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

  1. #61
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    Well Shizuka did a double loop only in her long program. Even when she chose to go conservative that definitely wasnt planned and cost her atleast 4-5 points, which could have cost her the gold had Cohen or Slutskaya skated cleanly.

    To answer this thread it is pretty easy. Wolfgang Schwarz, Evan Lysacek, Sarah Hughes, and Annett Poetzsch. Nobody really comes close to those 4. Wolfgang Schwarz is probably the worst of all as he is now a pedophile and in prison, he only won since a judge wasnt allowed to change his mark to what he had meant for silver medalist Tim Wood, and watching his skating on video he doesnt even come close to the quality of Danzer, Wood, and Petkevitch, and it is not like he was a figures master or way ahead in figures at those Games either. In his Olympic winning program he did only 2 jumps harder than a double lutz, one triple toe, and a mere 1 double axel (in a time skaters were piling the double axels on) and his program was full of singled axels, what a joke.

    On my second tier I would have Madge Julin, Jeanette Altwegg, Kazahkova & Dmitriev (he was amazing and an icon in the sport, and the pair was good when they were on, but looking at their overall amateur careers, not really a typical OGM winner), Linichuk & Karpanasov, Schwarz & Oppelt, and the Belgian pair that won in 48.

    Everyone else in history is quite a good Olympic Champion to wildly varying degrees of course.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Well Shizuka did a double loop only in her long program. Even when she chose to go conservative that definitely wasnt planned and cost her atleast 4-5 points, which could have cost her the gold had Cohen or Slutskaya skated cleanly.

    To answer this thread it is pretty easy. Wolfgang Schwarz, Evan Lysacek, Sarah Hughes, and Annett Poetzsch. Nobody really comes close to those 4.

    On my second tier I would have Madge Julin, Jeanette Altwegg, Kazahkova & Dmitriev (he was amazing and an icon in the sport, and the pair was good when they were on, but looking at their overall amateur careers, not really a typical OGM winner), Linichuk & Karpanasov, Schwarz & Oppelt, and the Belgian pair that won in 48.

    Everyone else in history is quite a good Olympic Champion to wildly varying degrees of course.
    I agree with everything you say above, PangTongfan, with the exception of Lysacek. For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many people on this board dislike him so much and/or discount his greatness. He was the reigning World Champion going into the Olympics and he skated BRILLIANTLY to win. Flailing arms and lack of quad notwithstanding, he skated clean and with a great amount of fire and passion. He may not be one of the greatest ever, but he himself is honest about his not being the most talented but making up for that with his hard work. and I truly enjoyed his Olympic programs and found them complete, charismatic, and thrilling. Plus he got Frank Carroll his long overdue OGM!

  3. #63
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    He is a solid competitor and solid overall skater, and that is what won him his World and Olympic title but in his own era he is still generally regarded as an inferior skater to Plushenko, Lambiel, Takahashi, Chan, possibly Joubert (given his longevity and number of various medals), and possibly Buttle (on his best day just a way more special skater). I think that is about right. I dont think his Olympic Gold is enough to push him over any of those when his overall career is still weaker in many ways (minus Buttle of course), his artistry is far below most of those, and he did not push the sport forward technically in anyway either.

    He isnt a weak skater, just as an Olympic Champion, not on par with the norm. I would be fine moving him into him second tier of weakish winners though, and not putting him with Schwarz, Poetzsch, and Hughes if it would make you happier. Then again I would probably have to move Poetzsch then too as she was atleast the 3rd best skater of her own era, even as incredibly weak as it was, behind Fratianne and Biellmann (well in reality her competitive results blow away Biellmann but I still consider Biellmann a better skater than her inspite that).

