Why don't figure skaters trash talk? | Page 5 | Golden Skate

Why don't figure skaters trash talk?

mrrice

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Jul 9, 2014
I think it would be great to have the Parents of the skaters rivals Mic'd up during an event. The skaters know better than to trash talk in public because they know that the judges make decisions, not the skaters. My Coach used to say "Save It For The Dinner Table" Meaning, if you want to talk trash, do it at home and not in public.
 
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Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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I think it would be great to have the Parents of the skaters rivals Mic'd up during an event.

I don't think it would result in much; as soon as people know they are being recorded, their behavior changes. That is, if it's an environment where they think they need to act differently in order to be perceived more favorably (if that matters more to them than being truthful). The entire culture needs to change first.
 
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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 It should not be held against anybody, that's a very outdated and backwards mentality to have.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.
To me, complaining about a referee's call is not talking trash. Pressing for more consistent judging is not talking trash. Standing up to injustaces is not talking trash. Expressing confidence in one's own talent is not talking trash.

Trash talk means composing gratuitous verbal insults against your opponent. The OP's point is that these insults are entertaining (plus they show how witty and original the athlete can be, thus attracting the affection of fans who like a good witty insult when they hear one.) OK, I guess.

But this has nothing to do with speaking up to right a wrong, being outspoken for a just cause, etc.
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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Well, if a skater were to say about another competitor "their layback spin looks like a duck with a broken leg, they shouldn't be getting so many points for it", I think people would consider it trash talk. But if it's what someone truly believes, then they should say it. And it would make watching skating more interesting for spectators.
 

Sunshine247

On the Ice
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Dec 17, 2018
Here’s the thing. These other skaters are rivals for sure, but they’re also friends. The Grace they have on the ice is just typically mirrored off. Figure skaters are performers and athletes much like dance, not like pure physical effort like running etc.

Here’s what trash talk and that sort of environment would ruin: One poor young girl left her skates at home for the competition our club hosted. She came from hours away and she was devastated. A coach who knows us, asked a big ask. Could she borrow my daughters skates? My DD didn’t blink and eye. She loaned her skates no question. And this skater was a direct competitor. We were happy and excited that she ended up skating well. She competed in a different group at the same event, then competed directly in final rounds the next day (in her own skates). I’m so grateful for the support and community of figure skaters and I would never want it to change.

Another time, we were the ones who benefitted from the skate community. We ended up broken down on the side of the road. A skate friend saw us and turned back to get us! They went way out of their way to turn around on the highway. I’m the only adult at home for now and I had no idea how I was going to manage. Trash talk and that attitude sorta ruins that.

I think the OP has backpedaled from trash talk to playful teasing. Which is very different and requires the cooperation of both competitors. I think some friendly rivalries can exist like that but it actually requires a mutual respect. Consistently encouraging trash talk erodes and undermines mutual respect so I’m sure most parents and coaches would never condone it.
 

LastSacrifice

Rinkside
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Jan 18, 2021
Here’s the thing. These other skaters are rivals for sure, but they’re also friends. The Grace they have on the ice is just typically mirrored off. Figure skaters are performers and athletes much like dance, not like pure physical effort like running etc.

Here’s what trash talk and that sort of environment would ruin: One poor young girl left her skates at home for the competition our club hosted. She came from hours away and she was devastated. A coach who knows us, asked a big ask. Could she borrow my daughters skates? My DD didn’t blink and eye. She loaned her skates no question. And this skater was a direct competitor. We were happy and excited that she ended up skating well. She competed in a different group at the same event, then competed directly in final rounds the next day (in her own skates). I’m so grateful for the support and community of figure skaters and I would never want it to change.

Another time, we were the ones who benefitted from the skate community. We ended up broken down on the side of the road. A skate friend saw us and turned back to get us! They went way out of their way to turn around on the highway. I’m the only adult at home for now and I had no idea how I was going to manage. Trash talk and that attitude sorta ruins that.

I think the OP has backpedaled from trash talk to playful teasing. Which is very different and requires the cooperation of both competitors. I think some friendly rivalries can exist like that but it actually requires a mutual respect. Consistently encouraging trash talk erodes and undermines mutual respect so I’m sure most parents and coaches would never condone it.

