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  1. #21
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    JMHO, but it seems to me a good number of ubers tend to have crushes on their fav skaters. I think this is particularly the case when certain ubers become over-protective and very defensive towards their skater, and are easily offended to the point of feeling persecuted.

  2. #22
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    Definitely looks play a factor into it. Brian Joubert is the most obvious example of this, Yuna Kim as well. At JW this year, all the Belorussian girls wanted to get their picture taken with Josh Farris but there aren't nearly as many pictures of them with Jason Brown. Kiira Korpi probably wouldn't have these commercials made about her if she didn't look like Grace Kelly, the examples go on...

    I think good skating, good looks, and a unique/fun personality will get skaters the most fans, although any combination of these traits will likely lead to at least some semblence of a fan base.

  3. #23

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    I tend to become fans of skaters who I perceive to be artists, or those who skate with emotions and vision. And for those skaters, a lot of of the times their personality/thoughts are reflected in the skating. I believe that true artists cannot really seperate personal life from their works. Afterall, art is a form of expression. No one is perfect, but I don't believe anyone can be true jackasses and still be able to produce something as beautiful as they do on the ice.

  4. #24

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    There are a few things i look for in skaters.

    1) Asthetics. Their skating has to be pleasing for me to watch, as does their packaging (dress hair etc). I can't stand a non pointed toe, or bad free leg on the layback. Skaters who are slow, have hideous technique also displease me.

    2) Personality, if someone has a great office personality also, then i tend to like them. I like skaters to show personality, so, even if they come accross as bratty, or a bit of a headcase, i will like them..

    3) The underdog.


    i guess its a bit of a mix bag... of current skaters i like Mao, Alissa, Kanako, Elizaveta, Mirai.. i guesss they all share some traits, although, they are all a bit different.

  5. #25

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    I'm a bit all over the shop. The skating, first and foremost, has to catch my eye. From there, it's a kind of jumble:

    1) On-ice personality: This is how Plushenko grabbed me after I noticed the skating. He genuinely looked like he was enjoying himself.

    2) Strength and courage: I am innately drawn to skaters/drivers/people who have an element of hard luck in them. Yes, that's probably cheesy. But you know, look at all the things that have happened to Plushenko over the course of his life, so much of it when he was still a child, and yet he kept fighting and overcame it. That sort of thing makes me respect a person. Josh Farris and the Horror Nationals. I mean, the kid skated on a broken leg. How can you NOT respect that?

    3) Hard work and perseverance: Saw an interview with Jason Brown where he was sounding frustrated but still hopeful about the 3A. Lesser men might have given up by now and decided "Well my artistry/flow/spins/footwork etc are to die for, I'll focus on those as the point-spinners instead". Plushenko comes back - and adds new elements to his repertoire. You know the thing.

    By the same token, I loathe skaters who claim to "work harder than any other skater in the world". EVERY skater at EVERY level works hard on their skating. Yes, I'm looking at you, Mr Lysacek.

    4) The Intangible - Artur, Artur, Artur, where do you come into all of this? Intangibly. If you asked me what made me start liking Artur, I honestly couldn't tell you. The skating, of course. The lovely fluid lines. Maybe at the end of the day what it comes down to is that I feel so desperately sorry for him because every time he skates he gets this horrible haunted look. Although not so much this season. Maybe that's it - he wears his heart on his sleeve. His expression just about broke my heart at Worlds.

    At the end of the day, I think too, I won't like a skater because someone tells me to. That really ANNOYS me on a huge scale. In fact, a skater that gets shoved in my face and I'm told is OMG NEXT HUGE THING is likely to earn dislike before like.

    When I started watching figure skating, I bemoaned that for all my favourites I had chosen skaters who were retired (Ilia, Alexei, Sasha Abt) or who were likely to retire in the not-so-distant future (Zhenya). I worried about who I would watch and go for without him. Then I stumbled into liking Artur without even knowing it. A friend showed me Joshua Farris, not because she wanted me to like him but because she wanted me to commentate for her on his program and explain what I thought of it. I was only halfway through before I was in love! Joshua and Jason turn up in each others' recommendation lists on Youtube so it wasn't long before I found Jason, too. Accidental favourites are the best favourites.


    ......oh yeah, and I guess they're all pretty good-looking too. That is ENTIRELY a coincidence. Artur has done the traditional Russian man thing and gone from geeky awkward lanky to OMG HELLO , Joshua is gorgeous and Jason is plain adorable. Every time he grins I grin too. Plus, er...wearing glasses myself, I automatically gravitate towards athletes who wear them. Most of the time.


    Please excuse stream-of-consciousness post.

  6. #26
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    "Is fandom based strictly on skating?"

    I can tell you conclusively, ..... absolutely NOT.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csmOPYJii7g

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macassar88 View Post
    A lot of it is based on aesthetic appeal as well. I don't think that Brian Joubert would have such a huge fan base if he weren't so damn gorgeous.
    Well, I have understood that Plushenko as well as Yagudin have huge fan bases... Also Elvis Stojko had lots and lots of fans, I believe..

