Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by skatingpj, Apr 24, 2011.
I suspect that the "little respect" for not being consistent on the 3A only applies to Chan.
I LOVE Patrick Chan's skating. It totally moves me. Recently, his are the only programs that I watch over and over again. I've been following figure skating for a long time and have had many favorite male skaters, starting with Toller Cranston. I am in awe of Chan's abilities and he has become one of my favorite all time skaters. I'm rooting for him!
Patrick's perhaps the most likely to make the podium, but he's not a lock for gold, especially with Dice-K in the mix. It will be down to which man can best conquer his nerves. The one I would prefer to win is Tomas Verner. Except for Tomas, I'd like the Japanese men to get the medals this time. I usually root for the US men but they are in a state of transition this year and I will be glad if they can just keep spots for next year.
MTE. I'm tired of people saying that Chan has no artistry or soul like it's a fact. There are plenty who enjoy the artistic side of his skating in addition to his superb technical skills.
This. The 3A is never going to be a strong jump for Chan, but there are so many others who struggle just as much or more. While it's certainly an important element, it's not everything (and to the person who said it's a required SP element, it isn't - only a 2A is).
The 3A is not a required element in the SP. The required jumps are:
I don't really think that Chan is the man to beat. He is one of the favorites, but with the Japanese, the French, the Czechs, I would say he has some pretty tough competition. The thing with Chan is that you never really know what you'll get. He can be amazing or he can flop. If he shows up at his best, he has a decent shot at winning, but it's not certain because there are so many men out there that are great.
As for him being cold, I wouldn't go that far and say that he's cold. But, I do think that he still has ways to go on the expression level, although he is better than most in my opinion. I honestly didn't think he was unexpressive until a I watched his SP right after Takahashi's.
Despite all "brilliance", can't bring myself to like his skating/this guy.
He's just a COPot.
Again, to each his own. IMHO, Chan has brilliant blade control and ice coverage, combined with the use of good music and choreo. I suppose that's all it takes for some to be bowled over or to detect true artistry. Fine, "different strokes for different folks," is apt. For me, artistry is more than closing your eyes and extending your arms, and being a brilliant technician -- so much more. I feel no emotional connection between Chan and the audience, nor between Chan and his music. Those who do, I suppose feel happy being part of the club.
Ha ha re: "I suppose the 'little respect' for not being consistent on the 3A only applies to Chan." Obviously, the judges have given Chan, Lambiel, and Lysacek mucho respect in spite of their poor (and in Lamby’s case later in his career) non-existent 3 axels. OTOH, plenty of skaters are dumped on big time, if they make even a slight mistake or a miss on a jump. Figure skating is a very political sport after all. It is not simply based on what happens on the ice. That's why it's important for skaters to strive for consistency and to perform to their best ability and let the chips fall where they may. It's a very subjective sport, and the debates will never end.
For me these are some performances that evince true artistry:
Toller Cranston: “In 1974 in Munich, … it was just an intellectual idea that took off, and I was the vehicle…” Mind you, no talk from Cranston of being part of a club. Toller pushed the sport forward in Munich in 1974, but was only rewarded with 4th place.
John Curry, inspired by Cranston, pushed the sport further forward at the 1976 Olympics:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z79TMsYRnEc Technically brilliant and artistic
So what one planned triple was doubled – no need to be part of a club to be mesmerized by this performance. Some viewers were brought to tears by Matt’s artistry.
Gorgeous, technically brilliant jumps, fluid, lyrical movement, exciting spins – a complete skater. The sport was pushed forward by this performance.
Technically brilliant jumps, effortless 3 axel, moves like liquid gold. The sport was pushed forward by this performance, as it showed the beauty and the power that is possible for men to achieve and with no lunging forward on jump landings. Johnny’s competitors took notice, but similar to Toller Cranston, Weir was not fully embraced by the sport.
Excitement, emotional connection to the audience and to the music, technical brilliance, true artistry. What a performance. Que stupendo! Ole!
Adding a quad to Dai's above performance would do nothing to enhance his performance. So what, it adds points and satisfies Plushy and those who are gung ho on quads. Artistry and charisma (emotional connection to music and to audience) should be worth as much or more points than the quad, IMHO.
aftershocks, I love all your choices - and comments.
If we get two clean and high quality performances from Takahashi and Kozuka, and Chan with even ONE fall (never mind two or three), I hope they beat him easily. If he falls and still manages to beat those two with clean performances, there is something seriously wrong with the judging system and/or the judges. Takahashi and Kozuka have terrific skating skills and basic technique themselves - Chan should NOT have any kind of one-or-more-fall advantage over them in the way he might have over an inferior skater.
I personally think both of them are far better in a lot of ways, and infinitely more interesting to watch. Chan is technically very good but his ego is way too overblown for me to even like him. He talks like he thinks he's the best skater who ever lived.
