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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWarhol View Post
    There was a period of between 2006 and 2010 where the only internet access (ie skating access) was at a job that allowed little to no personal browsing, so no skating those years
    So, no TV either, I guess?

    I also feel less of a connection to even the skaters from the US in this quadrennium since there is no Tom Collins tour any more, and Stars on Ice has been cut back so much.
    This being an Olympic season, I would hope and expect that SOI will have a fuller tour this year, probably with a lot of eligible skaters, like they did after 2010. I just hope they make an effort to sign the *best* skaters, not just the IMG clients or the package of skaters the USFS tries to foist off on them.

    I do miss the days of the Collins Tour when it was a real all-star tour, with nearly all the medalists from Worlds or the Olympics. I doubt that is possible today, because there are more competing tours elsewhere in the World now, but still.

    Singles & pairs: I HAAAAAAAAAAAATE the endlessly long and slow step sequences. Ridiculous that every turn in skating has to be included. I miss the days of footwork that fit the music and had SPEED.
    ITA. ITA. Oh, I think I need to say it once more, ITA.

    The footwork sequences have become positively painful. Even the ISU could see this so they turned one of them into a choreo sequence with no levels, yet still we get another kicking and jerking and flinging and flailing style fw seq. (Is that the only kind choreographers know how to do anymore?) I would love to see even just one of the top guys do a sequence with a spiral or spread eagle and soft, edgy moves. I have long thought they needed to add time limits on the two sequences, with perhaps a max of 30 seconds for the one with levels and 20 for the one without. If you go back and look at footwork, for example that Yagudin used so effectively in his 2002 FS, both the circular sequence and straight line seq time out at only about 20 seconds, and choroegraphically, that's plenty). Today, these two elements alone (worth only a tiny fraction of the potential total score) can occupy over a minute (about a quarter) of the 4.5 minute program. It just should not take 45 seconds to get from one end of the ice to the other. They also need to take a hard look as how levels are assigned to get away from this notion of just adding in more and more stuff until it can't possibly bear any real relationship to the music.
    Last edited by Susan M; 08-19-2013 at 05:16 AM.

  2. #22
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    I lost most of my interest in skating in 2010, when it became clear that Michelle Kwan wasn't going to attempt a comeback in Vancouver. To me, Michelle was PURE MAGIC, one of those truly special and remarkable performers who appear on the scene maybe once in a century. And when she retired, skating lost its magic for me, and so I lost interest.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWarhol View Post
    There was a period of between 2006 and 2010 where the only internet access (ie skating access) was at a job that allowed little to no personal browsing, so no skating those years
    Those must have been dark years.

  4. #24

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    I'll go against popular opinion and say that while I am losing interest, it's mostly due to the men and ice dance boring me. So long as S/S are competing, pairs is worth watching - and there are some other pairs I can appreciate, too. The ladies have been quite enjoyable in recent years and there's a nice variety of styles.

    Men, OTOH, has become a race to see who can pack in the most/hardest content, and the programs seem more and more alike to me as a result. There are some good ones - e.g. Dai's 2012 programs - but for the most part I'm not interested, not invested in any of the younger skaters, and bored to tears by Patrick Chan and his many wins.

    Dance is "which Canton team will win", and the answer is usually D/W, whom I never liked. The SD in general is awful and has been from the start, the fields are very thin, and the programs have become all about the elements, making me feel like I'm watching pairs skating with dance elements. I hate the contorted lifts that have nothing to do with the programs and everything to do with getting points. At least the step sequences in ice dance are watchable.

    Most of my favorite skaters will probably retire after this season, and I'll likely stop following skating beyond ISU Championships. There's a lot about skating that I love, but not enough these days for me to be remain engaged on a more frequent basis (FSU posts notwithstanding). Barring a massive overhall of the scoring system, I can't see things getting better any time soon. Ideally, skating should be a balance between the technical/athletic and the artistic, and at the moment this balance is really off.

