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Thread: Michelle Kwan vs. the 2004 Worlds

  1. #1
    Stuck in the Kwan/Cohen years KwanIsALegend's Avatar
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    Michelle Kwan vs. the 2004 Worlds

    I know this topic has probably been hashed and rehashed, but it still baffles me to this day. How weird was the 2004 worlds for Michelle Kwan?
    The 2004 Worlds was a very bizarre event for Michele. She was penalized for going 3 seconds over in her music, which most every skater has done at some point in their competitive careers and have not been penalized at all. Then the truly bizarre incident with the man running out onto the ice and stripping right before Michelle's LP.

    What is your opinion? Was someone out to destroy Michelle's chances of winning? To rattle her and break her concentration?
    The two events happening at the same worlds is strange to say the least.

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    No, I don't think there was any big conspiracy going on. The streaker was there to advertise a gambling web site. IIRC he had "appeared" at other sporting events that year for the same purpose, having nothing to do with figure skating. He chose Michelle's performance for his act because he figurered that's when the most people would be watching.

    The time thing, well, she was over the time. In fact, they changed the rule the next year to extend the length of the short program because of it. It is possible that the referee or time-keeper paid especial attention to Michelle because she was the highest-profile competitor. I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that some competitor's camp had noticed that she went over the time limit at U.S. Nationals, so they alerted the officials to watch out for it. I don't know.

    The problem with that Temptation Begins music is that it falls away to a whisper at the end, so in the arena you can't really tell if the music has stopped or not. If the skater continues with movement after the music appears to have stopped -- well, the time is supposed to measured by movement, not the music, but still it gives the illusion of finishing behind the music which could call attention to the time.

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    Custom Title TwinnerA's Avatar
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    So what was the actual penalty given for going over 3 seconds (Wikipedia says it was 2 seconds)?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinnerA View Post
    So what was the actual penalty given for going over 3 seconds (Wikipedia says it was 2 seconds)?
    Each judge is supposed to subtract .1 from both the first mark and the second. Under the 6.0 system it was sometimes hard to tell whether the judges applied required deductions strictly according to the rules or not.

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    Would she have even won nationals that year if the penalty had been properly imposed at that competition? Uncharacteristic of Michelle to claim she hadn't made a mistake (video) when she had.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    I think Kwan got enough benefits of the doubt in her career, especially at USN. It's hard for the referee to not notice she's over the time limit when the clock is RIGHT THERE for everyone to see. No I don't think it was a conspiracy. It was amazing how she brushed off that streaker and kept her composure. Dorothy Hamill would have run off the ice in tears and stopped the competition until she could go back on the ice. But it WAS Kwan's 11th Worlds, so she had the experience to handle it.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    Would she have even won nationals that year if the penalty had been properly imposed at that competition?...
    She would have won anyway. Looking at the judges' protocols, it is just possible that Jenny Kirk might have inched into second in the short program (Sasha Cohen was first), by 5 judges to 4. But Michelle was in no danger of dropping below third behind Angela Nikodinov or Amber Corwin.

    In the long program Michelle gave perhaps the most exciting and passionate performance of her entire career, earning first place ordinals across the board (though Sasha was no slouch).

    What really put Michelle behind the eight ball at worlds was the qualifying round. By the luck of the seeding system she was in the harder of the two qualifying groups, with Shizuka Arakawa, teenage phenomenon Miki Ando and Irina Slutskaya (although Irina was not up to par that year). Sasha, in the other group, had only Elena Sokolova to contend with (the 2004 Sokolova, not the 2003 Sokolova ) Also, as I recall, the earlier group (Michelle's) had problems with the ice -- it was too hard, or too cold, or something -- and the second, later, group gave uniformly cleaner performances.

    Michelle probably wouldn't have won that year no matter what, as Arakawa gave the best LP performance of her career (Turandot).
    Last edited by Mathman; Today at 06:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Each judge is supposed to subtract .1 from both the first mark and the second. Under the 6.0 system it was sometimes hard to tell whether the judges applied required deductions strictly according to the rules or not.
    One judge gave Michelle a 5.1 on the first mark, which was ridiculous. I don't think it was a conspiracy. I do think that judge, at least, went out of his or her way to penalize Michelle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post
    I think Kwan got enough benefits of the doubt in her career, especially at USN. It's hard for the referee to not notice she's over the time limit when the clock is RIGHT THERE for everyone to see. No I don't think it was a conspiracy. It was amazing how she brushed off that streaker and kept her composure. Dorothy Hamill would have run off the ice in tears and stopped the competition until she could go back on the ice. But it WAS Kwan's 11th Worlds, so she had the experience to handle it.
    Michelle might have gotten a few more 6.0's than she deserved at Nationals, but when did she win by being given the benefit of the doubt? Sasha sometimes led after the short program but always handed Michelle the win with a flawed long program. 1996--a clear win. 1997-she lost to Tara. 1998-a crushing victory (no undeserved 6.0's here). 1999-She fell in the long program but had a beautiful 3-3. Does anyone really think Naomi Nari Nam, the silver medalist, deserved to win this year? 2000-Sasha had it in the bag until she fell on the last jump. 2001-I couldn't find Sarah Hughes's skate for this year. Michelle made a mistake on her opening 3-3 but skated the rest of the program very well and landed 6 triples. 2002-Michelle would have won the Olympics if she had skated like this in SLC. 2003--Michelle dominated. 2004-Michelle's long program is one for the ages. I think even Sasha's fans agree that Michelle deserved to win. 2005--again, the door was open for Sasha to walk through but she faltered. Michelle short program was one of her best of all time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    No, I don't think there was any big conspiracy going on. The streaker was there to advertise a gambling web site. IIRC he had "appeared" at other sporting events that year for the same purpose, having nothing to do with figure skating. He chose Michelle's performance for his act because he figurered that's when the most people would be watching.
    Yeah, that same company has a bit of a history messing up events. In Athens in the men's synchro competition, one guy climbed to the top of the diving platform and jumped into the water. Weirdly enough, it must have rattled a few teams as the Chinese, US, and Russian teams all messed up their final dives, allowing the Greek pair (who had already dived before the incident) to come from 4th to win gold. (China received a zero score dropping from a healthy lead to 8th overall, the US dropped from 2nd to 6th).

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