Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by AndyWarhol, Apr 8, 2013.
WHAT WOULD US LADIES SKATING BE LIKE IF MICHELLE KWAN WAS NEVER BORN???!!!!
It's impossible to answer this kind of 'what if' question, but instead I'll share a memory I have from Orlando Nationals in 1992. Prior to the internet, it was very hard to get information about certain events or skaters and their progress, if at all. So, all I had to go on was what I had heard and saw watching practices.
I was there to see the championship ladies competition, but what fascinated me, was how some of the junior ladies modeled themselves on past or current champions. Amanda Farkas was a dead ringer for Jill Trenary. Lisa Mattris has Tonya Harding's spunk. Caroline Song was a lot like Yamaguchi and Tanya Street had Nancy Kerrigan's style and dress sense. Each of these skaters along with Lefki Terzakis, Jennifer Verili and Teresa Aiello projected what I thought at the time, a possible glimpse into the future. What surprised me was that a tiny 11 year old who placed eighth with a pair of shaky technical skates, would the very next year trump them all.
The sport has so many variables, you can simply never know how things will turn out.
Maybe someone better would have been born... she'd have 3 Olympic Golds.
Thanks for those reminisces, essence of soy. From my perspective, I doubt anyone else will be able to say anything as eloquent and as resonant in this beside-the-point, ridiculous and apparently tongue-in-cheek off-season thread.
And thanks, again!
Ah, but Skittl1321, actually came quite laughably close.
I do my best
Fun to see someone mention Tanya Street. She coaches at our rink sometimes, I took a figures lesson from her. I suck at figures.
^^ Hey, but look at it this way: At least you know how to do figures. I doubt that can be said of many top skaters today, aside from Patrick Chan. I think some skaters are starting to incorporate a bit of figures practice into their training schedules ... but more is better!
Oh, and btw, I think what Frank Carroll had to say about actually born and still living legend MK in the latest Skating Lesson Podcast interview (Part 1) is also very eloquent and resonant!
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE STATE OF THE US ART SCENE WOULD BE IF ANDY WARHOL HAD NEVER BEEN BORN???!!!
What would the state of the US be if George Washington had never been born?
We would be the Soviet States of Amerika!
So we'd have better pairs skaters?
One would hope!
But did any of the US ladies attempt to mimic Kwan? I never saw it; Sasha Cohen, Angela Nikodinov and others all seemed different and diverse to me.
Oh, but the amount of bare midriff Salome-like dresses and vaguely middle-Eastern posing that showed up at lower levels after 1996 was just and -worthy. For a good 5 years after Kwan did that program.
What would the state of our minds be if figure skating had never been born???
Actually, there seemed to be a kind of waiting period at the U.S. senior ladies level until Kimmie Meissner one season appeared in a red Salome get-up with horrendous eye make-up. FSU was full of advice that season for Kimmie to drop the Kwan wannabe act and just find out who she herself was BORN to be.
if she had never been born, harry bailey would have never saved all of those men and mary would work in the library
I actually think apart from Kwan U.S ladies skating went into decline after the 1992. The quality of skating at the 1993 Nationals speaks to that. For awhile it was Kerrigan or nothing, and thank goodness Kwan was coming up around then as there wasnt much else. The U.S women had nowhere near the depth they used to, and apart from Kwan have rarely had the top end quality they used to either. People talk about the state of U.S women now but actually they are getting back on track, and even if they lack the go to star thus far, they have more depth than they have had in a long while. The greatness of Kwan masked alot of the decline of U.S women, and when she was gone it became much more visible.
From 1994 to today there are only 3 others who emerged who could be considered as top skaters Lipinski, Hughes and Cohen. All 3 IMO benefited a great deal as far as reputation, clout, and motivation by their rivalries with Kwan. I dont think any of the 3 would have been the forces they were without the great reputation U.S women still had with Kwan, and the attention their battles with Kwan brought them. The only exception is possibly Cohen, but in Sasha's case it would mostly be about motivation, and if she came up at a time U.S women were struggling (relatively) and without such a strong leader to chase and battle, would she have even been able to push herself hard enough.
Lordy, it's going to be a long, long summer. Andy Warhol, I don't know you but I think I like you.
