A Divine Sport blog

text_skate

Well-Known Member
Messages
757
Ratings
1,165
I was checking your website: no recap. I was wondering, if you were fine. So, it's just the time monster. I'm glad, it's nothing serious. I've always enjoyed reading your blog.

Enjoy your time at SC :cheer2:. We can read your thoughts on this other website.
 

Mad for Skating

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,948
Ratings
3,015
For those who have been following my site ... I posted an update about my plans for fall 2018.

https://adivinesport.com/2018/10/25/fall-2018-update/

In short, I am taking a break from writing pairs reviews this fall. I've had a lot of family/house stuff going on this fall (nothing too bad, but it has just taken a lot of my attention). And I've been doing a little campaign work for the U.S. midterm elections. Not to mention the fact that I'm still recovering from the Olympic season. :D So in all, I just need a bit of a break. I hope to come back to doing pairs reviews for the second half of the GP season, or if not then, for Nationals and the major championships.

The good news, I think, is that I'll be attending Skate Canada this week and reporting on it for another pairs/dance web site, Two for the Ice! I'll also be tweeting from the @twofortheice Twitter account, so follow along there for updates.

Thanks to everyone who has read my pairs reviews the last 4 years! I really appreciate it! :)
I understand! Blogging is tough! Thank YOU for your detailed analysis of this amazing sport, and for inspiring me to start my own blog last year! I’ll check out that Two for the Ice post as soon as it comes out!
 

hoptoad

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,513
Ratings
344
Thanks for another great article. :40beers:

I always learn something new about the teams. This time it was interesting to hear about about Jin's English, and I either hadn't known or had forgotten that the Australian team had moved to Canada.
 

Mad for Skating

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,948
Ratings
3,015

text_skate

Well-Known Member
Messages
757
Ratings
1,165
While reading your thoughts and ideas about the availability of figure skating today (next week ;)), then and in future, I realized how much I miss your reviews. Is there any chance you'll do one for Worlds?
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,202
Ratings
23,896
While reading your thoughts and ideas about the availability of figure skating today (next week ;)), then and in future, I realized how much I miss your reviews. Is there any chance you'll do one for Worlds?
I am not sure yet, but I'm thinking about it, @text_skate. Thanks for asking! :)

I had actually been hoping to do a Worlds pairs preview column, but this piece kind of took precedence.
 

whiteskates

Well-Known Member
Messages
391
Ratings
764
A good article Claire! Well written as usual. I can partly understand that TV channels want to make money on current competitions but blocking videos from years ago is ridiculous.
 

Mad for Skating

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,948
Ratings
3,015
So it's been a while, but finally something new on my blog!

It's my view of one of the least-discussed, but arguably most important, events in figure skating this year: The war on figure skating YouTube.

A Shadow on the Sport
https://adivinesport.com/2019/03/15/a-shadow-on-the-sport/
Excellent piece! It’s so frustrating to see all the skating videos disappear - I had a playlist of 300 favorite programs and now there are only 60 videos left! There has to be some way to access skating videos without jumping through hoops.

(I confess, I may have an archive of bootleg skating videos in a google drive, but it shouldn’t be that hard!)
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,653
Ratings
13,741
So it's been a while, but finally something new on my blog!

It's my view of one of the least-discussed, but arguably most important, events in figure skating this year: The war on figure skating YouTube.

A Shadow on the Sport
https://adivinesport.com/2019/03/15/a-shadow-on-the-sport/
Thanks for highlighting this situation and for speaking out, Claire. I hope someone in decisionmaking power is listening and reading. There are so many problems that exist, and the lack of vision and leadership, combined with the tendency to stay with stuck-in-the-mud, head-in-the-sand thinking is too prevalent.

For far too long, the ISU and the networks have exploited fans and not truly given fans much consideration. There are still a contingent of die-hard fans, but as we age and die out, will there really be enough new fans and dedicated viewers still interested in following figure skating? Already, the sport is suffering in the U.S., not because the sport is not worthy of more interest, but because there has been little to no effort made to find new and effective ways of promoting the sport in this country.

As you indicate, that's where Youtube enters the picture in a big way. The sport has gained fans via the videos posted on Youtube. If they continue taking those videos away, they are losing a huge avenue of opportunity to bring in new and casual fans. Watching skating videos on Youtube is a learning experience, as well as a walk down memory lane, and all of the things you expressed so well.

