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Thread: Favorite Olympic programs?

  1. #1
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Favorite Olympic programs?

    Hard to believe someone hasn't already posted a thread like this but I haven't found one. Even if there was, seems like a good moment to start a new one since we now have one more Olympics behind us.

    So, since you've been watching the Olympics, what have been your favorite programs? No number limitations.

    Here are mine, counting down:

    10. Mirai Nagasu's Carmen LP, 2010. (what a great coming-out-moment)
    9. Midori Ito's LP, 1992 (The last minute triple axel is just such a great Olympic moment)
    8. Chen Lu's Butterfly Lovers LP, 1998. (beautiful skating, and a great comeback.)
    7. Paul Wylie's Henry V LP, 1992
    6. Tara Lipinski's The Rainbow, 1998
    5. Oksana Baiul's The Swan SP, 1994
    4. Kim Yuna's James Bond SP, 2010
    3. Kim Yuna's George Gershwin, Piano Concerto, 2010
    2. Alexei Yagudin's Man in the Iron Mask LP, 2002

    But if I could only watch one for the rest of my life, it would be this one:

    1. Sasha Cohen's Dark Eyes SP, 2006.

  2. #2
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    In no particular order:

    1. Alexei Yagudin--Man in the Iron Mask LP, 2002
    2. Ilia Kulik--Rhapsody in Blue LP, 1998 (Yes, even though I don't get why his costume is like that. It was one elegant program with great jumps, and the smile at the end was.)
    3. Shen and Zhao--Who Wants To Live Forever SP, 2010
    4. Gordeeva and Grinkov--Moonlight Sonata LP, 1994 (I loved that their costumes were quite simple, thus allowing the audience to focus on the beautiful skating)
    5. Michelle Kwan--Lyra Angelica LP, 1998
    6. Akiko Suzuki--West Side Story LP, 2010 (Loved her step sequence!)
    7. Sasha Cohen--Dark Eyes SP, 2006 (also, her Romeo and Juliet LP, even with the splat)
    8. Virtue and Moir--Mahler's 5th Symphony FD, 2010
    9. Daisuke Takahashi--Eye by Coba SP, 2010 (and his La Strada LP was great, too, even with the botched quad)
    10. Yu-Na Kim--Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F, 2010 (The flow out of those jumps is impressive. I also love her Bond program, which I think she performed better at Skate America)
    11. Davis and White--Indian Folk Dance OD, 2010
    12. Stephane Lambiel--Four Seasons LP, 2006
    13. Katarina Witt--Carmen LP, 1988 (My definitive Carmen)
    14. Mirai Nagasu--Pirates of the Caribbean SP, 2010

    If I include exhibition programs, Michelle Kwan's Fields of Gold (2002) would probably be near the top.
    Last edited by Ren; 03-16-2010 at 12:30 AM.

  3. #3
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren View Post
    In no particular order:

    1. Alexei Yagudin--Man in the Iron Mask LP, 2002
    2. Ilia Kulik--Rhapsody in Blue LP, 1998 (Yes, even though I don't get why his costume is like that. It was one elegant program with great jumps, and the smile at the end was.)
    3. Shen and Zhao--Who Wants To Live Forever SP, 2010
    4. Gordeeva and Grinkov--Moonlight Sonata LP, 1994 (I loved that their costumes were quite simple, thus allowing the audience to focus on the beautiful skating)
    5. Michelle Kwan--Lyra Angelica LP, 1998
    6. Akiko Suzuki--West Side Story LP, 2010 (Loved her step sequence!)
    7. Sasha Cohen--Dark Eyes SP, 2006 (also, her Romeo and Juliet LP, even with the splat)
    8. Virtue and Moir--Mahler's 5th Symphony FD, 2010
    9. Daisuke Takahashi--Eye by Coba SP, 2010 (and his La Strada LP was great, too, even with the botched quad)
    10. Yu-Na Kim--Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F, 2010 (The flow out of those jumps is impressive. I also love her Bond program, which I think she performed better at Skate America)
    11. Davis and White--Indian Folk Dance OD, 2010
    12. Stephane Lambiel--Four Seasons LP, 2006
    13. Katarina Witt--Carmen LP, 1988 (My definitive Carmen)
    14. Mirai Nagasu--Pirates of the Caribbean SP, 2010

    If I include exhibition programs, Michelle Kwan's Fields of Gold (2002) would probably be near the top.
    Well, ITA with everything you said including what the heck does a giraffe print have to do with Gershwin?

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    :) aftertherain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    Well, ITA with everything you said including what the heck does a giraffe print have to do with Gershwin?
    What giraffe print?

