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Thread: Linda Fratianne Update

  1. #61
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Joe: I had assumed that the "if Annette were American" dig was not directed at US fans, but was simply yet another of the increasigly popular references to a semingly all powerful North American press.

  2. #62
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    Joesitz, you have completely misread my previous post. From the confusing way you chopped up the quote, I'm not even sure what you thought I was saying, but berthes ghost is closer to what I meant, though not exactly. I guess further explanation is in order, sigh. I wish this thread would just die, instead of going off on these bizarre tangents.

    I certainly wasn't making any sort of generalization on all American skating fans, and I can't figure out what you thought I meant, but the vast majority of American skating fans that I know, myself included, want to see the best skater win, regardless of nationality. The same for non-American skating fans. For example, you and I differ on who deserved gold in 1980, but we agree that a Swiss, Denise, gave the best performance for the women, at least in free skating. There are many skaters that I've been fans of over the years, for different reasons, and they've been from a wide range of countries. I expect that the same is true for you, and for most of the fans on this board.

    What I meant by "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" was that Frank Carroll would then have been unable or probably unwilling to use the sorts of lies and tall tales that he's felt free to come up with over the years. Carroll's wild conspiracy theories have been inconsistent and variable over the years, but one specific lie that Carroll has told sometimes has been a claim that Linda lost due to an Eastern Bloc conspiracy against her. Lake Placid was during a cold war period, and there were indeed some competitions in skating where east/west bloc judging was a factor. Thus, Carroll's claims would sound superficially potentially credible to anyone who didn't know the facts, so it was a clever lie. As recently as 2002, Newsweek Magazine didn't fact-check and thus, unfortunately, spread Carroll's lie in their SLC Olympic coverage, saying that Linda had lost to Anett due to Eastern-bloc judging. The only problem is that, on the 1980 ladies panel, only *two* of the judges happened to be eastern bloc, and *five* of the seven judges who favored Anett were *western* bloc! Had Anett been a Western skater, this Eastern Bloc lie would have been impossible. Carroll's also flailed around with claims of a German-speaking bloc (again a minority of the panel in reality) or a general European conspiracy against Linda, hence my "if Linda had been European" comment.

    In an example like Tara/Michelle, when an American defeats another American, the political dynamics of the situation are different again. If, say, Lisa-Marie had won with the exact same performances that Anett gave, Carroll most likely wouldn't have dared to make the same "Linda wuz robbed" claims about Lisa-Marie, the hypothetical new American Olympic sweetheart, that he felt safe in making regarding Anett, the relative outsider to American audiences who they wouldn't see again after Worlds(and yes, American audiences have warmly embraced a number of non-American skaters, Oksana Baiul and Gordeeva being outstanding examples).

    I hope that you now understand what I was trying to say.

    Lois

  3. #63
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    OK OK Lois. Your further explanation is fine. To be honest, I've never read any of Frank's comments. My source was Hamilton.

    Joe

  4. #64
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    OK OK Lois. Your further explanation is fine. To be honest, I've never read any of Frank's comments. My source was Hamilton.
    I'm still baffled by this Hamilton stuff you keep mentioning. I simply am not aware of his having talked about his opinions on the '80 ladies event anywhere. It's not in the Landing It book index. If you ever come up with a reference, I would really like to know about it.

    Lois

  5. #65
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Lois -I certainly will. I'm also thinking that it might have been another poster who misquoted Hamilton and it is nothing more than hearsay.

    Berthe's Ghost - I'm not a big reader of the American Press. I do believe it is biased so I am not influenced by that. I am aware of several newspapers non-American that are biased too. So I'm not into reading anything without being skeptical.

    Joe

  6. #66
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Joe and Lois, I have never posted the Hamilton thing, but I seem to remember that he did discuss it in the SLC later day's pairs controversy talk pieces. It started off as in if they give S&P a second medal, who from the past should come back complaining and Linda I think (but this is all terribly foggy) was one of those listed, and he might have given a one line explanation of Linda and Frank's complaints.

    maybe that's how Scott gets into this.

    Certainly, if you asked me who'd come back asking for a medal, Linda would be one of the ones that would come to my mind.

    dpp

  7. #67
    SkateFan4Life
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    I remember seeing a Disney ice skating show television commercial aired in the early 1980s in which Linda Fratianne, the star of that show, came to center ice, stood in the spotlight, and said (to paraphrase), "Winning the Olympic silver medal was the biggest thrill of my life, and skating in the Disney show is a dream come true for me."

    Boy, I thought to myself at the time, "Who do you think you're kidding, Linda?" For those of us who had seen Fratianne's devastated look when she accepted her silver medal at Lake Placid, it simply wasn't believable that she now considered that moment the "biggest thrill of her life".

