I am at a disadvantage, living in the USA. We don't get to see the theater on ice, and other shows they do in Russia. B&B certainly grew artistically, but my point was that as pros they did not get the respect an OGM team would get- again, after their first 1 or 2 years as pros. They always placed below other dance teams. It does not necessarily mean they were not great artists. It is great if their skating is still generating revenue for skating in Russia. In that sense I would say they are more than successful.
Originally Posted by Ptichka
I wish the pro circuit would revive it's competitions! If they were taken more seriously, I'm sure certain skaters (Michelle, Irina, Sasha, maybe even Fumie) would like to turn pro. I dunno...I'm probably just being selfish! I hate to think of never seeing Michelle or Irina do what they do best-compete again.
I didn't really ever watch pro skating much, but Scott Hamilton is one I think has really milked skating as a pro. Kristi and Brian both continued to be regarded among the best skaters even after turning pro. I think Kurt and Yuka have, too.
I enjoyed Tara much more after she went pro and couldn't just obsess over her jumps. She, IMO, became more of a lyrical skater. I remember seeing her live (was it "Color of Roses" or something like that?) and thinking,"WOW! She's more than a 3l/3looper!" She actually moved me!
Underhill/Martini were amazing professionals. They had a long winning streak that lasted from 1990-96 I believe and ended at the 96 World Pro Championships were Kovarikova/Novotny and Bechke/Petrov both beat them.
They did miss both the 92-93 pro season, and the 94-95 pro season, while Gordeeva/Grinkov missed the 93-94 pro season(reinstatement) so the two teams did not face off in the pros that many years. They really brough alot of sex appeal and chemistry to their skating, that went beyond their amateur days, as well as being amazing entertainers. Their technical level was the same as it was in their peak amateur years, but they were far more consistent and strong competitors then in their peak amateur years where they were hit or miss.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
I would say the majority of the skaters mentioned here were successful in their amateur days as well as they are in their professional days. We just get a chance to see more of them in their pro days - they are not relegated to teaching at some local ice rink or touring with Ice Capades the way their predecessors were. There are more opportunities for them to grow as skaters and continue to entertain us.
Ladskater, are you Karen Magnussen?
Josee Chouinard! She seemed so restricted, nervous, unhappy, and introverted when she skated in eligible competition compared to her exhibitions. She came up with the most original programs and really connected with the audience as a pro. Not to mention she kept her huge triple lutz for a while as a pro.
I guess you're right. I remember one year they did this very moving Green Peace-inspired program, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them placed below Anenko & Sretensky. So I guess their artistic growth did take them in the direction opposite from audience apeal.
Originally Posted by Vash01
Brasseur&Esiler. While they certainly had success as amateurs, I think they ahd a better pro career. Without all of the restrictions and required moves of eligible skating, we really got to see their talents as a high-flying act.
I certainly agree with Underhill&Martini. They had some great pro programs, ie When a Man Loves a Woman, and Unchained Melody. I also agree with Bechke&Petrov. I think a lot of pairs improve when they turn pro. They have more eligible elements to master than anyone else. In their pro careers, they can focus on the moves they do best, and they can spice up their programs with numerous moves that are illegal in eligible competiton. I think B&S are one exception to this rule. They have had some great pro programs, but they've had some real duds, too. They've had quite a few programs with too many music cuts, and more posing than skating.
I don't think A&P have had a bad pro career. I think they just got sidetracked with skategate, and Gwendal missed over a year with a bad shoulder injury. They've back on COI, and do many shows in Europe and Japan.
I think the best pro careers all-time would be Scott and Kurt. They've really milked the pro world for all it's worth.
Surya and Yuka are the highlights of the pros for me, with Kristi Yamaguchi topping the list..
Originally Posted by Jaana
Of course, Oksana also gets some limited praise for doing some beautiful programs despite neglecting her jumps and spins. But overall, a mixed review for her.
Paul Wylie was a pretty interesting pro skater. Viktor I found rather boring.
As someone who has a much better pro than amateur career, I'd say Steven Cousins is a good example. He is just a good showman.
