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  1. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by a56 View Post
    .... Maybe synchro is perceived as very, very feminine.....).
    Wasn't ice hockey perceived of as very, very masculine? (It still is by many people. But 'girls hockey' seems to have become quite mainstream in some places.)

    This is almost reverse sexism. In the 80s and 90s, the craze was to de-feminize women and bring them into 'butch team sports.' So why should there be a problem with the reverse action? Just sayin'.
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    I'm not yet sure how I feel about this, overall, but Snarky Me is calling this Russia's first strike toward assuring more medals at its home Olympics.

    Olympic Gold Medals Tally Board (April 1, 2014):
    Michelle Kwan: 0
    Brandon Mroz: 1
    Last edited by Beefcake; 04-07-2011 at 08:24 PM.

  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Fifth, figure skating and short track are going to be staged at the same venue. The proposed calendar submitted to the IOC as part of Sochi's bid shows that it will be difficult to shoehorn a team competition into the schedule.
    This proposed calendar shows three segments for the dance event, which no longer holds true.

    Here are two ways of squeezing in a team event while still giving Short Track the five days they need to run their events:

    Scenario One: Team event at the end:

    Day 2 - Pairs' Short
    Day 3 - Short Track
    Day 4 - Pairs' Free
    Day 5 - Men's Short
    Day 6 - Short Track
    Day 7 - Men's Free
    Day 8 - Short Dance
    Day 9 - Short Track
    Day 10 - Free Dance
    Day 11 - Ladies' Short
    Day 12 - Short Track
    Day 13 - Ladies' Free
    Day 14 - Team Short
    Day 15 - Short Track
    Day 16 - Team Free
    Day 17 - Exhibition

    This would be hardest on any ladies who competed in both individual and team events. Also, it would favour any country (e.g. JPN, USA, RUS) with sufficiently deep fields that they could enter a lady in the team event who didn't qualify for the ladies' individual event. (Yukari Nakano in 2010, for example.)

    Scenario Two: Team event at the beginning:

    Day 2 - Team Short
    Day 3 - Short Track
    Day 4 - Team Free
    Day 5 - Pairs' Short
    Day 6 - Short Track
    Day 7 - Pairs' Free
    Day 8 - Men's Short
    Day 9 - Short Track
    Day 10 - Men's Free
    Day 11 - Short Dance
    Day 12 - Short Track
    Day 13 - Free Dance
    Day 14 - Ladies' Short
    Day 15 - Short Track
    Day 16 - Ladies' Free
    Day 17 - Exhibition

    This would be hardest on any pairs who competed in both individual and team events. It would favour any country (e.g. RUS, CAN, maybe USA and CHN) with sufficiently deep fields that they could enter a pair in the team event who didn't qualify for the pairs' individual event. (Duhamel/Buntin in 2010, for example).

    Of course, scenario 2 is going to be hard on any skater who has to compete both individual and team events, so I really, really hope the IOC goes with something like scenario 1.

    Think of how many skaters came this close to qualifying for the Olympics in 2010: Nakano, D/B, Inoue/Baldwin, Weaver/Poje, Kevin Reynolds, etc. The team event might be a nice consolation prize for them. Not that that's an argument for the team event, but I don't think any of them would have turned down the opportunity!

    Also, skaters like Joubert or Verner might have been happy to have an opportunity for an Olympic redemption skate in the team event (one more argument for having the team event at the end).

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefcake View Post
    I'm not yet sure how I feel about this, overall, but Snarky Me is calling this Russia's first strike toward assuring more medals at its home Olympics.
    Hey, if Canada can do it, why not the Russians . . .

    Olympic Gold Medals Tally Board (April 1, 2014):
    Michelle Kwan: 0
    Brandon Mroz: 1
    The Queen must return! This is her perfect opportunity!

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    Wasn't ice hockey perceived of as very, very masculine? (It still is by many people. But 'girls hockey' seems to have become quite mainstream in some places.)

