Lost Interest in Skating

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by TheIronLady, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    In another thread, a poster related that he/she lost interest in skating. This thread is for anyone who feels that way. What were the reasons you turned away from skating? I am more interested in skating than ever, and TheIronLady has been around the skating block.

    One part of skating I no longer watch if I can help it is pairs. From my vantage point as a spectator, pairs has declined somewhat in terms of quality, participation, and interest. Even China, which seemed to have a pairs machine dynasty in the making, has struggled to replenish. I believe pairs was once the romantic part of figure skating, combining danger, symmetry, and the contrast of masculine and feminine aspects of skating. The pairs programs had characters and styles that dance and singles did not. Now to sit through an entire pairs event, one endures a plodding show of disconnected elements. All but the top ranked duos give fatigued performances. It so happens that it involves two skaters, but in most cases today it might as well be two women or two men or whatever. The programs are artless and sexless, even if the costumes are colorful. The men seem to be increasingly burly, which is necessary for achieving higher levels. Meanwhile ice dance has picked up some slack by improving leaps and bounds technically. It has come to resemble the performance chemistry of pairs--with daring and expressive lifts.

    Still pairs has become somewhat of a lost art. The top teams are good, but you have to risk boredom to endure a full event. The particular combination of high risk, showmanship, complementary male-female physical dynamics, and seamless skating in sync is not often found in today's pair programs. This is my only serious gripe about IJS. It is not the fault of the top pairs skaters, but it is due to the structure of the programs and the level requirements.

    I am more interested than ever in singles and dance. I think IJS should place greater emphasis on jumps by reducing the requirements for spin levels (I am tired of ugly spins), but I love this sport as much as ever. How could you not? If you have lost interest, tell us why. There is so much quality and excellence in men's and ladies' that I fail to understand how anyone who was ever a fan could be bored or turned off.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  2. unchat123

    unchat123 New Member

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    I lost interest ca. 2002-2003 when I started university and my mom and I stopped going to CSOI (because I started university but also because most of my favourite pro skaters had retired. I remember the pre-2000 shows like they were yesterday. But the other day I was looking through the old programs I had purchased and I was shocked to see that I had apparently seen Yags and B&S on the post-2000 tours. I honestly do not remember them at all). I remember Nagano like it was yesterday - Vancouver is a complete blank. It was only with this year's Worlds (held in my area) that I actually started watching again, and dug out my old VHS tapes to watch my favourite "golden era" stuff. I agree with OP about pairs but watching the Worlds this year I still find ladies and ice dance quite boring as competitions. But definitely one of the reasons I don't take the competitive aspect of the sport as seriously anymore is the measly penalties for falls (and a host of other issues with the new judging system). I watched the Worlds out of nostalgia more than anything, but I found it had to take the competition seriously even though I am looking forward to this season which, time permitting, I will follow closely.
  3. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Do you think falls disrupt the entire spell of the program for you?

    Skaters had falls in the past, like Kristi Yamaguchi, and they still went on to win titles. I realize that if someone else skated cleanly, the judges under 6.0 would have had a difficult time ranking a program with a fall first, but my thinking is that perhaps a fall or two should be evaluated holistically. The whole program should be taken into account, and IJS is at least a rational way to do that.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  4. unchat123

    unchat123 New Member

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    As someone who is merely an armchair spectator of the sport, I feel that a competition is about who performs best on the day of the competition. So from that perspective, a token deduction for a fall doesn't seem fair (I realize that's not a very compelling argument on my part but it just bugs me!)
  5. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    It is annoying that you have to be a skating expert to know how much a particular fall is going to cost the skater. It used to be much better for laymen. The audience being confused in the arena can be a problem, but I believe audiences can still appreciate that a performance like Kostner's at worlds--even with the fall--is more intricate, accomplished, and pretty than the performances of Zijun Li or Gracie Gold who had no falls.
  6. vocal

    vocal New Member

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    I did not lost interest in skating in general but I miss more individualism, creativity and originality. I love performances like:

    Jeremy Abbott - 2012 SP (Swing Kids)
    Daisuke Takahashi - 2008 SP (HipHop Swan Lake)
    Stefanie Rosenthal - 2006 SP
    Takahiko Kozuka - 2010/11 SP (Soulman Medley) and his new SP
    Kerr & Kerr - 2011 Exhibition (A Beautiful Mine)
    Stephane Lambiel - 2012 Exhibition (Don't Stop the Music)
    Pechalat & Bourzat - 2008 FD (Craziness)
    Jason Brown - 2012 SP (Prince) and his new FS

    Those pearls are to rare (or just seen in shows) compared to the thousands of similar constructed programs where it makes no difference to what music a skater skates.