What I dislike about Chan is his big mouth. May be the reporter misquoted him- may be I should give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.
I prefer people who are humble about their talents and their successes. Chan has the talent; the success has been there, but not so great that he has to compare himself with the likes of Woods or Federer. "Dominate the sport"? I hope this motivates his competitors. It will be good for the sport to have a rivalry, and not just one skater being handed the title, no matter what he does in the actual competition (referring to the GP).
I would like to enjoy watching his skating without his mouth spoiling it.
I understand that Chan's skating (or anyone's for that matter) isn't going to touch everyone emotionally. Like you said, it's subjective. But "I feel no emotional connection to his skating" isn't a very good argument for why Chan shouldn't win, IMO. And there's no need to be patronizing towards those of us who do like his artistry.
As far as Lysacek and Lambiel, I would argue that Chan has a stronger triple axel. He hasn't struggled the way Lambiel has, and it doesn't look cheated the way Lysacek's did. I think Chan's triple axel looks decent when landed, but he has problems landing it with consistency.
For all those who enjoy Chan's skating, there is much there to admire of course. I enjoyed Chan's skating when he first gained international success as a teenager. My enjoyment waned, as his head, mouth and the inflated hype about him grew. He seemed to decide he was so much better than everyone else, and began making ill-advised comments. I was rooting for him at 2009 Worlds, but he spoiled that opportunity for himself. I've since lost interest in him as a skater -- there are too many other more interesting skaters who are part of the mix, and who are as good or better than him on a number of levels. I'm making no argument about whether or not Chan should win, just sharing what I feel and don't feel about his skating. Whoever will win, should be decided on the ice, on the day of competition.
If Chan possessed maturity and graciousness, and had the sense to focus on developing his artistic interpretation, rather than smack talking and proclaiming himself part of a club, he might already be a World champion. Sure, he may yet be one by the end of this week on the strength of his skating skills and well-executed quads. If so, hopefully he will be counseled not to gloat about it.
I agree with Vash and others who want to see a competition, not over-inflated marks for a favored skater that puts the competition out of reach. That scenario has happened too often in this sport. Of course, realistically, medaling is fantastic and all that, but the political nature of the sport, and exciting depth in the men's field means that many will fall short of medals, no matter how well they perform.
While Chan's certainly had his moments, I think you're blowing everything he says out of proportion. For example, earlier you were talking about his comments on Johnny's rose crown. If you actually saw the interview in which he said that, you can tell that it was an off-hand comment and not a malicious attack against Johnny.
Speaking of Johnny, I know from reading your posts that you're one of his fans, yet you never seem to call him out for the negative things he's said about other skaters.
You are correct, Lambiel certainly had an illustrious amateur career and he's going to have an even more illustrious pro one. Lambiel also showed plenty respect for his fellow skaters and openly acknowledged his issues with the 3A. Regardless, I still do not think a skater should be able to top-ten at the elite level without a 3A. Which is a shame as I enjoy the pure elation Lambiel exudes when he performs.
Not at all. My point is simply thus: if, once upon a time, skaters were able to have two or three flawless quads in competition and a flawless 3A, why is it so hard for the current generation to manage? Kulik, Plushenko, Yagudin all managed to attain the 4T without damaging their 3As. So have many others. Why is it that nowadays we are seeing skaters immediately struggle with their 3As when they try the 4T? Is it a training style? A poor technique? A mental block? I'm genuinely interested here.
You lost interest in Chan's skating because of his inflated hype or because he spoiled the 2009 Worlds opportunity for himself? And if there are so many more interesting skaters out there, how come you didn't notice them before 2009 given the fact that it's basically the same skaters now as prior to LA?
I'm afraid that you can't make other people like what you like and dislike what you dislike and my advice is that you should really try to live with it.
I agree with the first point but not entirely with the second. Chan isn't the best of performers, but IMO his emotional connection with the audience and his music are better than average. Not the best, no, but better than many. And he really upped the level of his performance ability in his SP this year.
However, his technical mastery and the choreographic details of his programs enable him to use the music brilliantly. At its highest level of execution and expression, technique becomes art.
ITA with your points, misskarne. Perhaps those who struggle the most with their 3A, perhaps did not have a secure 3axel technique, before being pushed to develop quads. I think there are probably numerous issues surrounding the difficulty of quads. Some can land gorgeous quads in practice, but have trouble landing them cleanly and consistently in competition.
