Celebrating Asian American Skaters

TontoK

Hot Tonto
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Jan 28, 2013
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United-States

I wish you happiness and peace. I am sincerely sorry about personal insults and racial ill-will that you have suffered.

I have fairly profound differences than you do in regarding our outlooks on life.

We've shared those with each other, and now I think I'll exit the thread.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Here's an interesting segment of an interview the Shibs did with Wong Fu Productions where they spoke about Asian-American representation (Nathan Chen and Karen Chen mentions as well):

https://youtu.be/BgfXk9SMS1I?t=490

Wong Fu is a YouTube production company that puts of serials and movies showcasing Asian-American actors and talent. They also do behind-the-scenes, interviews, etc.

They also spoke about Asians in ice dancing in this NBC Asian America piece form 2016:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-...ibutani-siblings-stand-together-new-u-n504756

“For us, there weren’t too many brother-sister teams we could look up to, in addition to there not being a lot of people that look like us who were doing ice dancing," Alex said.

“There have always been strong roots in Asia for singles skating, so what we’re trying to do is get something started for ice dance,” Maia said.
 

eriecold

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
This thread is so interesting, fascinating, and disheartening.

The point of this thread was to celebrate the unprecedented high numbers of Olympic skaters who are Asian-American, recognizing that this achievement means something for some people. (Not all things for all people!)

And then people argue how it doesn't mean anything for them personally and thus shouldn't matter to anyone else. Or that it's pointless to celebrate the achievement because it's not that much of an achievement. Or suggest that people who feel inspired by such achievements are wrong in their thinking.

This thread is for celebrating an achievement. Can we just do that?

I felt compelled several times to call out certain comments, but such calls had already been made one or 2 comments later. Plus you can see the amount of thumbs up. Don't feel disheartened. There's a huge road still ahead, but for me, this thread gives me plenty of hope.

And kuddos for all the team. The white ones that worked their rear ends off and the Asian ones that worked their rear ends off. It's really remarkable that half the team is Asian.
 

Spinning

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
You can call me ignorant for all I care. This Asian team sentiment is not about celebrated the accomplishments of these amazing skaters or how we should idolize them. Fighting racism with counter-racism never ended well.

Talking about idol with the same skin colour, Kristy, Michelle, Tiffany and many more AA have been around for ages and they all still contribute to the skating world. Mirai, Karen, the Shibs, Nathan and Vincent are conquered USN podiums for the last decade without enough recognitions. Being in the OG team is amazing but not much more than inspirational journeys. Some people who think they are in the higher ground are the one who scrutinize them to death in the past for cry out loud. Asian culture are brutal. Remember when Yuna said about the whole country would turn their back on her if she wouldn't win in 2010. We need to give these kids the room to do their works and a chance to make mistakes. Many Asian athletes asking to be called just American not because they are not proud of being Asian but because they are usually the one at the end of the ugly stick of ugly fan war.
If the only nominated the American OG team is worth idolize, I said there are something wrong with this notion. Many past comments trying to crucified Mirai or others in the last few years not going to be wiped out from their memories just because now they are in the Asian dominated team.

My first comment might not come out right I'm sorry. But reading stupid people on twitter kept repeating Asian team beating your all American sweetheart behind make me furious toward the terms. Not to mention Bradie and Karen get tons of uncalled comments from both side is disturbing.

Boosting some people egos with "Asian team" is wrong in so many level. And if this is the way to feel significant it isn't going to end well.

I want to see Asian American acknowledge Allysa Liu for the same merits. But for many reasons that I'm not going to venture into, there are more appreciations from the rest of skating communities though. The kid and her amazing dad are the phenomenons without the OG team labelled.

OK. I said what I have to say. Wish the "American Team" the best. Now see you in the happier thread.
 

thegreendestiny

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Asians are one of if not America's most resourceful and hard-working ethnic groups. It's no wonder they excel in fields involving discipline, art and education hence the result in figure skating. It's really amazing how they are far from being well represented, if not suppressed in US mass media unlike other ethnic groups.
 

NoStefaniaNo

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 24, 2016
I'm white and realize that for my entire life I've been surrounded by media portrayals of successful white people. There is no such thing as color blindness, except among white people who see white as neutral and everyone else as other. I don't know why other white people are so uncomfortable with the idea that people from another background would be encouraged by seeing more people who look like them in the spotlight. It's exciting to me when sports and entertainment start to reflect our diverse culture more accurately and I'm happy for fans and young skaters who are Asian to see more people like them represented in the sport.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
I felt compelled several times to call out certain comments, but such calls had already been made one or 2 comments later. Plus you can see the amount of thumbs up. Don't feel disheartened. There's a huge road still ahead, but for me, this thread gives me plenty of hope.

And kuddos for all the team. The white ones that worked their rear ends off and the Asian ones that worked their rear ends off. It's really remarkable that half the team is Asian.

Agreed. I’m happy some spoke up so that I didn’t have to because it gets really tiring having to validate your experience when there’s no courtesy from the other side to actually listen. I’m glad some have in this thread though as TontoK did as he was very respectful.

