Nikola: Hi, this is Nikola and you’re listening to the 2018 Asian Open Trophy bonus segment through In The Loop podcast. I’m here to give you a brief rundown on the event, and to give you a fan perspective, as well as some interviews with skaters competing at the event - including Chantelle Kerry and Andrews Dodds from team Australia, and Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto from Team Japan.
Clara: So in the end, this has more or less morphed into something like a brief history of the last thirty years of figure skating, which is clearly more than anyone can cover in an hour, especially us, given how chatty we are liable to be. So take this as an upfront disclaimer, this is going to be a very whistle-stop tour and necessarily incomplete.
Lae: Well, we are going to focus the main segment of this episode on issues of gender bias in figure skating. And it’s a huge topic, so we’re not going to be able to cover everything but Evie’s here first of all to give you a historical perspective on figure skating in the early years.
Evie: Finally, finally my degree is coming in handy, I’m very excited about this -
Lae: Your time to shine!
Red: The next event is Rostelecom in Russia. We’re going to see Yuzuru Hanyu and Mikhail Kolyada go up against each other – again. For the second time. Yuzuru will be the favorite for gold, but again it’ll depend on what we talked about earlier, about how his recovery from his injury went. Again, Mikhail Kolyada is definitely a contender for the podium, but he’s also pretty inconsistent.
Kite: He got really just hammered by his assignments this season.
Yogeeta, Red: Yeah…
Kite: He’s really shoehorned into competing with some serious challengers, and, I mean, depending on how he places, there might be – he might not make the Grand Prix Final.
Sam: People who are super nostalgic for 6.0 always love to say things like ‘oh, the programs had more content’, ‘oh, the programs were better’, when in actuality, during the time, not to bring Scott back into this, but I think it was during Elvis Stojko’s 1998 short program, he made a comment: “oh, he actually takes the step sequence seriously”. So clearly, this whole mythos that everyone had packed transitions, everyone had packed content is just like - oh, we remember Michelle.
Lo: Yeah, we remember Michelle. We remember Alexei Yagudin. We remember the good stuff - the bad stuff was still very bad. The fact that they were given so much freedom means that people were free to not put very much content in at all. And you would see that. Go watch an old Olympics and you’ll see what I mean. So the idea that 6.0 was just universally artistic and beautiful is just absolute nonsense from someone who probably hasn’t been watching skating very closely in the past decade. Like if you don’t think that Mao Asada brings artistry, I don’t know what to tell you. Like, what are you talking about?
Gina: Didn’t they agree that words spoken with cadence does actually count as music? (Tilda: Definitely.) So skaters could still skate to slam poetry.
Red: I wanna see Nathan do that. I wanna see Nathan do that, because I could see him writing his own rap or slam poetry and then skating to it.
Tilda: Maxim Kovtun could skate to his own hip hop. Make it happen!
Lo: Unbelievable, she’s amazing. Please if you’re a newer fan and are unfamiliar with her, please watch some of her performances, please. Just do it for me.
Kite: Do it for Lo.
Iman: If you’re a new fan of figure skating, she’s definitely one of those people you need to watch because she’s so iconic in the sport, for women.
Kat: She’s like universally beloved.
Iman: If you don’t like her, I don’t like you.
Kat: Yeah that’s some really bad taste–
Kite: No shade, no shade
Lo: I’ll block you, goodbye, you’re not my friend anymore.
Iman: I feel like with some commentators, they have so much enthusiasm and emotion, (Kat: I love it) even if you may not understand what they’re saying, you’re enjoying it, because you’re just like ‘you know what, I feel the same thing’. Sometimes commentators get choked up or they start laughing because they’re like ‘oh, this is so amazing, how are they doing this?’, and you feel that emotion with them, you’re like ‘you know what, me too, man’.
Evie: Hello everyone! So this is the first episode of the podcast - exciting things! We’ve been talking about doing this for a while, and now it’s finally happening.
Karly: We’re very excited.
Lae: Yeah, and I think the reason why we started it was also, you know, increasing the accessibility of figure skating to new fans and old fans and also kind of offering an alternative perspective to the voices that already exist.
Tilda: Exactly, and more international perspective as well because we’re from several different countries here!
Lae: As you may be able to tell from all our amazing and possibly confusing accents.
Karly: There are a lot of accents.