Johnny Weir news, quotes and articles - v.3

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Lexxandra, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Well, the USFS probably did ultimately favor Evan over Johnny, beginning, I think, with the 2006-07 season. They cultivated different images. Evan - perhaps with Frank's guidance - cultivated the responsible hardworking image, and Johnny was the funloving, zany Russophile with a penchant for Louis Vuitton bags and a stated distaste for being a team player. Evan always colored inside the lines, and Johnny.. not so much. Evan was the ant and Johnny the grasshopper. And USFS has always favored the ant over the grasshopper, and for good reason, the ants have brought in an awful lot of hardware over the years. (Don't get me wrong; no doubt Johnny worked hard too, but that wasn't the image that he cultivated.)
     
  2. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    My opinion is that the so-called “drama with Tara and Debi Thomas” during SOI tours that were 10-years apart, are two completely different situations, having nothing to do with anything related to Johnny not being asked to join SOI. Tara was very young, self-centered and immature. Debi was unhappy and perhaps somewhat depressed after the 1988 Olympics – as well as experiencing life changes with a sudden marriage that ultimately did not last, and the pressures of balancing tour skating (for needed income) with studies toward her goal of becoming a doctor.

    Keep in mind that both Johnny and Evan, and many skaters toured together with COI before its collapse. I never heard of anybody having any problems with Johnny, nor were there any reports of him creating drama during any COI tour. I also doubt that any skaters would have had any serious problems with Johnny joining SOI, except that he was never asked, and Evan was asked. Then, because Johnny’s fans were wondering why he hadn’t been asked, someone leaked that the reason was because Johnny wasn’t “family-friendly.” Whether this was actually stated to Johnny’s camp by a sponsor, or by someone associated with SOI, we’ll probably never discover at this point due to the escalation of the furor because of many fans’ desire to see Johnny on tour in the U.S. -- and SOI had suddenly become the only major skating tour in the U.S. When two separate skating tours existed, I don’t recall anyone wondering why Johnny hadn’t been asked to join SOI.

    Of course, SOI is a very different tour than COI was, in terms of how skaters are chosen, and in how the programs and the tour itself, is put together. I think too much has been erroneously made of Johnny not being able to fit in with skaters he has known, competed with, and some he has been friends with for years. The entire situation was blown out of proportion. The notion that Johnny is not a “team player” or not “family-friendly” being the reasoning behind the apparent exclusion by SOI, is to me, ridiculous. We’ll never know the real reasoning, and perhaps there was no real reasoning. He was simply never asked for whatever reason, and then a reason needed to be fabricated and then leaked because some fans were in an uproar.
     
  3. Justathoughtabl

    Justathoughtabl Active Member

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    I agree that it's ridiculous to dwell on the idea that Johnny was not asked to join SOI because he's not "family friendly." I'm all for gay rights, and I'm all for freedom of expression (and I'm a fan of Johnny), but there was never any proof that either of these was the issue. It's quite possible that whoever chose the SOI skaters simply didn't like Johnny's skating. There are videos going around of Johnny's recent fan meeting in Russia. In them, he describes putting together his own skating special, and he says he's going to choose only his favorite skaters. That's his right. However, I do think SOI should have thought carefully about inviting Johnny. He could have brought in a new contingent of fans who normally would not go to a skating show.

    Let me also add that if there IS concern about Johnny and tour drama, why is that? As far as I've heard, he's professional and quiet when he's doing shows.
     
  4. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    I think Johnny's fans really did him a huge disservice with all that hoopla. I think it lessened Johnny's chances to join any US tours.
     
  5. REO

    REO New Member

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    It doesn't. It was a reply to your post saying alot of skaters would have liked the support Johnny got from the Federation. Maybe it was unclear, but my meaning was that they were not stupid enough to totally withdraw support of Johnny no matter how much they may have disliked him, or favored Evan being US champ, because Johnny was better than those others and the ptb like having more than one man to rely on.
     
