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  1. #41
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    I am puzzled about why Aaron compares himself with Abbott and Savoie, rather than the more high-profile US men Evan Lysaeck and Johnny Weir. Besides, who wants to be Savoie (especially if you are a student of Mr. Zakrasjek) who never got the respect he deserved with judges foreign or domestic? He never won US Championship and never got near the podium at Worlds. If Matt hears how he is remembered by current skaters and "officials", I bet he'd laugh.
    Last edited by Jun Y; 03-07-2013 at 02:47 AM.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    This caught my eye:
    Like Joubert, the 2008 world champion, and past skaters -- including Canada's Elvis Stojko -- some thought Aaron too much an athlete, too little an artist.
    I bet that's news to Jeff Buttle.


    Back to Max, I hope the changes pay off and he has a great skate with great scores at Worlds.

  3. #43

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    Another pre-Worlds article: http://www.teamusa.org/Road-to-Sochi...For-Sochi.aspx
    His first-place finish at nationals came as surprise. After all, he had never competed in an international event at the senior level and, in a sport where one often has to pay his dues, he had only one trip to the national championships at the top level.
    The journalist probably meant Senior Grand Prix because Aaron had competed in 3 Senior B events (5th at 2011 Nebelhorn, 1st at 2012 Salt Lake City and 2nd at 2012 Cup of Nice) prior to 2013 Nationals.

    Excerpt from the end of the article:
    “I’m going to stay true to my roots,” Aaron said. “I’m not going to be Johnny Weir but I’m going to prove to everyone that I’m not just a jumper. I will take all the negative words and use it as fuel.”
    Last edited by Sylvia; 03-08-2013 at 08:37 PM.
    "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

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Another pre-Worlds article: http://www.teamusa.org/Road-to-Sochi...For-Sochi.aspx

    The journalist probably meant Senior Grand Prix because Aaron had competed in 3 Senior B events (5th at 2011 Nebelhorn, 1st at 2012 Salt Lake City and 2nd at 2012 Cup of Nice) prior to 2013 Nationals.

    Excerpt from the end of the article:
    All power to him, just as long as it doesn't appear forced and he doesn't appear constipated doing it ...

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    I am puzzled about why Aaron compares himself with Abbott and Savoie, rather than the more high-profile US men Evan Lysaeck and Johnny Weir. Besides, who wants to be Savoie (especially if you are a student of Mr. Zakrasjek) who never got the respect he deserved with judges foreign or domestic? He never won US Championship and never got near the podium at Worlds. If Matt hears how he is remembered by current skaters and "officials", I bet he'd laugh.
    I think he compares himself to those two, because he is saying he does not have their artistry. Abbott and Savoie are the pinnacle of artistry in US skating. Lysacek is not an artistic skater. Weir was at one point, but now a comparison to him may lose that connotation- rather, Weir is known for his antics.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Abbott and Savoie are the pinnacle of artistry in US skating.
    That's a matter of opinion. One which I don't personally agree with.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I think he compares himself to those two, because he is saying he does not have their artistry. Abbott and Savoie are the pinnacle of artistry in US skating. Lysacek is not an artistic skater. Weir was at one point, but now a comparison to him may lose that connotation- rather, Weir is known for his antics.
    The word artistry has many different meanings. Abbott and Savoie had a similar style and preferred type of music - very lyrical, balletic, etc. Lysacek is not a lyrical skater, but I would not say his presentation/components were lacking, he just had a different style - dramatic, epic-type music. I always thought his programs were well-choreographed and did a good job of showing off his style and expression. What bothers me about Max's skating/programs, in addition to the backloading, is that it's all about the technical elements, with very little in-between. I don't mind that his style is different from Abbott, Savoie, or Lysacek, or that it's 'European', but his choreo/presentation isn't at the same level as those three when they were nat'l champs or World team members.

  8. #48

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    But Max kicks all three from here to next week on the technical mark.

    I always have a laugh when people say with their noses in the air, it's not all about jumps. It's not, but it's not all about the presentation and artistry either as some people would have you believe.

    Max is doing just fine. I personally thought his Tron program was very well-choreographed. It showed off his personality and was a lot of fun. He's never going to be the tortured artist, but he smiles and enjoys himself on the ice, which IMO is FAR better than seeing a skater look like they're having a knife twisted in their chest.

  9. #49

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    Phil Hersh takes more of a hockey angle in his article about Max: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports...1598806.column
    "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

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    I am puzzled about why Aaron compares himself with Abbott and Savoie, rather than the more high-profile US men Evan Lysaeck and Johnny Weir. Besides, who wants to be Savoie (especially if you are a student of Mr. Zakrasjek) who never got the respect he deserved with judges foreign or domestic? He never won US Championship and never got near the podium at Worlds. If Matt hears how he is remembered by current skaters and "officials", I bet he'd laugh.
    Savoie was a few years ahead of his time - a COP skater trapped in 6.0 era. Now that interesting choreo and in-betweens mean something, I think he may be a little more appreciated by the skating community in hindsight.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  11. #51

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    The Hersh article is blocked outside the US, so I could only read the IN interview.

