Olympic Figure Skating

I know I’m not the only fan of the sport – thought I’d start a thread for us to gather and talk about all four disciplines.

Although I do follow figure-skating, I saw very little of it last season, since I don’t have cable – ABC didn’t air worlds, which I am still taken aback by. Plus they didn’t do much (any? I didn’t see it, if they did) of the international competetions last fall. Thus the overall shape of the field is news to me, though not exactly astonishing.

Question one: When did they change the rule that ladies’s costumes have to have a skirt or a skirtlike appendage? The jumpsuits last night were kind of freaking me out – after 20+ years of following amateur skating, I’ve gotten pretty damn used to the skirts.

Question two: What’s with the commentating staff? Why is Scott Hamilton doing occasional remarks and not sitting in the booth? He’s a wonderful commentator (though he lacks the curmudgeonly gusto of Dick Button) – is he having health problems again, and didn’t want the full-time gig? And why did ABC agree to release Dick Button? I can’t recall him ever working for NBC or CBS before.

I don’t have all that much to say about last night’s skating – the Chinese continue to dazzle with their lifts and throws, and their in-between stuff is improving – the Russian lifts last night were gorgeous – and yay USA for landing the throw triple axel!

So fans, gather round and comment away. (There’s already a thread going on the Michelle Kwan story, here, but I thought we could use a place to talk specifically about what’s going on in Turin as it happens.)

I would urge those in countries lucky enough to see the events live or those who hear the results shortly after the events to please have pity on us poor Americans who have to wait until prime time to see the competitions, and put results in spoiler tags. I’m going to keep away from front page news outlets to avoid knowing results in advance, so I’d hate to come here and have it ruined for me. Please either box spoilers or wait until the next day to discuss in detail. Ok?
I can’t answer your questions twickster, but I’m pretty much in the same boat. I haven’t really kept up with skating (strange, since I have hundreds of skating videotapes starting from 1984) so everyone’s fairly new to me too.

My guess is that Scott is being saved for the bigger events, like Men’s Long. We’ll see. Usually where Dick is, Peggy Fleming is nearby, but I haven’t seen her.

I’m recording (via Tivo) Olympic Ice on USA, which is very informative. I’m also recording DTV’s (DirecTV) Figure Skating Highlights every night. I love my DirecTivo. I’m Tivo’ing all the main “blocks” too (for instance today, NBC 2pm-5pm, 6pm-10:30pm), watching what I want, fast-forwarding through what I’m not interested in, then deleting the whole thing. In years past I would have dubbed all the skating (and other interesting things) onto VHS, but I’m going to try not to be so obsessive this year.
Rena Inoue and John Baldwin have to be so thrilled at making the record books. That throw triple axel was breathtaking!

Excellent point – a hearty second from me on that, pls.!

Hmph. I not only don’t have cable, I don’t have TIVO either, so I’m pretty much stuck with what NBC wants to give me when it wants to give it to me. (I really gotta get the VCR hooked up to the bedroom TV…)


I’m not really a fan of figure skating, but for some reason I always get really into it during the Olympics.

I do watch it pretty avidly during the games, but I have little understanding of what I’m looking at. For example, the new scoring has me all kinds of confused. I can’t tell whether a score of 57.37859283 is good or bad.

I did like the throw triple axle. That was cool. I also thought the Russian pair looked like they were in a different league from the other competitors (but I have a very uneducated eye).

As for important matters–like SKIRTS–didn’t Debbie Thomas wear a jump suit type thing in her short program years ago? I didn’t realize skirts were a rule. I thought they were personal preference.

Michelle Kwan

has pulled out of the competition due to a groin injury. The girl she bumped to get on the team will take her place.

They way you worded that made it priceless!

Admit it, you just liked looking at their asses.

I’m expecting Irina Slutskaya to do well. She’s been pretty dominant at the world championships.

CBC is showing one of their ‘portraits’ on a couple of figure skaters. They’re showing in in 16:9, only they have it set up incorrectly. (i.e., It looks as if rather than taping in 16:9 they ‘squashed’ it down to that ratio.) So the skaters look fat. :stuck_out_tongue:

Heh – can you say “projection”? :stuck_out_tongue:

Nope, I’m a heterosexual female – don’t care much about their asses one way or the other.

I was struck last night by the incredibly beautiful music that was played for Hinzmann and Parchem’s short program. I found it today - it is Yo-Yo Ma playing a piece called Gabriel’s Oboe, by Ennio Morricone. Listen here, track #1.


Maybe slightly off topic, but why isn’t Sarah Hughes competing this time around?

She’s retired from amateur competition. She retired at the top. (As did Tara Lipinski before her.)

According to her wikipedia entry she competed twice in 2003, earning 2nd and 6th place finishes. :confused:

[Luke]I care![/Luke]

Er, wait a minute…

Anyway, I like that they have the option. Some of the skirts looked silly. Now they can go for the fugly with the full body suit.

I don’t recall that, but see no reason to disbelieve it.

Basically, she won the gold in '02 because of the quirk of the then scoring system – the main two contenders both had mistakes, so they knocked each other out, and because she skated a clean, solid program that night, she won. It was a legitimate win, but it was also a total fluke – and her placing second and sixth after that shows that she had skated above herself on that one particular night.

I have no idea what was so big about the triple axle throw.

I thought the whole difficulty in completing a triple axle was because the take-off was different than it was for a salchow or a loop. When you’re throwing someone, what’s the big whoop?

It’s an extra half turn, because you take off going forwards. Most jumps you take off going backwards, so a triple is three turns – a triple axel is actually three and a half turns. Thus it’s the hardest jump to do solo, and launching into it by being thrown by someone else – ridiculous.

It’s by Ennio Morricone and it’s from the film THE MISSION. But it wasn’t played by a cello in the film. (It’s one of my favorite movie soundtracks!)

I’m tired of all the hoo-ha about Michelle Kwan. It totally doesn’t matter that she never won the Olympic gold medal. She is a great skater and will always be known as a great skater. Now it’s time for her to move on to other stuff.

And I just don’t care who wins what. It doesn’t matter.

The pairs skirt/pants rule apparently was just recently changed for this competition season, if I understood the commentators correctly during Saturday’s short programs.

I do seem to remember the year they allowed pros to re-instate to compete at the Olympics, the ladies singles could wear pants (Katerina Witt’s “Robin Hood” program), although I have no idea if that applied just for that season, or if ladies can continue to wear pants if they wish.