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Thread: Japan phones it in?

  1. #1
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Japan phones it in?

    Did you guys see this article in today's Golden Skate Newsletter? (If you don't get the newsletter, click on Golden Skate at the bottom of this page, then Newsletter and Subscribe.)

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...-3-2005_pg2_26

    "Japanese figure skaters told not to put on a one-country show in Moscow

    TOKYO: Japan’s figure skating chief is warning her disciples not to dominate the pre-Olympic world championships in Moscow this month. She wants them to save victory for the big one."

    The article (from the Pakistan Daily Times) goes on to quote Noriko Shirata, technical director of the Japanese skating federation, as apparently admonishing Shizuka, Miki and Fumie to hold back and not sweep the podium at Moscow. The point being, that this would create a backlash with the ISU that would hurt their chances at Torino.

    I have always wondered if it worked that way. Chait and Sahknovsky are a good example. They seem like the ISU's political ping pong balls. Give them a bronze this year, throw them to the wolves the next. Fusar-Poli and Margaglio were another.

    My prediction for Worlds: The ISU is on to Japan's clever tricks. Even though Arakawa tries her best to lose, she is not able to fall as many times as Sasha, and Speedy fiendishly gives Arakawa the silver medal, with Sasha third. That nixes Japan's chances at Torino. The gold at Moscow goes to Slutskaya in exchange for her promise not to show up at the Olympics at all. Thus clearing the way ... for.....(dare I breathe it?).....

    Mathman

  2. #2
    Custom Title brad640's Avatar
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    There is a strange Pearl Harbor tone to that article, like the Japanese are patiently waiting for the right time to sweep in and annihilate the complacent Americans. Why would they not want to win this year if they could? Anything could happen before the Olympics, and it would not be fair to ask a skater to hold back to wait for an event that is almost a year away.

  3. #3
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Winning a figure skating title in any of the disciplines does involve some strategy both by the skaters and their coaches. Obviously, the coveted Olympic gold medal is the big prize for any country and maybe this Japanese coach is wisely saving the best for last. She does not want her skaters to run out of gas before the big event. All is fair in love and war as they say. But, again who knows? Skaters have been known to win both the Worlds and Olympics in the same year (Barbara Ann Scott, for example). This coach needs to have a little more faith in her skaters and the judging system.

  4. #4
    Alexei he's my MAN Panther2000's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Like I said on the other board. Sounds like mind games to me. Not to mention. An excuse for the current world champs melt down this season. It seems like when the pressure is on tend to get all stressed out( No fault in that) but, that article sounds like mind games.

    no one knows what will happen. The should go out their & skate for today. No one knows what tommorw will hold.

  5. #5
    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    I have to wonder if something may have been lost in translation. If not, this actually seems rather arrogant to me, given the fact that Shizuka, Miki, and Fumie have HARDLY been so overwhelmingly dominant this season that anyone would be predicting them to actually sweep. Or perhaps it's reverse psychology of some sort -- maybe the Japanese federation has learned from the way they pressured Midori Ito and they're taking a more relaxed approach so these ladies might skate with a little less pressure on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman

    I have always wondered if it worked that way. Chait and Sahknovsky are a good example. They seem like the ISU's political ping pong balls. Give them a bronze this year, throw them to the wolves the next. Fusar-Poli and Margaglio were another.

    Mathman
    I'll agree with you on Chait/Sakhnovsky -- it does seem rather odd to me that one year they're on a Worlds podium and then up until this season they've barely been able to get a 4th place anywhere. Whether or not they should have won that bronze is another issue entirely and I'm not going to get into that. I have to wonder if one of the reasons why C/S were dropped down was BECAUSE of the controversy generated over that bronze -- perhaps the judges were afraid to even touch them after that.

    As for Fusar-Poli/Margaglio -- I think the fact they were elevated to the point they were elevated to was political, but I don't think politics had anything to do with them dropping to 3rd in 02 after winning Worlds. The fact of the matter is, IMHO, that their free dance that season was PURE UNADULTERATED CRAP and was well below the level of what one should expect from reigning World Champions. Had anyone else BUT reigning World champions shown up with this dance, they'd probably not have dropped just 2 places, but perhaps 5 or 6.

  6. #6
    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    My prediction for Worlds: The ISU is on to Japan's clever tricks. Even though Arakawa tries her best to lose, she is not able to fall as many times as Sasha, and Speedy fiendishly gives Arakawa the silver medal, with Sasha third. That nixes Japan's chances at Torino. The gold at Moscow goes to Slutskaya in exchange for her promise not to show up at the Olympics at all. Thus clearing the way ... for.....(dare I breathe it?).....

