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Thread: Which discipline is the most popular? And why?

  1. #21
    Rinkside bunnybarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peepsquick View Post
    As a skating fan I like to follow all 4 disciplines but I am always a bit surprised that many of us exclude totally pairs and dance. I wonder why.
    I'm kind of the opposite - I pretty much only watch ice dance, then a bit of pairs, and ocassionally ladies and men. Yes, it always surprises me how few people watch pairs and ice dance as they are such interesting disciplines - skating with another person in and of itself takes so much, and then the incredible lifts and footwork! And for people who enjoy freestyle, seeing the outrageous throw-jumps and death spirals in pairs seems like it would be even more riveting!

  2. #22
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    I too wonder why pairs/ ice dance are least popular. I'm also not interested in it and I can't explain why. Well, I can with ice dance but I can't with pairs. I was moved by Alyona/Bruno free skate at the Olympics but that's it. For some reason I just don't want to go and look further. I'm more personally invested in men because I have a favourite here but I don't cheer on anyone in ladies and I still find it interesting to watch. Low popularity of pairs is a mystery to me.

    Just out of curiousity, is there a way to know how many people attended each discipline at the Olympics?

  3. #23
    Rinkside Atlantis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ankifeather View Post
    Google trends doesn't capture much of Japan (which mainly uses Yahoo as the search engine) and China (google is blocked) though, the current biggest market and uprising market ,which many above have pointed out men is more popular.

    Both are relatively new markets though as compared with the Western world which Ladies had been dominant for a while.
    It's an interesting point. But shouldn't Japan like both men and ladies since their had both Mao and Daisuke just recently? I got the impression they were the biggest stars of the sport in Japan and helped to build popularity of figure skating there. I don't think it was Yuzuru's doing, it was them first. But I don't know maybe Japan cares about men more now that they have two stars, it's hard to tell.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnybarista View Post
    I'm kind of the opposite - I pretty much only watch ice dance, then a bit of pairs, and ocassionally ladies and men. Yes, it always surprises me how few people watch pairs and ice dance as they are such interesting disciplines - skating with another person in and of itself takes so much, and then the incredible lifts and footwork! And for people who enjoy freestyle, seeing the outrageous throw-jumps and death spirals in pairs seems like it would be even more riveting!
    Dance is difficult to understand technically, even skaters from other disciplines have admitted to not understanding it. Just watching it because it looks pretty gets boring.

  5. #25
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    Depends on region and country.
    In Asia, it was pairs 1st due to Shen/Zhao winning the gold in OG 2010,
    Ladies also due to Kim Yuna winning the OG gold.
    Then mens due to Yuzuru winning the 2014 OG Gold.

    I'm not from China, Japan or South Korea so preferance is to pairs, then mens, then ladies. Mens singles with the quads has become more interesting than ladies, athletic wise.

  6. #26
    GS Supporter Mohacz's Avatar
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    As a figure skating lover I watch all the disciplines, but my heart only beats rapidly for ice dance (my first and biggest love) and pairs. I don't follow that much the singles. They say that it takes two to a tango, so maybe that's my general approach to figure skating: it must take two to ice skating. I don't like solo dancing and I don't see solo skating as passionate as in pair.

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    How about checking out which discipline has the least available tickets for the upcoming events?

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    I know in the USA ladies is the most popular on TV. For proof just look at the opening shot for the pairs and dance disciplines. I'd say 90% of the time the camera focuses and sometimes zooms in on the lady, so much so that often the TV audience doesn't even see the opening pose by both partners.

  9. #29
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    The artistic emphasis makes it totally exciting for me! I get bored watching jumps after jumps if it is all there is to a piece...

  10. #30
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlantis View Post
    I too wonder why pairs/ ice dance are least popular. I'm also not interested in it and I can't explain why. Well, I can with ice dance but I can't with pairs. I was moved by Alyona/Bruno free skate at the Olympics but that's it. For some reason I just don't want to go and look further. I'm more personally invested in men because I have a favourite here but I don't cheer on anyone in ladies and I still find it interesting to watch. Low popularity of pairs is a mystery to me.
    I think that part of the reason that pairs and ice dance are the least popular is because most of the world doesn't really have pairs and dance programs. There is also the fact that they are teams, not individuals. Pairs and dance teams are always splitting which makes it harder to keep loyalties like singles skaters can. Plus, there just aren't as many opportunities to train at a high level in either disciple, which leads to fewer teams and less coverage with translates to less fans.

    I also think that vorravorra has a point that dance is harder to understand technically for the viewer, so it's harder to judge when watching, meaning the viewer has a harder time understanding the winner which means less enjoyment of the competition. Historically, I think that a lot of people have been put off ice dance because it was widely acknowledged as rigged for the longest time. I think that perception has improved under the new system, but it still lingers.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralgraph View Post
    I know in the USA ladies is the most popular on TV. For proof just look at the opening shot for the pairs and dance disciplines. I'd say 90% of the time the camera focuses and sometimes zooms in on the lady, so much so that often the TV audience doesn't even see the opening pose by both partners.
    I use to think this, until NBC change the programming recently, and put the Men competition in the prime spot. For example, for World 2018, NBC put the Mens last and prime spot compared to ladies, pairs, ice dance.

  12. #32
    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    Nathan Chen could land 85 quad axels, but in the US, the ladies are the most popular. And I say this as a huge fan of men’s skating, although in and of themselves I could care less how many quads any particular skater lands.

    Why? Beats me. And if it were just success, the consistent, constant good showings of US ice dancers should make ice dance more popular in the US. But it’s not
    Yep. In USA, interest in ladies dominates. For me personally, I used to love pairs, and now not so much. But I'm trying to get revved again, because the programs have become more interesting.

