Thanks to the success of domestic athletes, figure skating has always been very popular in Russia. At the same time, lately more and more often one can hear reflections on how to attract even more spectators to the stands, which, in turn, would entail an increase in the salaries of athletes, who at the moment do not reach the fees of representatives of some team sports.
So, to solve this problem, the 2015 world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva suggested holding a show similar to the star weekend of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in figure skating. As an example, she posted a mounted video on her Instagram page in which viewers of the North American League “evaluate” the jumping elements of the skaters.
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Posted by Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (@liza_tuktik) Aug 1, 2019 at 7:40 am PDT
According to Tuktamysheva, such an event would not only contribute to the growing popularity of figure skating, but would also attract additional funding.
Opinions of users of social networks are divided. Some said that they would love to buy a ticket to the show, in which the strongest athletes would come together on one ice. Others noted that individual elements in figure skating do not look as impressive as a full-fledged program with music and costumes.
Unlike the fans, experts and colleagues Tuktamysheva positively reacted to her proposal. So, the 2019 Universiade champion Betina Popova, performing in ice dancing with Sergei Mozgov, noted that such a show would be interesting not only to the fans, but also to the athletes themselves.
“In our country, figure skating is very fond of, and the show would attract even more attention to it. Control rentals will be held in Moscow in September, and tickets for them were sold out in the first days of sales. People really want to look at it. And every time we have competitions, they run to the stands. Sergey and I could take part in some kind of dance tournament, in the support competition, ”the athlete said in an interview with RT.
According to her, such an event could be especially useful at the beginning of the season, as it would clearly demonstrate the readiness of the skaters.
“I don’t think the show could bring down a competitive mood. Yes, in the midst of the season, in preparation for the championships of Russia, Europe and the world, it would not be worth organizing. And at the end or the beginning - why not? ”Popova added.
In addition, she explained that skaters really earn significantly less than colleagues from other sports. In this regard, the only option for most of them is to participate in ice shows at the end of their professional careers.
The words of Popova were confirmed by the 1993 world champion in ice dancing, Alexander Zhulin.
“Of course, we need all kinds of shows, because in figure skating this is the only type of income. We are paid a penny for the competition, and more money is spent on costumes and other attributes, ”the expert said.
In his opinion, with proper organization and consideration of all the details, the event will really attract a large number of fans to the stands.
“For example, the same Tuktamysheva or other famous skaters can try to perform a combination of a triple axel - a triple toe loop or quadruple jumps, to compete in who will perform more elements in a row. But it is necessary to think over the organization, first of all, find a sponsor in case the show does not pay off, as well as interest the participants themselves with good money. You also need a script and a good entertainer to announce the numbers. Of course, such an event will become an additional burden on athletes, so it is best to hold it in May, when the season is over, but are still in good shape, ”Zhulin suggested.
A similar position was expressed by two-time Olympic champion in pair skating Maxim Trankov. He admitted that he himself would be ready to take part in such an event.
“I think it all depends on how professionally approach this issue, the organization. Figure skating is taking off thanks to the success of our girls. Therefore, it seems to me that the idea has a place to be. I would participate in such a show as a coach or host. As for the load on the skaters, then everything will depend on their own desire. If you don’t find strength in yourself, you can refuse. It is worth remembering that in countries such as the USA, Canada or Japan, athletes perform all year round. We have remnants of the Soviet system that is why it is customary to train exclusively in summer, ”said the specialist.
He emphasized that in figure skating there should be a number of cardinal changes that would improve the financial situation of athletes.
“We have never had much funding and big prizes, as in game sports. Until figure skating becomes a private sport, the situation will not change, ”Trankov is sure.
At the same time, Russian choreographer Ilya Averbukh was more skeptical of the idea of Tuktamysheva. He noted that such shows in the past did not have commercial success.
“In fact, this format is not new, Elizabeth did not come up with anything here. The World Jumping Championship was held in France, a lot of money was invested in it, great hopes were pinned. However, it did not arouse spectator interest, and the story did not continue, ”Averbukh said.
The NBA star weekend is traditionally held in February. It is a three-day basketball festival, consisting of numerous performances and competitions in which not only active athletes and legends of the past take an active part, but also ordinary fans, as well as public figures. Within its framework, the best representatives of the North American League teams compete in accuracy of shots, dribbling speed, number of points scored and other basketball elements. The show is crowned by the “All-Star Game”, in which the strongest players from the Eastern and Western conferences meet on the same floor. Similar competitions are held in other professional leagues overseas, as well as the Continental Hockey League (KHL).