Special moments in Olympic-year world championships
The World Championship competition in an Olympic year is unique in that many of the Olympians do not participate (or do not skate as well, coming off their Olympic high). This gives an opportunity for other stars -- new and old -- to shine. What are your favorite performances from an Olympic year Worlds?
Last edited by Mathman; 01-13-2013 at 12:19 PM.
Off the ice
...(I)n 2010, more than half of the Olympic medalists and a lot of Olympic competitors also skated at Worlds. I believe they were strongly encouraged to do so... of the medalists who did not compete, Plushenko was penalized for not going, Shen and Zhao and Domnina and Shabalin has already retired, and Lysacek and Rochette were cleared to do other things.
2010 Worlds were fun - great winning performance in the men's event, fantastic ice dance competition, interesting result in the ladies, and while I don't recall the pairs' even as well, I don't believe it was a bad one, either...
Last edited by Mathman; 01-13-2013 at 12:29 PM.
Gotta Have Music
I like that Worlds take place every year. It gives a chance to skaters who had hoped to shine at the Olympics (but didn't quite do that) a chance to shine/for "redemption," and a chance for some new participants should the Olympic medalists and others decide to retire right after the Olympics. Not to mention that it helps determine how many spots for a country for the following year's Worlds.
I like having Wordls right after the Olympics, too: in 2010, it was beautiful to see Mao beating Yu-Na right after vancouver when she was clearly defeated, and another V/M vs D/W duel, it's like a second chance: the Olympics results have been these, now you can try to "change" them, like a redemption; other examples are Regoczy/Sallay beating Linichuk/Karposonov right after the Olympics when the result had been the opposite, or V/V beating G/G in 1988 with the skate of their lives. Most of the skaters who won (like Yu-Na in 2010 or G/G in 1988) are tired, so they don't perform their best, but some (Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992 or Yagudin in 2002) aren't, so it's always funny to ask yourself "How will the Olympic champion(s) skate?"
Definitely. Just think of 2010 Worlds, where Daisuke won the first men's world gold for Japan, and where Mao came in ahead of YuNa, giving both of these incredible ladies a turn at the top of the podium that year. In 1994, Yuka Sato won her gold in an Olympic year, which gave this exquisite skater a moment in the spotlight that she otherwise might not have had. Her beautiful technique deserved this honor, and the win gave her the boost to start a very interesting pro career. Back in 1976, I believe that neither John Curry nor Dorothy Hamill had ever won a Worlds, though they had both just won the Olympics. Their Olympic year was the only chance they each had of adding a World gold to their name, because both retired from competitive skating after that. Curry was 26, so there was no way he would have stayed on until 1977, and I think that Hamill came from a family of modest means, so she probably couldn't afford to remain an amateur (a status that meant something in those days--no money coming in at all) for any longer. Turning pro meant that she could support herself and maybe her parents as well.
Originally Posted by iluvtodd
If there isn't a Worlds in Olympic years, it cuts down on skaters' opportunities by 25%, and these athletes work so hard to gain recognition in a crowded field.
I absolutely agree! There have been some great examples given of memorable golden moments (Sato, Meissner, etc.), but I will always be touched by Underhill/Martini of Canada winning the World title on home ice in 1984 after a disastrous showing at the Olympics in Sarajevo. No worlds, no beautiful redemption story!
Originally Posted by iluvtodd
And, for the most part, it's the skater's choice, although some federations may put pressure on top skaters to go -- or conversely to let someone else go.
Worlds is not just about the medalists. Aside from those who manage redemption at Worlds after a disappointing Olympics, here are some competitors who missed the Olympics for one reason or another and made the most of Worlds (for that point in their career) the same year:
Markova 1994 (can't find video from Worlds, here's her performance from Euros)
Anissina/Peizerat 1994 (can't find video from Worlds but here's 1994 Euros)
Last edited by Mathman; 01-13-2013 at 12:31 PM.
