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  1. #121

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    I'm sorry, but I found it ridiculous when Johnny let his love of all things Russian influence his commentary about Kovtun. The skating world is terrified of him? Really? Of a 17th-place finisher at Worlds?
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.

  2. #122
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    ^^
    You think Johnny meant that literally? Regarding 2013 Worlds, don't forget that Kovtun was under extra pressure as a newbie on the senior scene after the controversy of his being sent to Worlds over Menshov who placed ahead of Kovtun at Russian Nationals.

    In any case, right now I'd agree that competitors aren't especially "terrified" of Kovtun but I'm pretty sure they respect his talent. Definitely, Kovtun is a very talented jumper and what with being Russian and having Tarasova to refine his rough edges (not to mention he cuts a compelling and handsome figure on the ice), there's no doubt that the skating world will be singing Kovtun's praises should he consistently put together his jumping ability with artistry and at least a semblance of good musical interpretation. At this point, Kovtun seems to have a better chance than Gachinski of being the next great Russian male skater. Johnny and Terry had an interesting discussion regarding why there are fewer talented Russian male figure skaters these days versus the abundance of young Russian female single skater phenoms.

    As far as the scoring of both Kovtun and Han at Cup of China, I think both their scores were overly high, especially in view of their developing maturity. Nothing new though the way some men are overrated when they land quads. I thought Machida was perfect competitively (clean performances with great music and costuming) at Skate America, for example, but OTOH IMO Machida is not a complete skater re skating skills and not that great artistically to warrant his overly high PCS.


    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    You got your wish, Johnny is doing men's and ladies' commmentary this Sunday on NBC.
    That's great. I'm glad to hear it and I'm looking forward to the NHK broadcast this Sunday. I wonder will Johnny be joining both Terry and Tara in the booth for the ladies event?


    ETA: BTW judiz, I noticed you started another thread that didn't get many views mentioning that Johnny will begin choreographing for competitive skaters (starting with some Japanese skaters). Do you know who the Japanese skaters are? That's interesting news. I recall that Johnny has done a lot of his own choreography mainly for exhibitions. Very memorable exhibitions including Imagine, My Way, Ave Maria, and Heartbroken. Plus Johnny once mentioned that he'd improvise sometimes during his programs depending on how the music moved him at the time. I believe this tendency is part of what ultimately made it difficult for Johnny to transition to competing under CoP with the expected level of international success. Wishing Johnny a satisfying and rewarding career in skating as a commentator and a choreographer!
    Last edited by aftershocks; 11-06-2013 at 10:06 PM.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingsit View Post
    I'm sorry, but I found it ridiculous when Johnny let his love of all things Russian influence his commentary about Kovtun. The skating world is terrified of him? Really? Of a 17th-place finisher at Worlds?
    Did Johnny mention during the NBC broadcast that he had spoken to ? I wonder if Johnny was just repeating what TAT told him

  4. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    You got your wish, Johnny is doing men's and ladies' commmentary this Sunday on NBC.
    Wonderful news; and something to anticipate, with pleasure!

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by viennese View Post
    Weir made an intriguing comment during Dennis Ten's free skate, about noticing a great leap forward in a skater's competition stamina if they have moved from a Russian-based coach to a US school - because "The Russian Way" is to treat every week as a competition, while US coaches expect skaters to train a complete SP and FS every day.

    What does it mean to treat every week as a competition? Do the skaters not do complete program run throughs except at a weekly in-house competition? (Do they do dance-throughs, as gymnasts do, leaving out the most difficult tricks?)
    Do any Russian fans have answers to viennese's questions?


    ETA:

    Johnny tweeted about an hour ago:

    Johnny Weir-Voronov‏@JohnnyGWeir
    Feeling quite honored that I just got a call from the legendary Dick Button and his appreciation of my commentary! #PushDicksButton


    Ain't that great!!! Very special coming from the legendary Dick Button, a great figure skater as well as the founding pioneer of figure skating broadcasting on television. Dick has taught a generation of figure skating fans how to understand and watch this beautiful sport, and I'm one of his students! What a compliment, Johnny!
    Last edited by aftershocks; 11-06-2013 at 10:31 PM.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    Wonderful news; and something to anticipate, with pleasure!
    I'm looking forward to hearing his commentary for the ladies event. I hope it becomes a long term assignment & not just as a cover for Lipinski while she judges Miss Universe.

    I have friends & co-workers who are not really skating fans. They saw Johnny skate at Skate for Hope & now they're even tuning in since I told them I was enjoying his commentary.

  7. #127

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    Johnny will be commentating without Tara, she is in Russia judging Miss Universe pageant

  8. #128
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    ^^ Oh, interesting. I see ArtisticSkaters mentioned that too. When is the pageant airing? Haven't Johnny and MKwan also officiated at beauty pageants?

    I wonder if Johnny will just be filling in this weekend for Tara re the ladies commentating?

  9. #129

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    So, I think Johnny meant that, at regular practices, US coaches encourage complete run-throughs, sometimes double ones, and that, at competition practices, the US coaches would only do a little of this and that, so as to not exhaust the athlete right before his real program. Whereas, at regular practices, Russian coaches would encourage let's do a little of this, say footwork, and a little of that, say spins, but not complete run-throughs. And then, at competition warmups, where there are six minutes to practice and one doesn't want to exhaust oneself doing a complete run-through right there before one goes on the ice for the real program, both American and Russian coaches would do the little piece of the program mode for practice. The question remains do those who train with American coaches have more stamina and mental fitness--you can get through this because you do it every day--attitude or do skaters who train with Russian coaches have less stamina and mental fitness built up because of their regular practice policy. Is this what others thought Johnny meant?