    This is almost reverse sexism. In the 80s and 90s, the craze was to de-feminize women and bring them into 'butch team sports.' So why should there be a problem with the reverse action? Just sayin'.
    I don't think it's so much gender equality as return on investment that is keeping synchro out. If you allow 20 teams that is around 400 additional athletes/coaches/judges to house for close to 3 weeks for an opportunity to sell the arena 2 more times. I don't know how it is in other countries, but I've never seen synchro on tv here in the US. So even though it's figure skating, I would not think they would be able to charge the high dollar amounts that they charge for other figure skating comps.

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by minignome View Post
    If you look at the sports added in Sochi, it's all about return on investment for the host country. All the new sports use existing venues and only a small increase in the number of athletes participating. Assuming there are prelims and finals in each event you can sell 12 more sets of tickets (and figure skating at least is a big $$ ticket) for the cost of adding 100 or so athletes.
    Exactly - I smell a rat. It's so obvious that this whole thing is about money, by not allowing extra athletes to stay in the village, and forcing countries to build teams in less than 3 years (hey federations, surprise!), just so they can sell more tickets. We can't put an event in like synchro that's already popular and that people actually want to see, or jump/spin events that take a lot less time.

    About the comments on how the athletes aren't glass dolls - actually, some of them are. Oly competition is not the same as practice. It's a completely different mentally draining experience. Many athletes conserve their energy and body and hide injuries just to compete in singles. These athletes are accustomed to a certain schedule at a competition - SP, rest day, LP. Now we are throwing in potential SP, LP, days of waiting, SP, rest, LP again. And think of how hard this is going to be for the athletes in countries who don't have a reserve team and only have one skater available. Or how hard this is going to be for the reserve athlete who is commuting because they don't have a slot in the athlete's village. Why does this athlete get forced to miss out on the Oly experience if they are an alternate? Does this mean if they win a team medal, that it isn't "real" either? Performing at that level is exhausting and no matter how many medals are available, the individual event will always be the most prestigious. Look at how many skaters skip worlds once they win OGM.

    They just don't want to put the team events at the end because it would conflict with the money-making cow (ladies singles) and otherwise no one would watch all of the Olympics. Silly, do away with it. They could have gone about adding a new event in a much better way rather than springing something on people that hasn't even been thought out.

  7. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Exactly - I smell a rat. It's so obvious that this whole thing is about money, by not allowing extra athletes to stay in the village, and forcing countries to build teams in less than 3 years (hey federations, surprise!), just so they can sell more tickets. We can't put an event in like synchro that's already popular and that people actually want to see, or jump/spin events that take a lot less time.
    Countries have had decades to build programs in all four disciplines, they just choose not to and now some will not be able to reap the rewards. Such is life.

    About the comments on how the athletes aren't glass dolls - actually, some of them are.
    They are Olympic athletes, it doesn't get much more in shape than that. Don't patronize them. We have all seen them skate back to back week to week from one end of the world to the next, broken foot, dislocated shoulders with mono and flu. Give them the credit they are due, they can all handle a programs that is a few minutes long.

    Why does this athlete get forced to miss out on the Oly experience if they are an alternate?
    If there are more than one alternate for a country, the first alternate travels with he team and the second alternate stays home and leaves only if called up after the first alternate is used, that is not new and won't change anytime soon. So some alternates can't stay in the OV, boo hoo, at least they are there.

    Does this mean if they win a team medal, that it isn't "real" either? Performing at that level is exhausting and no matter how many medals are available, the individual event will always be the most prestigious.
    Only if the "fans" look at it that way.

    Look at how many skaters skip worlds once they win OGM.
    Many "skip" for various reasons some for injury and some just don't want to be embarrassed because they know they can't replicate the Olympic win so they just retire.

    They just don't want to put the team events at the end because it would conflict with the money-making cow (ladies singles) and otherwise no one would watch all of the Olympics. Silly, do away with it. They could have gone about adding a new event in a much better way rather than springing something on people that hasn't even been thought out.
    The only way around it (not using ice and skaters) is to invent a new sport with a new venue (can use ice or snow) and hope it catches on.

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Exactly - I smell a rat. It's so obvious that this whole thing is about money....
    Hosting the Olympics is not exactly a money making venture. If they can minimize their losses by adding cost-effective events at under utilized venues, why not? It would be nice if it the Olympics was all about the purity of sport and not economics, but there is that pesky thing called reality.

  9. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Countries have had decades to build programs in all four disciplines, they just choose not to and now some will not be able to reap the rewards. Such is life.

