Elvis Stojko

‘People in the gay community have to realize they’ve got to take themselves out of it. It’s not against anybody. It’s about what people can identify with when they’re watching the sport’

SOUNDBITES — “If you want to open up figure skating to another audience, you need to create something that’s going to allow everyone to watch. If you have a male masculine person watching it, they need something to relate to. Other guys relate to Johnny Weir’s thing. You need to have guys doing jumps, so a person who also watches NASCAR can identify with it and say, ‘Hey that’s awesome — how many rotations is that?’ or “How fast did he spin?” instead of, ‘How pretty was that guy?’ … People in the gay community have to realize they’ve got to take themselves out of it. It’s not against anybody. I’ve been getting heat for this, but there are people behind me saying that they appreciate it. It’s about what people can identify with when they’re watching the sport. It doesn’t have anything to do with gayness. Effeminate men can identify with effeminate skating. Masculine men can’t identify with that. When I watch it, I can’t identify because I don’t move like that. My consciousness doesn’t feel like that. … Johnny is one of these skaters who is obviously unique. He has his own sense of style, and doesn’t care what anybody thinks, and he’s not always trying to impress. He’s like, ‘I don’t care if you like it or not, just watch me.’ He’s not my style of skating, but he’s a talented skater — otherwise he wouldn’t have been on the podium at world’s.” —Three-time figure skating world champion (and the first to complete a quad jump during competition) Elvis Stojko on the new Shiznit in skating (via)

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  • terrwill

    Um, ahh, Elvis, I really don’t know exactaly how to tell you this, and I hope you aren’t on your skates if you read this but, well, its like this…….You, look pretty Gay when you skate!!!

  • Dionte

    All sports are gay, basketball and football included, those guys get more male on male action than I do

  • Todd

    I don’t really understand his argument. All the “straight” guy skaters are not under any obligation to wear those horrible outfits or flick their wrists during a spin. I’d love to see a strapping ice hockey guy out there doing his quad jump. Where are they?
    I just think all the guys are really jealous of Johnny’s notoriety. They all could have butched it up when they were skating. Don’t remember seeing that, do you?

  • Wy

    So is he saying skaters should stay deep in the closet just in case a NASCAR fan accidentally thinks the male figure skater’s moves are awesome? Or was it that those men simply can’t enjoy the sport because they don’t have the moves? Really?

    Because ultimately I am sure what every NASCAR fan identifies with from their own life is the exhilaration of driving at near 200 mph on a busy track. Or maybe they’re remembering the time they walked away from a 5 car crash at that speed? No, it has to be the last time they pulled into a garage and got (or performed) a 30 second tire-change… Yeah that’s gotta be it.

    And like the other commentators here I totally missed the pro wrestler-, lumberjack-, truck driver-, and NASCAR-inspired numbers at the winter games. Must be the network censor’s fault.

    Sounds like the guy complaining the Weir-types provide no frame of reference is still looking for one himself.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    People don’t watch singles skating because it’s dull. I don’t care how many times Elvis spun around in the air, I just want to know if he hit anyone when he landed. And the answer is no–because there was no one else on the ice to land on.

    The only way non-fans will ever become interested in singles competition, is if they put two skaters on the ice competing at the same time.

    We watch football, hockey, baseball, because there are multiple players playing against each other at the same time. Does Elvis really think people would fly to Vegas and pay $2000 to sit in the front row and watch a boxer stand in the ring alone and shadow box? Nope.

    Unfortunately people like Elvis will never allow more than one person on the ice at a time, because he’s too self-important and egotistical to allow two spotlights on the ice at the same time.

    And he can claim that he’s not attacking gay skaters all he wants. But his words in that article belie his denials. He is attacking gay skaters, and pretty much anyone in the sport who is gay.

    Americans want to see multiple people competing against eachother, not lone skaters dancing and jumping.

