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Thread: Define ''Choking'' Please?

  1. #1
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    Define ''Choking'' Please?

    Seriously, people use the term all the time, but I get the impression everyone is using their own personal definition. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

    For me, choking would be not being able to perform at the level typical for you due to stress and''nerves''.

    Your definition??

  2. #2
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Choking is to hold back due to emotion and not be able to deliver normally.

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    Choking is what Plushenko did at Worlds in 2000!:D

    He's much more consistent and polished now.

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    I always feel that the use of the word "choking" is rather derogatory, a mean-spirited put-down for someone's less than stellar performance. I remember the "Choking" website right after the Oly's that listed athletes, teams, performances in an unflattering light.........how rude!! 42

  5. #5
    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    I tend to think of choking with certain baseball teams :D

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    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    It bugs me when people avoid perfectly fine words because they associate a lot of added meaning to them.

    Choke is choke, like fall is fall. "She fell" is not "She landed on her backside like the loser she is!", and "she choked" is not "she fell apart like the head-case loser she is!".

    Avoiding the word choked for fear of being derogatory is right up there with "I'm not unemployed, I'm between engagements" or "She's not a housewife, she's a Domestic Engeineer" IMHO.

    What next? "I wouldn't call Ted Bundy a 'serial killer' per se, he just happened to murder several people in a row in a similar and organized manner. "

  7. #7
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Berthe, the two examples you gave are fine, but "choke" is a word I think meant to be a snide way to say an athlete or performer didn't live up to their potential. It doesn't say why or how it happened, gives no reasons or circumstances or explanation..............it's incomplete, too open-ended in its implication, means different things to different people......just my take on it...... 42

  8. #8
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Here is the dictionary definition:
    To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension, especially in an athletic contest
    Looks OK to me.

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    Choking is when an athlete has a lead in a big event and then loses it. For example, for the longest time Ivan Lendle was a choker because he won a lot of events and when it came to grand slams, he would make the finals and not win. He finally beat this when he won the French Open in 1984 but really came into his own in the US Open 1985 and then he beat his demons and won quite a few Grand Slam events.

    Like it or not, MK choked in 2002. The pressure was on and she didn't stand up when she has skated lots of clean programs (even in 1998 Oly).

    Todd choked in 1998 Oly when he was in 3rd after the short and couldn't pull through in the long.

    Jill Trenary choked in 1989 Worlds after having a huge lead in figures and then hosing up her SP and LP. She almost lost worlds in 1990 b/c she didn't do well in SP, but she was able to skate decent in the LP (2nd to Ito) and win a world title.

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    Personally, I choose not to use the word "choke". Certainly, it isn't really all that bad by itself. Here's how the dictionary defines the word: to lose one's composure and fail to perform effectively in a critical situation. Alright, not that bad. But, it is the manner in which this word is used in the sports world that bothers me. It is often part of a semi-slam or an extremely negative description or report. If a performance was bad, give the reasons why the performance was bad....falls, lack of emotion, etc. But, to say that someone simply "choked" is far too cut and dry for me (just as Show42 pointed out). I'd rather read or hear about possible explanations: lack of consistency, nerves, inability to stand up to certain types of pressures, etc. "Choked" is just a little too judgemental and narrow for me.

  11. #11
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bronze........that's exactly what I meant......42

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    Originally posted by soogar
    Choking is when an athlete has a lead in a big event and then loses it. For example, for the longest time Ivan Lendle was a choker because he won a lot of events and when it came to grand slams, he would make the finals and not win. He finally beat this when he won the French Open in 1984 but really came into his own in the US Open 1985 and then he beat his demons and won quite a few Grand Slam events.
    I think that Ivan Lendl actually won lots of other competitions in tennis, but he did not succeed in the most prestigious one, Wimbledon.
    Last edited by Jaana; 04-03-2004 at 02:38 AM.

  13. #13
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
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    To me its innapropriate to use the term choke (especially in the case of MK in 2002) I think that her nerves and the emense pressure of the nation did factor into her less than perfect performance in the LP, but to say that she choked takes away from the amazing performance sarah hughes put on. Michelle was in the lead, but even if she had skated more cleanly we cant say that it was her gold to win or loose. Thats JMO.

    I'm more of a sasha cohen fan personally... and I think she freaks out and looses focus a lot, but i dont think thats "choking" i think that its just inconsistency that will work its self out as she gets older.

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    Janna, Lendl had been competing and winning lots of non-Grand Slam Competitions since 1981 and always had a very high ranking. However prior to 1984, he had the monkey on his back that he was choker b/c he would make the finals at a Slam and then not win. He won French in 1984 (coming back from 2 sets down to Mac- maybe Mac choked) but didn't really hit his stride until the US Open 1985 and then he was very consistent.

    Yeah , Lendl never won Wimbledon, but I wouldn't say that he choked because always lost to the player who wound up winning the whole thing and those matches were never close enough for it to be called choking. I mean, he was losing in 4 sets or so and never really had an advantage.

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    Jill Trenary choked in 1989 Worlds after having a huge lead in figures and then hosing up her SP and LP. She almost lost worlds in 1990 b/c she didn't do well in SP, but she was able to skate decent in the LP (2nd to Ito) and win a world title.
    Now, here's the problem with some of the examples. [I'm going strictly by memory and my memory has been wrong before.]Trenary, for example, almost never skated clean. Her world win wasn't clean either. It just wasn't as messed up as usual. Sasha has nothing on her in that area. I would watch Jill without the slightest hope of her skating clean. Is it choking, when a skater gives, what is career-wise, a better than typical skate? It's a given that the girl had tons of ability.



    ETA-

    Maybe this expresses it better-

    Is choking relative to the skater's typical performance? Example: Michelle in 1998

    And/or

    Does it relate to the skaters abilities and your expectations with little consideration to what is typical?

    Example: This year Sasha placed higher than ever. Her performance didn't do justice to her abilities, but wasn't as bad as other performances. Is this choking?
    Last edited by SusanBeth; 04-04-2004 at 02:44 AM.

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