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Sylvia
04-23-2012, 02:21 PM
Published in the "Japan Real Time" Wall Street Journal blog today:

In recent years, Japan has followed the axels, lifts, and lunges of its professional figure skaters with a zeal not unlike Americans’ fascination with football touchdowns and field goals. But for some admirers of the sport, the fascination with its athletes has become something of a guilty pleasure — so guilty, in fact, that they feel they cannot reveal it to their husbands, friends or the intrepid reporters at JRT.

No figure skater has been the object of more secret adulation than Daisuke Takahashi, a 26-year old whose dashing looks and sumptuous moves have won him legions of fans among older Japanese women. Call them Daisuke’s aunties.
...
JRT caught up with three of Mr. Takahashi’s fans at Tokyo Station, where one of the women was taking a train to watch her heartthrob at a competition in western Japan. They agreed to discuss the Daisuke-fan subculture on the condition that their names not be used.
Full article: Confessions of a Covert Daisuke Takahashi Fan (http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2012/04/23/confessions-of-a-covert-daisuke-takahashi-fan/)

zotza
04-23-2012, 04:49 PM
I look at the skating mostly.I don't really care about the off-ice personality and I try not to learn about it as well.What you don't know,can't hurt you.
I'm not drawn into skaters because of their looks but if I really like a skater I may find him attractive even when the majority doesn't.It's the aura,the on-ice personality and so much more.
It has happened that I came to love skaters as people even though I didn't particularly enjoy their skating.That was with Dobriasko/Vanagas.I consider them to be one of the most gracious people I've ever seen,but I was never a fan of their skating.
One thing I can't stand,is if someone tries to force me into loving a skater.Huge PR,and aggressive fans just make me drop the skaters alltogether.I may enjoy his/her skating,but I'm not excited anymore.

I think what fandom is based on is a mixture of things,and it also depends from the age range.A teenage girl may become a fan just because the said skater is gorgeous.A romantic person may become a fan of a couple just because they are romantically involved.Pairs and ice dancers that are couples off the ice (or people think they are) have significantly more fans than those that aren't.But again,for me,this only applies in situation were partnerships are equal.How many times have we seen fans mushrooming everywhere when we learnt that X skater is with Y skater.

Although I admit,I started watching figure skating because I had a crush on Zhulin:lol:

martyross
04-23-2012, 04:57 PM
Although I admit,I started watching figure skating because I had a crush on Zhulin:lol:

When Russian men are handsome, they are scarily so. :)

julieann
04-23-2012, 05:48 PM
I think looks are so subjective it can hardly be counted when watching someone. I've also heard some skaters talk in interviews that made me think they were real a**holes and I did lose respect for them as a person but skating skills are skating skills.

mia joy
04-23-2012, 06:18 PM
There is a difference between appreciating the skating skills and being a fan, though. I do appreciate that V/M are excellent ice dancers and their skills are incredible, but I cannot say I even like them, let alone be a fan. I appreciate Chan's deep edges, but I still cheer for Takahashi and even less skilled guys. Forget the personality, even liking or disliking the skating is more than just seing the great skating skills. For example, I love some of the Kerrs' programs and you cannot say their SS were the best in the world.

I agree with the statement that aggresive PR might make a person loose the interest in a skater. I think one of many reasons why I went on to become an uber of D/W instead of V/M is because everyone around was telling me how great they were. I had the same with I/K when they first moved up to seniors and everyone was naming them as future Olympic champs. I like them more now than last year, but still difficult to call me a fan.

and I gotta say I find it kinda funny how so many girls/women have a crush on Takahashi. I love his skating, but he's nowhere near handsome for me and my mom's reaction when she first saw him was: "God, he's ugly!" :shuffle:

Dilng
04-23-2012, 06:41 PM
Perhaps it does :lol: I really don't care if he acts arrogantly. His skating is enough for me to forgive him for everything ;)



Agreed, sorry for not being clear before. Of course everything I've been discussing are my impressions of skaters, not facts.



I think I'm just not that understanding, maybe because they (top class skaters) have the life I can be nothing but envious of and despite all exhaustement or pressure or the fact everyone can just have a bad day, most of them act really great towards fans. Some of them just don't and they stand out because the majority is so great to be around. Plus, it's really not that hard to smile to a fan who tells you they love you.