    Oh well, so much for reality in television commercials........


  8. #68
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    LOL, Skatefan. A lot more believable was Nancy Kerrigan's, "This is stupid," when she had to pose with Mickey Mouse at Disney World.

    Mathman

  9. #69
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    Originally posted by DORISPULASKI
    Joe and Lois, I have never posted the Hamilton thing, but I seem to remember that he did discuss it in the SLC later day's pairs controversy talk pieces. It started off as in if they give S&P a second medal, who from the past should come back complaining and Linda I think (but this is all terribly foggy) was one of those listed, and he might have given a one line explanation of Linda and Frank's complaints.

    maybe that's how Scott gets into this.

    Certainly, if you asked me who'd come back asking for a medal, Linda would be one of the ones that would come to my mind.
    Thanks, Doris, I didn't see every minute of NBC's 2002 Olympic coverage, because there were just so many hours aired and I didn't have time, but what you say could make sense. I wouldn't be at all surprised if 1980 was mentioned by Hamilton and/or other NBC commentators as a past controversial event where Carroll and Fratianne had complained about the result, as it came up elsewhere in the media at the time, along with other past competitions. That should be a neutral factual statement, and Carroll and Fratianne were cashing in on the opportunity provided by the legitimate pairs scandal to whine their hearts out all over the media that week. And of course some of the media, like Newsweek, bought their lies and got their facts wrong on F/C.

    The big question, though, is whether Hamilton ever expressed an *opinion* of his own on who ought to have won and/or whether there was a genuine problem with the judging. Joe is the only one I've seen who's said that Hamilton expressed an opinion on the results, as opposed to the neutral fact that C/F complained. One of the nasty side effects of C/F's whining has been that sometimes people have mistaken mere neutral *reference* to their claims in the media as verification of them, when in fact they were unverifiable or demonstrably false.

    Of course, the credibility of Hamilton's opinions, or lack thereof, is a whole different thread--his commentary makes me cringe, especially in competitions like the 2002 SLC men, when he was trying to convince the TV viewers that Yagudin had blown his Olympic long up to the point when Alexei's straight firsts were posted! But I still don't think that Hamilton's ever taken a stand publicly on either side of the F/C 1980 claims. If he did, I would be very curious to have an exact quote. Well, if anyone on this thread finds a reference, please do post it.

    Lois

  10. #70
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    thanks Doris. It was commentary at the SLC, and what I remember is that Hamilton said that the school figures were judged higher for poetsch so that the short and free skates could not beat her. He mentioned, too, that it is easier for judges to fix the marks in school figures because few people watch them.

    Lois - I took his word for it. He's the Oly Champ. But it doesn't make any difference to me since I only saw the LP. I just threw that in as devil's advocate for your lengthy discourse on Frank and Linda.

    Joe

  11. #71
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    Joe, I'm glad that the mystery appears to be solved, but what you just posted above sounds like it proves my point above--your description does not appear to be a claim by Hamilton that the judging was fixed, but two factual statements that Anett won because of her lead in figures (neutral fact) and figures were easy to fix (neutral fact, that certainly happened in some competitions). Obviously we don't have the original quote here, but from what you posted earlier in this thread you were saying that *Hamilton* had said that Linda *was* robbed, yet what I read from you now does *not* have Hamilton saying that he himself saw figures and agreed with F/C, only repeating what they claim.

    Anyway, that was what I meant above about the insidious nature of the F/C claims, when people start believing them just because they are mentioned in the media, with no supporting evidence (which Carroll has admitted he's never had).

    Lois

  12. #72
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I did not see the '80 Olympics (I was out of the country that year) but I would imagine that the general public would have been baffled and blown away by Denise winning the LP so obviously, only to not win a medal of any color. That must have seemed scandalous at the time!

  13. #73
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    RG - I too was out of the country but happened to pick up the LP which was the only thing shown. I am not aware of Denise's final placing and too lazy to look it up. But she did skate extremely well, imo, that night and deserved her win of the Free. Apparently she was waaaaay back in figures which may or may not prove Hamilton's point, that it is easy to fix results through the school figuresl

    It's amusing for him to think that. I don't think he ever won an LP at the Olys.

    joe

  14. #74
    Old school Tim fan
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    Denise finished 4th overall in 1980.

  15. #75
    average opinionated skate fan
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    Nice to be remembered

    Just a note to say that win, lose, or draw, it's still nice that people remember Fratiani. I loved her skating and thought that she was an amazing skater regardless of the color of her Olympic medal. I know we focus on "the gold" way too much. We've had a lot of silver and bronze medalists that were/are first rate competitors and skaters. Figures be hung; no argument, revisions, cotroversy, or commentary can change the fact that good skating is good skating and it speaks for itself.

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