> The exhibition skating from Worlds, broadcast yesterday on ESPN, left
> me depressed. It brought back to mind all the disappointments of
> Worlds. In each event, I found the silver medal winner far more
> satisfying than the gold medalist.
> Yes, even in pairs! Granted that Ingo Steuer is great looking (and
> looks do count), he and Mandy Woetzel are basically a boring pair.
In exhibitions, maybe you have a point -- but in competition, I find
them anything BUT boring! They are fast, and they do very difficult
lifts, jumps, and connecting moves.
In exhibitions, I think they tend to hold back -- much like Brasseur
and Eisler, whose lifts in competition were amazing but whose
exhibitions (while entertaining) were not as athletic.
> e***ment they generate is in the fear that they will shed *** on
> the ice. Eltsova and Bushkov, though not particularly charismatic,
> skate smoother, cleaner, and more dependably -- they just need some
> music and costuming advice.
But they fall apart somewhat under the pressure of competition,
so they are not nearly as confident when they do their competitive
programs as when they do their exhibitions.
The exhibitions reminded us that the real
> e***ment, however, comes from Kazakova and Dmitriev.
Sometimes, they're great in competition, and sometimes they're
very nervous in competition. Come to think of it, sometimes
they're great in exhibition and sometimes they're awful -- for
them, it doesn't seem to depend on the pressure but on something
else -- maybe what they had for lunch? I don't know.
> As for the other categories: I keep trying to like Grisuk and Platov,
> but I think that is an impossibility. Tiny Tara, unfortunately for
> skating, has reached the summit prematurely. And Stojko is just not my
> cup of tea. The exhibitions just emphasized the shortcoming of the
> gold medalists by contrasting them with the really "first rate"
> skating and presence of Krylova and Ovsiannikov, Kwan, and Eldredge.
But exhibitions are exhibitions, and for eligible competitions, what
matters is who lands what AT THE MOMENT THAT IT COUNTS FOR MARKS.
Some skaters thrive under pressure, some wilt.
And some skaters do very tough, DANGEROUS tricks for competition,
and are not willing to risk the danger for an exhibition, so they
scale back somewhat.
For me, the competition is a big part of why I watch skating. And
the exhibitions, while nice and entertaining, are simply that -- nice
I can compare it to my own sport -- there are many people who are
much better than me when practicing at home -- but I can beat the
pants off them at competition because I don't get flustered at the
pressure of having to DO IT CORRECTLY, RIGHT NOW!