Talk:Shizuka Arakawa

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Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 19:02, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


Okay, can anyone confirm/deny this? Sources? --Pelladon 01:21, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

{{NPOV-section}} She left Tarasova and Callaghan on bad terms. As a result Callaghan refuses to coach any more Japanese skaters. Arakawa left Callaghan right before she won the 2004 World Championships. Tarasova took all the credit for her success.


Her program was kind of boring....I thought her spins were just not was just a "safe" performance.

In this case "safe" was apparently the way to go though. I'm happy for her, but I think a case can be made she kind of won by default. The errors Cohen and Slutskaya made essentially is what gave her the gold. If they had performed their free skates cleanly she would've almost certainly been bronze. However they didn't and so she unquestionably deserved her gold. Still she doesn't quite have the "magic" other gold medalist did or for that matter that I think Midori Ito had at her best. I'm not sure if this relates to writing the article, but I think the screwups of the other two were mentioned and should've been if not.--T. Anthony 07:41, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
She won the way Witt won her second gold in Calgary. And nobody cares nowadays, people only remember she got two golds. I am glad at last for the first time since 1994 we don't get a kid coming from nowhere and disappearing immediately afterwards.Hektor 08:11, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh me too in truth. I think she's a fine skater and I never doubted she deserved it. She just didn't really wow me, but she is good. On the kid thing all three contenders were above 20 I believe so there was little reason to be concerned on that. This was one of the more "mature" medalists fields I think there's been for awhile. The average age of the three medalists was 24 with the gold medalist also being 24. In fact I'm not sure the average age of the women medalist was ever that high and Shizuka Arakawa appears to be the oldest woman to win gold in figure skating ever. (Sonja Henie was just shy of 24 years old when she won in 1936)--T. Anthony 09:19, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Correction on that Magda Julin was apparently 26 when she won in 1920. Skating then was part of the Summer Olympics as I believe there was no Winter Olympics yet. I'm not sure there was another winner over 23 or not.--T. Anthony 10:59, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Madge Cave Syers' real birth date was never recorded. Only the year of her birth was recorded. The London Games was the first time that figure skating made its debut and in a lot of articles that I've come across, they've listed her as being the oldest women to win the event thus far. --speedoflight | talk to me 08:12, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

"breathtaking" is not an encyclopedic term... this is not a fansite. Sheep81 17:34, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

In any competition, it's who is the best person that day that wins the game. It's not about who was better, who could be better or who might be better. You could be the best prior or post the Olympics but if you on that very day that you're performing screwed up, fell or got's going to be a strike against you. Any competitor knows that. They understand the stakes and that is why the pressure is so high. Arakawa was clearly the better skater that particularly day and that is why she won. The other 2 skaters fell and made mistakes. If all 3 were to meet again in another match or Olympics, the results might or might not be different. We don't know that. But to harp on personal ideas of who is better or not or whether her routine was "safe" or not is a waste of time. This article is a bio of Arakawa...about life, her losses and wins. It's not a Sports Illustrated editorial about who should have won the ladies skating gold at Torino. --speedoflight | talk to me 01:54, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I take back any negative implied. Watching the three at gala I found her the most enjoyable, more wow-worthy, and no one fell in that or was graded for it. She's just got the goods and dang NBC for barely mentioning the talent in the Japanese team much beforehand. Although it did make it a surprise to see.--T. Anthony 07:46, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
NBC has a really bad habit of only covering and giving favoritism to American athletes. I realize it's an American TV station but it really needs to have a little bit more of a neutral coverage. It helps viewers get a better insight into the sport and the other competitors. I don't think there was much coverage of Arakawa because she was not the favorite to win the gold. It was always touted as a Cohen v. Slutskaya challenge. I watched the review of the figure skating again tonight prior to the closing ceremony. It was once again really clear that the commentators preferred Cohen. Again and again, it was highlighted that it was because she fell that is why she got the silver rather than a focus on that Arakawa won because she was the better skater on that night. --speedoflight | talk to me 08:12, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
"She won over the judges with seemingly effortless spins and spirals that were clearly ahead of the other competitors." Are you sure they were clearly ahead? I agree with the person who said her program was safe and not impressive except that she didn't fall. I felt even though Cohen fell, her spins and spirals were just as good as Akawara's. It was quite clear to me Cohen's choreography and artistic execution was superior to both Arakawa's and Slutskaya's (she suffered from concentrating all on jumps and nothing else; she should have been happy to get bronze instead of 4th place). But obviously just choreography and artistic marks won't generate a gold medal. The NBC commentators weren't that biased. If it wasn't for the missing jumps, it can be calculated that Cohen would have won. In any case this is all over. Sour pickle 03:57, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

A totally different view from the original comment is at [SFGate A Wholly Deserving Winner]. The article says during the practice Arakawa performed tripple-tripple-tripple jump combination in front of Olympic reporters. It is not that she could not perform difficult jumps. Just she did not need it to win the gold. In the future, we might see more gold winners with downgraded performance in this new judging system. The more cards the skater has in her pocket, the more likely she is able to win. She does not need to play all the cards. Just the right combination to maximize the chance of gold. Lifetime 06:36, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Another interesting article [LA Times]. It says "The new system is so demanding and so difficult. I've taught for 35 years and the last two years I've had to redo my philosophy." "Spins that once consumed 30 seconds of a program now eat up a minute, leaving skaters less time in which to cram jumps, footwork and other moves that pile up points. " Lifetime 07:06, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

