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Thread: Retrospective Look at the 1993 Worlds

  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    Retrospective Look at the 1993 Worlds

    One more retrospective -- the 1993 Worlds, which were held in Prague, Czech Republic. These championships featured some wonderful break-through performances and some performances that were, quite frankly, painful to watch. This may sound corny, but the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" were clearly shown at the 1993 Worlds.

    The WOMEN:
    Fifteen-year-old Oksana Baiul of the Ukraine, who had won the silver medal at the European Championships, stunned the figure skating world by winning the World title in her first-ever appearance. Oksana had skated a strong short program that left her in second place heading into the long program, and then she completely charmed and captivated the judges and the audience with a long program chocked-fill of triples and innovative, artistic choregraphy. Oksana skated with the poise and maturity of a seasoned champion.

    US Champion Nancy Kerrigan, the reigning World silver medalist and Olympic bronze medalist, came into Worlds as the number-one ranked eligible skater and favorite to win her first World title. She had won the short program and appeared to be on her way to the gold medal. Then -- disaster struck, bigtime. Nancy suffered a really shocking meltdown in her long program. She singled her opening triple flip, put her hands down, stumbled, fell, or watered the jumps to singles. It was difficult to watch this program. When she finished her program, Nancy looked as though she wanted to flee from the rink. She appeared totally stunned when she sat in the kiss 'n cry area and received her cruel, but accurate, marks. She said, "I should have landed my jumps!" Kerrigan finished ninth in the long program, which dropped her to fifth place, out of the medals.

    It was a disappointing competition for the American women. Lisa Ervin, the US silver medalist, finished 13th, and US bronze medalist Tonia Kwiatkowski finished 16th in her qualifying group and did not qualify for the long program. The US women had finished 1, 2, and 6 at the 1992 Worlds, and the US women had swept the medals at the 1991 Worlds. At Prague, the US women failed to bring home a single medal. Their poor overall showing meant that the US would be able to send only two women to the 1994 Olympics and Worlds.

    Surya Bonaly of France won the first of three consecutive World silver medals. Her skating was pretty basic - skate to one end of the rink - JUMP - skate to the opposite end of the rink - JUMP - and so on. She was an incredible athlete, however.

    Lu Chen of China won another World bronze medal.

    The MEN:
    Kurt Browning of Canada regained his World crown with an absolutely fantastic "Casablanca" long program. Bravo, Kurt!! Attired in white waiter's jacket and black pants, he looked like Humprey Bogart on ice. In one sequence, he flicked the ashes from a held cigarette, and he played to the audience and to the judges. In my opinion, this program was one of Kurt's finest - and he's skated so many masterpieces on the ice.

    Elvis Stojko, Kurt's Canadian teammate, won the World silver medal with two strong programs. Alexei Urmanov of Russia won the bronze medal.

    The US men finished out of the medals, as the women had done. US champion Scott Davis finished sixth, and US silver medalist Mark Mitchell finished fourth. Mitchell, particularly, was in an excellent position to medal, but he made several mistakes in his long program. Scott Davis had skated a terrific "West Side Story" to win the 1993 US title, but he made numerous errors at Worlds.

    The PAIRS:
    Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler of Canada won their first and only World title with two dynamic programs. Mandy Wotzel and Ingo Steuer of Germany won the silver, and Evgenia Eltsova and Andrey Bushkov of Russia won the bronze medal. The Canadians in the audience went wild with the victory in pairs (not to mention Kurt and Elvis 1-2 finish).

    Jenni Meno and Todd Sand of the US finished fifth, and Calla Urbanski and Rocky Marval (the "Waitress and the Truck Driver") finished eighth.

    DANCE:
    The Russians swept the medals, with Maia Usova and Alexander Zhulin of Russia winning gold, Oksana Grishuk and Evgeny Platov winning silver, and Anjelika Krylova and Vladimir Fedorov winning the bronze medal.

    US champions Renee Roca and Gorsha Sur finished 11th, and silver medalists Susan Wynne and Russ Witherby finished fifteenth.

    The exhibitions from that Worlds were also memorable. Oksana skated two numbers - "Swan Lake", which featured dancing on her toe picks, and a jazzy Michael Jackson number.

  2. #2
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    I know some people could take or leave Oksana, but I found her skating to be so honest and refreshing. Her technical program in Prague was astounding! She came out and lit up that arena with beautiful skill and far too much maturity and sensuality than any 15 year old should have. I remember thinking at that point...WOW...this girl has got something the others don't. Her freeskate was wonderful as well, but I found her technical program to be the highlight of that event. Poor Nancy. I don't see how anyone could have expected so much from her based on her past performances. She won the silver at the 1992 Worlds by luck and her Nationals winning performance was sub-par. But, I think it was the best thing that could have happened to her. She did the worst she could do and finally realized how talented she was...and how to make that work on the ice. Without Prague I don't think we would have seen such a mature, composed (on the ice!) Nancy in Lillehammer.