    And frankly Elvis, Weir is more masculine than you will ever be, for the simple fact that he goes out as himself every day, knowing their are femme-phobic people like you in the world. I told my brother years ago–if you have to tell people you’re a man, you aren’t really. So Elvis, if you have to tell people you’re masculine, you aren’t really.

  • Cam

    By his logic, since I’m not an ice-skater then I wouldn’t identify with ice-skating and therefore wouldn’t watch it.

  • scott ny'er

    I do agree with him. If they want to try and attract more boys into the skating world they need to promote it differently and change how they award jumps. Honestly, a quad is really amazing compared to a triple. And it needs to be given more points.

    While not all gay dudes skate effeminately some do and sadly men’s skating is viewed as effeminate and gay. Promoting the jumping aspects might be viewed by kids as more cooler, etc.

    But skating is like ballet on ice. And like ballet, I’m not sure if skating will ever be viewed as masculine. I mean look at gymnasts. I’m not certain what the overall viewpoint on that is but look at their bodies, look at what they do. It’s not effeminate at all, but I’m not certain if people think it’s masculine.

  • terrwill

    It comes down to what you are performing on, or with, or in. Look at the skateboarders, or snowboarders. Those guys are actually pretty gracefull and do some amazing complicated moves in the air and or ramps. Put them in a Johnny qWeir getup, set them to music and they would be saying how “faggy” those sports were………

  • jason

    Elvis Stojko is a moron. Since when is sport supposed to be about sexual identification with the audience? Sport is sport. It exists because we want to see special performances, and not to bond sexually with the performer. Figure skating isn’t supposed to be about sexual camaraderie with the audience.

    Buzz off, Elvis.

  • ChrisM

    What exactly is Stojko’s point? You’re never going to be able to appeal to everybody, no matter what you do. Like he said himself, Weir is doing what he wants and loves. Maybe the guy isn’t trying to appeal to the NASCAR types (and even if any skater is, which I don’t believe, you can bet no NASCAR fan is going to admit he likes it), in which case Stojko’s comment is unnecessary and seemingly based on his own disinterest in Weir’s performance.

    Now that I think of it, though, the pattern of the Olympics this year has been for athletes to whine about each other in the most childish ways. So this conclusion would make sense.

  • TampaZeke

    So by Elvis’ argument we should expect NASCAR to be reaching out to effeminate males any day now.

  • SoylentDiva

    Since when has figure skating ever had a hint of masculinity?

  • 1EqualityUSA

    As with any art, except where the message incites harm to others, censorship has no place.

  • tikihead

    Shorter Elvis Stojko: ‘Look Gays, don’t be offended. We Straights are something we call NORMAL, and you Gays are something we call DISGUSTING — not-that-there’s-anything-wrong-with-that!’

  • Republican

    I see Stojko has decided to open his mouth yet again and leave no doubt that he is both an idiot and a jackass.

    And to whoever commented on the quad, a quad jump already has a higher base value than a triple of the same kind in the current system, so I don’t know wtf you are talking about. If you’re whining about the Plushenko loss (as Stojko did just the other day), please go and review how the scoring actually works. Besides executing his jumps better or improving on his footwork (and really, some of those jumps were pretty poor), Plushenko could have put more jumps in the latter half of his program so as to get the bonus on them or he could have left the double loop in his famous combination. These were conscious decisions he made that hurt his score. Boo-freaking-hoo.

  • GetReal

    Elvis Sojko: Hey queens who figure skate, don’t act so obvious! It will reinforce the stereotye that all men in figure skating are gay. AND I’M NOT GAY…I’M REALLY NOT…I’M MASCULINE…I DON’T CARE ABOUT SISSY CHOREOGRAPHY…I DO BIG JUMPS!!

  • terrwill


  • DR

    yet another blog which takes the comment out of the context in which it was given.

  • Miss Understood

    Why does her feel a need to identify with who he watches? I like crime dramas, I don’t identify with criminals.

    What is he asking for anyway? Whoever enters and does well is who will be seen. They should all act however they act. Is he suggesting that skaters alter their behavior or that certain skaters be given preference over others? Either suggestion is pretty stupid.