The article very aptly highlighted what Arakawa be respected as a fine skater who performed well enough to win the gold. In all the events of the Summer and Winter Games, there are many athletes who have come as favorites to win but failed because they made mistakes. Bode Miller is one perfect example. And there are also others who came and under or over performed their personal bests. For figure skaters, all that matters is how and what they do during 2 routines - the short and long program. A total of less than 8 minutes of skating. If you make mistakes, you're penalized, period. And as you've said, you don't have to play all your cards, you have to know which ones to play so that you don't make mistakes that will cost you the entire game. Even gold medalist Yevgeny Plushenko scaled back one of his jumps. He landed perfectly on this scaled back jump rather than risk falling on the more difficult jump. At the 1984 Winter Olympics, Scott Hamilton was not considered the favorite and many considered Canada's Brian Orser to be far superior to Hamilton. Hamilton's short and long program wasn't all that amazing but he won because Orser had a significant deficit after the compulsory figures. Figure skating is unlike a sport that makes you race against the timer or one that measures your jumps as being farther or higher. Winning a figure skating competition requires strategy against competitors. And winning the Olympic figure skating gold requires even more strategy. While it would be super ideal to have the greatest performance win the gold, in reality, that's often not the case. A smart skater does whatever he/she has to do to win that gold for in the end, the annals of Olympic history will never record if your performance was so-so or "could have been better". What it does record is your name listed next to that gold medal. Arakawa's name will forever be etched as the ladies' gold medalist of the 2006 Torino Games, period. --speedoflight | talk to me 07:13, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
The ISU (International Skating Union) maintains a web site and, on that site, are Discussion Forums. On one of those forums is an intelligent and compelling argument that strongly suggests that Arakawa was the probable Gold Medal winner, even if the other competitors had not fallen. Also, there seems to have been something of a consensus in Torino, as was stated by "an American coach who would rather not be identified" that "Arakawa won all the practice sessions"--this argument suggests that she set a very high standard that the other skaters knew they would have to match. Thus, it could be said, that one of the reason that so many skaters fell was because they were unable to match Arakawa in that free skate in Torino. Further, commentators have noted that many of the other athletes looked "dead" from exhaustion in the last minute and a half of their performances. At several moments, such as in her sit spins, Arakawa seems to take a little rest, arms resting on knees. Finally, when she "popped" a triple loop in the final part of her performance, she opened her arms, and decelerated her spin, resulting in a successful double loop rather than risking a fall and a mandatory one point deduction plus a lower GOE (Grade Of Execution) for a botched triple. In total, one could fairly characterize her performance as technically strong and tactically prudent. She did win.--wtwtwtxc 05:59, 06 May 2006 (UTC)


Did anyone notice that the beginning of the stub said that she's the first person from Asia to become an Olympic Figure Skating Champion? Last time I checked, Russia is generally considered in Asia (the Ukraine is Eurpoean, but Georgia is also Asian). I remember quite a few Russian Men's, Pair's, and Dance medals

Surely Russia, in terms of sport, is in Europe. It competes in the European Athletics Championships, the European Soccer Championships etc etc. I'd be surprised if it were allowed to be both in Europe and Asia for these purposes. One thing I've never quite understood, though, is how Israel manages to qualify as a *European* sporting nation...

yeah I wonder that too, how come they get to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest, but not Lebanon?

I'm not sure I understand that, but culturally they'd be more linked to Europe than Asia I think. Many of their leading figures are descended from Europeans or were even born in Europe. As for Russia many to most of their athletes are from West of the Urals. Russia is both European and Asian, but the Asian section doesn't seem to produce that many of their best athletes. Slutskaya is from Moscow which is a European city. In other Russian Olympians Yevgeniy Plushenko it says was born in a city in the Russian part of Asia, a town in Khabarovsk Krai, but lived pretty much his whole life on the European side.--T. Anthony 00:38, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Israel is in "Europe" for purposes of many regional groupings because a large number of Arab and Muslim countries have made great efforts over many years to keep it out of the "Asian" groupings... AnonMoos 10:58, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

I was the one who edited it to "first Asian" from "first Japanese". It seems it was then edited to "first person from Asia". She is really the first Asian citizen to win the gold medal. Kristi Yamaguchi was Asian American.--Sir Edgar 07:27, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
The term "Asian" reflects people from Asia. Hence, Kristi Yamaguchi, Michelle Kwan are Asians, regardless of where they were born. The term "Asian American" defines that she's of Asian origin but lives or was born in the US. "Asian American" is a somewhat more politically correct terminology in the US. It goes with the genre of saying "African American", "Native American", etc. In the past and even now, some people like to say "Oriental" to group anyone from Asia or the Orient. I did not make the edit "first person from Asia" but in this case, it is actually truer than to say "Asian". Arakawa is the first person from Asia (born or live in Asia) who won the gold medal. She is not the first Asian to win it because Kristi Yamaguchi was the first one to do so. --speedoflight | talk to me 09:16, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Salt Lake[edit]