    They are Olympic athletes, it doesn't get much more in shape than that. Don't patronize them. We have all seen them skate back to back week to week from one end of the world to the next, broken foot, dislocated shoulders with mono and flu. Give them the credit they are due, they can all handle a programs that is a few minutes long.

    If there are more than one alternate for a country, the first alternate travels with he team and the second alternate stays home and leaves only if called up after the first alternate is used, that is not new and won't change anytime soon. So some alternates can't stay in the OV, boo hoo, at least they are there.

    Only if the "fans" look at it that way.

    Many "skip" for various reasons some for injury and some just don't want to be embarrassed because they know they can't replicate the Olympic win so they just retire.

    The only way around it (not using ice and skaters) is to invent a new sport with a new venue (can use ice or snow) and hope it catches on.

    My take on the above replies to 'leafygreens' comments in post # 166...

    This post #167 by Julieann is the most honest and non-politically correct set of replies to (what imho are) silly statements bashing the announced olympic team event, even before the event's structure has been decided upon.

    You gotta love it... Uber Fans want more skating... they get more skating, and yet we get... "oh, but more skating in this form won't do!

    Well those who don't want it... then DON'T WATCH! It's that simple!
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visaliakid View Post
    You gotta love it... Uber Fans want more skating... they get more skating, and yet we get... "oh, but more skating in this form won't do!
    Because it isn't "more skating" if it's the same skaters doing the same programs.

    Admittedly it's not clear whether the participants in the team event will be the same participant in the other events, but if they are, I don't buy that the team event is going to result in more TV viewing, more attention, etc. I would guess that if a casual TV viewer turned on the team event, and then turned on the other events a few days later and saw the same programs again, s/he would find something else to watch.

    I also can't help but notice that when pro skaters do the same routines in show after show, people b*tch about that here and say "why don't they do something else". But skaters doing the same routine in two different events seems to be just fine if they're doing it at the Olympics.
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  11. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Because it isn't "more skating" if it's the same skaters doing the same programs.
    True, honestly haven't we have been watching the same programs all year...and for skaters some two years?

    I watch the same gymnast do the same floor exercise 3 times in one Olympics, it never occurred to me to say "Gee, maybe she should have changed it up a bit"

    What occurres to me is she has been working on it for a year and she probably would like to show it off for a while before moving on to a new program.

    Come to think about...I have seen that same serve in tennis for years now, can't they find another way to get that ball over the net?!?

  12. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by a56 View Post
    I wonder what the statistics are regarding how many male skaters are in synchro. I remember reading that Robin Szolkowy skated in a synchro team when he couldn't find a pairs partner. Maybe synchro is perceived as very, very feminine. I did notice that there are quite a few male synchro officials though (example: three out of the six members of the ISU synchro technical committee are male, including the chairman; and the referee of this year's synchro worlds is male).
    While most the teams at the 2 synchro WCs I have attended have been mainly women- quite a few of the teams had at least one guy. The Swedish team at the Ottawa WC had 2 guys IIRC- the South African team in Colorado Springs had 3 or 4. The second Russian team in Ottawa was 50/50 girls and guys- it looked really cool on the ice and allowed for some interesting moves.

    I did notice that the US and Canadian teams were all girls though- the guys were on the Euro and South African teams.
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  13. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Who in their right mind would give up a chance to win a medal and wait to compete later individually? Only to get the chance and possibly fail and go home with nothing?
    Shani Davis got hell for declining to accept a last-minute place on a speed-skating relay team. If it interferes with the athlete's main event(s), the athlete might well pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    And I'm not buying the whole "skaters will be too tired to do both" argument either. They have to run their programs every day anyway. Gymnasts and swimmers have to be at peak every day too.
    Quote Originally Posted by minignome View Post
    Athletes in other sports have learned to do it -- skiers, speed skaters, short track have multiple competitions and can managed to stay at their highest levels throughout the Olympics. It may take a bit of time for figure skaters to learn, but they ARE athletes.
    Gymnasts, swimmers, and athletes in other sports train that way. So far, skaters do not. That doesn't mean they aren't physically capable of doing additional programs, but they might not want to risk injury or adjust to a schedule if their main event is more important to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post

    First, barring some fluke results at 2013 Worlds and/or a wholesale revision of current Olympic qualifying rules, this is going to mean using some skaters who don't have entries to the non-team competition.
    To allow skaters who have not qualified for individual competition is a major revision of the qualifying rules. I think it's a ridiculous idea to use the current qualifiers to the team event. I know they want to not increase the numbers, but if they said that any team that had three qualifiers could send one non-qualifying team/skater to the team event, they'd have a maximum of ten additional athletes.

