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Thread: Skaters you Felt Stayed Past their Prime

  1. #31
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    Eldredge
    Weiss- Why didn't he leave in 02?
    Stojko-Could have seen the last days of pro skating
    Goebel- Sad to watch
    Honda
    Hughes- What did she prove by staying around for 03.

    I would not put Michelle Kwan on the list. She gave three of her most memorable performances after 02. 2003 Nationals and Worlds as well as 2004 Nationals. While her only downfall was at 05 worlds. She matched the record for world titles won by American skaters and National Championship categories

  2. #32
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    At 2005 Worlds, didn't Michelle come in third in the short and long program?

    It was her qual. skate that did her in that year even though she had no previous COP experience. One bad skate is not a requirement for retirement.

    At her Olympic test skate, the judges felt she could win gold with her programs. That says a lot for Michelle especially since she was nursing two injuries at the time and had very little time to prepare. If Michelle had skated a 6 triple LP at the Olympics (clean) and everyone else skated just as they did, she would be the Olympic Champion now.

    Ladybug

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsaneLily87
    Kwan.

    I believe that after 2002, she should have retired. Just my opinion.
    She won the 2003 world title (she would have missed out on her 5th world title had she retired after 2002). She won the world bronze in 2004. She narrowly missed the podium in 2005. It shows a downward trend, but certainly not enough to retire. Of course that is my opinion.

    In 2006 she could have been challenging for the Olympic gold had her health been good.

    Vash
    Last edited by Vash01; 05-27-2006 at 02:00 AM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyora
    Hughes- What did she prove by staying around for 03.
    She proved that not every teenager that wins the OGM turns pro immediately.

  5. #35
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    When skaters stick around past their prime, it is not always to win another gold medal (or another medal). Some of them do it for the love of the sport; they just love to compete. If their bodies are able to hold up enough to make the team, I don't see why they should not do it. Success is not always measured by medals. There is a lot of satisfaction in just skating two (or three) performances at a reasonably high level, particularly at advanced ages, or after coming back from injuries.

    Vash

  6. #36
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancindiva03
    Cohen. She was a disaster this year, internationally. Her best days are way behind her.
    Well, she won the U.S. championship and the 2006 Olympic silver medal, as almost everyone predicted she would. She outperformed Slutskaya, Suguri, Rochette, Meissner, Hughes, Meier, Kostner, Gedevanishvili, Liu, Leung, Poykio, Sokolova, Ando, Korpi, Liashenko, Sebestyen,...

    Worlds? OK, that was one competition too many -- she ran out of gas, poor thing.

    MM

  7. #37
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    When skaters stick around past their prime, it is not always to win another gold medal (or another medal). Some of them do it for the love of the sport; they just love to compete. If their bodies are able to hold up enough to make the team, I don't see why they should not do it. Success is not always measured by medals. There is a lot of satisfaction in just skating two (or three) performances at a reasonably high level, particularly at advanced ages, or after coming back from injuries.

    Vash
    Very well stated, Vash!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladybug
    At 2005 Worlds, didn't Michelle come in third in the short and long program?

    It was her qual. skate that did her in that year even though she had no previous COP experience. One bad skate is not a requirement for retirement.

    At her Olympic test skate, the judges felt she could win gold with her programs. That says a lot for Michelle especially since she was nursing two injuries at the time and had very little time to prepare. If Michelle had skated a 6 triple LP at the Olympics (clean) and everyone else skated just as they did, she would be the Olympic Champion now.

    Ladybug
    I dont know about that, based on her scores from the Worlds in 2005 a clean skate from her was only about par with a clean skate by Suguri, you take away their mistakes and they are basicaly tied in each phase. If that is the case it would take alot more then a 6-triple effort to win the Olympics. Of course if she has improved her programs and levels since last year that changes perhaps, but it would take alot more from USFSA sources from a "private" session saying those things to convince me.

  9. #39
    Custom Title ceg15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzheng
    And Jeff.
    It has been how many years since skated as senior? Yet still can't get his triple Axel consistant.
    His triple axel was pretty consistent this season, except for a few times. I think it's just the quad holding him back...next season he's going to come out with even better programs and be stronger than ever.

  10. #40
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    Alrighty, folks! I've done the math! Of course, it's not perfectly accurate, as the rules have changed slightly from '04-'05 season to '05-'06 season, but who cares?
    I've taken Michelle Kwan's mistakes on her '05 worlds JUMPS only, and pretended she landed them, with +0 GOE. She lost 5.71 points on her jumps! Had she skated this way at the Olympics, and had everyone skated the way they did, she would be in fourth place with a total of 180.91 points. If you add the points she missed in the qualifying round, she'd be your silver medalist with 183.71. Sooo... I think had she been healthy, she'd be your OLYMPIC SILVER OR GOLD MEDALIST!! She (supposedly) studied the NJS a lot this summer, and I definitely believe that. Her Level 1 and 2 spins and footwork could've and probably would've been about level 3s and 4s.

    So there you go!

    (This is all hypothetical of course!)

  11. #41
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    Witt was beyond her competitive prime in 1994, but wanted to perform live in front of her parents. Since she earned her place on the German Olympic team, there was no reason for her not to skate. Her two gold medals are more widely discussed than her placement in Lillehammer.

  12. #42
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    Skaters who definitely stayed past their prime:

    Elena Liashenko
    Hard to say if she ever really had a "prime," but if she did, it is well behind her.

    Elena Sokolova
    She is now 3 years past her brief peak in 2003. And in all the years before and since 2003, she has been a mediocre and disappointing skater. Time to move on.

    Maria Butyrskaya
    When she retired in 2002, it was past time. She definitely peaked in 1999.