  • Lukas P.

    Elvis Stojko’s own words bring his arguement to a crashing, icy THUD.

    Over at salon.com his anti-Weir rants talk about “masculinity” in terms of “strength” and “power.”

    A great skater, male or female, needs both, let ‘s not kid ourselves. All skaters need stamina, strength, speed, musicality, style, and grace. What Elvis seems to want to do is break the world into halves: “Soft” versus “Hard,” “Beautiful” versus “Strong.”

    Simple minds across the globe want to align the “masculine” and “feminine” on opposing lines of that duality. Soft = weak = feminine = gay.

    Since those same minds think “gay = BAD” they want to “butch up” the Male Icy Dancers. In that ideal world, the male skaters should keep their arms and hands down, their costumes utilitarian like the Speedy Skaters; the music should be a military march, and the choreography reduced to pelvic thrusts, audible burps, and displays of that quad spinny jumpy thing.

    Perhaps goats or (female) virgins should be slaughtered as well?

  • scott ny'er

    @Republican: maybe you should read it carefully first before you whine about the above post. MORE points to a quad. Risk vs. reward is not worth it at this point. MORE points = the risk of a quad. And the reward.

  • scott ny'er

    @DR: Agreed.

  • scott ny'er

    @Lukas P.: Whoa. Let’s not go crazy there and you’re really taking what Elvis said out of context. I usually agree with everything you state but not here.

    Brian Boitano didn’t flail his arms and have what I would considered “masculine” skating. Kurt Browning has beautiful dance and can still be considered “masculine”. Phillip Candeloro is sexy “masculine”, Yagudin, overt masculine. All of the above have more masculine costumes. I don’t know if Elvis would agree with what I said, but I think that’s what he’s getting at.

    Weir, graceful, effeminate skating. And his costumes are not masculine. And it’s cool.

    The point being, if you want to attract young male skaters, seeing Weir and other skaters like Weir won’t do it. Possibly seeing the Yagudin/Brian/Kurt/Phillipe skaters might. Or as Elvis sees it, it’s a step in the right direction of getting young boys to get into skating. I’m not sure if anything will ever change the perception of skating to be masculine and attract young ‘ums. But emphasizing jumps and a change in choreography might. Imagine rappers and what they would do to the skating world. Kids would think that’s cool and might be down with it.

  • bobito

    @scott ny’er: A quad does get more points than a triple, if it’s successfully landed. If it’s not landed well, then there are considerations – did the guy fall? that’s a 1-point deduction. Did he complete the number of rotations within a quarter-revolution before his foot hit the ice? If yes, then he gets points for a quad. If not, it’s reduced to points for a triple. If everything is cleanly landed, the technical point tally is boosted considerably with a quad.

    That said, I think Elvis is out of his mind if he thinks there are many (any?) NASCAR fans who give a rat’s ass how many times some guy in sequins twirls in the air before landing on one foot.

  • Lukas P.

    @scott ny’er: Yep, I may have overstated my case. Where I get ticked off is that the sports commentators seem to forget the tremendous amount of strength, stamina and finesse that goes into skating. That’s not a question of gender or sexual orientation.

    Truth told, I find Mr Lysacek, physically, more to my taste, and Mr Weir’s costumes distracting and ugly, but I’m no fashion maven, so who cares what I think. Even without the glitz, though, Weir is still a +superb+ athlete. Let’s not forget that.

    The association of dancing — on a stage or on ice — with gay men is probably hard to argue with. The % of gay men in either sport/artform is surely higher than in the general population. That said, it’s the automatic assumption that the “effeminate” nature of dancing means those gay athletes are “by nature” weaker, slower, yet more attuned to the music/artistry involved, well, that
    just plays into sad stereotypes. Plenty of straight men can skate, dance, do gymnastics just fine.

    Neither athleticism nor artistry are relegated to one gender or orientation.

