Figure Skating

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  • edited March 2015
    I love figure skating, and have since the Battle of the Carmens, and Battle of the Brians.  But I have to say that my ability to enjoy competition has been seriously undermined by the current scoring system.  To put it simply: I don't get it, and I really don't want to.  It seems that the pressure to do insane (and an insane amount of) jumps has led to (1) front loading all of the interesting elements of a program, (2) sloppy programs, (3) downplay of artistry, and (3) a huge number of injuries.  All of these factors has made it less enjoyable for me to watch.  

    Case in point: the 2010 Olympics, men's competition.  That was a shit-show, to put it mildly.  I honestly think that Plushenko and Evan were the only two skaters who stayed standing for both of their programs - the rest was a splat-fest.  HORRIBLE! Unwatchable!  The only thing that made it worthwhile was the fact that Plushenko's arm-flailing did not get him another gold, despite his quad.

  • Figure skating never really clicked for me (possibly because I either didn't have a TV set or had a 13" B/W) for a long time. Paul Wylie did it for me, in 1992. His Henry V program was so dramatic and emotional that I began to get interested. Then at some point I discovered ice dancing, which is still my favorite. There were so many skaters I loved in the 90s--it was a great time for watching, with lots and lots of televised competitions. Then all of a sudden they pulled the rug out from under us and put almost everything on strange channels or paid websites. Now I mostly just watch Nationals and Worlds/Olympics if I happen to realize they are on.

    I got to shake hands with Torvill, Dean, and Wylie backstage at a Stars on Ice. It was Valentine's Day and Jayne was showing off a heart pendant her husband had given her. I loved the way Torvill and Dean have kept evolving. I felt a real peak was the wonderful Simon & Garfunkel pieces, Still Crazy, Cecelia, and Bridge over Troubled Waters.
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    Maybe this is just me but it REALLY weirds me out when brothers and sisters are pairs. I just can't with the Shibutainis.
    What about that weird (albeit fabulous) incestuous French pair from a few years ago that always did those bizarre shapes and intricate choreography that always ended in a big splat on the ice?  Who were they?!
  • joanna said:
    I love figure skating, and have since the Battle of the Carmens, and Battle of the Brians.  But I have to say that my ability to enjoy competition has been seriously undermined by the current scoring system.  To put it simply: I don't get it, and I really don't want to.  It seems that the pressure to do insane (and an insane amount of) jumps has led to (1) front loading all of the interesting elements of a program, (2) sloppy programs, (3) downplay of artistry, and (3) a huge number of injuries.  All of these factors has made it less enjoyable for me to watch.  

    Case in point: the 2010 Olympics, men's competition.  That was a shit-show, to put it mildly.  I honestly think that Plushenko and Evan were the only two skaters who stayed standing for both of their programs - the rest was a splat-fest.  HORRIBLE! Unwatchable!  The only thing that made it worthwhile was the fact that Plushenko's arm-flailing did not get him another gold, despite his quad.

    Heck, even before the new judging there was that awesome splatterfest when all the previous professional men's skaters were allowed back in to the Olympics and they hit the ice one after the other.  Am I remembering that correctly?  It may have been the Olympics where Alexei Urmanov won simply because he was the only one left standing (literally) when it was all over.

    image

    Oh, and I always liked Urmanov for wearing gloves (let's bring those back!), but his frou-frou tendencies got a little over the top shall we say?

    image
  •  

    Maybe this is just me but it REALLY weirds me out when brothers and sisters are pairs. I just can't with the Shibutainis.
    What about that weird (albeit fabulous) incestuous French pair from a few years ago that always did those bizarre shapes and intricate choreography that always ended in a big splat on the ice?  Who were they?!
    I believe those were the Ducheneys. The sister dated Christopher Dean for a while. From what I recall she could be quite a pill
  • DeDe said:
    But in the meantime, what would you say were "performances of a lifetime"?

