Celebrating Asian American Skaters

Mrs. P

Uno, Dos, twizzle!
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Joined
Dec 27, 2009
My son is 21. He's turned out fine.

FWIW, I didn't realize it when I was older how much impact seeing other Asian-Americans in prominent roles as a child shaped me.
I have no reason to think a son raised by TontoK wouldn't turn out well, regardless :cheer:
 
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Alchamei

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Joined
Sep 14, 2014
It certainly interesting to see so many Asians in American team, but I don't think it really matters. Nowadays, the racial issues are in a better state than 50 years ago, and the main thing that matters that the team overrall is really strong, which is not influenced by the number of white, black, Asian etc. people but by the quality of their skating.
 

shiroKJ

Back to the forest you go.
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Jun 9, 2014
It certainly interesting to see so many Asians in American team, but I don't think it really matters. Nowadays, the racial issues are in a better state than 50 years ago, and the main thing that matters that the team overrall is really strong, which is not influenced by the number of white, black, Asian etc. people but by the quality of their skating.

:noshake:
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
... I think Michelle, Kristi, et al inspired a ton of skaters who were at U.S. Nationals this week. All but two of the junior ladies were Asian-American. And a lot of the up-and-coming men are also Asian American, like Dinh Tran. ...

:agree: More examples:

- Not sure, but I think it's possible that Camden Pulkinen and his sister Elena are partly of Asian descent. And besides Dinh, four other Junior Men at Nats were/are Asian-American.

- Goku Endo is the new Novice Men's champion.

- In Senior Ladies, 10 out of 22 skaters were/are Asian-Americans. Disproportionately high number (although not quite as extreme as in Junior Ladies).

In addition to Mirai and Karen: Angela, Tessa, Caroline, Kaitlyn, Brynne, Emmy, Vivian, Emily, Ashley Lin.
http://www.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/2018/26192/results.html

... I think it's hard to comprehend if you're not Asian American.

:agree: Strongly agree.

And it pleases me to see Asian-Americans excelling in other sports. Loved Julie Chu, although I knew/know next to nothing about hockey. I believe Asian-Americans are prominent in speedskating. Chloe and Hailey are in snowboarding, as already mentioned. Etc., etc.
 

jf12

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Well, I am an American, and I also say, "Who cares?"

I'm proud of them, and I would be just as proud if they were black, white, Latino, or polka-dot.

And, for the record, my wife is of Japanese heritage, and so of course is my son (on her half of the gene pool).

Did you know the first non-European ancestry skaters of any country to ever medal at Worlds in ice dance are the Shibutanis? In a perfect world, the same opportunities would seem open to anyone regardless of race. However, that's not the world we're in - and a minority kid looking at ice dance before the Shibs broke that barrier would probably assume they're not welcome, especially given how subjective ice dance is. Think of how much more popular skating in general would be if it were more representation at the elite levels.
 

anthologyz

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
as an asian american, it's intensely gratifying to see so much representation on the u.s. olympic team for figure skating. growing up, i saw very few asian americans in the media and was starved to not only see faces but also, to learn about histories and experiences with which i could identify. to think of that kid clinging to glimpses of kristi then michelle and fast-forwarding to the current moment is pretty amazing.

to wit, race may not be the entirety of one's identity or existence, but to suggest that race doesn't matter/no longer matters is an erasure of the distinct ways that it has historically structured and stratified american society, and continues to impact the state of the u.s. in the current moment. lest we forget the current administration's muslim ban and the ways these exclusive immigration policies are still haunted by the chinese exclusion act of 1882, which the u.s. government only recently issued an "official apology" for in 2012, 130 years after the fact.
 

shiroKJ

Back to the forest you go.
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Jun 9, 2014
Did you know the first non-European ancestry skaters of any country to ever medal at Worlds in ice dance are the Shibutanis? In a perfect world, the same opportunities would seem open to anyone regardless of race. However, that's not the world we're in - and a minority kid looking at ice dance before the Shibs broke that barrier would probably assume they're not welcome, especially given how subjective ice dance is. Think of how much more popular skating in general would be if it were more representation at the elite levels.

