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Thread: Memory Lane: Kristi and Rudy

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    Memory Lane: Kristi and Rudy

    Ok, I'm so generally bored with today's skating that I'm reaching back in time and watching some of those compilations of performances over the years. I'm talking about Magic Moments on Ice, Skating Through Time, etc.

    A real highlight for me is Kristi's and Rudy's 1989 Romeo and Juliet long program. I have their Nationals performance of it. Their technique didn't look too subpar for the time -- was it? I guess Mishketunok and Dmitriev (sp?) were on the ascendency, and clearly K&R would not have been a threat for gold on the international stage, but maybe somewhere on the podium?

    Because Kristi and Rudy looked pretty darned good. They had a lot of neat choreographic touches, such as after the first throw (don't remember what kind of throw, sorry), Kristi raises her arm as she turns out of the landing and Rudy raises his to match. Simple, perhaps, but a very effective touch as they matched their movements superbly. The move in which Rudy swoops Kristi down, forward, and back up (picture his arm moving as though he were bowling a ball) -- just another neat touch. Their sbs spins and jumps were superb, not surprising given their prowess as singles skaters, but the interesting part was that they were opposite spinners and jumpers. They had the choreography nailed so that the opposite spins and jumps were so effective and just plain kewl looking on the ice.

    Their pair spins were noticeably slow and their overhead twist in that performance looked a little rough, but overall, wow, what a watchable skate!

    With my enjoyment of both their success as singles skaters I never really lamented their breakup as a pair team, although I was always sorry because it was clear from Rudy's comments that he didn't want to end the partnership, but now I'm starting to really regret what might have been with those two.

    Would love to hear from others! Did you enjoy this pair team (look them up on the internet if they were before your time!)? How far do you think they could have gone technically? Were they too close together in size to do some of the more difficult lifts and other pair moves safely and easily?

    Thanks and I know I'm really reaching into the past here, but the boards seem so quiet for having just had the GPF! Maybe others will enjoy a walk down memory lane!
    Last edited by rallycairn; 12-21-2008 at 05:47 PM.

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    Custom Title merrywidow's Avatar
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    I first saw them when Kristi was 15 & Rudi was 17. Talk about adorable. You could see the talent in both of them even at that young age. I was sorry to see them split up but both went on to win glory as single skaters. I corresponded with Rudi for a bit when he had his hip surgeries & he is so appreciative of fan support. A really sweet guy.

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    Here is that National's performance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62iI8...next=1&index=4

    That was a sweet throw at the beginning. I also love the double axel in the middle of the program (around 2:30) coming from a spiral. Thanks rallycairn, I really like this program!

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    They are still the only pair ever to land side by side triple flips!

    Also AFAIR, Moskvina was interviewed and said that she felt that other than other Russian pairs, she was most concerned about Kristi and Rudi (in that era, Rudy spelled his name with an i to match Kristi) as threats at the international level in the future.

    I think this was their first senior level comp? 1986 Skate America

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUMg2-eHUMk

    They're so cute

    And here's their 1990 Nationals LP

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_ml-...eature=related

    I never quite liked Kristi afterwards as much as I should have because I loved this team and hated to see it break up.

    BTW, in the 1990 clip,notice how much Rudy had bulked up to help with throws and lifts? To go back to singles, I seem to recall him saying he had to reduce quite a bit.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    I never quite liked Kristi afterwards as much as I should have...
    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -- Bilbo Baggins.

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    ... Kristi and Rudi (in that era, Rudy spelled his name with an i to match Kristi)
    ....
    I'd always wondered why some people spelled his name with an "i"....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I'd always wondered why some people spelled his name with an "i"....
    During the last few years of the partnership, Rudy actually spelled his name with an i to match Kristi. When they split up, he changed back to a y, but some people stuck with the i.

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    The Zamboni Rocks!!! sillylionlove's Avatar
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    They just don't skate like that anymore!!

