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  1. #1

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    Would you like to restart serious, respectable pro competitions?

    The old pro competitions in the 1980s and 1990s had their flaws, but they had some respectability, particularly those in Landover. I miss those because skaters were able to develop the artistic/creative side of their skating after their eligible careers were over.

    The recent trend of cheesefests after cheesefests makes me not want to watch figure skating outside of eligible competitions. I would like to see the respectable (highly debatable term but I would use Landover as the benchmark for this) pro competitions brought back, and it could offer the older eligible skaters an alternative to retirement.

    The exhibitions are always there, but they often seem to mimic the cheesefests and cheap humor, at least in the USA. May be Europe is different. I have never been a fan of exhibition skating, although I did go to COI and SOI for many years. COI disappeared and SOI does not interest me anymore. I love competitions, but only when they are taken seriously.

    The pro ams killed the real pro competitions. I think there is a void that needs to be filled. I miss the programs from the pros like G&G, Robin Cousins, even Scott Hamilton (when he was still young and able to skate at competition level), also Kristi, Kulik, Bechke-Betrov, and so on.

    Anyone else feels like this?

  2. #2
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    It was an amazing time, when we had the chance to watch Kristi Yamaguchi, Midori Ito, Gordeeva&Grinkov, Kurt Browning, Brian Boitano...
    I have only great memories with those pro-comp from the 90's.

  3. #3
    YEAH!
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    Yeah, definitely! I actually appreciated Gordeeva & Grinkov and Klimova & Ponomarenko much more as pros. They really grew artistically. Nowaways, at least on US TV, it seems like all we get are cheesy Disson shows where the skaters are usually tied to a theme or have to skate to assigned music from the guest artist. There's not a lot of creativity.

  4. #4

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    I think the pro~ams and over saturation killed pro skating. Aside from the fact that there is really no "amateur" skating......hence ther is no reaxon to turn pro.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  5. #5
    I <3 Kozuka
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    I don't find invitational "World Championships" credible, but I'd love to see a professional championship where anyone who meets the pre-defined standards could qualify, regardless of country or name-recognition.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I would love ot see pro competitions back like in the '90s. Sometimes I enjoyed stuff like the World Pro and Challenge of Champions more than I actually enjoyed eligible comps.

  7. #7
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    Yes, it would be great. There are a lot of retired skaters which I would like to see in a pro competition.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    I don't find invitational "World Championships" credible, but I'd love to see a professional championship where anyone who meets the pre-defined standards could qualify, regardless of country or name-recognition.
    Yeah.
    How could that work best? What would be the predefined standards?

    On the one hand, skaters who already have name recognition will attract audiences and sponsors, even if they are not well trained or were never interested in the entertainment side of skating as eligible competitors or as pros.

    And of course those who are well-trained and always were artistic or have become so as pros will be the most valuable participants.

    So there probably should be some way to allow and encourage well-known pros to enter without making them jump through additional hoops.

    On the other hand, there may be some skaters who never achieved fame or international-level success as eligible competitors but who were always fun to watch for whoever got the opportunity to see them skate, and who have kept up or improved some of their skills. They may be more entertaining for audiences than some of the big names, and/or more able to pull off a solid technical performance.

    So there probably should be some way to allow lesser known/unknown pros to enter. But the numbers have to be manageable.

    The old U.S. Open pro skating competition used to have a handful of invited skaters in each discipline and an initial round that any pro could enter on payment of an entry fee. Then the top X or those who earned a score over a predetermined number were invited to advance to the final round to compete with the stars.

    Would something like that work?

    Would there be enough interest (from participants and from audiences) to sustain a circuit with several qualifying events in different venues followed by a final, similar to the way the Grand Prix works?

    Even so, for the sake of fairness there should be some clear guidelines on what entitles a skater with some international experience to be invited directly and bypass the initial round(s). And what are the minimum requirements even to enter the initial round.

  9. #9

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    YES - absolutely! Some of the greatest treasures of my Skating DVD Collection are all of those wonderful 'Landover' events from 1980 to ca-2001. I do not mind in the least that it would be an invitational. In the old Landovers, we got the best skaters --"who we wanted to see" -- eventually, especially after 1988, when USSR/Russians who were still based in Russia were allowed in. [Protopopovs were in exile long before 1980.] The key is to have someone like Dick Button did for Landover, doing the selecting and sifting, to ensure that the skaters who are of greatest interest to the public will be present. By "of greatest interest" we do not mean the top champions, e.g., remember the wonderful appearances of Lucinda Ruh, Gary Beacom and others who never won the top international medals, yet touched us in other ways? Landover used to include such fascinating non-champ skaters; a new World Pros event should also invite today's equivalent of the Lucindas and Garys.

    BRING IT ON!!!
    Last edited by Frau Muller; 08-31-2011 at 02:41 PM.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  10. #10

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    Yes. At pro competitions skater before skated really interesting and innovated programs, wich we all remember even more, then competitive programs.
    And this mean more FS in one season - always good
    Any news about Hamilton competitions in next season?

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