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Old 02-25-2002, 04:16 PM   #1
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
- Ice dancing has become more of a joke. Innovation doesn't seem to be alive and the rules for critiquing performances are extremely vague. If something isn't done to overhaul it and soon...I would not be surprised if it gets dropped from the Olympics in the next ten years or so.
Couldn't agree more.. I think they will be dropped soon if they do not shape up.

Quote:

- America might actually have something going with pairs! Ina and Zimmerman really surprised me.
Yeah -- Ina and Zimmerman were good! Didn't they get the bronze?

Quote:
- The Chinese team continues to improve. If they could finesse their really awful spinning and work on the choreography, I think they would be getting on TOP of the podium.
*nodnod* They were good. They weren't very good on the synchronizing but they were talented.

Quote:
- Sarah Hughes and her two triple-triple combos might just be the spark that ladies figure skating needs. Since Midori Ito and Surya Bonaly left the sport, it seems to have fallen into a technical/athletic decline.
I really have to agree. She really did nicely.

Quote:
-The ladies short program was a display of some really AWFUL costume decisions. If nothing else, Michelle Kwan's exquisite taste in dress will be missed along with her grace and style on the ice.
Yeah.. I really disliked Slutskaya's costume. Kwan's definitely was the best, but I also liked Hughes' a lot too.

Quote:
- My proposals to help overhaul figure skating judging would include the following:
- No more judges sent from individual national skating federations. They should be hired by an independent board and therefore not accountable to any specific country.
- Separate the panel into judges to look at the jumps, judges to look for technique like speed and spins, and judges to mark on style and presentation. This is how its done in freestyle and aerial skiing and it seems to be much more objective. It would take some of the stress and pressure off the individual judges and allow them to really focus.
- Don't allow the judges to attend practice sessions.
- Don't let the judges know which of them will be judging each event until directly before the event.
- If a judge is found guilty of corruption, they should be GONE. I'm still flabbergasted that the judge whose taped phone conversation proved he was attempting to fix the results of the ice-dancing in Nagano was BACK IN THE PANEL at these Games. That sort of thing erodes even the appearance of fairness.
Nice ideas.. I really really agree

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Old 02-25-2002, 04:36 PM   #2
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
as much as it will be seen as a "quick fix", one can only hope that it might spark some REAL reform to a corrupt judging system that any fan of skating has known about for years.
[...]
The combination of her athleticism and radiance really reminded me once more WHY it is I love this sport.
[...]
-I'm still flabbergasted that the judge whose taped phone conversation proved he was attempting to fix the results of the ice-dancing in Nagano was BACK IN THE PANEL at these Games. That sort of thing erodes even the appearance of fairness.

-sula
those seem like very reasonable suggestion sula but may i ask how it is that you manage to stay a fan of such a sport?
for that matter could you tell me your opinions on how figure skating has managed to sustain itself for so long given that they are so corrupt? i'm assuming this corruption is nothing new.

i guess what i'm saying is that though 'athleticism and radiance' exhibited by one of the competitors is what reminds you of why you enjoy the sport would all this corruption and underhandedness not also severely cloud your love for it?
are you able to enjoy the sport on a more personal level, such as going to competitions yourself?


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Old 02-25-2002, 05:07 PM   #3
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9 judges isn't enough. Why not 20 or 50?
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Old 02-25-2002, 05:53 PM   #4
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Originally posted by kobayashi:
those seem like very reasonable suggestion sula but may i ask how it is that you manage to stay a fan of such a sport?
[...]
i guess what i'm saying is that though 'athleticism and radiance' exhibited by one of the competitors is what reminds you of why you enjoy the sport would all this corruption and underhandedness not also severely cloud your love for it?
Very valid questions, kobesan, and I'm not even sure if I have answers. lol. It may have something to do with the way that a really top skater's performance can leave you breathless. It may have something to do with the fact that it takes a life-time of honing one's skills to be at the top of the sport and how it all comes down to about 5 minutes total to win or lose. It may have something to do with gravity-defying jumps, dizzying spins, and plain old "wow-how-do-they-do-that" footwork. I don't really know. All I know is that I love watching it. Yes, the judging makes me angry much of the time. Anyone who knows me could attest to the fact that I have pretty strong opinions on who REALLY won 'xyz' competition. But when it comes down to it, it's the athletes themselves that 'make' the sport for me. Not the judges. It's a very personal sport. When you think about it, there are very few props...just the competitor and their skates (well that and their sometimes-tacky costumes ) and a big sheet of ice. There are so many possibilities...unlike in team sports where one game (at least to me) looks much like another and another, figure skating is all about each individual. What they bring to the ice. Figure skating at its best is seeing someone's unique character and style conveyed expressively through their skating. And now I'm just gushing. gah. Anyways, it's something I love to watch and brings me a lot of enjoyment.

I doubt that answered the question at all, but it's the best I can do at the end of the workday.

