> I think that gymnastics inherently encourages even younger girls than
> skating -- artistry is more important in skating than in gymnastics, and
> artistry takes years to develop. And, flexibility is more important in
> gymnastics than in skating. My guess, for what it's worth, is that we
> will continue to see more young women skaters -- i.e., Tara, Michelle --
> but that there's nothing to inherently shut out women in their
> mid-twenties -- and, some of those young women (Tara?) will go through so
> many body changes that they won't stay on top very long (though I don't
> think there's any way to predict this in individual skaters).
True enough. Youth doesn't make quite as big a difference in gymnastics,
and perhaps it aids the participants. Particularly in body size and lack of
fear. Skating involves much more, particularly since the artistic score weighs
so heavily. I agree with you completely on all points.
But back to the original topic for a minute. To me it is like comparing
Shirley Temple to Judy Garland circa 1938-39. Shirley was cute as could be,
and talented to some extent. But her talent was limited in the end. As she
matured, her singing was minimal, and her limitations in dancing and acting was
evident. Judy, at the same time had a real voice, plus she could really dance
and act. She went on to a successful *** career.
Emotional problems that Judy had aside, this is how I see Tara and Michelle.
Tara is undoubtedly a dynamo, she's entertaining, and she has a precocious
ability to make the big jumps. But I'm wondering if she is a Shirley Temple.
Michelle, on the other hand, appears to be a Judy Garland.
If my analogy makes any sense... ;> Maybe it doesn't. But this is generally
how I look at the younger ladies skaters. I have this gut feeling that there a
re a lot of Shirley Temples in that group, and they won't go the distance.
> : >
> : > However, it seems that for ladies the standards of "old" are getting
> : > brought down -- I agree that it is absolutely ludicrous for people to say
> : > that Irina Slutskaya (at 17!) is "getting too old to improve" -- what
> : > nonsense. By 2002, we will have embryos competing for the
> : > ladies' Olympic gold, apparently...
> : >
> : > It's interesting that, in recent years, while men have been successfully
> : > pushing back the age barrier ("old" skaters like 27-year-old Paul Wylie,
> : > 26-year-old Rudy Galindo, and even Brian Boitano), the opposite trend has
> : > been going for the women, where a 17-year-old is now considered over the
> : > hill.
> : So true. Personally, when/if ladies' competitors reach the average ages of
> : women gymnasts ("viable" at 11 years old, "ancient" at 18 years old),
> : skating will become less interesting to me. This particularly among the
> : ladies. Then I'll only watch pairs, ice dancing and then mens
> : competitions, where "old", mature and artistic skaters stlil have
> : meaning.
> : Hopefully this pendulum swing to extreme youth in skating will balance
> : itself out. Soon. The Tara Lipinski's of the skating world are a
> : novelty and cute as bugs...but artistically they just aren't very
> : interesting.
> : Kaiju