Also, I don't care what motives he has to act like he does, but after this season there is no way I could ever be a fan of Scott Moir (ok, I'd probably never be a fan of them anyway, cause I simply don't like their skating, but there is something about Scott that annoys the hell out of me) and I'm genuinely astonished so many people can.

ITA!!!!

DaiKozOda
04-23-2012, 06:44 PM
and I gotta say I find it kinda funny how so many girls/women have a crush on Takahashi. I love his skating, but he's nowhere near handsome for me and my mom's reaction when she first saw him was: "God, he's ugly!" :shuffle:


Guess what, my mom had the same reaction. :rofl:
My mom was like "Why do you cheer so much for the ugly ones?"
Being a huge fan of Takahashi, Kozuka and Oda, I was a bit pissed with her for saying that.

martyross
04-23-2012, 06:48 PM
Guess what, my mom had the same reaction. :rofl:
My mom was like "Why do you cheer so much for the ugly ones?"
Being a huge fan of Takahashi, Kozuka and Oda, I was a bit pissed with her for saying that.

hahaha...instead my mom is always impressed with the Y spin when watching a ladies competition. for her, a girl can do 12 quadruples and she doesn't bat an eye, but if she does the Y spin, well...:lol:

DaiKozOda
04-23-2012, 08:08 PM
I think that some people are first attracted to the sport because of the beauty of a certain athlete.
I remember an episode that happened with a male co-worker. He knew nothing about figure skating and couldn't care less until we were having dinner at the house of a common friend. That friend of mine is also a skating fan and we were watching Domnina & Shabalin's FD at 07 Worlds. As soon as my co-worker saw Domnina, it was enough for him to start making questions about when they would skate again and where could he find videos of their performances. Nowdays he is an avid figure skating fan.
Music can also be a factor. I know some teens that payed attention to Volosozhar and Trankov because they used an Evanescence song. The word spread in some forums and some of those teens started to follow the career of V&T "cause they were cool".

bmcg
04-23-2012, 08:34 PM
For me, on-ice persona comes into play. I never liked Totmianina/Marinin because she seemed so cold and he wasn't exactly a poster-boy for expressive, either. On the flip side there's Leonova. I know she's not the best skater out there but she enjoys performing and really tries to sell her programs, and I like that. As for their off-ice personalities, well, I don't know any skater personally, so I don't really take that into consideration. Suzuki could be a snotty bitch IRL and I'd still enjoy watching her skate. (Although, for the record, I'm sure she's anything but.)

For me it's the skating first and foremost I have to love the way they move their blades over the ice, the lines they make, the details. Totmianina/Marinin are the perfect example of what moves me in skating. They had the personality of wallpaper but the way they skated was perfection. That to me is art and moves me emotionally. I typically will like a lot of skaters that many people say are boring or overscored/overrated but there is such art and beauty in having such incredible skating skills and being able to do all the things they must and make it look smooth and easy. I just love good skating.

I think there are only two skaters I find are a complete turnoff for me and those would be Pluschenko and Amodio. I am definitely affected by their personalities but I don't know how much that affects me because they don't have the skills I admire most in skating to compensate for their arrogance. I used to put Joubert in that category but his personality is less obnoxious (especially in more recent years). He has been humbled and I find myself more sympathetic to him. But I´m not a fan of his skating.

Katarzyna
04-23-2012, 08:57 PM
I know some people complain about certain athletes 'arrogance' as a reason they hate them but I've always believed you sometimes need a bit of that to succeed.
Arrogance – I don’t think you can’t become a champion without being arrogant, but I assume it’s just more difficult if you don’t have the ultimate self believe. Probably one of the reasons, why I appreciate skaters who were/are very successful, but not arrogant even more. :cheer2:


JMHO, but it seems to me a good number of ubers tend to have crushes on their fav skaters. I think this is particularly the case when certain ubers become over-protective and very defensive towards their skater, and are easily offended to the point of feeling persecuted.
When I started to watch figure skating (at least when I start to remember it well) I had a crush on Victor Petrenko and of course in my eyes he was ALWAYS a much better skater than Kurt Browning. :D
Funnily I don’t even find him particularly attractive when I watch old tapes today. But I still adore his skating. However, today I love Kurt Browning’s skating too. So I’m glad that teenage days are over. :lol:


There is a difference between appreciating the skating skills and being a fan, though.
Yes! There are different ways and emotional levels how skaters can be perceived and what is considered to be already fandom, how you react on skaters, for me it’s e.g.

