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Thread: World and Olympic chokers and their opposites

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    World and Olympic chokers and their opposites

    It is a mental game you must win before you even skate.

    Who are your favorite chokers? And the reverse-what choker pulled off the skate needed and medaled?
    For me MK was most talented skater to choke in SLC. Nagano was perfect.

    I expected Paul Wylie to choke and 1992 the stars aligned. Wow-thrilling.

    Who else do you recall in this category?

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Oh, Debi Thomas-huge surprise-I never saw that coming. Witt Manley were stellar that night-so hard to watch.

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    Who else? help me memory here. Galindo was a singles choker...then his last skate in San Jose blew everyones mind. not Olympic skate but wow-rags to riches 1996.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Jill Trenary for sure. Slutskaia. Petrenko. Browning. Thomas, Sumners.

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    Chokers would include Kurt Browning big time - two olympics and favoured for gold and got nothing. Maybe Michelle Kwan usually so consistent. Linda Frantianne, Rosalyn Sumners and Debi Thomas were three American girls favoured for gold and all fell short - opening up on jumps or missing and lack that spark almost in the same vein of MichellKwan. On the other side Paul Wylie, Oksana Baiul, boitano to a point, Liz Manley, Witt (she somehow even fluked out in 94 eating many good skaters with far more arsenal of jumps than her, Lu Chen and Candelero all come to mind..

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Kurt, yes, huge choker, 4 world titles and no Oly medal. Major talent. How is this even possible? Sumners didn't chioke, but Debi was a mess.

    Tonya chokes in two Olympics. Such a waste.

    Linda didn't choke either.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    It is a mental game you must win before you even skate.
    Yep, great quote. So I know "choking" has a bad connotation, it's just that anyone who has been competitive in ANY elite endeavor understands that feeling of choking. Hopefully you only feel it once, and then recognize that possibility and block it out. Doesn't matter if it is sports, music, academics, I think it is natural to blow an exam or skate or tennis match.

    I forgot about Todd Eldredge. The quintessential underachiever and you could see it all over his face. It's like he'd get scared and like clockwork would blow that second 3axel into a single, and then try to regroup and go for a 3axel at the end. Too bad he didn't have that precision-like fighting spirit to just nail that second 3axel where it should have been.

    Someone also mentioned Tonya Harding. I don't think she necessarily 'choked'. I think her issues are far deep-rooted and she'd rather slack off/quit/claim injury than risk doing her best and not winning. I felt she was always in search of pity and an excuse. It makes no sense that at Skate America she tore up the competition and was in the very best shape of her life, only to fall to out of shape for the rest of the season. I think Tonya was scared of success and just wanted to be the Tonya everyone pitied because she was abused as a child and grew up dirt poor. I guess that is choking in a way, but she didn't show up to either of her Olympics in tip top shape so not much could be expected from her.

    Choking is different than having a bad performance. I was rooting for Kwan in SLC. Well, I was more Team Sasha, but wanted Kwan to close the circle of history. I don't think she choked. She missed her opening 3toe and couldn't tack on another 3toe, and that was just bad luck. Also with her father as her credentialed coach I'm sure how very little professional tutelage she was getting. She missed the 3flip in both the SP and LP. That wasn't choking, it was just no coaching to get her back into the right technique.

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    I think its a fair term used in every pressure sport-much nicer than headcase used here a lot. Just to get attention to definition. Kwan didn't choke ever really. Debi should have won, had the talent/programs. Major choke-mind boggling at time.

    Todd and Kurt never could perform at biggest event. How about current skaters who may have choked in GP. Agnes is in a sad pattern.

    As far as pairs or Ice dancers, who was known for blowing it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I think its a fair term used in every pressure sport-much nicer than headcase used here a lot. Just to get attention to definition. Kwan didn't choke ever really. Debi should have won, had the talent/programs. Major choke-mind boggling at time.

    Todd and Kurt never could perform at biggest event. How about current skaters who may have choked in GP. Agnes is in a sad pattern.

    As far as pairs or Ice dancers, who was known for blowing it?
    Kwan was hedging her bets during Olympic times to really full-out choke, if you will; she was always too measured (e.g., recycling a program, deliberately switching a triple jump, etc etc.), too tentative during her Olympic skates. Harsh to say, but it was poetic justice when she lost to Lipinski.

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    I disagree about Kwan. Nagano was a great games for her. She skated great-nothing held back, she just wasn't the jumper Tara was. It was so close.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I disagree about Kwan. Nagano was a great games for her. She skated great-nothing held back, she just wasn't the jumper Tara was. It was so close.
    Even in Nagano it was obvious, and not to make the ole tired sports cliché again, but in both the SP and FP, you could tell one skated to win and the other skated not to lose-- and we all know which one was which. You could tell from the demeanor throughout those programs.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post

    I forgot about Todd Eldredge. The quintessential underachiever and you could see it all over his face. It's like he'd get scared and like clockwork would blow that second 3axel into a single, and then try to regroup and go for a 3axel at the end. Too bad he didn't have that precision-like fighting spirit to just nail that second 3axel where it should have been.
    I think it's a bit harsh to call him the "quintessential underachiever." despite the lack of an Olympic medal, he has accomplished a lot in figure skating (1996 World Champion, 6 time World medalist, 6 time US champ, 5 time Skate America Champ), etc. While I would have loved seeing him win that elusive Olympic medal, he ended his final Olympics (SLC 2002) on a happy note with a very strong free skate (despite that fall on the quad attempt). Too bad he had that fall in his short program there. Had that not happened, I think he would have had a realistic chance of finishing on the podium.

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