    They could do a best-of-three score format, with some formula or revised weighting system to balance all four disciplines, and if a team had three of four entries, they could use all three.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Third, various NOC's have their own qualification standards that are more rigorous than the IOC's, e.g., Germany, Switzerland, and Israel. These NOC's aren't going to be any more enthusiastic about sending second- or third-tier skaters to a team competition than they are about sending them to compete in the traditional events.
    Or they might be more willing to send a skater/team who qualified by ISU standards, but not by their current NOC standards, if by having a team at all the team has a chance to medal or close.

    Quote Originally Posted by cygnus View Post
    While most the teams at the 2 synchro WCs I have attended have been mainly women- quite a few of the teams had at least one guy. The Swedish team at the Ottawa WC had 2 guys IIRC- the South African team in Colorado Springs had 3 or 4. The second Russian team in Ottawa was 50/50 girls and guys- it looked really cool on the ice and allowed for some interesting moves.
    There were men on at least one of the two teams from Germany in Colorado Springs, and I think a man on the French team. The guy on the Australian team was beautiful to watch.
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  14. #174
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    I'm surprised so many people dislike the idea. I don't really see how someone winning a team medal would cheapen the other medals. I think a lot of the skaters would like more than one chance to win a gold medal.

    The example that pops up in my mind is Roger Federer. He's an Olympic Gold Medalist. But he didn't win on his own. He won the Men's Doubles for Switzerland. And he seemed pretty happy to do so. I'm sure he probably would have liked to have won the Singles Medal too but I doubt if he now uses his OGM as a doorstop. He hardly ever plays Doubles usually but he took the opportunity to compete in both events giving himself another chance. I'd be happy for any figure skater who got two opportunities to be as happy as he was that day.

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    Imagine having a ticket to a team event...watching all disciplines, you now have ticket to watch pairs, men, dance, and ladies. After each round of pairs short, mens short, short dance, and ladies short, the countries keep on swapping placements. Who cares if you've seen the same program, maybe this time around they skated it differently, maybe change an element place it safe or add something more risky. if they can skate a different program (Bechalat/bourzat, and kerr/kerr skated different programs at worlds than the olympics) These skaters are not skating for themselves but for each other as a team.

    Remember they made this event possible because of the elimination of compulsory dances... no compulsory -10000 fans being able to watch,
    new Team event + 20000 more fans being able to watch

    The venues in Sochi have a smaller capacity than that of vancouver...so additional events give those olympic fans who want to live that olympic experiece have that more opportunity and greater chance to watch.

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    I am so glad that the naysayers opinions here are only that.... with no ability to affect the decision to have the team event. I will enjoy watching ALL of the skating while they stew in their 2014 Wnter of Discontent! roflmao!
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

  17. #177

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Shani Davis got hell for declining to accept a last-minute place on a speed-skating relay team. If it interferes with the athlete's main event(s), the athlete might well pass.
    Last minute being the operative word...

    Not exactly the same thing hopefully with the figure skaters it can be avoided. (Story below for those who are curious) If they wanted Davis to skate (in a team event he has never skated in before in his life) they should have named him to the team on December 31, 2005, not 5 other guys, then hashed it out long before they all left for the Olympics. Not wait until right before then change who will be on the team behind his back

    Hopefully with the skating teams, they will know who is competition long before they leave to avoid this trouble, unless you are an alternate then you are always on deck unfortunately. I equate it to forcing a Kim Yu-Na to ice dance before her short program without telling her she was an alternate and then getting mad when she says no...a stretch I know, but I can see Davis' point. I hope the ISU and federations avoids such trouble.

