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  1. #1

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    skaters who will never win important medals

    As fans, we all know the excitement of seeing a promising young skater debut on the elite scene, expecting a great future for them, and following their progress as they come closer and closer to the loftiest goals. The pleasure is even more sweet if they succeed in achieving those goals.

    But what about those who shine as promising juniors but who fail to improve or even regress as seniors?

    What about skaters who don't have the hardest jump content or the best skating skills when they first appear on the scene and don't make significant technical progress, but who catch fans' attention thanks to artistry or personality or spectacular highlight moves that don't earn many points?

    What about skaters who are sound enough technically, often contending for lesser medals and sometimes winning them, but just kind of boring to watch?

    What about skaters who are great in practice but are emotionally incapable of skating two good programs in competition, or ever skating a clean long program runthrough in any circumstances?

    If we can't hope for high-level competition success for these skaters, should we lose interest in their careers? Advise them to retire or find other skating-related career paths?

    Or can we still enjoy their best strong points and root for them to achieve the best they're each capable of?


    Who are your favorites that you never expect to see in a final round at Worlds?

  2. #2
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    On top of my head, Sawyer and Cassar. I'd love to be proven wrong.

  3. #3
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    Jenni Vahamaa was one of my favorite promising junior. But we know she will never win a medal at Euros or Worlds.
    Artiom Grigoriev is another one. And Jason Brown !!!
    And Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron are my favorite junior dance team, but not sure if we will see them at the top of the World ! They are very young and in progress, so, why not ?

    I loved Jordan Brauninger. But he has won a World junior medal.

  4. #4

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    . . . almost all skaters will never win important medals.

    There are some that are told they won't, but they do.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    . . . almost all skaters will never win important medals.
    But you are not fan of all the skaters, are you ?

  6. #6

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    When I first started to watch skating, I quickly became a fan of MK and she was always such a sure shot for the podium from 1996-2005, that I just got use to it. MK was obviously a skater who fulfilled her potential and then some.

    Now that she is gone, I'm beginning to see that winning multiple major titles or even medaling at major events all the time is actually quite rare. With the exception of Yu-Na, the skaters I root for tend to be "headcases".

    Mirai is still young enough that maybe she has a shot at still medaling or winning a major international. However, I don't know about Jeremy. Realistically, his window for winning a World medal or title is probably closing but I'll always root for him and love his skating. I think his programs are really interesting and never cookie cutter. I love his signature entry into his 3x and great skating skills. I love his emotional investment into his programs, I love that he doesn't try to fit into a mold and I love that he's willing to push himself artistically every season by trying different choreographers and styles. He's never content with a just a particular kind of program. I really appreciate that and always will. All these attributes of his skating just make it sweeter when he does manage to do well. I hope he can medal at Worlds but if he never does I'll still be a fan.

    In other sports, fans stick by their teams even when they're doing really poorly. I think FS fans should do the same. If you like a skater, you like him or her regardless of the competitive results. That's what being a true fan is all about.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  7. #7

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    For myself, there are many skaters that I connect to, enjoy watching, and really want to see do as well as they can.

    That includes some who, at their best, might be within reach of world medals.

    It also includes local skaters for whom "doing as well as they can" might mean a one-time trip to sectionals, or even just passing a mid-level test before they go off to college.

    And lots of mid-level national or international competitors at various skill levels in between.

    The potential for higher-level success isn't what makes me connect to them.

    Then there are plenty of other skaters that I don't happen to feel a special personal connection to, but when they skate well it's always nice to see someone happy with how they did. And it's always sad to see a skater perform well below their ability.

    Some sports tend to encourage fans to root for their favorites and to root against their favorites' rivals.

    One thing I enjoy about figure skating is that for me it's more a matter of watching a field full of favorites and potential favorites competing not so much against each other as against the physical demands of the sport.

    Of course, it's competitors' desire to win that pushes the envelope of what the sport demands. But in many ways, the real opponents are gravity, inertia, centripetal and centrifugal force...

  8. #8
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    Define what you mean by "important medals."

    IMO, an "important medal" is different depending on the skater. For example, not every nation uses their National championships as the be-all/end-all for Olympic and World team berth selections. A National medal for a US or Canadian skater is then valued as more important than a National medal for an Asian or European skater whose national federations take other factors into play when deciding Olympic/World teams, such as GP Final medal placements or European Championship placements. Likewise, European Championships are still held to a higher esteem than the Four Continents Cup Championships.