There's nothing in the article as it now about whether she was at Salt Lake, and if not, why not... AnonMoos 10:58, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

She wasn't at Salt Lake[1], but it doesn't give much detail.--T. Anthony 11:21, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Ok, it seems like she just didn't make the team... AnonMoos 00:25, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
That's correct, Japan only had 2 spots for ladies at Salt Lake City. Suguri and Onda made it, Arakawa failed to qualify. --Pelladon 21:59, 27 April 2006 (UTC)


Shizuka Arakawa did not try any triple/triple jump combinations in the womens free skate because her coach told her not to. Her goal was to only get on the podium, and after Sasha Cohen crashed to the ice , it was no longer necessary. Arakawa was skating for national pride, and also because she wanted to give the world a beautiful performance. After seeing Sasha's error ridden performance, she only needed a clean skate to win a medal. Arakawa's performance was sublime as she landed 5 triple jumps, many in combination, effortlessly with speed and flow. She did reduce a planned triple loop jump into a double, but that was the only minor problem. Her spiral sequence was spectacular as it flowed across most of the rink, and her spins were beautiful and crisp, with her toes outstretched and pointed. Her four minutes on the ice had a lyrical, dream-like quality, as she glided with perfect synchronicity to Puccini's Turandot. Even the venerable Dick Button, the "Simon" of figure skating noted her elegance and the quality of her program. The best move in the whole competition came late in Arakawa's program as she glided like a swan in her trademark Ina Bauer position, and then transitioned smoothly into a difficult triple/double/double jump combination. After her final spin, she got the nights only standing ovation. Two-time Olympic champion Katarina Witt was one of the many spectators appreciative of Arakawa's soulful efforts. In the end, no competitor after her could equal her performance. Irina slutskaya, one of the favorites, skated without her trademark zest. After a fall later in her program, she seemed deflated, and didn't skate up to her normal standards. In the end, the statuesque, and regal Arakawa was crowned Queen of the ice.(Bammbamm 07:51, 26 February 2006 (UTC)).

She's From Tokyo, not Miyagi Pref.[edit]

Technically speaking, she was born in Tokyo but grew up in Miyagi (according to the Japanese Wikipedia site, anyway) so I guess she's from Tokyo. I'll change the Category. --Do Not Talk About Feitclub (contributions) 11:07, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

So far as I know, she only moved to Tokyo to attend university (at Waseda). If someone was born somewhere, you don't necessarily say you are from there, especially if you spent 90% of your life somewhere else. If after university, and now having moved on to another stage of her career (professional skating), she had remained based in Tokyo, it might be appropriate to say she is from Tokyo, but the article says she is based in the U.S. W.C. 18:23, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

"Stretch Spin"[edit]

Er, I don't think she's spinning in that picture, as I recall she's doing a type of spiral. 20:17, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually she is spinning. That is one of her trademark maneuvers. At the very end of her performance, in her "stretch spin" she moves her shoulder inside her leg--that is to say her extended leg touches the back of her shoulder (as pictured)--and she whips around with her left arm extended, slicing through the air. --wtwtwtxc 01:35, 07 May 2006 (UTC)

Arakawa is the 3rd oldest women's Olympic Gold champion[edit]

The article states that she is the second oldest, however, I believe this is incorrect. I'll leave the editing up to you guys since I'm a newbie.

Oldest is Madge Syers 27 (1908 Olympics) 2nd Oldest is Magda Julin 25 (1920 Olympics) 3rd Oldest is Shizuka Arakawa 24 (2006 Olympics)

See 4th last paragraph in this article - it says she is the 2nd oldest since Magda Julin:

Tone of article[edit]

First of all, this page should only be about article, not about the article's subject...but I digress. Anyway, this article is very non-neutral, and at times reads like bio found on a fansite. That's why I added the fansite tag. SKS2K6 08:29, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you are right about some of the phrases like "prestigious university" and "shimmering blue dress", that all seems rather showy and unnecessary. I think partly this was an unintended result of editing by over-zealous fans who wanted to (rightly) defend Arakawa's place as a truly top-rank skater and dispel the myth that Arakawa somehow won the Olympics "by default" (which, for anyone who has seen her Gold-meal 2004 World Championship, or her pre-Olympic practice routine, is a ridiculous idea). The information about her actual career is pretty much on the mark. Maybe just clear up the wording of the puff-pieces? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:52, 14 April 2007 (UTC).


Her results and highlights are copied right from her ISU profile. I don't think anyone who didn't know much about figure skating and looked at this page would care too much about smaller events such as the Campbell's Classic. In my opinion, it's best just to include Worlds, Olympics, Nationals, and other more important competitions. A table would also look much better. Any thoughts? (talk to me) 00:14, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Josh Groban[edit]

Josh Groban just tweeted that he's rehearsing a number with her. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 29 January 2011 (UTC)