    Moreover what bothers me:
    > Too many similar elements in order to gain features and levels (spins and steps)
    > Too many jumping passes per program and "required" elements in total in free skating -> no time for choreography and interpretation
    > The uniform boring image/chliché in ladies skating, all trying to be beautiful, light, lyrical, elfish. I am missing variety and more powerful girls. So the ladies portion leaves me quite cold (apart from Carolina Kostner).
    > Too many overused music pieces.
    > Judges not doing their job properly (Please really LOOK what you see that particular day and not what you want to see).
    > Tiny, tiny jumps that may fullfill the rotation criteria but are barely jumps compared to a flying Axel by Robin Cousins or to a double axel by David Jenkins.

    Here is my wish list:
    > No levels at all -> judge difficulty in the GOE
    > One of my longterm wishes will anyway come true - I am looking forward to more variety in music with lyrics as of next season.
    > Measure not only the number of rotations of jumps but also height and length
    > Reduce the component scores to 2 (Artistic impression/performance, skating skills).
    > Reduce the limit of elements significantly in free skating, e.g. 5 jumps, 2-3 spins, no required step sequence at all as steps could/should be spread all over the program anyway.
    > Penalize falls harder, not only in the technical marks but in the component scores as well because falls distract from the overall performance. That should encourage skaters to skate more clean performances rather trying to pull of 3 quads. I could live perfectly without quads if only I could see more of the pure skating qualities like edge, flow, balance, speed and innovative tricks. I am sure skaters come up with lots of innovation if they have more freedom and time for it and if they get rewarded for innovation. I haven't seen the +1 point for an innovative move since the implementation of IJS.
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  7. Lnt175

    Lnt175 New Member

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    Thats less to do with the judging at the time, but how the competition played out in Alberville. Yamaguchi won that Olympics because everyone else also fell in either/or the SP and LP. Had Ito and Harding went clean (or near clean), as we had seen in prior competitions, Kristi wouldn't have come close to winning.
  8. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    Yamaguchi did not fall in the 1992 Olympics. Her biggest error was on the 3 Loop. She had a hand down and stepped out (with a sort of squat), but her blades never left the ice.
    http://youtu.be/dozwFZ5NoNs?t=2m59s

    There isn't a single answer for that. There are falls and there are falls. It depends on how disruptive the fall is. If the skater pops up and gets right back in the music, it has less impact that when the skater misses several seconds of choreo chasing half way across the ice to catch up where they should have been. The concept of disruptiveness was a significant consideration under the 6.0 system in deciding how much a fall should affect the presentation mark. I don't know where the current system considers it, if anywhere.

    For me, I find it also matters what the music and choreo are doing when it happens. A fall near the beginning when the music is uptempo does not detract much from the mood of the program or my enjoyment of it. A fall in a slower section, especially on a jump that is supposed to be the big Ahh moment at the end of a slow section, can be a mood-killer. A second fall, wherever it happens, does pretty much end the program for me.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
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  9. Lnt175

    Lnt175 New Member

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    It was a near fall for her. I agree though Yamaguchis miss wasn't that disruptive to the rest of the program in Albertville, and she was really on other than that (and missing her sal).
    Kerrigans mistakes were much more jarring. As for Ito and Harding they fell on the 3A, then Midori went on to land a clean one so I think most forgave her.
  10. Oreo

    Oreo Active Member

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    I've been attending (occasionally) and watching figure skating competitions since I was a kid in the late 1950s. I saw Carol Heiss win Worlds, so that dates me. Maybe 90% of skating bores me, but what keeps me watching are those unexpected moments of brilliance. It's kinda like watching a musical performance. You've heard and seen it all before, but every now and then there's something magic that happens, something that puts you in tears. You stop what you're doing or thinking about and are swept away. And that's why I keep watching skating. Personalities and drama play into it, too, but it's when a skater transcends the usual, leaving an imprint on me, that keeps the interest going. We all have our favorite performances from the past, yet there are many more to come from skaters we have yet to hear of. I'll never lose interest.
  11. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    My interest in skating has waxed and waned over the years, mostly due to the quality of my internet access.

    I probably watch skating more than ever now, but I do miss the "olden days". I guess I feel that most programs seems the same these days.
    I do wish for more fluff pieces, to get to know the skaters, but I guess when you're watching a shady internet stream from Latvia you can't really complain.
  12. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    I haven't missed a single worlds or Euros since 1995 :lol: There have been times I'm more engaged than others, but that often depends on what's going on in my own life plus how "emotionally invested" I am in the current skaters.