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    I remember the Nancy splat fest. Painful to watch...

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    Nancy's meltdown at the 1993 Worlds forced her to concentrate on building her confidence as well as honing her technical skills.
    It always amazes me that a figure skater so well trained as Nancy could have had so many poor competitive performances.

    1992 Olympic long program - quite poor with several errors.
    1992 Worlds - very poor program, and over-scored, IMHO.
    1993 US Nationals - sub-par but enough to win her the title.

    This doesn't count the other competitions Nancy had blown - the 1989 Skate America, the 1990 Goodwill Games, etc.

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    I remember in some competition, she fell out of a sit spin! It was so pitiful!

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    As well as Nancy skated at the 1994 Olympics, her long program had two flaws -- a planned triple flip was turned into a double flip, and she stumbled on the landing of her double axel towards the end of her program.

    But, of course, that pales by comparison to the 1993 Worlds. I truly felt sorry for Nancy Kerrigan at that competition.

  7. #7
    Custom Title IDLERACER's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, half-way round the world, two little unknown twelve year old girls named Michelle and Angela were battling it out in juniors. If you click on this underlined square, and then click on the link that says "1993 Arctic Blades," you'll see the result:
    

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by SkateFan4Life
    As well as Nancy skated at the 1994 Olympics, her long program had two flaws -- a planned triple flip was turned into a double flip, and she stumbled on the landing of her double axel towards the end of her program.

    But, of course, that pales by comparison to the 1993 Worlds. I truly felt sorry for Nancy Kerrigan at that competition.
    Eh, her double axel was ok. I think she was totally pumped with adrenaline at that point, so she got a little too much height and landed a little abruptly, Maria-style. Full credit though. I never really considered those important errors considering Oksana's 2-foot landing on her flip and overrotated 2-axel.

    That was Nancy's best 'important' LP since 91 worlds, where IIRC she doubled the loop and fell on the 3sal (both jumps she landed beautifully in her '94 LP).

    Whereas I think Oksana's 93 lp was much stronger than her 94 lp performance, which I think is to be expected considering her injury.

    At Piruetten Nancy doubled her loop and (I think) did a 3t-2t instead of a 3-3, but it was still a great program and she won that event handily. Attack aside, 1994 was Nancy's best year, amazing considering how poor '93 was. She really 'owned' her triple lutz in 1994.

    I do joke about hypnotherapy and sports psychologists, but whatever Nancy's therapist did to help her during the Summer of '93 should be patented and sold. Such an improvement afterward.

  9. #9
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    Eh, I do not think Kerrigan's double axel was completely OK at the Olympic long program. Granted, she did not fall, and she probably received full credit for it - but the landing was herky-jerky, not flowing and secure. As you wrote, she probably was pumped up by that stage of her program.

    I also agree that Nancy's work with her sports psychologist was very important in her developing the self confidence she needed to land her triple jumps. She certainly knew how to land those moves - it was just a matter of getting the head to direct the body to do them.

    In any case, Nancy's 1994 Olympic long program was one she should be very proud of for the rest of her life. Overall, it was very strong, well skated, and deserving of an Olympic medal.

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    Minusaramadad from Arctaroon John King's Avatar
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    Retrospective Look at 1993 Worlds

    A friend sent me a video of the three performances by Anjelika Krylova and then-partner Vladimir Federov(Diary Of An Artist,Cha-Cha,Sparticus).Even then,10 years ago,was she ever !!Glad she and Oleg didn't retire/split.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by IDLERACER
    Meanwhile, half-way round the world, two little unknown twelve year old girls named Michelle and Angela were battling it out in juniors.
    In 1993 Kwan was already senior and Duncan was still novice. So I think what you have there is the senior, junior, and novice ladies' winners at that event.

  12. #12
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    "chocked-fill of triples"

    After the advent of Midori, Tonya and Kristi, I hardly think that one could call a 5 triple (none in combination) program "Chock-full". Am I is not remembering this correctly?

  13. #13
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    Perhaps my "chocked full of triples" description wasn't accurate; however, compared to Kerrigan's disastrous 1993 World long program, Baiul's five-triple program was "chocked full".

    Suraya Bonaly's long program featured five or six triples, if I remember correctly.

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