Many of us know how much this recognition means and it means a lot that we’re all here supporting one another to celebrate this unprecedented achievement is more than enough.
 

gsk8

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Country
United-States
While we understand this topic may be sensitive to some, it is not meant to be discriminatory. It is a celebration of the contributions that Asian-American skaters have given to the sport of Figure Skating. You will find other similar topics, movies, etc. on the internet, national holidays, etc. that honor and observe contributions from other American ethnicities, so please refrain from comparing body types, political posts, etc. Thanks!
 
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dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
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Jul 26, 2003
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United-States
At this point, we feel that everyone has had his or her say, and the thread is at risk of falling in to bickering.

I am moving this thread to the Team section of Fan Fests where it will be named "Celebrating Asian American Skaters." We are in favor of celebrating any and all skaters and their accomplishments, however you guys choose to group them. New posts in the thread should deal with celebrating Asian American skaters, obviously!
:cheer:

Those who wish to keep discussing what appropriate role models are, what it means to be American, and other topics bordering on the edges of politics should perhaps continue to discuss them by PM rather than in public.

We respect your right to have different views and respect all of you, but GS is not the spot for politics. We get in enough trouble discussing skating. ;)
 

dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
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Jul 26, 2003
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United-States
Have fun celebrating Asian American skater's accomplishments.
:cheer: :)
 
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ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
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Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Excerpt of Alex Shibutani's powerful message :bow: (emphasis added):

Last night was a dream that became a reality. @MaiaShibutani and I have worked so hard for this! Proud to be the first ice dance team of Asian descent to win a medal at the @olympics.

When we started skating together, Maia and I didn’t see any teams on the ice that looked like us.
There weren’t too many sibling teams either.

Being so “different” could have been a warning sign... but we were 9 and 12 years old and didn’t see ourselves as “different”. We were just having a blast skating together.

Throughout our career (14 years and counting), we have had to, and will continue to push past stereotypes, labels, doubters, and cynics. ...

When someone tells you that you can’t do something or that your success will be limited because of how you look, or who you are, keep moving forward. ...

You don’t have to look like anyone else. ... Just find, and be yourself.


https://www.instagram.com/p/BfIbDedhxoK/?taken-by=shibsibs (posted on Instagram on Feb 13)​

Lots of comments/thoughts/people/images/stories/skating related to 2018 OWG have made me shed tears (for happy/positive reasons, in many cases).
Especially Mirai and her team FS :luv17: that was glorious and historic.

But nothing more than these words from Alex :sad4: :ghug:.

Both on and off ice, the Shibs have been so successful -- by any measure -- that I sheepishly must confess that it has been easy even for me (a fellow Asian-American) to forget that they have been blazing trails in ice dance.

Thanks to Alex's eloquence, I never will forget again.


Another AAPI skater...Keegan Messing is going to the Olympics for Canada. Keegan has a Japanese grandfather.

http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Girdwood-figure-skater-makes-Canadian-Olympic-team--469261963.html

Thx, Doris. Intriguing. Hope that at some point, Keegan will tell us more.

ETA (on Mar 15):

Belatedly discovering that Keegan did tell us more about his Japanese ancestry.

.... Messing's heritage is Japanese. His great-great-grandfather Manzo Nagano was Canada's first Japanese immigrant, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, among other historical sources. He arrived in Victoria in 1877 aboard a British steamer. ...

In 1977, 100 years after his arrival, a mountain peak — Mount Manzo Nagano — was named for Messing's great-great-grandfather in a remote coastal area of northern B.C. ....



... “We’ve kept the full Japanese blood up until my mom,” Messing said ...

 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
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Feb 27, 2012
Today it is Mirai who is making me cry :sad4: :ghug: with a heartfelt post about her early bonding with Maia. Emphasis added:

mirainagasu

I met Maia at mini Nationals over ten years ago and we bonded because we are both of Japanese descent.
Fast forward to the
@pyeongchang2018 Olympics: I gave Maia a huge hug before she skated and told her that the team would be skating with her for every step of her program. Tears were streaming down my face by the time she finished because I never thought that the little girls who were excited about taking photo booth pictures together would one day take a photo with their Olympic medals. Similar to gymnastics, figure skating is a sport that we commit ourselves to at a young age and to watch each other grow up and become a part of each other’s skating family has been truly magical.
.... I will forever remember the moment that we earned this medal together.
📸 @alexshibutani

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfPJMxBHtkr/?taken-by=mirainagasu (Feb 15)​

(The accompanying photo is very nice. Mirai and Maia look great with their medals :bow:.)
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
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Feb 27, 2012
Isabelle Inthisone just won Advanced Novice Girls - Group 1 at Egna Spring Trophy in Italy. :bow:

I was interested to discover that her parents came to the U.S. as refugees from Laos.

Nice quote from her mother in a 2014 CNN article about Isabelle and others ("Young skaters dream of Olympic gold, no matter the obstacles"):

As for Praxaya-Inthisone, she and her husband view what they're doing as "the ultimate American dream."

"We tell our children about the struggles and obstacles that we faced as refugees coming to America from war-torn communist Laos in the 1970s. We tell them how their grandparents held a dream for a better future and belief that greater opportunities are only made available to all in the U.S. They risked their young families' lives for that dream."

Isabelle is the 2019 U.S. novice bronze medalist, coached by Denise Myers. Recent article about Isabelle's success at 2019 Nats:

Although I do not want to overhype a fourteen-year-old, I will be pleased to keep an eye on Isabelle in future. Both articles make clear that she and her family are all in for her skating journey.
 
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