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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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
Katia's body is more ideal for skating, but she alone doesn't make the pair better extension. People tend to forget that.
This one is one of the biggest fallacy about G/G.Unison -- not just on side-by-side elements, but in every moment between the elements including matching body line
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.
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.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.
Here's the SBS spins
G/G totally out of sync
Here's the tiny 3Sal throw.
Compare to M/D 3Sal throw
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?
Yeah, both SBS jumps, M/D crushed G/G.
And here's G/G steps. Incredible how simple it was. Level 0?
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.
M/D had harder throw and just because Dmitriev slowed down and threw Natalia doesn't negate the difference between 3T and 2A throw.
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.
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.