Respect – personally I’d respect everyone who skates at elite level, no matter what his / her personality is like. E.g. I’ve always respected Tonya Harding for her powerful jumps.

You can like the skating of someone – e.g. I liked Christie Yamaguchi, though it didn’t emotionally touch me, still found her performances very good and can watch them and enjoy. :)

Cheering for someone – I actively hope that this skater does particularly well. For me it’s usually skaters, who’s skating I do not only like, but skaters that touch me emotionally. I don’t need to perceive their personality in a positive way. However, if a skater does things I don’t like at all, mostly connected to the sport and being a fair sportsman (e.g. no doping, unfair behavior towards competitors, racism, etc.), I think I would somehow “disconnect” and won’t be able to cheer for him/her any longer. It’s mostly about sportsmanship, don’t care very much for skaters' private lives, unless they do something really awful. Alexej Yagudin is a good example – I looooved his skating, but I wasn’t fond about him complaining he never became Russian Champion (--> most times he simply skated badly at nationals). But he was young and obviously he stopped with it now, so I don’t care any longer and really very much enjoy his skating. However, I wouldn’t give “active fan support to him” (= doing projects, etc.).

Becoming an uber fan – to me it means that I’m prepared to actively do something for a skater, e.g. participate in scrap book projects, throw little presents on the ice. For me this is certainly connected with personality. For example I always "liked" Masha Petrova / Lyosha Tikhonov, though I was not an uber fan until I saw them live at exhibitions. They were just so much better than in competition! I think in competitions they just focused too much on the elements, but after watching them in shows I started to cheer for them and detected that both of them are just among the nicest persons I’ve met in the circuit so far. I was very much impressed by their personality on the ice and off the ice as well. Therefore I helped a friend of mine, who made a scrapbook for them a tiny little bit and of course also made a contribution to the book. I simply love them now and will always root for them. – However, I would never give this kind of “active fan support” to skaters whose personality I can't stand, e.g. because of arrogant behaviour, even if I liked their skating. :shuffle:

So basically if I like the skating of someone or not, doesn’t depend on personality. However, active fandom that leads me to actively doing something for skaters depends a lot on that factor as well. ;)

I have to say I really like this thread! It's just interesting to read, how other skating fans handle this. I wonder if female fans take personality more into account than male fans (just giving the stereotype of quads and power only :P).

Bournekraatzfan
04-23-2012, 09:13 PM
del (double post)

Bournekraatzfan
04-23-2012, 09:14 PM
I agree with julieann, looks are subjective. And while I do find Dai gorgeous, that is not why I love his skating so much.
I think we negotiate fandom in our own ways, and it is neat to read so many different opinions in this thread:)

zotza
04-23-2012, 09:35 PM
For me it's the skating first and foremost I have to love the way they move their blades over the ice, the lines they make, the details. Totmianina/Marinin are the perfect example of what moves me in skating. They had the personality of wallpaper but the way they skated was perfection. That to me is art and moves me emotionally. I typically will like a lot of skaters that many people say are boring or overscored/overrated but there is such art and beauty in having such incredible skating skills and being able to do all the things they must and make it look smooth and easy. I just love good skating.

.

This is exactly my thoughts regarding Totmianina/Marinin and they are the only skaters for who I can say that I totally respect them as athletes.
It happens that sometimes beauty and art can be so pure that to most people it becomes boring.But for me this is what I love about skating.

spikydurian
04-23-2012, 11:22 PM
I find it kinda funny how so many girls/women have a crush on Takahashi. I love his skating, but he's nowhere near handsome for me and my mom's reaction when she first saw him was: "God, he's ugly!"
Your mum is kidding me! She doesn't know what she is missing. Dai is gorgeous. He has 'rugged looks'. ;) I can imagine him skating in black leather top and jeans. :swoon: