Is fandom based strictly on skating?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by skateboy, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,266
    Just curious:

    How much does a skater's personality (or persona) have to do with your being a fan? Can you separate the skating from what you may think of them personally?

    I'll fess up, I've been turned off to certain skaters strictly based on their personas (although I truly try to rate their skating on just the skating).
     
  2. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,137
    I think it’s just easier to be or remain a fan of someone, who is a great skater, but also has a lovely personality. For me it would be hard to root for someone who is a complete A$$ (exaggerated example of course), even if the skating was great. Personally in such a case I would still respect and appreciate the skating, but wouldn’t cheer for that athlete. On the other hand I’d never become a fan of a skater based only on his/her personality.

    It’s just very nice if great skating comes along with great personality, even more as highly decorated athletes are role models for younger ones. :)
     
  3. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,835
    A lot of it is based on aesthetic appeal as well. I don't think that Brian Joubert would have such a huge fan base if he weren't so damn gorgeous.
     
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  4. martyross

    martyross New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    899
    Subjective fandom is based on self-identification in skaters' attitude and/or nationality. Sometimes you need someone to love in your life. But it can prevent from appreciating good qualities in other ones. The logic way is to consider the athletes as human beings like us, and focus on what they actually produce on the ice. Simple as.
     
  5. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,137
    I don’t think it’s that simple. If it goes into the direction that fandom is only or mostly related to personality or looks, then you choose the right word for it – it’s subjective fandom and probably the motivation for it to a very high level is not correlating with love for figure skating. ;)

    However, we all have personal values we adhere to, and I simply can’t imagine myself enjoying a skater who for example numerous times made racist statements towards others. :angryfire

    And given the fact that most people have similar values which they deem to be good, if performances are equally good, you’d rather like to see the good and fair ones winning. I think it’s a natural feeling ("Good beats bad one" - Hollywood makes a living out of it! :D).

    So if you take the very negative aspect, i.e. a skater is behaving very unethical, it's probably rather logical that he will not have many fans (think e.g. of Tonya Harding).

    However, the very critical thing about this is that our opinion on the athletes is mostly generated by the media, messages boards :p and short personal observations during competitions. :shuffle:

    BTW - great topic! :)
     
  6. martyross

    martyross New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    899
    it's the eternal dilemma of "separating the man from his artistic/athletic achievements". i used to be a champion in "not separating them" (especially with celebrities who get charged of tax evasion :D ), then eventually changed my mind :p but yea, it's a complicated issue.
     
  7. sequins

    sequins New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    826
    I think I have to like a skater personally to be a fan. I can certainly handle it if they aren't 'perfect' (who is) but as long as they aren't a complete ass and aren't mean. 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. It can be a cold, brutal world as an athlete and you need to be able to believe in yourself and let the crap people say role off you or it can ruin you in more ways than one. I can also certainly appreciate someones talent and not like them as a person but I can't root for them or really enjoy what they do.
     
  8. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,184
    Talking about tax evasion makes me think of Gary Beacom, yes I'm still a fan. Tonya Harding? I wasn't a great fan to begin with. I prefer voidy skaters over the classicists, and skaters who skate with abandon over technicians. I don't care if they are likable or PC as long as they are committed to their skating.

    The skaters who can't make up their mind whether they want to compete or not turn me off the most.
     
  9. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,584
    I started out being a fan of skaters whose skating projected an image I enjoyed identifying with or that I found especially interesting artistically or especially beautiful or heartfelt.

    Since one of the above was Tonya Harding, I soon learned to separate the skating and the on-ice persona from the off-ice personality.

    As I learned more about skating, I came to enjoy what the skaters did with their blades as much or moreso than what they did with their above-the-knee artistry, althoughI still enjoy that as well.

    Really, I root for all skaters to do well. If I don't yet find them interesting, I root for them to become so. :)
     
  10. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,071
    I look at the skating first and foremost. They have to be good skaters. Then the use and interpretion of the music. And then do something original and different I am for that as well and can appreciate it.

    So if the skater does a program that really works for me, then I am a fan.

    Although if you wear over the boot tights and have a horrible leg line, it can turn me off. And be an arrogant shit on the ice (eg Plushenko and Amodio) that can also turn me off.
     
  11. Cloudy_Gumdrops

    Cloudy_Gumdrops New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Messages:
    11,834
    It's all skating for me. Okay, maybe not 100%. I'll admit that good looks certainly help.

    What a skater does in their personal life doesn't matter as long as they're not murdering anyone. Whether that skater is a complete bastard in real life means nothing. I can easily keep enjoying their skating as long as they keep putting out something I like.
     
  12. mia joy

    mia joy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,124
    I think if we talk ubers (or not ubers but really hardcore fans), skating comes first. You have to love somebody's skating to uber them, otherwise there is no point.

