View Full Version : First AP Article on the Competition.

February 12th, 2000, 06:35 PM
I knew it'd be rough, but geeze! AP/Barry Wilner: "The last time Michelle Kwan skated this cautiously and with so little fire, she lost the Olympic gold medal to Tara Lipinksi. So she should thank some generous judges for helping her stave off the wave of young Americans on Saturday night to win her third straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships crown. While the four-time champion skated tentatively and fell once in the free skate, her main competition - 15-year old Sasha Cohen and 14-year-old Sarah Hughes - also had falls. But they weren't as uninspired as Kwan. They simply don't have the clout quite yet. 'I was all business today, concentrated and centered,' said Kwan, who has won more U.S. championships than the likes of Kristi Yamaguchi, Rosalynn Sumners and Dorothy Hamill. 'I felt strong and proud of myself at the end because I didn't open up anything. I knew I wanted to go out and feel good about myself after the short program. I didn't want any pity.' Instead she got charity." Yikes, yikes, yikes.

February 12th, 2000, 06:40 PM
Ask Scott hamilton, Viktor petrenko, Oksana Baiul......charity...please!!!!!!

February 12th, 2000, 06:43 PM
What Charity! I think Michelle is still superior as a overall skater. Those people could be really mean and harsh on her. Shame on them as reporters. They are not even being objective...

February 12th, 2000, 06:45 PM
CHARITY?!?!?!?! Is he nuts? I don't think so. She landed what 6 triples and her artistry is far superior. I'd hardly call that charity !

February 12th, 2000, 06:51 PM
It actually looks like there was more to the article (see post below from Michaeljosh. The extended version is a bit better in saying the charity also came from her competitors in their mistakes -- and that her problems may stem from overextending herself. So, he's not a total @@#@$$%$%$!!!! (Just partial one!)

February 12th, 2000, 06:56 PM
Is "Barry Wilner" code for "Satan?" Hehe:). Whatta creep. Whatever, he's just plain wrong. SC had one less triple, 2 more FLUTZES, one more 2-footed landing, less audience connection and expression of the music, and according to Dick, much weaker footwork. She also is unproven internationally, and possibly cannot even compete at Worlds. And if he'd take a look at MK's marks, they were not 6.0's in pres. to hold her up...most weren't 5.9's, either. They took deductions off both sets of marks. And if wants to see held up, he should take a look across the ocean. Finally, his opinion means nothing, MK won:P. WAY TO GO, MICHELLE..WE LOVE YOU:)!

February 12th, 2000, 07:00 PM
Absolutely, Kara. *Oh, it's starting here in CA!!!

February 12th, 2000, 07:03 PM
what charity???

February 12th, 2000, 07:15 PM
Did he write something that would be a contender for a Pulitzer prize as a college freshman? Michelle has made a major lifestyle change that makes training more complicated and difficult. I would say she has succeeded remarkably well. I could say a lot more, but many of you have said it just as well if not better. Besides, it is after midnight and I am getting sleepy. Keith

February 12th, 2000, 07:25 PM
I know. As I've written in two other posts (but love to reiterate), I don't think ANY other skater on the scene today could handle the load she has. The fact that she's the number one figure skater in the U.S. while attending UCLA (full-time last quarter, no less) is truly remarkable. She's an inpiration to the skating world, the world of higher education/eduacation -- and to a class act. THAT should be the article.

February 12th, 2000, 07:26 PM
Very well said andycat! ITA!

February 12th, 2000, 07:37 PM
I'll agree that Michelle did benefit from the fact that Sasha fell, and that had Sasha not fallen, given that at US Nationals, the judges tend to place skaters with technically less demanding but clean performances over those with more technically demanding but somewhat flawed programs, Sasha probably would have won. However, Michelle's win was *not* charity. Sure, Michelle made some mistakes, and didn't skate with her usual passion and emotional fire, the performance was a little understated or muted as it were, but both the choreography and the musical interpretation were still infinitely more complex and sophisticated than that of any of her competitors. Sasha's music was of that generic, lighthearted violin concerto genre, and it wasn't skated with any particular "fire", zeal or emotional connection with the audience. I would also like to point out for those who haven't seen the performances yet that Sasha's performance wasn't quite so perfect as Button was gushing on about, even before the fall. I don't believe she skated with as much speed as Kwan, I didn't notice as much edging, she had something slightly wrong with one of her jumps -- perhaps lazy free leg -- in the middle of the program, and then she seemed to stumble slightly or trip on her connecting steps after it, it looked like she two footed her lutz, and then of course the fall. Michelle had one more triple, infinitely harder and more impressive footwork, and the jump she fell on was harder than the one Sasha fell on. MAN, am I *sick* of reporters bad-mouthing Michelle and prematurely announcing her demise. While Michelle may not have defended her title as successfully and aggressively as we would all have hoped for, she did earn it, and Sasha did not. While the judges gave Michelle good, even pretty good marks for what she did, they did not all give her 5.9s so it was virtually impossible for Sasha to win, they left plenty of room for Sasha if she skated well enough to earn it. Unfortunately for her, she took a big fall on a relatively easy jump, and blew her chance at the brass ring. Sasha had every chance, but she didn't deliver enough of the goods needed to capitalize on her opportunity.

