Looking back to SLC and pairs event
Maybe this is old topic debated many times here, don't know but it's OS and I have never asked about it.
I thought at the time of the comp. S/P were robbed as they skated the clean, very impactful "Love Story" and I loved their connection. They were, then, a very wonderful and refreshing pair who somehow got good scores even though they were not Russian. I found that amazing as they competed during those years. As we know, this was the comp. that changed everything and brought CoP into existence, so it was big for FS.
I recently watched these Oly skates again and most of B/S's programs. They did not connect like G/G who seem to be everyone's favorite pair but technically they were better. I also think differently now about the skating results. Given the circumstances, I guessed the dual gold was fair at the time.
But I think I was not really admitting how great this B/S pair was. I think they were the best Russian team ever though I'd watch any G/G progam first just to watch Katia look at Sergei.
I really have not liked a pair as much as them with one exception, and that was Shen/Zhao for all their heart and those throws the size of a "small dwelling." (Scott H's comment usually)
The current World Champions don't grab me. I don't really like any teams that much out there.
I wonder how other North Americans remember these two teams and were others as swept along as I was by the commentary and the anger over years of bloc voting? I certainly have seen no Russian pair since that was even in their league regardless of results.
But when I rewatch those skates, I really think in hindsight that even with Anton's bobble on the jump, they deserved the gold. It worked out great for the foursome, but the whole two golds thing seemed to turn it into a joke and travesty for many casual viewers. My non skating fan friends all remember this as proof FS results are usually rigged. Only the "whack" gets more indignation from casual fans and maybe all fans, I suspect.
Elena's seriousness put me off at times, or was it fear. Her fragility/delicateness made me fear for her given her history so maybe I was nervous/ill at ease watching. Then came the very confident, great looking S/P. I am trying to remember how I reacted to these teams as they competed. I loved the ease and distictly NA style of S/P. There was an honest/straightforwardness to them I found appealing.
Have other NA fans changed their mind about who was golden in hindsight? (I know the Russian fans felt cheated at the time).
I wasn't actually a huge fan of Pairs back then. I enjoyed both pairs at the time, and I remember being surprised at B&S' win. However, I never thought S&P were so outrageously hosed, and remember just being very turned off by the way B&S were being treated .
Looking back, I feel 5-4 in either direction is exactly how that panel should have voted. My preference is for B&S, but I can certainly see a very strong argument for S&P and thought they definitely captured the theme and mood of their program very well.
I find B&S to be one of the best ever in terms of edging, stroking, unison , line, carriage, posture, speed and ice coverage, and I find the overall construction of their programs to be just terrific.
I think S&P were one of the best ever in terms of lifting, and having consistent high quality technical elements. I thought they had a wonderful connection to the audience, and relationship to each other.
They both did some things well, and some things not so well.
Last edited by escaflowne9282; 05-29-2010 at 11:26 PM.
Both teams were robbed of a fair competition. I do believe that the outcome, two golds, was the fairest under the circumstances, but neither team got what they deserved. I agree with escaflowne - a 5-4 split is correct, and either way would be fair. What happened wasn't by any reasonable definition of the word.
Throwing tomatoes at corrupt judges
It makes me angry again and again. B&S are one of the best pairs the sport has ever seen, however they have to share their title of olympic gold medalists with S&P. This is just so wrong.
Who was more artistic is not the point, I think both teams did a terrific job and I must admit that I find Love Story very enjoyable. So the artistic mark could have gone either way in the FS. But we shouldn't forget all the other very important aspects that (rightfully) have an impact on the outcome. Unfortunately, the media or commentators Hamilton/Bezic didn#t pay attention to that.
When it comes to the SP, B&S clearly outclassed everyone. Lady Caliph is up there among the very best pairs programs ever, probably the best pairs SP ever.
Here's the link:
Their performance was unmatched by everyone else in this competition in terms of elegance, flow, synch, speed, skating skills, chemistry and connection, difficult choreography, perfect interpretation of the music and execution of elements - it was perfect.
S&P on the other hand skated a good program, but it wasn't outstanding and Jamie fell at the end of the program. In conclusion, if both teams skated more or less clean in the FS, which they did, S&P would remain in 2nd because of B&S's far superior SP. (At least that's how it works with the COP and IMO that's very reasonable, because we could just get rid of the SP if it doesn't have a impact on the outcome)
The FS was very close, but IMO, it shouldn't even have been that close. Yes, Anton slightly stumbled, but it was a minor mistake which didn't affect the overall performance. Despite S&P going clean, the technical mark should have been higher for B&S. Their program was difficult and had complex choreography, and again they managed to interpret the music very well.
S&P's program was rather simple and therefore it was easier for them to skate clean. They also showed good interpretation of the music and drew the audience into the program. Despite this, I think that a higher artistic mark for B&S is justified because they were much better in many other aspects. The overall quality was better, like edges, posture, synch, speed and refinement of movement. They used their whole bodies and their skating qualities to be artistic, while S&P mostly relied on facial expression to portray the mood of the program.
All in all, B&S were better in many aspects throughout the competition and skated a SP for the ages, therfore deserved to win the gold.
There were much worse results in the history of skating which were never officially debated, but a lot of media pressure and whining got S&P a title they never deserved.
IMO they also shouldn't be world champions because B&S also outskated them in 2001, but they were gifted once again. Very sad.
I've given up trying to figure wins out, especially at the Olympics. I sort of stopped getting impassioned when Michelle lost by a whisker in 1998. Whatever the fine points of the two competitors' programs were that year, I was mesmerized by Michelle's program and merely impressed by Tara's. That was when I decided I just didn't understand skating enough to figure it out, but I loved it enough to watch it. Besides, when there are two good competitors going head to head, I always wish they could give a tie! I guess competitiveness isn't my thing.
Certainly B/S were among the greatest pairs ever, and they probably had the greatest pairs coach ever, Moskvina. Russians skating in the years since 2002 have been lackluster by comparison (which may be a function of the lack of funds in that country, and the "brain drain" of coaches to other locales). But Sale and Pelletier had a magical program, by one of the greatest choreographers ever, Lori Nichol. As Escaflowne points out, they had incredible lifts and flow, while B/S had edging, unison, and so on that were superior. Not possible for me to choose one over the other. It was the machinations of the judging that outraged so many of us. But it's wonderful to contemplate those two superior pairs again, for their own sakes, whether we compare them or not. Just magnificent skating on the part of both of them--which is really all I tune in for, anyway. (Does that make me a bad fan? Oh, dear.)