I don't know what to say about Tara vs. Michelle in 1998. Tara's jumps were small and low, but they were rotated, and no one has complained of her skating skills. Michelle, on the other hand, had such artistry and also exceptional stroking and attention to detail that put her at both a high technical level and a high expressive one. Maybe Tara would still have won at Nagano, but I still would have preferred watching Michelle. Tara's skating did nothing for me, though I admire her drive and focus. And maybe Michelle would have won!
Sarah had her shortcomings. I think she would have been further back. It would have been between Michelle and Irina, I think.
As for Michelle vs. Sasha, remember that Sasha's blade-to-ice skills weren't first-rate, so she would not have outdone Michelle in that area. In flexibility she certainly would have beaten just about everyone, and more important for me, she would have made it look good. Who cares if a girl can bend like a pretzel if it doesn't have any artistic impact? Sasha's moves have meaning and momentum.
Interesting: no one's mentioned Daisuke in this conversation. What are everyone's opinions?
Sasha competed under both systems, but she was the first I thought of as benefiting from CoP as it exists today. While not the best skating skills, her bag of tricks would serve her well today and some of those pesky falls would have maybe mattered less.
It is interesting to think about how some skaters might have been trained differently if they had been brought up in the CoP era. Maybe a little more attention to correct edges and full rotations?
Dai would have done well under 6.0. He would have gotten 6.0s for AI for Blues for Klook. Kozuko maybe better then too?
If the IJS had been used in the past, it would have been harshly criticized for the same reasons it's criticized right now: results that the audience could not understand.
Years of controversial results would have led to a huge scandal at the 2002 Olympics, even though, acording to IJS, the result was perfectly understandable.
The fire was started when S/P lost to B/S based on PCS. Canada was not happy.
Then came the ladies event: Michelle Kwan, one of the most hated skaters in the world after beating Butirskaya at 1999 worlds based, again, on PCS, comes to the 2002 Olympics as the favorite of the judges for her superior skating quality. She had narrowly won Worlds in 2000 and then convincingly won in 2001, but the fans could not forgive her for being the judges pet.
In the competition, Michelle underrotates a 3flip in the SP (not penalized) and falls in the LP and still wins gold over Sarah Hughes, who was 7th in the SP but had mesmerized the audience with her brilliant LP that put her in 4th place overall, just behind a flawed Cohen, a messy Slutskaya, and an uninspired Michelle with a fall.
This was too much.
The audience surprisingly starts booing the results.
Scott Hamilton has a stroke in the booth.
Sandra Bezic swears she'll never attend a skating event ever again.
Sonia Bianchetti says something has to be done to save the sport.
The Russian and Canadian media go crazy.
The uproar escalates to the point the ISU has to come up with a new scoring system to placate the imminent disaster.
"Here's your new scoring system that will solve all the problems" said Cinquanta
"It's called the 6.0"
I don't really have a problem with CoP, only with the way it is implemented.
Artistic Gymnastics made a similar shift to a CoP-like scoring system about the same time as Figure Skating did, discarding the old 10.0 system. It doesn't seem to have hurt that sport very much. I've noticed that the commentators seem knowledgeable about the scoring, and they do a good job of explaining where gymnasts are gaining or losing points. A gymnast who is extremely good in one aspect of the sport can overcome a portion where they are less expert. I've also noticed that gymnastics judges appear to be very picky, and they apply the pickiness across the board, from the favorites to unknowns.
We sometimes look down our noses at the general public, the casual fan of figure skating, for not understanding the system. That's unfair, since we don't even understand it all the time. I think it is important that we have a system that does take into account the casual fan, or we have to reconcile ourselves that our sport will be a small, elite little club of those "in the know" and to heck with everyone else.
That's OK... but we can't turn around and gripe about the lack of popularity, the absence of televised competition, and the need for more money in the sport to support struggling skaters and broaden our global appeal.
The masses will not support a sport wherein they cannot understand the outcome.
This is really hard to say because I think if the skaters knew the judging system and paramters they would tailor make their routines ie. go for cleaner performances with less difficulty perhaps, hold that spin longer, add another positoin or whatever. I do think Witt would suffer under COP, Surya especially would suffer, I think Tara would not do as well under Cop as people think as her skating skills were kind of juniorish or at least lacking amplitude and power, her jumps ere kind of puny not to mention edge and ur's. They didn't cover the ice like even Yuna's, Mao's, Joannie's et al. COP might have benefitted Brian Orser - I thought he was a jumper but he was quite musical and styulistically very good and detailed. That is one skater I feel sorry for. I think he desrved to beat Scott or Brian at least one of them or he deserved a OGM of his own. Life is about timing too and the then rules or judging parameters. But with COP his skating skills may have rewarded him enough and obviously no school figures or extremely reduced school figures and Hamilton would have been second. It was sad Hamilton had a great personality but his final two freeskates - olympics and world's were underwhelming an dlooked like someone who was struggling to hold on to the gold. He is lucky he has ag reat personality because he really looked like someone who built up a lead and the new kid was knockikng on the door and he was just barely clinging on but clearly with the schuba of the 80's - I am sure deep down Scotty feels a bit bad because he was not even in the running wihen it came to the short or long.
I wonder who will be the Trixie Schuba of the 21st century? Who will be the skater that is awarded Olympic victory on the basis of a spectator-unfriendly scoring system, and yet is not accepted as a true champion by the wider public?
Oddly enough, I mean no disrespect to Trixie Schuba, who excelled in the aspect of her sport that was rewarded at the time. She won her OGM fair and square, but it didn't sit well, and it led to the introduction of the Short Program.
And, FWIW, I still think that ending the school figure requirement has not been a positive thing for the technical side of our sport.
^ That's a great question. Audiences loved 'em some Janet Lynn. But Trixie Schuba was the best ever at school figures. Tall and athletic, she was steady as a rock and her patterns were huge and astonishing in their precision. I think she is, and will be, remembered fondly.
Here she is at the Sopporo Olympics.
By the way, why isn't this great television sports? To me, it has the same dramatic tension as a golfer lining up a crucial putt.
In terms of comebacks in the standings, that's one of the things I love most about IJS. I think it also makes it way more apparent when a judge is propping up a skater, which is good for establishing greater transparency, as hard as that may be. I thought it was always a bit ridiculous if you had to be in the top 3 after the SP to guarantee a win if you won the FS.