    I couldn't tell you the year, probably early-to-mid 90's, but I remember Kurt Browning looking so debonair doing a routine to the song from Casablanca.
  • edited March 2015
    Frank_821 said:
     

    Maybe this is just me but it REALLY weirds me out when brothers and sisters are pairs. I just can't with the Shibutainis.
    What about that weird (albeit fabulous) incestuous French pair from a few years ago that always did those bizarre shapes and intricate choreography that always ended in a big splat on the ice?  Who were they?!
    I believe those were the Ducheneys. The sister dated Christopher Dean for a while. From what I recall she could be quite a pill
    Yes, yes, the Duchesnays!  But I remember a spectacular fall but really it looks like it was only in the final seconds or so.  And the move was super daring.  Starting here around 4:25:




  • Frank_821 said:
     

    Maybe this is just me but it REALLY weirds me out when brothers and sisters are pairs. I just can't with the Shibutainis.
    What about that weird (albeit fabulous) incestuous French pair from a few years ago that always did those bizarre shapes and intricate choreography that always ended in a big splat on the ice?  Who were they?!
    I believe those were the Ducheneys. The sister dated Christopher Dean for a while. From what I recall she could be quite a pill

    I seem to recall seeing her wearing a helmet during a practice once because the trick/lift was so potentially dangerous to her noggin. I remember the year they did West Side Story. I was seriously grossed out until it was revealed they would be portraying siblings Bernardo and Maria.
  • Is it because they're French? :-)  They remind me of siblings Louis Garrel and Eva Green from The Dreamers:



    image


  • The Duchenays were born in Quebec, but since one of their parents was from France they moved to Europe and competed as French citizens;I think at the time there was a more established Canadian ice dancing team ahead of them.

    I really liked their skating, and somewhere have a video tape of the compulsory dance at the 1988 Olympics, when the compulsory dance was the tango, and the Duchenays skated the hell out of that dance.

    I think that Isabelle was briefly married to Christopher Dean,but they divorced and he eventually married a U.S. ladies' skater, Jill Trenary.

    The brother/sister pairing has never bothered me in either pairs or ice dancing.  There have been other sibling pairs, among them Sandra and Val Bezic, who competed for Canada. Quite good as a pair. Sandra did, maybe still does commentary for skating.
  • I'm only sort of joking and just using it as an opportunity to post a sexy photo. :-) I think Torvil & Dean and the Duchesnays were way ahead of where things are now as far as routines go, not the actual talent, since that has only been improving.
  • joanna said:
    I love figure skating, and have since the Battle of the Carmens, and Battle of the Brians.  But I have to say that my ability to enjoy competition has been seriously undermined by the current scoring system.  To put it simply: I don't get it, and I really don't want to.  It seems that the pressure to do insane (and an insane amount of) jumps has led to (1) front loading all of the interesting elements of a program, (2) sloppy programs, (3) downplay of artistry, and (3) a huge number of injuries.  All of these factors has made it less enjoyable for me to watch.  
    The only one I think I can argue is #1 -- if anything, I think programs are less front-loaded than they used to be because of the bonus points for the second half of the program.  There also do appear to be more strict rules in terms of how many jumps you can repeat (and this is besides the old Zayak rule), and I think what you perform is what matters, not what you INTEND to perform (so it is not just about triple jumps).

    But I think the system could be pretty effective if they just didn't weight the more difficult jumps SO heavily. Kinda scale it back, so there is a risk/benefit that encourages skaters to only attempt the difficult jumps if they are consistent enough for it to be worth it.

    That being said, the numbers still don't mean SHIT to me. It is helpful when NBC has a running tally of the rough technical score as they skate, and you can see how it compares to the previous top score. So you have a solid idea before the scores come up if the current skater is anywhere NEAR the mark.
  • I just stumbled across an ABC show called "Shall We Dance on Ice" on On Demand.  Haven't watched it yet, but it looks like it aired on March 7th in two parts.  It was a live show in Illinois last December.  A quick search turns up:

    "Celebrate dance both on and off the ice with this exciting show. Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, along with TV stars Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Sharna Burgess, headline this journey of dance through the ages."