  5. #25
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    Not for the first time Zemgirl, you took many words right out of my mouth!

    It's interesting so many seem to be enjoying dance more under IJS, because for me it's been the opposite. IMO the discipline has lost some of its "soul". Even some of the very top teams are too generic for my tastes. For me it's turned into a code-whoring race (well, the sport has)

    I agree that the SD is awful. There were some SD's last year that people raved about as masterpieces that left me totally baffled. I'm just not "getting" dance in general at the moment, but I still watch and have teams I can root for.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    So, no TV either, I guess?


    Figure skating is not shown on TV in Australia.

  7. #27

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    Compared to my interest in the past, I can say that I have lost some (not all) interest in FS, due to a combination of factors. 1) Many of my favorite skaters retired, 2) COP brought in some ugly moves (spins are only a part of it; even the death spiral in pairs has become very ugly), 3) Pairs suffered the most from the COP way of scoring, 4)the penalty for falls is minimal even when the falls are disruptive. However, the biggest factor for me is that none of the current skaters truly impresses me or touches my heart the way they did in the past.

    Pairs used to be my most favorite discipline. Now it is the least favorite. The artistry was taken out of pairs skating. Now it's just about doing acrobatics on ice.

    I no longer enjoy even singles the way I used to. Majority of programs appear almost identical, and with a few exceptions, musical expression has all but disappeared.

    I miss the skating where flow & speed on the ice, positions, lines, musical interpretation, and union (in the case of pairs) were as important as landing jumps. I miss the simple spins and simple lifts that were performed to perfection and fit in perfectly with the music and the program.

    I still have favorite skaters in all disciplines- singles, pairs, and ice dance teams, but my passion for the sport has waned. I still follow what's going on in FS, but I just don't enjoy watching the actual skating as much as I used to.

    It has not helped that the US networks have signficantly reduced the coverage of FS. It's no fun watching a competition one or two weeks after it took place.

    Finally, - I never thought I would say this- the lack of a high quality pro circuit has also curtailed my interest. These days I don't even watch whatever 'pro' routines they show on TV. I don't care to know what they are or when.

  8. #28
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    My problem with dance, in particular, which is my favorite discipline, is that you do not see things that should matter being rewarded: togetherness, close skating, lines, posture, unison, difficult steps, etc. These were things that mattered in the old days. Now it is more about which team gets more speed or is more athletic. Dance has become pairs minus the jumps. Teams skate elements rather than perfom them. What is more, you see teams showing awful lines and coordination getting levels 4; you see other teams being judged because of what they do in previous competitions rather than the day the skate; you see teams with no difficult dance holds, lack of variation of turns or variety in step sequences and twizzles; you see many teams simply recycling old elements because it's an easy level 4. Levels 4 should not be easy to get! Now everyone gets them. At least in singles, you see many skaters' skating skills being respected. Sure, sometimes overly so, but at least they respect them. And when a team tries to push it a bit, they're either undermarked or told not to push it at all. So, yeah, it's this lack of creativity on a discipline that's supposed to be the most creative of all four what's bothering me. Many of my favorites will probably retire after Sochi, so I guess I will lose interest after that. Then again, I like a couple of dance teams trying to breakthrough this season. We'll see what happens. But if the future of ice dance turns out to be the C-B and the G-P, what is the point?

  9. #29
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    Interesting thread.
    I used to be obsessed with FS until 2003-2004. I loved it so much it was embarrassing
    I started losing interest in FS when CoP was implemented because I really did not like (and I still don't like) that judging system, although it was designed to be less subjective (or at least, make blatant cheating less obvious). To me, CoP has killed the beauty of simple (pure) FS. On the one hand, it is good to emphasize the ability to change edges on spins for instance. On the other hand I don't like how you have to maximize all the features needed to garner more points (especially on lifts and death spirals ). I find the programs under CoP more repetitive. Fortunately, some of them really stand out, and are even more enjoyable as they're rare.

