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Thread: Linda Fratianne Update

  1. #46
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have called Linda's pro career that stellar. She spent it in Disney on Ice. She always said in interviews that Disney was good to work for, but Disney I think has always been considered a less impressive show to work for, possibly because of always being second banana to and upstaged by Ducks, Mice, and Lions.

    If she had had more confidence would she have been able to go for it regardless of having "only silver"? After all, Anett was in E. Germany and wasn't skating pro's. If she had agressively sold herself, I don't think she would have had to settle for Disney.

    The big pro scene had not started yet during Linda's pro career. There was just a World Pro skate held in Spain for a couple years in the early 80's. And she did quite well there.

    SkateFan4Life, where did you get 1980 hilight tape? I would love to rewatch 1980. At the time we were living in a tiny town in VT with truly lousy TV reception, so I would not trust my opinion on any of these skaters!

    Dpp
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 07-28-2003 at 07:26 AM.

  2. #47
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    This is a little bit off topic, but on the subject of Frank Carroll's reaction to Linda Fratianne's Olympic silver, compared to Michelle Kwan's:

    Frank Carroll to this day refers to Linda as his "first love" in his career as a top level coach. He had a big emotional investment in her success. It is no wonder to me that he blew his stack when he thought that she had been cheated out of what was rightfully hers.

    Carroll's next star protege was Christopher Bowman. Carroll loved Bowman, too, and put a lot of himself into Bowman's development. When Bowman threw it all away through drug use and lack of self-discipline, I think that Carroll really took it to heart and determned never again to allow his coaching responsibilities to claim so much of his heart.

    So when Michelle came along, I think he purposely maintained his emotional distance and approached her training from a cooler and strictly professional angle.

    Or maybe he just became less feisty with age.

    Mathman

  3. #48
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    DORISPULASKI, I agree that Linda's pro career wasn't that stellar. Disney on Ice was a sad replacement for Ice Follies/Holiday on Ice, who they bought out. At least with Follies/HOI, and with Ice Capades, which was the only "serious" big US skating show option after Ice Follies/HOI became Disney around 1981-1982, many great skaters were able to perform excellent cold spots or integrated skating numbers, but Disney emphasized the cartoon characters and not the skaters. Rosalynn Sumners signed with Disney in '84 and hated it--she talked in at least one interview about making her entrance in some sort of kiddie cartoon setup with tears streaming down her face. Roz got out of Disney after a couple of years and ended up with Stars on Ice, where she was much happier. Linda stayed with Disney for quite a few years, as I recall. I believe that Linda's original contract was with Ice Follies, and they became Disney about a year later, but she could have left after that, as Roz did.

    Your pro skating options for that period are wrong, though. The pro TV specials were beginning to air around that time, and a bit earlier--both made-for-TV productions like Nutcracker on Ice with Dorothy and Robin, The Snow Queen with John Curry and Janet Lynn, and made-for-TV pro exhibitions. I am not aware of Linda ever competing in the Jaca, Spain World Pro Championship, but she did the first 5 years of Dick Button's famous World Pros in Landover, MD that were shown on NBC for years, which featured some of the greatest pro skating in history IMHO (I'm definitely not including Linda in that particular group, however). Dick Button's World Pros begun in 1980 with the 1980 Olympians (Linda, Robin Cousins, Tai & Randy, Charlie Tickner, Emi Watanabe, Regoeczy & Salley) in a team competition against older pros like Dorothy Hamill and Peggy Fleming (because those two and John Curry, who scratched, refused to compete individually). I found Linda's skating very undistinguished and forgettable, and when the competition finally became individually scored in '84 or '85 Linda was finishing 3rd or 4th out of 4, IIRC.

    Personally, I always found Linda to be a robotic skater with no artistry or musicality, and from Frank Carroll's interviews and articles on Linda during her amateur days she was always described as completely and absolutely obedient to Frank Carroll (a quality that he prized very much, but which gives me the creeps) and I think it was Linda's family who said that she had shown no interest in or aptitude for anything at school or elsewhere until she tried skating. I don't think that she had the personality or intellect to seek greater challenges, as skaters like John Curry, Robin Cousins, and even Rosalynn Sumners chose to do. My guess is that she stuck with Disney for so long because she was content to crank out those programs year after year.