    The HOSTS


    Kristi Yamaguchi, 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist

    Kristi Yamaguchi
    1992 Olympic Gold Medalist

     
    Ryan Bradley, 2011 U.S. Champion

    Ryan Bradley
    2011 U.S. Champion

  • The SKATING CAST

    Meryl Davis & Charlie White

    Meryl Davis & Charlie White
    2014 Olympic Gold Medalists

     
    Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto, 2006 Olympic silver medalists

    Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto
    2006 Olympic Silver Medalists

     
    Photo coming soon

    Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat
    2002 Olympic Gold Medalists

     
    Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon, Two-time World Silver Medalists

    Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon
    Two-time World Silver Medalists

     
    Sinead & John Kerr

    Sinead & John Kerr
    Seven-time British Champions

     
    Naomi Lang & Peter Tchernyshev

    Naomi Lang & Peter Tchernyshev
    Five-time U.S. Champions

     
  • And more:

    Kim Navarro & Brent Bommentre

    Kim Navarro & Brent Bommentre
    Two-time U.S. Bronze Medalists

     
    Isabella Tobias & Ilya Tkachenko, Israeli Dance Team

    Isabella Tobias & Ilya Tkachenko
    Israeli Dance Team

     
    Ryan Bradley, 2011 U.S. Champion

    Ryan Bradley
    2011 U.S. Champion

     
    Joel Dear, Two-time U.S. Medalist

    Joel Dear
    Two-time U.S. Medalist
    *Photo courtesy of Amy Krut

  • edited March 2015
    @smalltwnfashion said "Maybe this is just me but it REALLY weirds me out when brothers and sisters are pairs. I just can't with the Shibutainis." Talking about sibling pairs, I am giggling thinking about Amy Poehler and Will Arnett as siblings portraying the "Forbidden Love" of JFK and Marilyn Monroe in Blades Of Glory; too funny!
  • violina23 said:

    Your memory exactly matches mine re: Sale/Pelletier. That's exactly why, in a way, I think the new scoring system is a step in the right direction because it breaks down the technical difficulty in a way that is easier to quantify. I like that it encourages balance to the programs, with the bonus in the second half that rewards technical difficulty at the end of the program and not just at the beginning. And I like that quality and correctness of the jump (edging & complete rotation) matters, because someone like Tara Lipinksi wouldn't be able to get away with the poor technique. But, that being said, I don't like the fact that a poorly performed quadruple jump (two-footed, or fall) is rewarded more highly than a beautifully performed triple. And anonymity of the judges is always a fishy thing. So I think it's kind of a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. It will ALWAYS be tricky in a sport that is skill-based and requires judging.

    and YES, I remember the Frogs on Ice website! You just triggered a ton of memories, in that way where I wonder what other information is hidden in the tomb that is my brain from 10 years ago... lol.


    I agree in theory that the new scoring makes the technical score more objective but I think we're still seeing subtle manipulations where some figure skaters that are traditional judges' favorites are given the benefit of the doubt on some jumps.  The one thing I do like is that (as you pointed out in another posting) the new scoring prevents or obviates front loaded programs.  Skaters should be given extra points for doing more difficult jumps in the second half of the program.  I also agree entirely that there is far too much emphasis on jumps, particularly quads in the mens' programs.  I'd much rather see a complete program like Jason Brown's that did not have a quad but had superior QUALITY in terms of other technical elements.  His Riverdance program was a particularly good example of what I mean.  The new scoring makes it difficult for many fans to relate - at least in the old days I could usually come fairly close to guessing what the scores would be.   Now it's a crap shoot.  My other objection to the new scoring is the anonymity factor.  This is a really interesting discussion.  Thanks for starting it.
  • edited March 2015
    I used to be a pretty dedicated fan, but the new Code of Points just makes so little sense to me that it makes everything much more confusing to follow. I've only just started following it again. At least the new Gymnastics code is somewhat easier to manage. I was also super pissed about Sotnikova's Sochi win.

    I think I'm still going to tune into worlds this month though, I'm hoping Ashley Wagner does well.