    Post 2006, when Kwan "unofficially" retired, I barely watched any competition, only a few performances. At around the same time, I stopped skating myself so my interest in the sport was close to naught. It was revived during my final year of study (2010-2011) because I managed to convince my supervisors that its terminology was worth analyzing

    I still don't watch many competitions but I like going to the TEB and watching some performances now and then.

  10. #30
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    However, the biggest factor for me is that none of the current skaters truly impresses me or touches my heart the way they did in the past.
    I keep wondering if this is simply a qualitative weakness of the current crop or if it is a by-product of the changes in choreography engendered by the new scoring system. I mean, what are the odds, in all these years, that not a single, gifted musical interpreter would arrive on the scene, apart from Takahashi? Even he has a lot of programs where that quality does not really come through at all.

    I can see the problem in pairs. Those who might have the qualities of "pair-ness" that some here want are maybe not the ones with the jumps to get into the final flight. (Still, has the technical ante upped that much in pairs? SBS 3 toes and two throw triples were pretty much expected from about 1995 on. I guess today they want two different triples.)

    There may also be some of that at work in ladies event, with entirely unmusical automatons like Kim outjumping the field, but I don't think the jump standard for men has changed much in the last decade. I wonder how much a factor is fatigue from all the added choreographic clutter.

    I am one of those who think the only discipline that has improved under the new system is ice dance. Part of that is that it is more exciting now that it feels more like a sport, instead of always predetermined (prearranged?) protocol outcomes. While I really liked dance in the 88-94 period, I am OK with the move away from the at times excessively artsy-fartsy nonsense and toward a more physically demanding version of the sport. Besides, there are always still exhibition programs.

    As for the short dance, there have certainly been more misses than hits. If you think about it, though, the only real difference between the OD and SD is the substitution of the pattern steps for the old steps in hold element. (And what are the pattern dances but steps in hold anyway?)

    I think the first year (with the GW pattern taking up 60 seconds of the now 3 minute dance) were mostly bad. Part of the problem was the inexplicable choice made by so many teams to go with a waltz-tango combo, none of which worked. I think the ISU did learn something from this in that they have since chosen much shorter patterns for the SD, leaving time for more choreography around the elements.

    I also think the skaters and choreographers are learning year by year how better to deal with this format. The latin tempo SDs were generally better and felt more coherent than the year before, with the pattern steps generally better integrated. And last year's SDs seemed generally more successful. I always think the ones that work best are the ones that use the same (or near) rhythm for the whole dance, so the pattern section doesn't jar so much.
    Last edited by Susan M; 08-20-2013 at 12:00 AM.

  11. #31
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    I'm actually more into skating than I was about 5-6 years ago, but I attribute that to a couple of individual skaters/teams who will retire soon. My interest is less than it was at its peak, about 10 years ago. That was back when I obsessively downloaded every skater from every event that I could find, from Worlds to JGP to obscure B and C level internationals. I wanted to learn all about everyone. It reached its saturation point and then CoP has especially killed any sort of individualism and creativity at the lower levels, IMO. They put so much energy into getting the levels on their elements that there's no time for it. The better skaters, who are comfortable with their elements, have a little more flexibility to be creative (not many take advantage of it).

    I relate to a lot of what's said here. Skating doesn't really make a lot of sense anymore (I'm not saying go back to 6.0 or anything). In singles, I like some of the ones that are considered artistic (Takahashi), but I'm also a fan of several who have been branded as athletic (like Plushenko, Joubert, and Lipnitskaya), and sometimes feel like I'm treated as a dilettante for enjoying them, like it's wrong to even take into account the jumps in an athletic competition. It's all about skating skills and transitions with this new system and if I don't like the anointed ones then I must not understand skating. Ok great, cause it happens my favorite pairs skaters and ice dancers (S&S, V&M, and P&B) have great basics and interesting transitions, so at least I can enjoy those disciplines, right? But no, apparently those things don't count for much there. I've always thought the quality and variety of the elements, the unison, glide, posture, and the transitions and interesting highlight moves and use of the body to music should count more in dance and pairs since there are no/less jumps. Now, though, it seems like they are a hindrance. You can get absurdly high transitions scores even when having almost none (see V&T and D&W), but if your transitions cause you to mess up your entry and you get dinged a level on a twizzle or step out of your throw triple axel, you're going to lose, so you're better off not doing any. OTOH, if you're Chan or Kostner and your transitions cause you to fall or pop the jumps, no problem, you'll probably still win. Apparently an errant twizzle is actually a much bigger cause of ruin to a program than a bunch of falls - who knew? There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

