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.
Bona Fide Member
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 )
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
Sandhu once blamed a ghost in his hotel room for his bad performance.
What?? Are you serious?
Originally Posted by Johar
I never heard Michelle attribute her 2002 performance to her coaching situation. I think that's just fans trying to come up with an explanation for the performance. I believe the intense amount of pressure of skating the games in your home country got to her.