RockTheTassel: In regard to my club reference being patronizing, that is exactly the point I was making. Chan is the one talking about being part of a club. Okay, you may feel its no biggie, its simply his way of pumping himself up, but it doesnt give off the best impression. Hmmmm, we can take the Johnny discussion to pm, if you have a mind to do so. I'd hate for this thread to descend into another referendum on Johnny Weir's numerous failings and the extremes of opinions about him. I will say, as I've said before, Johnny is not a saint. However, the only bitch slapping between him and another skater occurred between him and Lysacek largely due to aiding and abetting by the media and the USFS. And the worst of the back and forth never occurred at or prior to a competition. IMO, Johnny and Evan under the surface always had a lot of respect for each other's talent. People and circumstances around them changed the way they view each other. Sure, Michael Weiss has had some unkind things to say about Johnny, and Johnny describes Michael in an unkind way in his book. However, Johnny never came to a competition smack talking opponents, and never claimed he was part of a dominating club or better than everyone else. It actually may have helped Johnny if he truly believed he was better than everyone else. While Lysacek has previously discussed Tiger Woods as a role model, he never talked about being part of a club, or dominating the sport.
Again, there is nothing wrong with pumping oneself up, and expressing the desire to claim some hardware, a la Ryan Bradley. For me, Chan is pumping himself up in an off-putting way. I think the over-the-top praise Chan has received from supporters has gone to his head. Chan's bravado and some of his comments show his immaturity -- but no skater, and no human being is necessarily immune to that failing. In any case, other posters have also indicated they are turned off by some of the comments Chan has made. Frankly, if Chan can bring the goods consistently and dominate, without favoritism from the judges, that will be a feather in his cap, and maybe a crown on his head. I would hope his artistry would also improve with his planned domination. Chan may indeed win multiple World championships, but there are too many excellent skaters right now, not to mention younger ones coming up, for Chan to claim he will be the King of the Hill for years to come. Of course, anything is possible, and I guess that's why we debate.
Now back to the thread....
Although I do think Chan is the more talented skater as shown by his skates this year.. I think these championships will be less about talent and quads and more about mental strength because of the special circumstances.. so i will give my edge to Takahashi - he will be the man to beat.
Japanfan, That's great you are enthusiastic about the improvements you feel Chan has made in his performance ability. It will definitely be interesting to see how he carries over his performance at Canadian Nationals to Worlds this year. I can appreciate what Chan does well, and serious kudos for his hard work on developing quads, but I'm more drawn to other skaters. Certainly, Chan upping the ante with his determination to perfect quads has brought some excitement, and has admittedly inspired skaters such as Ryan Bradley – that’s a good thing.
VarBar, I'm sharing my opinions as we all are, but I have no desire to make anyone like what I like or feel what I feel. Rather you should check to see whether you personally are having second thoughts after reflecting on the viewpoints I'm sharing. If that's not the case, great. If it is, then maybe it's you who "should really try to live with it." Hope you enjoy Worlds.
The only person who is on Chan's level is Takahashi. He knows it and doesn't mind letting the media know that he knows it.
His "I will dominate/channel Tiger Woods etc." approach isn't that uncommon as a psychological strategy. Yagudin and Plushenko, among others, have taken that approach. Yagudin was very arrogant but no one faulted him for saying "winning Olympic gold is my destiny". Plushenko is far less popular, so his assertions of "I'm #1" received much more criticism.
The downside of this strategy is that you need to put your money where your mouth is and look like a fool if you don't. Like Mike Weiss in 2003 with his Hummer ready to celebrate his gold medal.
Discussions on this board indicate that there will always be criticisms that the judges favour Chan, no matter how well he skates. There are a group of fans who just love to hate him and find fault wherever they can.
But not are yet at Chan or Takahashi's level. Their may be some who have the goods (i.e. Dennis Ten), but they don't yet have the consistency.
Chan's window of opportunity is now and he may be able to stay ahead of the pack for a few years. It is not as easy to dominate as it was under 6.0, but if Patrick's consistency continues to get better, he'll be the alpha in the pack for a time.
Woah now, is that a fact! Sounds like a quote the other competitors should take inspiration from.
Try as I might, I can't recall Yagudin or Plushenko ever mentioning or hinting at channeling Tiger Woods as an "approach or psychological strategy." Sure Yagudin was arrogant at times -- lots of Russian skaters sometimes seem to be perhaps, and maybe its mostly a facade. Plushenko's arrogance for me, is dwarfed by his charm and fierce desire to win. Surely, you are aware that Plushenko was not always considered unpopular with fans. Unfortunately, IMO, the judges overscoring him in the 2006 Olympics sp led to a lot of criticism, which in part I think fueled his desire to return to the Olympics in 2010. Being at the top for so many years led to Plushy taking his dominance for granted. He's an example of a skater who relied too heavily on his jumping ability and forgot to work more on his artistic side. He seems to be trying to do that now. For the most part, Yagudin and Plushenko were bitter rivals more arrogant toward each other than anyone else. Yagudin mellowed somewhat when he switched to TAT and backed up his arrogance with hard work and his resulting Olympic gold medal-winning performances at the 2002 Olympics. I do think Chan is heeding Plushy's and others' words about the importance of landing quads. I don't care so much about quads, and I think the sport has been uncertain too about their significance, as evidenced by the fluctuation in how they have been scored.