    This is my favorite program right now, mostly because I live for this Mozart concerto:


  • I'm only sort of joking and just using it as an opportunity to post a sexy photo. :-) I think Torvil & Dean and the Duchesnays were way ahead of where things are now as far as routines go, not the actual talent, since that has only been improving.
    Well Christopher Dean choreographed for the Duchesnays. There were witty and original moments to their work but personally the Duchesnays always left me cold. I always prefered Klimova and Ponomarenko. They had an electrifying presence and that man had amazing strength to handle those hold they did
  • I just watched the Duchesnay Reflections posted here and was thinking how well it has worn, and trying to remember the names of Klimova and Ponomarenko (thank you, Frank), whose work might not have worn so well (?) though they were absolutely at the top then, doing very dramatic programs. I saw them live once, on a very small ice patch in a basketball court here part of (the only ice show that has ever come to town) and they were indeed "electrifying" even without much room to build up speed--definitely the best thing in the show. After 20 years, I still have a vivid sense of their program (set I think to a Brecht-Weil ballad).

    The Duchesnays had less personality on the ice but Reflections was a beautiful piece of choreography--one can almost imagine it being set on a different couple, though the predominant style of ice dance has changed and I guess it would have to be an exhibition piece.
  • Frank_821 said:
    I'm only sort of joking and just using it as an opportunity to post a sexy photo. :-) I think Torvil & Dean and the Duchesnays were way ahead of where things are now as far as routines go, not the actual talent, since that has only been improving.
    Well Christopher Dean choreographed for the Duchesnays. There were witty and original moments to their work but personally the Duchesnays always left me cold. I always prefered Klimova and Ponomarenko. They had an electrifying presence and that man had amazing strength to handle those hold they did

    Yes to infinity! I loved Klimova and Ponomarenko's fluidity, grace and theatricality.
  • edited March 2015
    Does anyone remember Gordeeva & Grinkov? They were amazing - completely dominating pairs figure skating for the late 80's and early 90's. They fell in love and had a daughter together, and then he died suddenly - it was such a tragedy. The first time I saw her skate alone, I swear you could almost see him there on the ice with her. I was sobbing, and I wasn't the only one.
  • Does anyone remember Gordeeva & Grinkov. They were amazing - completely dominating pairs figure skating for the late 80's and early 90's. They fell in love and had a daughter together, and then he died suddenly - it was such a tragedy. The first time I saw her skate alone, I swear you could almost see him there on the ice with her. I was sobbing, and I wasn't the only one.
    OMG, yes - will never forget that.  Truly one of the more emotional moments in ice skating history.
  • Oh yes. such elegant chemistry. Was way cool when they came out of retirement to win their 2nd olympic title
  • My aunt was a professional skater and had been in the early Ice Capades, so anytime a skating event was on television, we all watched. A friend of mine referred to my family as "the Buttons" because of our color commentary.

    Does anyone remember the sibling pair Peter & Kitty Carruthers? They were popular in the late 80s and early 90s.

    I always enjoyed Brian Boitano's skating. In the early 90s he had a traveling ice show that was quite good, one of the best I've ever seen. I think my favorite Olympic games were in Calgary, 1988 with the Battle of the Brians. I cheered for Boitano, but I like Orser. The US men's team that year was excellent - Boitano, Christopher Bowman and Paul Wylie.

    Nancy Kerrigan really is meh as far as I'm concerned. After becoming the darling of the Lillehammer Olympics, she was ungracious and outright nasty to her fans. After she married her agent/manager, she pretty much vanished. I remember that her mother was rather outspoken too.
  • My aunt was a professional skater and had been in the early Ice Capades, so anytime a skating event was on television, we all watched. A friend of mine referred to my family as "the Buttons" because of our color commentary.

    Does anyone remember the sibling pair Peter & Kitty Carruthers? They were popular in the late 80s and early 90s.
    I do!! They were brother and sister, each adopted into their family and not related at all. It was just a happy accident that they ended up skating and doing great.
  • Ice Castles, anyone?
  • Ice Castles, anyone?
    Ice Castles EVERYONE!!!!
  • Ice Castles, anyone?
    Ice Castles EVERYONE!!!!

    Looking Through The Eyes Of Love!
  • Gemfemme said:
    Ice Castles, anyone?
    Ice Castles EVERYONE!!!!

    Looking Through The Eyes Of Love!
    EVERYBODY - Please, don't let this feeling end, it might not come again, and I want to remember...

    Who was the skater in that movie? She did a couple of movies around that same time, one of them was a James Bond picture. She also guest starred on Hart to Hart and maybe Love Boat.
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