Kwan Update in LA Times - "OK, I went to the Olympics"

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by barbk, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I shouldn't be too surprised... I was playing "Family Feud" online recently :eek: and the question "name a famous figure skater" came up. I thought I had hit pay dirt and excitedly typed in Michelle Kwan... and got a big red X. There were like 6-7 possible answers up there but no Michelle! :( I then reverted to OGMs and was more successful. Dorothy, Peggy and Scott made the list, but no Brian Boitano. Nancy Kerrigan made the list, although no Tonya. Tara Lipinski made the list but no Michelle, Sarah or Sasha. Go figure!
  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Good point.

    And the article is a little vague, but I don't think it implied that no one at Fletcher knew who she was. Just how she would bring it up to those who didn't (minority? majority? we don't know).

  3. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I live in San Francisco with a strong Asian community, specifically Cantonese. And yet the name recognition isn't there. Le shrug.
  4. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    That's funny because I live in New Orleans and I don't really have any connection to the Chinese community (much less Cantonese) and yet when I mention that figure skating is my favorite sport, the first name that comes up in most people's heads are Kristi Yamaguchi, Oksana Baiul, Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan (this is a two-fer), and Michelle Kwan.
  5. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not many people you associate with. I think Witt is the most well known figure skater among men age 40-80.
  6. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    That's probably because of the every-four-year fans who just watch the Olympics. And Harding/Kerrigan always has excellent name recognition.
  7. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

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    I think it's just based on our personal experiences and the people we come into contact with. I'm not Chinese at all, but I am an Asian-American living in CA, and didn't start heavily following figure skating until the last year, yet most of the Asian-American peers I grew up with not only knew but supported Michelle.

    I've seen quite a few threads on Michelle in a LOT of Asian-American forums, even Asian pop music forums. Most of the people commenting are girls who don't follow skating religiously but to them skating is synonymous with Michelle.

    here's a random thread for example on a huge korean pop music forum (of all places) frequented by mostly Asian-Americans, that should give you an idea

    http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=95134

    Not only does Michelle win the poll against Wie but every other comment is about how she's a "legend". this is hardly mkf or some skating forum, obviously.

    It's probably a generational thing. Certain skaters are more familiar to a certain generation. I just know that I didn't start following skating hardcore until last year but would watch it casually (for Michelle) as a kid in the 90's and during that time for obvious reasons I would be very removed from the skaters from the 80's...
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  8. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    But that is my point.We are talking about the general public being able to name a figure skater. South Park was SUPER popular in the late 90's and everyone saw that episode with Brian Boitano and most people probably were not figure skating fans. After watching that video, they now know of a figure skater. They probably have no idea who he was or what he did. But they now can name a figure skater due to watching that show and many many people watched the show back then. Get it? Look how famous people get from being stupid on youtube. Brian Boitano's name was part of a stupid song on a very popular TV show that many people watched.

    And I am pretty sure that more Americans would name Katerina over Michelle. I was very little during the 1988 Olympics (I was 10) but she was EVERYWHERE and on EVERYONE'S topic of conversation. Eveyone. My Dad still talks about her LOL.

    Its not an insult to Michelle. You seem to be offended by all of this LOL. I am a total uber ask anyone. ( or maybe i am apparently not LOL)
  9. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

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    I'm not offended, I'm just an uber. :p Sorry if I'm annoying people lol...I tend to be very aggressive when I post in "defense" of Michelle :p We just have very different perspectives. To me, I just find the notion that Katarina is more popular in the US to be unbelievable because I grew up in a period long after her time. I didn't even know about Katarina until after I'd duelved further into skating due to my interest in Michelle.

    I mean think about it this way, in the late 80's early 90's from what I hear Debbie Gibson and New Kids on the Block were HUGE HUGE HUGE. Yet I can tell you I had no clue of who they were until my teens when my dad brought home a box of used books from a garage sale and among them were beyond cheezy little "bio" books on their careers. Yet up until then I was hardly some hermit who never followed pop culture, on the contrary I was the type of kid who memorized music charts, box office results, and followed all of those stupid award shows. I guess what I'm trying to say is that "celebrity" can be very fleeting and everyone grows up in their own little bubble with a different recollection of the world based on their personal experiences

    btw Id agree that South park is a huge part of pop culture, influential, etc. but it was never that mainstream. It was a cable show and never reached anywhere near as wide of an audience as shows like Friends, ER, etc. did. and didn't both the Nagano and Salt Lake City Olympics have way higher ratings than the 84 or 88 Olympics? How could a German receive more exposure than an American sweetheart? Kim Yu-na is probably way bigger in South Korea than Katarina was in Germany yet following Yu-na's Olympic win American/canadian sponsors hardly jumped on her..people love to root for the home team. I mean we've discussed this before endlessly, how skating died in the US in part because of a lack of a home-hero to root for
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  10. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Most people know who Kim Kardashian is. That should tell you something about most people and what the media considers important.