    The NASCAR fans may never care for a sport they see as “girly,” but they do go to hockey games, the skills for which aren’t too distant from what Mssrs Hamilton, Browning, Lysacek and Weir perform —er, except for the bloody *hot* man on man fights that erupt in hockey! And that whole bidness of getting the damn puck into a net…..

  • Robin

    As a Canadian, I find Mr. Stojko’s comments homophobic. Why must men’s figure scaters appeal to those who watch NASCAR? So, he believes that beer-swilling rednecks who love watching cars drive at fast speeds around a track would also be attracted to ‘masculine’ figure skating? Dream on, Mr. Quad!

    In my opinion, men’s figure scating is a fine balance between athleticism (i.e. jumps) and artistry (i.e. interpretation of music with choreography). If Mr. Stojko can’t ‘relate’ to Mr. Weir then he’s free to switch the remote to another channel. His comments only serve to keep those closeted skaters exactly where they are: hidden.

  • merkin

    why is this worry that skaters like Weir won’t attract young boys to skating. Of course they will–young GAY boys, just like the ones who have ALWAYS been attracted to skating!

    Gender is a friggin’ CONSTRUCT, people! Words like “masculine” and “feminine” dont really mean anything, except what coded reference we bestow on them. All this “worry” about how straight America will perceive figure skating. Here’s a telegram folks: Straight dudes dont give a crap about male figure skating and they never will, and thats fine. Its a sport for 11-year-old girls, their moms and gay men. Its one of the only reasons gays watch the Winter Olympics. How about appealing to US as a demographic??

    And by the way, i hate those hideous outfits they wear too–theyre not feminine, theyre HORRIBLE. How about a tight-fitting Thom Browne suit or some Gaultier armor? I think the issue with figure skating is that they try to de-sexualize the men, gay or straight, so theyll appeal to 12-year-old girls.

  • scott ny'er

    @bobito: how much is considerably. It’s my understanding that it’s not a huge gap. My point is, and I think Elvis’s, is that the gap between the two should be much higher in point differential. A quad is much more riskier than a triple. Thus the skater should be rewarded much more for taking the risk. I thought if the guy fell, he gets no points for the quad, no?

    You don’t need to do a quad now to win. Before, you really needed that quad. It set skating backward. Altho it may have saved a bunch of skaters hip on a separate note.

  • scott ny'er

    @Lukas P.: I agree about your statement on dancing association. And yeah, almost all athletes of any type are incredible physical specimens. I think Elvis’s point is how do you attract young boys to the sport. It is the question of every sporting administration. Tennis, gymnastics, hockey, football, etc. Some don’t need to attract them because they are very popular already. Other sports are in dire need of attracting boys.

    I think, and I could be wrong, ice-skating, in America, is a dying sport. Viewership is down, as is participation. Why would boys, want to be associated with ice-skating if it’s considered girly and not cool? How do you promote the sport and get past the stereotype? And illustrate it visibly?

  • scott ny'er

    @merkin: The worry is there because it’s all about growing the sport and making money.

  • scott ny'er

    oh and by the way. My personal preference of what I like to watch. I’d prefer a combo of the two, athleticism and grace. I prefer to watch Weir over someone who is wooden and can’t match the music. I also prefer say a Yagudin/Brian/Kurt over Weir. They combine the athleticism, grace, power, music, strength, jumps all together in a nice package.

    I don’t like the flailing arms of Evan. It means nothing. Adds nothing to the music. Distracts from the skating and doesn’t illustrate the music. I also don’t like too much of Weir’s skating. It does get boring, as pretty as it is.

    I’d also take a program with a quad triple vs. a triple triple double or whatever, any day. It’s more explosive. Looks cooler. More difficult.

  • Republican

    @scott ny’er:

    “It’s my understanding that it’s not a huge gap. ”

    Then your understanding is wrong. The quad is always worth a shitload more. For example, a triple toe loop has a base value of 4.0. A quadruple toe loop has a base value of 9.8. That’s a huge fucking difference.

