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Spirit
Mar 18th, 2003, 09:33 PM
Apropos of almost nothing (besides the fact that the Figure Skating World Championships are about to start), here are some similarities between figure skating and tennis which I find interesting. In both sports:

The sport is extremely global and highly popular. Athletes come from all over the world, and different events are held all over the world. Athletes choose which events to sign up for in advance, and receive ranking points based upon their performances. Some of these events form a set called a "Grand Prix."

At these events, each discipline holds contests at different age levels.

Top athletes are lured to events by cash and/or gift incentives.

Ladies wear skirts on the field of play, unlike in any other major sport.

The top female athletes are, by and large, household names (Fleming, Kwan, Graf, King, etc.).

A good portion of the women are babes.

One of the sport's female icons (Peggy Fleming, Billie Jean King) is regarded as opening various doors for all other female athletes in the late '60's / early '70's. (King more so than Fleming, of course. Hell, King more so than anyone.)

Athletes can compete as individuals and in teams of two. Some do both.

The sport contains an awful lot of Russian athletes.

The management agency IMG has their hands in the sport up to their elbows, to the extent that they can influence the calendar of events, and represent a lot of the athletes.

For the most part, once an athlete has taken the field of play, they're on their own until the job is complete. The coach cannot do a thing.

The worldwide organization is made up of national federations or associations, each of which works with the International Olympic Committee.

In addition to international "regular" competition, someone started a league of teams, with each team representing a given city, and devised rules for team play and a season-long schedule leading to a league championship. These leagues aren't very well known by the public (in fact, for figure skating this just happened recently).

A perfect score (at least for now) in figure skating is represented by a series of 6.0's. A perfect score in tennis is represented by a series of 6-0's.


Of course there are interesting differences (beyond the obvious). In tennis, men's finals are always played last at coed tournaments, thereby signifying that that is the main event. In figure skating, the ladies' competition is always decided last, as they are the most popular.

Also: Tennis has player unions and associations. Skaters can't / won't dare form such a thing, perhaps out of fear that they'll be judged on the ice for making too much noise off of it. :(

And last, but certainly not least...figure skating only has one surface. :)

switz
Mar 18th, 2003, 09:40 PM
fundamental difference: not all male tennis players look like homosexuals (not that there's anything wrong with it)

Sam L
Mar 18th, 2003, 09:51 PM
One more big similarity.

In tennis, there is the "Grand Slam" consisting of Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

In figure skating, there is also the "Grand Slam" consisting of World Championships, Olympic Games and European Championships. (This is somewhat an antiquated notion, but still)

schris
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:27 PM
Katarina Witt = Steffi Graf ;)

Spirit
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:29 PM
Duh! :::slaps forehead::: I forgot the most obvious (and crappiest) example. Both sports have suffered a bizarre incident in which a top-level woman was attacked in public by the follower of a rival, solely for reasons of sport.

Less than a year apart, no less. :(

I don't want the thread to deliniate into a discussion about all that, I just thought it was worth mentioning, because it is bizarre.

Spirit
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:30 PM
fundamental difference: not all male tennis players look like homosexuals (not that there's anything wrong with it)

:D True.

Leena
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:33 PM
The top female athletes are, by and large, household names

Not as much as tennis... I think even most sports fans couldn't name more than 1 or 2 skaters.

The sport contains an awful lot of Russian athletes.

Yes, but Russian skaters win sometimes, and there's always one in Top 5. Russian tennis players suck, and have always sucked... (Sorry, Lena. :sad: )

Spirit
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:34 PM
Katarina Witt = Steffi Graf ;)

Oh, yeah. Now if Steffi will just take her clothes off in Playboy... ;)

I've often read (separately) that both women were hugely regarded in Germany. I've always wondered if they ever got together at an athletes' banquet or something and swapped notes. Steffi was from West, Kat from East, of course, but those two really do personify Germany's athletic output of the '80's.

Linnie
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:42 PM
Very interesting post. Thanks, Spirit! You know, I was thinking the same thing while watching the skating on TV on Sunday :)

calabar
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:46 PM
So who are the Venus and Serena of Figure Skating?

