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Yatagarasu

Ari Zakarian about the ISU crisis

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There's an Ari Zakarian (Plushy's agent and vice-president of Armenian Figure Skating Federation) interview over on FSU and definitely worth a read. I so feel this man's frustration and it's not like we here haven't talked about some of this stuff for a good while now.

 

Some bits

Quote

 And lastly, the ISU has very weak marketing: nobody is even trying to make business out of figure skating. Even though our sport is one of the best. I don’t understand why it cannot make as much money as tennis, I’m not even talking about the American football and basketball. Figure skaters deserve big salaries.

Quote

. To avoid situations like we have in ice dance now: there is a very good Armenian team Tina Garabedyan and Simon Proulx-Senecal. Everybody says that they can place higher, but Armenia does not have a judge and they don’t even make the cut for free dance. Marie-France Dubreil and Patrice Lauzon who work with them tell us: "You skate very well but you don’t have your judge." It shouldn’t happen! 

 

The whole thing here

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Q: Who is the most commercially attractive Russian skaters?


A: Of the ladies it is definitely Alina Zagitova. Among men, Mikhail Kolyada and Dmitry Aliev both of whom can be podium contenders at Worlds. Also Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin. But today figure skating is at the dead end, it is impossible to make money while skating competitively. The market is extremely weak. In the 90-s, ten top skaters could easily make 3 to 5 million dollars a year. Now everything has changed. Commercially, figure skating is moving in a very wrong direction. You can only watch the situation and wipe your tears.

 

Because of her gold medal? Hm, no mention of Evgenia at all? Weird.

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I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but that bit is just fluff- pressing the right buttons to get attention/avoid censure in places he wants to be quoted.  The important stuff is what he's saying about the judging ( which needs no elaboration on this forum) but also promotion - he's right, ISU could have mobilised a load of ex champions going back quite a long way to get old fans re energised- I know because I'm one of them - 1976- 2015.  We only need to be reminded - what am i? - trash bag pants, on only the second online place I've ever posted on??  I'm not the only sleeper figure skating fan out there.

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3 hours ago, Yatagarasu said:

Marie-France Dubreil and Patrice Lauzon who work with them tell us: "You skate very well but you don’t have your judge." It shouldn’t happen! 

 

It's an open secret isn't it? About judges and nationalities I mean. There was that TSL recap with Doug Haw (Canadian coach) who openly applauded Lorrie Parker for the way she judged the Olympic Men's event because she judged 'correctly' based on her nationality (putting Nathan and Vincent ahead of Javi and Yuzu in the FS).  For coaches to say that and even joke about it means that it's such an ingrained thing in the sport that everyone knows about it but the problem is nobody seems to be doing anything about it :shrug: (well, it's the big feds that are able to reap the rewards so why complain / ask for transparency I guess)

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1 hour ago, Sombreuil said:

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but that bit is just fluff- pressing the right buttons to get attention/avoid censure in places he wants to be quoted.  The important stuff is what he's saying about the judging ( which needs no elaboration on this forum) but also promotion - he's right, ISU could have mobilised a load of ex champions going back quite a long way to get old fans re energised- I know because I'm one of them - 1996- 2015.  We only need to be reminded - what am i? - trash bag pants, on only the second online place I've ever posted on??  I'm not the only sleeper figure skating fan out there.

Yes you're right, sorry for derailing :laughing: tbh I just don't have much to add right now, other than to say things about Ice Dance that might offend some Ice Dance fans, but even the problems in Ice Dance are present in the singles disciplines as well. I don't know if it's bad judging that prevents the sport from being popular in the U.S. (although having a very complicated scoring system doesn't help), because they desperately try to promote the sport with none other than bad judging. Forgive me for generalizing but Americans in general just don't follow sports much other than their own stars, and which I don't get at all :shrug: the ladies at my rink talk about Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen and no one else, which I don't get, because while they're exciting, surely they're not the most exciting skaters out there by any means right now? A possible reason could be the language barrier, and it's hard to get super emotionally invested in someone unless you can understand them, and it's not just skating that matters. If that's the case, I wonder if translated documentaries about international skaters into many different languages could help. They just have to have a "girl next door" vibe and they might get picked up. People like drama they can follow, and if there's no drama, then someone sweet and hardworking but relatable/funny could do it too.

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I have never understood the US preoccupation with ice princesses.

 

As far as only liking their own stars is concerned, I think that happens in most sports - certainly in gymnastics US men get hyped up by US media in the run up to World championships and Olympic years, on the basis of very little evidence- and then get vilified because they aren't as successful as the women, as though there is some god given right to the top spot.  US tv commentators are just as biased in gymnastics as in skating.  I've never understood that either- my current preoccupation with two Japanese legends aside, I have been a fan of Czech, Russian, Swiss, and once even an American athlete!  - and that holds even when they have gone up against UK competition.  I would never want Max Whitlock to beat Kohei Uchimura any more than I wanted Virginia Wade to beat Martina Navratilova in 1977.:shrug:

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I rmb I was very surprised when knowing the judge wasn't paid, I was like "no payment and no corruption yet?" lol. From business pov, it's just too much of a black hole for internal corruption and ineffiency. No doubt they're bad w marketing and making money too.

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