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Thread: Observations on the days of old

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Observations on the days of old

    Thanks to the delights of yourtube i've gone back and watched several competitions i know i watched at the time but that i didn't have on tape - a lot from 93, 94 and 95 an one thing that really struck me was in the mens competitions.

    Some observations that are good and some that are bad.

    The first is with regards to the jumps - all the big players left at least one of their important jumps til the end of the program, not all opened with the big risk element like they do now. I was thinking of Elvis Stojko in particular - in the 1993-1994 phase his quad attempt was usually in the second half, if not the final third of his program and he often had a Lutz to close out the jumps. Later on he moved the quad to the second jumping pass but then he always had either a trilpe axel or a triple lutz (sometimes both) towards the end if not at the end of the program.

    Randomly looking at other skaters from that era - Todd Eldredge also usually had a triple axel towards the end of his programs. Condeloro also had the triple axel as his final jump. Urmanov often a long sequence that started with a triple salchow, then had at least two or three single jumps, and ended with a triple toe.

    All of those guys had something hard and high risk for the end of their programs. Nowadays you can check off the jumps almost in the order of difficulty opening with the quads and triple axels, if you're lucky you may get one of the harder triples before a repeat of the quad or triple axel and then most of the skaters end with an easier triple fo a double axel.

    However as another observation - the programs from then seem very high in cross overs. For all the complaints about CoP, i guess i hadn't really noticed until i went back and watches these programs from over ten years ago that Nowadays skaters get berated for having too mancy cross overs and not enough transitions or field moves in their programs...i myslf hae been critical of skaters for this but really some of teh top skaters from the early/mid 90s had mostly cross overs in their programs with set sections of field moves that seem like distinct sections of the program.

    Anyway it was just an observation i made!

    Ant

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    i myslf hae been critical of skaters for this but really some of teh top skaters from the early/mid 90s had mostly cross overs in their programs with set sections of field moves that seem like distinct sections of the program.
    I've downloaded a bunch of Stojko programs, because I've been looking for one that I thought was the 1991 LP, but it seems that I've made it up: he was dressed simply, I think with a white shirt and black pants and a belt at his waist. It was episodic, and had lots of martial arts movements in it. (At one point, he did a lower variation on the fire hydrant spiral used by so many women.) I thought it was the first program in which he landed a quad combo (4T/2T). I haven't been able to find the program, but I have watched a lot of his programs, and I was struck by the same thing: quad and/or 3A attempts late in the program, when now, those jumps would likely be 3S or 2A.

    A moves in the field sequence was either a required element for a time, or could be used in lieu of a second footwork sequence.

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    Keeper of Bab's Death Stare... nubka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    However as another observation - the programs from then seem very high in cross overs. For all the complaints about CoP, i guess i hadn't really noticed until i went back and watches these programs from over ten years ago that Nowadays skaters get berated for having too mancy cross overs and not enough transitions or field moves in their programs...i myslf hae been critical of skaters for this but really some of teh top skaters from the early/mid 90s had mostly cross overs in their programs with set sections of field moves that seem like distinct sections of the program.

    About all those crossovers...I'm in total agreement with you!

    Enjoy Youtube while you can. Google is going to buy it out, and they are planning some major changes as to the way the copywrited material can be viewed...eek!!

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    I also have seen a lot of old programs on YouTube and I agree about the crossovers. A lot of older programs look "empty" to me, especially the singles skaters (Boitano's 1988 Olympic LP looks to me like he is circling the rink forever and ever, sorry if that comment is philistine).

    Regarding jumps, I miss the triple axel a lot! No matter where it is in the program!

    I have never been a really big fan of singles' skating, and actually I think that COP has made men's and ladies' much more interesting in terms of transitions and connecting moves. However, since pairs and dance teams consist of two people, there were choreographical possibilities that made them - to me anyway - inherently more interesting. Now the pairs and dance programs are too busy for me to enjoy, while the singles are more fun than before.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    The men may be frontloading their jumps more, but the ladies seem to be going for the second-half ten per cent bonus. As one example, here is Mao Asada's jump order in her first GP event last year (Cup of China)

    2A (intended 3A)
    3Lz+2Lo
    3F+2Lo
    2A
    ------------
    3Lo+2Lo+2Lo
    3F
    3Lz

    But in her second event (Eric Bompard) she got smart and went

    3A
    3F
    3Lz
    2A
    ------------
    3Lo+2Lo+2Lo
    3F+2Lo
    3Lz+2Lo

    In the CoP, every tenth of a point counts, so why not move all those 2 loops to the second half?

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    All of those guys had something hard and high risk for the end of their programs. Nowadays you can check off the jumps almost in the order of difficulty opening with the quads and triple axels, if you're lucky you may get one of the harder triples before a repeat of the quad or triple axel and then most of the skaters end with an easier triple fo a double axel.

    Ant
    It's true, but the skaters from the 90's had easier programs than the COP skaters: very few of them had quads but none of them had a 4-3-2 combo (and because Plushenko has executed this combo for so long, people don't realize how difficult is to add that little double loop from the end ).
    Generally, the 3-jumps combos weren't in fashion, the spins were much, much easier (COE & tons of positions spins were not required under 6.0 and some skaters confessed that they used to rest during the spins) and the step sequences again were much easier under 6.0 system. That's why the skaters had energy left to execute a high risk element in the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amber68 View Post
    It's true, but the skaters from the 90's had easier programs than the COP skaters: very few of them had quads but none of them had a 4-3-2 combo (and because Plushenko has executed this combo for so long, people don't realize how difficult is to add that little double loop from the end ).
    I agree that the programs were easier, based on easier jumps, spins and footwork, but I disagree that people are unappreciative of the difficulty of Plushenko's 4/3/2. No one else has tried it, CoP or no CoP.


