Why don't figure skaters trash talk? | Page 3 | Golden Skate

Why don't figure skaters trash talk?

lariko

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Thanks goodness, tbh, that skaters have the good sense of being friendly. With how subjective and toxic the sport is, and how prone to chance, the last thing that is needed is the quotes being used against the tiny collective of skaters and fanning the flame wars. Tutberidze’s team that tries to do it, is creating too much bad vibes.
 

ladyjane

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There's a pretty far cry between "Hey, you call that a triple axel, not on my ice buddy, imma hittin' 300 points this comp?" and "It's hard to do better than I've already done, so if I don't do better than 300 this comp, it's gonna be a disappointment." or "People say I'm the best American skater but I want people to say I'm the best skater. period."

Trash talk isn't about disrespect, it's really about whether you're willing to bet against everyone and prove them wrong.

I disagree with most skaters have different and/or engaging personalities; every skater's interview is "I still got a long way to go". It sounds like there are no unique motivations other "wanting to compete with the best" or "improve myself". It's like watching a movie and all the character's motivations and backstory are just "I want to win". Completely 2 dimensional.
I really, really don't like that kind of talk. I like it when Nam and Keegan (Canadian skaters) make jokes about each other because I know what friends they are. That's fun. I like it when the same Keegan holds up the Japanese flag for a fellow skater who happens to come from Japan and the medal ceremony is not doing so well with the flags. It shows me what a warm, kind person this is with some great sportmanship into the bargain.

And what about the US championships just now? Did you not hear Jimmy Ma's unforgettable 'that's my dog!' shout. If that isn't showing an engaging personality, what is? I definitely don't like braggarts in any sport and to me saying what you suggest is just that.
 

moonvine

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Obviously I don't mean trash talking after winning; that's just kicking somebody after they're down, and that's just rude.


So recently I've seen the US Nationals, and I loved all the storylines; Bradie Tennell fighting injuries and inconsistency to finally getting the 2nd title, Nathan Chen's back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back win, Knierim and Frazier rookie season win, Hubbell and Donohue making the comeback after losing nationals last year.

But it feels like the NBC broadcast does nothing to help hype these stories up. I don't really find myself cheering for anybody because I loved their underdog story or because they're a rookie with something to prove, or if they're the gatekeeper preventing anyone from getting a trophy.

And the skaters' interview are only "yeah everyone skated really well blah blah blah", "I'm so excited to be here and prove myself zzzzzzz". I'm struggling to see how the broadcast expects anyone to pay attention to this sport if outside of the actual programs, any content they're making is just putting people to sleep. Figure skating should be entertaining to watch, there should be storylines and rivalries, something to make people interested in the sport. Every year the competitors are presented like they're just the ones from the last years, but with a different name. It's weird that figure skating emphasizes uniqueness as a sport but the broadcast fails to present the athletes as more than generic.

Imagine if before Nationals start, Nathan Chen says something like "Jason Brown's looking pretty good, he's definitely gonna finish top 9." That's awesome, right?! If Nathan wins, he gets to look super cocky, yet he backed it up. If he loses and it backfires, sure he might look like an idiot for a while, but I'm willing to bet many people are going to start cheering for him.

So why don't figure skaters trash talk? Most athletes do it, and that's how they build their huge brands and following. They aren't trash talking to bring someone down, or to make someone feel bad, rather, they're saying they have the confidence to win it all; and entertaining the fans in the process.
I don’t understand your thought process. Trash talk is fine in the NBA, NHL, NFL. Figure skating is a judged sport and the judges hear stuff like this. I would think it might have an effect on their scores even if subconsciously. Part of the wonderful ness of Nathan is that he IS so modest. I’ve not heard trash talking in any judged sport I’m aware of. There may be some I’m not aware of though. Maybe they trash talk in something like half pipe? Anyone know?
Anyway, my ideas on why the sport isn’t more popular:
There aren’t enough comps on TV.
The commentary is awful.
The ladies are the only thing that matters to a lot of people and our ladies aren’t as competitive on the world scene as they have been in previous years.
 

moonvine

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I really, really don't like that kind of talk. I like it when Nam and Keegan (Canadian skaters) make jokes about each other because I know what friends they are. That's fun. I like it when the same Keegan holds up the Japanese flag for a fellow skater who happens to come from Japan and the medal ceremony is not doing so well with the flags. It shows me what a warm, kind person this is with some great sportmanship into the bargain.

