oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
Ha, these are tags I don't use often!

I have been dorkily following figure skating ever since I got Tivo and realized I could program it to record figure skating, so now, I bore everyone by going on (and on and on) about figure skating come this Olympics!

(Also! Taiwan is in the winter Olympics! 1 luger, and I doubt we'll win, but still! TAIWAN! WINTER OLYMPICS! Even if we are still listed as "Chinese Taipei"!)

(Also also, I feel so bad for the poor technicians backstage going, "OMFG how did the OLYMPIC TORCH go WRONG at the ACTUAL CEREMONIES I AM SO SCREWED.")

(We won't go into my long-standing issues with the nationalist to-do that always seems to happen over the Olympics, the terrible quality of the US anchors, the way medals go to countries with enough dollars to pour into their sports programs, and etc.)

First, I hope to god Dick Button will not be allowed to commentate, because I hate his sexist, racist self. Also, if the commentators go on and on about the "new" scoring system and how it promotes pure jumping over artistry, I will throw something at the TV. Especially because quite a few winners from the last few years at Worlds have won thanks not just to their jumps, but also to awesome footwork sequences and the like.

All this commentary will probably be very US-biased, since I watch the broadcasts here and the commentators and clips are pretty US-centric. I so wish they broadcast Japanese nationals here, because that would be awesome to see.

Pairs

Pairs actually bores me the most; for some reason, I enjoy the less-seemingly-athletic ice dancing much more. Also, the tendency to have very young women paired with older men (16 and 24 sometimes) kind of squicks me out. Still! I am totally rooting for Shen and Zhao (China), who made a comeback this year and are surprisingly in great shape! I'm also strangely fond of Kavaguti and Smirnoff (Russia); there's something about the way Yuko Kavaguti lands her jumps that I really enjoy. The other two Chinese pairs teams are also pretty good, though I love Shen and Zhao the best, and I'm hoping Savchenko and Szolkowy shake off their weirdly bad season and do well. Like, I hope Shen and Zhao still beat them just because they are in their early thirties and are just awesome in general, but it's never fun if the winners win just because the competition sucked. Normally I do cheer for Savchenko and Szolkowy too though (OMG non-East-Asian POC in figure skating!)

Dance

I haven't been following the race fail around Domnina and Shabalin's original dance, but I saw it at Europeans, and not only was it terribly offensive, it also kind of sucked. I wish I could say I were more surprised about the race fail, but quite frankly, figure skating in general is so full of race fail that I'm not. This year is particularly bad, because the original dances are supposed to be folk dances. And since figure skating is white white white, that's a lot of appropriation! But even in non-folk-dance years, figure skating overall has a ton of Orientalism, almost always done to music by European composers (Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade seems to be featured ALL THE TIME). I roll my eyes forever.

I usually cheer for Belbin and Agosto (US), but the past few seasons, I've just gotten kind of bored of them. I'm not really sure why. And despite their Indian-based original dance, I am growing to like Davis and White (US) a lot. Hey! Delobel and Schoenfelder (France) are making a comeback this year after winning 2008 Worlds! I haven't seen them at all this season, so I have no idea what their program is, but they're usually interesting. And although I don't think Khoklova and Novitski will get on the podium, I find them amusing. I also like Faiella and Scali (Italy) because they do reverse lifts (woman holding the man).

Men's

Men's! This is my favorite. I cheer on Evan Lysacek (US) and have ever since I watched his senior debut way back when, though now I feel much less skanky about it, as he's no longer 18. Also, he tends to be so reliable! And I love his footwork sequences! I find Jeremy Abbott (US) extremely boring for some reason. I used to dislike Johnny Weir (US), but now that he hasn't been the strongest US man for a while, his attitude annoys me less. Also, I kind of love his short program with the hot pink lacing and the diva poses, and how can you not love that his exhibition program is to Lady Gaga? Complete with face paint!

I feel I should be more excited about Evgeni Plushenko's (Russia) comeback than I am. I think he is still awesome, but since he already has a gold, I kind of want someone else to win now. I am hoping Patrick Chan (Canada) does better; he's usually awesome, but this season he's kind of sucked. I'm also sad Jeffrey Buttle (Canada) stopped after winning 2008 Worlds! Ah well... at least he won that. Brian Joubert continues to bore me, although at least his costume is less terrible this time around. Basically, I am grateful any time he stays out of the brown Naugahyde. I am also cheering on teeny-weeny Denis Ten (Kazakhstan), whom Wiki tells me is partially Korean! I hope Tomas Verner (Czech Republic) pulls it together but it's too scary cheering him on because he can choke so badly, and I hope Stephane Lambiel (Switzerland) does as well, because he is skating to La Traviata, which I love, and he can be so good, but he can mess up so badly as well.