I'm already upset about the fact I can no longer follow tennis the way I used to because it's no longer available on regular television. So these days, I mostly catch only the highlights of tournament matches on Youtube. Honchos in figure skating and other sports have to understand that today fans and casual viewers have to make choices. If they continue trying to squeeze people dry with making us pay for everything and upping prices, it will net them nothing in the long run. I like some of your suggestions, but it's important that fans are allowed to continue to have some free access where reasonable. For example, by them removing the availability of videos from last season, that's not going to get them more subscribers for NBC Gold. In fact, many fans will pay for NBC Gold subscriptions, and still look for access to quickly watch videos of selected skaters on Youtube. If we can't find what we are looking for and accessibility continues to be restricted, that will in the long term damage growth of and interest in the sport.

It took four years before I could finally find some of the 2014 Olympics coverage on Youtube. That is way too long to wait. And for anyone who didn't get to see much of the skating from Sochi in real time, that's invaluable memories lost that were never formed in the first place. My interest in and fandom for the sport occurred and grew because of being able to watch the Olympics and later Nationals coverage on regular television! And also via learning over the years from Dick Button's enthusiastic and informative commentary. Before the late 1960s, the sport was very elitist and rather obscure to the masses (aside from skating shows), because glimpses of competitions were only availiable via newsreel highlight clips.

Yesterday, I was trying to find Denney/Frazier's recent program videos and I was confused by only seeing a few videos of their performances from two and three years ago. The only thing I found for this season were sp from U.S. Nationals, and fp from Four Continents (and that's probably because they were randomly available and just got missed being taken down). Now, I know why Claire. :( So thanks for your much needed commentary on this frustrating turn of developments.

There are so many problems that figure skating needs to address, and they better get on the ball about figuring out a better way forward for skaters and for fans, or else they will begin to lose their fan base and they will also begin to lose young skaters too! In fact, hopefully more youngsters will begin to gravitate toward an interest in the World Figure & Fancy Skating Championships which is about two years old. I'm stoked to see that there was a group of former skaters who joined together to preserve and to archive this very important aspect of the development of figure skating as a whole. There's no real danger of losing too many figure skaters to the figure & fancy discipline, but some young skaters starting out might find that newly restructured formative pursuit to be less expensive and more fulfilling, if not yet an avenue for high level career exposure and Olympic stardom. Where the danger really lies for today's figure skating is in losing young athletes to other sports, and losing fans to other pastimes. Eliminating skating videos on Youtube is NOT the answer.

Interestingly, I found this on U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone:
https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/sports/2018/9/7/youtube-video-archives.aspx
Apparently, U.S. figure skating is saying that fans can watch 2018 juvenile, novice, and intermediate events on their Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-CheZaoFWwSUzVc6l-LVjfS0sR5Oo_ei
And they are saying that all senior and some junior and synchronized events for 2018-2019 must be accessed via NBC Gold subscription pass. The problem is that if they have now deleted uploads from dedicated fan channels on Youtube that also caused entire accounts to be taken down, then we are also losing valuable archived footage and memories from many past seasons that were accessible on those accounts! That's a huge problem, and it must be addressed, as you have so eloquently outlined in your commentary, Claire. Figure skating fan zone's site is not easy to navigate, and they are also doing things without actually clarifying what's going on and why. Also, NBC Gold (despite having sharp video that IceNetwork did not have), fails to consistently provide medal ceremony coverage and no press conferences or backstage interviews. While there are some uploads of press conferences that can be found on Youtube, it's rather limited and haphazard. Ice Desk gives us some pre- and post-coverage, but not much in the way of backstage interviews. So, fans aren't actually getting all of the coverage we got on IceNetwork, like we were promised.
 
Last edited:

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,653
Ratings
13,741
TPTB must also realize that many fans are on a fixed income. I have no doubt that NBC Gold is planning to continue upping the price, which will mean they will be pricing out some fans. It's already difficult being squeezed to pay for every aspect of one's interest in sports and other pursuits. People have to make choices, and TPTB have got to be reasonable and realistic, instead of greedy and clueless. I hope someone will listen to your call for common sense, Claire! I believe it's important for U.S. figure skating especially to find ways to make live competitions more affordable and accessible. If they do, they will be able to fill the seats and make more money, without resorting to continually raising prices. If they don't, the sport will continue to be limited and marginalized in this country.

