Funnily I donít even find him particularly attractive when I watch old tapes today. But I still adore his skating. However, today I love Kurt Browningís skating too. So Iím glad that teenage days are over.
Respect Ė personally Iíd respect everyone who skates at elite level, no matter what his / her personality is like. E.g. Iíve always respected Tonya Harding for her powerful jumps.
You can like the skating of someone Ė e.g. I liked Christie Yamaguchi, though it didnít emotionally touch me, still found her performances very good and can watch them and enjoy.
Cheering for someone Ė I actively hope that this skater does particularly well. For me itís usually skaters, whoís skating I do not only like, but skaters that touch me emotionally. I donít need to perceive their personality in a positive way. However, if a skater does things I donít like at all, mostly connected to the sport and being a fair sportsman (e.g. no doping, unfair behavior towards competitors, racism, etc.), I think I would somehow ďdisconnectĒ and wonít be able to cheer for him/her any longer. Itís mostly about sportsmanship, donít care very much for skaters' private lives, unless they do something really awful. Alexej Yagudin is a good example Ė I looooved his skating, but I wasnít fond about him complaining he never became Russian Champion (--> most times he simply skated badly at nationals). But he was young and obviously he stopped with it now, so I donít care any longer and really very much enjoy his skating. However, I wouldnít give ďactive fan support to himĒ (= doing projects, etc.).
Becoming an uber fan Ė to me it means that Iím prepared to actively do something for a skater, e.g. participate in scrap book projects, throw little presents on the ice. For me this is certainly connected with personality. For example I always "liked" Masha Petrova / Lyosha Tikhonov, though I was not an uber fan until I saw them live at exhibitions. They were just so much better than in competition! I think in competitions they just focused too much on the elements, but after watching them in shows I started to cheer for them and detected that both of them are just among the nicest persons Iíve met in the circuit so far. I was very much impressed by their personality on the ice and off the ice as well. Therefore I helped a friend of mine, who made a scrapbook for them a tiny little bit and of course also made a contribution to the book. I simply love them now and will always root for them. Ė However, I would never give this kind of ďactive fan supportĒ to skaters whose personality I can't stand, e.g. because of arrogant behaviour, even if I liked their skating.
So basically if I like the skating of someone or not, doesnít depend on personality. However, active fandom that leads me to actively doing something for skaters depends a lot on that factor as well.
I have to say I really like this thread! It's just interesting to read, how other skating fans handle this. I wonder if female fans take personality more into account than male fans (just giving the stereotype of quads and power only ).