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyross View Post
    Yagudin (seems) arrogant? well, i'm weird, but it just makes him hotter
    Perhaps it does I really don't care if he acts arrogantly. His skating is enough for me to forgive him for everything

    btw, i think that in many cases in life, especially when you don't know well someone, it's always better to say "that guy acted arrogantly" rather than "he's arrogant". even a wonderful person can look hateful in bad moments.
    Agreed, sorry for not being clear before. Of course everything I've been discussing are my impressions of skaters, not facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bournekraatzfan View Post
    Sometimes a skater may say or do something that rubs me the wrong way, but I try to remember that I don't know that person nor do I know what might have motivated them to say or do what they did and also that I may just be bothered by those things for my own reasons.
    I think I'm just not that understanding, maybe because they (top class skaters) have the life I can be nothing but envious of and despite all exhaustement or pressure or the fact everyone can just have a bad day, most of them act really great towards fans. Some of them just don't and they stand out because the majority is so great to be around. Plus, it's really not that hard to smile to a fan who tells you they love you.

    Also, I don't care what motives he has to act like he does, but after this season there is no way I could ever be a fan of Scott Moir (ok, I'd probably never be a fan of them anyway, cause I simply don't like their skating, but there is something about Scott that annoys the hell out of me) and I'm genuinely astonished so many people can.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    Also, I don't care what motives he has to act like he does, but after this season there is no way I could ever be a fan of Scott Moir (ok, I'd probably never be a fan of them anyway, cause I simply don't like their skating, but there is something about Scott that annoys the hell out of me) and I'm genuinely astonished so many people can.
    i used to feel like this too toward a couple of skaters once. and i have no big empathy for Meryl Davis, but i respect the hard work and the commitment in anyone, and i can appreciate and enjoy DW skating if i find they do something remarkable. maybe if you try to focus on what Scott does on the ice, you'll be able to enjoy watching them,one day.

  10. #30

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    How much does a skater's personality (or persona) have to do with your being a fan? Can you separate the skating from what you may think of them personally?
    Personally, it is always the amazing SKILLS which the person posses which will make me sit up and take notice (the WOW factor) in the very first instance. If this person has a persona and looks to match, certainly it will be a plus point though I am unlikely to watch further if it’s the other way round.
    Yes, I can separate the skating from what I think of them separately ie. they may come across as an *&^#hole in the media, but if they possess amazing skills, I can still think of them highly in terms of these skills. Eg. Plushy tends to attract both criticisms and praise. I am not a personal fan of his but this does not prevent me from enjoying and acknowledging his amazing jumping skills and tenacity, and being a formidable competitor. I may have my favourites, but like in other sports, my thinking is ‘may the best win’.

    Is fandom based solely on skating?
    No. In my personal opinion, the type of fandom correlates to gender, age, personality, culture, upbringing, environment and thought-process. I think females tend to be more attracted to stylistic and non-aggressive sport like figure skating, and males the non-stylistic and aggressive sports. Culture will affect how fans behaved collectively as audience in a sport competition. Personality and thought-process on how individuals relate and react to the individual sportsmen/women.
    Last edited by spikydurian; 04-23-2012 at 09:55 PM.

  11. #31

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    Published in the "Japan Real Time" Wall Street Journal blog today:
    In recent years, Japan has followed the axels, lifts, and lunges of its professional figure skaters with a zeal not unlike Americans’ fascination with football touchdowns and field goals. But for some admirers of the sport, the fascination with its athletes has become something of a guilty pleasure — so guilty, in fact, that they feel they cannot reveal it to their husbands, friends or the intrepid reporters at JRT.

    No figure skater has been the object of more secret adulation than Daisuke Takahashi, a 26-year old whose dashing looks and sumptuous moves have won him legions of fans among older Japanese women. Call them Daisuke’s aunties.
    ...
    JRT caught up with three of Mr. Takahashi’s fans at Tokyo Station, where one of the women was taking a train to watch her heartthrob at a competition in western Japan. They agreed to discuss the Daisuke-fan subculture on the condition that their names not be used.
    Full article: Confessions of a Covert Daisuke Takahashi Fan
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  12. #32

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    I look at the skating mostly.I don't really care about the off-ice personality and I try not to learn about it as well.What you don't know,can't hurt you.
    I'm not drawn into skaters because of their looks but if I really like a skater I may find him attractive even when the majority doesn't.It's the aura,the on-ice personality and so much more.
    It has happened that I came to love skaters as people even though I didn't particularly enjoy their skating.That was with Dobriasko/Vanagas.I consider them to be one of the most gracious people I've ever seen,but I was never a fan of their skating.
    One thing I can't stand,is if someone tries to force me into loving a skater.Huge PR,and aggressive fans just make me drop the skaters alltogether.I may enjoy his/her skating,but I'm not excited anymore.

    I think what fandom is based on is a mixture of things,and it also depends from the age range.A teenage girl may become a fan just because the said skater is gorgeous.A romantic person may become a fan of a couple just because they are romantically involved.Pairs and ice dancers that are couples off the ice (or people think they are) have significantly more fans than those that aren't.But again,for me,this only applies in situation were partnerships are equal.How many times have we seen fans mushrooming everywhere when we learnt that X skater is with Y skater.

