Mainly, skating skills is not about pretty positions. It is about power, acceleration, lean, depth of edge. Kristi had pretty positions, but no speed and shallow depth of edge (particularly noticeable in her spirals, and not much glide because no speed to start with. Kristi (in a world without skating politicking) does not get the 9.0 skating skills. And 1992 Olympics is perhaps Kristi's best ever SP. BTW, the 1992 Olympic short program is not the best place to look at Midori's skills. It was one of her worst ever SPs-she had starved down to look thinner and so lacked a bit of her usual power, and was visibly nervous. But even in this SP, Midori demonstrates the ability to turn both ways while Kristi stays mainly in one direction.
Some of the issues with Kristi's skating (and problems with figures) might be due to a relative lack of flexibility in her ankles, probably due to the fact that she was born with club feet, and had them repaired. Club foot involves an ankle with limited mobility as part of the syndrome.
Here's a better Midori SP
Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-27-2010 at 08:29 AM.
You make me wonder though - who would score higher in SS - Irina or Michelle?
By your definition it feels like Irina would always score higher.
But there is fast skating and and slower moments in a program too. I always thought not just the edge and speed but also the way a skater balanced themselves when changing positions counted.
That was important in figures as it took good balance and upper body control to trace tight figures.
Maybe it's not quite the same thing. Jill Trenary was very good at figures and usually beat Midori and Kristi by a comfortable margin.
I think people would argue over Irina & Michelle for a long time. Irina was faster, but sloppier, but Michelle was faster than she looked on TV. I always wondered if Irina did her one foot step sequence because she did not have quite same control on the other foot. Michelle had spiffy edges, which is why her COE spiral was wonderful. She was able to get up to what speed she had without a lot of stroking. I find it easy to give Midori the win, and I'm suspecting a politically split judging panel on Michelle and Irina...
Pretty good edges and control on her spirals and a better skater than she is given credit for. She had some of the problems Alissa has - and nerves at competitions kept her from better results.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-27-2010 at 08:49 AM.
Jill also had a limited jump repertory. In a day when Midori was landing triple axel and triple lutz, and putting the required 2T on the first jump of a 2 jump combo (something that garnered points then, but wouldn't now), Jill would practice a triple flip double toe and then change to a triple toe loop double toe in the performance much of the time. She definitely had a better spiral than either Midori or Kristi-look at the ice tracings on her first 2 spirals to see edges! Her F/W though was nowhere near up to Midori's IMO. And her spins were worse too. I had forgotten what a great spinner Midori was, and of course she had huge fly in her flying sitspins. So I am more than happy with the judges giving Midori 1st and Jill 2nd in the 1989 Worlds SP.
What is interesting to me is that I happen to love the way Kristi skated and don't care if her "lightness" was achieved by a lack of deep edges at times.
As great as Irina's edges may have been I prefer Kristi - and by a lot.
But maybe now I am getting away from "skating skills" .
Speed is interesting. Brian Joubert can skate fast but he doesn't skate as fast as Patrick Chan when doing complicated moves.
That would indicate to me Patrick has superior skating skills. Also the way Patrick can display such masterful balance on MIF/TR that other skaters don't even attempt seems to show his skating skills are superior.
Wouldn't true skating skills be about alot more than speed and acceleration when simply circling the rink? I would hope for control and balance and the difficulty of what a skater is attempting would also mean something.
Midori once said if you took away her jumps the rest of her skating did not compare favorably to Jill. She may have meant choreo, positions/stretch and "boots up" stuff....... and not necessarily skating skills.
"It may have been Ito who best described Trenary's performance when she said, through a translator, "If I fail in my jumps, there's not much left. But with Jill you could take a picture of any moment and there is something happening."
"Ito, who won both the short and the long programs, knew she had been beaten for the gold before Trenary's marks came up on the screen, and she turned away from the endboards in tears. Had Ito finished ninth in the compulsory figures instead of 10th, she would have won the world title."
After 1990 the figures were never skated again at the WC. Seeing Midori finish second after winning the SP and LP makes one wonder about ordinal placements as well. All Jill had to do was finish 2nd in the LP and no matter how well Midori skated she couldn't win.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-27-2010 at 10:01 AM.