    I think it's kind of sad that Aaron was made to feel as though his own style is something to be ashamed of. He's still developing his abilities as a performer, but why would anyone want to try and turn him into a mediocre version of another skater, rather than the best skater he can be? And what's wrong with a European style, whatever that is? Are those digs at Joubert really necessary? I don't believe that most of the supposedly superior skaters have a better record than Joubert's.

    This approach is so limiting, as though there is only a narrow range of acceptable artistic expression. I love that Aaron skates to Tron rather than try to be artsy or classical. There are so many options, why limit yourself?

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Abbott and Savoie are the pinnacle of artistry in US skating.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudy_Gumdrops View Post
    That's a matter of opinion. One which I don't personally agree with.
    Which male singles skater(s) would you consider to be the pinnacle of artistry in U.S. skating, Cloudy_Gumdrops, if not those two?

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Which male singles skater(s) would you consider to be the pinnacle of artistry in U.S. skating, Cloudy_Gumdrops, if not those two?
    I don't consider any skaters the pinnacle of artistry. What one finds artistic is subjective and everyone has their own interpretation of who might be the most artistic. I guess the reason I even responded was because Skittl1321's statement was written as if it was a universal fact or something. I like both Savoie and Abbott, but I've always been more okay with them then really wowed by them. Abbott has his moments, but those are few and far between. I always saw Savoie as pleasant, just pleasant.

    But to answer your question, I'd go with Ryan Jahnke, Paul Wylie, and I always enjoyed Weiss (yeah yeah, cue the haters ). Weir had the goods early on, but then he decided to go all wannabe Russian and instead of tending towards voidy, skipped strait to WTF? land.

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudy_Gumdrops View Post
    I don't consider any skaters the pinnacle of artistry. What one finds artistic is subjective and everyone has their own interpretation of who might be the most artistic. I guess the reason I even responded was because Skittl1321's statement was written as if it was a universal fact or something. I like both Savoie and Abbott, but I've always been more okay with them then really wowed by them. Abbott has his moments, but those are few and far between. I always saw Savoie as pleasant, just pleasant.

    But to answer your question, I'd go with Ryan Jahnke, Paul Wylie, and I always enjoyed Weiss (yeah yeah, cue the haters ).
    I agree (well, not about Weiss ) - I don't think artistry should be defined so narrowly as some have suggested. And, although it is FSU heresy, I didn't find Savoie all that memorable, but I thought some of Johnny Weir's earlier programs were lovely. So there.

    Also, Jonathan Cassar. But I can't think of a skater who would be less appropriate as a model for Aaron - they are nothing alike and each brings/brought a different set of strengths and weaknesses to the ice. As it should be. What, did Daisuke Takahashi and Stephane Lambiel run around trying to see who they could skate like? No, they developed their own style. As did Joubert - and for that matter, Abbott himself has been known to experiment. Aaron should focus on developing his own style, and while it's a great idea to seek other sources of inspiration, they don't all have to be fellow American men's skaters.

  15. #55
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    I don't know why anyone would consider something I say to be absolute fact. Clearly, I can only speak for myself. It is pointless to proceed everything on a messsage board with IMO because of course everything I say is in my opinion not someone else's.

    I happen to think Ryan Bradley is also very artistic, though not balletic. I really don't think Lysacek is artistic, though he has excellent skating skills and makes good use of components. But PCS is not an artistry mark.

    I also don't think there were digs at Joubert in the article. Just saying it was bad to have European style when he was being scored by American judges. Not that European style is a bad thing.

  16. #56
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    Personally, I don't think there's any such thing as a strictly "European style" vs styles from other regions. It's just labels which change from era to era as I already mentioned in an earlier post in this thread (e.g. U.S. and North American skaters were considered to have an athletic style during the time of Dick Button). Conversely, the U.S. skater from an even earlier era, Jackson Haines (the father of figure skating), was appreciated for his lyrical, balletic style when he toured Europe -- he was adopted by Austria. And Haines is also responsible for adding music and arm movements to figure skating.

    In today's global world, skaters have varying styles no matter where they are from. Sure there is something about a movement quality that is seemingly passed down in some countries such as Russia due to their strong ballet tradition. And I think German pairs skaters traditionally have a unique innovative movement quality. French skaters tend to have an original quirky style (thinking of Hubert, Tobel, Gusmeroli, Candeloro). North American pairs skaters have been considered to have a more athletic rather than a balletic style.

    Regardless of Russia's strong ballet tradition, two of their greatest singles stars, Plushenko and Slutskaya, do not make me think of lyrical ballet tradition at all. Plushenko's emphasis has always been on the jumps and the ballet tradition he and his coach seemed to take for granted and not really work on developing too much in his skating, IMHO. And perhaps the emergence and dominance of Plush is where any current notion of "European style" not being lyrical came from. Yagudin was also a great jumper under Mishin, and then Yags sought to distinguish himself from Plush and to develop his artistic muscles under TAT. However, Yags' greatest strengths were still his huge jumps and his fierce determination. Brian Joubert patterned his skating after Yagudin and thereby also emphasized jumps. I don't think Brian has a great deal of stretch and flexibility in his skating so that is where he gets a bad rap. However, Brian does have great charisma and he has skated a number of lovely artistic performances, many in exhibition, as he has grown as a skater over the years. Stephane Lambiel is the quintessential creative and artistic skater, and he's from Switzerland, so what's this fetish about "European style" not being artistic?