  6. REO

    REO New Member

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    You're probably right. I think that the documentary and the tv show gave Johnny a ton of new fans who were fans of Johnny but not necessarily of skating. Internet fanclubs these days have some clout. I don't think it was the original Angels who forced that issue.

    In his Russian interview Johnny said that Evan has a rider in his contract that he won't perform in any show that Johnny is in. Was that a joke?! I had a really hard time hearing all that was said in those interviews on my computer. If it wasn't a joke he's totally toast for US tours.
     
  7. Justathoughtabl

    Justathoughtabl Active Member

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    I was wondering how Johnny would know what's in Evan's contract. I wouldn't be surprised if it's mutual avoidance. They haven't been in any shows together since the Olympics, and I'm sure that's not a coincidence--although they've both managed to do a lot of shows, in and out of the U.S.
     
  8. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    There is no way on earth that Johnny knows what's in Evan's contracts with anyone. All private commercial contracts are confidential and there is simply no way Johnny can know anything about the contract. But since it might be controversial and get him another 15 seconds on air by being look-at-me-i'm-so-outre then so be it.
     
  9. senorita

    senorita New Member

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    thank you for videos!!!!
    I have no idea about the Johny contract but I doubt , btw Lysacek and Plusenko have skated in Soi Japan, Hunday Korea and gOldenskate awards in Torino together post Vancouver.
     
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  10. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^ Discussed a bit about this earlier. I don't think we would know whether it's true or not. And yes it's hard to know whether Johnny was joking, but my speculation is that he might have heard this from someone. Certainly, he'd know more about it than we would, if for example, his agent had inquired about Johnny possibly appearing in a show (other than SOI), and was told that Evan had already signed to appear with a contract excluding certain other skaters, whether Johnny or anyone else Evan didn't want to appear with, such as Plushy perhaps. ;) = Aha Senorita, I posted this before I saw your comments ... guess it's just Johnny then that Evan won't skate with :p, but who knows what might happen in the future. A laying down of swords, or competing shows ....

    Your mutual avoidance theory, particularly at this point, Justathoughtabl, certainly seems apt. I've heard some behind-the-scenes stuff from reliable sources that is pretty revealing. Apparently around 2009, Johnny wished to turn the other cheek and smooth things over between them and that's why he told the media at 2009 Worlds that he and Evan "had buried the hatchet," and that as he wasn't competing himself, he was rooting for Evan to win Worlds. Whatever mutual avoidance that exists between them, was probably triggered or exacerbated by the media's intrusive insistence upon linking them into some kind of over-the-top rivalry (e.g., my earlier reference to that Andrea Joyce cringeworthy interview instigation).

    And, with the sniping between Evan and Johnny that occurred re the SOI furor, and the fact Evan has risen in stature as the Olympic champion -- it seems to me that Evan is even more eager to distance himself, and that they are both weary of being asked about each other. Unfortunately, they will always be linked and so the contretemps between them is sad. I think underneath his own seeming dismissiveness of Evan, that Johnny was hurt by Evan's comments re the SOI furor: "[SOI] only hires the best of the best ..."

    In that skating magazine article circa 2005 that kwanette and I referred to earlier, Johnny prophetically said, "No matter what happens as Evan and I compete through the years, I'll never forget his kindness..." re Evan's words of encouragement to Johnny after the 2003 Nats lp. Guess a lot of things, including Evan's more recent harsher words have made Johnny forget, since Johnny has responded with harsh words of his own.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  11. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    So it's the media's fault? I don't think so. If Johnny and Evan wanted to like each other, it probably wouldn't make any difference how the media tried to frame their relationship.
     
  12. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps a reasonable assessment, Cheylana. However, IMO, Evan was being looked upon as a serious up-and-comer by the 2004-2005 season, when he was favored over Matt Savoie for 3rd place at Nats, even after making mistakes. Evan had performed well during that season’s Grand Prix, and perhaps the U.S. fed was uncertain whether Savoie would be able to improve his international standing at 2005 Worlds. So, despite Matt’s superior skating ability, Evan won the 3rd spot for Worlds and ended up being awarded the bronze at Worlds. IMO, Evan was heavily promoted at ‘05 Worlds by the U.S. fed, more so than U.S. Nat’l Champ, Johnny, who had a stellar GP season performing two iconic programs.