And what about the US championships just now? Did you not hear Jimmy Ma's unforgettable 'that's my dog!' shout. If that isn't showing an engaging personality, what is? I definitely don't like braggarts in any sport and to me saying what you suggest is just that.
I love me some Jimmy. I believe he got higher envelope funding with this top 6 finish? His twitter headline or whatever you call them: "My name is Jimmy and I like you."
 
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icybear

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Because its rude and gives you a bad image, duh. A lot of athletes dont usually trash talk. Maybe in WWE in America but a lot of that is staged to create fake drama.
 

labgoat

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The best rivalry in skating is Yuzuru and Nathan. I have never heard anything but respect between the two of them. They let their skating do the talking and the wins are determined by who executes their plans the best.
 

LastSacrifice

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Because its rude and gives you a bad image, duh. A lot of athletes dont usually trash talk. Maybe in WWE in America but a lot of that is staged to create fake drama.

This is an example of trash talk that is used to hype up sporting events and it doesn't seem rude or give the athlete a bad image?
 
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moonvine

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Yes, I've lived all over and can tell you it's some weird trashy thing that's done in reality tv and "pro" wrestling, the NBA, and no where else that I can think of, well apparently the other sport that's being referred to upthread as well.

Myself and I know the rest of the skating world considers ourselves a bit too classy for that junk.
NCAA football (not my team - Coach Saban doesn't play that) trash talks. I don't follow hockey AT all but I wouldn't be surprised if they did it. I live in the St Louis area and if they don't - their fans sure do. Apparently according to a former elite track star here in this thread track? But none of those are judged sports. A person would have to be not very smart to put stuff out there that might influence the judges even subconsciously. And our figure skaters are very smart! Mitchell Friess has a degree in Biochemical Engineering and a minor in chemistry I could no more understand biochemical engineering than I could land a quad jump.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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NCAA football (not my team - Coach Saban doesn't play that) trash talks. I don't follow hockey AT all but I wouldn't be surprised if they did it. I live in the St Louis area and if they don't - their fans sure do. Apparently according to a former elite track star here in this thread track? But none of those are judged sports. A person would have to be not very smart to put stuff out there that might influence the judges even subconsciously. And our figure skaters are very smart! Mitchell Friess has a degree in Biochemical Engineering and a minor in chemistry I could no more understand biochemical engineering than I could land a quad jump.
None of this except maybe the first sentence is directed at you and your quote @moonvine.

College football might, I follow hockey and they don't trash talk as much as you think they would (at least NHL level), because like figure skating (US figure skating at least) they have an anti-bullying initiative and trash talking would be considered that. Also, as many have mentioned before (even myself), figure skating is sport and art combined which is judged. The judges know more about you as an up and coming skater than probably your parents, and trash talk would not fly, and you would never get anywhere in the sport and it wouldn't matter how good or what jumps/etc you have. Figure skating also takes a heck of alot more sacrifice and costs a ton more than running and other sports that were mentioned and is more obscure. You will find more skaters who are top of their class in school and attending Ivy league and top Universities in this sport than many other.

If someone in this thread wants to make a huge stink about figure skating and it's athletes being boring because they don't act like immature bullies to their competitors then maybe watching the sport isn't really for you.
 

ladyjane

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I definitely wish Figure skating was more popular (although in Japan and Russia it's pretty popular now), but if that means this kind of thing - I'll probably turn the sound off whenever there's an interview. Probably start disliking athletes too - whilst there is so much to admire in them in reality.