    I still get nervous watching major competitions, and I still religiously check results of senior B's and GP's etc. even if I haven't been able to see them. I guess I'll never lose interest in the sport. I worry for pairs post Sochi. The event without S/S and V/T could be...erm ... :scream: for me. We'll see.

    The sport that has totally lost me is gymnastics. It's a shadow of it's former self, and it just hasn't grabbed me since maybe even the Sydney games in 2000. The glory days of 70's/80's and 90's gymnastics seem to have gone forever. The grace, fluidity and balletic aspect of the sport has disappeared; I just can't get excited about muscular kids throwing themselves around in neon metallic leotards. There have been exceptions in recent times (Mustafina, Afan, Pavlova) but overall the sport has gone in a direction I don't appreciate. Whilst overall I am a fan of skating's COP, the open-ended scoring system has ruined gymnastics IMO. Anyway, wrong sport for this thread lol.
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  13. gingercrush

    gingercrush New Member

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    Yes I must admit I've lost a lot of interest. I was always a very casual observer of figure skating as the only time I ever watched it was during the Olympics. This changed in the 2004-2005 season with the 2005 worlds and then I joined this forum and became a regular watcher of figure skating and watching heaps of skating from youtube etc. I really liked Sasha Cohen and in the 2005-2006 season fell in love with Asada. I watched the sport closely through to the 2010 Olympics. But since then my interest has rapidly waned. I haven;t watched much at all. I think Mao's decline has played a part in my interest dwindling. But I'm also the type of person that can get obsessed and then lose interest. I am a huge fan of winter sports though and as we're heading towards olympic season I will once again follow the winter sports closely. Therefore, I'll follow figure skating again. But I must admit i'm far more interested in what is going on in alpine skiing, cross country skiing and biathlon than figure skating. I've also regained my interest in gymnastics and been following that much more than figure skating.

    I don't blame the COP. I do think the COP came about at the wrong time for many fans and at the wrong time for the sport in general. Whilst figure skating has gained popularity in Japan and Korea due to the success of their skaters. In the US at least interest was already falling with the Tonya-Nancy saga being ages ago now and Kwan no longer featuring as much. Pro competitions have basically gone and little effort has been done to understand COP. Sure it isn't perfect but i really don't think artistry is any less than it was previously. I never felt there were heaps of artistic skating in the first place. The likes of Janet Lynn and Michelle Kwan (who I for one don't find interesting) have always been rather rarities in this sport. COP is not a perfect system but neither was the 6.0 system. The code of points simply gets so much criticism because skating in the US has waned significantly from where it once was. And Europe (Germany, Russia, Austria, Great Britain) no longer produce the strong skaters they once did.
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  14. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    The Grand Prix series leading into each season has killed my interest.

    In the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, there were 15 or so different skaters each week attending Skate Canada, NHK, Skate America, or Trophy Lalique from around the world. Now, only a small select seeded group are chosen. Not that it is a fault of the skaters. But we are seeing the same programs week in an week out for three months in fall and winter. The format gets monotonous very quickly.
  15. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    I'm not sure that's true of the 70's. There was only Skate Canada and in 1979 NHK started as well as Norton Skate which eventually became Skate America. There was the Richmond Trophy in the UK which was initially a ladies only competition but morphed into the Rotary Watches International and then St Ivel in the 80's. Even at it's peak here in the UK, we only saw say, T&D at St Ivel either competing or giving an exhibition, Nationals, Europeans and Worlds. We never got to see any of the other skaters who didn't come to St Ivel until the majors.

    I still follow the sport but I'm not fanatical about watching or following everything 'live' as I used to be. Plus most of what I watch these days is only once. Only rarely will I watch something twice or more. The skating I watch over and over tends be from the archives.
  16. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    I've lost interest in pairs because there has been so little coverage of it on TV. I am not familiar with many ice dance teams outside of North America, either. I also feel less of a connection to even the skaters from the US in this quadrennium since there is no Tom Collins tour any more, and Stars on Ice has been cut back so much.
  17. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I haven't lost interest, but I do agree that pairs is the least interesting discipline now. I still watch all of them, but if I had to not watch one, I'd probably pick pairs, or maybe ladies (depends on who was competing, I guess). I think dance is much better under IJS and men's is still as interesting as ever, even though some of the wins of Patrick Chan are infuriating.
  18. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Skating has always been a part of my life, so I don't see myself ever completely losing interest.

    I've always been mostly interested in singles (probably because I competed myself), but enjoy pairs and dance as well. Here's my take:

    I'm more interested in dance now than in the past.