Some great moments at post Olympic Worlds:
1980 Worlds: Recogzy & Sallay winning their only World dance title, defeating the Olympic Champs Linichuk & Karpanasova, after many felt they were robbed of the Olympic Gold.
1980 Worlds: Jan Hoffmann who had heartbreakingly narrowly lost the Olympic Gold to Robin Cousins (controversially to some) winning his first World title in 6 years. Robin Cousins who sadly never won a World title, came back from slip in short program which probably cost him gold to a spectacular long program victory in his final amateur appearance.
1984 Worlds: Underhill & Martini after their nightmarish Olympics upsetting the Olympic Champions Valova & Vasiliev to win their only World title in their final amateur appearance.
1984 Worlds: Elaine Zayak who had all been written off by judges and skating fans, and had been lowballed for fine performances at the Olympics and in the early phases of this event, capatilizing on a poor free skate by Olympic medalist Kira Ivanova, to win a surprise World medal in her final amateur appearance with a wonderful long program that took 2nd in that phase.
1988 Worlds: Valova & Vasiliev in an ironic twist considering what happened in 84, upsetting the Olympic Champions Gordeeva & Grinkov, after over 2 years of frusterating 2nd place finishes behind them, winning their 3rd World title in their final amateur appearance with possibly their most inspired performance ever.
1988 Worlds: Brian Orser saying goodbye to amateur skating with the greatest mens free skate of the decade, even though his compulsory figures and a mistake in the short program relegated him to his familiar 2nd place rung.
1988 Worlds: Kurt Browning lands mens first ever quad, and foreshadows his dominance of the next 3 years.
1992 Worlds: The breakout stories in the ladies event, Chen winning her first World medal, Hubert coming back from her Olympic LP debacle to a strong LP at Worlds and narrowly missing a medal due to a flukish ordinal flip, and Alice Sue Claeys debuting with an impressive 8th place finish, even if for 2 of those 3 it was pretty much to be their shining moment of their whole careers in the sport.
1992 Worlds: Petrenko finally wins his long overdue first World title with a stronger performance than his dissapointing Olympic winning free skate. Kurt Browning salvages a nightmarish year with a strong silver medal performance, and Elvis Stojko breaks out with his first World medal after spectacular skating at the Olympics, and also makes history giving Canada 2 medals at a Worlds for the first time.
1994 Worlds: The overlooked Yuka Sato wins his first and only World amateur title on home ice, which would turn out to be her final amateur appearance, and uses it to launch a spectacular pro career. Meanwhile sour puss Surya Bonaly makes a fool of herself by refusing her silver and throwing a tantrum, despite not even one of her better performances that night, when if she ever should have taken her medal off it should have been after the 93 Worlds, adding to the year of comedic drama after Kerrigan and Harding, and Kerrigan and Bauil in Lillehammer. Promising talent Tanja Szewcenko wins what would be her only ever World medal of a sad injury and illness plagued career, and veteran Marina Kiellmann has her shining moment in the sport with a 4th place finish.
1998 Worlds: Krylova & Ovsiannikov and Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze each the first of what would be their only two (too few given their talent) ever World titles, both to repeat the next year. For K&O it is an especialy sweet win after years in the giant shadows of Gritschuk & Platov. Bourne & Kraatz settle for the bronze but deliver their most spectacular and flawles version of Riverdance ever. Veteran German pairs skater Peggy Schwarz finally gets her long awaited World medal, in a major surprise, with a bronze, while Meno & Sand rebound from dissapointing Olympics to end amateur career with a World silver medal.
1998 Worlds: Tonia Kwiatkowski has arguably the skate of her life to end her amateur career on home ice with a strong top 6 finish, after the heartbreak of missing the Olympic team. Maria Butyrskaya comes back from a slip in the short program to a gutsy free skate to finally win her first World medal, in what many thought then would be her final amateur apperance, rebounding from the heartbreak of losing the Olympic bronze to Lu Chen by .1 of a point. Irina Slutskaya comes back from a dissapointing season and dissapointing near miss of a medal in Nagano, to win silver with a powerhouse technical long program. Michelle gains the personal satisfaction of a second World title after the heartbreak of the Nagano Olympics.