    Although I admit,I started watching figure skating because I had a crush on Zhulin

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by zotza View Post
    Although I admit,I started watching figure skating because I had a crush on Zhulin
    When Russian men are handsome, they are scarily so.

  14. #34
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    I think looks are so subjective it can hardly be counted when watching someone. I've also heard some skaters talk in interviews that made me think they were real a**holes and I did lose respect for them as a person but skating skills are skating skills.

  15. #35
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    There is a difference between appreciating the skating skills and being a fan, though. I do appreciate that V/M are excellent ice dancers and their skills are incredible, but I cannot say I even like them, let alone be a fan. I appreciate Chan's deep edges, but I still cheer for Takahashi and even less skilled guys. Forget the personality, even liking or disliking the skating is more than just seing the great skating skills. For example, I love some of the Kerrs' programs and you cannot say their SS were the best in the world.

    I agree with the statement that aggresive PR might make a person loose the interest in a skater. I think one of many reasons why I went on to become an uber of D/W instead of V/M is because everyone around was telling me how great they were. I had the same with I/K when they first moved up to seniors and everyone was naming them as future Olympic champs. I like them more now than last year, but still difficult to call me a fan.

    and I gotta say I find it kinda funny how so many girls/women have a crush on Takahashi. I love his skating, but he's nowhere near handsome for me and my mom's reaction when she first saw him was: "God, he's ugly!"

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    Perhaps it does I really don't care if he acts arrogantly. His skating is enough for me to forgive him for everything



    Agreed, sorry for not being clear before. Of course everything I've been discussing are my impressions of skaters, not facts.



    I think I'm just not that understanding, maybe because they (top class skaters) have the life I can be nothing but envious of and despite all exhaustement or pressure or the fact everyone can just have a bad day, most of them act really great towards fans. Some of them just don't and they stand out because the majority is so great to be around. Plus, it's really not that hard to smile to a fan who tells you they love you.

    Also, I don't care what motives he has to act like he does, but after this season there is no way I could ever be a fan of Scott Moir (ok, I'd probably never be a fan of them anyway, cause I simply don't like their skating, but there is something about Scott that annoys the hell out of me) and I'm genuinely astonished so many people can.
    ITA!!!!

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    and I gotta say I find it kinda funny how so many girls/women have a crush on Takahashi. I love his skating, but he's nowhere near handsome for me and my mom's reaction when she first saw him was: "God, he's ugly!"

    Guess what, my mom had the same reaction.
    My mom was like "Why do you cheer so much for the ugly ones?"
    Being a huge fan of Takahashi, Kozuka and Oda, I was a bit pissed with her for saying that.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaiKozOda View Post
    Guess what, my mom had the same reaction.
    My mom was like "Why do you cheer so much for the ugly ones?"
    Being a huge fan of Takahashi, Kozuka and Oda, I was a bit pissed with her for saying that.
    hahaha...instead my mom is always impressed with the Y spin when watching a ladies competition. for her, a girl can do 12 quadruples and she doesn't bat an eye, but if she does the Y spin, well...

  19. #39
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    I think that some people are first attracted to the sport because of the beauty of a certain athlete.
    I remember an episode that happened with a male co-worker. He knew nothing about figure skating and couldn't care less until we were having dinner at the house of a common friend. That friend of mine is also a skating fan and we were watching Domnina & Shabalin's FD at 07 Worlds. As soon as my co-worker saw Domnina, it was enough for him to start making questions about when they would skate again and where could he find videos of their performances. Nowdays he is an avid figure skating fan.
    Music can also be a factor. I know some teens that payed attention to Volosozhar and Trankov because they used an Evanescence song. The word spread in some forums and some of those teens started to follow the career of V&T "cause they were cool".

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    For me, on-ice persona comes into play. I never liked Totmianina/Marinin because she seemed so cold and he wasn't exactly a poster-boy for expressive, either. On the flip side there's Leonova. I know she's not the best skater out there but she enjoys performing and really tries to sell her programs, and I like that. As for their off-ice personalities, well, I don't know any skater personally, so I don't really take that into consideration. Suzuki could be a snotty bitch IRL and I'd still enjoy watching her skate. (Although, for the record, I'm sure she's anything but.)
    For me it's the skating first and foremost I have to love the way they move their blades over the ice, the lines they make, the details. Totmianina/Marinin are the perfect example of what moves me in skating. They had the personality of wallpaper but the way they skated was perfection. That to me is art and moves me emotionally. I typically will like a lot of skaters that many people say are boring or overscored/overrated but there is such art and beauty in having such incredible skating skills and being able to do all the things they must and make it look smooth and easy. I just love good skating.

    I think there are only two skaters I find are a complete turnoff for me and those would be Pluschenko and Amodio. I am definitely affected by their personalities but I don't know how much that affects me because they don't have the skills I admire most in skating to compensate for their arrogance. I used to put Joubert in that category but his personality is less obnoxious (especially in more recent years). He has been humbled and I find myself more sympathetic to him. But I´m not a fan of his skating.

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