  5. #5
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftertherain View Post
    What giraffe print?

    er. Ilia's shirt for his 1994 LP costume.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    Hard to believe someone hasn't already posted a thread like this but I haven't found one. Even if there was, seems like a good moment to start a new one since we now have one more Olympics behind us.

    So, since you've been watching the Olympics, what have been your favorite programs? No number limitations.

    Here are mine, counting down:

    10. Mirai Nagasu's Carmen LP, 2010. (what a great coming-out-moment)
    9. Midori Ito's LP, 1992 (The last minute triple axel is just such a great Olympic moment)
    8. Chen Lu's Butterfly Lovers LP, 1998. (beautiful skating, and a great comeback.)
    7. Paul Wylie's Henry V LP, 1992
    6. Tara Lipinski's The Rainbow, 1998
    5. Oksana Baiul's The Swan SP, 1994
    4. Kim Yuna's James Bond SP, 2010
    3. Kim Yuna's George Gershwin, Piano Concerto, 2010
    2. Alexei Yagudin's Man in the Iron Mask LP, 2002

    But if I could only watch one for the rest of my life, it would be this one:

    1. Sasha Cohen's Dark Eyes SP, 2006.
    ITA. I would change #3 with #1 and #8 and #6 though I would also put Mirai at #11 to include Yagudin's Winter somewhere. I would also include Kulik somewhere.... this is so hard.
    Last edited by dlgpffps; 03-16-2010 at 02:10 AM.

  7. #7
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    I am grading only the artistic merit; the quality of the programs themselves and how well the skater was able to bring it to life regardless of possible mistakes on the tech side (although tech mistakes can sometimes detract from the program). Also, sticking only to the modern age of figure skating (1980 and on).

    01. Brian Boitano - Napoleon (1988, LP) - Possibly the most complex and dynamic program of all time, delivered with gorgeous skating skills and ending with incredible excitement. This is a template for what CoP programs should be. You want transitions? This program is filled with them. Except they aren't all overt, such as "hey, I'm going to do a spread eagle before a jump, even if it doesn't go with the music, just so I can have more transitions in my program." Everything here has purpose and flows perfectly. The program continually changes tone seamlessly, has a staggering degree of nuance, and covers a wide range of emotions. He deserved 6.0's across the board for presentation (and 10's for every Program Component if we are talking CoP).

    02. Sasha Cohen - Romeo and Juliet (2006, LP) - Yes, I am picking this over her SP. For me this is the best choreographed female program we have seen under CoP (although her SP is wonderful and would be in my top 5) and Sasha displays a deeper level of emotion than she ever has with this program and performance. Look at how well the movements interpret the music and how the program continually builds. Her jumps all hit the music well and have good transitions (especially the last Triple Salchow...the turn into it and the high kick afterward both perfectly reflect the music), the footwork sequence goes exquisitely with that joyous segment of the music, and her awesome Spiral Sequence hits a beautiful crescendo that creates one of the most stunning choreographic highlights of all time. Even the changes of position in her spins reflect variations in the music. The only tiny choreographic flaw is the useless changes of edge she is forced to include in her spins to appease CoP (the beillmann position in the layback wasn't needed either).

    03. Alexei Yagudin - Man in the Iron Mask (2002, LP) - Soul and strength. Virtuosic choreographic highlights. A nearly overwhelming display of skating prowess. The only real problem - no jumps in the last 1/4 of the program. He could have found room to put in a Double Axel seeing as how he spent several seconds basically just pausing at the end of the rink before his final footwork sequence.

    04. Lu Chen - Butterfly Lovers (1998, LP) - The word for this is enchanting. Her delicate and lyrical delivery is sublime.

    05. Stephen Lambiel - Dralion (2006, SP) - One of the most exotic programs ever. It showcases how completely unique and often unpredictable Lambiel is with his movements.

    06. Paul Wylie - Henry V (1992, LP) - Inspiring. Not because of Paul's story (doing so well at the most important competition of his life after a history of failing to deliver in competition) but because of the uplifting music and how well he interprets it. Would surely rank even higher had he made less mistakes. A little bit of the impact is lost in a couple spots.

    07. Tara Lipinski - The Rainbow (1998, LP) - I will always defend this program. Tara showed sensitivity while delivering an unparalleled amount of enthusiasm and joy. The program creates a sense of innocence and the feeling of experiencing thrilling new possibilities in life. It's just perfect for Tara; her tiny frame and very youthful demeanor were the absolute best possible match for interpreting this music. If Tara had stronger skating skills I would rank the program as #2 on my list.

    08. Michelle Kwan - Rachmaninoff (1998, SP) - Elegant. Mature. Refined. Not quite as impressive as her performance of the program at Nationals (where she did a Triple Flip instead of the Triple Toe and had a huge, gushing smile afterward) but still superb.