    Angela Nikodinov
    I love Angela, but she probably should have retired after failing to make the 2002 Olympic team.

    Michael Weiss
    In the last few years, he has obviously been hanging in just for the money IMO.

    Tim Goebel
    He probably should have retired after the season when his whole body got out of alignment (or whatever that situation was).

    Takeshi Honda
    His season this year was nothing short of disastrous. Sometimes you just have to know when to stop.

    Sasha Cohen
    I know this is going to be controversial, but I really think Sasha should retire now and focus on show skating. It has become crystal clear (to me at least) that Sasha simply does not have what it takes to win Olympics or Worlds. This year, she had the best opportunities she'll probably ever have to win both those events, and she still couldn't do it. Meanwhile, all the drama surrounding her and her mental state is IMO becoming distracting and annoying. I think she should cut her losses and focus on what she does best--which is beautiful, artistic skating. I am ready for The Sasha Show to end, at least on the competitive circuit.

    Petrova & Tikhonov
    There was no improvement in their skating after they won Worlds in 2000. Why continue for six more years?

    Zagorska & Siudek
    Same as above (except their peak of course was winning bronze at Worlds, not gold).

    Scott & Dulebohn
    I really don't know why they kept going as long as they did.


    Skaters who might *appear* to have stayed too long, but IMO did not:

    Michelle Kwan
    There are many who argue that she should have retired after 2002. And there is little doubt that Michelle hit her actual athletic peak well before that, probably in the late 90s. However, I still am glad that Michelle carried on from 2003 to 2006. Because the fact is, even if she was no longer at her peak, she was still one of the overall best skaters in the world, an assertion borne out by her competitive record during that period: gold, bronze, and pewter placements at Worlds in 2003-2005 (not to mention three national titles). And many beautiful performances besides. I personally am very glad she stayed in for that time.

    Brian Boitano
    In terms of results, his 1994 season was definitely disappointing, and he was clearly a bit past his peak athletically at that point. However--I loved his programs that year. His Appalachian Spring long program, to me, was an artistic high point. I still enjoyed his performances, and he acquitted himself respectably at the Olympics, even though he didn't medal. I'm glad he came back that year.

    Todd Eldredge
    The thing that impresses me about Todd is that he kept his skills strong throughout his whole career, right up to the end. I was glad he competed as long as he did. Todd just happened to have the misfortune to skate concurrently with three men who IMO are among the most brilliant and/or innately talented in the history of the sport: Kulik, Yagudin, and Plushenko. Todd was extremely talented, polished, and well-trained, but didn't quite have that extra level of brilliance that the 3 Russians brought to the table. Nonetheless Todd was a wonderful skater--always solid, reliable, and enjoyable to watch. I'm glad he stayed in as long as he did. At no point did he embarrass himself or the U.S. team. (This in my mind is always an indication of having stayed in too long. For example, Sokolova's performance at the Olympics this year is what I would consider simply embarassing.)

    Lu Chen
    Some might argue that she should have retired after 1996. And clearly, 1995 and 1996 were her best years. However, if she had retired then, we would have been deprived of her beautiful performances in Nagano. Her Olympic bronze medal in 1998 was inspiring.

  13. #43
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    Suppose that Michelle had retired after Worlds '03. Was there another American who could place high enough in Dortmund, when combined with Sasha, to secure 3 spots for US ladies in Moscow -- and repeat the feat to secure 3 for Torino? Or, if the top two at Dortmund were Sasha and Jenny (who came in something like 17th), so we only got 2 ladies to Moscow -- and couldn't secure 3 spots for Torino either -- would everyone be condemning Michelle for her "selfishness" in retiring?

  14. #44
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    I think you are all confusing eligible with amateur skating. amateur no longer exists. And eligible skaters make good money by just showing up!! That is good reason for hanging around.

  15. #45
    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Personally, I think it's a bit silly to include skaters in this thread WHO HAVE NOT RETIRED YET, or at least ARE STILL IN THE ELIGIBLE RANKS, whatever those may be these days. This thread by very nature involves a lot of hindsight; the skaters still unretired/eligible could still make some sort of comeback, or "pull a Rudy" or something.

    re. Sarah: Personally, I gave her a lot of credit for coming back in the 02-03 season, after the last 2 OGM's pulled a "take the money and run" routine after not having been around very long. No, she wasn't in OGM form, but IMO, artistically, she had a lot of interesting stuff going on in her programs that we hadn't seen previously. I just wish she'd kept it up another season or two.

    Goebel is an odd case, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who is mystified by the fact he just couldn't seem to come back at all from his "skate issues" which derailed him. I mean, this was not a Major Injury situation like it was with Stojko or Urmanov. Tho I was never a huge fan of his, I did think it was sad to see how he skated at the last Nats, especially when he started out his long program looking so confident.

    As for Angela -- well, if she had a crystal ball that would have told her all the stuff she's had to deal with in the last 4 years (injuries wiping out her entire season, the tragedy in Portland), she probably WOULD have retired after the 02 Nats. But at the time, especially given how well she skated at the 01 Worlds, why not stick around? Plus -- she DID win Skate America in '04, which was certainly a career highlight.

    and regarding the skaters who seem to have been placed on this list due to their comebacks in '94 and subsequent less than enthralling results: I don't personally consider it to be the same thing to COME BACK after 6 years and not do too well, as it is TO STAY AROUND years and years after your best results. No, Witt never had a chance, and even a diva such as herself knew it, but Lillehammer for her was not about medals. And there was really no reason to belive that Boitano couldn't medal.
    Last edited by JonnyCoop; 05-28-2006 at 09:56 AM.

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