    I think I like dance the most, because it looks like something I could do. Now, obviously I know I couldn't do what they do - but it seems more relatable than someone doing quads.

  13. #33
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    Long story short: wherever the popstars, drama, quadfests, splatfests, rumors, breaking news, carrot cultivaters, exclamation marks, and level-hitters actually are.

    Long story: some of you mentioned regional differences but of course, it heavily depends on the period as well. I'm usually more into men, ladies and dance but I remember very well going into 2016 Worlds with a huge anticipation for pairs of all disciplines. V/T coming back after their Olympic title, S/K just winning their first GPF, D/R being defending world champions, S/M trying to establish themselves as a credible pair for PyeongChang, and S/H being the top scorers and most consistent skaters in preceding years. Heck even a very developing T/M pair was in the mix for a medal - just so many credible podium contenders. Quad throw jumps and quad twists were also on the horizon. Right now, pairs field looks very stale in comparison and focus is mostly elsewhere, e.g. Russian ladies (which also used to be a nonexisting thing until Butyrskaya and Slutskaya came along btw). Similarly, men's field used to be very dense in the last couple of years with all those quads duking it out and three world champions (Hanyu, Fernandez, Chan) also among the top dogs. On the other hand, I also remember very well how bland the field seemed and how uninterested I was when Lysacek became world champion in 2009.

  14. #34
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    I'm finding it odd that some folks in this thread can't let go of the ideas that Ladies discipline is dominant everywhere.

    It's really country-specific.

    Kaetlyn Osmond won the world championship this year, but as a sports story it didn't have 'legs' in the mainstream media in Canada.

    Meanwhile, Virtue and Moir continue to get media attention.

    Stephen Gogolev likely got as long a national media run for winning his first JGP and being crowned 'the next one' in Canadian men's skating as Kaetlyn did for her World Championship.

    And this is despite Skate Canada clubs having large numbers of girls.

  15. #35
    I can't help but love the taste of danger, baby... Ic3Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    I think I like dance the most, because it looks like something I could do. Now, obviously I know I couldn't do what they do - but it seems more relatable than someone doing quads.
    Ice dance is alot harder than everyone thinks, much harder than singles, I know as I have done both.

  16. #36
    Addicted to handsome, artistic male skaters ;) siberia82's Avatar
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    In general, the men's discipline is the favourite in Canada, at least since Brian Orser's time in the 1980s. I'm a product of this culture because I became of fan of this sport when Jeff Buttle won the 2008 Worlds, and even before then, when I didn't watch figure skating at all and knew next to nothing about it, I was still aware of who Buttle and Patrick Chan (plus Orser, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko and even Emanuel Sandhu, who never won a Worlds or Olympics medal) were because of the Canadian media. In contrast, I could only name two Canadian pairs teams, one Canadian ice dance duo and one Canadian ladies' singles skater at the time.

    Despite my ignorance, I understood that our men's singles skaters were usually regarded as being a bit more special than the other three categories because we have more world champions than what probability would normally allow due to my country's relatively small population size (there are less Canadians than there are Californians). Here, there are typically more "Who will be the Next One?" discussions about the guys than in ice dance, women or pairs. Once I had decided to follow the sport, it's not surprising that my main focus is on the men.

    It's a double-edged sword being a talented Canadian male figure skater because while we tend to put them on a higher pedestal than the other disciplines, it's also much easier to lose one's balance standing so high off the ground. I'm 100% sure that's the reason why there's a "Canadian man's curse" when it comes to that elusive Olympic gold medal in the individual men's event---the IMMENSE pressure the Canadian public and the media put on our guys to succeed is just INSANE.

    And sometimes, we can be pretty cruel when they don't meet our lofty expectations. Even though I wasn't into figure skating at the time, I distinctly recall how Buttle's name was dragged through the mud after he had lost the Canadian title to Chan; on top of the usual "old/has-been" insults, it was suggested that he should be left off the Worlds team. I felt really sorry for Jeff when I had read those articles and watched the related news clips, and I even said out loud, "Don't worry, you'll prove your detractors wrong by winning the world championships." (And guess what, two months later he did exactly that---I couldn't believe that my wish for him had come true , so naturally I watched his gold medal performances, and I've been hooked to the sport ever since.)

    This phenomenon isn't even limited to our senior-level men. At the JGP Richmond, Stephen Gogolev and Iliya Kovler, who are 13 and 15 years old respectively, learned the hard way what it's like to be exposed to both the affection and the suffocating pressure of the hometown crowd, and they both fell apart in the competition. Lajoie & Lagha won in ice dance, yet I'm fairly certain that Gogolev received more attention.


    ETA: I forgot to mention that when I attended the 2011 GPF in Quebec City, the men's event was sold out, but not the other disciplines. In those days, Chan was a bigger draw than Virtue & Moir.

  17. #37
    Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset skylark's Avatar
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    For some inexplicable reason, I started enjoying men's competition skating more after the switch to COP points system. I loved Evan Lysacek, and watching him got me more interested in men's competitions.

    I also enjoyed Ice Dance more at the same time, but that could have been because of the leap into prominence of Tanith and Ben, Tessa and Scott, and Meryl and Charlie. Probably also because I preferred different style of ID that took over with those three. I loved the combination of Marina's choreography with Igor's tech savvy. I still miss that combination and wish they hadn't split. Sigh.

    BUT ... Pairs is my first love, and when Pairs are done well, they're still my favorite. So with Aljona and Bruno, this year was spectacular for me!

    And there's something about Ladies that pulls me in, but only when the particular lady makes me feel something with her skating. I think that it's the combination of beauty, grace and power. That also applies to why Pairs are always my favorite.

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