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Thread: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

  1. #1
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    As you age as a skate fan, sometimes it happens that you don't appreciate the achievements of a skater as an eligible skater, but years later, you do. Sometimes it's that the skater just is a lot better as a pro than as a competitor. But sometimes, it takes time to appreciate what that skater really did that was special.

    And so I give you a first nomination for an underappreciated skater, Timothy Goebel. Here's what I feel was his finest competition, 2003 Worlds

    His SP to Romeo & Juliet
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep3eX1kiu50

    His LP to an American in Paris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRxVVMWn-CA

    There's many things to appreciate about these programs that I see with new eyes from COP. For one thing, Timothy did those amazing jumps without skating for 1 minute and a half to build up speed. And he could do a quad in the second half of the program. And some of his planned jumps had a hydroblade going in or a spread eagle coming out. The security of his landing edge on most of his jumps was just excellent! Yes, his back position in the sit spin was bad...but at the time, that's about all anyone could talk about with Timothy. And he had nice quick feet in the F/w, although it's not COP footwork.

    He was overshadowed by the excellence of Plushenko and Yagudin at the time. But we haven't seen a skater since 2003 who could do what Timothy could do, from a technical standpoint. I wonder how he would have scored if COP had been in place early in his career? Especially this year's version that ups the ante for quads and triple axels?

    In any case, a belated shoutout for Timothy Goebel, who just graduated from college this year!

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Goebel's performance at 2002 Olympics is his best ever, IMO. His "American in Paris" was a great program. He blows Lysacek's Gershwin program out of the water. There is far more excitement and sensitivity to the music. His elements are placed so much better and the transitional movements actually interpret the music and create a character rather than simply being there simply to gain more points.

    I'd place Goebel ahead of Plushenko at 2002 Olympics, in fact. Plushenko made more mistakes and his Carmen program was not nearly as cohesive or dynamic (even if his skating skills are much stronger).
    Last edited by Blades of Passion; 07-01-2010 at 05:47 AM.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    I agree that Tim's "An American in Paris" was a terrific program. Not only did he skate well at the 2002 Olympics, but he was also great at 2003 Worlds. Congrats to him on graduating from college. I believe he still is involved with the sport (supporting Figure Skating of Harlem). Is he doing any coaching as well? A much happier Tim than we saw at Skate America in 2005. I got to speak to him briefly there, and wished him all the best. He did have a tough time at that competition, and we felt bad for him.

    underappreciated as an eligible? - or should I say much more appreciated as a pro - Yuka, Kurt, Ilia Kulik, Mike Weiss (turning out to be a very good, entertaining show skater, IMHO). - Don't get me wrong - I liked all of them in their eligible years, too.
    Last edited by iluvtodd; 07-01-2010 at 07:32 AM.

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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Definitely I have a more profound appreciation for Yuka, Kurt, and Ilia as pros, though like you I admired them all in their eligible careers as well. Pro skating brought out their individuality and innovative approach. Ilia especially has blossomed as a pro, because he's explored things like footwork that wouldn't have garnered him extra points (I use the word metaphorically for the pre-CoP era) in his amateur career.

    I'll look at the Goebel programs later today, Doris. I suspect that like you I'll find more in them than I did at the time.

    Roca and Sur were a couple I appreciate far more as pros than I did in their competitive careers. Their fluidity and the connection they have with each other are more obvious now.

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    nefertiti..reincarnate
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Minoru Sano.

    I can't find the vid Mathman once mentioned.
    Or was it this one?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ5qaY92LSs

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post

    Roca and Sur were a couple I appreciate far more as pros than I did in their competitive careers. Their fluidity and the connection they have with each other are more obvious now.
    Another example of what I meant! I liked them as eligibles, love them as pros. As for "my" Todd I admired his eligible career, especially from the mid 1990's on (when I realized his skating wasn't just about jumps, loved the spins, but I felt he was developing his artistry as well - if he has been underappreciated at all, it has been due to what I think has been over-emphasis on the quad) , but of course I enjoy him as a pro too. Good thing to be a pro - he doesn't have to worry about landing that quad, and can focus on all the other elements of figure skating. I'll say the same for Jeff Buttle (I know he's not competing in Olympic eligible events, but has he officially gone pro ("ineligible")?

    Oh, this thread also brings to mind Kristi and Paul Wylie. Really liked them in their eligible years, love them as pros too!
    Last edited by iluvtodd; 07-01-2010 at 08:16 AM.

