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View Full Version : What should the ISU do to resurrect Figure Skating in the US and Europe?



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miki88
03-24-2011, 02:13 PM
Well, I think it would help very much if the US had stars like MK, Cohen in the future. There's a lack of strong personalities that will attract audiences attention. There's Johnny Weir, but unfortunately his priority is no longer skating.

attyfan
03-24-2011, 02:19 PM
Do you think another whack would help? If so, who should get whacked? who should do the whacking? (if it is $peedy who should be whacked .... "the line forms on the right ..."

aliceanne
03-24-2011, 07:45 PM
It may have been a lame personality (IMO) but you could always count on him to portray the under-appreciated hero to a soundtrack from the latest action or fantasy movie ;)

I have to defend poor Todd. I've seen him 3 times in local exhibitions (1994-2006) and he always brings his A game (triple axel et al). I'll admit he's not much on tv, but especially up close he's impressive physically and smiles like he's enjoying every minute of it. He never comes unprepared or with a technically watered-down number and the crowd responds.

Judy
03-24-2011, 10:19 PM
Well, I think it would help very much if the US had stars like MK, Cohen in the future. There's a lack of strong personalities that will attract audiences attention. There's Johnny Weir, but unfortunately his priority is no longer skating.

Oh I don't think that Weir has the star power or the appeal. For America it's all about their women stars. Every other discipline is 2nd rate for them. They need to have another Michelle Kwan-like star.

loulou
03-24-2011, 11:29 PM
You need good coaches and rinks, and you need them to be affordable.
The routines should be more appealing and results more audience friendly.

1) Coaches. I've seen far too many jokes that the ISU credites as coaches. Please, make a better selection. Have better schools. A coach status cannot be reward for having been a stinky skater 15 years. Investing in coaches is more important than investing in athlets.

2) Rinks. If you have to travel 3 hours a day for practices, and you have to wake up at 5, it's not going to be popular.

3) Affordable. Money needs to be drained and smartly re-invested. It's going to be a hard process to start, but good management would be what gets this going.

4) Audience friendly and appealing. I understand current rules were supposedly made to avoid cheating. There's no rule in the world that can't be played. - What sometimes we see is an environment that can't stand cheaters and points at them. Which is effective. Figure skating needs a lot of cleaning up: fairness can't really be forced on people, but a fair environment can be created through education. So start teaching officials, coaches and skaters why fairness is their own interest, even when it doesn't look like so.


That's no easy business. But, even more than skills, it would require honesty, honest intentions. Pushing agendas here and there must stop.

Why is that honesty doesn't pop up into my mind whenever I read Cinquanta?

mmscfdcsu
03-25-2011, 12:18 AM
Oh I don't think that Weir has the star power or the appeal. For America it's all about their women stars. Every other discipline is 2nd rate for them. They need to have another Michelle Kwan-like star.

They will flock to a male star if the star gives them a good show for the money. Brian Boitano carried COI for a very long time. His power, technique and willingness to try all kinds of music made him very popular. Brian was all for giving the audience its moneys worth. Johnny is still too immature. He is all about Johnny just thinking about skating to what he wants such as MY Way, the Lady GaGa stuff and Russian elevator music. As he matures he should learn that it is supposed to be about the audience not his constant need to make a personal statement. YMMV

paskatefan
03-25-2011, 11:37 AM
I have to defend poor Todd. I've seen him 3 times in local exhibitions (1994-2006) and he always brings his A game (triple axel et al). I'll admit he's not much on TV, but especially up close he's impressive physically and smiles like he's enjoying every minute of it. He never comes unprepared or with a technically watered-down number and the crowd responds.

Thank you! Todd "flies" on the ice, and to fully appreciate him, you've got to see him in person. Of course it is so hard to photograph him while he's skating. Our pictures come out blurry when he's in motion.

CynicElle
03-25-2011, 12:11 PM
I have to defend poor Todd.

I have to stick up for him too ... I just saw him in SOI a few weeks ago and was very pleasantly surprised by what a performer he's become. There was a time when I would have thought sticking Todd and Kurt in a number together would be horribly unfair to Todd, but I thought he kept up with Kurt really well in that clown number this season. Not that I think he's *the* personality that's going to turn skating's popularity around, but he's fun to watch now.