And finally, the Japanese men! I feel I should like Oda Nobunaga more than I do. He is extremely cute and very good and his Charlie Chaplin long program is adorable, but alas for him, Daisuke Takahashi gets my vote. I am afraid he will not do well though, thanks to recovering from an injury and basically being out all of last season, and he was pretty bad in his Grand Prix event. But he had this short in the 2007-2008 season called "Digital Swan" to a hip-hop remix of Swan Lake that was AWESOME. You must trust me. It was AWESOME. Black feathers and sequins everywhere! And this year in 2008 (my bad, tricked by the Wiki picture), he has a purple outfit with a cape and and sequined heart with a dagger on it! He is one of the few skaters out there whose costumes are more sparkly than Johnny Weir!

Women's

Why do they always call this "ladies"?

This is completely unrelated to the Olympics, but I was so happy watching US Nationals this year and seeing the giant crop of little Asian-American girl skaters! When they're interviewed, they talk in these teeny-bopper, Valley girl voices and are totally full of squee, and they're so cute! Also, I have visions of people getting startled by the totally American accents coming out of their mouths, and I mock them viciously. (Also, Christina Gao skated to Spirited Away, meaning I love her forever!)

I cheer on Julia Sebestyen (Hungary) though she doesn't have much of a shot at the podium, just because it's SO NICE to see female non-dance figure skaters older than 22. I'm also super sad the Japanese team is limited to three women, since that means no Fumie Suguri, whom I am fond of. I generally don't like Miki Ando's style that much, but she's been growing on me. And although I like Mao Asada, it is nerve-wracking to watch her now! Her season this year was terrible, although she pulled it together for Four Continents, at least. I really hope she does not freak out at being at the Olympics! And I'm vaguely fond of Akiko Suzuki, but not terribly familiar with her.

I like Alena Leonova (Russia) just because she is cute and spunky, and it's good to see Elene Gedevanishvili (Georgia) is in the Olympics! She was so cute at Torino, and I like her long this season. I'm a bit meh about Rachael Flatt (US), but happy Mirai Nagasu (US) managed to get her act together this year. I hope she also does not get too freaked out by the Olympics and continues to do well!

And finally, Kim Yu-Na (South Korea)! I love her, she is awesome, her programs are awesome, I am just so nervous because she had those uncharacteristic mess-ups in her last two Grand Prix competitions, and I am scared it will be like Michelle Kwan never managing to win an Olympics! As long as she doesn't screw herself up, she will win by so much. I don't think anyone else competing even comes close to Kim Yu-Na when she's on.

*crosses fingers* Watching sports is so nerve wracking!

Date: 2010-02-13 09:12 am (UTC)
ladyjax: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ladyjax
I love your skating happiness!

Date: 2010-02-13 09:20 am (UTC)
cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
From: [personal profile] cynthia1960
You mean there are guys more sparkly than Johnny Weir? Are they vampires?

Date: 2010-02-13 09:42 am (UTC)
cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
From: [personal profile] cynthia1960
Remember Alexei Urmanov? One of my local fannish friends who likes skating used to call him Ruffle Boy. One thing I found refreshing about Scott Hamilton in Sarajevo was that he knew he couldn't pull off sequins and shit so he went all speed skating mode. Brian Boitano in Calgary had two great costumes.

Date: 2010-02-13 09:17 am (UTC)
cynthia1960: me from Wiscon Chronicles v. 3 (Default)
From: [personal profile] cynthia1960
I'm kinda jazzed that Portugal actually has downhill ski racers ;).

Date: 2010-02-13 09:46 am (UTC)
cynthia1960: (Portugal)
From: [personal profile] cynthia1960
What's freaking me out about the Portuguese skiers is that I don't think there's actually anywhere in Portugal that gets snow. You have to go to the Spanish Pyrenees.

The Chileans and Argentines get lotsa snow, and folks from the Northern hemisphere go down there in our summer to ski.