    09. Brian Orser - Sing Sing Sing (1988, SP) - Extremely exciting and playful.

    10. Petr Barna - I'm not sure of the name of this music, can someone find out for me? (1992 SP) - His footwork sequences are truly some of the most musical ever. They match the rapidity of the music note for note.

    -----

    Sandra Bezic choreographed 3 of these programs, including my favorite one. She wins the best choreographer award.

  8. #8
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Midori Ito's LP, 1992.
    Lu Chen's Butterfly Lovers LP, 1998.
    Oksana Baiul's The Swan SP and Westside story(?) LP, 1994.
    Shizuka Arakawa Tourandot, 2006.
    Johnny Weir, The Swan. 2006.
    Lu Chen's Clair de Lune SP & something LP, 1994?
    Akiko Suzuki Westside Story LP, 2010.
    Mao Asada's Mascarade SP & The Bells LP, 2010.

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium
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    In chronological order:

    1. T/D's Bolero (1984 FS)
    2. Witt's Carmen (1988 LP)
    3. M/D's Liebestraum (1992 LP)
    4. G/G's Moonlight Sonata (1994 LP)
    5. Baiul's The Swan (1994 SP)
    6. MK's Lyra Angelica (1998 LP)
    7. Yagudin's The Man in the Iron Mask (2002 LP)
    8. B/S's Meditation (2002 LP)
    9. S/Z's Who Wants to Live Forever (2010 SP)
    10. Kim's Piano Concerto in F (2010 LP)

    (Plus, Robin Cousins 1980 LP, Arakawa's 2006 LP)

  10. #10
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    02. Sasha Cohen - Romeo and Juliet (2006, LP) - Yes, I am picking this over her SP. For me this is the best choreographed female program we have seen under CoP (although her SP is wonderful and would be in my top 5) and Sasha displays a deeper level of emotion than she ever has with this program and performance. Look at how well the movements interpret the music and how the program continually builds. Her jumps all hit the music well and have good transitions (especially the last Triple Salchow...the turn into it and the high kick afterward both perfectly reflect the music), the footwork sequence goes exquisitely with that joyous segment of the music, and her awesome Spiral Sequence hits a beautiful crescendo that creates one of the most stunning choreographic highlights of all time. Even the changes of position in her spins reflect variations in the music. The only tiny choreographic flaw is the useless changes of edge she is forced to include in her spins to appease CoP (the beillmann position in the layback wasn't needed either).
    I so agree. One of the most gorgeously choreophraphed pieces I have ever seen and no one could have performed it like Sasha. The ironic thing is that after the two falls she performed it even better than at nationals, although she did the change of spin positions to the music variations better at nationals.
    Last edited by Layfan; 03-16-2010 at 01:29 PM.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Here's the programs from Olympics that I actually haul out and rewatch. From 2010, they're the one's I expect to rewatch. There aren't a lot of ladies' programs there. I have found them less and less interesting to watch over time:


    1968 Protopopovs LP Moonlight Sonata
    1976 Pakhamova & Gorshkov FD
    John Curry LP Don Quixote
    Toller Cranston SP Graduation Ball
    Dorothy Hamill LP

    1980 Regoeczy & Sallay FD

    1984 Brian Orser LP Pulstar by Vangelis, ?, Theme to the Canadian News show, the National
    Gary Beacom LP
    Elaine Zayak LP
    Carruthers LP
    Torvill & Dean OD Paso Doble
    Blumberg & Seibert FD Scheherazade

    1988 Midori Ito SP& LP
    Debi Thomas SP
    Brian Boitano LP Napoleon SP Les Patineurs
    Wachsman & Waggoner SP
    Gordeeva & Grinkov LP
    Duchesnays OSP Tango
    Duchesnays FD Savage Rite
    Wilson & McCall FD Elite Syncopations

    1992 Rahkamo & Kokko Finnish Polka OSP
    Klimova & Ponamarenko FD Bach
    Petr Barna SP, LP (Hamlet) & Chaplin EX

    1994 Rahkamo & Kokko La Strada FD
    Usova & Zhulin Fellini/Rota FD
    Torvill & Dean Rhumba OSP

    1998 Kwan SP Rach
    Candeloro LP 3 Musketeers
    Krylova & Ovsiannakov OD Jive
    Krylova & Ovsiannakov FD Carmen

    2002 Ina & Zimmerman SP Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Pink FLoyd)
    Berezhnyah & Sikuralidze SP Lady Caliph
    Yagudin SP Winter
    Goebel LP American in Paris
    Anissina & Peizerat EX Susanna
    Anissina & Peizerat OD Flamenco, etc
    Lang & Tchernychev OD Carmen