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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    I always loved Paul so much that I couldn't love him more as a pro—I'm just glad he found a way to have such a long and expressive skating career.

    Kristi I definitely grew to appreciate more with the years, because she proved to be so versatile and because she kept up her skills with such commitment. I think I merely liked her as an amateur, and now I think she's one of the central figures in American skating of the past two decades.

    Moreover, when I recently went back to watch a pairs program she did with Rudy Galindo, I was wowed by it, and I don't remember feeling that intensely about it when I first viewed it.

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    Awaiting Boris and Oleg
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Since I always liked Tim and especially his American in Paris program I have to say I thought he was definitely underappreciated. There was so much focus on those things he didn't do well and his nickname as the "Quad King" often was used with the connotation that that was ALL he was about. But like Doris says, there WERE other good things going on in his skating.

    But, as to the original question, I almost completely underappreciated Yuka Sato until her pro career. I didn't appreciate until then her deep edges and deep, soft knees, just her excellent bladework all around.

    And Bechke and Petrov. Liked them as pros, didn't as amateurs.

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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Goebel was an excellent jumper, but his music interpretation was very lacking, in my opinion. I would though say that in 2002 Olympics and in one Worlds (I don´t remember the year) he was at his best, but still did not come close to what his competitors or current skaters are able to interpret.

    I think that skaters like Kurt Browning, Paul Wylie, Yuka Sato, Kristi Yamaguchi and Michael Weiss are at their best as pro skaters.
    Last edited by Jaana; 07-01-2010 at 12:41 PM.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Jaana, Try watching his 2003 LP again. I happened to do it the other day and felt it blew Evan's program (same choreographer and coach!) out of the water, both technically and in interpretation. Hence this thread.

  11. #11
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    Goebel's performance at 2002 Olympics is his best ever, IMO. His "American in Paris" was a great program. He blows Lysacek's Gershwin program out of the water. There is far more excitement and sensitivity to the music. His elements are placed so much better and the transitional movements actually interpret the music and create a character rather than simply being there simply to gain more points.

    I'd place Goebel ahead of Plushenko at 2002 Olympics, in fact. Plushenko made more mistakes and his Carmen program was not nearly as cohesive or dynamic (even if his skating skills are much stronger).
    re: goebel v. plushenko ITA.

    That being said I think his best program was the 2005 US National Championships short program. Absolutely amazing. Oh, what Tim could have been.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUq1aNVxz1w

    Here's Tim's 2005 SP, just for you Toni.

    Tim's hip, neck and back were going to heck in a handbasket at this time. He was great friends with Angela, and her mother's death and Angela's career-ending injury, while travelling from the airport to the competition affected Tim a great deal. At the time, most posters actually made fun of Tim for this.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    I dont remember anything negative said about him. But, I was in Portland and didnt read a lot of the boards. The arena didnt have a dry eye in the place when he broke down at the end.

    so glad it is on youtube. I've been looking for it for a while!

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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    Josee Chouinard, Michael Weiss, Rudy Galindo.. although *I* always appreciated Michael Weiss

  15. #15
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Re: Skaters Underappreciated in their eligible years that you respect more now

    I'd have to say that appreciated Punsalon and Swallow more as pros vs amateurs.

    LOL - i'd have to add Scott Hamilton to this list, too. The only amateur competition I watched of his was his LP at the Sarajevo Olympcis and I definitely didn't understand why he won. However, as a pro, I always enjoyed the humor he brought to his programs and grace that he has exhibited during his illnesses.

    Sorry, ILuvTodd, but I wish Todd would do more light hearted routines. As an amateur, I only liked his Chaplin routine. Then, I enjoyed his Who Let The Dogs Out during an Improv on Ice program. I can definitely appreciate him more as a pro vs in Oly eligible competitions.

    As for Yuka, for me, she was barely a blip on the amateur scene. She won 94 World's (partly due to Chen Lu being injured, as well as Nancy & Oksana skipping World's) and then went pro. So, there was barely time to appreciate her pre-pro career. Until 1994, she didn't finish above 4th at Sr World's - only appeared at 4 Sr World's altogether, finishing 14th, skip, 8th, 4th and then 1st. at her 2 Olympics, she finished 7th and 5th. Without that 1994 win and the attack on Kerrigan, Yuka would've been a blip. She had a really difficult time her 1st year as a pro, too - did not impress with her choices her 1st year. Fortunately, she figured it out and blossomed on the pro scene.

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