    O-
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  11. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you are saying. But when a general question is asked such as "What skater can the general public name"...you have to consider ALL age groups, not just your own. :)

    Maybe South Park was not that popular-...I was a sophomore in college though and i can tell you every college student everywhere was watching it and singing that damn song LOL. It seemed very popular to me but maybe it was just my age group so I will take my own advice here. :p

    Oh and I had Debbie Gibson and NKOTB all over my wall haha. They were IT.
  12. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    IMO, Kwan's fame is much more unexpected than the fame of any OGM -- because, in the US, fame (along with endorsement deals, headliner status on skating shows, etc.) is something that goes to the OGM. I think this is one reason why Michelle is often referred to as having an OGM ... no American can think of any skater as comparatively famous as Michelle not having an OGM.
  13. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

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    LOL you're right. You pwned me there :p

    I need to calm down *takes a deep breath, leaves the topic* :saint:
  14. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    Pose for Playboy. Sad but true. As someone else mentioned, everyone knows Kim Kardashian. I bet more people know who she is vs our vice president.

    Not that I am comparing Katarina to Kim but being hot and sexy gets you far here. Look at Anna Kornakova. If she were ugly we would have never heard of her. Everyone in the USA knows who she is. I think it was generally the same with Katerina back in the 80's.
  15. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    I think a big part of Katarina being so well known stems from WHEN she was famous. In the 80s, there weren't that many TV chanels, there were not that many prominent female athletes, only a few in any given year, and the fascination with what goes on behind the iron curtain was VERY big.
  16. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many of those thousands of love-letters she received after Sarajevo came from men who fashioned themselves as James Bond.
  17. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    I don't. I've never heard of her.
  18. loopey

    loopey Well-Known Member

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    This is certainly a sad truth. (US media that is)
  19. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    She could have just been being humble. After all, I'm sure some classmates recognized her name.

    But in truth there are many more popular sports than figure skating where I would be hard pressed to name multi-championship athletes. Golf - on the spot I'd mention Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Arnold Palmer. That's it. I think two of those guys are retired. I couldn't name another current golf champ to save my life.

    Internationally, soccer is an obsession. Outside of David Beckham, I'm clueless.
  20. tangerine_dream

    tangerine_dream New Member

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    Why would you be shocked people don't know Michelle Kwan? You are a fan of skating, so of course you know. :) I personally don't know the name of any athlete from any sports that don't interest me. A few names might be more known to the masses such as Kobe Bryant and Andy Roddick, but that's only because their sports are way more popular and get broadcast in bars all across the world. Figure skating is a tiny sport relatively few people even know exists.
  21. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

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    Did Kristi Yamaguchi make the list? I'm sure if it was a recent poll, a lot of people would know her from DWTS...and not from the 1992 Olympics.
  22. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Even if I'm no specialist of all olympic sports, when I'm told a name of a champion in a sport I don't follow, at least the name reminds me something. I'm not necessarely capable of giving the story of the champion, but the name is rarely totally unknown to me.
    I find sad when people are told about the name of Michelle Kwan that they don't have a clue of even the fact that this is a famous person, not even talking about a precision such like figure skating champion.
  23. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Do you know Henry Cejudo? Walton Eller?

    I've never heard either of these names, but they are recent American gold medalists. Kwan wasn't even that... (though I'm sure she had way more TV coverage than either of these men.)

    I asked my husband last night to name 5 skaters- he started with Lysacek, Plushenko, Nagasu, Kim- and then I directed him to name the 5 skaters he thought most people would know, not the ones I've talked about this year. His response was "Lipinski, Kerrigan, Harding, Boitano, Orser". (I think Orser was heavily influenced by me talking about the Kim/Orser situation, and having just named Boitano and being familar with the phrase "Battle of the Brian's.) I said "what about Michelle Kwan?" and he said "Oh yeah- she was a big deal for awhile." Then he said he also knew Sasha Cohen.
  24. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    I don't think Michelle is the type of personality to want everyone to know who she is either. She seems much more the type to want to just try and blend in without having all the attention on her. When she's in school, I'm sure she just wants to focus on her studies and her career prospects.
  25. TwizzlerS

    TwizzlerS Well-Known Member

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    For me, recognition of big names in sports that I don't follow too much is related to age. I tend to remember the big names that competed during my late teens to young adulthood. I don't know if that's true for other people but it is for me. I imagine the reasons for this are that I identified with them more because they were my age peers, I had less distractions then, and my memory was better. For example, in tennis I know some the current starts (Federer, Nadal, the Williams sisters) but I also think of Martina, Chris Evert, MacEnroe and Connors, all from the 70s-80s. Oh yes, and Billie Jean King.
  26. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Kristi didn't make the list either!
  27. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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    Most people are so clueless about skating. I was talking to a friend before vancouver, and he said he knew who was going to win the skating event. He said Nancy Kerrigan and he wasn't joking. I had to explain she doesn't compete anymore. Lolol
  28. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