    Singles & pairs: I HAAAAAAAAAAAATE the endlessly long and slow step sequences. Ridiculous that every turn in skating has to be included. I miss the days of footwork that fit the music and had SPEED. Also turned off by the spins with various position changes, simply to gain points. Too many rules in the "free" programs now (in other words, they're not "free.")

    Too many unnecessary judging categories in program components.
  19. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    The concept of skating fandom post-dating the advent of the internet makes my mind reel.

    But I do like your description of waxing and waning. My interest has been fairly steady, it is more my enjoyment that has waxed and waned. I have always been a pretty faithful watcher of figure skating on TV, even in the days when the coverage consisted of an hour or so from Worlds or US Nationals on Wide World of Sports, two weeks after the fact and sharing air time with barrel jumping. I do recall, though, periods where my interest and enjoyment were more intense, or moved from one discipline to another.

    For me it had everything to do with whether there was a skater I found especially compelling. For example, after adoring Curry and Cousins, I found the men's event pretty boring until Orser came along. From then on I always had at least one favorite in the men's event but the ones I tuned in to see most were Petrenko and Kulik. Pairs was a wasteland between the Protopopovs and Babilonia & Gardner and then again until G&G matured about 1988. (I know there were champions during this time, it's just that I didn't especially enjoy their style.) For me pairs has again been totally uninspiring since 1994, with the exception of Berezhnaya/S and one good year of Totmanianina/M.

    For ladies, there was a long drought for me between Hamill (1976) and Yamaguchi's appearance at the sr level in 1989. I never bought the Fratiani hype. I liked Sumners and Thomas OK, and liked Witt as a teenager but not the skater she became after the mid-80s. I was never a huge Kwan fan (prefering Bobek & Cohen for style) but she was still enjoyable to watch.

    But honestly, I have not had a favorite, must-see skater since 2006, outside of ice dance. I think the key, for me, is that I always liked the most musical skaters, and there is something about the COP that somehow has devalued that, or changed the choreography away from highlighting a skater's musicality. Skating today is just lacking something for me. It all feels too cookie cutter, too many skaters looking like they are going thru the motions concentrating on the choreo or next element. I think the last new skater to show any real performer instincts like we saw in skaters like Baiul or Petrenko or Browning is Takahashi, and that been a few years ago now.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  20. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    There was a period of between 2006 and 2010 where the only internet access (ie skating access) was at a job that allowed little to no personal browsing, so no skating those years :(
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  21. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    So, no TV either, I guess?

    This being an Olympic season, I would hope and expect that SOI will have a fuller tour this year, probably with a lot of eligible skaters, like they did after 2010. I just hope they make an effort to sign the *best* skaters, not just the IMG clients or the package of skaters the USFS tries to foist off on them.

    I do miss the days of the Collins Tour when it was a real all-star tour, with nearly all the medalists from Worlds or the Olympics. I doubt that is possible today, because there are more competing tours elsewhere in the World now, but still.

    ITA. ITA. Oh, I think I need to say it once more, ITA. :respec:

    The footwork sequences have become positively painful. Even the ISU could see this so they turned one of them into a choreo sequence with no levels, yet still we get another kicking and jerking and flinging and flailing style fw seq. (Is that the only kind choreographers know how to do anymore?) I would love to see even just one of the top guys do a sequence with a spiral or spread eagle and soft, edgy moves. I have long thought they needed to add time limits on the two sequences, with perhaps a max of 30 seconds for the one with levels and 20 for the one without. If you go back and look at footwork, for example that Yagudin used so effectively in his 2002 FS, both the circular sequence and straight line seq time out at only about 20 seconds, and choroegraphically, that's plenty). Today, these two elements alone (worth only a tiny fraction of the potential total score) can occupy over a minute (about a quarter) of the 4.5 minute program. It just should not take 45 seconds to get from one end of the ice to the other. They also need to take a hard look as how levels are assigned to get away from this notion of just adding in more and more stuff until it can't possibly bear any real relationship to the music.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  22. RickInSanJose

    RickInSanJose New Member

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    I lost most of my interest in skating in 2010, when it became clear that Michelle Kwan wasn't going to attempt a comeback in Vancouver. To me, Michelle was PURE MAGIC, one of those truly special and remarkable performers who appear on the scene maybe once in a century. And when she retired, skating lost its magic for me, and so I lost interest.
  23. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Those must have been dark years.
  24. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I'll go against popular opinion and say that while I am losing interest, it's mostly due to the men and ice dance boring me. So long as S/S are competing, pairs is worth watching - and there are some other pairs I can appreciate, too. The ladies have been quite enjoyable in recent years and there's a nice variety of styles.

