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Thread: Unusually good or bad performances, and reasons given

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    Unusually good or bad performances, and reasons given

    I posted something similar in the "head case" thread, how there were a few reasons why a skater who is known to be excellent could have a bad day, with performance anxiety being only one of them.

    So I was thinking, what are some other reasons given for someone's bad skate? I was thinking of a few examples. (Note: I have no idea how true these reasons are, they are just things I heard from various sources)

    Johnny Weir--2006 Olympic LP--missed bus/too much partying at Olympic Village
    Evan Lyscacek--2006 Olympic SP--stomach virus
    Sasha--2006 Olympic LP--either nerves or had bad jump technique to begin with (heard that here)
    Patrick Chan--2010 Olympics--recovering from an injury
    Kurt Browning--had a back injury for one Olympics, at least, that cost him a medal
    Jeremy 2010--probably nerves
    Michelle 2002--weird coach situation
    Rachael Flatt 2011-broken leg
    Alissa Czisny 2012 (?)--never heard, but this was the worst of them. Was she injured?
    Tonya--skate fell off/became untied (yeah, don't know if I believe it, either)
    Debi 1988--she said she was "too calm" but coach thought the opposite

    People who skated better than they usually did:
    Sarah 2002--she said she got mad when she was "counted out."
    Johnny 2010 LP--who knows, maybe he caught the bus and stopped partying this time
    Nancy Kerrigan 1994--mad because she was hit on the knee

    It seems that anger can be a great motivator for skating better than usual, but pressure to win, bad training habits and especially recovering from or trying to tolerate an injury is the reason for most unusually bad performances. This is all unscientific, of course.

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    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Well, as a skater I can say that anyone can have a bad day: without having a specific reason, you can make mistakes in jumps/spins that you usually land/perform perfectly, because in that specific moment you make a silly mistake or you are not concentrated enough, or because you didn't sleep well the night before, sometimes you can completely bomb simply because you don't "feel your legs" on that day (I don't know if you understand what I mean). Top athletes who train several hours per day, have a very good technique and work with sport psychologists or things like these should have this problems less often than skaters who train 1/2 hours per day and compete in low-level competitions, but I think that we (fans) often expect perfection from these athletes: anyone can have a bad day and a bad skate, and we should understand and accept this (even if I admit that it is very difficult, when it comes to your favourites )

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    Alyssa had a torn labium at the 2012 Worlds, she wasn't aware of it and said she wouldn't have skated if she had known. Patrick Chan in 2010 was coming off an injury, I think it was a hamstring injury. Kurt had a back injury in 1992 in Albertville. Didn't Tonya have problems with her equipment at almost every competition? Her dress came apart in 1993 at nationals, her blade came loose in 1993 Skate America and the infamous skate lace in 1994. Makes me wonder, was she doing it on purpose to have a reason to stop and start again? I think that's a large part of the reason for the rule change in 2000-01 where you don't get a restart, you pick up from where you left off, which is better. I definitely think Michelle's not having a coach hindered her. You need a coach especially at the Olympics. Sarah is a determined competitor and being thought of as the underdog definitely lit a fire under her. Johnny's "missed the bus" is pretty lame, but at least too much partying is honest.

    Add to that
    Nicole Bobek 1998 Olympics: Hip flexor also lack of discipline
    Emanuel Sandhu 2006-- Gave up (He says it's because he didn't go to the Olympics in 1998, he blamed all his inconsistencies on that).
    Josee Chouinard 1994: Nerves, forced to go on early after Tonya's skate SNAFU
    Midori Ito 1992: Pressure from her country

    Add to those who skated better
    Shizuka Arakawa 2006: Determined to win and skated for it.
    Joannie Rochette 2010 Olympics: Honouring her mother's memory, said she was in her own bubble to stay focused
    Elizabeth Manley 1988: Was able to conquer her nerves

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    Custom Title Johar's Avatar
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    Sandhu once blamed a ghost in his hotel room for his bad performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johar View Post
    Sandhu once blamed a ghost in his hotel room for his bad performance.
    What?? Are you serious?

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    Custom Title Johar's Avatar
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    Yes, LOL!

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    Well, it's original!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johar View Post
    Sandhu once blamed a ghost in his hotel room for his bad performance.
    Was it the ghost of Axel Paulsen? Because that would explain everything about Sandhu.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Brian Joubert has said that he knew before the Vancouver Olympics that he wasn't ready and that in hindsight he shouldn't have competed there. but who can WD from the Olympics without any real reason? Nobody.