    As far as Anett Poetzsch was concerned, my understanding is that the East German government basically ended her skating career in 1980 and didn't allow her to pursue any sort of pro opportunities (I'm sure she could have joined HOI in Europe, had she been allowed to leave her country), so in her case I do not think that she deliberately chose to give up skating and performing. Katarina Witt was the first East German skater who was allowed to have a pro career. I still think that Anett had more potential as a pro, though I don't think that she would have been a great one either. She had more personality on the ice, IMHO.

    Jumping subjects to another East German, going back to Jan Hoffman, I was just thinking how he handled his loss to Robin in 1980, which at 6-3 and given the way the scoring went was a narrower loss than Linda's to Anett. As far as I know, Jan was a gracious sportsman in public about his loss and didn't whine and claim cheating, as was Robin when their situations were reversed a month later at Worlds. Quite a difference in attitude between the men and the women, which I've noticed has often been the case in close Olympic competitions. The Battle of the Brians is another example.

    Lois

  4. #49
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    I guess we'll never know the whole story. It's unfortunate that politics ever come into play in sports, or competitions, but sadly, they do.

  5. #50
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I have a tape called something like Great Routines of the '80s somewhere in the middle of the moving boxes.
    It draws on the Jaca Spain competitions. Linda was on it.
    Doris

  6. #51
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    Originally posted by DORISPULASKI
    I have a tape called something like Great Routines of the '80s somewhere in the middle of the moving boxes.
    It draws on the Jaca Spain competitions. Linda was on it.
    I have that tape too--it is called Ice Skating Showcase: Great Routines of the 1980s, and was put together by Dick Button's Candid Productions from the earlier years of his Landover, MD World Pros (up to 1987, IIRC). Linda is indeed on it. The programs are not from Jaca, Spain. AFAIK no footage from the totally separate Jaca World Pros has ever aired in the US (there are some Jaca years I would very much like to see, such as Robert Wagenhoffer's victories).

    Lois

  7. #52
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Lois, don't take this the wrong way, but some of your posts on this thread make me wonder if Linda Fratianne personally insulted or injured you somehow. She didn't win the gold medal and she ended up skating with Mickey Mouse. Isn't that punishment enough for all her crimes? She's not Saddam or Hilter. Can't you find it in your heart to let it go?

    Your friend, Mathman

  8. #53
    SkateFan4Life
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    Re: Linda Fradianne

    I really wonder if Linda Fratianne has a clue as to how her constant whining and "poor little me" attitude regarding the Lake Placid Olympics sounds to her fans and/or would-be fans.

    This is a woman who was the United States National Champion for four years running, 1977 through1980, won the World title twice, in 1977 and 1979, was World silver medalist in 1978 and World bronze medalist in 1980 and the Olympic silver medalist in 1980. Surely, that's a fantastic collection of medals, something most skaters would consider a very, very successful haul. But not Linda -- she still maintains that she was somehow "robbed" of the Olympic gold medal at Lake Placid and that Carlo Fassi and other coaches were party to a sneaky deal to see that Annet Poetsch came in first and she second.

    Linda Fratianne was a fine skater, but she was no Dorothy Hamill and I doubt if she ever would have become "America's Sweetheart" the way Dorothy did, even if she had won the gold medal in 1980.

  9. #54
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Mathman, you have said exactly what I wanted to say.

    Lois, you've stated your opinions about Linda's skating and her and Frank C.'s "attitudes" enough times in this thread for other posters and readers to understand your feelings. Quite frankly, this isn't the first time I've read your opinions about this on the Web. There are times that I think that you must run searches of the Web for the topic of the 1980 Olympic ladies' competition just so you can post the same sentiments over and over.

    However close you are to Robin Cousins, it doesn't excuse the continual (IMO) bashing of those 2 people. If you feel that strongly about them, I really wish that you would contact the 2 of them directly and tell them what you think of them and get it out of your system once and for all and move on. You're definitely not helping Robin's reputation at all by these remarks here or anywhere else.

