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Thread: Linda Fratianne Update

  1. #31
    mathman444
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    Re: Frank Carroll's attitude


    Carlo Fassi is a fascinating character to me. I wish he had written a tell-all book before he passed away. Certainly he hinted many times that there was more to winning a gold medal than what you did on the ice. Also important (so it was widely believed at the time) was the political clout of your coach and the support of your federation and its allies behind closed doors.

    I have nothing against Frank Carroll, and I think that he and especially Lori Nichol did a wonderful job in guiding Michelle Kwan toward the pinacle of perfection that we are seeing in her skating now. But Carroll did say some inappropriately blunt things about Fassi at the time of Fassi's death.

    I personally did not start following figure skating until 1992 (when I fell in love with Kristi, LOL), so I was interested to learn on this thread that Jan Hoffmann was considered a technically competent but "wooden" performer. As a judge, he consistently rewarded artistry over technical skill -- Oksana over Nancy in 1994, Michelle over Tara in 1998.

    Mathman

  2. #32
    Jaana
    Guest

    Re: Frank Carroll's attitude


    Jan Hoffmann was very young as the started to compete in international competitions. His first Europeans and Olympics were in 1968, he was only 12 years old. He ended his eligible career after the 1980 Worlds which he won. He started his studies and became a Dr. (orthopaed).

    He was a great jumper. In two Olympics he lost the gold to artistic skaters. Well, in 1976 he was fourth after Curry, Kovalev and Cranston. I have forgotten what kind of skater Kovalev was?

    I agree that it is really interesting that he appreciates the artistry so much in his judging, something which he himself was not so very good at. That is a sign of an open-minded and intelligent person, I would say.

    Marjaana

  3. #33
    Verbalgirl77
    Guest

    Re: Frank Carroll's attitude


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>I agree that it is really interesting that he appreciates the artistry so much in his judging, something which he himself was not so very good at. That is a sign of an open-minded and intelligent person, I would say. [/quote]

    Probably because he recognizes how difficult it is to be a great artist and make it look effortless. I think that's great.

    I know when he judged at Worlds this year he got a nice cheer from the crowd when his name was announced, probably because he was a championship skater, but also because he is known for fair judging. I don't always agree with him (like at 94 Olys) but I always understand his point of view on skating and think he's a very consistent and fair judge. He took the time to explain WHY he judged the way he did and I respect that.

    I wish he could judge more often!

  4. #34
    Lois
    Guest

    Re: Frank Carroll's attitude


    About Jan Hoffman, although he was a very wooden and unartistic skater himself, he has had a rather remarkable career in skating, both on and off the ice, and I very much respect him from what I've seen of his judging, which I agree has recognized the artistic qualities of other skaters that he lacked in his own skating. Most unartistic skaters never develop that appreciation, IMHO, and Jan Hoffman has seemed to be a very fair judge in the competitions where I've seen his placements. On the ice, he competed in 4 consecutive Olympics, starting at age 12, and had serious knee cartilage surgery in the mid-70s that kept him out for a season or so, IIRC. I suppose that's one reason he became an orthopedic doctor, which is also what Debi Thomas did, and other former athletes who go into medical careers. Jan won Worlds very far apart--I believe his first win was in 1973 or 1974, and his 2nd win was in 1980.

    Vladimir Kovalev was another wooden, unartistic jumper, somewhat in the Jan Hoffman mode. At the '80 Olympics, he withdrew after figures, and the rumor was that he was pulled out by the Soviets for being drunk, or something along those lines. Wasn't he married to his student Kira Ivanova before she divorced and was eventually murdered? Poor Kira was yet another highly unartistic skater.

    About Carlo Fassi, one of the tragedies of his sudden death from a heart attack at '97 Worlds was that he was, in fact, in the early stages of working on a candid book. I didn't know Carlo, but I know some of the material that Carlo had told to the co-author prior to his death, including denial of Frank Carroll's 80 Olympic charges (I believe Carlo, because some of what Carroll has claimed has been demonstrably blatant lies that Carroll has to know were lies) and other stories about Carroll's behavior over the years (they were friends prior to Lake Placid, or at least Carlo thought so, and he said that he tried, unsuccessfully, to stay friends after 1980), as well as some subjects that ought to have seen print, including some stories on racism in skating n the 1960s and Carlo's views on jumping mania (he was against it, at least for women). And of course there were the stories about all te great skaters that he'd coached over the years. It's a sad loss that the book wasn't finished.