Wow, I did not know this :eeking: Big congrats to the Shib's for making their mark in history :cheer2:
 

yume

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Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Yes, representation matters. That could make things more enjoyable to watch. Or simply bring the interest of people who don't watch or even know a sport.
 

TontoK

Hot Tonto
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Representation is important for minority. Did you see how many notes Starr Andrew got in tumbrl? +5000, https://miyaharasatoko.tumblr.com/post/169372277289/starr-andrews-16-performs-a-clean-free-skate-at that amount of notes in figure skating only is gotten for Yuzu, Mao, Yuna, Evgenia. Starr not even won the competition.

I guess I view ti differently. I'm thrilled Starr gets recognition and some fantastic publicity. I think she could be great for the sport.

But I think that she deserves that, not because she is black, but because she's a fresh new face to most Americans. One who excelled her first time under the big spotlight, and has a promising future ahead of her. She skated a fun program, original in that it had her singing her own music, and who could not love her thrilled reaction... so pleased and satisfied at what she'd delivered? She'd deserve that whether she were white or Asian or whatever.

I always get irritated during these discussions. But, if someone is extra happy because Starr is black - who am I to deny them that.

I don't feel extra proud of Bradie or extra ashamed of Tonya Harding because they are white. I see their skin tone as irrelevant to their commendable or shady qualities.
 

chillgil

Match Penalty
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
that's like the same thing as saying "i dont get why people get so emotional over watching videos of three legged dogs being cute. A four legged dog is just as cute!" listen, because of the fact that any non white person regularly faces discrimination and obstacles because of their skin color/ethnicity it should be the norm to both address and recognize people of color doing extraordinary things like being one of the top women's skaters in the country for example
 

TontoK

Hot Tonto
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Jan 28, 2013
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United-States
^^^

Like I said, if you're extra happy Starr is black, then good for you. Go in peace.

And, funny that you mention it, but my boyhood dog lost his leg in an accident. I loved that dog, and cried like a baby when he died, and I was of drinking age.

I loved him not because he had three legs, but because he possessed every positive aspect a dog could have. He was my loyal and loving friend. The number of legs was irrelevant.
 

jf12

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
^^^

Like I said, if you're extra happy Starr is black, then good for you. Go in peace.

And, funny that you mention it, but my boyhood dog lost his leg in an accident. I loved that dog, and cried like a baby when he died, and I was of drinking age.

I loved him not because he had three legs, but because he possessed every positive aspect a dog could have. He was my loyal and loving friend. The number of legs was irrelevant.

I respect that you feel that way, and that you would encourage an individual of any race or nationality to go for their dreams no matter what has been the case in the past, but not everyone in practice does that, or encourages that, unless it's been done before. The more skating is homogenous, the more it impacts the sport negatively.

You might not feel like if you were a Spaniard, you would be extra excited about Javi's success, or as a Korean, not to be inspired by Yuna instead of Mao just because of your country/ethnicity, but they were the first to break those particular barriers, and you can't deny that its had an incredible impact on bringing new fans and new skaters from those countries as a direct result of that representation.
 

TontoK

Hot Tonto
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You might not feel like if you were a Spaniard, you would be extra excited about Javi's success, or as a Korean, not to be inspired by Yuna instead of Mao just because of your country/ethnicity, but they were the first to break those particular barriers, and you can't deny that its had an incredible impact on bringing new fans and new skaters from those countries as a direct result of that representation.

I root for Americans. Not only Americans... but if there's an American in the competition, I want them to skate their best.

I try not to let it effect my neutral view in evaluating performances and good/poor qualities in a skater - but I nearly always want Americans to do their best (unless they have gotten me PO'd). For example, I'll be rooting for Vincent like a madman - but I won't be blind to the fact that Hanyu is a better skater overall, and will beat him (barring a very bad performance and
Vincent skating lights out).

So, I completely understand why a Spaniard would root for Javi, and a Korean for Yuna, and a Japanese fan would root for Mao. That's only natural, right?

But I don't root for Bradie because she's white. I don't root for Mirai because she's Asian, and I won't root for Starr because she's black. I'll be pulling for all of them, with all my heart, because they're Americans (and they haven't gotten on my bad side. The well can run dry).

And, yes, I understand that nationalism is becoming passe, and I don't care.
 

jf12

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
I root for Americans. Not only Americans... but if there's an American in the competition, I want them to skate their best.

