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Watching the Olympics

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To get back to the question of what could Evgenia Medvedeva do beyond competitions for a moment, another forum is having a very active discussion about John Curry. A video has been posted of him and a partner doing a highly impressive performance on what looks like an artificial ice stage. I’ve seen this kind of limited size stage performance and if the cost and preparation were within reason, Evgenia Medvedeva and others could appear in such theaters as the Saddler’s Wells, perhaps.

Also I recall that someone wanted to put together a very high quality ice show using the artistry of John Curry as a standard. I’ve not read any more about this.

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John Curry took his show to many traditional stages.  I saw both programs he brought to the Metropolitan Opera in the '80's.  If I recall correctly, it was touch and go for whether the ice would be solid enough.

The skating was exquisite, such a privilege to see.

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17 minutes ago, Helene said:

John Curry took his show to many traditional stages.  I saw both programs he brought to the Metropolitan Opera in the '80's.  If I recall correctly, it was touch and go for whether the ice would be solid enough.

The skating was exquisite, such a privilege to see.

I just looked at the video clip that I mentioned and he is indeed dancing on real ice, but in a very limited area. I'm certain that what I saw at a stage performance by other skaters was an artificial surface. 

Edited by Buddy

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On 2/22/2018 at 11:16 PM, pherank said:

It's nice of you to mention the 'X-game' events - they've added a big dose of excitement to the Winter Olympics. "Maybe because their scoring system is so unknown that I don’t try to evaluate it" - I think the snowboarders and aerial skiers would love your attitude. I still remember back to the 2006 Torino Olympics, and the defining moment  when snowboard-cross racer Lindsey Jacobellis was about to win the gold medal in snowboard-cross by a comfortable margin when she decided to perform an unnecessary trick on a jump and took a tumble. She got up quickly but lost enough momentum that she was passed by the number 2 racer and had to settle for silver. Snowboarders often 'styled' their movements to please themselves and their friends, and she made the bad split-second decision to do something irreverent near the end of an Olympic race. The non-snowboarder audience took this behavior very badly. And snowboarding as a sport was never the same: it's all much more serious and all about the points now. The snowboarders were once very much a separate sub-culture of the sports world - different even from the alpine skiers. Their sense of competition was very different from that of athletes in other long established sports. But when it comes to competitions now, they've all learned to affect a different attitude in front of the cameras, so no one has to go through the media beating that Jacobellis has endured. The Olympics have never gone well for her, but otherwise, she happens to be the most dominant athlete in her sport, hands down. It's tough to be in a sport like snowboard-cross where everything can come apart in an instant, and there are no second chances. At least in figure skating there are multiple parts to the competition and various opportunities to score points and impress the audience.

I remember watching snowboarding and curling in the 1998 games, and loving the contrast between the deliberation of curling and the go-for-broke of snowboarding.  There was indeed a different culture to snowboarding at the time -- there still seem to be aspects of it intact, but I agree, much of the competition seems very similar to the rest of the games.

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I didn't get to watch as much of the Olympics as I would have liked to, but I've been catching up via videos, and I did get to see the final women's singles event last week. Like many commenters here, I was struck by the wide variation in artistry and balletic skills in the era of the new scoring. Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova were mesmerizing.

A skater friend pointed me in the direction of this video from RT Documentary about Medvedeva and Zagitova and their training under Eteri Tutberidze. It definitely reminded of some "old school" Russian teachers I've had.

Here's the video description:

"This film presents a unique behind-the-scenes look into the lives and training of two of the world’s top figure skaters, Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova. In the spotlight, they soar and spin through the air beaming radiant smiles. But their real lives include more discipline, devastating falls, and harsh criticism than perfect landings and effusive praise."

 

 

Edited by kylara7

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Well, here’s a look at the next generation from Russia. No triple axel or quad, that we’ve been told to expect from some of her peers, but very impressive, and — Lovely !

She was apparently only 13 at the time, a few months ago.

Vaganova on ice ?

(Thanks to Lin at BalletcoForum, posted by ISU)

Edited by Buddy

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Here is Alexandra Trusova skating her LP on her way to victory at the recent Jr Grand Prix final in Nagoya. She’s a favorite to win Jr Worlds in Sofia next week. The first jump attempted is a quad; although she fell, she has landed them elsewhere. Possible Olympic champion in 2022? 

 

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Posted (edited)

Question for followers of figure skating: Have questions raised in years past been resolved concerning the health impacts (on girls and on boys) of doing quads and triples, esp triple loop after triple loop (as Tara Lipinski did) before the body is a going through or has gone through puberty? ( Watching Zagitova’s multiple triple loop display in practice made me gasp with delight and also start to worry remembering Lipinski.) Even in Russia only a small percent of the talent is going to make it to the international stage and be able to turn it into a career. I had thought one reason U.S. skating “fell behind” was that there was more concern about this especially as Lipinski went straight from Olympic Gold to hip surgery so training is or, at least was, different. (I know there are cultural reasons for the differences as well....)  I don’t follow skating closely and perhaps I am way out of date and these questions have been addressed. Or new techniques to protect growing bodies worked out. 

