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Thread: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

  1. #31
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    I will watch nearly anything the Winter Olympics has to offer, but figure skating is my particular passion.

    Re: Wagner vs. Nagasu: Yes, Wagner had a poor free skate and a hesitant short program at Nationals, but in terms of consistency, Nagasu has had big problems of her own in that area since 2010 and her fourth place finish at the Vancouver Olympics. Sure, she's finished second and third at recent Nationals. She's also finished seventh. Twice. She's also frequently been downgraded on her jumps due to under-rotation even when she's skated cleanly. In fact, at the recent Four Continents competition, she placed tenth, the worst placement of all three U.S. women (and the other two did not do as well at nationals as Nagasu) because of multiple deductions due to improperly rotated jumps. It doesn't help that she's currently skating without a coach, which would make the USFSA wonder about her consistency in training as well. Wagner, on the other hand, has been more consistent in the last four years and is responsible for getting three women's spots at this year's Olympics. Beyond that, the rules for choosing the Olympic team are clear: Nationals is to be considered only one factor in choosing the team. In the past, except in cases of injury to a top competitor that made it impossible for that skater to compete at Nationals, USFSA has gone with the National medalists, but they're not obligated to do so and all the skaters knew that going in. Do I feel bad for Mirai? Sure. But I also understand the reasons behind the decision, and it wasn't made without regard to the rules that everyone involved knew about ahead of time, even if casual skating fans who watch only during Olympic years weren't aware of those rules. Really, what created the situation in the first place was the totally unexpected skates of Polina Edwards, the silver medalist at Nationals. When it comes right down to it, given her lack of senior experience nationally and internationally, they might have left her off the team but her second place finish made it difficult to do that, though they did have to consult the rule book to determine whether her junior international results could be factored into her statistics when determining the team. If they hadn't been able to consider them, the decision might have been different, but the rules stated they could be counted the same way as senior results are.

    The same kind of decisions were made in other countries as well. Japan chose Takahashi for its men's team, despite his poor performance at their Nationals. Plushenko wasn't even able to complete his nationals performance, the only competition in which he took part this season, and Russia still put him on their team. They're also made in other sports--gymnastics, for instance, takes more than its national competition into consideration when its Olympic team is chosen.
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  2. #32
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    I love figure skating, but I'm not sure what the point of the group event is. I know someone whose daughter competes in team figure skating, but that's a group skating together - like you'd see in a dance competition. I thought that's what "team skating" was going to be. I'm a bit disappointed to find that's not the case. IIRC, they've done something similar with pro figure skating.
    There's ice theatre, which I am very unfamiliar with (I don't think it exists in my area at all) - but I believe it is exactly as the name implies, a dramatic performance on ice. There's synchro team skating, same idea as synchro gymnastics and synchro swimming - everyone moves in unison as a team. Synchro skating is popular here and there are quite a few competitive events (but it is very separate from singles and pairs, different clubs and different competitions). I could see synchro team skating eventually being included in the Winter Olympics. Not sure about ice theatre, but as I said, I am really not familiar with it except for videos I've seen on a friend's Facebook page.

    The team event is great for the skaters, given that they have the opportunity to compete with reduced pressure. No heats or round-robins for them - they get one shot (well, one each for short and long program) and that's it. I would change the team event to ensure that a pair or single can't compete in both the short and long programs, but I do support it.

    We watched the men's short yesterday and were blown away by Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu. (My daughter's coach told her to go home and watch his triple axel a few times. ) A very well-deserved first-place finish.
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  3. #33
    FORT Fogey Punkin's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Here is a site that gives real time tweets and pictures from the opening ceremonies as they are happening this morning.

    Y! SPORTS

  4. #34
    FORT Fogey Florimel's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    I think the team figure skating event, which I had not known about, is probably designed to be somewhat like gymnastics in that there are both team and individual championships. Since they are allowing only one skater for each team event, I think it will be over soon and the individual events will begin.