    Men, OTOH, has become a race to see who can pack in the most/hardest content, and the programs seem more and more alike to me as a result. There are some good ones - e.g. Dai's 2012 programs - but for the most part I'm not interested, not invested in any of the younger skaters, and bored to tears by Patrick Chan and his many wins.

    Dance is "which Canton team will win", and the answer is usually D/W, whom I never liked. The SD in general is awful and has been from the start, the fields are very thin, and the programs have become all about the elements, making me feel like I'm watching pairs skating with dance elements. I hate the contorted lifts that have nothing to do with the programs and everything to do with getting points. At least the step sequences in ice dance are watchable.

    Most of my favorite skaters will probably retire after this season, and I'll likely stop following skating beyond ISU Championships. There's a lot about skating that I love, but not enough these days for me to be remain engaged on a more frequent basis (FSU posts notwithstanding). Barring a massive overhall of the scoring system, I can't see things getting better any time soon. Ideally, skating should be a balance between the technical/athletic and the artistic, and at the moment this balance is really off.
  25. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    Not for the first time Zemgirl, you took many words right out of my mouth! :D

    It's interesting so many seem to be enjoying dance more under IJS, because for me it's been the opposite. IMO the discipline has lost some of its "soul". Even some of the very top teams are too generic for my tastes. For me it's turned into a code-whoring race (well, the sport has)

    I agree that the SD is awful. There were some SD's last year that people raved about as masterpieces that left me totally baffled. I'm just not "getting" dance in general at the moment, but I still watch and have teams I can root for.
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  26. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    Figure skating is not shown on TV in Australia.
  27. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Compared to my interest in the past, I can say that I have lost some (not all) interest in FS, due to a combination of factors. 1) Many of my favorite skaters retired, 2) COP brought in some ugly moves (spins are only a part of it; even the death spiral in pairs has become very ugly), 3) Pairs suffered the most from the COP way of scoring, 4)the penalty for falls is minimal even when the falls are disruptive. However, the biggest factor for me is that none of the current skaters truly impresses me or touches my heart the way they did in the past.

    Pairs used to be my most favorite discipline. Now it is the least favorite. The artistry was taken out of pairs skating. Now it's just about doing acrobatics on ice.

    I no longer enjoy even singles the way I used to. Majority of programs appear almost identical, and with a few exceptions, musical expression has all but disappeared.

    I miss the skating where flow & speed on the ice, positions, lines, musical interpretation, and union (in the case of pairs) were as important as landing jumps. I miss the simple spins and simple lifts that were performed to perfection and fit in perfectly with the music and the program.

    I still have favorite skaters in all disciplines- singles, pairs, and ice dance teams, but my passion for the sport has waned. I still follow what's going on in FS, but I just don't enjoy watching the actual skating as much as I used to.

    It has not helped that the US networks have signficantly reduced the coverage of FS. It's no fun watching a competition one or two weeks after it took place.

    Finally, - I never thought I would say this- the lack of a high quality pro circuit has also curtailed my interest. These days I don't even watch whatever 'pro' routines they show on TV. I don't care to know what they are or when.
  28. Golightly

    Golightly New Member

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    My problem with dance, in particular, which is my favorite discipline, is that you do not see things that should matter being rewarded: togetherness, close skating, lines, posture, unison, difficult steps, etc. These were things that mattered in the old days. Now it is more about which team gets more speed or is more athletic. Dance has become pairs minus the jumps. Teams skate elements rather than perfom them. What is more, you see teams showing awful lines and coordination getting levels 4; you see other teams being judged because of what they do in previous competitions rather than the day the skate; you see teams with no difficult dance holds, lack of variation of turns or variety in step sequences and twizzles; you see many teams simply recycling old elements because it's an easy level 4. Levels 4 should not be easy to get! Now everyone gets them. At least in singles, you see many skaters' skating skills being respected. Sure, sometimes overly so, but at least they respect them. And when a team tries to push it a bit, they're either undermarked or told not to push it at all. So, yeah, it's this lack of creativity on a discipline that's supposed to be the most creative of all four what's bothering me. Many of my favorites will probably retire after Sochi, so I guess I will lose interest after that. Then again, I like a couple of dance teams trying to breakthrough this season. We'll see what happens. But if the future of ice dance turns out to be the C-B and the G-P, what is the point?
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  29. DannyCurry

    DannyCurry Active Member

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    Interesting thread.
    I used to be obsessed with FS until 2003-2004. I loved it so much it was embarrassing :lol:
    I started losing interest in FS when CoP was implemented because I really did not like (and I still don't like) that judging system, although it was designed to be less subjective (or at least, make blatant cheating less obvious). To me, CoP has killed the beauty of simple (pure) FS. On the one hand, it is good to emphasize the ability to change edges on spins for instance. On the other hand I don't like how you have to maximize all the features needed to garner more points (especially on lifts and death spirals :mad:). I find the programs under CoP more repetitive. Fortunately, some of them really stand out, and are even more enjoyable as they're rare.