  4. #64
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    Definitely Sarah Hughes. It's like she won the lottery. I'm sorry... I still don't understand why Michelle does not have an olympic gold medal. It really upsets me and i'll never get over it

  5. #65
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many people on this board dislike Lysacek so much and/or discount his greatness. He was the reigning World Champion going into the Olympics and he skated BRILLIANTLY to win. Flailing arms and lack of quad notwithstanding, he skated clean and with a great amount of fire and passion.
    Fire and passion? His Long Program in Vancouver was a worksheet. He only showed a bit of spark at the very end...but didn't even close the program out in time with the music. His "transitions" that were so touted as reason for beating Plushenko were actually quite simplistic, made little sense collectively as a choreographic whole, and had even less to do with the music. Just meaningless busy work.

    I would have actually put Lysacek ahead of Plushenko in the SP. But his LP ranks 5th for me at that competition. Takahashi, Kozuka, Plushenko, and Weir all outdid him.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    On my second tier I would have Madge Julin, [b]Jeanette Allwegg]/b], Kazahkova & Dmitriev…
    Jeanette Allwegg? I couldn't find any videos of her skating, but going by her competitive record…

    She was the bronze medalist at the 1948 Olympics, world silver in 1950 and world champion in 1951 and twice European champion. At the 1952 Olympics she beat 16-year-old Tenley Albright as well as the beautiful Jacqueline Du Bief, the subsequent 1952 world champion. She was known as a figures expert, as all champion skaters had to be in those days.

    (Granted, European figure skating was in disarray following World War II.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    It is true that we really don't see anything today that the world's best weren't doing in 1992. With Kristi's or Midori's planned content in 1992, either one of them clean would beat Michelle or Tara at their very best on technical merit alone. I think Michelle is responsible for ushering in the era of needed to be almost perfect to win a big title, as I think Tara, Sarah, Shizuka, and Yuna combined for zero falls, two-foot landings, or pops over their combined eight Olympic performances, which is an astonishing feat.
    Yes, that's what I meant. Thanks for saying it better than I did. We don't see much today that the world's best weren't doing in 1992 in terms of jumps at least. Obviously, the complexity of programs and of elements such as spins have changed due to the demands of CoP, but for example there's only been one officially ratified quad in ladies' competition (courtesy of Miki Ando).

    One thing we might consider adding to the list of difficult jump elements, though, is the three-jump combination, which seems to have shown up in the early 2000s—often a triple-double-double. The first lady I remember doing one was Slutskaya. Was there anyone else I've forgotten before her?

    As far as the lady having the greatest variety of solid triple-triples, I can't remember anyone who's outdone Shizuka Arakawa. YouTube has at least one lovely composite video showing her arsenal of those jump combinations. Is there anyone else we should be listing in this category?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh5jVTphM3I

  8. #68
    “Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.” skatingfan4ever's Avatar
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    Regarding S&P (2002 Pairs), I don't think they were "unworthy." They had a clean LP and the fall at the end of the SP wasn't on an element. To the untrained eye, they certainly were the deserving winners after their LP. It was not as difficult as B&S (and Scott and Sandra admitted as much), but they had visible errors while S&P did not. In the sense of skating like Olympic Champions on that night, they certainly deserved it. But then all that other stuff happened afterward that put a damper on the whole Olympics. Sigh. This "other stuff" has left some with the impression that S&P were "whiners," but I really think that if they had had mistakes in their LP and lost, they wouldn't have had any problem with the silver. They should not be judged too harshly for showing their emotions in the immediate aftermath. Anyone in their place would probably have reacted in a similar way.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    One thing we might consider adding to the list of difficult jump elements, though, is the three-jump combination, which seems to have shown up in the early 2000s—often a triple-double-double. The first lady I remember doing one was Slutskaya. Was there anyone else I've forgotten before her?
    I seem to remember Elena Sokolova doing some about the same time, but I can't quickly find on youtube.

    I don't remember 3-3-2 or 3-2-2 before then. 2-2-2 seemed to be pretty common in the early 90s and probably 80s from juniors or lower level seniors who didn't have enough (or any) triples to fill their programs.

    2A or triple - half loop - 2S or 2F or rarely 3S was not unknown.