    Since the team pursuit event's inception at the senior level in the 2004–05 season, Davis had never practiced or participated in the event and U.S. Speed skating never expressed an interest in Davis skating the team pursuit event. In April 2005, U.S. Speed skating voted that it could appoint skaters to the Olympic Pursuit Team who had not otherwise made the team in an individual event. Having never skated the pursuit event, Davis submitted his declaration to U.S. Speed skating informing them of his intention to skate the 1,000 m, 1,500 m, and 5,000 m. On December 31, 2005, U.S. Speed skating named the maximum allotted 5 member team (K.C. Boutiette, Chad Hedrick, Charles Ryan Leveille, Clay Mull and Derek Parra). However, upon arriving in Turin, without Davis' knowledge or consent, the U.S. coaches named Davis as a substitute to the pursuit team. In case of an injury after the team had entered the competition track, substitution would be permitted if an International Skating Union (ISU) Withdrawal Form had been presented to and accepted by the Referee.There were no such injuries which meant that Davis was not even eligible to skate the team pursuit event at the Olympics.

  18. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    I watch the same gymnast do the same floor exercise 3 times in one Olympics, it never occurred to me to say "Gee, maybe she should have changed it up a bit"

    What occurres to me is she has been working on it for a year and she probably would like to show it off for a while before moving on to a new program.

    Come to think about...I have seen that same serve in tennis for years now, can't they find another way to get that ball over the net?!?
    Except a gymnast doesn't perform the same floor routine 3 times - they perform a watered down one for the team event and the most difficult one for event finals. How many skaters are going to want to come up with, and then skate an easier version of their LP right before the big event? It takes skaters almost a year to perfect just their regular programs. You don't want to tinker with taking elements in and out and doing jumps any differently. It's not the same thing as gymnastics in this aspect. Tennis is irrelevant because they actually work as a team while playing, skaters are just going to be doing their individual routines. The only way the team event could be considered the equivalent to tennis is if all 6 skaters did a routine on the ice together, which would be synchro, not the current team Ice Wars.

    Countries have had decades to build programs in all four disciplines, they just choose not to and now some will not be able to reap the rewards. Such is life.
    Except the whole purpose, according to IOC Inc., was that this event is supposed to make things more equitable for all. So for all the athletes not born in USA, Russia or China, I guess it's too bad for them, and that's life.

    They are Olympic athletes, it doesn't get much more in shape than that. Don't patronize them. We have all seen them skate back to back week to week from one end of the world to the next, broken foot, dislocated shoulders with mono and flu. Give them the credit they are due, they can all handle a programs that is a few minutes long.
    See Shani Davis example. I'm not saying they CAN'T do it, I'm saying that they shouldn't be forced to. Some athletes do not want to stress their bodies - skaters are already concerned about retooling their practices for the rescheduled World's so they "peak" at the right time. And that's just for one SP/LP, not a slew of programs. And if the alternate is going to be used, then they should be allowed to officially be on the team, stay in the village, etc., right from the beginning. Essentially they should not be called an alternate but an official team member.

    Many "skip" for various reasons some for injury and some just don't want to be embarrassed because they know they can't replicate the Olympic win so they just retire.
    Maybe some skaters don't want to be forced to compete in Ice Wars because of injuries? Or maybe they are exhausted. Sasha couldn't even sleep the week of her competition, just because of the stress of one SP/LP. If they want to do the extra event, great, but no way should they have to do it.

    The only way around it (not using ice and skaters) is to invent a new sport with a new venue (can use ice or snow) and hope it catches on.
    A team event is NOT the "only way around" adding new events. Synchro, jump/spin. There's at least two other options, one a really popular event with a lot of extra athletes and ice time, or a never-heard-of event that would push the limits of the sport with less ice time. Both IMO even with the drawbacks have more promise than Ice Wars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Visaliakid View Post
    My take on the above replies to 'leafygreens' comments in post # 166...

    This post #167 by Julieann is the most honest and non-politically correct set of replies to (what imho are) silly statements bashing the announced olympic team event, even before the event's structure has been decided upon.

    You gotta love it... Uber Fans want more skating... they get more skating, and yet we get... "oh, but more skating in this form won't do!

    Well those who don't want it... then DON'T WATCH! It's that simple!
    How was Julie's answer non-politically correct, insinuating that mine was, and what does that even mean? That statement makes no sense whatsoever. What does political correctness have to do with anything?

