Gymnastic news #22 - Tokyo or bust

Status
Not open for further replies.

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
13,513
I watched the Olympic Trials for US ladies, and one thing stood out, which I think other skating fans might also be thinking. I know Biles is WAY ahead of the other girls. But the commentators are bothering me. As a skate fan, when I see Biles pretty much not stick her routines more often that not, all I hear from the commentators is "WOW!!! The best in the world! She'll take that!!!". I know when I explain skating to people who don't know skating that they trust me for having no bias. My bias is just good technique and execution. But are these commentators just dumbing down to the Walmart crowd? I mean when Biles bounces three feet on her landing, and the commetators don't even comment on it or just discard it, it makes me feel that I'm being lied to. Yes I can see her tightness in rotation, the pointed feet, the amplitude, I'M NOT BLIND. But shouldn't the commentators at LEAST say "Ohh... if only she stuck that landing! This is the most difficult score in the World!!!"? It just seemed like Old Fashioned American commentary where they choose to go with emotions and patriotism instead of focusing on the FACTS and well what's in front of our EYES. At least that's what I noticed about the commentary this past weekend. Biles could do no wrong, even when she did do wrong. I just want honesty. Otherwise it just appears to be American Nationalism full-speed ahead and we can't say ANYTHING negative against our "star".

ETA: It reminded me of all the Pro-Nancy, Pro-America commentators during Lillehamer. Jill Trenary (who I LURVE) was the first and only person when asked about the ladies Lillehamer field had the AUDACITY to say that she felt Oksana was a much better performer than Nancy. She was raked over the coals for daring to say something not glowing about the American star. I felt for Jill. She was just being down to earth and talking in REALITY. I'm not getting this commentary over Biles. They need to focus on her poor landings as if it is something that will set her apart from history. Without sticking the landings it'd be like an American lady who attempts a 4axel and falls out of it and the commentators are all "WOW, that's the most difficult element in history! She's perfect!!!" without mentioning the fall-out. At least for me it is.
Totally agree.
When there is an error point it out! There is no mystery about it. Not like we couldn't see it.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
Messages
4,264
Watched the first two episodes of Golden, the documentary on Peacock.

:) Thoughts
-Lee's coach was very realistic about Lee on bars, saying that she could be the best in the world, but has to win the gold medal first
-Skinner came across as really likeable
-Fun to hear the West Virginian at McClain's church claim Mary Lou Retton as their gymnast
-Gym Max was portrayed as a positive, supporting gym environment. Hope that is also the case when the cameras are off

:shuffle: Fact checking nitpicks
-The reporter saying that Skinner's comeback is unprecedented. Um, hello, Bhardwaj?
-Forster saying this is the deepest American field ever. I'd say that was 2004 with all the gymnasts who saw the Mag 7 win when they were little girls. That Olympic team left off 3 world individual event champions.

:( Thoughts
-There seems to be a lot of pressure put on Konnor McClain. She seems like a nice kid; hope people can back off her a bit.
-Morgan Hurd's elbow injury sounded really awful
 

floskate

Vacant
Messages
9,829
Watched the first two episodes of Golden, the documentary on Peacock.

:) Thoughts
-Lee's coach was very realistic about Lee on bars, saying that she could be the best in the world, but has to win the gold medal first
-Skinner came across as really likeable
-Fun to hear the West Virginian at McClain's church claim Mary Lou Retton as their gymnast
-Gym Max was portrayed as a positive, supporting gym environment. Hope that is also the case when the cameras are off

:shuffle: Fact checking nitpicks
-The reporter saying that Skinner's comeback is unprecedented. Um, hello, Bhardwaj?
-Forster saying this is the deepest American field ever. I'd say that was 2004 with all the gymnasts who saw the Mag 7 win when they were little girls. That Olympic team left off 3 world individual event champions.

:( Thoughts
-There seems to be a lot of pressure put on Konnor McClain. She seems like a nice kid; hope people can back off her a bit.
-Morgan Hurd's elbow injury sounded really awful

A friend sent me the first three eps last night and I devoured one and two in one sitting. Really well put together and can't wait to watch Ep 3 tonight! Dominique Dawes saying the sacrifice just isn't worth it at the end of the opening episode was really eye opening!
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
Messages
34,121
Cynthia Potter is a gem! And no, most diving fans like her while the divers themselves really don't because she doesn't mince words about what she sees. She's not mean but she's not going to ignore even the slightest error. Incredibly constructive commentator.
I've heard her say this before, but in the 2021 Trials commentary, she said that they are seeing things from a different angle in the broadcast booth, and that the judges may not even be able to see the sames things they are. She can attest to that because she's been a judge. Plus, they have replay.

Why would the divers have an issue with what she points out? The first thing they do on the deck is watch the replay, so they see everything she's seen. They might even be harsher on themselves.
 