    I agree that dance has been hit harder than pairs. I don't think CoP pairs is that bad. The concept of having a scoring system to measure the difficulty between the lifts, twist, jumps etc really makes sense for pairs where you can have a couple like B&L with great lifts and twists but horrible jumps vs a couple with great jumps but weak pairs elements. And there are a number of pairs who at least try to do something interesting with their choreography: S&S of course, Stolbova/Kilimov, Sui/Han, Kavaguti/Smirnov, Martiusheva/Rogonov, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, Berton/Hotarek... that's way more than there are ice dancers who try, IMO. Many ice dancers seem afraid to do anything that isn't "tasteful and proper" for fear that the ISU won't like it (even if it wasn't officially codified, uplifting programs are/were clearly preferred).

    Ice dancing isn't meant to be scored this way, element by element. And I see a wild variety in the difficulty level of some dancers' elements, especially lifts, but they're all level 4. I can't understand how I&K ever get level 4 lifts when theirs look much simpler than most. V&M's lifts are out of reach for most couples but they get the same level 4. Many teams just copy/paste last years program in a different order to new music. That should be fine for getting levels, but the PCS score is supposed to weed out those who are not showing interesting use of the blade, transitions, originality of program composition, etc. The skaters have picked up on the fact that it doesn't do that, so they can safely re-use the same tired programs. The SD practically begs them to do it because there's so little time to do anything and with the ISU allowing an elegant ballroom waltz/polka to compare to a ballet polka to a country western hoedown polka it's clear they are not trying to compare how the teams use the music. I know 6.0 ice dance was considered to be the poorest judged sport but there was something to be said for the fact that the teams pushed each other and you couldn't get lazy about using the same old moves because the judges might dump you for someone else. You couldn't have an "ok" program with good levels, you had to try to hit it out of the park with every program. There were no real standards for it, but honestly it wasn't worse than now. For all of the stuff about the judging finally being fair, it doesn't make any more sense to me now than it did then, even with all of those fancy protocols. I feel like that sentiment is just out there because it's North America winning. I don't remember everyone saying the CoP was fair when Domnina/Shabalin won so it's not like the CoP judging is immune to politics.

    I find it hard to see myself continuing past Sochi but there always seem to be the one or two who pull me back in. I think it will be Stepanova/Bukin this time.

  12. #32
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    My interest in skating has ebbed and flowed over the years, the high point was from 2002 (right after SLC) to around 2006. It has declined over the years, but has picked up somewhat in the last year. What has peaked my interest again though, is not so much the current crop of skaters, although there were certainly were skating programs that I really enjoyed watching from this past season, but rediscovering old skaters, such as ladies skating from the 80s, or pairs skating from the 70s or 80s etc.
    I don't really actively follow current competitions, although if I see skating on TV, I'll usually watch it. I'll always "like" skating, but I do have to say that without youtube, I probably would not have any interest in skating now a days.

