I'm an Italian Bambina
Skaters you Felt Stayed Past their Prime
This is a run-off from the other thread about skaters leaving the amateur ranks too soon. Now, what skaters do you think stayed past their prime?
Elvis Stojko- he wasn't the same at the 2002 Olympics. I think he reached his peak in the mid-90s.
Katarina Witt- Although she skated lovely at the `94 Olympics, it was obvious that she was no longer on the top of her sport.
Brian Boitano- Again I think he was better in the `80s.
A lot of former champions came back in '94 for the Olympics. I think that they stole spots away from other skaters who'd been competing since the former Olympiad. I know some people feel that whoever is the better skater will make the team, but I think some of these skaters already had great success as amateurs and professionals and it wasn't necessary for them to come back.
Julia Sebasaton (sp)
and, unfortunately, (debateably), Kwan
I believe that after 2002, she should have retired. Just my opinion.
Keeper of Bab's Death Stare...
I hope you meant 2003. Past her prime or not, she won the world championship that year.
Originally Posted by UnsaneLily87
In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
Good topic! I've actually wanted to start one like this for quite some time, but was afraid it might be misconstrued as a potential bashing thread.
Christopher Bowman. Unfortunately, his prime was about the time he was skating against Boitano. By the time his moment had arrived, he was already starting to unravel from his erratic training habits. Except for maybe 1989.
Todd Eldrege. Sort of. It's hard to know where to place him. On the one hand, by about 2001, he was starting to fall into the "Oh, for heaven's sake are you STILL here?" category, BUT -- he was still skating well and making the World and Oly teams, and won the bronze at the 01 Worlds. So it's hard to imagine him as being TOO past his prime. [I have yet to figure out, regarding the fact that Eldredge was still making the Nats podium 11 years after his initial victory, whether or not that said a lot about Eldredge or very little about the rest of the US men. Perhaps a little of both.]
Elvis Stojko. Love Elvis, but he should have gotten out before things REALLY unravelled. But then again I think most of us were quite taken aback by the fact he really didn't recover from his injury as well as was expected.
Michael Weiss. GO. JUST GO. I cannot sit through one more program "choreographed" by your wife. And I cannot for the life of me figure out why he stayed around this long. (I'm gonna stop there, or that will turn into total bashing, which I would rather not do.)
Elena Vodorezova. As a junior in the late 70s, she was to be the Next Hot Thing. Due to various illnesses and injuries, she wasn't seen on the Worlds scene again until 1982, and by then she was a shadow of her former self.
Much as I hate to say it, I kind of have a bad feeling about Michelle, too. But the jury is still out. Kind of.
Petrova & Tikhinov. They did actually seem to be picking up some of the ground they had lost to other pairs over the last couple of seasons, but now they seem to be losing it all over again.
Fusar-Poli & Margaglio. As far as I'm concerned, they peaked about 1999; Worlds victory notwithstanding, what they did in Torino wasn't up to what they were doing 7 years earlier.
Krylova & Ovsiannakov. 1997- Masquerade Waltz. BRILLIANT. 1998-Carmen. Totally flippin bizarre and way too much standing around doing nothing. 1999- that tribal thing. Total ripoff of the Duchesnays and if you really analyze the footwork there, there was NOT much going on there at all. They CERTAINLY had the talent, so what happened????
I'm sure I'll think of more....
No way should Kwan have left after 2002. Then we would have been robbed of the brilliance that was TOSCA.
Weiss is the worst offender for this category. I've never loved his skating, honestly. He's so joyless. Stojko staying after 1998 was a mistake as well.
I'm happy Eldridge stayed for the sole fact that he skated to Lord of the Rings in 2002. Excellent performance to the best music ever written (and completely underscored by the judges).
Last edited by Zuranthium; 05-26-2006 at 12:08 AM.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Past their prime is one way to put it. At one time skaters did not stay in competition for as long as the skaters of today do. They usually moved on for financial reasons and also they wanted to give the younger skaters coming up a chance to improve and move up to the top as they did. It was sort of an honour to pass on the batton as it were to the next set of skaters. It was always sad to see your favorite competitor step off the podium and move on to an ice show or turn pro (coaching), but it was pretty much the way things were.
It was unheard of for a skater to stick around as long as Michelle Kwan for instance. Also, skaters were not allowed to earn money in the amateur ranks and still compete so if they did not have the money to continue they pretty much had no choice. Things changed drastically when skaters started to be allowed to retain their amateur staus and earn money in between seasons by joining an ice show - like stars on ice.
Was this a good idea? I think the jury is still out on this one. Skaters have to deal with injury. It does not take long for them to sustain an injury or two. Now they seem to hang in there despite their injuries - it's almost stoic. One does have to admire them.
I always thought that they should move on once they become World champion or Olympic champion. What more do they have to prove?
Figure skating has undergone a great deal of changes over the years. Whether or not this change regarding competition is a good thing remains to be seen.
Ladskater, this was just the case of American and Canadian skaters. Skaters from the East block competed more years. Irina Rodnina with her two different partners was around more than 10 years. Katarina Witt competed from 1980 to 1988. Same with Anna Kondrashova, Moiseva and Minekov, Pakomova and Gorshkov ... And also skaters from Western Europe competed more years than their American counterparts (Sonja Henie, Emmerich Danzer, Alain Giletti, Dagmar Lurz, Claudia Leistner... all competed from 6 to more than 10 years).
I'm still in two minds about Stojko though - his SLC LP had two successful quad jumps in it and as an LP, for him, was one of his better ones. He wasn't winning medals but he still kept those skills up despite the injury.
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And also it was probably tempting for Stojko to stay in because he would always come up with these stellar performances at the Canadian championships and come out on top once again. I think he was another one of those skaters that just loved to compete.
ITA. Besides worlds in 2003 Michelle won a couple more United States Championships also.
Originally Posted by Mathman
Gotta Have Music
Todd competed very well at 2001 Worlds (and should have won the silver medal there, IMHO, but that's a whole other discussion). Despite the lack of a consistently landed quad, he kept up his skills through that time & into the SLC Olympics. I do believe that had he not had that fall in the SLC short program, that he might have still medaled there. I realize that he fell on his quad attempt in the SLC free skate, but everything else went very well in that program, and he did move up in the standings. I, for one, am glad that he kept his eligiblilty for so long. There's more to skating than the quad.
For that matter, I'm glad that Elvis stayed in the mix for all that time too!
I cannot believe the skaters on this list... all of whom competed at top levels & WON ~ yup... totally past their prime ~ espcially that Michelle Kwan... what was she thinking?!? I mean she totally ended up 4th at the '05 Worlds, and racked up three more national champioships and then had the nerve to get injured & not compete this past season... such a disgrace to the sport ...
I don't mean to disregard anyone's opinion, but these threads, regardless of intent, always end up being about an individual's favorites vs. actual performance levels. Which is unfortuante & kinda sad to this particular fan of great skating & skaters.
But whatever... have at it and I wish everyone a great holiday weekend...
Last edited by Kwanford Wife; 05-26-2006 at 12:11 PM.