Sylvia

So happy the JGP season is back!
Messages
66,825
I really enjoyed listening to Cynthia Potter's commentary in the U.S. Olympic Trials for diving last month: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/mens-diving.108300/#post-6009022

ETA:
There’s a new documentary out on Peacock called Golden about 5 elite US women -covers the last six months: McCayla Skinner, Morgan Hurd, Konnor McClain, Lauri Hernandez, and Sunisa Lee. Just watched the first episode and it’s quite good!
I binged the first 3 episodes. Dominique Dawes is the executive producer. She has has a very definite point of view.

I’m enjoying it. It’s interesting finding things out about the girls I didn’t know before. I’m particularly intrigued by Konnor, Laurie, and Morgan.
Watched the first two episodes of Golden, the documentary on Peacock.

:) Thoughts
-Lee's coach was very realistic about Lee on bars, saying that she could be the best in the world, but has to win the gold medal first
-Skinner came across as really likeable
-Fun to hear the West Virginian at McClain's church claim Mary Lou Retton as their gymnast
-Gym Max was portrayed as a positive, supporting gym environment. Hope that is also the case when the cameras are off

:shuffle: Fact checking nitpicks
-The reporter saying that Skinner's comeback is unprecedented. Um, hello, Bhardwaj?
-Forster saying this is the deepest American field ever. I'd say that was 2004 with all the gymnasts who saw the Mag 7 win when they were little girls. That Olympic team left off 3 world individual event champions.

:( Thoughts
-There seems to be a lot of pressure put on Konnor McClain. She seems like a nice kid; hope people can back off her a bit.
-Morgan Hurd's elbow injury sounded really awful
Thanks for sharing/posting - I will take a look!
 

A.H.Black

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,926
Cynthia Potter is a gem! And no, most diving fans like her while the divers themselves really don't because she doesn't mince words about what she sees. She's not mean but she's not going to ignore even the slightest error. Incredibly constructive commentator.
It is true that Cynthia Potter is now a gem! She has grown a great deal over the years. In 1984, her commentary in LA was not very good and her use of the English language was cringe worthy. However, by 1992, her commentary on the NBC triplecast contains one of the best discussions on how judging works (in diving) that I have ever heard for any sport. Time was not a factor during the triplecast and she and the head of USA diving talked about the intricacies of judging for more than 30 minutes. Fabulous!

I always hope that new broadcasters for Figure Skating and Gymnastics will "grow" over the years. Terry Gannon certainly has. The "experts" however, usually continue to disappoint me. Too often the discussion is about the commentator, not about the competition or the sport. Of course this is true in most sports, including baseball, basketball and football. NBA broadcasting, for instance, is at the height of ridiculousness with very rare exceptions.

Sorry to get off on a tangent. Back to gymnastics. I was pleasantly surprised with Laurie Hernandez. I hope she "grows".
 
Last edited:

pachelbel

Active Member
Messages
34
I've heard her say this before, but in the 2021 Trials commentary, she said that they are seeing things from a different angle in the broadcast booth, and that the judges may not even be able to see the sames things they are. She can attest to that because she's been a judge. Plus, they have replay.

Why would the divers have an issue with what she points out? The first thing they do on the deck is watch the replay, so they see everything she's seen. They might even be harsher on themselves.

In a sport where the athletes are basically naked on TV and every part of their body and movement are scrutinized, it's only natural for them to be insecure.

It's the same reason skaters and gymnasts are so touchy when people critique any part of their programs or routines. When you're in the thick of it, it's really hard for them to understand that these are not a personal attacks. Much easier said than done.
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
4,342
Diving is a sport (figure skating under ordinals was another) where I can know absolutely nothing about the sport and still come up with a score that at least one judge will also give.

5.7. or 7.5. I enjoy Cynthia Potter's commentary but with it or without it, uneducated guessing seems to work.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
13,513
In a sport where the athletes are basically naked on TV and every part of their body and movement are scrutinized, it's only natural for them to be insecure.

It's the same reason skaters and gymnasts are so touchy when people critique any part of their programs or routines. When you're in the thick of it, it's really hard for them to understand that these are not a personal attacks. Much easier said than done.
I disagree that it is natural for athletes to be insecure. That is part of what you signed up for when you decided to compete. Better toughen up! It is like a person who moves to Alaska and is surprised that it is cold!
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
42,612
I do think it's natural for athletes to be insecure. But not because they wear bathing suits. Otherwise, athletes who are completely covered such as skiers would not be insecure and they often are.

It's because the reality of being an athlete is that you are constantly comparing yourself to others and even your past self and coming up short.

Examples:
I ran 100m yesterday in X time and today I ran it in X+10s. What is wrong with me today?
Why can't I run faster than my teammate when I train just as hard as they do?
 

michalle

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,345
A friend sent me the first three eps last night and I devoured one and two in one sitting. Really well put together and can't wait to watch Ep 3 tonight! Dominique Dawes saying the sacrifice just isn't worth it at the end of the opening episode was really eye opening!

