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

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Like on most things figure skating you are in your own little World on this one.
    Talk is cheap, boo.
    Tell me what G/G are better at? Programs? They do the same programs every year. Tech? Hello, where's the SBS triple. What 2A throw? Very C/S of them.
    No innovation, just pleasant to look at. Boring. Next.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    Excellent post Poodlepal! and I'd love it if you'd start a new thread with the question you pose at the end of it!
    I think that would be a much more positive thread, and I'd love to see it. Definitely Browning would be in there, though he couldn't have earned an Olympic medal on the strength of either his '92 or '94 Olympic performances. The great thing is that he made up for these lapses both before and after his two Olympic attempts, both technically and artistically, and his skating record is unparalleled despite his two Olympic flame-outs.

    I'd also add Yuka Sato, a favorite skater of mine. Such a shame that she popped that jump in 1994, but on the other hand, she managed a World championship soon after.

    Going further back, I think Ken Shelley and JoJo Starbuck were deprived of a medal in 1972. For other reasons, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner were deprived of their chance to compete at all in 1980. They were the then-current world champions (though that was partly due to Rodnina's maternity leave in 1979), and they would almost certainly have medaled (probably not gold, since Rodnina/Zaitsev were back in fighting trim), if Randy Gardner's leg could have held him up.

  3. #108
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I think that would be a much more positive thread, and I'd love to see it.
    I dunno, it'd make me sad... thinking back on some of the biggest "disappointments" is tough... I still have a hard time watching video of the 1992 Olympics even with the joy of watching Paul Wylie finally realize his potential when it counted...

  4. #109
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Tell me what G/G are better at?
    Gordeeva/Grinkov had better basic skating, transitions, lifts, footwork, unison, and interpretation.

    Mishkutenok/Dmitriev had better jumps and one of their throws was a little more difficult.

    I think it's fair G/G won even with all the little mistakes, because they were simply the best ever in so many areas. It was close. If Dmitriev wouldn't have tripped on his footwork then I think they surely would have deserved it, but that was a rather significant mistake.

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    Gordeeva/Grinkov had better basic skating, transitions, lifts, footwork, unison, and interpretation.

    Mishkutenok/Dmitriev had better jumps and one of their throws was a little more difficult.

    I think it's fair G/G won even with all the little mistakes, because they were simply the best ever in so many areas. It was close. If Dmitriev wouldn't have tripped on his footwork then I think they surely would have deserved it, but that was a rather significant mistake.
    Blades of Passion, I think you are spot-on! Thank you!

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I dunno, it'd make me sad... thinking back on some of the biggest "disappointments" is tough... I still have a hard time watching video of the 1992 Olympics even with the joy of watching Paul Wylie finally realize his potential when it counted...
    I thought I'd be sadder at the thought, but Browning has de-fanged the sharpness of his defeats by becoming just about unparalleled as a skater. How much more central could he be to skating even with an Olympic medal?

    I know that you and I don't see eye to eye on Michelle Kwan, but she too has made having the ultimate Olympic medal less relevant by her sparkling career.

  7. #112
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    A nicer way of putting it would be: lucky Olympic champions who upset the favorites.

    Even those "lucky" people did not come from nowhere.

    A few examples:
    1. Winner-Sarah. Favorite-Michelle or Irina. Shocker? Not really. Sarah was considered one of the top skaters of her era and was a world bronze medallist. Maybe today she would suffer the same fate as Mirai (looks like she did a good job, but apparently didn't rotate enough) but back then she was an up and coming star.

    2. Tara,Evan and Oksana were World Champions from the previous year. The silver medallists did very well and arguably could have/should have been the winner, but none of these three were undeserving or just came out of nowhere.

    3. Scott, Carolina and Patrick. I'm assuming the latter two will medal in Sochi, and I'm rather cynically imagining they will not skate clean, as has been their pattern. I'm not wishing ill will on them--I hope they do well. But they illustrate something.

    All three of these skated at a time when falls didn't matter as much as school figures (Scott) or "skating skills" (Patrick and Carolina). The woman who beat Janet Lynn would be in this category as well. Had any of these four skated in the golden age of no figures and clean skating counting most of all, from the 90s to the early to mid 00s, they would not have won. But they fulfilled the requirements of their era, whether the fans liked it or not. Evan might be here, too. That year, you could get enough points without a quad, and he figured out how to do it.

    So I wouldn't say any of them were undeserved. Now, if you want to go the other way, we could talk about people who should have gotten a medal but had really bad luck/timing, like Kurt Browning or Todd Eldredge.
    Amen, especially your last sentence!

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    But after the bizarre results of the men's competition at the previous year's Europeans, the ISU had switched from majority of ordinals to OBO....
    (GKelly can correct this post for me if I made any mistakes. )
    Since you ask... The only correction I'll make is that the men's competition at Europeans that inspired OBO had taken place 5 years earlier, in 1997.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Tell me what G/G are better at?
    Edge quality. Maybe speed -- hard to tell on video esp. poor-quality youtube videos.
    Extension --which is not the same as flexibility, but also includes not only straight knee and pointed toes in the free leg, but also the stretch and lift of the upper body
    Unison -- not just on side-by-side elements, but in every moment between the elements including matching body line

    Those are general areas where they tended to be superior to the rest of the field as a whole. I'd have to watch the programs again to see if there were specific areas where they were superior to M&D that night.

    I too found them more boring/less emotionally engaging than M&D, watching on TV. But that's a much less important criterion for judging pair skating than skating skills and unison.