And what's all this talk about hyping up? I just want to enjoy good programmes. I may disagree on issues of judging with other fans, I may wish for more attention for skating skills, step sequences and spins besides the jump elements while fellow fans tend to focus more on those (and we discuss this on forums like this one), but I don't want athletes to become bullies. Never, no way. I'm sure there are many other ways to increase popularity than to put sincere hardworking athletes into a harness of trash talking - which goes totally against their grain. Moonvine did some nice suggestions specific to the US, but I'm sure there are even more ways. Let the athletes, except for the dancers, stick to a jumping harness in practice! And all just be their genuine selves.
 

LastSacrifice

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I definitely wish Figure skating was more popular (although in Japan and Russia it's pretty popular now), but if that means this kind of thing - I'll probably turn the sound off whenever there's an interview. Probably start disliking athletes too - whilst there is so much to admire in them in reality.
If someone in this thread wants to make a huge stink about figure skating and it's athletes being boring because they don't act like immature bullies to their competitors then maybe watching the sport isn't really for you.


This is an example of trash talk being used to hype up sporting events, I'm not sure how anyone can interpret trash talk as being "immature bullies". Kicking someone while they're down is different from trash talking.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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This is an example of trash talk being used to hype up sporting events, I'm not sure how anyone can interpret trash talk as being "immature bullies". Kicking someone while they're down is different from trash talking.
You don't need to keep posting your clip trying to prove your point. It doesn't change from what I've known from years in the sport and others here have proven they know as well. And it's certainly not going to change our sport because you like this kind of thing. I'm starting to think some trolling is going on in this thread now.
 

LastSacrifice

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You don't need to keep posting your clip trying to prove your point. It doesn't change from what I've known from years in the sport and others here have proven they know as well. And it's certainly not going to change our sport because you like this kind of thing. I'm starting to think some trolling is going on in this thread now.

I'm having trouble following your logic,

"What world showed me is that no matter how big the stages or how many people are watching, I can beat anybody." is clearly trash talk, used to create storylines and put athletes out there. How would someone be able to argue that this is immature bullying or being toxic? I get that you're established in this sport, but the sport and the broadcast are probably not gonna grow if it's only pandering to a niche population?
 

Ic3Rabbit

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I'm having trouble following your logic,

"What world showed me is that no matter how big the stages or how many people are watching, I can beat anybody." is clearly trash talk, used to create storylines and put athletes out there. How would someone be able to argue that this is immature bullying or being toxic? I get that you're established in this sport, but the sport and the broadcast are probably not gonna grow if it's only pandering to a niche population?
I'm sorry but if you can't follow my logic as all but one other person besides you in my thread can, then I can't help you.
Also, I've explained multiple times as have others on how this sport runs and we are better than trash talk, and you keep it going. It's not going to happen, if you like that kind of thing then stick to the sports that do.

We don't need trash talk to establish this sport, it's established enough in that case and better than that.
 

LastSacrifice

Rinkside
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We don't need trash talk to establish this sport, it's established enough in that case and better than that.

Yup, seems pretty established to me too. I like skating and I wish I could enjoy it with people other than elitist snobs or people whose only identity is skating. Of course, the sport can stay the same and the same people can watch it every year, or maybe it can grow and pander to different audiences. Just a thought.
 

