Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by essence_of_soy, May 13, 2013.
Don't be...it was quite a nice essay.
We watched a lot of skating as a family when I was a kid and my parents always pointed out Michelle Kwan as an excellent role model. Of course, when that led to me wanting to take skating lessons, they said no (go figure - and no pun intended). In 1998 our fourth grade class required us to make a scrapbook of the Olympics and I, being a huge fan of Michelle's, made most of my scrapbook about skating with a focus on my favorite. I got a B - - (two minuses!) because the teacher complained that there wasn't enough Tara in it
After that I forgot about skating for awhile - if the internet had been a bigger influence I would have discovered places like FSU and MKF and SashaFans, but it wasn't until 2002 that I watched Sasha Cohen at Salt Lake and got sucked back in. Been here ever since.
Ladies lp at Lillehammer 1994, Oksana Baiul. Living in Holland, I knew nothing about figure skating. I had seen something on German channels we receive here without knowing exactly what it was though. We saw the opening of the Olympics. And of course they kept giving news about the Kerrigan/Harding drama. But it was watching the ladies lp and specifically Baiul that made me a figure skating fan. Then the gala when not only Baiul was a swan, but G&G had that lovely performance, that was the first time I really noticed pairs skating. These were the first skaters I became a fan of while knowing nothing about the sport. In these days, I didn't like ice dance as much as ladies or pairs skating and men seemed a bit more boring than ladies skating to me. Yet I watched all disciplines, including the cd's because we had no other skating on tv at all, except what Eurosport showed. And by watching everything, I began understanding it all better and appreciating men's skating and ice dance too. We had NBC channel here in those days too though and one day as I was going through different channels, I discovered a pro figure skating competition and another time Baiul, Petrenko and Boitano skating to Nutcracker on ice, sometimes the German channels showed something, but other than that, it was just what Eurosport showed.
Figure skating was also the sport which made me like musicals from our era. Before watching figure skating, I only knew the old Hollywood musicals, and I didn't even know all of those. I rediscovered a few I had once watched, such as 'West Side Story' and 'The sound of music' and began discovering more musicals which were new for me, especially those composed after the 60s, such as 'Miss Saigon', 'Cats', 'Phantom of the Opera'. It opened a whole new world for me, an exciting world with much to discover. I loved it. Figure skating also made me like opera and classical and baroque music. It did many amazing things for me and I didn't even skate, I just watched figure skating and just watching alone made my life lovelier, better, more exciting. It's great anticipating competitions and new programs or rivalries, discovering a new piece of music I like enough to buy or nowadays download or discovering someone doing a new choreography to overdone music. For a while I became a bit bored with some disciplines, but then it always became interesting again. New styles, or new competitors, or something else happened which brought the excitement back. Yet, nothing from competitions nowadays seems to really give the excitement of '90s skating for me, I don't exactly know why, because some of my favourite programs have also been skated in recent years and even this past season.
It started for me with 1988 Olympics.
Seeing the Ice Capades live got me hooked. The speed, the control, the lights, costumes, beauty and daring of it all made me want to jump on the ice and do it. The year was probably 1964 and the headliners were Ann Margaret Frei, Aja Zanova, and the Jellineks.
I started taking lessons soon after, and to this day televised skating pales in comparison to live skating for me.
Who was Ann Margaret Frei?
I caught figure skating randomly on Wide World of Sports in the early '60's and was hooked. The first skaters I followed in any way were Peggy Fleming, the Protopopovs, and my only figure skating crush, John Misha Petkevich.
Robin Cousins, 1980 Olympics
I haven't thought about him in DECADES! He was good-looking.
Yeah I was! I have very fond memories of that television coverage. I think now I was lucky to have only 2 channels at the time and shows like Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant, The Beachcombers, Spiderman and skating coverage as my intro to TV!
On another note - having just seen Stars On Ice I was once again taken with how much Shawn Sawyer still reminds me of Toller in many ways.
On another note - I am loving this thread!