Date: 2010-02-13 09:23 am (UTC)
littlebutfierce: (zhangs)
From: [personal profile] littlebutfierce
This post makes me so sad cuz we have no way to watch the skating over here. ;_; No TV & I don't know of, say, any bars showing it (?!?). Also all the (few) people we know who actually have TVs are probably not able to have us crash over there watching for various reasons. I'm really frustrated b/c I got some e-mail (I'm on a Finns in Bristol list) offering free internet watching of the Olympics on Finnish TV, but... I don't think I can read it enough anymore to puzzle it out & sign up. ;_;

We caught some skating while we were home at my parents'. Augh, we miss it! I always root for Daisuke Takahashi! I must go look up "Digital Swan" on YouTube or something. Though I do like Oda Nobunaga--it's weird (though, er, unsurprising?) to see him growing up. Heh. I'm over Evgeni Plushenko--he was v. athletic but seemed to lose a lot of artistry (though that might be partly due to the COP requirements) near the end. And also, yeah. He got his gold. Move on!

I love Belbin & Agosto. Only partly b/c they're the hottest dance couple, ha ha.

I used to be unimpressed by Miki Ando but she started to grow on me. I'm sad that I've missed out on all the AA US skaters & the continuing evolution of the Japanese team! Like, Mao Asada seemed to be unstoppable & then it seems like she just fell out of the spotlight for a while.

Date: 2010-02-13 09:35 am (UTC)
littlebutfierce: (zhangs)
From: [personal profile] littlebutfierce
Culture on Ice made me want to go look up all the old skating programs it references (I found a few websites where people copy & send out old TV coverage when I first read the book, but never followed up--hopefully some of it is just downloadable now)! I hope the book is interesting for you!

I love Johnny Weir generally, although I am really tired of Lady Gaga (when I first clicked on his program doing that I was like, "Oh! THAT's the really annoying song people play at the gym at work all the time!"... yes, I have limited absorption of pop culture sometimes, ha ha, though I could hardly miss my f-list seemingly all cooing about the "Bad Romance" video). I admit it suits him, though!

Oh yeah--I think I saw a clip of the Egyptian thing, SIGH. At least it's not Aboriginal Australian???

I wonder if Mao Asada's thing is just her growing up & her body changing & not quite getting used to it yet. :/

Date: 2010-02-13 02:46 pm (UTC)
vehemently: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vehemently
I am not particularly into skating, but eight years ago when the Olympics were in Utah I was in a bar, like a realio trulio neighborhood bar with bad bar food and trivia night and beer and I think it was still legal to smoke inside, and on the big football-game screen on a Saturday afternoon, what were they showing? Curling.

It was weirdly fascinating! People kept dropping conversations to watch!

So I would not be surprised to find at least one neighborhood location that might cater to your skating needs.

Date: 2010-02-13 06:27 pm (UTC)
littlebutfierce: (Default)
From: [personal profile] littlebutfierce
Yeah, I dunno. Over here in the UK we have been trying to find a pub that might show something, but haven't yet dug up anything in our city.

Date: 2010-02-13 10:28 pm (UTC)
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Katara)
From: [personal profile] laceblade
Maybe clips will be posted on YouTube??

Date: 2010-02-13 12:06 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
But he had this short in the 2007-2008 season called "Digital Swan" to a hip-hop remix of Swan Lake that was AWESOME. You must trust me.

I do not have to trust you! I found it on the YouTubes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeB0CgerYzQ

Date: 2010-02-13 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I find it helpful to remind myself that Dick Button is 80 years old.

Date: 2010-02-13 03:25 pm (UTC)
anoel: anoel lioness (anoel lioness)
From: [personal profile] anoel
Ice skating, yay! I don't really know anyone this year so I'll be watching to find my favorites but this guide is helpful for knowing who some of the people are. I agree with you though, pairs kind of bores me. Tomorrow, eeee.

Date: 2010-02-13 03:42 pm (UTC)
lady_ganesh: A Clue card featuring Miss Scarlett. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh
I was wondering if "Chinese Taipei" was really Taiwan! And I too hope they keep Dick Button...er, buttoned.

Date: 2010-02-14 06:45 pm (UTC)
lady_ganesh: Kougaji from Saiyuki (and i am funky)
From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh
I don't think I caught Hong Kong. I caught North Korea, and the announcers delicately tiptoeing around the fact that sometimes the Koreas march together but this year they are not because the political situation is currently a mess but we won't talk about why right now....