  • Cam

    Does anybody else think it’s hilarious that Elvis thinks that boys jumping in the air and twirling around like Ballarinas is masculine? He can try to tart it up any way he wants, but hey Elvis…you were basically a ballarina on ice, and just because your plie’s were over ice…it doesn’t make you any more butch than the boys in tights twirling away in dance classes.

  • scott ny'er

    @Republican: Then I admit to being wrong. But here might be a way to illustrate my point from a Yahoo story:
    However, American Evan Lysacek was adamant that it was possible to exploit the new accumulative points scoring system by putting in spins and step sequences to compensate for the lack of quad, just as he did to capture the 2009 world title.

    “A positive grade of execution can make up for a quad. This is going to be my strategy. I looked back at the score sheets (last year), saw where I gained points and saw they were more valuable than the quad,” he said.

    “For me the quad is a risk. Saying ‘is this going to be the one that breaks my foot again?’ I didn’t want that to be my Olympic experience.”
    good for Evan for utilizing the points in a favorable way for him. But, that’s sad that you can win and not do the quad. I think spins and footwork is important but the skating figuration needs to figure out a way to get back to progressing the sport with a quad.

  • scott ny'er

    @Republican: Actually, here’s a better quote from NYT. I guess I’m not wrong.
    “An analysis of all quadruple jumps attempted in major international competitions in the last four seasons shows that only about a third of them would earn more points than if the skater had performed a triple lutz, an easier jump, but worth as many points when performed well.”

  • scott ny'er

    oh and another quoted article:
    Here’s the problem: Landing one quad toe is worth 9.8 points, a huge boost in a scoring system in which every correct step counts for points.

    However, miss it and the downgrade is drastic. A skater doesn’t have to fall — which scores zero plus a one-point reduction — but merely underrotate his fourth rotation by a quarter. Then the technical panel can downgrade it by as much as five points.

    “And somebody else just did a plain ol’ triple toe and they get a seven,” Eldredge said. “And their attempt, their risk, was much easier than yours.”

    This is the debate. Abbott has an unusual philosophy. He doesn’t like the system but is risking the quad anyway. Hey, landing all of them won him his second straight national title.

    “It’s worth the risk,” he said. “If you fall and it’s underrotated, you get zero points for it, which I think is stupid, because if you’re taking that risk, there should be some reward. But if you do it, it’s a lot of points and definitely worth it. You do that plus two triple axels, the point total is very good.

    “For me, it’s all about the training. If you land the quad then everything else will be there.”

  • bobito

    @scott ny’er: “However, miss it and the downgrade is drastic. A skater doesn’t have to fall — which scores zero plus a one-point reduction — but merely underrotate his fourth rotation by a quarter. Then the technical panel can downgrade it by as much as five points.”

    Yes, that’s because if the fourth rotation of a quad is not at least 3 quarters completed, it’s counted as a triple, as I mentioned earlier. Those 5+ points are the difference between the scoring of a quad toe-loop or a triple.

    If you look at the final scoring of Lysacek & Plushenko, there was a 1.41 point difference. The quad would have won the medal, had the remainder of Plushenko’s program delivered nearly the same level of execution as Lysacek’s.

    Also, a fall is not automatically a zero plus a one point reduction. If the four rotations were completed and the jump was landed, but the skater could not maintain his balance and fell, he gets points for the jump, but a one point deduction for falling. So risk is rewarded, but only in terms of how successfully the jump is executed.

    And the times quote refers to all the quads “attempted” – more interesting would be to know how many quads successfully executed would have been worth less than a triple lutz… but that would most likely be “none”, right?

    Personally, I think the system is okay – everyone’s entitled to their preferences, but I’d rather see a well-timed and well-executed triple than some guy crashing to the ice in an attempted quad.

  • Republican

    @scott ny’er:

    Scott, you just don’t get it. You should’ve stuck with your first response in which you admitted that you were wrong.