  10. #55
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    "Dick Button's World Pros begun in 1980 with the 1980 Olympians (Linda, Robin Cousins, Tai & Randy, Charlie Tickner, Emi Watanabe, Regoeczy & Salley) in a team competition against older pros like Dorothy Hamill and Peggy Fleming (because those two and John Curry, who scratched, refused to compete individually)."

    I saw this rerun a few years back. Linda was unfortunate in that she skated to the same music as Peggy (The Body Electric from Fame) and wore a very similar costume. She skated first, and love her or hate her, I don't think anyone would call her 'artestry' on a par with Peggy's. Few skater's are.

    Overall, I would agree that it was kinda "forgettable" but one thing I do remember clearly was that she did a gorgeous layback that most ladies would kill to have today.

    She most propably did a 3toe or something while Peggy had none, but Peggy had huge scores due to her presentation.

    I also wouldn't put too much stock in Linda being "forgettable". I absolutely remember not a single thing about Robin Cousin's performance from the same event. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

    It was interesting to see Gordon McKullen, even if he did mess up. He was paired with Peggy and had a lot of appologizing to do in the K&C.

  11. #56
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    Originally posted by Mathman
    Lois, don't take this the wrong way, but some of your posts on this thread make me wonder if Linda Fratianne personally insulted or injured you somehow. She didn't win the gold medal and she ended up skating with Mickey Mouse. Isn't that punishment enough for all her crimes? She's not Saddam or Hilter. Can't you find it in your heart to let it go?

    Your friend, Mathman
    I would say that remembrances about the Olympics 1980 are naturally coming up always when there is an article which is about that matter. Wasn´t the original thread started because of a recent interview or an article where Fratianne talked about the matter? There still are people who remember competitions which were held that long ago, LOL, and are not agreeing with Fratianne. I would say that if Fratianne would have been from some other country, e.g. from Europe, and had not won that gold, there probably would not have been any article now, would it?

    Marjaana
    Last edited by Jaana; 07-30-2003 at 09:03 AM.

  12. #57
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Whatever you say, Marjaana. Still, that's a long time to carry hatred in your heart. This applies both to Fratianne/Carroll and to their critics and detractors.

    Even I got over Michelle losing the Olympics in -- oh, about three months, LOL.

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 07-30-2003 at 02:15 PM.

  13. #58
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    Thank you, Marjaana. As I said before, I *never* introduce this subject. I only post to provide the *facts* that Carroll/Fratianne ignore and that readers would otherwise be ignorant of from the unresearched, one-sided articles, as well as an alternate but frequently held opinion that the results were fair. If I (or someone else--sometimes others post corrections before I do, though not this time) don't provide the actual background, readers of the articles who didn't see Lake Placid and happen to be online would be completely unaware from the journalistically sloppy and unbalanced articles that there *is* a completely different side to the story, an ignorance that most offline readers will blissfully maintain, sadly. I happen to believe in fairness and accuracy in reporting, and I would hope that most people here do as well. If Carroll and Fratianne would drop the subject, no one would be more thrilled than I. I believe that if Anett had been American or Linda had been European these stories would never have appeared, and 1980 would merely have been described as a moderately close competition and disappointing loss for Linda. To date, I have not been criticized for getting facts wrong, as Carroll and Fratianne have, only for publicly posting on the topic to set the record straight. Corrections would be one thing, but attempted suppression of only one side of a story is another ball game. Those sick of the topic should direct their complaints to Carroll and Fratianne.

    As far as the '80 Olympic results were concerned, aside from Denise Biellmann I found the women's competition extremely forgettable, though fair, and had Carroll and Fratianne not started their "we wuz robbed" media campaign I truly wouldn't have given those three medallists any further thought after 1980. In the late '90s, I had to do a fair amount of research from old skating magazines and newspaper coverage and video in 1980 to uncover the details of the competitions, though I did remember far more of the men's competition, which IMHO had more memorable performances overall. There are a number of other competitions that come up on a regular basis and elicit the same sorts of arguments each time, which I usually skip, as some people on this thread probably ought to do with 1980, but the difference between 1980 and, say, Nancy/Oksana or the Battle of the Brians or Tara/Michelle is that those are essentially those endless subjective-sport personal opinion & values debates, while Carroll & Fratianne are making criminal charges and lying about the facts. Definitely not comparable situations. If Carroll had claimed that Richard Callaghan had bribed the judges for Tara's win in '98, for instance, I'm sure that would take any Tara/Michelle threads in entirely different directions, as happens with 1980 for that reason.