    Post 2006, when Kwan "unofficially" retired, I barely watched any competition, only a few performances. At around the same time, I stopped skating myself so my interest in the sport was close to naught. It was revived during my final year of study (2010-2011) because I managed to convince my supervisors that its terminology was worth analyzing :cool:

    I still don't watch many competitions but I like going to the TEB and watching some performances now and then.
  30. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    I keep wondering if this is simply a qualitative weakness of the current crop or if it is a by-product of the changes in choreography engendered by the new scoring system. I mean, what are the odds, in all these years, that not a single, gifted musical interpreter would arrive on the scene, apart from Takahashi? Even he has a lot of programs where that quality does not really come through at all.

    I can see the problem in pairs. Those who might have the qualities of "pair-ness" that some here want are maybe not the ones with the jumps to get into the final flight. (Still, has the technical ante upped that much in pairs? SBS 3 toes and two throw triples were pretty much expected from about 1995 on. I guess today they want two different triples.)

    There may also be some of that at work in ladies event, with entirely unmusical automatons like Kim outjumping the field, but I don't think the jump standard for men has changed much in the last decade. I wonder how much a factor is fatigue from all the added choreographic clutter.

    I am one of those who think the only discipline that has improved under the new system is ice dance. Part of that is that it is more exciting now that it feels more like a sport, instead of always predetermined (prearranged?) protocol outcomes. While I really liked dance in the 88-94 period, I am OK with the move away from the at times excessively artsy-fartsy nonsense and toward a more physically demanding version of the sport. Besides, there are always still exhibition programs.

    As for the short dance, there have certainly been more misses than hits. If you think about it, though, the only real difference between the OD and SD is the substitution of the pattern steps for the old steps in hold element. (And what are the pattern dances but steps in hold anyway?)

    I think the first year (with the GW pattern taking up 60 seconds of the now 3 minute dance) were mostly bad. Part of the problem was the inexplicable choice made by so many teams to go with a waltz-tango combo, none of which worked. I think the ISU did learn something from this in that they have since chosen much shorter patterns for the SD, leaving time for more choreography around the elements.

    I also think the skaters and choreographers are learning year by year how better to deal with this format. The latin tempo SDs were generally better and felt more coherent than the year before, with the pattern steps generally better integrated. And last year's SDs seemed generally more successful. I always think the ones that work best are the ones that use the same (or near) rhythm for the whole dance, so the pattern section doesn't jar so much.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  31. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    I'm actually more into skating than I was about 5-6 years ago, but I attribute that to a couple of individual skaters/teams who will retire soon. My interest is less than it was at its peak, about 10 years ago. That was back when I obsessively downloaded every skater from every event that I could find, from Worlds to JGP to obscure B and C level internationals. I wanted to learn all about everyone. It reached its saturation point and then CoP has especially killed any sort of individualism and creativity at the lower levels, IMO. They put so much energy into getting the levels on their elements that there's no time for it. The better skaters, who are comfortable with their elements, have a little more flexibility to be creative (not many take advantage of it).

    I relate to a lot of what's said here. Skating doesn't really make a lot of sense anymore (I'm not saying go back to 6.0 or anything). In singles, I like some of the ones that are considered artistic (Takahashi), but I'm also a fan of several who have been branded as athletic (like Plushenko, Joubert, and Lipnitskaya), and sometimes feel like I'm treated as a dilettante for enjoying them, like it's wrong to even take into account the jumps in an athletic competition. It's all about skating skills and transitions with this new system and if I don't like the anointed ones then I must not understand skating. Ok great, cause it happens my favorite pairs skaters and ice dancers (S&S, V&M, and P&B) have great basics and interesting transitions, so at least I can enjoy those disciplines, right? But no, apparently those things don't count for much there. I've always thought the quality and variety of the elements, the unison, glide, posture, and the transitions and interesting highlight moves and use of the body to music should count more in dance and pairs since there are no/less jumps. Now, though, it seems like they are a hindrance. You can get absurdly high transitions scores even when having almost none (see V&T and D&W), but if your transitions cause you to mess up your entry and you get dinged a level on a twizzle or step out of your throw triple axel, you're going to lose, so you're better off not doing any. OTOH, if you're Chan or Kostner and your transitions cause you to fall or pop the jumps, no problem, you'll probably still win. Apparently an errant twizzle is actually a much bigger cause of ruin to a program than a bunch of falls - who knew? There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