    Here’s the deal… There are two aspects to a jump. Its difficulty/type and the quality in which the skater executes it. If a person does a triple lutz VERY well, then they will get a high GOE, which has the effect of increasing the points for that jump. (A GOE judge average of 2-3 for any particular element is very rare though and the skater certainly deserves lots of extra credit when he manages to pull one off that well.) That MAY make it worth only slightly less than a quadruple toe loop that is executed at an acceptable but not great level (like Plushenko), but it won’t make it worth anywhere near as much as a quad toe loop that is performed very well and it certainly will be a long, long way from a quad LUTZ (to compare apples to apples) whenever someone finally does one in competition.

    Now, if you’d like to make a serious argument about why a quad jump that is significantly underrotated and poorly executed should be worth more than a triple that is performed beautifully, I’d love to hear it, because I don’t think there is one. We don’t give people points for trying and failing. We give points for trying and succeeding. If the marks were close for a triple that is performed so-so and a quad that is performed so-so, then you might have a point, but that’s not the case. The incentive regarding jumps is already there. If anything, the fact that some skaters are working on quads to get that higher base values while others are working on making triples even more beautiful so as to get a high GOE is a positive, not a negative. There are more ways to push jumping in skating forward than just the number of rotations. Are you seriously telling me you’d rather see ugly, underrotated quads with questionable landings than triples that are performed amazingly well?

    And here is the other flaw in your position (and in Stojko’s)… You are totally neglecting everything else about figure skating. I’m not talking about “artistry”, but footwork and spins. Each of those has a base value based on its difficulty. Simply put, Lysacek had harder footwork than Plushenko and those elements had a higher base value because of it. To ignore the fact that some skaters push the sport forward in ways other than jumps is to neglect most of figure skating. The person who skated the best won the other night. Stojko is just bitter.

  • scott ny'er

    @Republican: @bobito: But why risk the quad then? Isn’t the quad a much more difficult jump to achieve. That’s the point. If you can get close to the point level of an acceptable quad why risk doing a quad and falling on it versus going for the triple.

    If you guys were competing, you’d decide to do the triple, no? It’s a safer bet.

    And yes, I don’t want to to see a sloppy quad or people falling. But, I do want to see quads. Skaters have done them since the 90s. It makes skating more interesting.

  • bobito

    @scott ny’er: Why risk the quad? Why does anybody try to push the boundaries further? The reward, if you accomplish it, is very high. It is extremely cool when they land them, but there is more to the sport than just jumping and spinning in the air. If you look at the quad as a really cool element that makes a great program more exciting – I totally agree. But if a quad in a mediocre program means that guy wins, simply because he landed a quad… no, I don’t agree.

    And yes, if I were a skater, I’d try to push the envelope in other directions than the quad. That is, I’d want my footwork and spins to be getting top level scores and have a damn secure triple axel before I even thought about adding a quad.

  • drewbrown

    @Todd: “I just think all the guys are really jealous of Johnny’s notoriety.”

    Bingo. No other figure skater is anywhere near interesting enough for their own reality series, and it’s provoking heated reactions from his competitors. People would rather watch the Weather Channel than a show about Evan Lysacek, no matter how talented he is.

  • edgyguy1426

    and don’t forget.. Stojko also has competed and worked with Pleshenko so he felt the need to come to the defense of his friend. That he did it at the expense of another skater was depsicable.

  • Cam

    No. 42 · drewbrown
    @Todd: “I just think all the guys are really jealous of Johnny’s notoriety.”

    Bingo. No other figure skater is anywhere near interesting enough for their own reality series, and it’s provoking heated reactions from his competitors. People would rather watch the Weather Channel than a show about Evan Lysacek, no matter how talented he is.

