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Thread: Witt and Thomas-between 86 and 88 2 of most overscored skaters ever?

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    Witt and Thomas-between 86 and 88 2 of most overscored skaters ever?

    Is there anybody else who feels Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas between 1986 and 1988 were 2 of the most outrageously overscored skaters ever? To me there were better skaters then both, both artisticaly and technicaly and the judges choice to hold those 2 up as the best. Granted they were the most consistent skaters, but there were 5 of 6 others who on a good day were either strong technicaly, stronger artisticaly or both, yet the judges chose to make those 2 the queens basicaly. Kadavy, Trenary, Kondrashova, Ito, Manley, Chin all with a clean skate should have beaten either Witt or Thomas every time in the short or long program IMO. Even Leistner, Ivanova, Koch were about on par with them with a clean performance most times.

    With regards to Witt I think it is because from 82-85 when she was legitimately the best or one of the best she build up such a reputation she could not be brought down at that point even as the level of skating progressed. With Thomas I have no idea why she was all of the sudden propped up into ridiculously overscored and overrated skater along with her mega-bad attitude coach who whined about her scoring despite her scores being so much higher then she deserved for basicaly any performance she ever did. I recall her coach being so upset after she did not win the 88 Olympic short program over Witt, and complaining of her presentation scores. Well fact is she did not deserve anywhere near the technical scores she received when Ito, Kadavy, Trenary, and Manley all outjumped and skated with more speed then she did.

    That was when I first started following skater and it was a period I focused more on the other events since even as a kid at the time who was a novice to the sport I could see 2 skaters propped up to the very top more through who they were then what they could do as skaters, and their bad attitude diva-fit rivalry was not appealing either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by temperboy28 View Post
    Is there anybody else who feels Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas between 1986 and 1988 were 2 of the most outrageously overscored skaters ever?
    I don't. The ladies field was brimming with talent then but Witt was in a class by herself in terms of competitive nerve. She had her flaws but she always did what she had to do.
    Thomas had more consisent jumps than some of the others, had a (for the time) bold original style and was consistently excellent at figures (some of the others you named were inconsistent in jumps or figures or both).
    I thought Thomas should have won the SP at Calgary and Witt should have won in Budapest (worlds that year) though the judges reversed that for some reason.
    Ito didn't really get good at presentation until 1988 and super high jumps were not as important in the overall scheme of things then either.

    Ito did well to get fourth and third in her SP and LP at calgary (I would have had her 3rd and 2nd) but her figures were never very good (there's a clip from 1990 of her doing part of a paragraph loop where she lurches like a drunken sailor on the change of edge and completely looses the edge on the loop, not a pretty sight).

    I had the idea that Witt was maybe held up a little in figures at calgary (in the clips I saw she was looking down too much was sloooow and her loops were too small) and her lp was overrated but she did lay down a solid if not amazing performance. Thomas's lp wasn't technically terrible but it was painful to watch since the expectation was so high.

    Manley was brilliant in the LP (just good in the SP nothing that spectacular) and was known as a potentially great but maddeningly inconsistent skater. I think calgary was her only eligible competition where she didn't crash and burn in any section.


    my meaningless calgary 88 rankings:

    SP
    thomas
    witt
    ito
    cadavy
    manley
    trenary

    LP
    manley
    ito
    witt
    thomas
    trenary

    which would give the following results (assuming figure placements were correct):

    1. manley
    2. witt
    3. thomas

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    I agree both were overscored skaters who did not deserve their scores from 86 to 88. These are how I would have scored the programs at Calgary:

    Short program-1)Ito, 2)Manley, 3)Kadavy, 4)Trenary, 5)Witt, 6)Koch, 7)Kondrashova, 8)Thomas, 9)Leistner, 10)Ivanova

    Long program-1)Manley, 2)Ito, 3)Witt, 4)Trenary, 5)Leistner, 6)Kondrashova,
    7)Thomas, 8)Koch, 25)Ivanova(she did nothing in her performance)

    I dont know what the overall medals would have been. I also dont know what the push was to get Thomas to the top. Her and her mobster coach, and scores 0.5 or higher then she ever should have had made womens skating almost unwatchable then. I loved the Boitano-Orser rivalry so that made up for the unfortunates of the womens event at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kittycat26 View Post
    These are how I would have scored the programs at Calgary:

