Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
It is a mental game you must win before you even skate.
Yep, great quote. So I know "choking" has a bad connotation, it's just that anyone who has been competitive in ANY elite endeavor understands that feeling of choking. Hopefully you only feel it once, and then recognize that possibility and block it out. Doesn't matter if it is sports, music, academics, I think it is natural to blow an exam or skate or tennis match.

I forgot about Todd Eldredge. The quintessential underachiever and you could see it all over his face. It's like he'd get scared and like clockwork would blow that second 3axel into a single, and then try to regroup and go for a 3axel at the end. Too bad he didn't have that precision-like fighting spirit to just nail that second 3axel where it should have been.

Someone also mentioned Tonya Harding. I don't think she necessarily 'choked'. I think her issues are far deep-rooted and she'd rather slack off/quit/claim injury than risk doing her best and not winning. I felt she was always in search of pity and an excuse. It makes no sense that at Skate America she tore up the competition and was in the very best shape of her life, only to fall to out of shape for the rest of the season. I think Tonya was scared of success and just wanted to be the Tonya everyone pitied because she was abused as a child and grew up dirt poor. I guess that is choking in a way, but she didn't show up to either of her Olympics in tip top shape so not much could be expected from her.

Choking is different than having a bad performance. I was rooting for Kwan in SLC. Well, I was more Team Sasha, but wanted Kwan to close the circle of history. I don't think she choked. She missed her opening 3toe and couldn't tack on another 3toe, and that was just bad luck. Also with her father as her credentialed coach I'm sure how very little professional tutelage she was getting. She missed the 3flip in both the SP and LP. That wasn't choking, it was just no coaching to get her back into the right technique.