    However, personality does play a huge part as well. My example is Carolina Kostner - I used to love her and her skating and cheer for her to win everytime I saw her, but then one time I saw her in person and she acted beyond weird towards me. She lost me as a fan the same second.
    On the other hand, I LOVE Alban Preaubert only because of his personality, cause his skating quality was, you know, not the best out there. Personality is a huge factor when it comes to my love to the Kerrs as well - I mean, I loved their skating too, but it was their personality that made me a truly devoted fan.

    But when it comes to ubering - and over the years I think I've only ubered Drobiazko/Vanagas and Davis/White - you have to love both the skating and the personality.

    Another thing is that usually a skater's personality affects their skating, so it's hard to separate these things like that.

    Also, there is one exception from everything I said here and it's Yagudin. I don't care if he's arrogant and hides in a bus so he doesn't have to sign autographs (that happened to me), he is a skating god for me and I worship him. I really couldn't care less about his personality.
     
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  13. martyross

    martyross New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    899
    you made me curious with this but it's ok if you don't wish sharing details.
    Yagudin (seems) arrogant? well, i'm weird, but it just makes him hotter :swoon:

    btw, i think that in many cases in life, especially when you don't know well someone, it's always better to say "that guy acted arrogantly" rather than "he's arrogant". even a wonderful person can look hateful in bad moments.
     
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,668
    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.)
     
  15. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    466
    I'm new to being a skating fan but it's fun to watch fandom though my skater. She loves skaters she has met and seen live who were nice and then she loves reading their bio's /blogs and the ones who have similar interests float to the top. She can tell you which skater loves golf or chess or tennis and the ones who love math and science - who has had a bird as a pet and who can't have a pet. From there she loves their skills. :p Very much a young fan!
     
  16. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,116
    I saw a picture of Brian Joubert naked on google images last night, but I'm not sure if it's really him, or if someone just photoshopped his head onto a naked body.
     
  17. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    11,971
    Much of the time, it is the strictly skating for me. But if at some point I've met a skater, and find them to be a nice and decent human being, that will make me a full-on fan, even if their skating is second tier or below. If I've met one that come across as obnoxious, or hear of other people who's opinion I trust negative experiences with said skater, it will sometimes influence my like or dislike of their skating, as prejudicial as that may be. I try to base my thoughts at least on personal experience, and not based on public interviews or such, which can be influenced by cultural differences, etc. But no matter how great their skating, it is somewhat hard for me to enjoy watching someone I perceive to be a jackass.
     
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  18. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,760
    I am pretty sure it is a fake, I never remember hearing about any photos or him posing. I am off to look though, fun to pretend!

    Oh wait, unless you are talking about the photos of him where you can see like half his butt cheek? Those are real. I was thinking full frontal..or more like wishing. :shuffle:
     
  19. Bournekraatzfan

    Bournekraatzfan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,748
    I think this is a really good point. We are observing these skaters under a unique set of circumstances: when they are under intense pressure, are exhausted from competing, and are meeting several people they don't know.I have said and done things I regret, and I am just lucky that I only have to answer to the people who know me well. I have a chance to apologize and make up for my mistakes. I'm also shy and socially awkward, so I know I can come off as cold in my first few interactions with a person. I have heard that Carolina is a bit shy, so maybe that is what was going on in that situation? A lot of the commentators have made a point of mentioning how sweet she is.

    Sometimes a skater may say or do something that rubs me the wrong way, but I try to remember that I don't know that person nor do I know what might have motivated them to say or do what they did and also that I may just be bothered by those things for my own reasons. On the other hand, if a skater has a personality that I find endearing, then it will draw me to their skating more.
     
  20. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,184
    True. There are also cultural differences to consider. I've said or done things in other countries that have raised eyebrows but were normal to me.
     
  21. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    23,940
    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.
     
  22. pinky166

    pinky166 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10,260
    Definitely looks play a factor into it. Brian Joubert is the most obvious example of this, Yuna Kim as well. At JW this year, all the Belorussian girls wanted to get their picture taken with Josh Farris but there aren't nearly as many pictures of them with Jason Brown. Kiira Korpi probably wouldn't have these commercials made about her if she didn't look like Grace Kelly, the examples go on...

    I think good skating, good looks, and a unique/fun personality will get skaters the most fans, although any combination of these traits will likely lead to at least some semblence of a fan base.
     
  23. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,388
    I tend to become fans of skaters who I perceive to be artists, or those who skate with emotions and vision. And for those skaters, a lot of of the times their personality/thoughts are reflected in the skating. I believe that true artists cannot really seperate personal life from their works. Afterall, art is a form of expression. No one is perfect, but I don't believe anyone can be true jackasses and still be able to produce something as beautiful as they do on the ice.
     
  24. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,170
    There are a few things i look for in skaters.

    1) Asthetics. Their skating has to be pleasing for me to watch, as does their packaging (dress hair etc). I can't stand a non pointed toe, or bad free leg on the layback. Skaters who are slow, have hideous technique also displease me.