    Quote Originally Posted by amber68 View Post
    Generally, the 3-jumps combos weren't in fashion, the spins were much, much easier (COE & tons of positions spins were not required under 6.0 and some skaters confessed that they used to rest during the spins) and the step sequences again were much easier under 6.0 system. That's why the skaters had energy left to execute a high risk element in the end.
    I also disagree here. This trend started before CoP, and certainly before almost all of the top skaters embraced CoP whoredom.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I remember Arakawa did a 3x3x2 in Dortmund and won the Worlds. That was the year before CoP.

    I kinda think Lambiel and Joubert will show us a 4x3x2 in the upcoming season.

    Joe

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    Arakawa's and Ando's 3/3's under CoP were downgraded enough to make it questionable for them to continue the attempts. Plushenko, however, rotates his quads and triples. I don't know if he's ever received a downgrade on an attempted quad or triple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I remember Arakawa did a 3x3x2 in Dortmund and won the Worlds. That was the year before CoP.

    I kinda think Lambiel and Joubert will show us a 4x3x2 in the upcoming season.

    Joe
    But wasn't Arakawa's 3/3/2 in the season that COP was used for the GP but not for the championships? So i guess she left her program as it had been for the CoP season.

    I agree that Lambiel and Joubert (and Yagudin too...all before CoP but all because of Pluschenko) have all landed 4/3/2. And i think Van de Perren deserves a mention here for his 3/3/3 too.

    Ant

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    Quote Originally Posted by amber68 View Post
    It's true, but the skaters from the 90's had easier programs than the COP skaters: very few of them had quads but none of them had a 4-3-2 combo (and because Plushenko has executed this combo for so long, people don't realize how difficult is to add that little double loop from the end ).
    Generally, the 3-jumps combos weren't in fashion, the spins were much, much easier (COE & tons of positions spins were not required under 6.0 and some skaters confessed that they used to rest during the spins) and the step sequences again were much easier under 6.0 system. That's why the skaters had energy left to execute a high risk element in the end.
    Again i agree with others who have pointed out that i don't think anyone thinks the 4/3/2 (or the 4/3/3 he's also manmaged twice in competition) are easy things to achieve. While the big three jump multi-rotational jumps are en vogue now, the thing we have lost from days gone by are the mutli jump sequences the skaters used to put in. I think those sequences take, certainly as much skill even though some might view them as "lesser" because of the missing third mutli-rotational jump.

    Take the example of Urmanov's closing jump sequence in his competitive programs - opening with a triple salchow and closing with the triple toe - in between there were at least three jumps - one of which was either an inside axel or a whalley - never losing the rhythmn of the sequence and still managing to get a triple out on the end of it despite there being morerisk of slowing down/losing the rhythmn such that the triple at the end might have gone wrong. He also had flow out of the triple toe, something that the men now with their 4/3/2's rarely have.

    It is swings and roundabouts i guess. One thing that was noteworthy about the old programs - people had bad spins!

    Ant

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    . One thing that was noteworthy about the old programs - people had bad spins!

    Ant
    I noticed this too. I rewatched some of the 90's programs and I was surprised to discover that actually the trend with the awful sit spins has started long time ago.

    I rewatched Kurt's 1991 LP from Worlds and, though the jumps and especially the jump combos were lovely, his sit spins were pretty terrible.The same goes for Urmanov, though I love his Oly gold-winning performances, his spins were really poor (again the sit spin not really a sit )
    Last edited by amber68; 10-12-2006 at 06:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    But wasn't Arakawa's 3/3/2 in the season that COP was used for the GP but not for the championships? So i guess she left her program as it had been for the CoP season.
    In her LP's that season, Arakawa landed 3Lz+2T and 3F+2T at Skate America and TEB -- at TEB, her first 3Lz was solo and got -1.6 GOE; I don't know what she had planned -- 3Lz+3T and 3F SEQ 1A at Skate Canada, and 3Lz+2T at GPF. Since she got +GOE on her SP combo of 3Lz+2T at Skate America, TEB, and GPF, I'm assuming that was her planned combo. Her SP 3Lz+2T combo at Skate Canada got dinged badly; I don't know if she was trying the 3/3 and it was downgraded or if it was flawed in some other way; SC was the only competition before Worlds in which she attempted a 3/3 in the LP.

    She didn't skate at 4C's.

    3/3/2 wasn't in her programs before Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post

    I agree that Lambiel and Joubert (and Yagudin too...all before CoP but all because of Pluschenko) have all landed 4/3/2. And i think Van de Perren deserves a mention here for his 3/3/3 too.

    Ant

    Lambiel and Yagudin executed a 4/3/2 combo only once.
    As for Joubert, he has never landed such a combo and I will be very surprised if he ever manages to land one because the jump combinations are not exactly his strong point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amber68 View Post
    I noticed this too. I rewatched some of the 90's programs and I was surprised to discover that actually the trend with the awful sit spins has started long time ago.

    I rewatched Kurt's 1991 LP from Worlds and, though the jumps and especially the jump combos were lovely, his sit spins were pretty terrible.The same goes for Urmanov, though I love his Oly gold-winning performances, his spins were really poor (again the sit spin not really a sit )
    Lots of male skaters concentrated on the things that gave them points, so to speak. They just needed to do spinning, the quality did not count in international competitions in those days.

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