February 12th, 2000, 07:47 PM
MK has had competititions where the judges gave others charity above her & I believe the reporter named one such competition, 98 olys. Anyway even MK needs a break once in a while & she took one tonight & thank Jesus she wasn't penalized for it. But worlds is another story & she not only has to be technically & artisically prepared but she also has to be mentally prepared. Because even though her artistry is better than Irina's, the judges may give them the same presentation marks like the GP ( care to talk about charity for Irina) Anyway I'm so glad MK is the first female National gold medalist of the 21st centuary, I wanted her to enter the history books like this.

February 12th, 2000, 10:01 PM
ITA sw. Michelle was not at her best but she certainly deserved to win. I would admit if somebody else deserved to win, but Michelle was overall the best. Even Mr. Button had to agree.

February 13th, 2000, 07:13 AM
with you all. No charity involved in this win. I posted this on Spoilers already, but I just have to say it again: I deliberately didn't read any commentary, whether press or on the boards, until this competition was done, so that I could make decisions more objectively. And my objective opinion is that Michelle won fairly and didn't get any charity, and, SW, even if Sasha had landed the last 3 toe I think Michelle still would have won. Michelle did 6 triples, Sarah and Sasha only five (contrary to what Wilner reports). Sasha also has some trouble keeping her spins centered, while Michelle does not, and, as SW said, her edging is not as good as Michelle's. Sarah and Sasha have nice extension on their spirals, but they don't hold them long and don't do the change-edge. Sarah has trouble keeping her knee straight on the spirals, and Sasha has trouble making her Charlotte not look awkward, not to mention her final upraised-leg spin. I couldn't tell who might have flutzed or two-footed--presumably the judges could. Michelle's footwork is far and away the hardest. She does a lot more one-foot skating than Sasha does, and her choreography is better--I thought Sasha's in-betweens were choreographically uninspired. But, mostly, Michelle is the only one who skates with the music, even if it's not an inspired performance. Sasha is a little wooden and doesn't really connect to the music. Sarah is much better than Sasha in this area, although still improving and not quite up to Michelle yet. I thought that Sarah should have been second. Michelle had higher technical marks than Sasha from five of the judges, Sasha had a higher technical mark from one (for three judeges they were tied). Michelle had higher technical marks than Sarah from six judges, Sarah was higher in tehcnical than Michelle from one judge (the one who gave her the first place ordinal) and they tied technically on two judges. I think that that's about right for the technical--Michelle wasn't overwhelmingly better techinically than Sasha or Sarah, but she was definitively better. Artistically, Michelle is quite dominant, and I think that that's correct too. She had a higher presentation mark than Sasha from six judges, while they tied on three. Michelle had a higher presentation mark than Sarah from eight judges, and tied her on one. So no judge gave Sasha or Sarah a higher presentation mark than they gave Michelle. Not charity at all, IMO, even if Michelle's performance wasn't perfect. Both artistically and technically she's still pretty superior to the younger skaters. Of course they will improve! But I think so will she.

February 13th, 2000, 10:37 AM
Well, I guess fron now on, if anyone is to win, they have to beat the standard: MK. It's going to get interesting. TARA has never really beat MK at Nationals. (1997 was a fake win) Hmm.. overall, these little girls are getting close to closing the gap with our champion. They're so artistically poised and if not, they are getting there.

February 13th, 2000, 10:44 AM
What do you mean that Tara's win in 97 was a fake? I am not a Tara fan, and Mk is my favorite of all time, but that win was not a fake. Michelle fell apart and Tara skated two very nice, clean, well-presented programs.

February 13th, 2000, 10:50 AM
I don't mean to be critical, but a comment like calling 1997 a fake win is the kind of thing that gives MK fans a bad name.

February 13th, 2000, 11:30 AM
charity??????????? hey mr. barry WHINNER , if you can do lutz, spiral and footwork then you'll know what you are talking about.

February 13th, 2000, 11:55 AM
Just thinking if Michelle had not fought and fell on the lutz or toe or both what the article would say. Would it say Sasha got charity from Michelle? I doubt it. Just a thought...

February 13th, 2000, 01:48 PM
Can anyone give his e-mail address?