    2) Personality, if someone has a great office personality also, then i tend to like them. I like skaters to show personality, so, even if they come accross as bratty, or a bit of a headcase, i will like them..

    3) The underdog.


    i guess its a bit of a mix bag... of current skaters i like Mao, Alissa, Kanako, Elizaveta, Mirai.. i guesss they all share some traits, although, they are all a bit different.
     
  25. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    5,764
    I'm a bit all over the shop. The skating, first and foremost, has to catch my eye. From there, it's a kind of jumble:

    1) On-ice personality: This is how Plushenko grabbed me after I noticed the skating. He genuinely looked like he was enjoying himself.

    2) Strength and courage: I am innately drawn to skaters/drivers/people who have an element of hard luck in them. Yes, that's probably cheesy. But you know, look at all the things that have happened to Plushenko over the course of his life, so much of it when he was still a child, and yet he kept fighting and overcame it. That sort of thing makes me respect a person. Josh Farris and the Horror Nationals. I mean, the kid skated on a broken leg. How can you NOT respect that?

    3) Hard work and perseverance: Saw an interview with Jason Brown where he was sounding frustrated but still hopeful about the 3A. Lesser men might have given up by now and decided "Well my artistry/flow/spins/footwork etc are to die for, I'll focus on those as the point-spinners instead". Plushenko comes back - and adds new elements to his repertoire. You know the thing.

    By the same token, I loathe skaters who claim to "work harder than any other skater in the world". EVERY skater at EVERY level works hard on their skating. Yes, I'm looking at you, Mr Lysacek.

    4) The Intangible - Artur, Artur, Artur, where do you come into all of this? Intangibly. If you asked me what made me start liking Artur, I honestly couldn't tell you. The skating, of course. The lovely fluid lines. Maybe at the end of the day what it comes down to is that I feel so desperately sorry for him because every time he skates he gets this horrible haunted look. Although not so much this season. Maybe that's it - he wears his heart on his sleeve. His expression just about broke my heart at Worlds.

    At the end of the day, I think too, I won't like a skater because someone tells me to. That really ANNOYS me on a huge scale. In fact, a skater that gets shoved in my face and I'm told is OMG NEXT HUGE THING is likely to earn dislike before like.

    When I started watching figure skating, I bemoaned that for all my favourites I had chosen skaters who were retired (Ilia, Alexei, Sasha Abt) or who were likely to retire in the not-so-distant future (Zhenya). I worried about who I would watch and go for without him. Then I stumbled into liking Artur without even knowing it. A friend showed me Joshua Farris, not because she wanted me to like him but because she wanted me to commentate for her on his program and explain what I thought of it. I was only halfway through before I was in love! Joshua and Jason turn up in each others' recommendation lists on Youtube so it wasn't long before I found Jason, too. Accidental favourites are the best favourites.


    ......oh yeah, and I guess they're all pretty good-looking too. That is ENTIRELY a coincidence. Artur has done the traditional Russian man thing and gone from geeky awkward lanky to OMG HELLO :swoon:, Joshua is gorgeous and Jason is plain adorable. Every time he grins I grin too. Plus, er...wearing glasses myself, I automatically gravitate towards athletes who wear them. Most of the time.


    Please excuse stream-of-consciousness post.
     
  26. Polymer Bob

    Polymer Bob New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    2,667
  27. Jaana

    Jaana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,882
    Well, I have understood that Plushenko as well as Yagudin have huge fan bases... Also Elvis Stojko had lots and lots of fans, I believe..
     
  28. mia joy

    mia joy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,124
    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.
     
  29. martyross

    martyross New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    899
    i used to feel like this too toward a couple of skaters once. and i have no big empathy for Meryl Davis, but i respect the hard work and the commitment in anyone, and i can appreciate and enjoy DW skating if i find they do something remarkable. maybe if you try to focus on what Scott does on the ice, you'll be able to enjoy watching them,one day. :)
     
  30. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,686
    Personally, it is always the amazing SKILLS which the person posses which will make me sit up and take notice (the WOW factor) in the very first instance. If this person has a persona and looks to match, certainly it will be a plus point though I am unlikely to watch further if it’s the other way round.
    Yes, I can separate the skating from what I think of them separately ie. they may come across as an *&^#hole in the media, but if they possess amazing skills, I can still think of them highly in terms of these skills. Eg. Plushy tends to attract both criticisms and praise. I am not a personal fan of his but this does not prevent me from enjoying and acknowledging his amazing jumping skills and tenacity, and being a formidable competitor. I may have my favourites, but like in other sports, my thinking is ‘may the best win’.

    No. In my personal opinion, the type of fandom correlates to gender, age, personality, culture, upbringing, environment and thought-process. I think females tend to be more attracted to stylistic and non-aggressive sport like figure skating, and males the non-stylistic and aggressive sports. Culture will affect how fans behaved collectively as audience in a sport competition. Personality and thought-process on how individuals relate and react to the individual sportsmen/women.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012