    With the gold, Lysacek will make a huge amount more money than Weir. Additionally, both he and Johnny have won U.S. championships but he has a world championship gold medal compared to Weir’s Bronze, and an Olympic gold compared to Weir’s never having medaled. In all honesty I seriously doubt he’s jealous. As for Weir’s reality show, all I saw was somebody continually talking about how outrageous they were and then clamming up every time anything about a personal life came up. Sorry, but every boring, shy, introverted, gay person out there who’s come out at work is far more outrageous than somebody who is just another closet case.

  • Ken S

    @ChrisM: I’ve been discussing this back and forth with a friend on facebook and I wanted to thank you for mentioning NASCAR because it really helped my argument ‘gel’ in my brain, and it was this: to those who’d say “well guys like Johnny Weir are alienating to the NASCAR-fan type of guys who might think about turning on men’s figure skating but can’t get ‘into it’ because he’s so off-putting,” I would like to know exactly what NASCAR does to reach out and appeal to ‘the type of people’ who are already big fans of men’s figure skating, and to remove whatever attitudinal affects and stereotypes might make someone who’s put off by the sort of (redneck-ish) culture surrounding that sport.

    The thing is, both NASCAR and figure skating (as well as every other spectator-supported sport from MMA to billiards) are internally self-regulating things; the participant performers and their niche of fans develop their own ‘language’ and their own norms and standards. As long as the fans accept the performers- what they do and how they do it- and keep their sport viable in the ‘market,’ then they aren’t beholden to the fans of any *other* sport. The figure skating crowd (athletes or spectators) don’t owe anything to outsiders who, well, are thinking about turning it on but ugh, those costumes are so ‘fruity.’ If you don’t like the ‘fruity’ costumes that have become a staple of it then fuck off back to the thing you *do* enjoy; it’s not like the figure skating fans are brow-beating NASCAR to paint a car pink and decorate it with ribbons and tassles to make that sport “more accessible” for them.

    I’ll bet Johnny Weir couldn’t care less what Joe Pitstop thinks of the lacy, frilly thing he’s wearing while he does what he does for himself and for his fans. But before anyone tries to criticize for that I challenge them to prove, conversely, that the guy working the ticket booth at the Indy 500 gives a crap what fans of “Disney on Ice” like. They’re different sports with different audiences, and they’re entitled to their own ‘spaces’ because neither pays the other’s bills. If more ‘macho’ guys want figure skating to “man up” then buy your tickets first and make your comments later, as paying customers. It’s like if you were a vegetarian trying to change McDonalds- you *might* make some progress if you come inside, buy a salad, then remark that you’d come back more often if you had more options; but don’t stand outside muttering “we’re not coming in until you get rid of all the meat.” It’s futile- other, meat-eating, people will keep eating there and ‘the mountain’ won’t come to you.

    Now if other figure skaters find Weir an embarrassment, or die-hard skating fans are ashamed of him, then *they* might have the right to say “dude, you’re making us look ridiculous,” but that’s ‘internal.’ In-house is their own business. And if the fan base for figure skating should ever get so small that it’s no longer economically viable and all the parties to the sport feel the need to change to broaden its appeal, to meet the costs of staging competitions, then they can decide amongst themselves what to change. Or they can decide to go down with their individual style intact. But compromise or perish with integrity, that’s their own prerogative.

  • wohdin

    I think it would be exceptionally easy to get straight men into figure skating – just show them one of Evgeni Plushenko’s routines. Particularly, this one: http://youtube.com/watch?v=jx-ualuq45E

  • bobito

    @scott ny’er: Okay, scott ny’er, I finally watched the men’s competition last night, and while I don’t take it all back, I gotta admit: I would have given the gold to Plushenko. Lysacek’s program was flawless, and his step sequences and spins were better than Plushenko’s, but they weren’t SO much better to make up for Plushenko’s quad-triple combination. If his footwork had been comparable to the moves that Takahashi delivered (or even that beautiful Spanish boy’s footwork much earlier in the evening), I would totally understand the scoring. But as it was… not so much. I won’t go so far as to say Plushenko was “robbed” – but it was definitely a debatable call on the judges’ part.

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