    2006 Inoue & Baldin SP Adagio
    Belbin & Agosto OD Let's Get Loud
    Delobel & Schoenfelder FD Carnival in Venice
    Johnny Weir SP The Swan
    Shizuka Arakawa LP

    2010 Davis White Bollywood OD, POTO FD
    Virtue & Moir Flamenco OD, Mahler FD
    Faiella & Scali Tarantella OD, The Immigrants FD
    Johnny Weir SP & LP
    Daisuke Takahashi SP
    Shen & Zhao SP & LP, especially Who Wants to Live Forever SP

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    denkova/staviski Adagio '06:This was the first Olympics that I actually paid attention to ice dance (thanks Tanith & Ben!) Well, this was the first program of this team that I saw, and well I just fell in love. Love the speed/power the team had. Very dramatic without Denkova having to go all diva on us. (But I still cant stand the dripping chiffon)
    K/P Bach '92: So, interest in ice dance grew since then, and I spent hours watching Youtube. I think this is so gorgeous, different from what they did at the previous Oly, but still gorgeous
    johnny weir swan sp '06 He is such a clean/smooth skater, this program was just perfect for him without going too overboard
    matt savoie the mission '06 Who ever choreographed this is a genius. every once in a while I get in the mood and will rewatch this (i just did last week)
    M/D Rachmaninov '94 I love dmitriev with whoever he decides to skate with, but this is my favorite Rach program
    Last edited by cleopatra20042004; 03-17-2010 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Adding reasons to my list

  13. #13
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleopatra20042004 View Post
    K/P Bach '92
    denkova/staviski Adagio '06
    johnny weir swan sp '06
    matt savoie the mission '06
    M/D Rachmaninov '94
    johnny weir swan sp '06 _ this is one of my favorites too. I should have included it, and Ilia Kulik's 1998 SP, LP.

  14. #14
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    I wish this thread had more participation, especially with regards to people giving detailed write-ups of their favorite programs.

  15. #15
    Tripping on the Podium
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    I'll do mine in chronological order (I'm biased towards the ladies as they're the ones I enjoy watching the most)

    1988 Calgary
    Midori Ito, LP = My God, she was heads and shoulders above everyone else technically. She landed 7 triples, each of them with huge height and speed. She also did a great flying sit spin. Most of all, she had so much power and energy, even after the program when she hopped up and down in the Kiss And Cry.

    Brian Boitano LP = Absolutely flawless. All the jumps were perfect, and I loved the majestic artistry. The spread eagles in the slow section were so beautiful. To this day, it remains my all-time favorite male performance.

    Liz Manley, LP = She went out in front of her home crowd and nailed it. She was solid in all areas. She was the only one to even come to Midori technically, doing a solid triple lutz. She also showed beautiful spins, including the headbanging one near the end that I thought was the coolest spin I had ever seen.

    Katarina Witt, LP = She only did the two easiest kinds of jumps (toe & salchow), but her Carmen remains the greatest program I've ever seen from a purely artistic and musical point of view. She moved to the music and carried herself as an actress, and it was mesmerizing and just plain HOT.

    1992, Albertville
    To be honest, it was not an Olympics to remember, with falls all over the place. The ladies program that I enjoyed the most was by an unheraled Lu Chen, who was very young but already had a special way of moving and skated a clean program including two triple lutzes.

    1994, Lillehammer
    Yuka Sato, LP = The three medalists were all good (Baiul, Kerrigan, Lu), but it was Yuka who was GREAT. She had messed up any chance for a medal with a terrible short program, but she came out for the long with an "I'll-show-them" attitude and proceeded to skate the best program in her career. Her step sequence was to die for.

    1998, Nagano
    Tara Lipinski, LP = As controversial a figure as she's become, there's no denying she won the gold that night fair and square. I don't think anyone's ever attacked the ice in an Olympic program like she did that night (aside from Ito in '88).

    Lu Chen, LP = She stumbled on a couple of jumps (stepping out of the flip and 2-footing the second part of a triple-triple combo). But she stayed on her feet, and her choreography was easily the best of the night (and the best of Sandra Bezic's career). And the outpouring of emotions from Lu after she finished--bowing on the ice to her coach--made it all the more special.

    2002, Salt Lake City
    Again, not the best of Olympics. Sarah Hughes deserved to win, but despite the clean jumps, that special spark was missing, as it was with everyone else.

    2006, Torino
    Shizuka Arakawa, LP = It was just such a classy, well put together program. I do wish Shizuka showed a bit more emotion in her face while skating, but that Ina Bauer... words fail to describe.

    2010, Vancouver
    Yu-Na Kim, SP = I've said it before: Yu-Na's the best short program skater EVER. I actually prefer her Dance Macabre program just a tad more, but her 007 program was another triumph and easily the best Olympic short I've ever seen.

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