Seriously. I rather wish I could find someone to teach me (or at bare minimum a good book on them.)
mylittlepony: I wish I could rep you!
In my experience most coaches know enough to teach them. And almost every current skater has done figures to some level (and much higher than what I did!) I took a great figure clinic from Alissa and Amber Czisny, and they are quite young.
Had Michelle Kwan not been born I think Tara and Sasha would have had much greater careers. Tara quit at 15 since she was scared to compete against Michelle anymore, and Sasha felt mentally burdened by having to skate perfectly at Nationals and other events to beat Michelle, and Sasha liked to compete against weak competition she could fall against and win, did not relish the challenge of having to skate great or clean programs which she hated, which is why she imploded at other events when people like Shizuka, Slutskaya, and Sarah put that same pressure on her. I think both would have been huge legends if Kwan was not born.
Sarah Hughes would be a two time national champion (2001, 2003) and won silver at worlds the year before the Olympics. Her OGM would not have seemed like such a fluke.
Irina would have won worlds a lot more.
Sasha would be a 5 time National champion (2000,2002,2004,2005,2006). She still would not be world champion. She would have two Olympic Medals though.
Tara probably would not have done all those 3/3's and won the olympics in 2002.
All joking aside-Sasha and Sarah may have had a great "rivalry" if you look at the potential they would have had to swap national titles back and fourth every year. I believe though that both saw Michelle as their main rival and not each other.
And probably Yuna might not be in skating today, right? Hasn't she said that Michelle is the reason why she started skating?
Well if Michelle wasn't skating at Nagano Olympics I never would have gotten into watching the sport and I wouldn't care about the state of US ladies skating.
I am also remembering a very young Naomi and Sasha watching Michelle skate to Lyra Angelica by the boards at 1998 Nationals and how very excited they were. God only knows how inspiring that must have been.
Haha I can't beleive this thread got any comments!
THIS IS FSU, EVERYTHING GETS COMMENTED ON. EVERYTHING.
Sasha Cohen would have won a few more National Titles. And Sarah Hughes might have won one too.
Tara was scared to compete against Michelle? Say what you want about Tara but she was never intimidated by anyone including Michelle.
Going strictly by results Sasha would have 4 more and Sarah 2 more. The Europeans would have been much happier facing them than Kwan though. Much easier competition.
If Kwan had never been born, would everyone have spent so much time noticing the flutzes of Tara, Sasha, and Sarah Hughes?
If Christine Brennan's book, Edge of Glory, is anything to go by, Tara at least thought of Michelle as a rival, but hardly the better skater.
And going by results, there would have been twice as many "Whatever happened to NNN" threads as she would have won one too. Tara would have 2. And Tonia Kwiatkowski woud be the 1996 National Champion!
Yes, but OTOH theres a thread about DINOSAURS that is five pages by now. So people discuss EVERYTHING here...
Yes, and more pages for dinosaurs than for MK. FSU is not what it used to be
Soon pics will fly and the hell freeze over. But at least there could be a new place for skating. And then people can discuss if MK would skate there or not So all comes back to the kween
I think there were. Of course you're going to see variation, but the buns, clean look, finished moves, lyrical movement, spiral sequences (yes I know Nicole inspired Kwan), Charlotte, etc. I definitely think Kwan's style influenced a whole generation of skaters and many found ways to keep that style but change it a bit to fit one's personality. Also, the baby ballerinas were sure finding ways to beat Kwan by being superior in skills that Kwan was weaker on...mainly spins. More flexible and faster.
The only baby ballerina who had any sucess beating Kwan was Tara Lipinski, but that sure as heck wasnt because of her spins or flexability. Sasha Cohen didnt beat Kwan for the first time until she was like 20. Naomi Nari Nam and the other baby ballerinas never did.
I meant to put "trying" to find ways.
Well their strategy was for the wrong era though, it sounds like the COP strategy to beat someone. I wonder how some of the ultra bendy baby ballerinas from the Kwan era would have done if they had their primes today under COP instead. Then again Zhang, Nagasu, and even Czisny were all that once upon a time and they werent able to achieve all that much even today. Cohen's prime lapped into COP years and she had her best career achievements under COP as opposed to what she ever achieved under 6.0.
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