Spirit
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:50 PM
So who are the Venus and Serena of Figure Skating?

Sadly, I don't think that's one of the similarities.

brunof
Mar 18th, 2003, 10:53 PM
Poor Michelle :sad:

Leena
Mar 18th, 2003, 11:13 PM
fundamental difference: not all male tennis players look like homosexuals (not that there's anything wrong with it)
This is a biggie too...

Look at Russian tennis males: Marat, uber-babe even though he's crazy. Yevgeny, cute. Youzhny, cute.

That blonde Russian skater, whatever his name is, he just looks so fruity... :p

1jackson2001
Mar 18th, 2003, 11:21 PM
You mean Alexei Yagudin? ;)

Leena
Mar 18th, 2003, 11:22 PM
I don't know... something like that. :p

1jackson2001
Mar 18th, 2003, 11:28 PM
That would be the Russian fruity looking blond one. The American one would be Timothy Gable. ;)

Leena
Mar 18th, 2003, 11:45 PM
No, not Gabel... he's adorable. :)

1jackson2001
Mar 19th, 2003, 12:10 AM
Oh, okay if you say so..:)

I would add Yevgeny Plushenko (sp?) to the list of fruits as well..

selesfan1
Mar 19th, 2003, 12:17 AM
Did you all know that Evgeny Plushenko's girfriend is a supermodel and he plays tennis. he's not vey good at it though. Another similarity is one wrong move could cost you a lot in tennis if you net an overhead it could be all over same in skating if you don't land a jump it could be all over.

Myskina Lina
Mar 19th, 2003, 01:26 AM
Russian tennis players don't suck, Leena. Russians just started playing tennis a few years ago. Plus, Russian men have won Grand Slams, you are smoking something when you wrote that. Pffft! :p

Cybelle Darkholme
Mar 19th, 2003, 01:30 AM
OMIGOD Is Surya Bonaly the Williams Sister of Ice Skating? :eek:

Leena
Mar 19th, 2003, 02:14 AM
Russian tennis players don't suck, Leena. Russians just started playing tennis a few years ago. Plus, Russian men have won Grand Slams, you are smoking something when you wrote that. Pffft! :p
I was thinking Russian women. :) And none of them have been a factor in the GS (Anna and Alyona got to SF, but they had no chance, and some Russian made the finals of something in the 70's.)

Russian female skaters get medals... that Slutskaya, and they cheat.

Ted of Teds Tennis
Mar 19th, 2003, 02:21 AM
Is Yagudin the guy with the bowl haircut or is that Plushenko?

One more similarity: Losers to the Olympic Gold medalists in Salt Lake City alleged the competition was rigged; losers to the Williams sisters have suggested matches between the sisters have an outcome predetermined in advance. ;)

(Relax, everybody. It was just a joke.)

Leena
Mar 19th, 2003, 02:28 AM
I think it's Plushenko... he's the really gay looking guy I was talking about.

There's nothing wrong with rigging competitions and screwing Canadians.

swissfan
Mar 19th, 2003, 02:59 AM
the girls in both sports have lots of loser boyfriends.

Hawk
Mar 19th, 2003, 03:30 AM
Figure skating has way more soap opera drama than tennis. Figure skating's got partner swapping and sex scandals :eek: Tennis needs to catch up :p

1jackson2001
Mar 19th, 2003, 03:37 AM
OMIGOD Is Surya Bonaly the Williams Sister of Ice Skating? :eek:


lol, but Surya didn't win anything big like the sisters right? I was rooting for her at the '94 Olympics..but she fell repeatedly on her triple lutzes after making a sweet triple loop-half loop-triple salchow combination. :o

Oh, and I just remembered..they referred to Surya as an extraordinary athlete as well! :eek: ;)

Spirit
Mar 19th, 2003, 03:47 AM
Figure skating has way more soap opera drama than tennis. Figure skating's got partner swapping and sex scandals :eek: Tennis needs to catch up :p

Damir Dokic singlehandedly makes up for this.