  13. #33
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    I'll be honest. The SD is a travesty. That is a reason why I don't pay much attention to the nitty gritty of dance today. The competitions have gotten more boring due to the SD. As a sport, however, it's so superior to what it once was. 2007-2010 was a good time for the discipline becoming more like an athletic event and yet still keeping its pre-IJS charm and quirkiness. Dance scoring was at times indecipherable in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. This had to go. Some of the soul and art has been removed, but when you consider the difficulty of what teams do today, the quality of entertainment they manage to offer is pretty fantastic.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post

    I still follow the sport but I'm not fanatical about watching or following everything 'live' as I used to be. Plus most of what I watch these days is only once. Only rarely will I watch something twice or more. The skating I watch over and over tends be from the archives.
    I think I have watched Belbin and Agosto's Ave Maria/Amen like 100 times on YouTube and Asada's Bell of Moscow 105. Since I tend to focus on ladies, I usually watch them all multiple times. The only thing missing from today's videos is a narrative and a narrator worthy of the sport's excitement and beautiful performers. The British Eurosport gents are obviously the best in the English language.

  15. #35
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    I've never lost interest in skating, and I guess I'll never lost interest.
    But my interest for the sport is changing every year. The more I skate, the less I need to watch it.
    And as Floskate already mentioned, I can watch over and over programs from the past, but not current competitions. Or just one or 2 performances. I don't like the way CoP has changed everything. It's now more gymnastic and maths than skating.
    Before, I loved watching program as a whole, now it's just part of programs that Like watching, not the whole thing.
    So, I prefer watching practices.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I've never lost interest in skating, and I guess I'll never lost interest.
    But my interest for the sport is changing every year. The more I skate, the less I need to watch it.
    And as Floskate already mentioned, I can watch over and over programs from the past, but not current competitions. Or just one or 2 performances. I don't like the way CoP has changed everything. It's now more gymnastic and maths than skating.
    Before, I loved watching program as a whole, now it's just part of programs that Like watching, not the whole thing.
    So, I prefer watching practices.
    You nailed it. Now it's the parts, not the program as a whole. That's where lies the problem.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreo View Post
    ...Maybe 90% of skating bores me, but what keeps me watching are those unexpected moments of brilliance. It's kinda like watching a musical performance. You've heard and seen it all before, but every now and then there's something magic that happens, something that puts you in tears. You stop what you're doing or thinking about and are swept away. And that's why I keep watching skating. Personalities and drama play into it, too, but it's when a skater transcends the usual, leaving an imprint on me, that keeps the interest going...
    This. Competitive skating is by nature repetitious. The skaters all do the same moves for the sake of comparison, the elements are placed similarly in the program for the sake of the skaters' stamina, and the skaters execute the elements without varying their technique for the sake of consistency. In spite of all that those magic moments happen. It doesn't have to be a famous skater and it can happen at your local rink. So I keep watching.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    This. Competitive skating is by nature repetitious. The skaters all do the same moves for the sake of comparison, the elements are placed similarly in the program for the sake of the skaters' stamina, and the skaters execute the elements without varying their technique for the sake of consistency. In spite of all that those magic moments happen. It doesn't have to be a famous skater and it can happen at your local rink. So I keep watching.
    Sorry but I have to disagree. Competitive skating has been around a lot longer than any of us (over 100 years). It had evolved into something special that transcended both sports and arts. If you just want to compare the same elements performed by different athletes, there is gymanstics, diving and other sports. Figure skating had something that no other sport had. It was destroyed.

    I still watch it because as Briancoogert pointed out, there are parts that are enjoyable. I hold on to the hope that I will at least see moments of brilliance, and occasionally I do. I still have favorite skaters but I no longer watch every competition and every skater as soon as I can. I still see a few good programs and skates but for me at least the magic is gone.

  19. #39

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    I'm more interested in figure skating than ever. But that's because I'm more involved than ever at the grassroots level -- which often means I don't have as much time to obsess over the skaters as I did 10-20 years ago.

    I loved ice dance in the early 1990s and I'm less interested in it now. But I was also less interested in the artistic side of most of it even beginning 20 years ago. So I see the IJS effect on ice dance more as yet another way to try to bring some objectivity and quantifiability to what is essentially a subjective pursuit. And all those attempts have mostly limited my interest from an artistic point of view. It just doesn't seem to be possible to encourage both meaningful artistic expression and a judgeable fair sport based on edges and music interpretation. From the sport point of view it's certainly fairer and less protocol/politics-driven than it used to be. And artistically I consider it no worse now than, say, in the mid-1990s. But since I haven't made the effort to memorize all the judging rules and standards for ice dance, my main reason for watching would be for artistic entertainment, and that's not the emphasis in the sport.