RubyLaRhumba
03-25-2011, 01:07 PM
1. Skate to music that is more current
2. Allow vocals in the short
3. It's difficult for sane viewers too grasp how falling 4x wins an event. Clean up the points system and judging to make it more viewer friendly. If you can't get a quad around and landed, you shouldn't be doing it or get credit for it.
4. Make costumes more contemporary
5. There needs to be an effort to market to ages 18-39
6. Fake doesn't sell any more. Don't try to make Susie Q or John Doe into 1960 idols. Let them be who they are.

Agreed, on all points!

mmscfdcsu
03-25-2011, 01:14 PM
NO, NO and NO to vocals. That only leads to programs with really bad music and the skaters trying to get some silly message across. What we need is more skaters with training in music and dance who can actually use the music to enhance the skating. Vocals would just lead to more boring skating to songs like "Imagine" which is some of the most boring music on the planet. And no teenie bopper music allowed. The Christina, Gaga, Justin etc. needs to stay on Nickelodeon Network.

michiruwater
03-25-2011, 02:38 PM
Christina, Gaga, and Justin are definitely not shown on Nickelodeon and never could be without some massive censoring.

l'etoile
03-25-2011, 04:36 PM
My opinion...make FS more about the jumps/jump difficulty than anything else. Many still don't consider FS a "real" sport, and the jumps are what makes it a sport--at least to the average viewer. I thought Evan winning olympic gold without a quad was more a setback to FS than a plus.

I don't know many stuffs and detailed rules or anything, but as a figure skating fan, that should not be happening. omg.

aliceanne
03-25-2011, 05:26 PM
Do you think another whack would help? If so, who should get whacked? who should do the whacking? (if it is $peedy who should be whacked .... "the line forms on the right ..."

I'd like to see some of the skating moms go at. That would make a top rated reality show.

flutzilla1
03-25-2011, 06:06 PM
I think something that would help immediately would be for USFS to make a better attempt to spread out its major events (Nationals and Skate America) throughout the various areas/regions of the US. Having the 3 of the most recent 4 big USFS events in two adjoining states (and the next two just in one state!) is really not helping. I am not sure why the old method of moving Nationals to each section every year (so it was in each one every 3 years) was discarded, as it was a lot fairer to both fans and skaters. I think seeing events like Nationals and Skate America live makes a much bigger impression and helps to build long-term fans better than the strategy they seem to be following now, which is relying solely on broadcasting the comp into people's homes and hoping enough people will take the time to watch them on TV. Devoted fans of skating find it hard to justify the expense of a thousands-of-miles-away trip to Nationals or SA, so I don't see how it could be reasonable to expect that a casual fan will choose this option very often either.

That said, the whole bidding process should probably also be overhauled. If clubs/interclub councils could suggest areas instead of having to submit bidding packets first, putting USFS HQ at the helm to then chose an area in advance and then do the bulk of the bigger logistical planning, it would be a lot easier to get more of the clubs to help get volunteers together, as most clubs are working just to avoid declining membership as it is, and many do not have the manpower to even run a club competition, much less take on the very complicated and work-intensive bidding process. Having these events nearby would also help build local club numbers back up. I saw that the local rinks' USFS Learn to Skate table at the FanFest in Greensboro was doing brisk business -- I bet they saw a huge increase in kids signing up for learn to skate directly as a result of them getting to check out the competition first-hand.

FigureSpins
03-25-2011, 07:09 PM
My opinion...make FS more about the jumps/jump difficulty than anything else. Many still don't consider FS a "real" sport, and the jumps are what makes it a sport--at least to the average viewer. I thought Evan winning olympic gold without a quad was more a setback to FS than a plus.
Evan's been a boon to FS in the US, although the Ladies are always preferred more by our populace. Still, young skaters know his name, Flatt and Yu-Na. Non-fans know only Evan, although Bradley's very popular in my neck of the woods lately.

Personally, I think the quad is overrated - it adds nothing to the programs artistically and most people can't tell the difference without Scott squealing and cheering. To me, it's a circus trick, although I respect the difficulty of doing one.

I do think a separate "Technical Elements" spin and jump competition would help figure skating to grow by appealing to a broader audience. That would be a more appropriate place for the Quad to be truly appreciated.

People who blow off figure skating because they're ignorant, homophobic, costume-haters or just not interested in the artistic side of skating, would probably find a strength and speed event focused on jumps and spins intriguing. It would build respect for the difficulty of the sport and educate the general public.