Uhhh, well, I suppose most skaters wouldn't necessarily take it as a criticism for fans to suggest they are judges' favorites. That can actually be a good thing, and then the task becomes trying to back up that favoritism with superlative performances. That's really the best psychological strategy, IMO, because it's based on working hard at proving you are the best. In any case, judges love to give high marks to skaters they feel are consistently reliable, no matter what weaknesses they may have. The danger is a la Plushenko -- dominating for many years and beginning to feel entitled, and failing to work on improving all aspects of your skating.
Yeah, okay, if you say so. Perhaps you're right. I happen to think there are a lot of other skaters out there who are priming to give him a run for his meal money. We're sure to find out over time, as the World turns.
I'm just eager to see some excellent performances combining all the goods that complete skaters possess.
I had no idea that there were new PCS criteria this season:
3. Press relations
4. Not being off-putting to anyone
I must have missed the ISU Communication.
Will the PC Police stop at nothing
Please list the skaters that are on the same level as Takahashi and Chan.
If you read my post I did not say that channeling Tiger Woods was the strategy. Rather, I said that "I will dominate" is the strategy and gave several examples of skaters who have used it.
Pray tell, kwanfan1818, quite fascinating. News to me too. Fortunately, or unfortunately (interpret as ye will), its only the CoP enforcers who will "stop at nothing" to determine the top finishers at Worlds.
Japanfan, I repeat: Woah now, is that a fact! Sounds like a quote the other competitors should take inspiration from. I did not agree or disagree with your contention. Maybe I should ask you where Chan is quoted in the media stating that Takahashi is the only skater on his level. If you need a list of the competitors, I suggest you go to the ISU or official Worlds 2011 websites. You might wish to re-read your own post, or edit it if you prefer. None of this is like facing courtroom cross-examination serious. Enjoy Worlds everyone, and I'm sure we'll all root for the skaters we love to watch.
Stats to follow. They speak for themselves. The few skaters who come close to Chan and Takahashi have yet to develop the same consistency, and that is part of being level.
So you can't or won't name any skaters. That really helps your argument. I guess you just enjoy being contrary and blowing hot air.
Men to receive level 4 in footwork: Takahashi and Chan
Top 10 ISU Scores 2010/2011
Top 10 ISU Scores 2009/2010
246.72 Stephane LAMBIEL
Top 10 Personal Bests
Daisuke TAKAHASHI 264.41S
3Evgeni PLUSHENKO 258.33S
5Takahiko KOZUKA 248.07S
9Brian JOUBERT 241.7
4S 10Johnny WEIR
Javier Fernandez has also received level four for footwork (Worlds 2010, LP)
Nationals is very different from an international competition. Skating well at Nationals is not the same as "manning up" at Worlds.
I don't think his Nationals win makes Chan the one to beat. His scores when he didn't skate well make him the man to beat.
I like Patrick's skating. However, I preferTakahishi's and I'd love to see him win. And it's not because of the triple axel. (I'd take Lambiel over both of them.) I happen to fall into the category of people who don't perceive Patrick as having as much connection to the music. I'm not saying no musicality. Just not as much. IMO, of course.
Thanks. I meant to edit my post and add 'so far as I know' to my statement about Level 4 footwork, as I thought there might be a few other skaters who had achieved it.
Yeah, the thing about CoP is it makes all the numbers crunching lovers happy. Nice list of stats. My opinion is stats are more important to baseball than they are to figure skating. I trust my own eyes first, when I view a figure skating competition. One of the more unpredictable things under the new system is how much movement there can be in the standings during the course of one event, let alone a whole season. The list and the numbers might in fact be more interesting if they actually took into account the full talent and abilities of all the top skaters in the world and not just those who have the opportunity to compete at certain competitions based on the current arcane set-up run by the ISU and the federations. Obviously, there are quite a few skaters on your list who are not competing at Worlds this year, so I guess that makes things even more level for Chan. Oh, but forgive me, I forgot he's better than everyone else in the World.
Go Dai! Go Kosuka! Go Verner! Go Bradley! Go Amodio! Go Joubert! Go Ross! Go Richard! Go Reynolds! Go Schultheiss! Go Gonzalez! Go Ten! Go Contesti! And even tho' I'm not partial to them, I'll give a call out to Brezina and Oda as well. Have to say I was never as turned off by Chan as I've become turned off by some of his more obsessive fans.
What argument? Like I said, I didn't agree or disagree with your contention that Chan thinks Takahashi is the only skater on his level. "Since you can't or won't" point out where in the media Chan is quoted as saying Takahashi is the only skater on his level, "I guess you just enjoy being contrary and blowing hot air," and blowing off about lists and stats. Me, I'd rather watch the skaters skate.