    I agree that dance has been hit harder than pairs. I don't think CoP pairs is that bad. The concept of having a scoring system to measure the difficulty between the lifts, twist, jumps etc really makes sense for pairs where you can have a couple like B&L with great lifts and twists but horrible jumps vs a couple with great jumps but weak pairs elements. And there are a number of pairs who at least try to do something interesting with their choreography: S&S of course, Stolbova/Kilimov, Sui/Han, Kavaguti/Smirnov, Martiusheva/Rogonov, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, Berton/Hotarek... that's way more than there are ice dancers who try, IMO. Many ice dancers seem afraid to do anything that isn't "tasteful and proper" for fear that the ISU won't like it (even if it wasn't officially codified, uplifting programs are/were clearly preferred).

    Ice dancing isn't meant to be scored this way, element by element. And I see a wild variety in the difficulty level of some dancers' elements, especially lifts, but they're all level 4. I can't understand how I&K ever get level 4 lifts when theirs look much simpler than most. V&M's lifts are out of reach for most couples but they get the same level 4. Many teams just copy/paste last years program in a different order to new music. That should be fine for getting levels, but the PCS score is supposed to weed out those who are not showing interesting use of the blade, transitions, originality of program composition, etc. The skaters have picked up on the fact that it doesn't do that, so they can safely re-use the same tired programs. The SD practically begs them to do it because there's so little time to do anything and with the ISU allowing an elegant ballroom waltz/polka to compare to a ballet polka to a country western hoedown polka it's clear they are not trying to compare how the teams use the music. I know 6.0 ice dance was considered to be the poorest judged sport but there was something to be said for the fact that the teams pushed each other and you couldn't get lazy about using the same old moves because the judges might dump you for someone else. You couldn't have an "ok" program with good levels, you had to try to hit it out of the park with every program. There were no real standards for it, but honestly it wasn't worse than now. For all of the stuff about the judging finally being fair, it doesn't make any more sense to me now than it did then, even with all of those fancy protocols. I feel like that sentiment is just out there because it's North America winning. I don't remember everyone saying the CoP was fair when Domnina/Shabalin won so it's not like the CoP judging is immune to politics.

    I find it hard to see myself continuing past Sochi but there always seem to be the one or two who pull me back in. I think it will be Stepanova/Bukin this time. :)
    skateboy and (deleted member) like this.
  32. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    My interest in skating has ebbed and flowed over the years, the high point was from 2002 (right after SLC) to around 2006. It has declined over the years, but has picked up somewhat in the last year. What has peaked my interest again though, is not so much the current crop of skaters, although there were certainly were skating programs that I really enjoyed watching from this past season, but rediscovering old skaters, such as ladies skating from the 80s, or pairs skating from the 70s or 80s etc.
    I don't really actively follow current competitions, although if I see skating on TV, I'll usually watch it. I'll always "like" skating, but I do have to say that without youtube, I probably would not have any interest in skating now a days.
  33. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I'll be honest. The SD is a travesty. That is a reason why I don't pay much attention to the nitty gritty of dance today. The competitions have gotten more boring due to the SD. As a sport, however, it's so superior to what it once was. 2007-2010 was a good time for the discipline becoming more like an athletic event and yet still keeping its pre-IJS charm and quirkiness. Dance scoring was at times indecipherable in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. This had to go. Some of the soul and art has been removed, but when you consider the difficulty of what teams do today, the quality of entertainment they manage to offer is pretty fantastic.
  34. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I think I have watched Belbin and Agosto's Ave Maria/Amen like 100 times on YouTube and Asada's Bell of Moscow 105. Since I tend to focus on ladies, I usually watch them all multiple times. The only thing missing from today's videos is a narrative and a narrator worthy of the sport's excitement and beautiful performers. The British Eurosport gents are obviously the best in the English language.
  35. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I've never lost interest in skating, and I guess I'll never lost interest.
    But my interest for the sport is changing every year. The more I skate, the less I need to watch it.
    And as Floskate already mentioned, I can watch over and over programs from the past, but not current competitions. Or just one or 2 performances. I don't like the way CoP has changed everything. It's now more gymnastic and maths than skating.
    Before, I loved watching program as a whole, now it's just part of programs that Like watching, not the whole thing.
    So, I prefer watching practices. :)
  36. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    You nailed it. Now it's the parts, not the program as a whole. That's where lies the problem.
  37. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    This. Competitive skating is by nature repetitious. The skaters all do the same moves for the sake of comparison, the elements are placed similarly in the program for the sake of the skaters' stamina, and the skaters execute the elements without varying their technique for the sake of consistency. In spite of all that those magic moments happen. It doesn't have to be a famous skater and it can happen at your local rink. So I keep watching.
  38. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but I have to disagree. Competitive skating has been around a lot longer than any of us (over 100 years). It had evolved into something special that transcended both sports and arts. If you just want to compare the same elements performed by different athletes, there is gymanstics, diving and other sports. Figure skating had something that no other sport had. It was destroyed.