    Short program-1)Ito, 2)Manley, 3)Kadavy, 4)Trenary, 5)Witt, 6)Koch, 7)Kondrashova, 8)Thomas, 9)Leistner, 10)Ivanova

    Long program-1)Manley, 2)Ito, 3)Witt, 4)Trenary, 5)Leistner, 6)Kondrashova,
    7)Thomas, 8)Koch, 25)Ivanova(she did nothing in her performance)

    I dont know what the overall medals would have been.
    placements in figures were
    1. ivanova
    2. thomas
    3. witt
    4. manley
    5. trenary
    10. ito

    your placements would give the following podium

    1. manley
    2. ito
    3. witt
    with trenary in 4th place

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    I always wondered looking at Ivanova skate how she won figures so regularly. Her edge quality did not stand out when you watched her skate like you might think a figures specialist did. Maybe political help the Soviet powers that be were able to give her in figures that was easier to give her then in her drab free skating efforts which would be harder then hold up, especialy when she missed half of her jumps alot of times anyway.

    It was pretty funny to see someone win figures, then skate a clean short as Ivanova did and only come 10th in the short. Fadeev came 9th in the short after winning figures but only because he fell, he would have been atleast 3rd in the short otherwise, maybe higher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slutskayafan21 View Post
    I always wondered looking at Ivanova skate how she won figures so regularly. Her edge quality did not stand out when you watched her skate like you might think a figures specialist did. Maybe political help the Soviet powers that be were able to give her in figures that was easier to give her then in her drab free skating efforts which would be harder then hold up, especialy when she missed half of her jumps alot of times anyway.
    It was pretty funny to see someone win figures, then skate a clean short as Ivanova did and only come 10th in the short. Fadeev came 9th in the short after winning figures but only because he fell, he would have been atleast 3rd in the short otherwise, maybe higher.
    Did Schuba really display great edges in free skating?
    As for Ivanova, I wonder a little too, the only clip I ever saw of her doing figures the tracings were pretty far apart (as in 3 or 4 inches).
    IIRC she had a lot of problems with competition and the federation and her coach and didn't want to go to Calgary at all but that her strength was figures because of the lack of a crowd. That said her free skating was occasionally pretty good in the early parts of her career (Sarajevo SP for one example).
    I thought her SP in Calgary wasn't clean though I remember Peggy (kiss 'o death) Fleming talking about how much she'd improved in her jumping and then she went splat.

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    Actually you are right, I think Ivanova stepped out of the back of her triple toe-
    double loop combo. I think under the old short program rules that was even a .4 deduction on the first mark which is pretty big. Since she came in 10th how many places do you figure the mistake cost her in the short program alone? Seeing as Trenary and Kadavy landed harder combinations then that and only came 5th and 6th in the short I am guessing she still only would have been about 7th but I dont know. No higher then 4th anyway though I would say. Anyway her free skate was awful, she didnt even land one jump cleanly.

    Her short program at the 84 Olympics was pretty good, she beat a clean Kondrashova and a clean Zayak(and a faulty Sumners)so that was pretty good. Her free skate was also pretty good after the shaky first part with 3 errors. She also had some pretty good free skating in 85 events. After that it was all figures though.

    Dick Button and Peggy Fleming could not stand her skating. They really ripped her whenever she performed IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slutskayafan21 View Post
    Seeing as Trenary and Kadavy landed harder combinations then that and only came 5th and 6th in the short
    I thought Kadavy was really undermarked in the SP there (meaningless since she had to drop out of the competition, but ...) and Elisabeth Manley was overmarked in the SP with an easier combo and one of her spins travelled an awful lot for the time (about average now). I assumed at the time that Manley was being given a home crowd boost (though she fully deserved the win in the LP).

    IIRC Trenary's SP was what I'd call sloppy clean, she didn't fall but her jumps, especially the combo weren't especially well done. I thought if anything she was a tad overmarked (see my from-memory rankings above though the more I think about it the more likely I am to switch Kadavy and Ito).