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    Memory Lane: Kristi and Rudy

    Wow, watching those old videos really brings back memories for me. Kristi and Rudi were an extremely talented pair team. They skated with great speed and such lovely unison. It really does make me wonder how far they would have gone as a pair. However, their single careers were very successful. Kristi had one of the longest and most successful pro careers at the height of figure skating popularity in the U.S. Timing is everything!

    Dizzy

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    Now I've watched the additional programs whose links were posted. Kristi and Rudy really, really, REALLY had that "something," didn't they? They were extremely polished, even at 15 and 17, and they knew how to "finish" each and every move from their heads to their toes.

    Honestly, much as I loved watching Kristi from her amateur to her pro days, now I'm wishing she'd stayed with Rudy. No wonder Moskvina marked the pair as a potential threat!

    Oh, what might have been!


    ETA: Thanks for the nice replies, everyone. Fun to hear from those who remember their performances and from those who are watching for the first time!
    Last edited by rallycairn; 12-22-2008 at 10:56 AM.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    yeah, they looked great.
    I always wondered why they did not stay together. I enjoyed their programs more than most pair skaters today. The technical content was really difficult, the side by side spins in the Romeo and Juliet program were right on, that must have been really tough to do. I think they could have easily won a world title if they kept it up.

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    The Zamboni Rocks!!! sillylionlove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinymavy15 View Post
    yeah, they looked great.
    I always wondered why they did not stay together. I enjoyed their programs more than most pair skaters today. The technical content was really difficult, the side by side spins in the Romeo and Juliet program were right on, that must have been really tough to do. I think they could have easily won a world title if they kept it up.

    From what I understand it was because Kristi has to make a decision between singles and pairs and she picked singles. If I remember back correctly.....Rudy was very upset about her decision. But he ended up winning a national championship in his home town of San Jose.....but Kristi did win a gold medal in the Olympics.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrywidow View Post
    I first saw them when Kristi was 15 & Rudi was 17. Talk about adorable. You could see the talent in both of them even at that young age. I was sorry to see them split up but both went on to win glory as single skaters. I corresponded with Rudi for a bit when he had his hip surgeries & he is so appreciative of fan support. A really sweet guy.
    Aw ... that was so sweet of Rudi to do that, merrywidow.

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    I remember seeing them win their US Junior pairs title. The side-by-side triple flips, followed by steps into side-by-side triple toes were simply mind boggling.

    They were a joy to watch and definitely had that special "something"... but one wonders how they would have ultimately developed given the similarity of their heights. The teams that prevailed at the top of the Worlds' podium - G&G, Mish/Dimitriev - had so much raw power, enabled by their physical proportions (female/male) and proportions. Not saying they wouldn't have made it to the top, but was going to be hard to tell whether they would have the same dynamism with the purely "pair" elements (split triple twist with the snap and height that G&G had, or that Keanu/Rockne and the Chinese pairs have now). I suppose we'll never truly know.

    I think it was their second year at Worlds - 1990 - that ultimately "forced" the decision for Kristi. Her 4th place finish in ladies - behind a lower ranked US skater, Holly Cook (who essentially had a magnificent double axel that had incredible air distance, but otherwise, frankly little else 'world class' with her skating), combined with a performance in pairs that was frankly, sloppy around the edges (step out/hand down of side-by-side double axels) after a really emotionally draining year for them (their coach, Jim Hulick, had sadly passed from I believe an AIDs related colon cancer condition) - made it clear that a choice simply needed to be made.

    I think she made the right choice (yes, easy to say in retrospect, as she won Worlds the following year) and while Rudi's own unhappiness and struggles seemed completely understandable, "things" had a way of working out so beautifully. I think Rudi's nationals win before his home town crowd will forever stand as one of the most 'scream out loud'/jump for joy/cry unabashedly wonderful moments in all of US Nationals history.

    I think a final piece of magic would be if the two of them - before their skating careers are over - would find a way to come together... even just once... and skate a program together. There wouldn't be a dry eye in the place.

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    Has there ever been a case where someone competed in both disciplines at Worlds? Is it possible?

    I wonder why Rudi did not look for another partner? Men usually have an easier time finding someone than ladies.

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