Why don't figure skaters trash talk? | Page 4 | Golden Skate

Why don't figure skaters trash talk?

Raomina

On the Ice
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Jan 11, 2014
  1. Skating is a subjective, judged sport. The only thing skaters have control over is their own execution, not their placements or scores. Statements like this "What world showed me is that no matter how big the stages or how many people are watching, I can beat anybody." would just fan the flames of judges showing favoritism or lack thereof, federation strength/influence or lack thereof, not ability.
  2. It has to be organic and come genuinely from the skaters themselves. e.g. Plushenko, Yagudin etc. Manufacturing such things just fall flat most of the time, even in other sport broadcasts. I have seen some where everyone is forced to do it and things can get awkward as delivery is very important if it is to be fun. Trash talking is not something everyone can do and the current crop of top skaters just do not seem to have the inclination to do that.
  3. The popularity of skating in Russia and Japan shows that it is not a necessary component for viewership (though Russia certainly has its own set of dramas but they are not coming from the skaters themselves). I don't think the US relied on that during its heyday either, so the idea that trash talking is essential to create storylines or generate hype seems reductive. Figure skating is also unique in a way that it is really on the skaters themselves to gain fans through their own performances with the 5 minutes of time that they have to themselves. They even have individual time in the K&C where viewers can catch a their 'off-ice' personality and endear themselves to the public. No amount of storylines or fluff can get a viewer to root for a skater to win for the sake of winning (unless it's for nationalistic reasons, probably, during international events). At the end of the day, it is an individual sport and there has to be individual star power and audience engagement/retention.
  4. If it's about getting people to sit through all the performances in the first place, I feel like that is more on the broadcast to invest in introducing skaters to the audience not just during a competition, but outside of it as well, and also on the type of commentary during the competition broadcast itself. I have seen many Japanese documentaries on up and coming skaters since they were young that were broadcasted when they were young, and not just as background fluff when the skaters are older, and the audience gets to go through their successes and failures with them over time. Russia seems to do this a lot as well. Great commentators can also attract audiences to stay and watch, not because of what we learn about them, but what we can learn from them. And if it's about the audience interest in the sport to make that viable, how well-informed the audiences themselves are about the scoring system and so on, that's a whole other story which could also be explained by 'different country, different times, different interests'. Figure skating does not have to be popular in every country, just like any other sport. It is rare that a sport has universal popularity.
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
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For most skaters who are current competitors, "trash talk" would be totally out of character, AFAIK.
Indeed! I can't imagine any of them trash-talking or even big-noting themselves.

I don't think trash talk is a good thing to have in sport, but big noting yourself can work, only it takes a certain personality to pull that off and still be liked. For example Usain Bolt wasn't shy about declaring himself the fastest, but in his case it was true and he just had that sort of charisma to be able to say it. Muhammad Ali could do it as well. You really have to exceptional in your sport though.

Figure skating just doesn't seem to attract that kind of person though and if you big note yourself without being able to back it up (like Bernard Tomic - a tennis player here in Aus) you'll put people right off even if you do have talent.
 

moonvine

All Hail Queen Gracie
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Indeed! I can't imagine any of them trash-talking or even big-noting themselves.

I don't think trash talk is a good thing to have in sport, but big noting yourself can work, only it takes a certain personality to pull that off and still be liked. For example Usain Bolt wasn't shy about declaring himself the fastest, but in his case it was true and he just had that sort of charisma to be able to say it. Muhammad Ali could do it as well. You really have to exceptional in your sport though.

Figure skating just doesn't seem to attract that kind of person though and if you big note yourself without being able to back it up (like Bernard Tomic - a tennis player here in Aus) you'll put people right off even if you do have talent.
Michael Phelps was like that too. But we do have great rivalries - Nathan vs Yuzu for instance. I have been thinking and in the US the highest popularity the sport has ever had was Tonya vs Nancy. But that wasn’t trash talk. It was really bad stuff. I recall going to the doctors office and they were talking about figure skating there, which never happens. And I sure don’t want it to again. Not that way.
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
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But we do have great rivalries - Nathan vs Yuzu for instance.
Yes! And it's really cute/cool how nice skaters are about their rivalries in general and get along with each other. Sure, it's on during the competition, but then they can all enjoy the Gala together :)

With so much bad news in the world it's refreshing.
 
