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  1. #261
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    Coming out of lurkdom here about Evan and the large probability he will not be in Boston. I have figured for months now that he has to keep his name out there and keep the media feeling he'll be in Boston and a good bet for the O team. They need him for all their Sochi hype as the reigning gold medalist. No way can he give any indication that he won't be competing for the O team. So it's all in the media and the promotion, not exactly the same but not so different either than when Kwan was seemingly going to compete in 2006 Torino. I never thought she'd make it (even though she wanted to) and was even more sure she wouldn't actually skate when her coach, Rafael, never showed up in Torino. Just my thoughts.
    Kathryn

  2. #262
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    So Evan is willing to risk and get injuries and undergo serious operations for what you state, Kathryn. Plus pay coaching fees to Frank and choreographers. I really find that difficult to believe.

    Re Raphael, I believe there are other times he has been a no show at competitions, other than Torino.

  3. #263

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    So when is D day, the last date that Evan can do what he needs to do to compete at US Nationals?
    This coming Tuesday, Dec. 10th. <Source: Philip Hersh - Chicago Tribune>
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

  4. #264

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathryn2001 View Post
    Coming out of lurkdom here about Evan and the large probability he will not be in Boston. I have figured for months now that he has to keep his name out there and keep the media feeling he'll be in Boston and a good bet for the O team. They need him for all their Sochi hype as the reigning gold medalist. No way can he give any indication that he won't be competing for the O team. So it's all in the media and the promotion, not exactly the same but not so different either than when Kwan was seemingly going to compete in 2006 Torino. I never thought she'd make it (even though she wanted to) and was even more sure she wouldn't actually skate when her coach, Rafael, never showed up in Torino. Just my thoughts.
    In my opinion the situation is totally different, Kwan went to every world champsionship after SLC and won it once, and went to every US nationals and won. She was monitored and given an Olympic spot and was at the practices in Turin.

    Evan stopped competing after Vancouver and has never competed again. I think the situations are completely different. Kwan may well have been too injured to be in with a real shot of competing before 2006, however, she had competed and remained competitive for the entire period between the Olympics until the Olympic season.

  5. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    Evan stopped competing after Vancouver and has never competed again. I think the situations are completely different. Kwan may well have been too injured to be in with a real shot of competing before 2006, however, she had competed and remained competitive for the entire period between the Olympics until the Olympic season.
    Exactly. Maybe this is more akin to Cohen than Kwan. Sasha won a medal at the games in 06, then basically disappeared from the competitive scene until Nationals in 2010 in hopes of an Olympic berth.

    Looking at the big picture from a skating historian's point of view, I can already imagine the debates that will ensue over the better Olympic comeback: Boitano or Lysacek? I seem to recall that Boitano at least competed in Skate America in 93 in the lead up to that season's Olympics. He had an unforgettable spread eagle, but I digress.

  6. #266

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    I don't always agree with Phil, but that article was spot on. I know that many posters on this board simply cannot stand Evan, they hate his style, his attitude, everything about him because he doesn't skate in a manner they find pleasing. However, as Phil stated, no matter how beautifully Jeremy can skate and touch hearts, how artistically outstanding Johnny Weir is, they didn't consistently skate clean and well time after time, especially on the international stage, whereas Evan usually did and usually pulled out a podium placement if not a outright win in major competitions. (Before anyone starts nattering on about Grand Prixs, ad nauseum, look at the 2 majors that count in the minds of non-fans: Evan has 3 world medals, one gold and a OGM, Johnny has one World bronze, and Jeremy has simply not skated to his ability in both competitions). And the current crop of US men also cannot be counted upon to skate clean programs despite their talents (Adam, Ross, Richard) or are new and still developing consistency and style (Max, Jason, Joshua).

    For years, we always had one striking and consistent male skater that captured our attention and consistently performed well - Scott, Brian, Todd, and most recently Evan. Now, we don't. You don't have to love Evan's skating; hell, even Evan himself states he was not naturally talented and had to work harder to make up for that. But the simple fact is Evan is the last solid consistent male skater the US has had. Yes, I've been harping on the word "consistent" here, and I meant to do that. The biggest problem the US men have right now aside from some being very "green," is that the rest cannot consistently put together 2 solid programs to climb up the ranks and onto the podiums regularly. And no matter how beautifully they skate, if they can't keep it together in the big events, they will not receive the awards and recognition that many think they deserve. You have to look no further than Jeremy Abbott to see how that inconsistency can hurt a skating career.
    Last edited by Yazmeen; 12-06-2013 at 08:13 PM.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  7. #267

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    ^^^
    My thoughts, as well.