Date: 2010-02-13 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Mao's programs are always the hardest to pull off. Last season, and this season, so it's no wonder she needs more time to adjust to them. I feel Mao will end on a strong note at the Olympics, because I still believe she is the most talented skater out there.

Date: 2010-02-13 05:27 pm (UTC)
coffeeandink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coffeeandink
Your enthusiasm is so contagious I looked up the Digital Swan routine on YouTube. I WANT THAT MUSIC.

Date: 2010-02-14 06:35 pm (UTC)
coffeeandink: (utena (fairytale ending))
From: [personal profile] coffeeandink
I was thinking the same thing!

Date: 2010-02-13 06:01 pm (UTC)
sophia_helix: Sophia (Default)
From: [personal profile] sophia_helix
You know, I was trying to decide whether Davis and White's Bollywood routine was offensive when I saw it at Nationals last month, and I looked it up -- apparently they did use an Indian dance instructor, and a lot of the moves are straight out of the movie that the music comes from (Bunti aur Babli, an Indian "Bonnie and Clyde" movie which I've seen half of), and I think they actually did make an effort to be as true to the source as possible. Still startling to see such a white, white sorority girl in that outfit/makeup, but better than it could have been.

Date: 2010-02-13 06:02 pm (UTC)
susanreads: Dreamsheep with UK flag (UK sheep)
From: [personal profile] susanreads
You clearly know a lot more about figure skating than I do! I only see it when it's on the BBC, which is Europeans, Olympic and Worlds, and they hardly ever show anything of the short programs or original dance.

I'll find out when I see tonight's coverage (I'm part-way through last night's recording of the Opening Ceremony at present) whether they're covering it adequately this time; I was really disappointed reading the listings to see the only thing we're guaranteed coverage of is the free programmes, again. They have more interactive channels on cable and satellite, but I only get the Freeview one. So I'll be recording a load of overnight footage and it'll probably be mostly boring races. At least our commentators are probably better, though patronising nonsense is always possible, especially from anyone male who isn't Robin Cousins.

Did you know it was men only until (I can't remember when), except that in the very early days they didn't bother to specify, and a woman entered and came second, so the men went "Can't have that old boy" and put in the men-only rule?

Date: 2010-02-15 12:33 pm (UTC)
susanreads: Dreamsheep with UK flag (UK sheep)
From: [personal profile] susanreads
It turns out the BBC are showing the short programmes after all. I was misled by (i) an error in the Radio Times listing, (ii) the schedules refer to the day it is in Canada, but most of the action is after midnight British time, so it says 14th and 00:30 and it's 00:30 on the 15th. The Freeview channel is repeating the pairs short programme this afternoon (clashing with the BBC2 roundup), and it looks as if they'll be doing that for all the events. I don't know whether they're available via internet outside Britain, though.

Date: 2010-02-13 07:15 pm (UTC)
glass_icarus: (dance 1 zoom)
From: [personal profile] glass_icarus
Eee, skating! I don't generally watch it except for the Winter Olympics stuff, but when the Olympics roll around that's pretty much all I watch. :D (Well, that and the ski jumps because holy crap, Batman!)

Date: 2010-02-13 08:21 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
Eee, skating excitement.

And finally, the Japanese men!

I did a double take on the next sentence--that must've been a hell of a name to grow up with.

SO NICE to see female non-dance figure skaters older than 22

I'm still residually spoiled by Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas, who were awesome (and who retired from competition not long before it became difficult for me to arrange to watch, since this was way before internet streaming as well).

Date: 2010-02-13 10:15 pm (UTC)
phi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] phi
OMG, I had the same reaction when I saw Pakistan in the parade of nations. Just one guy, in Alpine skiing, but still. Pakistan! In the winter olympics!

Date: 2010-02-14 01:48 am (UTC)
starlady: One World, One Dream: Beijing 2008 (more in the breach)
From: [personal profile] starlady
I know next to nothing about practically all winter sports, but watching them is thrilling anyway (despite NBC's horrible commentary, ugh). So I'm grateful you're sharing your skating enthusiasm, I have 100% more knowledge now.

The Olympic politics are so nauseating at times. Not only "Chinese Taipei" but a special flag? Ugh.

Date: 2010-02-17 02:08 am (UTC)
fourthage: Girl in Scarf by Lisbeth Zwerger (Default)
From: [personal profile] fourthage
Shen and Zhao won! I am so happy for them! I love watching them skate, they're always so polished.

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