Lesser known skaters of bygone era?
Needing a break from Olympics with not much on TV nor any movies I want to see at Redbox, I found myself watching a Canadian lady of the fabulous 90's who is one of my past favorite skaters, though she was not a great competitor. Joannie Rochette has long been a favorite single skater, and I think the best Canada has produced. Barbara was of course from another era technically. I am not a fan of the current ladies, and J. Robinson was lukewarm I always felt. I found myself watching a wonderful short program from Josee Chouinard who was a lovely skater, truly charming ice persona. She was not a great competitor internationally, suffering nerves but it made me think of a thread where we share short programs from the 'forgotten' skaters. By this I mean those that don't seem immortalized. Josee was very loved in Canada but was not a big name outside her country. I will have to find the performance-it might have been a gala skate. It was so charming, I thought others who did not ever know Josee or forgot her after the glut of 90's TV cheesefests were done. (I miss those shows however...cheese can be good)
While I am looking on youtube, do you have performances of someone that really struck you, but the performer was not a big name? (I have started MK fave threads but this thread is for the people who were under rated, poor competitors, did not make it big in the golden age of skating. Outside Canada, how many knew and remember Josee? She was wonderful in performance but medals are what gets the recognition. That is sport.
I think you'll find that Josee is more well known than you suggest. She was in Ice Wars, beloved by Scotty, and if he wasn't pushing for her to get in different shows, Kurt Browning definitely was... she was a busy and favorite pro...
and most Kwan fans remember her as the woman who stole a gold medal at a pro-am competition from MK... (Josee deserved the win... soooo much better lol)
yes, there were those lucky days where scooter got her gigs...but no one mentions her when we do threads,so I will link to the one I loved when I find it. Kwan was not always the best, but consistent. I see your points you made in past about her. To each her own.
Josee is generally spoken of fondly on GS - except for that one matter, that's all I meant. Whenever the 94 Olys are talked about she gets mentioned as "poor josee" until someone reminds us all that even without a scandal she'd not have made the podium, that the nerves would still get the better of her.
Her Sweater program is still considered one of the best exhibitions by skating fans (social media, GS, other boards).
I saw her live in 99 and while she wasn't on with the jumps, she still sold her programs with that smile of hers and girl next door charm/flirtation. She skated to Rose in the Wind (one of my favorites) and Prima Donna. Other great programs for her, IMO, were the Mime, Harlem Nocturne, My Drag, Moon River... I could go on and on... unfortunately most are not on youtube it seems... such a bummer...
Here's her signature program, though - http://youtu.be/Fbe97GLGAmk
ETA - found more
Prima Donna - http://youtu.be/6lzgXEEQhMg
O Mio Babbino Caro - http://youtu.be/kXzGEz5J0VA
Ice Wars 99 - http://youtu.be/qNVfTo5Yl-4
Last edited by Tonichelle; 08-01-2012 at 02:19 AM.
You linked to it, The Sweater program. It is adorable and showed her personality. Cute beyond words. I'm glad others enjoy her skating. Tks for links.
Wicked Yankee Girl
There are a lot of skaters who provided great moments.
Rudi Galindo stole the show at the 1996 US Championships, but Dan Hollander was great there. He has had a good career as a comic show skater since.
His LP (Legends of the Fall)
His SP to the Barber of Seville had the comic touches, prefiguring his pro career
I loved Josee. Her jumps, when they were on, were beautiful, athletic and pretty roomy. The "sweater" routine was wonderful. I remember when she guest-starred in Kurt's TV special You Must Remember This. Though she likely wouldn't have made the podium in the 1994 Olympics, it was still a lousy turn of events that she ended up as collateral damage in Tonya Harding's chaotic wake.
Though I was one of the ones who felt that Michelle and not Josee should have won in that pro-am tournament, I don't hold it against Josee. She did exactly what she was supposed to do--she skated her best. What the judges did with it was their own lookout. We viewers still got to enjoy them both, and goodness knows Michelle didn't lack for accolades in the course of her storied career. I wish Josee had had more international success, but some skaters just don't travel well.
Someone from even farther back who I enjoyed very much was Lisa Marie Allen, Linda Fratianne's perennial runner-up. She was very good, though she didn't have Linda's consistency, and I think school figures were her downfall. She was unusually tall for a skater, I think about five-eight, and she had the blonde elegance of Kiira Korpi. I found Allen a bit smoother in style and warmer in personality than Fratianne. She had beautiful positions.
Here, from 1978:
Notice that she spins in both directions. Her routine has one characteristic that I'm rather glad has gone out of fashion: the music is made of bits of unrelated works stitched together. But otherwise, isn't she rewarding to watch?
Last edited by Olympia; 08-01-2012 at 05:44 AM.
Gotta Have Music
I always liked Josee, particularly as a pro (felt she was put in a really tough spot to skate her free skate in Lillehammer), and continue to enjoy Dan Hollander. I fondly remember his "Legends of the Fall" & "Barber of Seville" programs (so glad he was part of 1996 Worlds), and look forward to seeing him again in Mike Weiss' Foundation show next month. Always loved his "Mrs. Doubtfire" program, too.
Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
If any Canadian lady was more unknown than Josee, it would be her rival and BFF (they were actually friends, unlike the manufactured BFFs that TV creates to make coverage cute), Karen Preston.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I always liked Kay Thomson, of the unsung Canadian ladies. She had great spins.
5th place 1984 World Championships
Norbert Schramm of West Germany is generally forgotten!
Here he defends his European championship in 1983.
I always liked his skating
Last edited by dorispulaski; 08-01-2012 at 03:06 PM.
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I loved Josee as a pro but disliked her as an amateur. Since she lost the nerves her personality really came out as a pro. Another Canadian lady I enjoyed during the same time period was Susan Humphreys. I actually liked her better than Preston and Chouinard, but it seems she wasn't around for long. Netty Kim was enjoyable to watch as well.
Dan is the Santa at the Christmas shows at Galleria Dallas. He's amazing.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
Mentioning Dan Hollander reminds me of Aren Nielsen, an American skater who once won a national bronze. That year's skate was my favorite of his programs, to James Horner's wonderful music from the film The Rocketeer.
As you'll see from this video, he had wonderful extensions in things like camel spins, and a rather fluid, almost jazzy style. When his jumps were on, as they are here, he was splendid. But inconsistency was his downfall...sometimes all too literally.
Last edited by Olympia; 08-01-2012 at 09:21 PM.
Another skater I remember liking as a pro was Scott Davis, but he wasn't on TV much... I think he coaches now?
Former figure skater and HUGE figure skating fan.
Oh my goodness... the 90's! Who can forget Olga Markova, Tanja Szewczenko, Eric Millot, Woetzel & Steuer, Rakhamo & Kokko, Laetitia Hubert, Marie-Pierre Leray, Vanessa Gusmeroli, Sandra Garde, Hartshorn & Sweiding, Urbanski & Marval, Sebastien Britten, Rory Burghart, Lisa-Marie Allen, McDonald & Smith... those are just a FEW of the lesser known stars that are among my all time favourites. I'd trade any CoP competition or even one of today's better shows for a CBS cheesefest with 1000 unknown and fabulous skaters ANYDAY.