    I still watch it because as Briancoogert pointed out, there are parts that are enjoyable. I hold on to the hope that I will at least see moments of brilliance, and occasionally I do. I still have favorite skaters but I no longer watch every competition and every skater as soon as I can. I still see a few good programs and skates but for me at least the magic is gone.
  39. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I'm more interested in figure skating than ever. But that's because I'm more involved than ever at the grassroots level -- which often means I don't have as much time to obsess over the skaters as I did 10-20 years ago.

    I loved ice dance in the early 1990s and I'm less interested in it now. But I was also less interested in the artistic side of most of it even beginning 20 years ago. So I see the IJS effect on ice dance more as yet another way to try to bring some objectivity and quantifiability to what is essentially a subjective pursuit. And all those attempts have mostly limited my interest from an artistic point of view. It just doesn't seem to be possible to encourage both meaningful artistic expression and a judgeable fair sport based on edges and music interpretation. From the sport point of view it's certainly fairer and less protocol/politics-driven than it used to be. And artistically I consider it no worse now than, say, in the mid-1990s. But since I haven't made the effort to memorize all the judging rules and standards for ice dance, my main reason for watching would be for artistic entertainment, and that's not the emphasis in the sport.

    I do wish there were also a venue for using skating skills as art, with tricks subservient to the artistic purpose. But outside a competitive context, that's not something that has ever really captured the interest of mass audiences. And sometimes the most interesting programs have come from the tension of fitting an artistic point of view into the structure of a competitive format. But the skaters and choreographers have to care about that, and not just about technical points.

    For singles and pairs, I generally prefer IJS as a judging system. Especially for singles, I understand the judging of the sport, so I focus on that, and any art that may accompany it is a bonus. And I think there are, for me, approximately as many satisfying elite-level masterpieces in those disciplines per year as there were under 6.0. But thanks to online viewing options I can see so much more new junior and senior programs each year than I used to, so many more obscure skaters, that it's hard to keep track.

    I do wish that the pressures from the 2002 scandal and Cinquanta's imperiousness hadn't forced the IJS into existence so quickly, that there had been more of an effort in the developmental stages to figure out a balance between details and overall impression, between quantity and quality, both in the design of the rules and the Scale of Values and in the education of officials and skaters/coaches/choreographers. I'd prefer if earning the highest base marks, with the most features/highest levels, weren't seen as the best way to earn high scores.


    Not sure what you mean. 15 or so different skaters each week per discipline? The fields tended to be smallish (8-10) at many of these events before the Champions Series/Grand Prix started, then it increased to 12 even for pairs and dance, and recently decreased. Maybe Skate Canada tended to be larger than Skate America and to allow a third warmup group. But still there were often withdrawals and no systematic approach to replacements.

    If there was only one of these events in a week, then there wouldn't have been 15 skaters in the same discipline competing internationally that week, much less all be shown on TV.

    However, since the Champions Series started in 1995-96, most of the participants have gone to two of these events, and in some years the rules allowed the top 6 "seeded" skaters to do three, so we did see the same top skaters more often, and that did leave less room at the top (final group/TV-worthy spots) for skaters with only one assignment. Is that what you mean?

    Is that who is going or who the media are covering?

    Agreed.

    I found in the past and I largely still do that the men generally tend to be doing more interesting programs than the women. Why that would be the case is probably a discussion for a different thread.

    Pairs has never been my favorite, but I do enjoy when teams are creative in their use of the rules to gain levels with unique variations. I agree that there are many teams who just do the same old variations to gain points with no real purpose. But before IJS most of them did the same vanilla elements with no real purpose except getting the tricks done, and I understood the tricks and techniques less well for pairs than for singles, so I found most of it boring.

    I personally tend to prefer complexity to simplicity, assuming the quality is comparable.
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  40. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    It's true for me, as well!

    I cherish my archive and watch current performances; hoping that a few of them will be worthy of the "historic" label; and become part of my permanent collection.
    I fear that there won't be many.
    Only a handful of programs have reached that standard for me in the last 5 years.