    Mathman

    The drama in figure skating just never ends, does it. Mathman, thanks for providing some laughter to get the day started. You are too funny.

  7. #7
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    My prediction for Worlds: The ISU is on to Japan's clever tricks. Even though Arakawa tries her best to lose, she is not able to fall as many times as Sasha, and Speedy fiendishly gives Arakawa the silver medal, with Sasha third. That nixes Japan's chances at Torino. The gold at Moscow goes to Slutskaya in exchange for her promise not to show up at the Olympics at all. Thus clearing the way ... for.....(dare I breathe it?).....
    OR.......Michelle makes deal with ISU...gives up podium finish this year in exchange for OGM in 2006. SC board goes wild....FINALLY Kwan has come to her senses and stepped aside so that Sasha will win the medal she has deserved all along. Kwan named Miss Congeniality (AKA the old hag award) by her fellow athletes.
    Last edited by Piel; 03-07-2005 at 12:03 PM.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Something is not right here. If Mrs. Shirota has indeed made this statemet, why is it that that only a Pakistani newspaper caries this? I searched - there is not other mention of this. Sorry, but until I see any confirmation of this from a source I can recognize, I wouldn't even comment on this.

  9. #9
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I see your point. As far as I can tell, the Daily Times of Pakistan is a legitimate on-line newspaper that has been around for a number of years. I don't think they have a print edition, unless they are affiliated with another newspaper. The articles are mostly of interest to readers in Pakistan, but they seem to have substantial international coverage as well.

    Although I can't imagine that Figure Skating is big in Pakistan, the Daily Times does cover the sport faily well, running feature articles every now and then. I don't know whether they target press releases to special interest boards like Golden Skate or not.

    Anyway, this article seems to be based on a private interview with Noriko Shirota by the paper's Tokyo correspondent (is afp the reporter's initials?). Very likely the reporter coaxed Ms. Shirota into informal musing which the reporter then dveloped into a novel slant. I have no doubt that Ms. Shirota would phrase her views differently if she were composing her own press release.

    Mathman

  10. #10
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Mathman, let me give you one example of media in developing countries. I often read a Russian on-line newspaper lenta.ru. Perhaps you recall how about 4 years ago there was a hoax regarding presidential IQs (click here to refresh your memory). It was a pretty obvious hoax, yet lenta.ru published it as reality.

    I do, though, agree that Mrs. Shirota could have said something like this in a private conversation.

  11. #11
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Well, that was an adventure. When I clicked on the Snopes site somehow a pop-up got past my pop-up blocker and a virus got by my virus protection and changed my registery to add to "my favorites" a link to a petition to send to Congress expressing my support for President Bush's plan to save social security. Then my anti-spyware thing started sending warnings.

    I guess President Bush has a higher IQ than we thought, if he can hack the Snopes website to plant that malicious program! I think my computer just sent in 10,000 emails to my congressman urging him to vote for Bush's plan.

    I see that not only was the Russian newspaper fooled, but according to the Snopes expose, so was the "London Guardian." I did a Google search, but was not able to verify the existence of any such newspaper as the London Guardian (not to be confused with the respectable -- or at least extant -- Manchester Guardian.)

    Mathman

  12. #12
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    MM, I understand how frustrating that must be, but I just couldn't help laughing at the thought of your comp sending out e-mails in support of the president.

  13. #13
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    Holding back

    There is no skater in the world who will "hold back" to avoid getting a medal. It's possible that they will skate more conservatively if they believe that they don't need that 7th triple to win... but I truly doubt that they will purposely not try to medal. If the Japanese official said it, it's either improperly translated, or it could be trash talk, or quite possibly, she didn't say it at all. Or maybe she said it to the correspondant, but to each skater she said privately, "Oh, no, not YOU dear, you can go ahead and medal, that was meant for the other Japanese skaters so that we don't sweep the podium.".
    Linny

  14. #14
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree. The more I think about it the more impossible it seems that anyone connected with sport would say such a thing. Of course you want to sweep the podium. What else are you there for?

    Mathman

  15. #15
    Sexy, smart and sterilized! childfreegirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Well, that was an adventure. When I clicked on the Snopes site somehow a pop-up got past my pop-up blocker and a virus got by my virus protection and changed my registery to add to "my favorites" a link to a petition to send to Congress expressing my support for President Bush's plan to save social security. Then my anti-spyware thing started sending warnings.

    I guess President Bush has a higher IQ than we thought, if he can hack the Snopes website to plant that malicious program! I think my computer just sent in 10,000 emails to my congressman urging him to vote for Bush's plan.
    Eeeek!

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