Introducing new Pro-Am: Medal Winners Open, Oct. 5th in Japan

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by ice9, May 23, 2012.

  1. midori

    midori Well-Known Member

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  2. Coral

    Coral New Member

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    I'm sorry to hear Sarah can't participate due to her condition.
    Press conference of MWO was held on Monday, 27th in Tokyo with skaters Arakawa, Honda,
    Kulik and Slutskaya, who all performed in 'Friends on Ice' show last weekend.
    Here's articles and a short vid in Japanese:

    http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/winter/skate/figure/headlines/20120827-00000011-spnavi-spo.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt-CNdeNp3E
    Sportsnavi twitter:mad:sn_figure

    Competition info: sorry if there are any translation mistakes. :)

    There are only singles, 6 men/ 6 ladies. For men 3 minutes 30 seconds, ladies 3 minutes.
    Judging are based on current ISU rules, but PCS is more important.
    3 jumps can be done and one of them can be a combo or a sequence.
    Spins must be different types and up to 3 kinds. One of the step sequences should be choreo step seq.
    Some more detailed rules are yet to be announced.

    Small props and show lighting are allowed, but bigger items like chair, desk or piano aren't permitted.
    It's an open competition to eligible skaters too,
    but mainly professionals will compete for this year.
    (to be continued...)
     
  3. Coral

    Coral New Member

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    Skaters' comments (based on several Japanese articles) :cheer2:
    Honda: It's a great pleasure to compete with Kurt Browning, who was my skating idol.
    Later this year my students start their season, so I want to show my performance to them and
    tell 'Look, your coach's trying to do his best.'
    My program will be a remake of what I skated during amateur period. I lost some weight,
    one reason is for this competition, and also it's my aim to execute 3-axel jumps for 20 years.
    I'd love to land a quadruple again too, but I'm not sure if I can do it in a competition (laugh).

    Shizuka: I feel a bit embarrassed to be introduced as an athlete. By the time I became a pro skater,
    the pro competitions that once existed were gone, but I've tried to prepare for an occasion like this.
    This is my first competition since I turned 30, and I think maybe it is good that I'll skate a program
    I did in my 20s, and hopefully people of wide generations will enjoy my performance.
    I believe this competiton is a good chance for every professional skater to show how he/she has
    made progress as a pro, and now I look forward to the competition so much. I'll do Ina Bauer,
    it's an element I'd like to keep performing.

    Slutsukaya: After the Torino OG, I was so exhausted and wanted no more competition. However,
    6 years have passed and I was delighted to receive this offer. It's wonderful to feel the special atmosphere
    one more time. Passions came back to me from somewhere in my mind.
    I know Shizuka since we were practicing in the same group at Nagano OG. Now we're adults and good friends,
    we're connected via Facebook too. We're not 'rivals' and I hope we can create a great competition together.
    This is the first competition since I became a mom (laugh). I'd like to land a 3-loop jump,
    love to do Bielman spin too. Music will be some cheeful one.

    Kulik: Japan is a country of luck for me. I was thinking over this offer for about 3 minutes, but I decided
    to go immediately. I think this is a great opportuniy to get stimulated and strengthen my technical
    ability, get motivated as an athlete.
    I think my best element would be my big butterfly jump, but I must make sure if the rules permit it.

    According to one of the reporters, especially Irina was smiling and talked with much expression and feeling. :)
     
  4. krenseby

    krenseby New Member

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    Why do you think these skaters are so excited about this competition? I really don't get it. But then again, perhaps they are really hoping that this will get a good audience. Do you think it will be seen by a large audience on TV in Japan and maybe even somewhere else outside of Japan? Of course, it is a Japanese event and I am not sure if any other country would air it.
     
  5. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

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    I find your question a little surprising. Why wouldn't they be excited? They get to COMPETE and probably in front of a large, enthusiastic audience. No, it's not competition in a traditional eligible way or format but they get to compete again for personal satisfaction. These folks were all brought up on competition, they're champions, they have the hearts and minds of champions and most of them haven't competed on the ice in a very long time. It's not the everyday, it's not just another show (although it does have show elements). They can get the old adrenaline pumping a little faster, put themselves out there on the line and see how what they still have stacks up against some of the people they've skated with for years and in some cases, competed against in the past. As we say in New York, what's not to like?!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  6. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    Slutskaya wants to do a 3 loop! Hope she succeeds. That was a major signature of hers. She wants to do her signature jump and spin.
     
  7. krenseby

    krenseby New Member

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    So do you think these skaters like Irina and Shizuka are really passionate about competing? I thought that once skaters didn't really care to compete anymore once they left the ranks of amateur competition and instead preferred to simply participate in shows.
     