    Even Andre Agassi has denounced his declaration in that famous camera commercial. “Image is definitely not everything.”

    There’s that “team player” reference again. Could those making this reference please define what you mean by “team player”? Also, could you provide clips, Cheylana, where Johnny “stated” he has “distaste for being a team player.” In any case, figure skating is not a team sport, IMO. I wish the whole political structure of figure skating could be dismantled, and that it could be operated by skaters for skaters. And that they could have a separate competition along the lines of Davis Cup in tennis, where countries play rounds “team” against “team” and the final two teams vie for the championship cup. Then during the rest of the season, allow the individual skater athletes no matter what country they are from to compete on the basis of merit, to determine the top skaters in the world in each discipline, not the top from each country as it currently is still done because of antiquated tradition.

    I agree as I said in my previous post, Evan is considered a “straight-arrow,” which probably does translate to hardworking, responsible and “respectful.” Johnny is many things, including funny, kind, exasperating, down-to-earth, and over-the-top. If being different and standing out from the crowd and being outspoken means not being a team player, oh well. Perhaps not being a “team player” can mean different things in different contexts. It could mean being someone who blazes a new path. Believe it or not, many people, including skaters, costume designers, choreographers, and fans have been inspired by Johnny and the path he has blazed. Yes, Johnny’s not perfect, and I’m sure his love of all things Russian often annoys.

    LOL, re your ant versus grasshopper analogy. Reminds me of Frank Carroll’s “pie or cake” comment. Love to hear who you think all the ants are, Cheylana. :) Sometimes, extraordinary grasshoppers like Paul Wylie spring up and shine at a big moment, despite not hauling in a lot of “hardware” over the years.
     
  13. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    Other than some "anti-Tonya" clauses, I have never heard of skaters having contracts prohibiting the presence of another named skater in the same show, or whatever. I have heard, though, of contracts restricting performances in such a way that it effectively prevents two skaters at the same show. If so, Johnny may have mis-understood things.

    For example, after the '98 Olys (and one post-Olys cheesefests), Tara signed a contract for a TV special on CBS --and Michelle signed one with ABC. I heard that each contract had a clause restricting the skater's freedom to skate on other networks. If so, these contracts would have effectively prevented Tara and Michelle from skating together ... since they couldn't appear on the same network.
     
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  14. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    Um, has anyone considered that in regard to that "Evan contract" remark, Johnny was either 1) joking/being a smart aleck, or 2) yet again, saying something over the top designed to garner attention? :shuffle:
     
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  15. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^ Yep, the possible joking aspect was mentioned previously in this thread. The fan video clip (#3) does not have good lighting or audio, but if you take a look, you can see the context for yourself. It was in response to an aside question by one of the Russian fans at a fan meeting. However, I don't think Johnny's motivation in mentioning that was in order to "garner anyone's attention," particularly not in that setting. I doubt he or Evan enjoy being asked to respond to questions about each other, much less hoping to garner attention with a response to such questions.

    Re "media's fault," LOL -- the media is often a scapegoat. Serious fact is though, the media surrounds us all on a daily basis. Media and media technology affects how we think, live, and breathe, as well as how we see the world.
     
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  16. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Um, like this? When Johnny announced he was at "war" with Evan? That didn't seem to be in response to any question at all.

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20365447,00.html
     
  17. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Well, I disagree there. He seems to like all attention, good or bad.
     
  18. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, the dust-up or "catfight" was all over the media. Understand how media works though and how snippets of what was said are taken out of context, and the chronology gets lost. Johnny's comment "We are at war. My claws are out," came after he was told that Evan said, "[SOI] only hires the best of the best ..."