1998 Worlds: Todd Eldredge misses out on 2nd World title due to unfortunate fall in short program, but in what most then believed to be his final amateur appearance wins free skate with specatcular performance and the silver medal.
2002 Worlds: Shen & Zhou finally win first World title, in what some thought might be their final amateur appearance at the time, while Ina & Zimmerman cap their career season with their first World medal, in their final amateur apperance. The performances of the pairs event were not memorable at this event, but the achievements were.
2002 Worlds: One of the most spectacular mens events of all time, especialy the short programs of the top 6 men. The great Yagudin dominates with perhaps his greatest performances ever. Honda wins first of two career World medals on home ice. The talented Alexander Abt narrowly misses out on his only ever possible World medal.
2002 Worlds: Irina Slutskaya finally wins first World or Olympic title after dissapointing near misses at the last 3 Worlds and Olympics. She also receives her first ever perfect 6.0s at a World Championship for her spectacular short program. Fumie Suguri wins first of 3 World medals on home ice. Michelle Kwan wins silver with her best free skate of the season.
2006 Worlds: Denkova & Stayviski win the first of two World titles, after years of being lowballed and underrated by judges, and after missing Olympic podium. Dubreuil & Lauzon win silver and nearly gold, after the heartbreaking fall that ended their dreams of an Olympic medal in Turin. Drobiazko & Vanagas say goodbye to amateur skating with a spectacular final FD, which placed 2nd in that phase, narrowly missing a medal overall.
2006 Worlds: Lambiel wins 2nd and last World title with one of his best ever free skates. Joubert has perhaps his best free skate ever to win silver after dissapointing Olympics.
Oda makes his debut of a career of promise that would never be reached.
2006 Worlds: Pang & Tong win first World title after being robbed of a medal at the Olympics. Petrova & Tikhonov give wonderful LP which nearly nets them a silver or gold, and win bronze in their final complete Worlds appearance (they would appear at the 2007 Worlds but come on ice to withdraw).
2010 Worlds: Takahashi wins first World title with specatcular LP including a decent quadruple flip attempt. Joubert wins final World medal after nightmarish Olympics, and Abbott and Rippon both have their best ever showing at a World Championship with solid performances.
Some performances that might not have been that memorable but still were very important to these skaters:
1994 Worlds: Shishkova & Naumov win only ever World title
2006 Worlds: Kimmie Meissner wins only ever World medal, a gold, in a career that would stagnant and regress with injury and inability to cope with growing body in years to come
1994 Worlds: Viacheslav Zagarodniuk wins only ever World medal, Candelero only ever World silver, and Stojko first of three World titles
1984 Worlds: Kondrashova wins only ever World medal, a silver, and Witt wins 1st of 4 World titles, comenting the start of her dominance of the sport after Oly Gold
1980 Worlds: Home girl Dagmar Lurz wins her first and only ever top 2 medal at a Worlds, with a silver, breaking up the Poetzsch-Fratianne dominance of that quad. East German Annett Poetzsch wins her 2nd World title on West German soil following her Olympic triumph, while Zayak, Witt, and Wainman, all make spectacular debuts, all showing huge promise, which would lead to carries of varying fates.
1980: The young and promising Cherksai & Shakhovtsky (spelling) win their only ever World title, following their Olympic silver, and previous years World silver, and would dissapear from amateur competition in just over a years time.
2002 Worlds: Lobacheva & Averbuhk win their only ever World title following their near miss of the Olympic Gold, and Chait & Shaknovsky win their controversial first ever World medal for Isreal, which would effect a protest which would leave Galit Chait in tears, and spell a sudden and steep decline of the remainder of their careers.
2010 Worlds: Mao Asada wins 2nd World title with more historic triple axels, after settling for silver in Vancouver. Laura Lepisto wins only World medal in a career that would soon end with injury. Cynthia Phaneuf reaches career high point with spectacular 6 triple LP that leads to 5th place finish, narrowly missing a bronze medal. Mirai Nagau on the heels of her specatcular Olympics, has her all time shining moment in the sport by winning the short program, but manages to botch a near certain medal opportunity somehow, one which as it turned out was likely her last. Her LP failure also leads to the U.S staying down at 2 spots in the year they looked certain to return to 3.