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WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
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Yes! And it's really cute/cool how nice skaters are about their rivalries in general and get along with each other. Sure, it's on during the competition, but then they can all enjoy the Gala together :)

With so much bad news in the world it's refreshing.
One of the best things about high level skating is the fun you can have at the less important practices when you meet up with your peers and "rivals". That's when you get to play and spark ideas and creativity and skate for the pure joy and cameraderie. Just take a look at all the Instagram footage during the 2018 Olympics. Enthralling and joyful. "Trash talk" is just that. Trashy. And it has no place in a sport that should be all about the joy. (We'll skip over the grind it takes to get to that level. :wink: )
 
Joined
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One factor is that there is no defense in figure skating. You can't boast, "I'm going to check you into the boards so hard that you'll never get a shot on goal, you wimp!" You can't literally get in your opponent's face like on a basketball court.

The only thing you have any control over is your own performance. All you can do against the other guy is to hope that he stumbles and falls -- all on his own, not because of anything that you did. But expressing such a hope makes you look more like a punk than a warrior.
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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There absolutely should be this kind of thing happening (not exactly the same as in other sports, but still) and it's unquestionably better for the popularity of the sport when it happens more. Katarina Witt came right out and said "my Carmen is better Debi Thomas' version", and that was great to see. It doesn't all need to be serious either, it can just be for show. All the world's a stage. In the age of social media, people understand this more than ever (particularly the younger generations). Showing personality is desired, people are aware that some things are just for fun, or may be intended ironically.

With skating, it should be a very open dialogue of calling out what you feel the scores should be. Skaters should be directly saying "I don't think it's right that my jump was called and the other person's wasn't" and things of that nature. They should be talking about what they think the PCS should be getting evaluated as. It was great when Ashley at 2018 Nationals said she felt the judges held her down on PCS (and they did, even if she deserved to be 4th and off the Olympic team regardless). It should not be held against anybody, that's a very outdated and backwards mentality to have. People need to SPEAK UP. Let their opinions be known, and not allow injustice to constantly happen. An environment of people being open and communicative will go a long way towards stopping other abuses and issues.

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.


Those receipts on the view counts! So good, and of course nobody has been able to respond to it, because people would rather not admit the problem. Figure skating needs way more hype, banter, and actual interesting skating.

Trash talk is fine in the NBA, NHL, NFL.
DoUbLE sTaNdArd.
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
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There absolutely should be this kind of thing happening...it's unquestionably better for the popularity of the sport when it happens more.
I'm not sure... unless the skater doesn't mind been hated I suppose? Plushy and Yagudin trash talked each other and it didn't do either of them much good in fans eyes. Like it may have resulted in more eyeballs watching but a large percentage of them were probably hoping to see one or both of those loud mouths fail.

Do figure skaters make enough money (like those in the NBL, NBA and NFL) to make it worth going through life as an a-hole? I don't think so.

ETA: There's also cultural factors, the Japanese are very polite, if Yuzuru trash talked it would probably be the end of him, talented be damned.

And Nathan gets hated on enough already, why would he want anymore?
 
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gliese

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With skating, it should be a very open dialogue of calling out what you feel the scores should be. Skaters should be directly saying "I don't think it's right that my jump was called and the other person's wasn't" and things of that nature. They should be talking about what they think the PCS should be getting evaluated as. It was great when Ashley at 2018 Nationals said she felt the judges held her down on PCS (and they did, even if she deserved to be 4th and off the Olympic team regardless). It should not be held against anybody, that's a very outdated and backwards mentality to have. People need to SPEAK UP. Let their opinions be known, and not allow injustice to constantly happen. An environment of people being open and communicative will go a long way towards stopping other abuses and issues.
Calling out a bad score is not the same as trash talk. Trash talk reminds me of Dance Moms. I don't think low talent and bitchiness is what we want to be associated with, but that might just be me.
 

anonymoose_au

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People need to SPEAK UP. Let their opinions be known, and not allow injustice to constantly happen.
Whoops missed this bit, but how's that working out for Plushy?

Remember the uproar when Liza Tuk called out a judge who gave her lovely Lutz a 0 on Insta?

And doesn't Ashley have a bad reputation for her reactions? She's been called a brat, a diva and worse.

The general consensus for better or worse is for figure skaters and coaches to keep their mouths shut at least in public.
 

anonymoose_au

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A notion pushed by the toxic and outdated establishment.
Well it sure does work! Plushy has never been the most liked person on this board, but he probably got some respect from his peers and the establishment but by speaking out he's probably made himself a real pariah. If he keeps it up (and I really wish he wouldn't!) right or not, I can't imagine his coaching career lasting.

Speaking of I hope coaches aren't invited to this team tournament Channel 1 is holding. The awkwardness will be off the scale! Maybe some viewers enjoy that sort of thing though. Just the thought of it makes me squirm.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
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As pointed about above thread, trash talk is not considered the same as complaining about judging, and I don't think the OP included that at all as an example.