  8. Coral

    Coral New Member

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    Well, Takeshi, Jeffery and Yagudin used to compete at Japan Open after starting their pro career, they skated their FPs and competed with amateurs, so I believe they're not basically reluctant /w competing. Jeffery is going to compete at JO even this year :) so far he's the only skater who will be in all three events, MWO, JO and gala.

    As for Shizuka, when she retired she was more interested in ice shows and unlike Takeshi, she didn't compete at Japan Open, and she used to perform only show programs as a guest skater there.
    In the news video above, she says this new open competition is not about doing the most difficult elements, but how you entertain the spectators. So maybe she (and other skaters) liked that concept. It's like one-day festival plus gala and NOT like a long and hard competing like eligibles, you skate only show programs and you can expect some extra attention to the world of pro's.

    I guess at least somebody may perform a comical program, maybe Candeloro or Kurt or could be anybody, who knows? :rolleyes:

    I do hope all the videos will come outside Japan in some way, since the skaters are international. There's still a vacancy in ladies discipline and I wonder who wiil fill in.
     
  9. choreographer:)

    choreographer:) New Member

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    FYI: Kimmie Meissner will be participating as well:)
     
  10. seabm7

    seabm7 Active Member

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    That's great! She really deserves it.
     
  11. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I do think most of the skaters (perhaps not all) who are participating are very excited to compete. Not everyday, not all the time, not frequently because they have left amateur competition behind. But every once in a while for a change of pace - you bet I do. Professionals athletes are complex beings, like the rest of us - you don't turn off every competitive urge you have with a on-off switch when you retire from eligible ranks. Talk to any professional athlete in any area of sports - they all have a little of the competitor left even when they are much older and not competing/performing/playing their sport at all anymore. It's who they are and in the psychological space, where they came from as they developed in their early years.

    This comp, like the pro comps before it, is for variety for the audience. This is not like the Olympics, a life-changing event that may determine the trajectory of a competitor's future life and earnings. This comp of course doesn't have that potential effect so these folks can get as serious (or not - if anyone remembers Candeloro at the Hallmark pro comp in DC, oh dear...) as they'd like to be about it - it's not like going back into eligible training or anything like it. Call it 'competition light'.

    The series of professional comps that used to be a lot fun are all gone now (who remembers great programs from Landover and other pro comps, raise your hands!) and this is an attempt at a new one to fill that void. I hope it is very successful as it gives some of our most accomplished, seasoned skaters one more way to show off their stuff and gives the audience one more way to enjoy their work.

    PS - If a few of these folks are not excited about doing this, then they shouldn't - it's not like their eligible days where they were representing their countries - this is strictly for themselves. Of course since the Japanese Fed is co-sponsoring this with Toyko TV I suspect it would not go forward without Arakawa but still, it's a pro thing and it's a choice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  12. Teenes

    Teenes New Member

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    Thanks for the quotes and info, Coral!

    A friend sent me the TV Tokyo airdates (thanks midori!):
    Station: TV Tokyo
    Japan Open Oct. 6th 19:00-20:54
    Carnival On Ice Oct. 7th 16:00-17:15
    Medal Winners Open Oct. 8th 12:30-14:00

    Source: http://news.thetv.jp/article/32785/

    Sorry for posting all 3 events' info here, I'm in a hurry and don't have time to go to the other threads.

    Also, I received some more information from IMG Japan/TV Tokyo (applies to all 3 events).

    Not sure how many overseas people want to attend this show, but if you want to buy tickets outside of Japan, email txjigyti@tv-tokyo.co.jp with the following information:

    Name and country
    Event name, date, and number of tickets
    Contact (telephone number)

    You will receive an email reply with the detailed further process. Tickets will be handed out at the venue before the event, and only cash in Japanese Yen will be accepted.

    Also, there are no plans to broadcast these events outside of Japan, and no plans to stream online.

    As for why pro skaters like to compete, even in these fluff competitions...well, Kurt Browning (and many other skaters, like Brian Boitano), continued competing until the last of the pro competitions ended in 2006. Asked in 2006 why he kept returning to Ice Wars, he said "It's the only chance to flex your competitive muscle. It's that one last chance to, you know, no retakes, someone skates after you, and there's marks. [Those] old nerves, and do you still have it, and can you do it. Those little things that happen in your brain on the way into a jump that matters...it's fun, to go back in time a little bit." As Willowway says, these skaters grew up as competitors. It doesn't just turn off when they go pro.
     
  13. Coral

    Coral New Member

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    You're welcome :)
    choreographer's right, Kimmy's name is announced on the official website
    and on TV Tokyo's Facebook. That's great! Thanks for the info ;)

    http://www.facebook.com/txfigure
     
  14. Teenes

    Teenes New Member

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    So it looks like it's Sarah Meier, not Sarah Hughes now?