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    :swoon:

    :lol: I remember once someone asking me what my favorite sport was, and not knowing what I meant by figure skating. as I'm explaining it to him, he said "Oh! The Michelle Kwan sport!"
  29. El Rey

    El Rey Well-Known Member

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    Well, Michelle made millions from corporations thinking people knew who she was. Stupid corporations and their marketing, research and studies.
  30. query5

    query5 New Member

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    some people know who she is, some don't.
    part of problem was USFsA didn't push michelle name like they are for rachel, mirai, evan , davis and white,
    some of the public told them to -they stated no.
    most people don't know the names of the figures skaters from 1990 on, they only remember peggy, dick, tenley, dorothy who they grew up with and paid attention to.
    once the "internet era" started and most kids paid attention to other sports, or the media paid more attention to women teams such as basketball, hocket, soccer, and tennis which got heavily hyped by billie jean king and the media , plus the action sports, more people grew away from it.
    the kids thought it too old fashion and/or not a sport. so now , no one cares
    1) too much cheating by federations, judges,
    2) the athletes themselves by stating we are in sport, than go on to make money in shows, tours and on tv.
    we know they want to make money so to deny is just plain lying.
    3) most american people don't classify it as a sport .most people don't care about the cold rink, setting in cold rinks, watching on tv maybe only if something isn't on they don't want to watch.
    before 1990 only saw figure skating at national worlds and olympics,
    the ogm like dick, peggy only saw at commentating jobs or here and there on a show not constant like scott on shows plus promoting his causes, kristi,
    her shows plus on tv like dancing with the stars .
    the older skaters took a back seat to up and comer next stars so they could get their foot in door and make money.
    but because skaters are making some money know and older skaters still want to make more money. no one is getting out by tours, shows and etc.
    instead of having brian and kristi, and scott headline a show why not
    michelle sarah, tara and evan .
    but dission and img wants to keep the same old forumla or believe the adveristers only want those skaters instead of saying look at these skaters to headline a show,
    have the public moved on --yes, but we really wasn't all with you in the first place. only hyped by tonya-nancy mess. we kinda of now who you are but most generally don't want to admit it and/or care .
    why most people figure skating isn't their first sport they will go all out for, it is another sport, unless you child is in it , it is a take and leave sport.

    why knock the show-it will only hurt the sport-you need to help spread the sport -saying-yes i probably won't watch, go, but why should i knock it down it will only hurt the sport overall. how, the fans who watch, go will knock down your show you want to see.
    the skaters i don't want to see i usually-get up and leave when it airs on tv.
    i tend to see bits and pieces of all skating shows, but i don't see the whole hours , here lately only watch the people i want to see skate, not the show.
    do i say which skaters , no do i say i watch the shows, no.
    the fans have to do their part and tell what they like about each show and img/dission the actions has to help the sports but since 1990 they have hurt they sport by only having certain skaters on for whatever reason.
    fans don't care why, they want to see the skaters not the agency.
    us skating shows since 1994 has been going down for alot of reasons, why certain skaters have only wanted to skate with certain skaters, they pick same skaters, they skate to same music, see same skater year after year and competition after competition. it does get boring.
    lots of reasons
  31. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    This is the only part of your post that really made me go :huh:. MK certainly had the support of the USFSA. Who are "some of the public" who told them to push her. Who in the USFSA "stated no," and how do you know this? Where is your proof of said allegation? What evidence is there that the USFSA have gone out of their way to push the names of Rachael, Mirai, and Meryl & Charlie?
  32. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    That's true. Her "Q" rating was always very high. For years she was in only figure skater in the top 10 on those market research surveys.

    I think some people are obsessing (shocker) about one quote made by Kwan among many other quotes in the article. It's not very buzzworthy, but I'm going to focus on this Kwan quote:

    "I've been very lucky. I've always wanted to learn, which just positions you to grow. As long as I'm learning and happy with what I'm doing, I'm happy."
  33. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    PDilemma and (deleted member) like this.
  34. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

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    For some reason or another (does one really need one?), I was rewatching her Aranjuez performance from 2003 Worlds followed by her 1998 SP and LP from Nationals. She still has the ability to make me cry.:)
  35. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Whoever knows Kwan or not, she certainly made enough of an impression on many people, including the reigning Ladies' Gold Medalist, to be remembered.

    (I've seen her at least a dozen times in the Mercedes Benz commercial -- since I'm a tennis fan as well ...)

    Nice article. It's so good to see Kwan happy and pursuing something that she seems to enjoy so much. She always seemed to enjoy skating too. How lucky to find more than one love in a lifetime!

    O-