By the way, who did Surya compete against in the Goodwill Games. I read that she won and I want to know who she had to face up against so that I can judge how much her win meant.
She beat Yuka Sato, Nancy Kerrigan, Oksana Baiul, Dorothy Hamill and Katarina Will. (This was in 2000.)
Originally Posted by krenseby
Surya did a backflip (it was legal in these games) and two triples to edge Sato by a fraction of a point in the10-is-perfect scoring system.
That sounds a little disappointing by Surya's standards. She often does 4 or 5 triples in an exhibition skate. Why would she limit herself to two for the Goodwill Games?
Originally Posted by Mathman
That said, Nancy and Oksana don't seem like formidable competition. Yuka usually is and the fact that Surya beat her is impressive.
Btw, I think that in the early 2000 Suryas participated in either a Campbell's or a Masters of Figure Skating event where she competed with the eligibles and apparently beat some of them.
Speaking of Sato I would definitely add her. She first came on the scene in 92 and was a solid top 10 World skater right away, and impressed observers with her speed and basic skating skills most of all. She emerged as a contender on the amateur circuit for a couple years thereafter, but only was able to earn one major medal to show for it, a big one mind you-the gold at the 94 Worlds in her home country. At the 93 Worlds she skated pretty well, but a triple loop combo in the short, and then a couple small jump errors in the long kept her in 4th in an astonishingly well skated event. At the 94 Olympics she was one of 7-8 legit medal contenders in a very deep womens field, but popping her triple lutz in the short to a single cost her any medal shot. She skated what might have been the best long program of the night, skating from the second last flight her marks were far more conservative, but still was 5th in the long, quite likely would have won a medal of some color without the popped triple lutz in the short. Her amateur career seemed relatively short, I was surprised she did not stick it out after the 94 season. Then again the pro circuit was at its biggest boom then and she probably wanted to be sure to capatilize on a high point in her marketability. She also admitted in interviews she did not love to compete, but loved to skate around 95, so that might have had something to do with it as well.
As a pro she really blossomed. In her debut season she had a lukewarm debut season as a competitor for the most part, with very few victories and some mistakes in the pro competitions, but very enjoyable programs. She equited herself well at her her first World pros, making some mistakes, but placing a respectable 3rd behind the dominant pro duo of the time-Yamaguchi and Ito. Then at the Challenge of Champions she ended her debut year on a high note splitting the Ito-Yamaguchi duo by taking 2nd place, over Yamaguchi, and narrowly behind Ito. In the 95-96 pro season she really was ready to take it to the next level and dominated the competition, winning every pro competion she entered, including the World Pro title over the pro queen Kristi Yamaguchi. Her jumps were stronger and more consistent then at her peak as an amateur this year, her triple lutz was money in the bag. In 96-97 she still impressed but was not quite as sharp as her previous season, and also lost her World Pro title to Yamaguchi, and lost her triple lutz as the year went on. She still won most of her pro-only competitions this year though, and was a huge drawing card at each of her events, and a recognized leader still of pro skating. At the Ultimate Four, judged by amateur format, she was no match for Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan as she no longer had a triple lutz by then. Her competitive career stagnated the next couple years, but she still was popular in any shows and skating specials she appeared on, and was still prominent in the pro entertainment skating World. As pro competitions were dwindling she had a few more fine moments as a competitor winning the 2000 World Pro title, the 2002 Hallmark(the World Pro but with a new name) over a returning Kristi Yamaguchi, and then a major upset in winning the 2003 World Hallmark Challenge over both Slutskaya and Hughes, the Oly gold and silver medalists, for her 4th title at this event in its final year.
Last edited by slutskayafan21; 06-07-2006 at 03:21 AM.
It's absolutely amazing that Yuka Sato, who turned pro in 94, could beat the Oly Gold and Silver medalists at a 2003 event (World Hallmark Challenge.) It could probably be argued that Slutskaya + Hughes weren't at their best. But no matter how lousy the two Olympic Medalists were, Yuka's victory is a still a testament to her skating abilities. No easy task competing against the amateurs, when you have been a pro for about 10 years.
Originally Posted by slutskayafan21