An acquaintance of mine became homeless after a fight with their parents a couple of years ago. They shared their story on the internet and thousands of strangers gave them donations and one guy even let my acquaintance live with him for free for a whole year.

A few years later, this acquaintance's brother murdered their mother just a few days before a big finals. Immediately after the news broke, everybody wanted to move heaven and earth and postpone the finals just for my acquaintance, just to make sure that they're okay, and that they had time to grieve.

My acquaintance would not be described by anyone who had worked with them to be a positive person, in fact, they were kind of notorious for their trash talk, and sometimes they would even cross a line and say really, really hurtful and toxic things about their friends and fellow athletes, which has led to them being kicked from teams in the past. However, I don't think there are any fans who would ever say "that person was toxic, and arrogant, and proud, and disrespectful." I know that my acquaintance knows that they owe it to their fans for everything they accomplished, and I think most people would also agree that they have excellent work ethic and respect their teammates and opponents, and that they are super grateful to their fans.
 

el henry

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Well, if a skater were to say about another competitor "their layback spin looks like a duck with a broken leg, they shouldn't be getting so many points for it", I think people would consider it trash talk. But if it's what someone truly believes, then they should say it. And it would make watching skating more interesting for spectators.

Not for this spectator, I couldn't imagine anything more boring than hearing that from a skater about another skater😴

Different strokes for different folks.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
An acquaintance of mine became homeless after a fight with their parents a couple of years ago...

My acquaintance would not be described by anyone who had worked with them to be a positive person, in fact, they were kind of notorious for their trash talk, and sometimes they would even cross a line and say really, really hurtful and toxic things about their friends and fellow athletes, which has led to them being kicked from teams in the past.
Your acquaintance has faced terrible ordeals. My heart goes out to him or her.

However, I don't see any way in which this sad story says that trash talk is good and should be encouraged in figure skating.
 

LastSacrifice

Rinkside
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Your acquaintance has faced terrible ordeals. My heart goes out to him or her.

However, I don't see any way in which this sad story says that trash talk is good and should be encouraged in figure skating.

I was pointing out that trash talk does not affect how supportive or how loving a community could be. It's just something to take at face value and fans would not be judging an athlete's character because of what he/she says, even if it's completely disrespectful.

Edit for clarification: I think the assumption is that if athletes start talking up themselves or say cocky or disrespectful things about others publicly, it will somehow damage the supportive nature of the FS community; or the image of its athletes. Which I don't find true for most things in general.
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
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It's just something to take at face value and fans would not be judging an athlete's character because of what he/she says, even if it's completely disrespectful.
Err, the perception a lot of posters here have of skaters like Plushy and Brian Joubert would beg to differ.

These two have the reputation of being sore losers with no respect for the sport in whuch they compete. Fellow skaters might like them, but a huge percentage of fans do not. (In fact I've read stuff saying Yuzuru's only fault is he admires Plushenko)

Now compare that to how Stephane Lambiel or Daisuke Takahashi are viewed by the fandom at large, it's universal love, I've never come across a single bad word written about them, no doubt because neither of them have ever said (at least in public) a bad word about anyone else.

I certainly don't want any of my new favorites to end up the way Plushy has, which they will if they trash talk, even if it was in jest.
 
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^ On the other hand, trash talk is not the same as being a poor sport, whining and finding excuses for losing, and that sort of thing.

But (on the third hand) would-be trash talking figure skaters have a prtoblem. Namely, what are they going to say?

A mean ugly 300-pound wrestler can say, "I am going to rip your head off and shove it where the sun don't shine."

What would a figure skater say? "I am going to center my upright spin so flawlessly that you won't have a chance." (Plus, you're your mama dresses you funny.)
 
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Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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Not for this spectator, I couldn't imagine anything more boring than hearing that from a skater about another skater😴

That's quite the hyperbole. I'm sure there are more boring things you can think of.