I try not to let it effect my neutral view in evaluating performances and good/poor qualities in a skater - but I nearly always want Americans to do their best (unless they have gotten me PO'd). For example, I'll be rooting for Vincent like a madman - but I won't be blind to the fact that Hanyu is a better skater overall, and will beat him (barring a very bad performance and
Vincent skating lights out).

So, I completely understand why a Spaniard would root for Javi, and a Korean for Yuna, and a Japanese fan would root for Mao. That's only natural, right?

But I don't root for Bradie because she's white. I don't root for Mirai because she's Asian, and I won't root for Starr because she's black. I'll be pulling for all of them, with all my heart, because they're Americans[/U (and they haven't gotten on my bad side. The well can run dry).

And, yes, I understand that nationalism is becoming passe, and I don't care.


I guess I don't root for skaters more if they're the same race as me either, but I guess I do have a lot of respect for the accomplishments of skaters that are 'firsts' in whatever they are, whether it be race, nationality, sexual orientation, or whatever. Javi, Yuna, Shibs, and Starr are all pioneers in their way. It takes bravery to show up every day to a place where you're the only one that's different, and I think it is what is required to break open the sport for more participation.
 

TontoK

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I respect that you feel that way, and that you would encourage an individual of any race or nationality to go for their dreams no matter what has been the case in the past, but not everyone in practice does that, or encourages that, unless it's been done before. The more skating is homogenous, the more it impacts the sport negatively.

I'm back on another reply to your post, because it has me thinking.

I do wish there were more skating access and opportunities for young people in Compton and Detroit. But I also wish there were more in Appalachia and the Deep South. And Wyoming.

We should strive to be a more national sport. Right now, Tim Dolensky is the only skater I can think of from the Deep South (and, no, Florida doesn't count).

There are pockets of figure skating in New England, California, parts of the Midwest, Colorado, maybe Florida (but I'm not sure). Maybe a few other places. That's it. And there is no denying that it is an outrageously expensive sport. I wish there were some way to provide greater access across the nation, and to make it more affordable for average and low-income families.
 

Baron Vladimir

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Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Your should care because it's good for your son to have role models that look like him, or half like him. Something is mentally pleasing when possible OGM (no jinx) Nathan Chen is someone who looks like you.

Kristi was inspired by Tiffany, Michelle by Kristi, Karen by Michelle, etc.

I dont think look is suppose to be important in choosing role models. Its human moral code, or work ethic or social behavior what suppose to be important, not look or nationality or popularity. The thing for which you are saying is mentally pleasing there is just a product of your subjective preferance, as a thing you can more easily identify with... But generally, its better to have more different kind of identification (not just the one based on look or nationality or popularity)... What is more mentally pleasing (or easier for mental assimilation) is not the only thing important for growth...
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
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Jan 9, 2017
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I'm back on another reply to your post, because it has me thinking.

I do wish there were more skating access and opportunities for young people in Compton and Detroit. But I also wish there were more in Appalachia and the Deep South. And Wyoming.

We should strive to be a more national sport. Right now, Tim Dolensky is the only skater I can think of from the Deep South (and, no, Florida doesn't count).

There are pockets of figure skating in New England, California, parts of the Midwest, Colorado, maybe Florida (but I'm not sure). Maybe a few other places. That's it. And there is no denying that it is an outrageously expensive sport. I wish there were some way to provide greater access across the nation, and to make it more affordable for average and low-income families.

Skating is actually more wide-spread than that. Yes California, CO, Florida, Detroit, MN, and New England are major hubs of skating, but it is other places, it's starting to really flourish in Texas now, Idaho, Washington State, and then the Mid-Atlantic states for years. North Carolina and TN are becoming hubs.


As far as your comment about Detroit and Compton. Detroit just recently got a "Skating in Detroit" program headed by Meryl Davis which is an extension of the popular Figure skating in Harlem program.
 

penguin

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
People who experience privilege based on their ethnicity shouldn't be telling people who face adversity based on their ethnicity that nobody's ethnicity counts. That's just ignorant and inaccurate. Don't invalidate my experience just because it never happened to you, and don't think that just because you think it shouldn't happen (which is great), that it doesn't happen.
 
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