February 13th, 2000, 09:13 PM
SJB, I didn't pay as much attention to elements other than the jumps in Sasha's program because quite frankly, mean, rotten Kwan partisan that I am, I have to admit that I was hoping that Sasha would blow at least one jump. Ironically enough, by the time Sasha fell I had totally given up all hope of this happening, and in a moment of fatalism was thinking oh gosh, dammit, its gonna happen again, I just know it. I hadn't noticed the flutzes, the spin problems, etc. which I caught when I looked at my tape. Even if Sasha had not fallen, I would still have placed Kwan first for all of the reasons mentioned above. My feeling right before SC's fall was that if she skated cleanly, there would have been a 5-4 or 6-3 judging split that could have gone either way. My strongest hope was that the results of the Goebel-Weiss matchup were a strong indication of the judges' preference for the overall quality of a program, and far less emphasis on a jump count (the fact that some of the judges even placed her third would seem to bear this out). However, I have to admit that I'm relieved that she didn't skate cleanly, because if Sasha had and still ended up second, can you imagine how much *worse* the press coverage would have been? A whole herd of ignorant, uneducated reporters who know no more about figure skating than they do about badmitton or tai kwon do would have been running around crying foul, and John Nicks may very well have been fueling the fire with some more comments about the age requirement and so forth. I'm also glad for her own sake that Sasha didn't win, because she's going to be on the receiving end of enough attention and hype as it is, and had she ended up national champion it would have been even worse. If her parents are smart, they'll turn down a Leno appearance and unplug the phone for a few weeks if not the duration. Poor Michelle. I heartily hope that she isn't reading the press coverage, or listening if someone tries to repeat it. Most of it is uninformed, factually incorrect garbage written by a bunch of reporters desperately looking for an interesting story. Heaven knows, Michelle has to my knowledge never publicly said or done anything the slightest bit improper or controversial, she appears to lead an exemplary life, she espouses the correct goals, including sportsmanship and the importance of education, nothing there to create a scandal or a titillating headline. Absent a knee whacking incident, they have to create rivalries that don't exist or criticize Michelle for failing to live up to the high standard of excellence which she herself established and made us all come to expect. "Kwan Wins 4th National Title" is hardly the juicy, enticing headline they want.

February 14th, 2000, 03:23 AM
Very true, SW, but luckily I don't think that Michelle and Frank pay much attention to the press. The skaters know, better even than we do, who skated how, and I don't think that they're whining "charity". The reporters have to create some controversy--I guess it is bigger news if Michelle isn't perfect than if she wins another championship! If, say, Nicole Bobek had won with such a performance, she would be being praised to the skys right now for her improvement and command. And you're right that deserving it or not, Michelle's exemplary behavior or not, has nothing to do with it--all news is entertainment now, and the facts must be shoved aside if they don't make the most entertaining story. So I haven't been much affected, thankfully, by any news reports or even the commentators' remarks, about Michelle. It's not like I respect their opinion! But I wish that she could just skate without all this noise surrounding her. That would also be beneficial to the other skaters, as we have seen with Naomi.

February 14th, 2000, 05:25 AM
Well, SW, and SJB, in some ways, I hope MK will not read the press, in some way I do. Well the AP article is from Wilner, so .......... I think she is 19 now, and it may be good for her to start dealing with press people who do not really have reasons to dis her but they do anyway. Sorry, for keep going back to Tiger Woods as example, b/c he is my second most fav athlete. He had to deal with that at a vey young age, certainly by 19. My speculation is that the press will not be any kinder to MK from this point on, it will get worse every year. They are just writing about it, now. Someday and maybe soon, they will be rude and stick a mic in her face. She needs to be prepared, what to say what to do. Look at what they are doing to Tiger. An example was right after U.S. won the Ryder cup, there was a tournament in Boulder Co. Tiger had a flu that week, just made the cut did not do well, by tiger standard. Press - now not fans were saying Tiger got so mad he broke some clubs. Fact was, some player's club was broken for an entirely different reason. Tiger just as a matter of fact, in a press conference stated that was not the fact, and left it like that. He did not let them get to him, and did not indulge them by honoring follow up questions either. I am sure MK receives hate mail also/death threats. " I always read hate mail, I want to know the reality that there are people out there who do not want me to fulfill my dreams." Tiger. When Tiger comment on his experience at 6 y/o? being tied up by older kids, and had a nasty word written over him, he said he is not bitter about it b/c, "it is not in my nature." I have all the confidence that MK will know what to do. I hope her team will not try to shield these attacks from her.

February 14th, 2000, 07:51 AM
Look in '97, anybody would of beaten Kwan by just doing 4 clean triples and jumping around in circle. It wasnt a fair fight. '98 was a fair fight. Kwan was up to par and whipped her butt.

February 16th, 2000, 03:56 PM
You are so right about these reporters SBJ. A headline that read "Kwan defends title", would not have gotten this guy half the attention that his "Kwan gets charity", article has. It's the same with all of the press connected to skating. They realise that comments praising Michelle won't get the coverage that negative comments will. And no doubt they realise that a hot new up and comming Tara replacement will do a lot more for their ratings than a still vital, still wonderful still competitive Michelle.