"Trash talk" is "You nevah gonna land that 5A, bud, and here comes the king". As Mathman pointed out, in a sport where one athlete can do nothing about the performance of another athlete, that's just comes off as immature.

Complaining about judging is quite different. It happens in skating. It's why we have skating forums:laugh:It comes with its own set of issues, but it's not "trash talk":shrug:
 
Joined
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And doesn't Ashley have a bad reputation for her reactions? She's been called a brat, a diva and worse.
In Ashley's case, some people called her a brat and others said, "you go, girl!" So you never know.

I did get a kick out of the brief TV interview that Nathan Chen gave to Andrea Joyce after winning his fifth U.S. Championship. He did his upmost to mention how much he respected Yuzuru Hanyu ... and Shoma Uno ... and, oh yes, Mikhail Kolydah ... and, and .. "I'm sure there are lots of others I'm forgetting." :laugh:

As for Muhammad Ali, not only was he the greatest in the ring, but also he was pretty and Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and Michael Spinks were ugly. No brag, just fact. ;)
 
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YuBluByMe

May Rika spin her hair into GOLD….in 2026.
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As for Muhammad Ali, not only was he the greatest in the ring, but also he was pretty and Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and Michael Spinks were ugly. No brag, just fact. ;)
“Fifteen times I done told that clown what round he’s going down and this time aint no different!/He’ll fall in eight to prove I’m great!/And if he keeps talking jive imma cut it to five!” - Muhammad Ali

Remember the time period in which this was shouted out. It’s part of why Ali’s an icon.
 

LastSacrifice

Rinkside
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Jan 18, 2021
In Ashley's case, some people called her a brat and others said, "you go, girl!" So you never know.

I did get a kick out of the brief TV interview that Nathan Chen gave to Andrea Joyce after winning his fifth U.S. Championship. He did his upmost to mention how much he respected Yuzuru Hanyu ... and Shoma Uno ... and, oh yes, Mikhail Kolydah ... and, and .. "I'm sure there are lots of others I'm forgetting." :laugh:

As for Muhammad Ali, not only was he the greatest in the ring, but also he was pretty and Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and Michael Spinks were ugly. No brag, just fact. ;)

Just because you are trash talking doesn't really mean you are disrespectful. I doubt many would say Kobe Bryant does not have proper work ethic or he does not respect his opponents enough even though he runs his mouth all the time. I think most fans know when an athlete is doing it for show too; I heard an athlete once said "Everyone else is trash" and "I think win or lose, if I did my best, I won't have may regrets," one sentence apart. I certainly didn't think it was two-faced, I knew they worked hard to be where they were and I certainly got the sentiment that they owed it to their fans and that they were grateful to be where they were.

I do find it weird though, that the general sentiment of fans is that rudeness has no place in figure skating but Johnny and Tara, making a very public joke about camel toe (at the expense of the reigning champion, no less), still managed to keep their job.
 

Skatesocs

Final Flight
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May 16, 2020
In [X]'s case, some people called [them] a brat and others said, "you go, [person]!" So you never know.
Yes. The handwringing and assertiveness over what will or will not happen to the sport due to "trash talking", if it will help or not, or whether people will get treated more negatively or more positively over it all has this much evidence to back it up: zero.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
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Just because you are trash talking doesn't really mean you are disrespectful. I doubt many would say Kobe Bryant does not have proper work ethic or he does not respect his opponents enough even though he runs his mouth all the time. I think most fans know when an athlete is doing it for show too; I heard an athlete once said "Everyone else is trash" and "I think win or lose, if I did my best, I won't have may regrets," one sentence apart. I certainly didn't think it was two-faced, I knew they worked hard to be where they were and I certainly got the sentiment that they owed it to their fans and that they were grateful to be where they were.

I do find it weird though, that the general sentiment of fans is that rudeness has no place in figure skating but Johnny and Tara, making a very public joke about camel toe (at the expense of the reigning champion, no less), still managed to keep their job.

Johnny and Tara are not current competitors. We have had threads upon threads and posts upon posts about T &J and I suspect we will have more.:biggrin:

Your original post posited a current competitor saying to another "Hey Imma gonna land my 4A and you're not" unless I misunderstood you. It seems silly and childish in skating. As was pointed out earlier, Kobe can block (ETA: could have blocked :cry:) his competitor's shot. A skater can do nothing about anything except his own performance.

And just to jump off, the last thing I am doing is hand wringing or sighing or clutching my pearls.:laugh: I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan; I dare anyone to find a group with meaner, more creative, and more toxic insults. You will not. But when it comes to figure skating, I would find it boring.....:sleep:
 
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