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacey View Post
    Is this what others thought Johnny meant?
    That's definetly how I interpreted, but I'm not sure a little of this and a little of that means footwork or spins. It might be more like "today we work from first salchow to first combo spin"; like 1/4 of the program. And then they perfect every movement that goes on between those two things, which might be salchow, lutz-toe, then spin. But paying very careful attention to every movement in between.

    I know American skaters also focus on details- but because they run the whole program everyday, I think less attention is on "where is my wrist, what angle is my head at, when I step out of the landing position from my second toe-loop" type detail. To me, that's the difference of artistic vs. athletic. These details are in there (the choreographer is going to bring them up), but they get less attention, and stamina training gets more attention.

    Having watched American skaters ("at home") though- they do parts too, and focus on skills, it is just rare to not have a run-through or multiples during the practice.
    Last edited by Skittl1321; 11-07-2013 at 06:30 PM.

  11. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacey View Post
    Is this [snipped description of practice procedures] what others thought Johnny meant?
    I don't know precisely what Johnny meant; I hope he'll elaborate at some point. However, I don't think the 6-minute warm-ups are at issue. Most skaters primarily skate around to get the blood flowing then warm up jumps with their planned entrances. Maybe do each spin once if there's time. Maybe a bit of footwork.

    The regular 40-minute practices and 20-minute practices (the latter confusing called "warm-ups") at competitions are a different story, especially the longer practices. The skaters' music is played during the 40-minute practices, and each skater has the right of way while his music is playing. There's more room for variation there, and it does seem that Russian-coached skaters are more likely to do just segments on their programs while their music is playing. But other skaters sometime do that, too--at the first practice when they're jet-lagged, or if their music is first to be played and they don't fell totally warmed up. In the latter situation they may not really jump at all during the run-through. It's not always easy to see a clear pattern during competition practices, since skaters who miss jumps often skate over to their coaches consultation, thus skipping part of their run-throughs.

    I'm very curious about how what we see at competition practices differs from what the skaters typically do during a single practice session at home. I've seen quite a lot of competition practices, but what goes on at home is a big unknown. I wonder whether Johnny meant that Russian coaches build each week toward a single pseudo-competition, when the skater does a complete run-through.

  12. #132

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    My understanding years ago was that the old Soviet style, which I assume would be the Russian style, was to do "segments" So one day you did section A of the program and one day section B etc.. rarely did you do the entire thing. part of that was to allow for the "details" to be really worked on. Back in the day I remember Peggy and Dick discussing this and saying that created a problem if the skater fell or something. Where in the US the run throughs had trained the skater to get up and keep going that training was missing from the old Soviet skaters.

    Now I may be totally off base

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla5501 View Post
    My understanding years ago was that the old Soviet style, which I assume would be the Russian style, was to do "segments" So one day you did section A of the program and one day section B etc.. rarely did you do the entire thing. part of that was to allow for the "details" to be really worked on. Back in the day I remember Peggy and Dick discussing this and saying that created a problem if the skater fell or something. Where in the US the run throughs had trained the skater to get up and keep going that training was missing from the old Soviet skaters.

    Now I may be totally off base
    You're not off-base. This is exactly what Johnny was talking about, I'm sure of it. This specific difference in training methods has been talked about for at least a couple of decades by other commentators well before Johnny came on the scene. One method (the "American") favoring regular full program run-throughs to build physical stamina and to build mental fortitude to pick up and regroup in the event of mistakes. The other method (the "European" since it's much wider than just Russia) was to work on segments and details, and do relatively fewer full run-throughs during typical training especially earlier in the season. Sort of the assumption that if you have each segment/section of a program down pat, it should be easy enough to link them together in a full program when competition time comes around. I think you have to take this as a generalization, as I'm sure there are coaches in each region that have always used a hybrid of the two concepts.

    This has to do with regular training during the on- and off-seasons, not competition practices nor warm-ups which have a totally different purpose and rhythm.

  14. #134
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    I think Johnny did well enough so far that he may be on the road to becoming the next Dick Button-style commentator. It seems like a nice job to have!

  15. #135

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    thanks for addressing this...it's fascinating to me how different "schools" approach training for the intensity of a 4-4.5 minute performance.

  16. #136

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    Just a reminder that NBC's TV broadcast, with Johnny commentating on both the Ladies' & Men' free skates, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 10 from 1:30-3:30 pm Eastern.
    "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

  17. #137
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    Saw Johnny on Friday night at an American Ballet Theatre performance but he didn't seem to stay for the whole show (unless he changed his seat) Wearing a "blonde" vintage old lady mink coat & a huge citron yellow ostrich Birkin (very ugly!)

  18. #138

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    Johnny Weir-Voronov ‏@JohnnyGWeir 1h
    Thank you to everyone who supports figure skating and it's talents by spending your Sunday afternoons with us at @NBCSports! #RoadToSochi

  19. #139
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    Someone should give him some punctuation lessons.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  20. #140
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    Johnny is a pleasure to listen to. I watch skaters I am not usually interested in just to hear his commentary. It's always interesting, informative and considerate.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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