    So, IMO, importance of medals is probably broken down to something like this:

    US/Canadian skater:
    Olympics
    Worlds
    Nationals
    GP Final
    4CC
    GP events

    European skater:
    Olympics
    Worlds
    Europeans
    GP Final
    Nationals
    GP events

    Asian skater:
    Olympics
    Worlds
    GP Final
    4CC
    Nationals
    GP events

  9. #9

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    My favorite young skaters who may/may not win "important" medals in the future:

    Pairs: Donlan/Speroff of the US

    Ladies: Forte and Gong of US; Lipnitskaya of Russia

    Men: Dyer and Cassar of the US
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    I like Min-Jung Kwak. I don't think she'll ever have strong enough jumps to win important medals, unless she switched to pairs or something and then maybe, but her skating is still very nice and she has gorgeous lines.

    Anna Ovcharova is one of my favorite skaters, but her jump technique is concerning and with the deep field in Russia, who knows if she'll even get to compete at major events.

    For men, I think Peter Liebers is a really nice skater who is consistently undermarked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    What about skaters... who catch fans' attention thanks to artistry or personality or spectacular highlight moves that don't earn many points?
    Rohene Ward.

    What about skaters who are great in practice
    Rohene Ward.

    Or can we still enjoy their best strong points and root for them to achieve the best they're each capable of?
    That's what fans of Rohene Ward are/were used to doing.

    Who are your favorites that you never expect to see in a final round at Worlds?
    Rohene Ward.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    In other sports, fans stick by their teams even when they're doing really poorly. I think FS fans should do the same. If you like a skater, you like him or her regardless of the competitive results. That's what being a true fan is all about.
    They are not the same thing, I'm a fan no matter what but once my favorite skater retires after 5 or 7 years or even 10, I have to move on to a new skater. Unlike other sports where a team can last by recruiting players. They NY Yankees aren't going to retire as a team just the players.

  13. #13
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    Stephanie Rosenthal and Tugba Karademir.

  14. #14

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    Just out of curiosity, how do we know which skaters will or will not win "important medals" until the person's career is over? For example, there was a time when Ryan Bradley ,may well have have made the list.

  15. #15

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    And yet, we do see fans and journalists declaring that certain skaters should just retire/turn pro/switch to show skating because they aren't on track for any of the medals on musesk8r's list.

    Sometimes even when they have won some of those medals but don't appear likely to earn better ones.

    That's what annoys me -- the idea that there's no room in competitive skating for skaters who probably won't bring home medals.

    Even if the skater is enjoying the process and even if other fans are enjoying following it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how do we know which skaters will or will not win "important medals" until the person's career is over? For example, there was a time when Ryan Bradley ,may well have have made the list.
    Never write them off!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squibble View Post
    Just a reminder for those of you who would write someone off when he or she still has the ability, physical condition, and wherewithal to keep skating and to do well:

    Konstantin Menshov won his first Russian National Championship this season at the age of 28. He had never finished higher than fourth at Russian Nationals.

    Sarah Meier just won her first European Championship at the age of 26. She finished in 26th place at Worlds last season.

    Ryan Bradley just won his first United States National Championship at the age of 27. He had not finished in the Top Three since 2007, when he won the silver medal.

    Alissa Czisny just won United States Nationals at the age of 23. She finished tenth last season.

    Shawn Sawyer won his first silver medal at Canadian Nationals this season at the age of 26. He had not finished in the Top Three since 2008.


  17. #17

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    My earliest skating memory- and one of earlierst memories, period- is sitting in front of a little black and white TV with my grandmother( in Russia) as she was going on a simultaneously rapturous and exasperated rant about Toller Cranston- that he is the groundbreaking artist and the best no matter what the medals indicate... I think that, along with my natural inclinations, pretty much determined my skating preferences
    I was a huge fan of,( and had a huge crush on... ) Igor Bobrin in the early 1980ies. Lately there are the usual suspects-Savoie, Sawyer, Cassar. Abbott, of course, whether he wins or does not. Rohene Ward mezmerizes, Gary Beacom astonishes ( from what little I saw on youtube- how I would have loved to see them live)
    Talking about Men here, because though I love all disciplines, Men's skating has most often allowed for thoughtful self- expression, and, ultimately, that's what makes me obsessed with skating.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  18. #18
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    Haha, agree about Rohene, Sylvia!

    Also Joelle Forte, Melissa Bulanhagui, Samantha Cesario (still young..who knows), Scott Dyer, Daisuke Murakami, and Shawn Sawyer. Gong is also still quite young..she could probably medal at JGPF next year if she skates like she did in the FS at Nationals. I think Lipnitskaya has huge potential...could be a big player in 3-4 years.

    Evora/Ladwig, Yankowskas/Coughlin, Lynn and Logan as well.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongTimeLurker View Post
    Stephanie Rosenthal and Tugba Karademir.
    Tugba is already retired last year!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post

    What about skaters who don't have the hardest jump content or the best skating skills when they first appear on the scene and don't make significant technical progress, but who catch fans' attention thanks to artistry or personality or spectacular highlight moves that don't earn many points?

    Fleur Maxwell (aside from National medals)

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