-sula
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Old 02-25-2002, 06:25 PM   #5
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I really enjoyed the whole Olympics, esp the skating events. I am a huge fan and am also looking forward to the World Figure Skating Championships in March. I guess the skaters have to decide within a week or so if they are going to compete at Worlds. Altho, I would totally understand if she didn't, I hope Michelle Kwan stays in for Worlds. I think it will make it all the more exciting. I remember in 98 when Tara turned pro and didn't go to Worlds the contest was pretty boring. It would be nice to keep the momentum of the Olympics going with a great contest at Worlds.

I think Alexei deserved the gold as well and hope he goes to Worlds too. Wonder if he will do that "costume" change that he did at the gala????
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Old 02-25-2002, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
I doubt that answered the question at all, but it's the best I can do at the end of the workday.

-sula
cool cool. it's tough to be placed on the spot like that->'why do you love what you love'. i know i couldn't respond to the same question nearly as well as you did on numerous different things
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Old 02-25-2002, 08:19 PM   #7
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sula, girl, you're wonderful. I think you pretty much completely summed up why I love skating. Something about the performance...

I'll add a few more observations:

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz (you guys should have guessed I'd bring them up again): Theirs was probably the only somewhat orginal dance (and the Lithuanians--who, if everything works as it should, will be medal contenders in 2006). Once again, I was completely amazed at their innovation, their passion for a sport that so clearly shuns him, their style, presence, and grace in losing. They've never 'dissed' the sport, despite all the unfairness. They took the high road.

Barbara Fusar-Poli: who, after every ice dance event, complained (loudly too) that she deserved to be #1, and was appalled that she had been ranked third. Puh-leaze.

Alexei Yagudin: shows that he's not some arrogant Russian bastard, nor is he some dinky fairy who managed to squeeze a gold medal out by floating his arms and skating to pretty music. He's jumping machine, and his artistry is manly (yes guys, it is a possibilty). His program was powerful and moving. Good on ya mate.

Sale and Pelltier: apologized to all the athletes for taking up so much air time...for taking away the spotlight that many have been focused on other events, other athletes. Sooooo classy.

Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze: Could have been such babies about the whole deal, complaining and raising a fuss. Instead, they are (for the most part) quite quiet about the whole deal (they said a few things, but then again, I'd be angry too if they told me I didn't really win). Instead, they sing their anthem and wow the entire crowd at the exhibition.

The women's event: regains strength and style. We know that the next Olympic contenders are going to have to be big jumpers. This could be the best thing that has happened to skating in a long time. Michelle Qwan will be remembered more for the gold she didn't win, than if she had.

The Chinese: if they get that throw quad salchow, wow!

Ice dance as a whole: I'm so disgusted that after all the problems at the last Olympics, this one was still clearly fixed. If Dick Pound was president, it would have been outta there a long time ago.

Ice dancers--The French, the Russians: Normally, I'm quite impressed with Anissina and Peizerat. And while their lifts were beautiful, I'm ashamed that these pairs skated tributes to America in order to win favor. Perhaps the next Olympics will show more creativity.

Not really observations, more like last minute commentary. I don't know exactly when the Worlds are...sometime in March.

Next Olympics, I want to BE there...
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Old 02-26-2002, 03:54 AM   #8
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Post-Olympic figure skating wrap-up

So, another four years have sped by and another Winter Games have come and gone. Fans of figure skating have seen their sport in the headlines of these Games more than ever, barring the Tanya/Nancy debacle. The decision to award duplicate golds to Sale and Pelletier is unprecedented and as much as it will be seen as a "quick fix", one can only hope that it might spark some REAL reform to a corrupt judging system that any fan of skating has known about for years.

My random observations in no particular order:

- Ice dancing has become more of a joke. Innovation doesn't seem to be alive and the rules for critiquing performances are extremely vague. If something isn't done to overhaul it and soon...I would not be surprised if it gets dropped from the Olympics in the next ten years or so.

- Men's figure skating is where the action is at! The quads are getting bigger and better, and surprisingly enough, artistry is still around. As far as I can tell, the sport hasn't turned into a pure jumping contest at the expense of footwork and choreography.

-Timothy Goebel's ability to jump makes my jaw drop. And he's definitely making strides in his presentation. If this guy sticks around for Torino, he could be a big contender, I think.

-Alexei Yagudin managed to be "artistic" without being a buffoon (remember Urmanov?) A gold medal well deserved.

-Elvis Stojko must be soundly disliked by the judges because I rewatched the competition this weekend and when he messed up his quad combo in the short program but still completed it, he was penalized MORE than Yevgeny Plushenko was when he botched the quad and missed the entire combo. Also, I'm going to miss Elvis in this sport. He was a true pioneer and had the guts to not bow to the pressure of changing his uniqueness just to cater to the whims of the judges.

- America might actually have something going with pairs! Ina and Zimmerman really surprised me.

- The Chinese team continues to improve. If they could finesse their really awful spinning and work on the choreography, I think they would be getting on TOP of the podium.

- Sarah Hughes and her two triple-triple combos might just be the spark that ladies figure skating needs. Since Midori Ito and Surya Bonaly left the sport, it seems to have fallen into a technical/athletic decline.

-The ladies short program was a display of some really AWFUL costume decisions. If nothing else, Michelle Kwan's exquisite taste in dress will be missed along with her grace and style on the ice.