    I do wish there were also a venue for using skating skills as art, with tricks subservient to the artistic purpose. But outside a competitive context, that's not something that has ever really captured the interest of mass audiences. And sometimes the most interesting programs have come from the tension of fitting an artistic point of view into the structure of a competitive format. But the skaters and choreographers have to care about that, and not just about technical points.

    For singles and pairs, I generally prefer IJS as a judging system. Especially for singles, I understand the judging of the sport, so I focus on that, and any art that may accompany it is a bonus. And I think there are, for me, approximately as many satisfying elite-level masterpieces in those disciplines per year as there were under 6.0. But thanks to online viewing options I can see so much more new junior and senior programs each year than I used to, so many more obscure skaters, that it's hard to keep track.

    I do wish that the pressures from the 2002 scandal and Cinquanta's imperiousness hadn't forced the IJS into existence so quickly, that there had been more of an effort in the developmental stages to figure out a balance between details and overall impression, between quantity and quality, both in the design of the rules and the Scale of Values and in the education of officials and skaters/coaches/choreographers. I'd prefer if earning the highest base marks, with the most features/highest levels, weren't seen as the best way to earn high scores.


    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    The Grand Prix series leading into each season has killed my interest.

    In the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, there were 15 or so different skaters each week attending Skate Canada, NHK, Skate America, or Trophy Lalique from around the world. Now, only a small select seeded group are chosen. Not that it is a fault of the skaters. But we are seeing the same programs week in an week out for three months in fall and winter. The format gets monotonous very quickly.
    Not sure what you mean. 15 or so different skaters each week per discipline? The fields tended to be smallish (8-10) at many of these events before the Champions Series/Grand Prix started, then it increased to 12 even for pairs and dance, and recently decreased. Maybe Skate Canada tended to be larger than Skate America and to allow a third warmup group. But still there were often withdrawals and no systematic approach to replacements.

    If there was only one of these events in a week, then there wouldn't have been 15 skaters in the same discipline competing internationally that week, much less all be shown on TV.

    However, since the Champions Series started in 1995-96, most of the participants have gone to two of these events, and in some years the rules allowed the top 6 "seeded" skaters to do three, so we did see the same top skaters more often, and that did leave less room at the top (final group/TV-worthy spots) for skaters with only one assignment. Is that what you mean?

    Is that who is going or who the media are covering?

    Sure it isn't perfect but i really don't think artistry is any less than it was previously. I never felt there were heaps of artistic skating in the first place. The likes of Janet Lynn and Michelle Kwan (who I for one don't find interesting) have always been rather rarities in this sport. COP is not a perfect system but neither was the 6.0 system.
    Agreed.

    I found in the past and I largely still do that the men generally tend to be doing more interesting programs than the women. Why that would be the case is probably a discussion for a different thread.

    Pairs has never been my favorite, but I do enjoy when teams are creative in their use of the rules to gain levels with unique variations. I agree that there are many teams who just do the same old variations to gain points with no real purpose. But before IJS most of them did the same vanilla elements with no real purpose except getting the tricks done, and I understood the tricks and techniques less well for pairs than for singles, so I found most of it boring.

    I personally tend to prefer complexity to simplicity, assuming the quality is comparable.

  20. #40

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    I still follow the sport but I'm not fanatical about watching or following everything 'live' as I used to be. Plus most of what I watch these days is only once. Only rarely will I watch something twice or more. The skating I watch over and over tends be from the archives.
    It's true for me, as well!

    I cherish my archive and watch current performances; hoping that a few of them will be worthy of the "historic" label; and become part of my permanent collection.
    I fear that there won't be many.
    Only a handful of programs have reached that standard for me in the last 5 years.

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