    Nicole Bobek once did something (one-foot)1A - 3S - 2T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    I agree with everything you say above, PangTongfan, with the exception of Lysacek. For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many people on this board dislike him so much and/or discount his greatness. He was the reigning World Champion going into the Olympics and he skated BRILLIANTLY to win. Flailing arms and lack of quad notwithstanding, he skated clean and with a great amount of fire and passion. He may not be one of the greatest ever, but he himself is honest about his not being the most talented but making up for that with his hard work. and I truly enjoyed his Olympic programs and found them complete, charismatic, and thrilling. Plus he got Frank Carroll his long overdue OGM!
    A lot of American skaters praise Lysacek for his work ethic. He didn't have a lot of natural talent but he worked very hard with what he had and suffered several major injuries to get to where he is now.

    Oh, and he had Lori Nichol make programs for him that min-maxed COP up the wazoo. I think she and David Wilson were the only people to realize positive GOE scaling was the same for all of the triple and quad jumps and that GOE for level 4 step sequences worked on a graduated scale. Going up against Lysacek with a 6.0 program was like bringing a knife to a Star Trek phaser fight.

  11. #71
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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.

  12. #72
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    Nobody should ever be saying Trixi Schuba. She was probably the best ever at something that was a major part of the sport for decades at that point (compulsory figures). Her own competitors such as Magnussen, Holmes, and Lynn gushed about her figures and called them extraordinary works of perfection.

    Contrast that to people like Hughes and Poetzsch who are not remarkable in anyway. Yeah Poetzsch often won figures in her era, but she was the best in figures of a crop of ladies who all struggled at it.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Jeanette Allwegg? I couldn't find any videos of her skating, but going by her competitive record…

    She was the bronze medalist at the 1948 Olympics, world silver in 1950 and world champion in 1951 and twice European champion. At the 1952 Olympics she beat 16-year-old Tenley Albright as well as the beautiful Jacqueline Du Bief, the subsequent 1952 world champion. She was known as a figures expert, as all champion skaters had to be in those days.

    (Granted, European figure skating was in disarray following World War II.)
    She won events by her compulsory figures. She was usually 4th or 5th in free skating. She also wasnt a stunning figures skater the way Schuba, Fleming, or Dijkstra were. She benefited from the early retirements of Zjanova and others. Not a remarkable champion who you ever hear talked about these days, even in passing.

  14. #74
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    I agree with the poster that said least talented and most undeserving are 2 different things and I have certainly had objection to many champions. In my eyes, there has never been and may never be again an Olympic Champion as undeserving as Oksana Bauil and I was never remotely close to being a Kerrigan fan. Sarah Hughes may certainly lack talent, but undeserving is another argument, yes, she was too high in the sp and if I recall correctly, she almost still lost to Slutskaya who had it not been for the pairs scandal a week before probably would have won and then she would have gone on my undeserving list. I consider the Tara vs. Michelle in Nagano much like 96 Worlds, where a different judge or 2 and you may have seen a different winner, Kwan could have had gold in Nagano and Chen gold at 96 Worlds with a few different judges and neither would have been scandalous. I think ALL the 94 disciplines were wrong but I won't ramble on, I picked my least deserving and it is Bauil from 94. On Scott Hamilton, Orser did win the short and the long at that Olympics (sucks about Orser's figures) but considering this, the argument isn't so far fetched. Perfect example of a skater who won 2 silvers behind people he was better than. "Sometimes" it did matter what happened that day (see Kwan).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    I think ALL the 94 disciplines were wrong but I won't ramble on, I picked my least deserving and it is Bauil from 94.
    I think pairs could have gone either way, but G&G were so good that they deserved high marks on both technical and presentation for the high level skills they exhibited. Had M&D won I could see why as well. Mens was very clear-cut; Elvis only did 6 triples IIRC with one popped axel, and Urmanov did 7, one with a turnout. Even the CAN judge placed Alexi ahead.

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