Andrea Joyce recently mentioned on an episode of IceTalk the fact that slalom skiing is struggling in the U.S. as a discipline because few young U.S. athletes are taking it up. As well, Joyce pointed out that speed skating in general is having trouble recruiting athletes and maintaining and further developing a fan base. Part of that is once again because of the variety of choices available to young people in the 21st-century. The other part of speed skating's problem is that the ISU has relied on having speed skating suck the blood of figure skating for so many years, instead of finding ways to build speed skating to stand on its own as a singular and unique sport worth its salt. Others may disagree, but I don't think it benefits either speed skating or figure skating to continue having speed skating tied to and feeding off the increasingly limited and challenged revenue streams of figure skating.
 

maureenfarone

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,891
Ratings
1,048
Thanks for the great review Claire. JMO but I think shortening the FS may have lead to some of those aborted and scary lifts. There is a lot going on in the FS and not much chance to catch a breath because the program must be shorter.
 

AxelAnnie

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,916
Ratings
6,013
This was totally fantastic! Thank you so much, Claire.

The one thing I would love a broader discussion on is your view that penalizing elements that are not completed is a detriment to the sport expanding. I would like to think that skaters would continue to expand their tech elements, and show them when they are reliable. I know that is just my POV. I am so tired of skaters (even ones I love) going out and trying to execute an element "with a hope and a prayer". I liked Frank Carroll's 70% rule. (It did not go into the competition until it is 70% in practice) I think some of the "mental" blocks (i.e. Lubov) and her jumps might be helped if they had not been slapped into a program before she was ready (if that was the case - I know it is said she can do them in practice)

I am not thrilled about the 30 second cut. Whose brilliant idea was that?

Lastly if the rule change brings us innovative programs like J/C and beauty like B/K I am all for it!!
 

Mad for Skating

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,948
Ratings
3,015

nimi

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,352
Ratings
4,033
So it's been a while, but here is a new pairs review, finally!

My look at the pairs event at Worlds 2019: https://adivinesport.com/2019/04/01/worlds-2019-pairs-review/

This one is pretty long! I guess after not writing any reviews this season, I had a lot to say. :D
I'm a bit late to the party but thanks for the pairs review Claire! Really enjoyable writing! I think my favorite sentence is "the lugubrious, overwrought ballad droned on unpleasantly" because that's such a perfect description of Z/E's LP that it made me literally LOL :lol:

BTW, I thought I'd mention that I think I found one typo, in the passage where you discuss P/J vs Z/E for bronze: "Zabijako/Enbert had slightly more difficult elements–a 3/3/2 combo instead of 3/2". I honestly don't remember much of what Z/E did on the ice during their program, and I don't feel like re-watching that particular medal-winning performance, but I assume they did their usual 3-2-2?
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,202
Ratings
23,896
@AxelAnnie
I'm a bit late to the party but thanks for the pairs review Claire! Really enjoyable writing! I think my favorite sentence is "the lugubrious, overwrought ballad droned on unpleasantly" because that's such a perfect description of Z/E's LP that it made me literally LOL :lol:

BTW, I thought I'd mention that I think I found one typo, in the passage where you discuss P/J vs Z/E for bronze: "Zabijako/Enbert had slightly more difficult elements–a 3/3/2 combo instead of 3/2". I honestly don't remember much of what Z/E did on the ice during their program, and I don't feel like re-watching that particular medal-winning performance, but I assume they did their usual 3-2-2?

Thanks @nimi! I fixed that typo! ;)
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,653
Ratings
13,741
Thanks for the interview and the show review!

I have to say wowza that Alex Johnson competed with a torn labrum for the past five years. :eek: Alex seems laid-back, down-to-earth and passionate about skating. I'm glad he's happy and enjoying making money in finance, and coaching. I wish him joy on this next part of his journey! :cheer2:

It's also nice learning what Max Aaron and Christina Gao are doing these days.
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,202
Ratings
23,896
The Skating Club of Boston is moving! As some know, the Club's home--for 80 years--has been its iconic "quonset hut" building at 1240 Soldiers Field Rd in Boston. This is the building where Button, Albright, Wylie, and Kerrigan trained. The history is incredible--but it only has a single ice surface. So now the Club is building a fancy new 3-rink facility in Norwood, MA. I attended the groundbreaking ceremonies Monday, which featured speakers including Tenley Albright and Scott Hamilton.

Here's my post about the event: https://adivinesport.com/2019/05/16/the-skating-club-of-boston-breaks-new-ground/
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top