    Here's the same article from another web source with different headline, pics, and lead-in:
    http://www.celebitchy.com/99739/johnny_weir_vs_evan_lysacek_best_catfight_ever/

    In this instance, Evan publicly backed off and took the high road. Nothing has been publicized (and it likely won't be) about the behind-the-scenes incidents which led to Johnny turning the other cheek in 2009 and saying they had "buried the hatchet," and that he was rooting for Evan to win Worlds.

    Well, manleywoman, cheers. I enjoy your podcasts. Maybe Johnny would love to soak up more attention by being interviewed by you, unless you're not interested in asking him, or he can't fit it into his schedule. What was up with that session with his agent Tara? Did she schedule at a bad time? She seemed to cut it short abruptly, and seemed a bit rushed and unprepared.

    We can all see Johnny as we will, and it won't change anything about who he is, and how he sees himself, and about what his closest friends and family know to be true.
     
  19. Justathoughtabl

    Justathoughtabl Active Member

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    They ALL like attention, not just Johnny. Evan also attends non-skating events. He likes it too. And yes, Johnny said that he and Evan were at war, and Evan had previously said provocative words about Johnny in the press. They BOTH do it.

    Johnny mentioned the contract thing in a fan meeting, not to a reporter. It's possible that Evan mentioned it to a mutual acquaintance, who then mentioned it to Johnny. Or maybe Johnny was joking, and both Johnny and Evan respond to invitations with "Will Johnny/Evan be there" and if the answer is yes, they decline the invitation. They might not want to compete with each other for attention, or maybe they just don't want the awkwardness during those long rehearsals where everyone is joking around and making small talk. Neither Johnny Weir nor Evan Lysacek is the devil. Both of them like attention, but neither one is an "attention whore." If they were the case, they wouldn't be skating anymore--they'd be clubbing with Lindsey Lohan. At the end of the day, they like to skate in an environment where they are comfortable. They're human. I'm sure both can be very nice and very polite, but less so when they're uncomfortable or pissed off. Again, human.
     
  20. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I think there are many of us here who don't need to be told how the media works. My point was that Johnny did not appear to make these remarks in the linked story in response to any question ("Then on Thursday in New York, where he announced their "war,") in response to your assertion that "I doubt he or Evan enjoy being asked to respond to questions about each other, much less hoping to garner attention with a response to such questions."

    If Johnny does not want to answer questions about Evan, or doesn't enjoy answering them, he can always say "no comment" or ask for another question.
     
  21. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    @Justathoughtabl, #49 above -- makes sense to me. Johnny and Evan are both human, and fans maybe rarely stop to think how they would feel in the same situation these guys have been dealing with re the past media hype and constant references to a "rivalry." I personally believe all the sturm und drang that has surrounded them re the media, the fans, and the U.S. fed's favoritism, has contributed to their uncomfortableness with each other, and their sniping. I think they have probably rarely commented on each other unless directly asked.
     
  22. Lexxandra

    Lexxandra Active Member

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  23. Justathoughtabl

    Justathoughtabl Active Member

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    I agree that Johnny should have said "no comment," and Evan should have, too. Because the "we are at war" comment WAS in response to being asked about Evan's comments about how SOI only takes "the best of the best." From People.com (check the last paragraph):

    The dust-up intensified this week off the ice as Olympic gold medalist Lysacek, competing on Dancing with the Stars, and Weir, a three-time U.S. Champion, traded slurs and barbs.

    "We are at war," Weir told PEOPLE on Thursday. "My claws are out."

    The latest round of mudslinging began when Lysacek suggested earlier this week that a lack of talent kept Weir off the cast of the traveling Smucker's Stars on Ice. "They only hire the best of the best to skate," Lysacek told the Indianapolis Star. "A lot of us in the skating world were really disappointed in the way he reacted, basically whining that he wasn't chosen."
     