About Irina Slutskaya, the ISU criteria speak of effortless acceleration and power. (I assume they mean that it looks effortless. Nothing in skating is easy ) Irina was criticized for generating speed and power by pumping her back rather than by using the quality and efficient control of her blades.
SS and PE are two that I am never as sure about.
Is SS more a matter of technique? Does it belong under TES as opposed to the pcs? Or in both areas?
How can judges ignore skating skills when considering the technical marks for a performance?
Last edited by Mathman; 05-27-2010 at 10:29 AM. Reason: sorry about that :)
My understanding of the Program Component Scores is that, yes, Skating Skills and Transitions fall to the technical side of the equation, while Choreography/Composition, Performance/Execution and Interpretation more or less correspond to the old "second mark."Originally Posted by janetfan
The old "first mark" was replaced by the TES (technical ELEMENT scores) together with the two technical PROGRAM scores, SS and TR.
This makes a division of 70%-30% on the technical side, compared to 50-50 in the 6.0 system. Supposedly this greater emphasis on technical skills makes the sport more "sporty" and less "arty." (?)
TES and PCS are not strictly divided into technical vs. artistic or even technical vs. "presentation."
TES stands for "Technical Element Scores." It consists of the scores for the elements and the elements alone.
PCS stands for "Program Components Scores." It covers all those aspects of the program that are pervasive throughout the program, between the technical elements as much as more than within the elements.
Some of those components, such as Skating Skills, are almost purely technical. Others, such as Interpretation, are almost purely artistic.
The judges don't ignore skating skills, the relationship of blade to ice, when marking the technical elements, but some elements involve skating skills more than others. A spin is pretty much its own kind of skill. The in-air portion of a jump or lift has nothing to do with the relationship between blade and ice (although takeoffs and landings and what the man's feet do during a lift do). So those elements will be scored more on the basis of the techniques specific to those kinds of elements.
Step sequences and spiral sequences, on the other hand, are all about edges and other blade-on-ice skills. So in the absence of a fluke mistake in those elements, there should be a real correlation between the judges' scores for those elements and their evaluation of the overall skating skills.
(Relationship of the element to the music is another bullet point for raising the GOE of technical elements, and step sequences in particular offer great opportunities for expressing music. So it is possible that a skater with not-so-great skating skills could earn positive GOE on those elements by virtue of using the music especially well during them. Which would be more correlated with the Interpretation component.)
The steps example you used is interesting.
Many good skaters can achieve level three on step sequences. Is how musical their steps might be along with demosntrating the other step requirements part of what might raise a skater to level 4?
Do we ever see level two steps with exceptional musicality receive enough GOE to earn a higher score than a skater who receives level three while only showing average musicality?
Sorry if that is not clear - and wondering if musicality is used for determing the level of steps or if it is more of a bonus that might more typically only be reflected in the GOE?
Each positive GOE step is only worth 0.5 for levels 1-3 (a full 1.0 for level 4).
So a skater would have to earn +2 for a level 2 step sequence to equal the point value of a level 3 sequence with 0 GOE, or +3 to equal the point value of a level 3 sequence with +1 GOE. That's not going to happen only on the strength of musical interpretation.
But if, say, the level 2 sequence also meets two or three other bullet points in the estimation of the judges that the level 3 sequence does not, then the GOE for level 2 sequence might be enough higher to make up the difference in base mark.
If we're talking about level 1 vs. level 2 (1.8 vs. 2.3), where the difference in base mark are smaller between the adjacent levels, then it's more likely that all the judges will give at least +1 better for the more musical sequence, which would be enough to close that smaller gap.
Also the skater who interprets the music especially well in the step sequence is more likely to earn higher scores for the Interpretation and maybe Choreography components, unless there's a clear difference on those components in the other skater's favor throughout the rest of the program.
"Element matched to musical structure" is a positive bullet point that judges consider in awarding GOE.Sorry if that is not clear - and wondering if musicality is used for determing the level of steps or if it is more of a bonus that might more typically only be reflected in the GOE?
It is not a feature that the technical panel considers in determining the level of the element.
The thing with Michelle was the effortlessness, for sure. When you saw her on TV, you had no idea how fast she was because there was no visible sign of the effort involved. Also true of Janet Lynn, for that matter.