (like his 2nd axel) because of how he literally throws himself into it... The trajectory reminds me of Shen/Zhao pair throw and I'm awestruck every time he nails it. When he gets comfortable enough to add transitions leading up to it, it should deserve +3s across the board.

  14. #89
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    Gold standard? Performers and performances that have stood the test of time.

    Nearly 40 years after the moment, knowledgeable fans still watch Curry's Olympic win. I still watch Cousins, Boitano, Yagudin, and Plushenko at their best.

    A month after Sochi, and I haven't rewatched any men's program. I have no plans to do so. Once was more than enough.

    Who's going to be watching the Sochi version of Hanyu and Chan in 40 years?

    Yeah. Give me the good old days. You can keep the uninspiring splat fest.

    Granted, this is one fan, one event, one moment in time... but something is wrong with skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    Of course, you can't compare Yan Han to Julia. One is a male skater who is like over 170cm and one is a little girl with 150cm height. We all know Yulia's jumps do not have height but it would be fair if compare her jumps to other female skaters. I think what lakeside wanted to say is, unlike what we have seen in the video, Yan Han's 3A does not have such height as we have imaged. It's not like putting them in the same line, it's just some examples that come to her/his mind when she wanted to describe the height of jumps.
    Thanks for your explanation. That's exactly what I meant.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    What I love about Yan's axel is that it looks like he's going for broke. Like if something is slightly off he will totally wipe out (like his 2nd axel) because of how he literally throws himself into it... The trajectory reminds me of Shen/Zhao pair throw and I'm awestruck every time he nails it.
    Also keep in mind that Yan almost always does his 3A as his first jump in the program when he's full of energy, while others rarely do that. And Yan does his 3A at the middle right part of the rink instead of at the corner. There usually is a camera at the middle right part of the rink, so that camera can catch his full distance across, and that camera is placed a little below eye level looking upward, which makes Yan's 3A higher than if you see it live. On the other hand, other skaters e.g. Yuzru and Patrick do their 3A's at the corner so the camera angle doesn't show their distance. For instance, I watched Yuzru and Yan doing their 3A's at the same rink, Yuzru had much more height than Yan and covered at least as much distance if not more, but in competitions Yuzru almost always does his 3A at the corner so the camera doesn't usually catch his distance across. That's why I think people should watch more competitions live instead of relying on tricky camera angles. After all, from one camera angle a jump may look <, and from another angle it may look fine. Camera angles can get tricky.

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