On a last note - I am feeling REALLY old with some of you talking about your early childhood skating viewing experiences! Babies!
What first got me hooked to ice skating . . .
Televised Event: 1994 Olympics LP of the men and ladies; all the drama encircling Tonya, Nancy, and Oksana as well as the return of all the pro skaters to Olympic eligible competition: Boitano, Petrenko, Gordeeva/Grinkov, Mishkutenok/Dmitriev, Torvill/Dean, and Witt.
Nicole Bobek - she was so beautiful, fun, and charismatic; she just drew me in to everything she did; she had "IT" in spades!
Brian Boitano - he had such a commanding presence over the ice with big jumps, strong skating skills, and a big butt that definitely caught my eye.
Paul Wylie - he had such spectacular artistry and musicality with wonderful tension and emotion; his "Henry V", "Carmina Burana", "JFK", "Bring Him Home", and "Schindler's List" are such iconic skating masterpieces that I truly love!
Gordeeva/Grinkov - they presented such beautiful pictures on the ice and were such an attractive couple. I definitely had a crush on him and was crushed when he passed away. He was the romantic hero of the ice who took such great care of his partner; I think part of me wanted to be Katia just to experience the love that Sergei had for her.
1993 World Championships, Kurt Browning's Casablanca performance.
2006 Olympics... Emily Hughes.
All these years I thought she was Ann Margaret, her name is Ann Margreth. She competed at the 1964 Olympics but she made her mark as a show skater.
I never heard about her before, not that I can remember anyway. Thank you for the info. The website says she was in shows for over 16 years, perhaps there is footage of her skating somewhere. I'm curious now.
There were a number of fabulous show skaters who trained specifically for shows or who did not make it big in the competitive world. I don't know how you would find footage unless someone did a documentary somewhere. Perhaps in that new film "The Fabulous Ice Age"? No one had VCRs in those days even if it happened to be televised.
I've always wanted to see Sarah Kawahara's Ice Capades performances after seeing her in Strawberry Ice, and she was around in VHS era.
You never know what people might have at home. I'm still amazed about the footage which was filmed by people with old fashioned cameras, meant for private use. Who knows perhaps one day something shows up.
To remind you:
and, with thanks to floskate:'
John Misha Petkevich - Renaissance Man
Many thanks for the links!
If you have to fall on your butt at the Olympics, doing it just in time to the big cymbal crash is the way to go.
I dont remember when i knew what figure skating was because neither of my parents are fans, but i do know my oldest figure skating memory is the 1988 olympics, i would have been 7 maybe 8 at the time, but elizabeth manning winning the bronze and the cowboy hat sticks out as my first memory. and then the battle of the Brains and remembering how i was so sad brain O. didnt win, but that was probably my desire for canada to win lol. At that point the most i knew about figure skating was the girls wore pretty dresses and there were cool jumps! I was probably hooked at that point, but i fell in love with figure skating as i fell in love with kurt Browning! And my favorite Amateur program was Casablanca! That was a magical program, mind you many of his programs were magic and many of his professional programs were amazing. And his Singing in the Rain tv special is my all time fav figure skating tv special, hands down!
I remember watching skating since Carol Heiss. Loved many skaters - Fleming, Hamill, Curry, Cranston, Cousins, Torvill & Dean, and more (Richard Dwyer, Rick Inglesi). For me the tipping point between enjoyment and passion? -
1990 U.S. Nationals - Paul Wylie
It was a Monday evening practice. Paul stepped on the ice. My life changed.
I wish I'd been there!
Two skaters and two programs.
It started with Averbukh's "Stars on ice" TV show I've been watching just out of curiosity from time to time. One evening I was checking on YouTube some of the show videos I missed that week, and then in "relevant" videos an image caught my eye. It was Yagudin's Olympic "Overcome", that frame when he is kind of doing "push-ups" on the ice. I watched that video. And then other videos of his other programs... Funny and crazy but I can even name you the exact date when it happened, because I was so excited and overwhelmed I immediately wrote about it in my blog. It was October 19th, 2006.
