Michelle’s jump consistency: fact or nostalgia?
In calendar year 1998 Michelle Kwan competed in 9 figure skating events and won 8 of them. Among her notable performances were:
1998 U.S. nationals, clean, 7 triples
1998 Olympics, clean, 7 triples
1998 Worlds qualifying, clean, 7 triples
1998 World pro, clean, 7 triples
From 1999 to 2002, here is a list of her major competitions.
1999 Nationals, fall on triple Lutz
1999 Worlds qualifying, doubled triple Lutz
1999 Worlds, turn-out on triple Lutz, singled double Axel
1999 Skate America, fall on triple flip
1999 Skate Canada, fall on 3Lo, doubled 3T, doubled 3Lz.
2000 GP final, 1st LP, clean
2000 GP final, 2nd LP, two-footed triple Sal, douibled triple toe
2000 Nationals, fall on triple loop
2000 Worlds qualifying, clean
2000 Worlds LP, clean (7 triples, including triple-triple)
2000 Skate America two-footed triple loop, doubled triple flip
2000 Skate Canada, two-footed triple loop, doubled triple flip
2001 U.S. Nationals, double 3T in 3-3 combo
2001 GP final, doubled triple loop, doubled triple flip
2001 Words qualifying, clean
2001 Worlds LP, clean, 7 triples including 3-3
2001 Goodwill Games two-footed triple toe, singled triple flip, doubled triple loop
2001 Skate Canada, fall on 3toe in combo, fall on 3loop in combo
2002 GP final 1st LP, fall on triple loop, doubled triple Lutz
2002 GP final 2nd LP, fall on triple toe
2002 Nationals, clean
2002 Olympics, two-footed 3T in combo, fall on triple flip
2002 Worlds qualifying, doubled triple loop
2002 Worlds LP, clean
Seven completely clean performances in four years. (Note that five of the seven were at World Championships.)
Ice is slippery. Has absence made the heart grow fonder? Or is this still a pretty impressive record of consistency despite the bobbles, compared to what we are seeing now (pretty much 0 clean programs for anyone, as noted on Netnut's thread).
7 clean programs in 4 years does not seem consistent. You would have to stack her record against her other competitors at the time to see if Kwan's record of consistency is impressive.
Last edited by demarinis5; 12-02-2007 at 11:33 AM.
I'm not a huge fan of Kwan's, but it seems to be fact based on her competitors jumps, and also for her own records at that time. She was an amazing competitor.
I think Michelle was quite consistent. I think the issue is that people are expecting skaters to be robots. Every skater falls and makes mistakes, the ice is slippery...Your not going to be perfect every time. (Sorry not happening)
Maybe it's just that Michelle wasn't as consistent as people may think she is... But she's still very consistent. I think when comparing Michelle's number of 7 triple programs to today's girls. I'ts important to note that COP requires a lot more difficulty out of the girls, in spins/transitions/footwork than under 6.0.. It's also important to note that in order to do 7 triples in today's system, you either have to have a triple/triple or a triple/triple sequence or you have to be able to do a double axel/triple toe.
And doing 6 triples with one double jump isn't that bad. Either is having a double footed jump as one of your 7 triples...
Last edited by bekalc; 12-02-2007 at 11:35 AM.
I thought Michelle was extremely consistant even though her in betweens were lacking but still she hardly missed a jump. But then again, she didn't have many strong rivals either.
Last edited by ks777; 12-02-2007 at 12:55 PM.
The comparision is based on pre COP data.
Originally Posted by bekalc
[qhote] I'ts important to note that COP requires a lot more difficulty out of the girls, in spins/transitions/footwork than under 6.0..[/quote]
Point taken, and why didn't the skaters under 6.0?
Her so call lack of in betweens was a strategy for the 6.0 system. Did the other skaters under 6.0 perform more in betweens?
When MK was 15 and 16, her programs were packed with in betweens. Unfortunately in world 97, she was not rewarded for that. Kwan and team adapted to less inbetweens and more clean jumps.
I wasn't criticizing Michelle for it. I mentioned the transitions/harder footwork in spins. As a means to say if the top girls now are doing less triples than Michelle it's because of what I mentioned. It's in no ways meant to criticize Michelle.
Originally Posted by rtureck
Last edited by bekalc; 12-02-2007 at 02:09 PM.
In remembrance, Kwan's consistency was phenomenal under the greatest pressure (barring Olympics). Slutskaya will also be remembered as a great skater. Hughes and Lipiniski (both 3/3 combo skaters who skated fearlessly) weren't that shabby. So she did have formidable competition.
What I further draw from Mathman's post is Michelle's rare-as-hen's-teeth 3/3 combos! She caught flack from her detractors regarding that lack, but she stuck with her conservative guns on the matter. Even so, the Olympic gold is the only medal missing from her great aresenal. (An analogy can be made with her 3/3 and Johnny's quad. Only less of a fuss....because Johnny has a different work ethic and much less consistency. Thus, he will not have compiled a win record approaching Kwan's. As a result, we'll expect less from him. A beautiful skater, none-the-less)
I don't think that skating "clean" is necessarily the correct measure of consistency. My senile memory says to me that throughout her career MK usually landed 6-7 triples consistantly. Yes, she may have blown one jump out of 7 from time to time, but she never let it ruin a program and she never fell apart.
I agree. Even when she fell, her performances were generally good otherwise. How many truly bad skates did Michelle have over the course of her career? It's arguable, but I would say 1 or 2. When you compare that to what some of the other skaters have done, then you see why Michelle is praised for consistency.
Exactly, the only time I remember seeing a Michelle skate that was filled with mistakes, was her disasterous nationals performance. Mistakes will happen once in awhile, but Michelle didn't make a ton of mistakes.
Originally Posted by SusanBeth
Michelle Kwan was the greatest competitor of all time. She was also the most consistent over the longest period of time in terms of jump content and clean programs. She had some of the most formidable competition ever (Irina, Sasha, Sarah, Chen Lu and when she was younger Kristi Yamaguchi). She beat them all consistently. I LONG for those days again-clean programs. Even if she turned a triple into a double, she rarely fell. All I ask is that skaters stand up on the ice.
Gadfly and Bon Vivant
Since when does doubling make a program 'not clean'?
To me, a program with a jump or two downgraded (by the skater on purpose) is clean if not optimal.
Falls and other obvious flaws (major two-footing, step outs, wonkiness, landing on wrong edge and recovering, deep forward leans, stumbles etc) are a different question altogether.
Being able to do less revolutions than originally planned is a safety feature and I'd rather not stigmatize it (though it can be awful when a skater starts downgrading everything).
Well, IMO she has had a lot of strong rivals troughout her career. They were Chen, Lipinski, Bonaly, Bobek, Szewczenko, Butyrskaya, Slutskaya, Hughes, Cohen, Arakawa ...
Originally Posted by ks777
Actually, as another poster has pointed out, MK's 98 long at Nagano was good. For those of us who got to see Lyra during US Nationals, it lacked in emotion and was too restrained. However, she didn't fall during the performance and had one bobbly landing. Tara won the night because she skated with energy.
MK made the 7 triple program the standard to meet. You also have to consider her performances during the SP, which were mostly clean, as well. The worst SP for her was in 1997 which was her 1st year defending a title and when she had a growth spurt. At 97 Worlds, she lost in the SP, but I believe she actually beat Tara in the LP - just wasn't in the top 3 going into LP.