  8. #268
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwantumleap View Post
    Looking at the big picture from a skating historian's point of view, I can already imagine the debates that will ensue over the better Olympic comeback: Boitano or Lysacek? I seem to recall that Boitano at least competed in Skate America in 93 in the lead up to that season's Olympics. He had an unforgettable spread eagle, but I digress.
    Since Lysacek never made it to a competition, I'm not sure if it can even be said he made a comeback. He just talked about one.
    I would love to see him show up in Boston, but I don't see it happening. Still, I find it very disappointing he didn't skate a single competition in this comeback. Maybe he should have thrown in the towel sooner, he might have that commentator spot instead of Weir (whose comeback did include actual competitions).

  9. #269

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    Well said, Yazmeen. I know Evan is pretty feckin' far from the most artistic skater out there, but when he was at his peak I rarely worried about him completely falling apart; he stepped his game up enough to win the World gold, the GPF final, and the Olympic gold. There's something to be said for skaters who can be relied on to keep it together and stay on their feet during the toughest competitions, and I think that was what Hersh was getting at.

    That being said, I dearly wish Evan had continued to compete regularly after 2010 if he really wanted to get to Sochi. Taking off nearly the entire four years between Olympics doesn't seem to work out too well for most skaters, and I sure as heck don't see him pulling out a miracle comeback at this late date.
    "Liking this sport is ridiculous, so you’re a little different for liking it, she explained. But you’re allowed to like what you like." - Robert Samuels

  10. #270

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    [QUOTE=Evan has 3 world medals, one gold and a OGM, Johnny has one Olympic bronze, [/QUOTE]

    Johnny has a World bronze medal, not Olympic. He could had been on the podium in Torino had his nerves not interfered.

  11. #271

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willowway View Post
    I think Phil makes a point - since Vancouver, no US man has consistently caught fire and built the momentum that makes repeated news outside the skating community during a good part of this Olympic cycle. Evan is not news (not as far as I'm concerned) but he stays in the spotlight because there's no one to replace him in the broader public.
    I think he stays in the spotlight because of his past results, not because no other current man has great results. To compare, from the last summer Olympics, Liukin and Johnson got a ton of media attention pre-olympics even though the U.S. team was doing great without them (reigning World team and all-around champion). The media and sponsors know few pay attention to Olympic sports in non-Olympic years, so they go with past champions for their name recognition.

  12. #272

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    FTR - Rafael wasn't in Torino because he was having visa problems.

  13. #273
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    Lysacek *had* been one of the two best US skaters in the last Olympic cycle, during which time he won the only two titles most people care about, Worlds and Olympics. In this Olympic cycle, the only thing he's been consistent about are announcing comebacks and not competing, whether due to injury or a dispute with USFS. He's four years older and has suffered serious injuries. The Olympics are not in his back yard where he's considered a hero by the general public that pays attention to his sport. He's got guts, but he hasn't been in competition outside Dancing with the Stars since Vancouver. Nor was he in the 12 Days of Sochi NBC hype video.

    The years of coming up through the ranks and winning title after title or trading them ended for US Men when school figures were abolished, and, even in the school figures years, the US Men took far longer than the Ladies to recover from the 1961 crash: it was 24 years between David Jenkins' win in 1960 until Scott Hamilton's in Sarajevo, and school figures ensured that win and his run of dominating his Olympic cycle at Worlds, the last man to do so, although Browning and Plushenko came close.

    The only US man to consistently medal post figures was Eldredge (in the cycle leading to Nagano) with a WC title and other podium finishes. The dominant skaters post-figures were Browning, Stojko, Yagudin, and Plushenko and recently Chan. Russian dominance blocked Weiss and Goebel, and until Lysacek won Worlds in 2009, it had been 13 years, Eldredge's in 1996, since a US Man had won a World Championship. In the eleven Olympics from 1948 (Button) to 1988 (Boitano), US Men had been off the Olympic podium twice, in 1972 and 1976. Between 1992 and 2010, US Men were off the podium in three of six Olympics. US Men won two Olympic medals between Boitano's and Lysacek's wins: Wylie's surprise silver and Goebel's bronze.

    Johnny Weir is the only US Man to win three US titles in a row since Boitano at the end of the school figures era.

    Kwan's consistency and name recognition spoiled everyone post school figures, but she, too, had formidable competition and never won more than two WC's in a row, although she was in the mix for a long, long time. Since 1988, US Men have been more than It's only recently that US Ladies have caught up.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  14. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
    FTR - Rafael wasn't in Torino because he was having visa problems.
    I seem to recall an interview where he said he was en-route the day Kwan made the announcement in Torino.