    Lulu's bad SP at 1997 Worlds has been attributed to injury. Nobunari Oda's SP disaster at 2010 Worlds has been linked to him being stressed over his girlfriend (now wife) discovering that she was pregnant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johar View Post
    Sandhu once blamed a ghost in his hotel room for his bad performance.
    Complaining about hotel ghosts is not unprecedented in sports. There's a hotel in Milwaukee that's supposedly haunted and lots of MLB players have complained about it. Some refuse to stay there or sleep with their bats. But a skater would be defenseless

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post

    Complaining about hotel ghosts is not unprecedented in sports. There's a hotel in Milwaukee that's supposedly haunted and lots of MLB players have complained about it. Some refuse to stay there or sleep with their bats. But a skater would be defenseless
    That's when we bring Jeff Gillooly (now Stone) with us for the sleepover ;-)

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    And here I thought ghosts and bats naturally went together...

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coppertop1 View Post
    Alyssa had a torn labium at the 2012 Worlds
    LOL. I didn't know that, but I knew she had a torn labrum at those Worlds!!!! haha

    I was so disappointed with Johnny Weir in 2006, missing the bus, not feeling his aura, and every other excuse he made. Also Bobek was supposedly injured at the Olympics, and Kwiatkowski was told to be available, but Bobek went and had the worst showing ever for an American woman at the Olympics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post

    I was so disappointed with Johnny Weir in 2006, missing the bus, not feeling his aura, and every other excuse he made. Also Bobek was supposedly injured at the Olympics, and Kwiatkowski was told to be available, but Bobek went and had the worst showing ever for an American woman at the Olympics.
    In many ways Johnny Weir is like the American version of Emanuel Sandhu: Artistic, talent to spare, but notoriously inconsistent. Sandhu also has excuses, not being chosen for the Olympics in 1998 is the main one.

    No one withdraws from the Olympics if they think they can compete. They work their lives for it. Nicole incredibly talent but was her own worst enemy. How long was she injured for? Since Tonia was on stand by, sounds like before the Olympics. Michelle Kwan did the right thing in 2006, rather than skate well below her standard, she realized she couldn't and bowed out in time for Emily Hughes compete.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Weir and Sandhu have their similarities. But Sandhu wasn't as technically sound, and I don't think had the secure edging that Weir had. I can understand Sandhu being upset about 98, but he carried that for far too long. He should have been happy with his performance at his first senior Nationals and gone on from there. Weir was frustrating because he did not skate "smart". It seemed he was always leaving a jumping pass on the table, not doing a 3 jump combo, not maximizing his spins, etc.

    Bobek injured herself right before or during her Nationals exhibition IIRC. She was off the ice for too long and couldn't regain her fitness. She was always crash-training and it appeared crash-dieting, so once she backed off her training the weight started coming back on. She was noticeably heavier in Nagano than in Philly. I suppose I wouldn't have expected her to give up her place on the team, but it was pretty sad how the Campbell's soup girls were touted for a possible sweep and Bobek ended up in like 18th place. Sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post
    Weir and Sandhu have their similarities. But Sandhu wasn't as technically sound, and I don't think had the secure edging that Weir had. I can understand Sandhu being upset about 98, but he carried that for far too long. He should have been happy with his performance at his first senior Nationals and gone on from there. Weir was frustrating because he did not skate "smart". It seemed he was always leaving a jumping pass on the table, not doing a 3 jump combo, not maximizing his spins, etc.
    I totally agree about Sandhu keeping that anger far too long. I don't blame him one bit for being angry at that time, but as you said he should be happy with how he did at his first senior's and focused on Worlds. To keep the anger in for as long as he did and blame 98 on most of his failures is ridiculous. Dude, it was eight years ago. Get over it. I think we should have sent the third skater, no matter who it was. Canada had three berths and we wasted it. Life goes on, and it doesn't do himself any favours when he held onto it. His artistic temperament is what made him so inconsistent. It was really frustrating to watch him wow everyone one day then tank the next. I remember when he was 16th in 2007, I told my Mom and she just looked at me and said "You aren't serious?" I'm like yeah, I am. IMO, he needed a good helping of tough love. I wonder what went through Joanne McLeod's head watching him.

    Weir was wonderful to watch, but yeah, the mental aspect of the sport was his problem, he wasn't focused. When he was on, he was brilliant. Always entertaining, though

    Bobek injured herself right before or during her Nationals exhibition IIRC. She was off the ice for too long and couldn't regain her fitness. She was always crash-training and it appeared crash-dieting, so once she backed off her training the weight started coming back on. She was noticeably heavier in Nagano than in Philly. I suppose I wouldn't have expected her to give up her place on the team, but it was pretty sad how the Campbell's soup girls were touted for a possible sweep and Bobek ended up in like 18th place. Sad.
    Ahh, OK.
    I do think the sweep was maybe a bit over-hyped, there was a lot of skaters to beat for the bronze but it was possible. Sad was the only way to describe it. Nicole had so much natural talent but not the discipline needed. She did skate better than Kwiatkowski at the US nationals so she did earn her spot. Sometimes the most gifted skaters aren't the most disciplined.

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