I was moaning over the fact I was late to see Yagudin competing, competitions were empty and boring for me without him, nobody could be compared to him, blahblahblah. Back then I was mostly watching some old videos and shows and wasn't interested much in competitions. I knew some names, learned some new ones, even partially watched Euros 2007, but wasn't really impressed.
And then there was another person, another program, another date, and I can name it exactly too, it was March 22nd, 2007. Worlds 2007 in Tokyo, men, long program, "Poeta"... I was forever lost. Still am.
What rejoices me the most is that Stéphane is not competing for three seasons already but figure skating, competitions are absolutely not boring without him, each season more and more skaters, personalities excite and interest me. I'm really glad that it didn't stop there and with him. In a way I even enjoy it more now when I shouldn't worry for him and can be objective to his former rivals. I do miss Stéphane, of course. But he is not gone, he has an extraordinary pro career which, of course, I follow closely. It's just a bit different world now.
That's how I felt after the 2006 season. I think it took me a whole season of not watching skating to get over the idea of Michelle Kwan never competing again. I remember in one of my more bitter moments, I ended up watching 2007 Worlds and said I wanted Miki Ando to win just because I thought she was the least appealing skater between Mao, Yuna, and Miki. Of course, she ended up winning.
In Australia in 1980 then, as now, skating was only ever shown on TV during the Olys. I'd never heard of figure skating, not as a pastime, not as a sport, not as performance. Not only that, I was living in a tiny isolated mining town in the far northwest, working in the front office/reception of the only hotel in town. My shift finished at 11pm and I had to be back at work at 7 the next morning. I didn't even know the Olys were happening. When I got home from work quite randomly I turned on the TV and there was this pair gliding across the ice in perfect unison. I was instantly mesmerized. I have no idea who it was. I had no idea what it was, I only knowI was hooked from that minute, didn't care what time I had to get up in the morning. Then 4 years later T&D exploded into my world. They even did a tour to Australia and I saw them live. Also in '84 I moved to Canada where skating is frequently on TV, and the rest is, as they say, is history.
My allegiance is simple - Aussies in the summer Olys, Canucks in the winter Olys (though I'm always thrilled when Canucks do well in the summer Olys and vice versa).
1998 Olympics- Tara Lipinski
I casually watched 1992 (my mom used to point out Surya Bonaly; she loved her for being French, doing the biellmann spin, and her back flip in the exhibition.)
1994- watched the LP and was PEEVED when Nancy didn't win. My mom was happy, as she loved Oksana, but I wasn't!
1998- I had to do an article review, related to health, for my Health class in high school. We were allowed to sports, so I looked for a short article in the newsweek. There was a LONG one about Michelle and a short one about Tara, so being 15, of course I went with the shorter one. Upon reading, I realized that she was my age, was the under dog, had won everything the year before, but was completely discounted, and did a rare triple-triple combination which I knew nothing about, but found the diagram interesting.
Interestingly, I missed the 98 LP, but knew the result, as my mom told us in the car on the way to my brother's hockey game. I was thrilled, but never actually got to see it until later that summer, when I bought the VHS highlights of figure skating of the games.
By 1999 Nationals, I was watching and taping everything I could! Sadly, my DVD recorder doesn't work anymore, so now I just kinda rely on youtube.
I remember watching initially when I was quite young and trying (with very mixed results) to skate myself. But I really got hooked during the Olympics and World Championships in 1988, what with the Battle of the Brians and the showdown between Witt, Thomas, and Manley. I was just coming out as gay, in Boston, in 1988; so the face that the two Brians were obviously (to all of us) gay made a big impression on me and my friends. As did the battle of the Divas in Ladies. My interest in figure skating overall stayed pretty high after that, though I've been fickle with my interest in particular disciplines.
Liz Manley. Canadian TV went wild over her after the '88 Olympics, and that did it for me. Other perky blondes with cute butts were to follow over the years (Sokolova, Rachael Flatt), but Liz was the first.
1968 US Nationals