  24. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    No doubt Evan was promoted as a big up-and-comer. He came into Worlds as the 4CC champion and a 3-time Junior Worlds silver medalist, and of course he had Frank Carroll on his side. Plus he was much younger than Matt Savoie (much as I loved me some Matt he never got much love from the USFS, Lysacek aside) and viewed as a huge potential talent. Still, I think Johnny was the #1 guy going into 2005 Worlds with Evan as a close #2. Then Evan got the surprise World bronze and his PCS and World statute went up accordingly. Going into 2006 Olympics I think Johnny and Evan were viewed as co-favorites, perhaps the USFS liked Evan better by this point - the 2006 Nats cocaine brouhaha didn't help, but they still promoted Johnny for sure.

    I hear ya! But in my experience, for better or worse, once people get a negative impression of you, it is very hard to shake it. That's why people still bring up stuff like Johnny wearing the Team Russia/USSR jacket and missing the bus at the Torino Olympics.

    I think only Johnny can say what he meant by "team player" :) but it suggests a person of an uncooperative nature. I will try to dig the quote up, but it was sooo long ago I'm not sure where to find it. Can anyone else back me up that Johnny said this?

    Agree, but you have to be careful how you phrase things. Evan and Michelle have always been teased for having carefully pre-prepared soundbytes, but they rarely find themselves in hot water for saying the wrong thing ("hacked" Twitter notwithstanding ;)).

    I agree with all this. I like Johnny, I do. Actually he's very respectful and kind to his fans, and I believe he's a very kind person. I'm just putting myself in the shoes of the USFS here.

    I don't think Paul Wylie is a grasshopper. True grasshoppers include Harding and Bowman, I think. Flaky, unreliable, only work hard when they feel like it. I don't think Johnny is a true grasshopper, but I think he ended up with that image, especially when compared to Evan's ultra-ant image.
     
  25. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much Lexxandra for the improved video link to that portion of the fan meeting, and for the pictures!

    It doesn't seem to me that Johnny is responding to the question about Evan in a "smart-alecky" way. Perhaps the question was best left unasked -- it was obviously being asked in a joking manner.

    Overall, I agree with Justathoughtabl's earlier assessment of what we see of Johnny in the fan meeting: "... he's sweet, funny, forthcoming with answers to fan questions, and very gracious to sit for so long ..."
     
  26. igniculus

    igniculus Well-Known Member

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    *raises hand*

    I would not be surprised though if Evan wanted such a contract. He got so much crap after his olympic win from the Russian side, from Johnny and his fans in the battle over SOI that no one would be surpised if he did not want to deal with that kind of crap anymore and demanded some kind of exclusivity.

    Stephane. :swoon:
     
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  27. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    With the exception of one interview I did quite a while back, I only interview retired skaters with several years to gain perspective on their careers, so Johnny doesn't qualify. In the case of the interview with Tara Modlin, she was rushed and fit me in between appointments, which made it one of the tougher interviews I've done to say the least.

    Indeed. I'm only commenting on what he puts out there, as we are all doing.

    Oh, for sure, but Evan has actually gotten MUCH smarter about this. He said a LOT of crap about Johnny a few years back, to the point where now to be honest, I could barely enjoy watching either one of them skate (and I blame the commentators for fueling that fire too). I thought they were both idiots, and was hoping Jeremy Abbott would just skate balls out all the time so we could get Evan/Johnny to go away and STFU.

    But Evan has the benefit now of the Oly Gold, so basically as long as he keeps his mouth shut regarding Johnny (which he has done for the most part for a long time now) he always looks like he's taking the high road, and Johnny just looks petulant, regardless of who is actually correct.
     