    IMO, Abbott and Savoie both have their own unique styles and shouldn't be lumped together. Ryan Jahnke is another great American skater with a unique style artistically. Johnny Weir had it all: gorgeous artistry, amazing jumps, technical consistency, beautiful posture, smooth moves, incredible ride out on jump landings, musicality, but he seems to be known more for his edgy costumes, his competition nerves, his catchy quotes, his poor career choices, his rebellious stance and his not being favored politically which all contributed to his not having greater success. Jason Brown is probably the best musical and artistic skater in the men's field (senior and junior, IMO). And Jason has great jumps too! The fact it took Jason a slight bit longer than some current guys to land the 3-axel should not detract from the fact that he's an absolutely great skater, far more artistically mature IMO than Yuzuru Hanyu!

    Ryan Bradley was absolutely gorgeous as a 16-year-old skater. He had such lyrical potential with his long legs and elegant qualities. However, Ryan B stuck with Tom Z and ended up getting stuck between a rock and a skate blade in terms of not developing artistically. Perhaps Max Aaron who doesn't have the long legs or the latent elegance of Ryan B can avoid getting stuck artistically under Tom Z, but still retain him as a coach. At least Max seems to be more aware of the importance of changing the notion that he can't be a complete skater. Max doesn't need to or have to skate like Abbott or Savoie or anyone else. I think Max has a fierce determination and an enthusiasm all his own. He just needs to commit to continue exploring and developing his own unique qualities and to finding the right music and choreography and putting it all out there on the ice. Right now, in this sport, having the quads is essential. Max has the jumps, and the artistry is inside him. He shouldn't give up on tapping into that part of himself and having the courage to bring it out.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 03-10-2013 at 10:46 PM.

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I also don't think there were digs at Joubert in the article. Just saying it was bad to have European style when he was being scored by American judges. Not that European style is a bad thing.
    If being compared to Joubert is such a bad thing that it breaks someone's heart, that's a dig. And characterizing skaters as being about jumps/athleticism only, as though they care for nothing else, well, how can that be interpreted in a positive way? Audiences don't respond to a skater's performance if it's just jumps.

    If Aaron ends up being half as accomplished as Joubert in his career, and becomes a similarly charismatic performer, he can count himself as fortunate.

  18. #58
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    Audiences don't respond to a skater's performance if it's just jumps.
    Then it seems there's already a lot more to Aaron's skating than just jumps because he got standing ovation at US Nationals for his free skate performance.

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by VarBar View Post
    Then it seems there's already a lot more to Aaron's skating than just jumps because he got standing ovation at US Nationals for his free skate performance.
    I never suggested Aaron is all about the jumps; my argument was:
    1. That it is a pity if he was made to feel as though he was just a jumper with little else to offer - and that the comparison to other skaters who were supposedly just jumpers was inappropriate, and
    2. There is room for Aaron to grow as a performer, and I hope he does so by finding his own style rather than trying to imitate others.

  20. #60
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    I'm with aftershocks here: that whole "European style" thing when I read the article at Ice Network made me roll my eyes so much they hurt now (and the idea that Joubert, of all people, is representative of a European Style of skating is pretty hilarious considering he isn't even representative of the style of skating of his own country.....)

    Also this will likely sound deliciously ironic to Matt Savoie if he ever hear about this And, are THAT MANY skaters in the US skating in the style of Abbott/ Savoie (if such a thing exist)? Really? Because based on what I saw at US Nats, it certainly didn't look like it (which isn't necessarily a bad thing btw, I actually enjoyed Jonathan Cassar and Alexander Johnson a lot more than I did Abbott this time)

    That being said, I am really sorry for Max because who in their right mind would take a dig at a NOVICE skater for their artistry (or perceived lack thereof) when they still have so much time to develop and will likely go through many changes in their career (if they stay in skating, of course)? Good on him for sticking with it and not let that kind of talk drive him away, and sorry it apparently almost happened.

    And also good on him for wanting to improve as far as presentation/ interpretation go. I think he's got his work cut out for himself, but I hope he will find his own way, his own blend of of musical interpretation. He's still got time and he seems to hear the music ok, so that should definitely work in his favor. As other said above, each skater should develop their own style, although there's nothing wrong about taking a leaf out of the more artistically-oriented athletes out there, to understand how they work and for inspiration, but then one should experiment what works best for themselves. Not everbody can be Alexei Urmanov (in terms of balletic presentation), or Stephane Lambiel, and that's just as well - a field with 10 Lambiels would only be marginally less boring than a field with 10 Aarons (and that's only because I love Lambiel's skating)

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