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Zemgirl
05-14-2010, 11:06 AM
I basically agree with what has already been posted - The Second Mark is pretty good, the background on what the SLC pairs had been through to get to that point in their careers was very interesting, and the section on Shen and Zhao is the best one (the pictures of Xue and Hongbo as kids were extremely cute). I do agree with escaflowne9282 that Goodwin kind of dropped the ball on the political part; it seemed rather rushed and not as well-researched.

I also have to say that there seemed to be some factual errors, and it kind of made me wonder how accurate other parts were. But it's certainly worth reading; I don't think anyone else had as much access to the parties involved.

CynicElle
05-14-2010, 12:59 PM
Forgot to mention that I re-read the book right after Shen & Zhao won Olympic gold -- it was really fun to read their story again knowing that the best was yet to come for them.

mkats
05-15-2010, 07:08 AM
Zemgirl, can you elaborate on what the factual errors were?

Zemgirl
05-15-2010, 04:21 PM
To be honest, I don't remember specific things, but I do recall coming across mistakes with regard to things like ages and timelines - so not major points, maybe, but the effect created was kind of sloppy. Goodwin clearly had a lot of source material and mistakes were bound to be made; it just made me wonder if there were other errors that I didn't catch.

Erica Lee
05-18-2010, 12:23 AM
I read it when it first came out, and knowing only S&P's story, it was enlightening to hear the history of all three teams. I, too, remember remarking factual errors based on what I knew of S&P (can't remember specifics right now) that led me to believe there could also be factual errors about the other teams (not that I'd know any better). It does take away a little from the apparently "well researched" book, but the errors were definitely not significant enough to discredit the whole thing. I really should read it again sometime... though I lent my copy to family and don't think I have it back...

caseyedwards
05-18-2010, 12:31 AM
So far so good-the prologue is well written and now onto the skating teams.

pairsskater
05-18-2010, 02:08 AM
I liked it very much. I found the background of all 3 pairs pretty interesting, but what dismayed me was that she strongly insinuated that Tamara Moskvina knew of the abuse Elena suffered and looked the other way, until her horrific accident. Also, it would seem that Anton was a bit hot-headed and difficult in his own way. Kind of made me disgusted at the thought of this very young, easily intimidated girl in the hands of badly behaved men.

I have nothing nice to say about S & P---so I'll say nothing:rolleyes:

The story of Shen and Zhao was very interesting and I felt sorry for the young and poor Shen Xue. Happy ending there, though!

kwanfan1818
05-18-2010, 02:21 AM
but what dismayed me was that she strongly insinuated that Tamara Moskvina knew of the abuse Elena suffered and looked the other way, until her horrific accident.
According to the book, Moskvina was working with Sikharulidze to get Berezhnaia out of the abusive partnership and relationship, and this was planned for after Euros. Her former partner slashed her head open during a practice for the competition.

pairsskater
05-18-2010, 03:53 AM
According to the book, Moskvina was working with Sikharulidze to get Berezhnaia out of the abusive partnership and relationship, and this was planned for after Euros. Her former partner slashed her head open during a practice for the competition.

Yes, I know..I read the book. But it seemed to me she knew about and didn't do anything but disapprove. The abuse was evident and I got the feeling that he just got away with it. Elena didn't have a parent there to protect her and Tamara didn't react until it was too late. Somehow, I just got the feeling from the book that these men skaters could behave has they pleased--you know, a boys will be boys attitude.

danceronice
05-18-2010, 05:38 PM
Not to sound cold, but what was she supposed to do? She didn't really have any authority over Shlyakov, and if she kicked him out Elena would have gone with him (which was pretty clear in the book.) Yes, the men could do as they pleased, though not as much as in Moscow (which is also evident in Katia Gordeeva's book--no abuse, but the Moscow school pretty much was an army camp.) What else could she have done? I hate to tell you this, but the police weren't going to care or do a damn thing even if someone HAD complained.

nanigirl
05-20-2010, 09:38 PM
It's worth the read for the early history of Shen/Zhao alone.

This. It made me love them even more. The part about little Xue's bleeding feet and her dad sharing their one dumpling :fragile:

caseyedwards
05-26-2010, 10:13 PM
This was a great book-not just a good figure skating book or a good sports book but a good book period. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for all the recommend posts! She was really good at describing and researching what the pairs were feeling when the skated in the free skates. Learned a lot about the training aspects and about Canada, Russia, and China skating history and also political history in Chiina. I mean skaters are bad at some points during the cultural revolution but then they perform in front of the communist leadership-so arbitrary.

About the mistakes-Shen Xue is described as being born in 1980 or 1981 and that was wrong.

Lots of talk about the throw quad salchow with the Shen and Zhao and the training for it is so brutal. I couldn't help but think of Tamara Moskvina coaching Kavaguti and Smirnov and her going through the training of it and now how she is like Bin was a little bit now in trying get wins by doing that.

There is also the stuff about the Russian men in pairs being so consistent and the jumpers and lots of time the women weren't always good there. That made me think of Trankov's reaction when he fell at the Olympic short program!

I wish the author talked more about the short programs and the other judges who voted for B/S in pairs and not just the french judge. Like I have in other places it was just a taste thing when it came to eastern judges and western judges.

I feel like David Pelletiers reaction in the Kiss and cry was expalined by going into his short temper a lot. She also doesn't mention what I read in the New York Times about how even if the french judge vote was ruled invalid that would have made a tie which was to be broken by the short program which the Russians won 6/3.

But very good book worth reading!!

kwanfan1818
05-27-2010, 05:08 AM
She also doesn't mention what I read in the New York Times about how even if the french judge vote was ruled invalid that would have made a tie which was to be broken by the short program which the Russians won 6/3.
The problem was there was neither precedent nor codified procedure for determining who should have won in this case, not for the solution mentioned in the Times, not for replacing LeGougne's marks with the substitute judge's, and not for any other proposed solution.

caseyedwards
05-27-2010, 07:17 AM
The problem was there was neither precedent nor codified procedure for determining who should have won in this case, not for the solution mentioned in the Times, not for replacing LeGougne's marks with the substitute judge's, and not for any other proposed solution.

Oh-the substitiute judge was mentioned briefly but I forgot about that part. Yeah so the ISU just created its own solution very clearly.

kwanfan1818
05-27-2010, 07:30 AM
One that managed to piss everyone off.