    It's not like I passionately hated Linda for decades, I had pretty much forgotten about her in less than three months after Lake Placid, and I truly do feel sorry for her at this point, because I think that she's been seriously messed up psychologically by her family and coach.

    Valuvsmk, FYI the opinions I express are entirely my own, not Robin's. I try to make that clear. I've never asked him about the 1980 results, and he seems to like Linda personally. And berthes ghost, your opinions on the 1980 World Pros are as valid as anyone else's, but I can't resist pointing out that someone at NBC disagreed with you, as I was quite astonished that when NBC did their 1980 World Pros repeat at the end of '81 they showed both performances of only one skater--Robin Cousins, not one of the US women, which I would have expected with Dorothy, Peggy, and even Tai & Randy available for double coverage.

    On a different tangent, I think some of my earlier Disney post was misinterpreted. Some skaters, like Rosalynn Sumners, have been utterly miserable in Disney on Ice, but there are other skaters who genuinely enjoy skating in shows like that. Linda stayed with Disney for at least 5 or 6 years, if not more, and she met her husband in the show and probably formed friendships there. She could have left for Ice Capades or other options several times, I'm sure, as that sort of pro contract seems to have been a fairly standard couple of years. Skaters have different tastes and personalities, and there are pro performers like Richard Dwyer who were apparently perfectly happy to spend around 40 years doing essentially the same number in the same show, for example. I don't recall Linda bashing her Disney years the way Roz has in interviews. Linda hated her silver medal, but I'm not so sure that she hated Disney the way Roz did. There are quite a lot of skaters in these tours who have stayed in them for many years, if you read their bios. They aren't all miserable, believe it or not.

    Lois

  14. #59
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lois
    Thank you, Marjaana. As I said before, I *never* introduce I believe that if Anett had been American or Linda had been European these stories would never have appeared, and 1980 would merely have been described as a moderately close competition and disappointing loss for Linda. To date, I have not been criticized for getting facts
    As we discussed before, you are a passionate defender of Poetsch's gold medal. My argument with you was that I understood the power of the figures, but in defence of my own opinion that Linda skated a far better free skate than Poetsch is my own opinion. The judges agreed. That is fact. I allowed you in your defense to have Anett the gold medal. It's ok, but I am American this quote from you is ticking me off.

    Look at the quote I repeated. You actually went to every American and asked them if Anett was American these stories would never have appeared? Shocking that you should lump an entire group into your rationale. How dumb!!

    As an American I happen to enjoy all figure skating and figure skaters. I'm a bit skeptical that you are able to post elsewere in GS other than this passion for Anett. If you have read many of my posts, you would have seen, I adore Yokina Ota, Stephane Lambiel, Ilia Klimkin, as well as liking, Elena Maniachenko, Sarah Meier and so many other non-American skaters.

    You have to understand that many Americans have strong ethnic ties and will root for that foreign skater who best suits that ethnicity. I don't see anything wrong with that. This is unique to America. Can you imagine Michelle Kwan being a favorite in Russia, or indeed Europe? - maybe Asia, maybe if she was not skating against a real Asian.

    I in all my modesty, am above that. While I am happy that an American may win a contest, I can also enjoy the win of the best skater from elsewhere. IMO, Anett was not a good skater. Linda was limited but so much better and that's where I stand. It's not because I'm American. It's because I love skating and skaters. I was one! I'm still in admiration of Denise. I wish I could see more of her.

    Joesitz
    Last edited by Joesitz; 07-30-2003 at 06:34 PM.

  15. #60
    SkateFan4Life
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    Linda Fratianne Update

    The videocassette I own that contains about 3/4 of the 1980 Olympic long programs of Linda Fratianne and Annet Poetszch is the ABC Wide World of Sports "Winter Olympics Double Feature -
    1980 Highlights - The Miracle of Lake Placid" and"Winter Olympics Double Feature - 1984 Highlights - Sarajevo".

    The 1984 tape, incidentially contains about 3/4 of Torvill and Dean's "Bolero" long program. Fantastic!

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