YuBluByMe

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el henry said:
I am confused. I see nothing wrong with two friends, who know they are joshing each other, saying, Man I'm gonna land that 4A today, you just wait and see, and the other saying in your dreams, pal. So we agree on that. And if it's public, as long as it's between friends, well, I don't see the point, it's not particularly interesting to *me*

I don’t think you’re confused. I just think people have very different definitions of trash talk. Or rather, all trash talk is not created equal. We definitely weren't friends (not at the time of my examples); we were rivals that respected each other. Neither of us took the jabs seriously because of that respect. It's not like I only talked to her to trash talk. It’s also not as if the entire interview consists of trash talking. Like I said earlier, it’s still very easy to have a meaningful discussion about running. The trash talk will lead to an anecdote about the hot dogs and maybe we’ll go right into talking about our different technique and its advantages/disadvantages. It’s not hard at all and we both get to relax a bit with familiar banter. It’s not black and white. You can have one while having the other. In track and & field, I guess you can say trash talk is a form of camaraderie, especially if you are on a relay team. Can you have camaraderie without it? Yes. Can you have camaraderie with it? Yes.


el henry said:
I don't understand figure skating *fans* being thin skinned. Again, maybe I am personalizing too much, but let's take my fav, Jason. I can recite the usual criticisms leveled against him in my sleep. When I respond to one of them and say, no, not true, how can say you that, makes no sense, it's because I am a robust and passionate fan of my fav skater. I am being the opposite of thin skinned.

Fans and the sport itself, not the athletes. One begets the other. I wasn't talking about reaction/response to criticism of one's favorite skaters. That's normal.
 

moonvine

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There's a pretty far cry between "Hey, you call that a triple axel, not on my ice buddy, imma hittin' 300 points this comp?" and "It's hard to do better than I've already done, so if I don't do better than 300 this comp, it's gonna be a disappointment." or "People say I'm the best American skater but I want people to say I'm the best skater. period."

Trash talk isn't about disrespect, it's really about whether you're willing to bet against everyone and prove them wrong.

I disagree with most skaters have different and/or engaging personalities; every skater's interview is "I still got a long way to go". It sounds like there are no unique motivations other "wanting to compete with the best" or "improve myself". It's like watching a movie and all the character's motivations and backstory are just "I want to win". Completely 2 dimensional
I think you're equating trash talk with trying to gain a competitive edge or directing hate towards someone. Trash talk isn't and shouldn't be about that. I'm pointing out that skaters can add to the broadcasts and storylines if they say things like "X is a good skater, I'm gonna beat him/her anyways." The point isn't actually to put someone down, but to put yourself out there and to make people interested in the competition. Competitions are shows at the end of the day, if personalities are just super generic and boring that's not interesting at all.
Their personalities are not “generic and boring.” Sounds like to me you are basing your perception of them off their interviews. Many of them don’t even get interviewed. Their personalities and back stories are as varied as any group of people. If you were to watch them for awhile you might see that. All of them, not just the ones shown on TV.
 

moonvine

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And honestly even going back to interviews - I distinctly remember Alexa, when she and Chris made the Olympics, overcome with joy and crying so hard she couldn’t talk. Andrea Joyce kept picking at her. She finally was able to choke out “God is good.” Then Chris pretty much said “that’s enough Andrea.” It was lovely.
 

ice coverage

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... Of course, the sport can stay the same and the same people can watch it every year, or maybe it can grow and pander to different audiences. ...

Pander?? Yikes.

For most skaters who are current competitors, "trash talk" would be totally out of character, AFAIK.
Although I would be happy for the sport to find other ways to grow in the U.S. (where I live), I would be completely turned off by the thought of skaters "pandering" to anyone by pretending to "trash talk" -- saying things that would not come out of their mouths organically.

I remember a brief spontaneous conversation on Twitter between two top ice dancers (both male) from the U.S. -- who were training mates.
I forget how it started, but with complete sincerity, they were trying to out-praise each other's twizzles. After trading compliments back and forth, one of them finally declared, "OK, that does it ... when we get home, we need to have a twizzle-off!"
(I think they were at a competition at the time.)

... Figure skating should be entertaining to watch, there should be storylines and rivalries, something to make people interested in the sport. ...

I like skating to be entertaining, I like storylines and (friendly/respectful) rivalries, I like "fluff" that makes me interested in the sport.
But again, I would be completely turned off by skaters pretending to "trash talk." I have no desire for skaters to behave artificially in order to give NBC a storyline.
 
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