  15. #275

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    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    Johnny has a World bronze medal, not Olympic. He could had been on the podium in Torino had his nerves not interfered.
    Thanks, judiz, I corrected that. Slip of the fingers!
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  16. #276

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    I think with all the skaters mentioned in this thread the spirit is willing but the body is not. True, making a successful comeback and medaling in international competition as Plushenko and Kim have is extremely rare, but when your identity is tied to your sport it is hard to move on.

    In Evan's case I'm sure there are a lot of people with a vested interest in seeing him compete again whether he does well or not.
    Last edited by aliceanne; 12-09-2013 at 03:00 AM.

  17. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    ... they didn't consistently skate clean and well time after time, especially on the international stage, whereas Evan usually did ...

    For years, we always had one striking and consistent male skater that captured our attention ...
    To each their own opinion. IMO, Evan deserves kudos for his hard work and determination. Nothing anyone has to say diminishes his accomplishments in the tough realm that is competitive fs. But same token just b/c Evan has that prestigious OGM, should not overshadow nor diminish the significant impact and accomplishments of Evan's closest U.S. rivals, Jeremy Abbott and Johnny Weir. Abbott is not a GPF champion, multiple GP series medalist, and a 3-time U.S. champion because he lacked consistency "time after time." If Johnny was as inconsistent as many seem to believe, he would not be a 3-time U.S. champion, multiple GP series medalist and World bronze medalist.

    What ultimately has hurt Abbott IMO is his tendency toward over-thinking and self-doubt which has happened in huge moments that negatively impacted his career trajectory. Johnny admittedly suffered from competitive nerves that hurt him most dramatically in his Torino fp. But the bigger factors that affected both Jeremy and Johnny IMO was not having the solid political backing and iconic legendary coach that Evan fortunately benefited from having.

    Frankly, Evan did not skate perfectly at 2005 Nationals or Worlds, and he was lucky politically at both events as an up-and-comer heavily favored by his federation. Evan skated poorly in Torino sp and made a comeback in fp, which was hugely played up in the media, cementing Evan being characterized as a dependable competitor. Of course, the opposite happened to Johnny. I doubt all the post Torino sp press speculation about Johnny 's sexuality was helpful to him either. Nor was JW's decision to change his fp 2 weeks before the Olympics b/c of critical comments.

    Going into Vancouver as U.S. champion with two kick-ass programs perhaps should have given Jeremy the edge and more confidence, but clearly Evan was U.S. Fed favorite, while Johnny and Jeremy were taken for granted. Case in point: at U.S. Nats 2008, Evan made sloppy errors in his fp, but still won in a debatable victory over Johnny. At 2011 Nats, Jeremy skated brilliantly in sp, but was placed behind Ryan B. Then Jeremy made sloppy errors in his fp but despite his international success, his superior talent, and veteran status, he was completely left off the World team by .19, the measure by which the U.S. men lost international status and competitive momentum as well as individual and collective confidence.

    Evan benefited from the quad not being a requirement in Torino, plus Plush's hissy fit as a direct result of Evan's win helped change the men's competitive landscape -- another factor heavily impacting U.S. men.

    Again none of this diminishes Evan's accomplishments. His enthusiasm, single-minded focus and hard work enabled him to take advantage of good luck and political favor. Evan was a warrior right time, right place. ETA: No doubt if the cards were in Evan's favor agewise, he'd ace the quad too and be in the Sochi mix. But same could be said for Johnny if age and opportunity were in his favor. Johnny certainly also had the striking attention-grabbing talent that helped add to U. S. men's competitive presence on the World scene circa 2004 - 2010.

    BTW kwanfan1818, thanks for the historical perspective in your #273 post.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 12-09-2013 at 01:31 AM.

  18. #278
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    V. insightful post, aftershocks. U are one objective commentator :-)

    i tend to go all snarky when it comes to Evan v Johnny v Jeremy. But deep inside I know that they all have their strengths and each is to be deeply respected

  19. #279

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    Many thanks to kwanfan and aftershocks for their well-reasoned comments.

  20. #280

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    Also my thanks to both of them, the comments were definitely insightful. I certainly wasn't trying to diminish either Johnny or Jeremy's talents; it was just unfortunate that those talents didn't hit their max on the Worlds and Olympic stage as Evan's hard work more than talent did (I'm not a Jeremy fan, but my heart broke for Johnny in Torino with the free skate especially).
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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