    You must be lumping me in with a bunch of other people, but I never said I wanted more skating if the skating is going to be a last-minute thrown together cheesefest. They took the worst out of all the ideas for extra events and chose the team event based on money, not what fans or athletes want. The USFSA doesn't even know what to do with this. "U.S. Figure Skating awaits further clarification on the technical details of the event." Shouldn't the technical details been worked out with everyone ahead of time? Maybe warn all the federations? Nope, we have to hurry up and ad an event to sell tickets. Yippie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Except a gymnast doesn't perform the same floor routine 3 times - they perform a watered down one for the team event and the most difficult one for event finals. How many skaters are going to want to come up with, and then skate an easier version of their LP right before the big event? It takes skaters almost a year to perfect just their regular programs. You don't want to tinker with taking elements in and out and doing jumps any differently. It's not the same thing as gymnastics in this aspect. Tennis is irrelevant because they actually work as a team while playing, skaters are just going to be doing their individual routines. The only way the team event could be considered the equivalent to tennis is if all 6 skaters did a routine on the ice together, which would be synchro, not the current team Ice Wars.
    You don't even know how the competition is going to work so to assume they need two different programs at this point is irrelevant. The tennis analogy was a joke, sorry I forgot the smilie face

    Except the whole purpose, according to IOC Inc., was that this event is supposed to make things more equitable for all. So for all the athletes not born in USA, Russia or China, I guess it's too bad for them, and that's life.
    Who said it was to make things more equitable for all? I never read that. As I have said ad nauseum at various places, All countries have had ample opportunity and time to nurture all four disciplines, but some choose to focus of singles or whatever and let others slide. So the ones who paid attention to all four will do the best. This will make those countries step it up, that is a good thing...

    See Shani Davis example. I'm not saying they CAN'T do it, I'm saying that they shouldn't be forced to. Some athletes do not want to stress their bodies - skaters are already concerned about retooling their practices for the rescheduled World's so they "peak" at the right time. And that's just for one SP/LP, not a slew of programs. And if the alternate is going to be used, then they should be allowed to officially be on the team, stay in the village, etc., right from the beginning. Essentially they should not be called an alternate but an official team member.
    See my Davis answer.

    This years worlds is different, the skaters were in limbo for weeks if a competition was even going to happen at all. Skaters now have a three year heads up about the team competition so they can train appropriately. As I said before, don't sell the skaters short, next thing you know we will be asking them not to do triples anymore. They are some of the highest trained athletes in the world, they can handle it.

    A team event is NOT the "only way around" adding new events. Synchro, jump/spin. There's at least two other options, one a really popular event with a lot of extra athletes and ice time, or a never-heard-of event that would push the limits of the sport with less ice time. Both IMO even with the drawbacks have more promise than Ice Wars.
    So skaters will do jumps, spins, throws, whatever in a separate completion but they will be too tired to do the rest of the program?

    Maybe if they are SO tired we should just take away the short program if they are that fragile.

    The reason synchro isn't included yet has been covered to death.

  20. #180
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    I've been out since this particular conversation started, but here are my reasons for being against a team event (I'm sure they've all been mentioned, but still):
    1. How is it fair that, for so many years, some of the best names in the sport had to compete for the ONE gold (and by ONE, I mean the assigned to the top competitor in that discipline, be it a pairs/dance team or an individual) and did not make it for whatever reason and now, we're awarding Olympic medals to people who probably would not have gotten them in the first place?
    Looking back at Vancouver, can you imagine the outrage on here if, say, Rachael Flatt or Alena Leonova came back with a gold medal for her role in the team event? What if Mao left with a bronze in addition to her silver? I'm not in agreement with these specific sentiments, but the team event basically says that, with one or two people/teams holding up the score, an athlete who wasn't in medal contention could leave with a medal for someone else's work.
    2. How many times would the average, once-per-cycle fan want to see the same programs? It's not the same as gymnastics because gymnastics programs are so much shorter.
    OT: does NBC plan on playing more skating in 2014? That's actually purely rhetorical, unless someone knows.
    3. What happens if a champion in one discipline chooses not to participate? Doesn't that "mess with the curve"?

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