    I have mixed feelings about Ashley Wagner's inclusion on the team. She did come in fourth in the U.S. Nationals. While she has had a lot of success in international events over the last few years, she also has a tendency to inconsistency. You just don't know which Ashley will be there for each skate. I think she's the one representing the U.S. in the team event, so we should get some idea within the next few days.

    I'm also concerned about Jeremy Abbot. When he's good, he's great, but he seems to excel in national events but freeze in the international competitions, which he did last night.


    That said, I'm not really jingoistic about the Olympics. I love to watch athletes perform well wherever their from. Like most everyone else old enough to remember, I got very excited about the "Miracle on Ice," but that was largely because this amateur team beat the highly experienced Russian professionals. That's not a popular perspective, I know, but for me it's what sports should be about.
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  5. #35
    FORT Fogey Miss Scarlet's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    I absolutely love the Summer Olympics. I'm addicted to nearly every event. But the Winter Olympics don't interest me nearly as much.
    I find all skiing to be boring, & there's a lot of that. I like the figure skating, but there's way too much of that. I usually wait 'till the finals to watch. The indoor short course speed skating is kind of fun, but same thing - I wait 'till the finals.
    The one thing I do love is the Opening Ceremonies & Closing Ceremonies.
    I guess I won't have much to watch the next week or two.

    I've always wished I could go to an Olympics, but from what I'm reading, I'm glad it's not this one.
    At this point, I'd turn down a free trip & Olympic pass if I won one.
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  6. #36
    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    I'm not a fan of pixies on ice, nor of any sport where insanity is a prerequisite (luge, skeleton, snowboarding, ski-jumping, even down-hill skiing.) I love cross-country skiing and biathlon, which test the strength and endurance of the athlete to the utmost.
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  7. #37
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by AJane View Post
    There's ice theatre, which I am very unfamiliar with (I don't think it exists in my area at all) - but I believe it is exactly as the name implies, a dramatic performance on ice. There's synchro team skating, same idea as synchro gymnastics and synchro swimming - everyone moves in unison as a team. Synchro skating is popular here and there are quite a few competitive events (but it is very separate from singles and pairs, different clubs and different competitions). I could see synchro team skating eventually being included in the Winter Olympics. Not sure about ice theatre, but as I said, I am really not familiar with it except for videos I've seen on a friend's Facebook page.

    The team event is great for the skaters, given that they have the opportunity to compete with reduced pressure. No heats or round-robins for them - they get one shot (well, one each for short and long program) and that's it. I would change the team event to ensure that a pair or single can't compete in both the short and long programs, but I do support it.

    We watched the men's short yesterday and were blown away by Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu. (My daughter's coach told her to go home and watch his triple axel a few times. ) A very well-deserved first-place finish.
    I guess I'm thinking of ice theater. To me, that's a team skating. This new Olympics event just feels like a rip-off of those Ice Wars TV specials they did with pros a few years ago.

    I thought Patrick Chan and Yuzuru Hanyu were much more fun to watch - more well-rounded - than Plushenko, but then I've never been a fan. IMO, he looked like a hot mess in the short program. Just wild and all over the place. His spins, in particular, were messy.

    In some ways, I think figure skating lost something when they eliminated the compulsory figures portion of the competition.
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  8. #38
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Newfherder View Post
    I'm not a fan of pixies on ice, nor of any sport where insanity is a prerequisite (luge, skeleton, snowboarding, ski-jumping, even down-hill skiing.) I love cross-country skiing and biathlon, which test the strength and endurance of the athlete to the utmost.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I think you would be quite surprised to see the extraordinary amount of strength and endurance training that skaters undergo and what it takes to perform this sport. Our CBC television network did a special on Patrick Chan and noted that he jumps higher and has longer "hang time" than a professional basketball player - and he does it on a few millimeters of steel blade. They are athletes in every sense of the word.
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  9. #39
    FORT Fogey MsDiva2007's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    I love both and summer sports. Why does from what I am seeing on twitter and such Sochi doesn't look prepared for these games.
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  10. #40
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by MsDiva2007 View Post
    I love both and summer sports. Why does from what I am seeing on twitter and such Sochi doesn't look prepared for these games.
    Because they're not?
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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