Tara certainly did hold the standard for jumps very high, though if I recall, Kristi and other ladies in her cycle (1992) already had triple-triples. So Tara wasn't the first. I'll have to check that out, though, so don't hold me to it.
Originally Posted by Dodhiyel
In any case, calling someone a flash in the pan in this instance only refers to the brevity of her career, not the quality of it. Possibly comet is a better word? It's understandable that someone who has won an Olympic gold medal might want to quit while he/she was ahead. There's no fault in it. I doubt Tara could have continued at that level of achievement anyway, because of that chronic hip condition that was already hampering her movement. So it turns out that those two years of high accomplishment were her only chance. I'm glad she was able to seize the moment.
Sarah might be seen as more of a fluke, because she didn't come in as a sitting world champion as Tara did—and in fact only won an international gold that once, at Salt Lake City. She actually did try to continue competing after the Olympics, but she obviously wasn't rising to that level anymore. That's when she got out, and good for her that she went on to a productive time at college. She still has the OGM, though, so she did fine, I'd say!
Another one like Sarah is the real fluke of Kimmie Meissner, who won the 2006 Worlds when none of the Olympic medalists showed up at worlds and then almost immediately lost the high level of her jumps and so forth due to a growth spurt and injuries. I'm glad she has the world championship to her name, and I'm even happier that she's been skating on pro programs again, but she really was world class for just that one season, it seems.
Not quite true. Sarah also won Vienna Cup gold and Skate Canada gold before winning the OGM. She also won gold at the US Championships at the Junior level. But although she won medals in the JGP and medaled at the JGPF, she never won JGP or JGPF gold. She won only one gold medal in the GP (SC) and never won GPF gold. She well may be the only OGM winner who never won her own country's Senior Championship and/or the World Championship.
Originally Posted by Olympia
Huge Scott Moir Fan
Although Yagudin won worlds, he never won Russian Nats
Originally Posted by chuckm
But that's different. He wasn't a flash in the pan.
I agree Polina K is turning out to be a phenomenal skater. She always had beautiful, balletic lines, but just a year ago she didn't have flip or lutz, and her loop was very unreliable, and she telegraphed like crazy and psyched herself out of any chance of landing the loop most of the time. With such limited jumping capability at 14, it looked like she will never be able to compete with the young phenoms who were already doing 3-3's and winning national championships before being old enough to compete in ISU junior competitions. But she blossomed wonderfully in just one year, I'm really impressed with her and her coach! I was worried she wouldn't even get a chance to compete on the JGP with such a crowded Russian field, but now look she just outshone the veterans at Euros and on her way to Worlds before the younger phenoms are even old enough to compete as seniors. How fast fortune turns in just one season!
Originally Posted by koheikun90
On the junior level, Julia Lipnitskaya has really attracted all the attention and hype.
it's interesting that Elizaveta and Adelina, talented and accomplished as they are, are having considerable competition both at the junior and senior levels.
I think it's good for Russia that public attention has so many "targets" to focus on. It lets all the young ladies share in the limelight without being too overwhelmed. Besides, competing to be on the Russian team for Sochi 2014 will surely be a total pressure-packed bloodbath. It's good that the young ladies are learning to deal with pressure early on.
To answer the original question posed in the title of this thread, "no", no more than the amount of pressure Americans put on their own (e.g. Gracie Gold).
Gracie Gold isn't faced with an Olympics in her home country two years from now. You'd better believe the RFSF is expecting their young lady stars to bring home medals. It's obvious Leonova and Makarova aren't up to the task, so all the pressure will be on Sotnikova, Tutktamisheva, Korobeinikova et al to deliver the goods.
Champions can cope with pressure. Whichever girl cannot will not become champion. You get used used to it or don't win. Russia has a lot of girls so someone should be able to skate well even with the pressure.
Originally Posted by chuckm