  9. #114
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    I have a strong recollection of one thing that one of the commentators pointed out after the pairs long program, showing video to demonstrate: there was a throw that both pairs did. Dmitriev stopped to lift and throw his partner. Grinkov just kept gliding throughout the entire throw.

    As for speed, a friend who attended the first Skates of Gold event live said that during the warmup, Gordeyeva and Grinkov skated separately for awhile, and both skated with really startling speed compared to everyone else on the ice (including Dmitriev and Mishkutenok).

    I'm not generally able to pick up such things on my own, but I remember these details noticed by people more knowledgeable than I.

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Tell me what G/G are better at?
    A way better double and triple twist, better throw triple salchow, better double axels with more height and better unision, harder and better performed death spirals, better footwork, more difficult lifts, better edge quality and basic skating, more and quieter speed, and more overall polish and subtlety.

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I thought I'd be sadder at the thought, but Browning has de-fanged the sharpness of his defeats by becoming just about unparalleled as a skater. How much more central could he be to skating even with an Olympic medal?

    I know that you and I don't see eye to eye on Michelle Kwan, but she too has made having the ultimate Olympic medal less relevant by her sparkling career.
    I agree..this is probably the reason why I may not watch the ladies until sometime down the line…I just want to see who won or who lucked out.

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Edge quality. Maybe speed -- hard to tell on video esp. poor-quality youtube videos.
    I agree that G/G's edge quality is better. They look cleaner.
    Speed is hard to tell. People who said they are sitting in the warm up and watch the pairs on the ice together and one pair is faster than the other are really questionable.
    Whenever I see an event live, I always notice they are much faster in the warm up than in the actual program. Unless you're Carolina Kostner and someone with average speed, it's much harder to tell in the actual program.
    I find the best way to judge speed is to see ice coverage. Faster skaters tend to cover the entire rink.

    Extension --which is not the same as flexibility, but also includes not only straight knee and pointed toes in the free leg, but also the stretch and lift of the upper body
    Natalia's sturdier built gives the impression that her knee is not straight, but that girl is all about straight knee and pointed toes. Dmitriev's line is better than Sergei's.
    Katia's body is more ideal for skating, but she alone doesn't make the pair better extension. People tend to forget that.

    Unison -- not just on side-by-side elements, but in every moment between the elements including matching body line
    This one is one of the biggest fallacy about G/G.
    They tend to do much easier elements and easier footwork than their competitors.
    If I drag a juvi girl across the pond with me, I'm sure our unison is better than G/G, too.
    If your straight line step sequence only has simple turns and a choctaw here and there, of course you give the illusion that you have better unison. I doubt if they go for harder footwork, they can keep that unison that everyone said they have.

    I too found them more boring/less emotionally engaging than M&D, watching on TV. But that's a much less important criterion for judging pair skating than skating skills and unison.
    That's my point. They are very neat looking, and everything looks clean and pristine, but my god, where is the innovation? Where is the drama? Where is the heart pounding excitement? They have none. I was bored by them.

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    A way better double and triple twist, better throw triple salchow, better double axels with more height and better unision, harder and better performed death spirals, better footwork, more difficult lifts, better edge quality and basic skating, more and quieter speed, and more overall polish and subtlety.
    the twist is cleaner, but again, both are level 1 twist. No real difference in score in today standard.

    Here's the SBS spins
    G/G totally out of sync
    http://flightaware.com/live/flight/D...700Z/RJAA/KSFO

    Here's the tiny 3Sal throw.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HzcKEYq-WI#t=93

    Compare to M/D 3Sal throw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNDqZuQVcQg#t=211

    Not exactly sure what make G/G 3Sal throw better. Today standard, both would get at most +1 GOE.

    Why not compare the SBS 2A solo jump to SBS 3T jump?
    And compare the SBS 1A-2T (stumble) combo to SBS 2A-2T combo?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HzcKEYq-WI#t=143

    Yeah, both SBS jumps, M/D crushed G/G.

    And here's G/G steps. Incredible how simple it was. Level 0?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HzcKEYq-WI#t=213

    Like I said, you can attain unison better if you just walk across the rink. The soldiers marching have better unison than G/G, using the same logic.

    Overall polish because overall there was nothing to it.

    The only things I can see they did better in 1994 is the twist, death spirals, and cleaner skating skills. The rest is way below M/D.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I have a strong recollection of one thing that one of the commentators pointed out after the pairs long program, showing video to demonstrate: there was a throw that both pairs did. Dmitriev stopped to lift and throw his partner. Grinkov just kept gliding throughout the entire throw.
    But that doesn't translate to technical score.
    M/D had harder throw and just because Dmitriev slowed down and threw Natalia doesn't negate the difference between 3T and 2A throw.

    Today standard
    G/G would have 9.5 on SS, 7 on TR, 7 on CH, 9 on PE, 8 on IN (not much to intepret)
    M/D would have 8.5 on SS, 8 on TR, 10 on CH (I think their Rach LP is one of the best choreographed pair program ever), 9.5 on PE, and 10 on IN.

    M/D would have crushed G/G in PCS if each components are scored independent of each other.
    M/D would have crushed G/G in TES as well.

    The result shouldn't even be close. 6.0 system had some really screwed up wackadoo results.

  15. #120
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    That's not an accurate representation, LOL. Maybe you weren't excited by Moonlight Sonata, but they drew out the character of that music beautifully.

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