Also, for a dedicated fan as yourself, I'm quite sure you wouldn't stop watching competitions just because of skaters giving more "verbal" interviews. Whereas a whole bunch of people WOULD get more into skating because of it. This in fact benefits you, because now the sport is growing and there can be more shows/competitions.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
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That's quite the hyperbole. I'm sure there are more boring things you can think of.

Also, for a dedicated fan as yourself, I'm quite sure you wouldn't stop watching competitions just because of skaters giving more "verbal" interviews. Whereas a whole bunch of people WOULD get more into skating because of it. This in fact benefits you, because now the sport is growing and there can be more shows/competitions.
More boring things in the skating world, I should have specified.

"Imma gonna land my 4A and you're not, hahaha" :bed:

And for the non-fans I know, such talk would in no way inspire interest or growth or attention to skating 🤷‍♀️ And, since we have no studies to show it would or it wouldn't, we're back to the personal preference.....
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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We live in a social-media driven world. Funny sound-bytes and storylines are things that draw attention. The current "metagame" of figure skating publicity does not draw attention.
 

Sunshine247

On the Ice
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Here’s the thing, parents often put their skaters on the ice at a very young age and dedicate a lot of their formative years to the sport. It’s not lucrative enough to justify a super toxic environment so the sport would likely die off for lack of participation. It’s hard enough without all that Nonsense. Go ahead and try if you want. See where it gets you. Maybe the sport is just different. Maybe in some areas it would fly. Sorry we are nice, boring people. 😂
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
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We live in a social-media driven world. Funny sound-bytes and storylines are things that draw attention. The current "metagame" of figure skating publicity does not draw attention.
That's interesting, because back in the late 90s- early 2000s ABC and NBC were all about the fluff pieces. And at least in Plushy and Yagudin's case it was less fluffy cotton ball and more steel wool. Do you think that was one of the reasons figure skating was so popular in the US back then (along with Michelle Kwan's presence)?
 
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Ic3Rabbit

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That's interesting, because back in the late 90s- early 2000s ABC and NBC were all about the fluff pieces. And at least in Plushy and Yagudin's case it was less fluffy cotton ball and more steel wool. Do you that was one of the reasons figure skating was so popular in the US back then (along with Michelle Kwan's presence)?
That and Tonya and her hooligans causing issues.
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
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Tonya/Nancy situation was huge, skating went supernova from that. The drama and intrigue will probably never be on that level again, but certainly having different personalities for the public to talk about and follow is a benefit. Although the skating itself still needs to get more interesting too, that's of greater importance.

Here’s the thing, parents often put their skaters on the ice at a very young age and dedicate a lot of their formative years to the sport. It’s not lucrative enough to justify a super toxic environment so the sport would likely die off for lack of participation. Maybe the sport is just different. Maybe in some areas it would fly. Sorry we are nice, boring people.

The environment is already more toxic than it would be with open communication, in my experience. It tends to be more veiled than in other sports, but the parents and skaters and coaches are constantly gossiping, there are constantly glares, negative body language, "you can't sit with us" attitudes, etc. People might as well just come out and say it, because everyone ends up knowing anyway, and when it's unspoken there is further distrust or assumptions or unhealthy conditions of needing to share a rink. In other sports people just say their thing and then usually everyone keeps playing. In skating, it's instead constantly hanging in the air or ends up being more hurtful when it gets said directly (and it still does).

The kinds of publicity things I'm talking about don't affect the young kids who are coming up anyway. I don't think it's accurate to say most parents, who generally have plenty of money if they are getting serious coaching for their kid, would pull their kid out of skating for fear that if they make it to the top level, there will be people talking about them. That already happens anyway, for any relevant sport. If there is fame or status symbol to be gained from something, then especially people who have money will be doing it.
 

Vicki7

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Aug 27, 2018
Late to the thread but as a competitor (although not high level at all!) I hate trash talk, and neither of my coaches would stand for it. I've seen it happen at some events I've been at (there's one family in particular where the 2 skaters engage in some less than stellar behaviour) and it's awful.

I compete in disability events and we've all got our own challenges we had to overcome to get there, so apart from the exception above, everyone is cheering each other on and building each other up.

I've had a parent say something to me before I competed and the way I felt, I wouldn't want to inflict that on another skater or their family.
 
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