    It seems the skater list for Medal Winners Open is complete, and these are the skaters:

    Men: Kurt Browning, Jeffrey Buttle, Alexei Yagudin, Philippe Candelero, Ilia Kulik, Takeshi Honda
    Ladies: Irina Slutskaya, Joannie Rochette, Laura Lepisto, Sarah Meier, Shizuka Arakawa, Kimmie Meissner
     
  15. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Sarah Hughes? What condition?
     
  16. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

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    From what I read TV Tokyo was using the word "condition" not as in an illness, but rather as not being in training shape to skate in this sort of thing. Makes sense - it takes real ice time to get in any kind of competitive shape (even for a pro thing) and she may not be interested in doing that. I think she's just not that into it. I give her credit for saying "this is not for me right now" rather than showing up without sufficient preparation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  17. rhumba

    rhumba New Member

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    ITA. At least she is smart enough not to humiliate herself in public. I do not see any possiblilty that she could do those jumps.
     
  18. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why Sarah H doesn't put in the training time to at least jump up to a 2axel. She does 1-2 exhibitions every year, doesn't she? And the 2axel was a good jump for her, so it's kind of puzzling that while she seems to still to enjoy performing in front of an audience, she's content to just glide around and skate pretty.
     
  19. martyross

    martyross New Member

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    humiliate herself? don't you think you take a stupid skating show too seriously?
     
  20. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's a matter of humiliation or not for her. I think, as we have been discussing for a while, that one should do this sort of thing if really interested in competing and I'll bet she's not really interested. And that's fine because not everyone is. She's also self-aware enough to make a decision that's right for her. I think that's pretty good.
     
  21. rhumba

    rhumba New Member

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    Yes, i think most people pay to see World or Olympic medalists skate at the high level, not a single axel or just gliding around. They are not stupid as you thought.
     
  22. marysy

    marysy Active Member

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    I agree with this, though I wonder why she had agreed to it in the first place? I'm not familiar with this competition...was it originally supposed to have been more of an exhibition and less of a competition? Or was it just that perhaps she intended to put in the training time and then didn't have time to do it?

    I haven't seen Kimmie Meissner skate in awhile - has she kept up with her training?

    In any case, this competition is shaping up to be quite exciting...hope we'll see videos!
     
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  23. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    Really? Out of all the contestants in this competition, she sure doesn't seem to be fitting in the group, no offense.
     
  24. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    Exhibition clips I've seen recently told me that she was in a fine shape.
     
  25. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    The hardest jump Kimmie does now is the 2A. If Irina and Shizuka, who are older than Kimmie, pull out triples then it'll look kinda bad for Kimmie from a competition perspective. But I'm sure there are people out there who'll enjoy watching her skate (I'm not one of them :p)
     
  26. giselle23

    giselle23 Active Member

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    Maybe Kimmie can train a triple toe. Who knows--she may already have one that is fairly consistent, but not worth trying in a show. She was a pretty good jumper when she first started out. In any event, this competition is supposed to be more about artistry than jumps, isn't it? I would like to see Kimmie and all of the others.
     
  27. seabm7

    seabm7 Active Member

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    They need 6 professional/retired ISU medalists who can still handle 3 jumping passes. The pool is quite small.

    Kwan hasn't been skating since she moved to Washington DC. Sasha Cohen is a full time student. After Sarah Hughes, the next in line would be either Kimmie Meissner or Fumie Suguri. Also Elena Sokolova if she is still skating actively.

    ETA: I just realized Yuka Sato and Surya Bonaly are still doing shows. The pool could be enlarged when the older generation is included.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  28. marysy

    marysy Active Member

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    I think this is sadly a byproduct of the lack of professional skating opportunities nowadays. In the 90s, a lot of the top skaters kept up with their training after retirement due to the professional competitions and shows that were out there, but perhaps this could be the beginning of a resurgence of these types of competitions, at least in Asia.

    I thought I had seen Alexei Urmanov's name somewhere in one of these three Japan comps/shows but can't seem to find it anywhere. I know the roster is full, but he might be a good candidate for these types of things. I don't know if he's training full programs, but from what I've heard of people training with him in Sweden, he still has the jumps. Brian Joubert mentioned being very impressed with him last summer that he was doing all the exercises with his students.
     
  29. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Who put her name on the list to begin with?
     
  30. IceIceBaby

    IceIceBaby New Member

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    Besides, I would say 90 percent of the audience in shows don't know the name of the jumps and if they are doubles or triples. The show audience differs from the audience who is in the competitions. For some of them it's the first time seeing figure skating live. That is not very motivating for the retired skaters so I don't wonder why they won't keep up their jumps.