Tennis has the "bad dads," chest bumps during changeovers, cursing on the court, and its share of camps who don't seem to like each other (see Williams / Hingis c. 2000).

If tennis didn't have its share of drama, we wouldn't have had so much fun with "locker room confrontation" threads in the past few months. :D

Leena
Mar 19th, 2003, 03:49 AM
Serena can be Surya Bonaly (she's a big girl too) and Venus can be Debi Thomas.

Asmus
Mar 19th, 2003, 03:51 AM
They are SO different.

Figure skating only has a major event once every four years, whereas tennis has a major event four times a year!

That's why I can't take figure skating. There's just so much ridiculous pressure with the Olympics. It's too intense.

Cybelle Darkholme
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:04 AM
Poor Michelle Kwan!!!! She's been so close twice!!! She's the best skater ever in the world! Tara who? Please that little pixie on crack quit as soon as she robbed michelle of her gold medal! Sara who? Okay I like sara but she is no where near the skater Michelle is! Its not fair that all your hard work over four years comes down to one night, or two nights and eight years for michelle! MICHELLE YOU ROCK AND I HOPE YOU GO FOR THE GOLD IN 2006! You need a gold to go with your sliver and bronze for a complete set. :kiss:

Spirit
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:24 AM
They are SO different.

Figure skating only has a major event once every four years, whereas tennis has a major event four times a year!

Although nothing rivals the Olympics, skating does have a World Championships every year, which is extremely prestigious and nerve-wracking. Most people just don't know about it, though.

1jackson2001
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:28 AM
Who did Oskana Bayou win her gold medal over? Was it Nancy Kerrigan?

Spirit
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:30 AM
Who did Oskana Bayou win her gold medal over? Was it Nancy Kerrigan?

Yep. '94 Lillehammer; Nancy lost by a hair and took silver. A very young Michelle was an alternate that year for the US team.

1jackson2001
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:33 AM
Yep. '94 Lillehammer; Nancy lost by a hair and took silver. A very young Michelle was an alternate that year for the US team.

Ahh..Lillehammer..it's all coming back to me now. :D

ys
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:46 AM
Indeed, and both sports have singles and doubles, except that figure skating has only mixed ( and I do not understand why )..

And Russian females in singles are headcases in both sports, but perform very well in "doubles"..

1jackson2001
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:55 AM
Indeed, and both sports have singles and doubles, except that figure skating has only mixed ( and I do not understand why )..

And Russian females in singles are headcases in both sports, but perform very well in "doubles"..

But I thought Irina Slutskaya is at the top or near the top currently...

ys
Mar 19th, 2003, 05:06 AM
But I thought Irina Slutskaya is at the top or near the top currently...

Exactly, she was smart enough to realise that she is a headcase, and hired a sports psychologist, which helped.. I wish Kournikova and Dementieva would do the same..

salima
Mar 19th, 2003, 06:46 AM
Exactly, she was smart enough to realise that she is a headcase, and hired a sports psychologist, which helped.. I wish Kournikova and Dementieva would do the same..

interesting ys. In my sport, skiing, i can see a sports psychologist could be very useful for many Russian athletes. It makes me wonder why. Is it in the education of coaches? I refuse to think it is a "rssian mentality" or constant bad luck
:confused:

irma
Mar 19th, 2003, 06:59 AM
if tennis was iceskating then anna would be number 1 by now

Spirit
Mar 27th, 2003, 03:14 PM
Yet another similarity has just come along: people dissatisfied with the status quo, and frustrated that their complaints are falling on deaf ears, have broken away from their regular organizations to form a new one from the ground up, both within the past two months!

Tennis: a group of male players want to form the IMTA because they're fed up with the ATP.

Figure Skating: a group of skating officials and professional skaters (the amateurs are too timid to speak up for fear of getting their marks lowered) want to form the World Skating Federation because they're fed up with the ISU.

Messenger
Mar 27th, 2003, 03:35 PM
Russian tennis players don't suck, Leena. Russians just started playing tennis a few years ago.

Hey, don't let Liky hear you say that ;)