    Lois

  5. #35
    antilles
    Guest

    Linda Fratianne Update


    I find it interesting how often Scott Hamilton is mentioned in this topic. If he says there was a lot of hanky panky going on in figures, that doesn't make him look good. He won his Olympic gold medal because of his placement in figures. He lost the SP and LP to Brain Orser. I don't mean to say that Brian should have won in '84, figures were part of the game and everyone knew that going in.

    Also, just because someone is a champion skater doesn't alwasy make them right. During the mens's even in 2002, Scott said something along the lines of Yagudin conceding the long program to Plushenko. Yagudin then got what, 4 perfect 6.0s?

    I will agree with everyone who says that skating is subjective, and there are no right answers, but everyone certainly has an opinion.

  6. #36
    SkateFan4Life
    Guest

    Re: Linda Fratianne Update


    OK guys, I had to pull out my 1980 Winter Olympics video highlight tape (made by ABC Wide World of Sports) and view the coverage on the women's long program. For better or worse, this is how I viewed it:

    Linda Fratianne wore a flaming red skating costume adorned with numerous sequins, and she skated to selections from "Carmen". Her first two jumps, a triple toe and a triple salchow, were completed, but both had shaky landings. Her flying sit spin, however, was right on the money, and she did complete some of her elements with high energy. The section where she started to relax was shown, of course, and she landed a very lovely double axel and several other strong double jumps. She finished strongly to a very noisy standing ovation from the pro-American audience. Obviously, Linda skated the best she could under the white-hot pressure of the Olympics, and she held things together well. She did not crumble under pressure. However, neither did she sparkle, rise to the fore, and skate the program of her life that evening. Her performance was competent but not brilliant, and it was not inspired. Linda simply did not portray the character of Carmen, and her choregraphy and overall skating was as robotic as I've written before on this thread. I did not see any real musical interpretation, just some arm flailing and movements to try to express emotion.

    Annet Poetszch wore a orange-colored dress with a skirt that was, well, a bit short. She had lost a number of pounds in an attempt to create a more artistic appearance on the ice. Annet skated to selections from "Funny Girl". As she took to the ice, Jim McKay said, "The story may already have been told here, as Annet finished first in the school figures and only fourth in the short program. The long program is a greater pressure for her." Well, Annet held things together well, all things considered. She doubled her opening triple salchow but then landed another triple salchow later in the program.
    A portion of the middle section of her program was shown, and she made obvious attempts to show musical interpretation
    and to skate with expression. I would not say that Annet was particularly impressive in the artistic sense, and, frankly, some of her jumps were landed quite awkwardly, but she also skated as well as she was capable of skating under the white hot pressure of the Olympics.

    So who skated the better program? I would give Linda the edge technically and Annet the edge artistically, and as the technical score was the tiebreaker in those days, Linda rightfully finished ahead of Annet in the long program.
    Fratianne finished second and Poetszch third in the long program.

    However, neither of them could hold a candle to the dynamic performance delivered by Denise Biellman, who won the long program. She was fantastic! Great jumps, triple lutz included, high-energy spins, and that terrific Biellman spin.

  7. #37
    SkateFan4Life
    Guest

    Re: Linda Fratianne Update


    I remember reading the "Sports Illustrated" writeup of the 1980
    Olympic ladies figure skating competition. The story had a full-page photography of Linda Fratianne standing at the podium wearing her silver medal, with a banner headine:
    "A Sterling Figure". Obviously, SI would have preferred to publish a banner headline of "A Golden Figure", but that's the way the competition went. The article was pretty fair and did not mention any possible collusion among the judges and/or coaches to swing the result to Annet Poetszch.

    I also remember reading the SI 1984 Winter Olympics Preview.
    This issue previewed the ladies figure skating competition, and it pretty much stated that this would be a showdown between the "athlete", Elaine Zayak, and the "artist", Rosalyn Sumners. It briefly mentioned the 1980 Olympic competition and it said, "In the land of Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill, Linda Fratianne's silver-medal finish was considered to be a slip up. The major ice shows simply do not know what to do with an Olympic skater if she has "only" won a silver medal."

    The article was pretty short-sighted, because it did not even mention Katarina Witt. And as we all know, Witt beat everyone in the field and won the first of her two Olympic gold medals at Sarajevo.