I remember a quote by the swimmer Denis Pankratov to this effect as well but I've been trying to track it down for years and haven't been able to find it again. Does anyone else remember it? It was something like when he touched the pool at the end of the race and realized he'd won gold at that moment he realized it hadn't been worth it but it's been a long time so I may not have it right. The Gen x slacker in me loves that kind of anti-inspirational quote I have to admit.
 

pachelbel

Active Member
Messages
34
I disagree that it is natural for athletes to be insecure. That is part of what you signed up for when you decided to compete. Better toughen up! It is like a person who moves to Alaska and is surprised that it is cold!

I mean that's ideal but how you say athletes should think about themselves is not how it plays out in real life.
 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
Messages
16,433
There is something about gymnastics and skating where mistakes or watering down the difficulty feels like a moral failing on some level. I don't know maybe athletes and other sports experience in that too. But in any event, because it is this "moral failing," having it pointed out and discussed seems like it's too much. I can remember we were discussing whether or not under rotations should be announced in the kiss and cry so that scores were more understandable without the protocols. A lot of people were aghast at the thought that a skater would have to sit there while the crowd is told that they under rotated X jumps or something like that.

But now that the NBA playoffs are happening we've been watching Charles Barkley and the other guys on TNT and there's just brutal on people while not being malicious.. Absolutely brutal but that's just the way it is when you play in the NBA. People criticize you without reservation all the time. That's just part of being an NBA player. That probably does really bother some of the players but they're not going to complain about it publicly because that's just the way it is.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,221
I also wonder if age and gender play a part in that as well. Plus, fame and notoriety and money involved. I do think popularity plays a huge part in it in that most the fans love this niche sport and end up loving our fave skaters so we feel more protective than we would someone who is part of a big famous franchise team who has at least a city full of fans. The players of such teams may or may not be well-compensated but has that image of being so. I haven’t touched upon race but I can definitely see that as a factor as well.
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
13,513
I mean that's ideal but how you say athletes should think about themselves is not how it plays out in real life.
Absolutely. However, the reality is they are participating in a judged sport.
It would be difficult to compete if you took everything personally.

I ride.....another judged sport. Can't take your scores personally there either. Shoot....sometimes a judge just doesn't like that color/breed/size of your horse. Certainly can't take that personally either.
 

canbelto

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,634
But now that the NBA playoffs are happening we've been watching Charles Barkley and the other guys on TNT and there's just brutal on people while not being malicious.. Absolutely brutal but that's just the way it is when you play in the NBA. People criticize you without reservation all the time. That's just part of being an NBA player. That probably does really bother some of the players but they're not going to complain about it publicly because that's just the way it is.
It's sort of the NBA online culture (twitter, reddit) to roast players mercilessly. SOme players will roast you right back (Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard).
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
42,612
It's sort of the NBA online culture (twitter, reddit) to roast players mercilessly. SOme players will roast you right back (Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard).
My experience with following mainstream sports is that they all are like that. People say really harsh things all the time on message boards devoted to football, basketball, and baseball here in the US. Then I come to FSU and people complain about how mean we all are and I laugh.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,221
I mean, do we want figure skating culture to be as mean as the NFL and NBA boards can be? I guess skaters like Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold would argue it already is, but selectively.
 

canbelto

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,634
I mean, do we want figure skating culture to be as mean as the NFL and NBA boards can be? I guess skaters like Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold would argue it already is, but selectively.

Figure skaters have to put up with a different kind of weirdness though. I don't think NFL fans think Tom Brady is locking four kids in the basement.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,221
Figure skaters have to put up with a different kind of weirdness though. I don't think NFL fans think Tom Brady is locking four kids in the basement.
They do, but after seeing the constant negativity and toxicity of other social areas of other sports fans, and hell even in gymnastics and the more toxic circles of skating fandom, I do think having a more positive or at least considerate fanbase is much healthier for the mind and soul. Toxic areas that feed off the failures of athletes and love to drown in misery are really unhealthy spaces and I'm glad FSU isn't like those places. Maybe were kind of were when we were all younger and knew less about the negative effect we had, but for the most part, FSU is actually pretty chill in comparison despite each of our mood swings and need to lash out at times.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
35,221
Dick was a product of his time, but during his prime, he was quite excellent considering the existing biases of earlier decades. In later years, he sort of became a bit messier and less "in-control". I will say, I sure was glad when NBC somehow got Dick Button to join the Olympic commentating team in Torino despite the fact that he was contracted by ABC at the time. He really added a lot of the Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, Tom Hammond team at the time. He's still a thousand times better than what we have now. His love of the sport and its history shone through.
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
Messages
14,052
Dick Button wasn’t a good commentator though. :shuffle:

Eye or ear of the beholder. Dick was a spectacular commentator.

Uncle Dick was the first expert figure skating TV commentator possibly ever, but certainly in the US. He used his reputation of having multiple Olympic Championships, multiple World Championships, a European Championship, multiple North American Championships, and multiple US Championships, and top billing in the Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice plus a law degree from Harvard to promote skating despite actually being admitted to the bar in Washington D.C. Sure, others improved on his formula and he was less well spoken after the stroke in 1999, but he was an original and won an Emmy for his work. He is an American Prince, and they don't make those anymore.

Dick Button with Bud Palmer at his first US Nationals as a commentator.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information