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Thread: Least Talented/Worthy Olympic Champion(s) ever?

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    Least Talented/Worthy Olympic Champion(s) ever?

    My vote is resoundingly for Sarah Hughes. In this era, she wouldn't even have cracked the top 10 with all her under-rotations and weak skating skills.

    Men= Alexei Urmanov

    Pairs: T & M

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    "Hold an edge and look sexy!" museksk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    Men= Alexei Urmanov
    Oh no, you didn't! Urmanov is great and fully deserved his Olympic championship!

    I agree with you about Sarah Hughes though. Her SP was way overscored in SLC. I had her 7th in that segment behind all of Suguri, Butyrskaya, and Sebestyen. She should have won bronze in Salt Lake, not gold, IMO.

    For Pairs, I will say Sale/Pelletier were the most undeserved "dual" Olympic champions. They should have taken silver I think. T/M fully deserved their Olympic win; even though their skating was not my cup of tea, no pair at that event out-skated them. They were the cleanest and they deserved their title!

    For Men, I go with Evan Lysacek as most undeserved Olympic champion. Lysacek should have been a more distant 3rd in the SP behind both Plushenko and Takahashi. He didn't have Plushenko's technical merit and he didn't have Takahashi's skating skills, presentation, or magnificent program. Lysacek was conservative and bland, IMO; nothing special. He was overscored in that segment and considering that he only won gold by 1.31, if he had been judged accurately for his short, which was inferior to both Evgeni and Daisuke, I feel he would have finished 2nd behind Plushenko overall. Scratch that, Scott Hamilton is least deserving of an Olympic title with his messy LP; I was totally team Orser. Darn school figures!

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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    oh no, you didn't! Urmanov is great and fully deserved his olympic championship!

    I agree with you about sarah hughes though. Her sp was way overscored in slc. I had her 7th in that segment behind all of suguri, butyrskaya, and sebestyen. She should have won bronze in salt lake, not gold, imo.

    For pairs, i will say sale/pelletier were the most undeserved "dual" olympic champions. They should have taken silver i think. T/m fully deserved their olympic win; even though their skating was not my cup of tea, no pair at that event out-skated them. They were the cleanest and they deserved their title!

    For men, i go with evan lysacek as most undeserved olympic champion. Lysacek should have been a more distant 3rd in the sp behind both plushenko and takahashi. He didn't have plushenko's technical merit and he didn't have takahashi's skating skills, presentation, or magnificent program. Lysacek was conservative and bland, imo; nothing special. He was overscored in that segment and considering that he only won gold by 1.31, if he had been judged accurately for his short, which was inferior to both evgeni and daisuke, i feel he would have finished 2nd behind plushenko overall. Scratch that, scott hamilton is least deserving of an olympic title with his messy lp; i was totally team orser. Darn school figures!
    ita

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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    Oh no, you didn't! Urmanov is great and fully deserved his Olympic championship!

    I agree with you about Sarah Hughes though. Her SP was way overscored in SLC. I had her 7th in that segment behind all of Suguri, Butyrskaya, and Sebestyen. She should have won bronze in Salt Lake, not gold, IMO.

    For Pairs, I will say Sale/Pelletier were the most undeserved "dual" Olympic champions. They should have taken silver I think. T/M fully deserved their Olympic win; even though their skating was not my cup of tea, no pair at that event out-skated them. They were the cleanest and they deserved their title!

    For Men, I go with Evan Lysacek as most undeserved Olympic champion. Lysacek should have been a more distant 3rd in the SP behind both Plushenko and Takahashi. He didn't have Plushenko's technical merit and he didn't have Takahashi's skating skills, presentation, or magnificent program. Lysacek was conservative and bland, IMO; nothing special. He was overscored in that segment and considering that he only won gold by 1.31, if he had been judged accurately for his short, which was inferior to both Evgeni and Daisuke, I feel he would have finished 2nd behind Plushenko overall. Scratch that, Scott Hamilton is least deserving of an Olympic title with his messy LP; I was totally team Orser. Darn school figures!
    I agree with you that Alexei performed well in that Olympics. However, he never did well again and was not a truly great skater who will be one for the ages. I did want Elvis to win that year (well, I really wanted Brian Boitano or Kurt to win but they were out of it after the short). I thought Brian B was underscored in both segments of that competition despite errors. 1994 Mens was just a tragedy in my opinion since Kurt missed his chance to win a much-deserved OGM (deserved for quality of skating over a year, contributions to the sport, and that Casablanca program!), Brian missed chance to win two Olympic Golds (and I loved his programs that year too), and Todd Eldredge didn't even get to compete, Scott Davis was all about the Mighty Doubles . Just a sad sad event.

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    T/M fully deserved their Olympic win; even though their skating was not my cup of tea, no pair at that event out-skated them. They were the cleanest and they deserved their title!

    Scratch that, Scott Hamilton is least deserving of an Olympic title with his messy LP; I was totally team Orser. Darn school figures!
    I agree with you re Scott H over Orser although with the figures he did win fair and square. Orser's 84 programs were so great!
    I also want to clarify that although T & M did deserve to win that year, they are not among the most talented pairs ever so their win for me was somewhat clouded. That's why I wrote Talented/Worthy- sometimes I'm talking about least deserving and sometimes least talented- among the OGM winners in pairs, I think most everyone would agree that T & M rank at the bottom for talent.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    Scratch that, Scott Hamilton is least deserving of an Olympic title with his messy LP; I was totally team Orser. Darn school figures!
    Whoa, Scott Hamilton "untalented" and "unworthy" ro join the ranks of Olympic champions? True, he did not skate his best in the free program, but after the figures competition the title was not in jeopardy. As for his "worthiness," this four-time world champion went on to serve as the point man for men's figure skating in the U.S. for decades. Still is, in fact.