  8. #38
    Ogre Mage
    Guest

    Re: Linda Fratianne Update


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>But I don't think that Carroll did the sort of unfortunate mind job on Michelle after her loss that he did on Linda.[/quote]In terms of the differences between Carroll's reaction to Linda's loss and Michelle's I wonder if a lot of it has to do with the fact that Kwan was defeated by a fellow American (Lipinski), whereas Linda's loss was to an Eastern bloc skater. It's very difficult to accuse an international panel of judges of "nationalistic bias" when the top two competitors are from the U.S.A. If Kwan had been beaten by a Russian in a similar situation (both skaters clean), we might have seen a Lake Placid type tirade from Frank again.

    I never watched the ladies event from Lake Placid, but reading the reports it does not sound as controversial as a similar situation which took place in 1994 with Baiul/Kerrigan. There were very clear mistakes in Baiul's program, whereas it sounds like Annett was solid (if not spectacular).

    I also agree about '88 Worlds in Budapest. Kat Witt certainly won both her Olympic Gold Medals outright. But at '88 Worlds, you could say she was "propped up" based on the school figure reports and the fact her LP performance was nothing to write home about. Could the argument be made that Liz Manley should have won '88 Worlds?

  9. #39
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Linda Fratianne Update


    the Kerrigan/Baiul very close call and settled with one tenth of a point by Mr. Hoffmann is a pure case of subjective judging. I do not hold it against Hoffmann. Ms. Baiul was the adorable little girl in grown up clothes. That has to be the perfect match to win over an audience and indeed one judge in particular.

    Shirley Temple and all of that kind (Durbin and Gardland, eg.) would steal your heart away because of some talent being so cute. Of course, there are others (me, eg) who prefer the more mature lady than the little girl. garland, eg., sang very maturely as she got older and Baiul skates with more passion today than way back when.

    Joe



  10. #40
    Ogre Mage
    Guest

    Kerrigan/Baiul


    The questionable judging did not come from Mr. Hoffmann. The questionable judging came from the judges who awarded Oksana higher TECHNICAL scores than Nancy. Nancy did 5 triples with a 3/3 combo vs. 3 triples from Oksana. Were Oksana's advantages on the other technical elements (spins, speed, footwork) really THAT much greater? However, this is beating a dead horse.

  11. #41
    Linny
    Guest

    Re: Linda Fratianne Update


    Great quote from Peltier that Mathman provided. I also agree with the person who thought the real shame was not that a skater who might possibly have won didn't win, but that it has rankled her for many years since.

    Didn't Linda have a rather successful pro career? Isn't that the equavalent of laughing last laughing best?

    Linny

  12. #42
    berthes ghost
    Guest

    Re: Linda Fratianne Update


    "Didn't Linda have a rather successful pro career? Isn't that the equavalent of laughing last laughing best?"

    Maybe not. If Linda had won gold, she could have possible become the millionaire/household name/TV comentator/American sweetheart that Peggy and Dotty became rather than the show skater/coach/nerdy fan topic that she is. If Annette had won silver, she could have probably sank into the same obscurity that she did anyway. Even multiple winners like Henie and Witt had to move to the US to milk money out of their medals. Perhaps to Linda it was like giving a millions bucks to a crack head: why not give the prize to someone who could actually do something with it.

  13. #43
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Kerrigan/Baiul


    If that's true giving Oksana higher technical there is something fishy here. Not only less triples but two footed triples. Interesting if true.

    The subjective presentation mark, I understand. How can one put down such a cute little girl.

    Hopefully, the correct technical mark will improve in the future.

    Joe

  14. #44
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    The questionable judging did not come from Mr. Hoffmann. The questionable judging came from the judges who awarded Oksana higher TECHNICAL scores than Nancy. Nancy did 5 triples with a 3/3 combo vs. 3 triples from Oksana. Were Oksana's advantages on the other technical elements (spins, speed, footwork) really THAT much greater? However, this is beating a dead horse.
    You're correct. I don't think Oksana even did a true combination spin. I don't think she did a complete footwork sequence either.

    I have no problem with Oksana getting excellent artistic marks, and I don't disagree with Hoffmann's scoring. It's the multiple judges who either had Oksana tying (or beating) Nancy technically that was wrong, imho. She did not deserve 5.8-5.9 tech marks compared to what Nancy accomplished.

    But yes, as always, the topic is as dead a dead horse can get.

  15. #45
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Perhaps Carlo Fassi's wife can complete the book he started...? She had to know exactly what went on and surely he had notes.

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