  28. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    @Cheylana: I generally agree with most of what you said above, except where I had highlighted. Thanks for your response. That "icicles on coke" reference is so old, of course, as is most of the stuff that's been brought up here by me and a few others. At the time, Johnny was in the glare of his first experience with the pre-Olympic media spotlight, and as usual, said what came to mind-- I guess another example of "getting into hot water, without pre-prepared soundbytes." I think it goes back to 2003, when Johnny began to be given up on by USFS. It was Johnny's own talent, hard work and resilience, and also his motivation from being told he "would never make it back" that has fueled his career. IMO, many in the USFS weren't comfortable with Johnny being National Champion (especially not 3 times, forget about a 4th time), but they obviously couldn't completely ignore his talent. The USFS is made up of many individuals who hold varying opinions, but are obviously governed by political, financial and pr expediency. Kudos to you for putting yourself in USFS shoes.

    LOL, "ant vs grasshopper." You spoke of ants bringing back lots of hardware (I'm assuming you mean internationally -- Paul was generally 2nd or 3rd at Nats). In terms of your analogy -- Paul, before 1992 Olympics did not have much international "hardware" to speak of -- I believe he may have been a World junior champion, or at the least medaled there, and he won about five medals, one gold, on the GP circuit from 1987 - 1991. His results at Worlds were 9th - 11th, and at Olympics 10th, prior to 1992 Olympics where he came into his own and went on to have a stellar professional career. I always felt Paul should have won U.S. Nats in '90 and '91, but similar to how they viewed Matt Savoie, USFS apparently did not seem to think Paul could break through internationally. I'm not much impressed with hardware, as sole evidence of a skater's talent and hard work.

    Figure skating in its antiquated "political" structure is considered a team sport, as "teams" from each country compete at various competitions. However, the skaters themselves compete individually on the ice (excepting, pairs and dance, where two individuals compete on the ice together). My thoughts, expressed previously about dismantling the current "team" structure, are revolutionary and definitely unlikely to ever be realized. ISU has a stranglehold on the sport, which has only tightened over the past 7 years. There's probably few if any people in the sport willing to challenge and to face the difficult sacrifices that would be necessary to battle for figure skaters to control the sport of figure skating. Status quo is always the safer path, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  29. bandit

    bandit New Member

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    Originally posted by aftershocks

    I totally disagree that Evan was promoted more than Johnny. Johnny totally bombed both the qualifying round and the short program at 2005 Worlds, and, unbelievably, he actually moved up in the standings after that terrible short. Weir, himself, even remarked to the press that he was overmarked in that the judges were basing their marks on what he had done earlier in the season and not what he actually did on the ice at the time. He would not have moved up like that if he did not have good support from the USFSA. Weir was also placed ahead of Evan in the free skate, so how was Evan given more support? The way Weir skated in the first two rounds, no amount of support could help him anyway. Weir would have medaled had he skated better, but rather than hold Weir responsible for his own results, some people always want to blame others like the USFSA rather than admit that he just blew it. I'm sure Evan had plenty of support, but he would not have medaled if it were not for his own good performance and Weir's crappy one.
     
  30. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    @bandit: I think you're confusing promotional support by USFS with Evan's and Johnny's actual performances, and the results of the judging. My comments are in part based on how the broadcasters were hyping Evan, which IMO, was based on heavy promotion by USFS. Nothing unusual, and it is subjective how much Evan was being promoted over Johnny. My feeling is that many in USFS were out of sorts with Johnny from circa 2002 - 2003, and he never entirely won back favor -- in fact, he continued to lose favor. It was largely on Johnny's talent, and not any positive rep with the fed that he won 3 National titles. I thought Evan was lucky to be in 3rd at Nats after his mistakes in 2005 -- but USFS was eager to promote him, and had their eyes on him in lieu of Johnny. USFS must be very happy with the ultimate results. Publicly E & J may have been considered co-favorites, but IMHO, privately that consideration was not unanimous.

    @Cheylana: re your reference to Harding and Bowman as "grasshoppers." I don't see either of them exactly fitting your definition. Harding's troubles had more to do with her abusive upbringing and her difficult personality -- she was an extremely talented figure skater, as was Bowman. Of course, Bowman had a rep for not applying himself to training hard. In his case, it was difficult for his coaches to reign in his carefree personality, and obviously the drug abuse ended his skating aspirations.