    In general, a close contest that could go either way does not make someone untalented or unworthy. Neither does a competition where a surprising upstart jumps up and steals the thunder from the pre-event favorite. That's why figure skating is a sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Whoa, Scott Hamilton "untalented" and "unworthy" ro join the ranks of Olympic champions? True, he did not skate his best in the free program, but after the figures competition the title was not in jeopardy. As for his "worthiness," this four-time world champion went on to serve as the point man for men's figure skating in the U.S. for decades. Still is, in fact.

    In general, a close contest that could go either way does not make someone untalented or unworthy. Neither does a competition where a surprising upstart jumps up and steals the thunder from the pre-event favorite. That's why figure skating is a sport.

    Exactly. While if you threw out figures Scott would've been lower in the rankings, figures was a big thing back then and it wasn't like this news was kept from Orser. 84 wasn't his first winter games... so, while it's frustrating that Scott won basically on one third of the event, it's understandable. it was FIGURE skating after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Exactly. While if you threw out figures Scott would've been lower in the rankings, figures was a big thing back then and it wasn't like this news was kept from Orser. 84 wasn't his first winter games... so, while it's frustrating that Scott won basically on one third of the event, it's understandable. it was FIGURE skating after all.
    Yes, the top skaters spent more time training figures than the jumps at that time, which I think is why you saw the ladies technical bar rise dramatically after figures were eliminated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    figures was a big thing back then and it wasn't like this news was kept from Orser. 84 wasn't his first winter games...
    1984 was Orser's first Olympics. But no, the competition structure was not a surprise to him, was not different at the Olympics than any other event he'd been competing in for the years he'd already been going to senior internationals.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    The thing is...Scott Hamilton might have to deserved to be as low as 7th in the LP at that Olympics. He definitely shouldn't have been higher than 4th when compared to the performances I've seen of Orser, Boitano, and Cerne. Then there was also Fadeev, Kotin, and Sabovcik, whom I haven't seen full performances of. However, from what I know, Fadeev was doing ALL the jumps and actually landed a slightly two-footed Quad at that event (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlIfwwq-BUo). He must have had a fall to place only 7th, but he probably still landed 5 Triples + that solid Quad attempt, which is way beyond Hamilton's offering. Kotin was a great freestyle skater and always undermarked throughout his whole career. Sabovcik landed 6 Triples including a Triple Axel, I'm told.

    Anyway, if Hamilton was placed as 3rd in SP and 4th LP, that already would be enough to lose to Brian Orser placing 1st in the SP and 1st in the LP. So, Orser is definitely the REAL 1984 Olympic Champion in my mind.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I have to stick up for my girl Sarah. If she competed now…but she didn't. She had a lovely layback spin. She let 'er rip when all the chips were on the table (to mix metaphors ) She trounced figure skating legends Kwan and Slutskaya in their prime. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Go Sarah!

    For the men, in the category of forgotten champion, I have a soft spot in my heart for Manfred Schnelldorfer, surprise winner at Innsbruch. He has such a cool name. After his career was over he did a bunch of stuff, including a career as a popular singer and movie actor. He also continued in skating as coach of the German team.

    On the bad side, no one compares with Wolfgang Schwartz. Not only did he rob the much superior Emmerich Danzer of gold in the in the 1968 Olympics, but he went on to become a horrible criminal. He was twice arrested for human trafficking -- bringing eastern European women into Germany and forcing them to work as prostitutes. When he got out of jail he went right back in for kidnapping a Romanian teenager. (He is serving eight years as we speak.)

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Sarah's performance was wonderful and she only underrotated one jump. Her skating skills weren't very weak at all? She just couldn't do the correct lutz edge.

    Anett Potzsch obviously owns this title.

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    I wanted Elvis to win in 1994 (well, I wanted Kurt, but he had lost his chance after the SP) but can't fault Alexei Urmanov. He did a wonderful job and had meticulous skills. He would have had a more impressive career afterward but was hampered by injuries pretty early on.

    It's easy to vote for Wolfgang Schwartz, so I will do so. For one thing, he comes from the school figures era, when one could end up with a winner who had nothing much to recommend him in terms of actual skating. It's easier to diss someone from that more mechanistic day. For another, as a human being, he sounds like a slime.

    Speaking of school figures, one could mention Trixi Schuba as another "least deserving" winner, though that would be hardly fair. After all, when she won in 1972, being uncannily good at school figures could get you to the top of any competition, and that's what she did. She may have been the best ever school figures specialist. The fact that she wasn't even top five in the world in actual, you know, skating, seems as if it ought to have counted in the final marks, but that's not the way things were in those days. By 1976, figures counted for less, and there was a short program as well as the free skate. But Schuba won fair and square in 1972, alas. Nevertheless, I'd put her on our list because figure skating by definition should include skating.

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    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    But Schuba won fair and square in 1972, alas. Nevertheless, I'd put her on our list because figure skating by definition should include skating.
    Figure skating by definition should also include figures... but I suppose I lost that argument years ago.

    There is so little footage of earlier figures, but from what little I've seen, Schuba was light-years ahead of the competition in this regard, during an era when figures were the majority of the score.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    Sarah's performance was wonderful and she only underrotated one jump. Her skating skills weren't very weak at all? She just couldn't do the correct lutz edge.

    ...
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