- Speaking of ladies figure skating, for the first time in a long time, I found myself moved to tears during Sarah Hughes long program. The combination of her athleticism and radiance really reminded me once more WHY it is I love this sport.

- My proposals to help overhaul figure skating judging would include the following:
- No more judges sent from individual national skating federations. They should be hired by an independent board and therefore not accountable to any specific country.
- Separate the panel into judges to look at the jumps, judges to look for technique like speed and spins, and judges to mark on style and presentation. This is how its done in freestyle and aerial skiing and it seems to be much more objective. It would take some of the stress and pressure off the individual judges and allow them to really focus.
- Don't allow the judges to attend practice sessions.
- Don't let the judges know which of them will be judging each event until directly before the event.
- If a judge is found guilty of corruption, they should be GONE. I'm still flabbergasted that the judge whose taped phone conversation proved he was attempting to fix the results of the ice-dancing in Nagano was BACK IN THE PANEL at these Games. That sort of thing erodes even the appearance of fairness.

All in all, a really incredible round of Olympics for skating and one with results that I could not have predicted.

-sula

p.s. Anyone else excited about the upcoming World Championships? When exactly are they, btw?
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Old 02-26-2002, 10:18 AM   #9
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Let's make a pact, Sweetest_Thing. I've already decided I'm going to be at the Torino games. I've had enough of watching them on the telly, I want to be there in person. Four years is enough time to plan. So you want to catch some figure skating?
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Old 02-26-2002, 12:23 PM   #10
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SULA SULA!!!!
who was the girl who hadnt even turned 17 but made a huge impact on the crowds?????

(no good, didnt catch her name )

also, I dont understand all this triple-axe jump, double-axe jump, can someone explain?

Do judges count turns or somethin?????

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Old 02-26-2002, 12:30 PM   #11
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also, I dont understand all this triple-axe jump, double-axe jump, can someone explain?
yeah sula!
i've always wanted to know what a triple sow cow is!?! if that's even how it is spelled.
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Old 02-26-2002, 01:40 PM   #12
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hehe. Well, I'm about to run out the door, but I'll attempt to do a quick explain here. There are six jumps in figure skating and if you're just a casual watcher, you probably won't see the difference between them. They all look the same in the air while the skater is making the revolutions and they are all landed the same way. The difference is in the take-off. What makes the axel the hardest jump is that it is the only jump that has a forward take-off...if you watch a skater set up for one, they will be skating backwards, suddenly step forwards and then kick off with their free foot. And since all jumps are landed going backwards, a forwards take-off means the axel has an extra half-turn...thus the reason it's the hardest jump. Other jumps include the loop, toe-loop, salchow, lutz, and flip. Three of the jumps are "vaulting" jumps...those that use a toe-pick in the ice and then the skater is catapulted in the air. Probably the most recognizable vault jump, imo, is the lutz. You'll see the skater reach farrrr back with their free leg, tap their toe hard into the ice and then do the revolutions in the air.

kobesan, the jump you're asking about is the salchow and it's an edge take-off jump. It's hard for me to explain how it looks but it's a very distinctive jump. I'll think about it and try to come up with a description.

Anyways, that's just off the top of my head...I'm out the door for now. Perhaps The_Sweetest_Thing can fill you in on more details if she's around. I think she knows more about this stuff than I do anyways.

oh and maddie, I think the girl you're thinking of is Sarah Hughes...the 16-year-old who wowed the crowds and the judges and won the gold coming from 4th place.
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Old 02-26-2002, 08:54 PM   #13
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Sarah Hughes did WOW us, and she deserves her accolades. The gold medal,



The WHEATIES box!



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Old 03-03-2002, 06:49 PM   #14
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I've been in Michigan for the past week w/ no computer access, so sorry for the late reply here...

A Salchow (always capitalized, cause it was named after Ulrich Salchow, the first guy to ever jump it).
First things first: understand the 'lingo.'
Back refers to the part of the blade near the heel, while right refers to the part of the balde near the toe. Outside refers to the side of the blade facing away from the other leg. Inside is the part of the blade facing the other leg.




Most jumpers are counterclockwise jumpers (being right handed). Gliding backwards on the back inside edge of the left skate, the skater swings their right foot forward and over the left to start the rotation. After the rotation, the skater ends on the back outside edge of the right foot. Clockwise jumpers generally do the exact opposite (start and land on opposite feet).




There's a bit more to it (ie--during takoff) but that's the main bit right there. Hope it makes sense. It's a bit difficult to vocalize.



[This message has been edited by The_Sweetest_Thing (edited 03-03-2002).]
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Old 03-07-2002, 01:09 PM   #15
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haha. Well I caved in and shelled out the $$ to see the "Champions on Ice" thingy when they come through town in June. Hey, it's not everyday I get to see my favorite skaters perform up close and personal, so I figure it was worth it.

btw, thanks for the detailed Salchow info, Sweetest_Thing. It's one of those jumps that is very hard to put into words. Much easier to watch it on tape and say "THAT is a Salchow". lol.

-sula
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