Edited by Drew

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There has been a lot of speculation that the much higher tech content has caused an increase in injuries, but not much to back it up.  For one thing, there are a lot more competitions now, with scores of international competitions each year, most of them in Europe.  It's not unusual for lower-ranked European skaters who don't make it to the Grand Prix or championships to do a half dozen internationals a year, and a lot of junior skaters from Europe compete regularly as well.

Lipinski's "money" combination was the triple loop-triple loop combination.  Loops are notoriously hard on the hips, and, according to one of Christine Brennan's books, Lipinski practiced obsessively.  But, so did Mao Asada, and she didn't suffer an unusual amount of injuries, despite having a triple axel and triple-triple combinations and having won the Grand Prix Final at 14 in 2005, when skaters could do Grand Prix at 14, but needed to be 15 to skate at the Olympics and championships.  Many believed that she could have won the 2006 Olympics had she been age-eligible.  (The ISU has since changed the age for all international competition to 15.)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for that answer. I wouldn't mind seeing the age of international competition raised to 16, but I can't say I didn't enjoy watching Zagitova.

I didn't follow her career particularly closely, but from the little I did follow, Asada was one of my favorite skaters.

 

Edited by Drew

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When the minimum age to compete was higher, there was some  cheating regarding age eligibility.

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Posted (edited)

The health issue is an interesting and important one that deserves ongoing thought and comment. I can’t add anything to this at the moment.

Something sort of fascinating has occurred to me today. In a sports event, the Olympics, with so much demanding, usually highly macho, physical content, the most popular event of all is women’s figure skating. It gets the best time spots and if I recall correctly from the one time I tried to get Olympic tickets, perhaps the highest prices. I don’t see ballet replacing football anytime soon, but this popularity for the all female and most artistic part of the most important sports event in the world seems rather extraordinary.

Anyone have any thoughts about this ?

Edited by Buddy

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Posted (edited)

I worry that the sport will turn into snow boarding half pipe, all tricks and no art.  

 

That said, I know Tonya Harding is having her second 15 minutes of fame. I think she would gave been much, much better suited to snow board half pipe.  If she had been born 30 years later, she would have been Chloe Kim.  

Edited by Jayne
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11 minutes ago, Jayne said:

I worry that the sport will turn into snow boarding half pipe, all tricks and no art. 

Skating in a half pipe. Hmmmm, you'd better copyright that now while there's still time....

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Posted (edited)

The health/overtraining stress in young figure skaters is likely compounded by the longstanding issues with eating disorders and the toll that being chronically underweight takes on bones, muscles, and connective tissue. The underfed body literally catabolizes itself in an attempt to restore homeostasis. As in other sports/activities where body size and shape has a direct correlation with the requirements and scoring of the sport (the ability to  jump, rotate, etc.), it's difficult to balance the risks and rewards.

It was refreshing to hear Adam Rippon address this topic directly.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/sports/olympics/figure-skating-adam-rippon.html

Edited by kylara7

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Posted (edited)

[inadvertent double post]

Edited by kylara7

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On 2/19/2018 at 10:02 PM, canbelto said:

I just watched the ice dance competition. Somehow haven't found this thread until now. But all three figure skating competitions have been hair-raising. Ice dancing is usually the one that's most predictable, but not in this Olympics. From Papadakis/Cizeron's unfortunate wardrobe malfunction in the SD to Hubbell/Donahue's fall in the free dance to the razor thin victory by Virtue Moir, wow, that was just so thrilling!

Ice dance was wild this year. The judges left no room for Virtue and Moir, so they made their own room by blowing the roof off the place. Unbelievable.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/26/2018 at 4:50 PM, Kaysta said:

Interesting that you mention this, because NBC aired a documentary about the 1988 Calgary Olympics and talked specifically about the battles between Brian Orser and Brian Boitano, and Katarina Witt vs Debi Thomas, and they talked about how the compulsory round (where they were responsibile for skating figures in the ice) often played a huge part in deciding who medaled.  In fact, they mentioned at the World Championships the previous year (I guess it would be '87) that Scott Hamilton beat out Orser because he placed first in the compulsory round, even though Orser placed first in the short and long programs (but 7th in the compulsory).

They got rid of the compulsory round soon after that.

You are referring to the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, where Orser lost to Hamilton. Orser won the 1987 Cincinnati Worlds, beating Brian Boitano.

Edited by MRR

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