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    You say Manley had an easier combo but wasnt a triple sal-double loop harder then the triple toe-double loop Witt did, and equaly difficult to the double loop-triple toe Thomas did? I dont remember the traveling spin either. Interestingly she was only 1 or 2 judges away from being 2nd in the short which would have given her the overall gold.

    It sounds by your accessment she lost the gold with a somewhat shaky short program which she was lucky to even be 3rd in though. Of course coming into the event she wasnt favored either though.

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    I think ITO should have won the '88 Olympics. Her technical content was FARRR beyond that of any other lady and although she was not a fully-formed skater in the traditional sense, her skating was a pure joy to watch.

    I would have given Witt the Silver and Manley the Bronze.

    ~Z

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    What really offended me was Katerina's winning the World Pro in 1989. Her artistic skate consisted of mostly flirting and she hardly skated, at all.

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    [QUOTE=Zuranthium;212072]

    I think ITO should have won the '88 Olympics. Her technical content was FARRR beyond that of any other lady and although she was not a fully-formed skater in the traditional sense, her skating was a pure joy to watch.

    /QUOTE]

    Ito is one of my two or three favorite skaters ever, but no, she shouldn't have won the 88 olympics with the rules that were in place at the time (and I'm not just talking about her low placement in figures).
    And saying now what we think the rules should have been then is more speculation about alternate histories than anything else.

    But I fully agree that the total of her SP and LP (especially the latter) were the most fun to watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slutskayafan21 View Post
    You say Manley had an easier combo but wasnt a triple sal-double loop harder then the triple toe-double loop Witt did, and equaly difficult to the double loop-triple toe Thomas did? I dont remember the traveling spin either. Interestingly she was only 1 or 2 judges away from being 2nd in the short which would have given her the overall gold.

    It sounds by your accessment she lost the gold with a somewhat shaky short program which she was lucky to even be 3rd in though. Of course coming into the event she wasnt favored either though.
    IIRC the triple after the double (as Thomas did) was considered more difficult than either the 3t2r or 3s2r.

    Of course the hardest combo was by Ito, a 2r3r (!!!)

    I wouldn't call Manley's SP shakey, far from it, I just though Kadavy's and Ito's were more interesting/difficult (assuming that Thomas and Witt were 1 and 2 in whatever order). The SP at that competition was really great with about 8 clean programs toward the top.
    The LP of course was a disappointment with only two really memorable LP's (Manley and Ito, Witt was clean but slow and uninspired IMHO)

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    Quote Originally Posted by heyang View Post
    What really offended me was Katerina's winning the World Pro in 1989. Her artistic skate consisted of mostly flirting and she hardly skated, at all.
    Katarina didn't win the World Pro in 1989 -- she didn't even compete at the World Pro (Landover) until 1994, and she never won it. She did win some competition (Miko Masters?) in France in 1989 or 90, and some other one (can't recall the name of it now -- but it was in Cincinnati and put on, I think, by the PSA -- and there was one put on by Mike Berg, too) in 89 or 90 or sometime through there -- I'd have to go look it up. The Cincinnati one may be the one you're thinking of. But it wasn't the world pro -- Kat did very little "pro" competing until after 1994 Olympics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    Ito is one of my two or three favorite skaters ever, but no, she shouldn't have won the 88 olympics with the rules that were in place at the time (and I'm not just talking about her low placement in figures).
    And saying now what we think the rules should have been then is more speculation about alternate histories than anything else.

    But I fully agree that the total of her SP and LP (especially the latter) were the most fun to watch.
    I would have given Ito all 5.9s and 6.0s for technical merit in both short and long at the 88 Olympics. If Debi Thomas can get 3 5.9s in the short for smaller jumps, not any better spins, and slower skating then Ito, then Ito deserved higher then that but Ito was giving lower scores even on the technical side then Debi "I really on my name for my scores" Thomas in the short. Her jumps difficulty, jump quality, ice coverage, and speed blew away all the other skaters in the field, and her spins and footwork were more then adequate. Too bad she did not have the name of Witt, Thomas, and to a lesser degree Manley to prop up her scores or even get the scores she deserved.

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