Dreaming and dancing
1994 Worlds ladies' results: Surya Bonaly and Yuka Sato
I just happen to see this video in which Surya protested against the placement.
I was there at the arena and remember this incident very clearly.
As I watch it now, Surya is in tears, perhaps both very sad and very angry.
Yuka looks sad.
Only Tanya looks happy and joyful. I believe that she was like 16 yrs old.
Midori is saying here like:
"Bonaly skipped the press conference after the technical program. She might be...."
"Because this is a subjective sport.....even when you think that this person would be the first, the result could not necessarily be so..."
Did Surya make any comments after this ceremony in French or in English? Did she believe that she was underrated in her second marks, or both in the first and second marks?
I personally thought them pretty close in their performances at this competition so that it could be controversial. It would be interesting to think how they might have been rated under COP.
Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
Let's watch the performances of that night. Some say Surya should've won; some say Yuka, some even say Tanja...or Marina!
Dreaming and dancing
Bonaly's exhibition from that event
Here they say that she did triple triple combination and triple triple sequence (i.e., it seems triple-toe, triple-sal, double toe sequence) at the previous night's LP. They also say that she did triple lutz twice. They also mention that one of the triple triple (it should be triple triple combination) was from the flip. So she seems to have had great base values for her jumps if she landed them cleanly.
As an audience, I remember feeling that she was a bit stiff in that performance and her landings did not flow very well.
BTW, I really like the commentary in this exhibition. They are extremely classy, kind, and mellow. They acknowledge all the great, beautiful qualities of Surya. They touched upon the medal ceremony in a mellow, kind manner and and say that they sincerely hope that her efforts will be rewarded some day.
ETA: As I watch it now, Tanja is pretty good, too. I really like that performance. Beautiful music and lovely choreo. Very nice flow. Yuka was better at steps. But spins look similar. Tanja also seems to have better quality in her jumps than Yuka. Her jumps have great height and flow. What may have separated her from Yuka was that she didn't have the flip and that she missed the combo. Yet, this theory (base value difference) didn't apply to Bonaly vs. Yuka, which is kind of interesting.
Last edited by Bennett; 07-25-2008 at 05:12 PM.
Tripping on the Podium
I haven't got any vids right now, but everytime French press talks about her career they go on about that event and then Surya goes on on how she deserved gold and how she was robbed of her medal.
Originally Posted by Bennett
Gadfly and Bon Vivant
I think Sato over Bonaly is a reasonable result (and the other way would have been reasonable too).
Baiul over Bonaly in 93 was a travesty. I think Bonaly was still pissed (quite rightly!) at being passed over the year before where she really was superior in almost every way to Baiul. I really think eligible Baiul was maybe the most overrated skater, ever IMHO she was basically a hugely talented up and comer whose talent was destroyed by too much (and too early) appreciation by judges.
This was a sad and difficult situation to watch. It seemed especially unfortunate that it seemed to accentuate the inevitable impact that politics and or a home crowd can have on influencing the very human aspects of judging an event.
The performances from both were compelling and seemed to represent outstanding efforts. KNOWING that she would not have the audience's natural support, it is impressive to see what a competitor Suriya was. What I think is really underappreciated in the VIDEOS/by camera, however are some of the subtle qualities that made Yuka so evidently outstanding to the judges rinkside.... he incredible speed (look at especially the straight line footwork at the END of the program)... and the purity of her edges (only if the audience is not there could one appreciate the 'quiet' of her pure edges. Sergei Grinkov often exclaimed how Yuka was his favorite ladies skater... and this coming from someone who was such a master (think of how big a guy he was) of the beautiful flowing edge and speed. Also - I think it can't be underappreciated how immensely difficult it must have been for Yuka to skate before her own home crowd. All in all... I have no problem accepting Yuka as the winner of that event, or in believing that the 'best skater did win' My sadness is for Surya and for the sport that night.
The next day at the exhibition, it took a courageous young lady to put a smile on her face, I believe apologize to the audience, and for an audience to warmly receive her in spite of the sad display she put on during the medal ceremony (which surely HAD to put a dent in the joy for Yuka).
Dreaming and dancing
Wow, thank you very much for your very thoughtful post! It was really wonderful to read.
Originally Posted by lcd
I agree that it was a really difficult decision and I am glad that we now have the COP. Despite all the weaknesses and a lot of room to improve, it is nicer because it gives us clearer explanations of which specific factors contribute to the outcome (although I know it's so confusing for casual fans who are not very familiar with FS).
I agree about what you say about the quality of skating skills of Yuka. Yuka is very smooth. I especially love her edge jumps like salcow and loop.
Another factor that might have contributed to the outcome was that Bonaly didn't deliver the performance quite cleanly. Although I don’t have the video, it seemed that she had some problems in her jumps at that night. On the other hand, Yuka was clean despite that she doubled her toe loop and that the level of her jump contents was much lower than Bonaly. I feel that delivering a clean performance might have affected more strongly at that time that it does now. Under the COP, Carolina managed to place the second despite the unclean landings because of the higher base values of her jumps at this previous Worlds. So if they had been in the current system, Bonaly still might have had better base values than Yuka's if she really managed to have fully rotated her difficult jumps.
I agree that it was sad for Bonaly. It seems that she had had cumulative resentment from other events.
I wonder if racism was partly an issue. It’s a bit difficult to determine so because Bonaly was atypical in many ways. It is understandable that her skating skills were not appreciated by judges.
Machiko Yamada, Midori’s coach, often used to say that the typically appreciated figure skater would be a blond, fair Western woman who has long legs and arms and have elegant presentations etc and that Midori had some physical disadvantages because she was short and not very skinny etc. On the other hand, I think it is fair to say that Midori was not very artistic in her presentations regardless of her physical characteristics. She seems to love jumps more than anything. So it was a bit hard to completely attribute her relatively low second marks to her physical characteristics or racism. She became so much better in her presentation later in her ama career and after turning to pro.
BTW, Machiko Yamada also sometimes said that she was happy to have Mao and Mai as her students because they have pretty faces, beautiful body lines, and skate elegantly etc. She could be pretty straightforward!
Back to the topic, I personally feel that Bonaly might have been somewhat underrated in this event and others. But I personally think it is difficult to determine the single factor that contributed to these. Perhaps many factors were going on.
Surya only major mistake was a step-out of her Triple Loop, otherwise a clean jump-pack performance. If that triple loop was clean...who knows.
Interesting to note that, Surya had a similar performance at Euro's that year. 7 triples, only mistake was a step out of the Triple Lutz. She deafted Oskana Biaul there. Here in Japan, same program layout, lost to Sato. Who knows, but i'm sure politics had something to do with it.
I think the bigger upset was at Olympics SP that year. Surya should have been 2nd, over a big 2ft. T.Lutz by Biaul. But Of course, Surya had her worst FP performance that night.....