Worlds 1993 - Women's competition
I've been rewatching some videos of the 1993 worlds lps...Kerrigan bombed. Baiul (1st), Bonaly (2nd), Chen (3rd). Does anyone have any thoughts on this competition. I was too young at the time to remember, but was there any controvery over Baiul's win? I thought Bonaly and Chen were far, far, far superior to Baiul (and not only because of her jumps: no combinations, double-footed jumps).
I didn't see that Worlds, but I remember Baiul in later years as the teenybopper waif who tugged at the hearts of many fans. I always saw a lot of potential in Oksana, but for me it never really gelled. Her early Pro skates were better, but she continued to double foot her jump landings.
Ok, I have a few thoughts on this, Kerrigan was a disaster and bombed, after being the overwhelming favorite, and Baiul's hard luck story really touched the judges, and being the panel was dominated by the European judges, they favored her very much, and felt she was artisitic, but they often overlooked her flaws. She skated a clean and vibrant short program and that is what set her up to win. No one would ever let Bonaly win because of her style and off ice antics, and possibly even because of some prejudice against her and her mother and their lies that they made up. Lu deserved that world title more than anyone, and Im surprised she got stuck with bronze, but she was already far down from the short program and she couldnt make up the distance. What was more ridiculous was the putrid performance by Lisa Erwiin and Tonia Kwiatokwoski, two skaters who had no buisness being in a world championships at that time. That US nationals that year was a farce, by far the weakest US field in History. Incidentally, Eliaine Zayak came out of retirement because she felt the whole field there looked "beatable" Interesting !!!
Bonaly should have won this one. Everyone fell in love with 15 year old Oksana. Not only was her story and her vulnerability appealing, but she had wonderful basic skating skills, and beautiful spins. The triple lutz was wonderful. The landings on some other jumps seemed a bit weak, but they were clean- landed on one foot. She skated a clean program without a jump combination. Bonaly had a much more challenging program in terms of jumps. She skated clean and used edges more than she had in the past. As in the case of Yuka Sato at the 1994 worlds, her edges did not come close to her competitor's. However, based on the jump content alone I felt that she should have won. The judges, however, gave higher marks to Baiul for artistry and she won.
I just viewed 93 as typical for a post Olympics year, especially back then. With the exception of Nancy, it was all about the up and comers. The difference was that the Olympics would be in 94 instead of 96.
My personal favorite performances were given by Marina Kielmen. the energy was amazing. I also foung Tanja Szwejchenko quite enchanting.
Bonaly´s eligible skating never appealed to my eye. Among other things it lacked flow. As technical jumper she was good, but there is so much more in figure skating.
Baiul´s skating I saw at the Europeans 1993 the first time, and became a huge fan immediately. I also thought that at Worlds 1993 Baiul was the rightful winner. And that was the opinion of our commentator as well.
Last edited by Jaana; 07-08-2006 at 02:16 AM.
LU CHEN deserved this one, imo. She was the only skater that night to have strong jumping AND artistry. I'm sure she would have won under COP. BONALY would be my second choice, as her jumping was easily the best of the night. BAIUL comes up third. You can't win a Gold medal with that kind of technical program, ridiculous.
She was excellent, a career best, but unfortunately I would only have her 4th in the end because of the Short Program (which is what saves Baiul...she was the best of the competition in that part).
Originally Posted by Eeyora
I actually felt Lu deserved the gold over both Biaul and Bonaly. Like Zuranthium I feel she had the best balance of jumping and overall performance/program quality by far.
The competition is not about "that night" only, because short programme counts too. Lu Chen was only 5th after the short programme! Bonaly´s jumping was great, but she lacks in some other areas of skating. She never was the judges´ favourite at Worlds, LOL. Kerrigan had the opportunity to win (1st after the short programme), but she bombed her freeskate:
Originally Posted by Zuranthium
Last edited by Jaana; 07-10-2006 at 01:59 AM.
Yes Lu Chen was 5th in the short, and that's the placement she deserved, but the Long Program counts for twice the amount of the short AND is the tiebreaker. So therefore, looking at my opinions of the performances:
Originally Posted by Jaana
BAIUL: 1st in the short, 4th in the long. Overall - 4.5 points.
BONALY: 3rd in the short, 3rd in the long. Overall - 4.5 points.
LU CHEN: 5th in the short, 1st in the long. Overall - 3.5 points.
KIELMANN: 8th in the short, 2nd in the long. Overall - 6 points.
Chen wins and then Bonaly gets Silver over Baiul because of the tiebreaker.
Last edited by Zuranthium; 07-10-2006 at 08:57 PM.
Well, I don´t know.... You see, I have gotten the impression that if earlier somebody was on fifth place after the short programme, it was practically impossible to land on the first place on the podium?
BTW, Baiul was second after the short programme, Kerrigan was first. In the freeskate Baiul was first.
In my opinion the judges got it right in this competition.
Last edited by Jaana; 07-10-2006 at 06:53 AM.
Generally, yes. But it's all based on points and in this case the people who ranked above her in the short program did not deliver in the long program.
Originally Posted by Jaana
Umm, I know what the judges thought....I was listing MY opinions. Kerrigan only deserved 2nd for her short program - she received 1st placement because of her clout. Baiul had a more complex short program and she performed it flawlessly. Too bad she always planned a weak jumping routine for her long programs.
Originally Posted by Jaana
In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
I was NEVER much of a Bauil fan, finding her mostly all charm and no real substance. Call me cynical or whatever, but it IS possible to be ENTIRELY too "precious" and as far as I'm concerned, Bauil was. Judges, however, seem to like the "Precious Little Girl" thing.
That being said -- given how the evening played out (very good, excellent, or great performances from almost the entire top 10 except for Kerrigan and Chouinard), I did not and still don't have a huge problem with Bauil's win; she was definitely in the right "place" at the right time. Lulu was too far down after the short, Bonaly had those everlasting "basic technique" issues, and Chouinard (who was 4th after the short and after Kerrigan's meltdown, was in a position to win it all) was just too sloppy. However, I do feel that Chen, while not spectacular, gave an overall better long program than Bauil on many fronts, and that Bauil was overmarked. (And I didn't see the short, but have to wonder if the 2nd place she got there was a bit high as well.) However, even if Chen had won the long with Bauil 2nd in it, Bauil would have won it anyway. So I guess my issue would be not with Bauil winning the overall title (since I didn't see the short program and will give the judges the benefit of the doubt on that one), but with her winning the long program.
I always have found it rather interesting that with all the stock judges place on technical content in a program, Bauil was one of the rare exceptions to actually get someplace with having a less superior technical arsenal than that of most of her competitors. Her "artistry", IMHO, was not THAT superior; she was just perceived as more charming than anyone else out there. There have been plenty of young ladies with far superior artistry coupled with adequete technical skills, but the judges rarely gave THEM as much as a second look; I guess Oksana just merely had the ability to put them under some kind of spell; in previous years, and in years since, Oksana would have been the epitome of a skater who would be "held down" for a while. Certainly, tho, they did her no favors in the long run -- This "out of nowhere" World title set the stage for the OMG which led to a lifestyle she was ill-equipped to handle. Had she plugged along in 3rd, 4th, place for a few years before finally winning a big one, gotten the chance to get used to being near the top before actually being AT the top, she may have been much happier in the long run. This was a clear case of "too much too soon".