2010 Worlds: Pang & Tong win their 2nd and likely last World title, but dont skate up to their spectacular Olympic winning LP, although their winning SP here is a big improvement from the Games and likely could have won them the gold there had they done it there instead. Savchenko & Szolkowy skate one of their finest LPs of the year, coming back from a failed SP and failed year, to win silver. The decorated Zhangs exit the World stage with a clean SP and clean LP, and a 5th place finish.
Heck I would say there are more great moments at post Olympic Worlds on average than any other World or Olympic event! Get rid of the post Olympic Worlds, heck no.
Last edited by pangtongfan; 01-12-2013 at 04:31 AM.
Off the ice
[Here are links to some great performances of the past.]
Alexei Yagudin's SP, 2002
Daisuke Takahashi's LP, 2010
V/M's OD, 2010
D/W's FD, 2010
P/B's FD, 2010
Stephane Lambiel's LP, 2006
Brian Joubert's LP, 2006
As a skating fan, even if not a fan of all these skaters and teams, I'm glad I had the opportunity to see such wonderful performances.
Bonus: gala finale, 2010
Last edited by Tonichelle; 01-13-2013 at 04:29 PM.
...Daisuke/VM/DW were the highlights for me. So amazing to see them perform so well after giving their all at the Olympics. As chuckm says, it shows what great athletes they are to stay at the peak for so long.
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Last edited by Mathman; 01-13-2013 at 12:37 PM.
Off the ice
For me it was V/M's OD and Dai's FD.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
Although I did not mention it in the links post, Joubert's SP at 2010 Worlds was incredible; I still can't believe he was able to do that after what happened in Vancouver. As I wrote earlier, I love that post-Olympic Worlds offer skaters a second chance - for glory or for redemption.
And I would add Mao finally skating her Bells of Moscow cleanily in 2010, and doing so beating Yu-Na for the first time after more than a year and, in the same competition, Kostner finally skating her Air FS well, after so many disappointing performances, that competition has really been an incredible one (there were four skaters that scored between 177 and 178 competing for the Bronze medal, so exciting!)
the Golden Era
I think for it not have over fatigue for the skaters
competing at Worlds and then Olympics would be too much for other skaters
we've seen skaters have their peak at Olympics and not to that well after at Worlds
like Yuna etc.
Gotta Have Music
Yes! Pangtongfan pointed out so many very memorable moments of Worlds in Olympic years, too, that we never had seen had there been no Worlds in those Olympic seasons. A big favorite for me (besides Todd's "redemption" in 1998 ) - Tonia Kwiatkowski @ 1998 Worlds. I was crushed that she didn't make the US Olympic team that year (and I DO like Nicole Bobek), so when a spot opened up for her @ Worlds, I was ecstatic for her, and she really delivered (although some judges were rather harsh in their judging in the short program). In 2002, Matt Savoie got to go to Worlds for the first time (since Todd opted to join SOI mid season), and Brian Joubert had some great performances as Buttercup pointed out (2006, 2010).
Originally Posted by Silver1998
Last edited by iluvtodd; 01-13-2013 at 06:27 AM.
I appreciate your concern for the skaters, who have worked so hard all year. But as for some skaters' peaking at the Olympics, that's true, but then it gives other skaters another chance to make the podium, so it spreads the glory around.
Originally Posted by sky_fly20
I remember my glee at watching Recoczy/Sallay winning Worlds in 1980. You have to remember that in those days, the U.S.S.R. ALWAYS won ice dance. It was a foregone conclusion. "Waiting one's turn" in those days meant that when the gold-medal-winning couple retired, the next Soviet couple to show up immediately became the gold medalists. They were all magnificently good, of course, but it was splendid to see a champion couple from another country.