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Thread: Michelle Kwan's 2001-2002 Season- Can you fill me in?

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    Michelle Kwan's 2001-2002 Season- Can you fill me in?

    My Michelle Kwan "class" continues as I educate my husband and stepdaughter about her greatness! Towards that end, I'd so appreciate anyone filling me in on the weird 2001-2002 season: why she fired Frank Carroll, why she went back to her 1998 short program, thoughts on Scheherazade etc, the ups and downs of that season etc. I just re-watched her Olympic long and other than the hand down on triple flip, she was better than I'd remembered. Any and all info, thoughts, etc most appreciated!

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    Michelle left Frank Carroll because she wasn't skating well and seemed uninspired, so she needed a change, and decided to take control of her own skating. I don't know why she went back to her 1998 short program, maybe she felt she needed something familiar? I thought her Scheherazade program was good but never skating to its potential. She was a bit inconsistent, I do think that not having a coach effected her, not a good idea to go to the Olympics coachless. It was an odd choice.

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    Yes, I liked the Scheherazade program quite a bit, more than I'd remembered.

    But wow- I just watched Irina's long and saw her marks, and there is no way she deserved such high marks!!! Scott and Sandra were clearly stunned. Her performance was not a good one for her- no triple triples, a botched triple flip, and only 5 triples total, same as Michelle. She absolutely should NOT have been scored above Michelle, and if she had been fairly scored, Michelle would have been 2nd in the long and 1st overall, right? What a travesty!

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    Meh, Irina was very often overscored, IMO. She was usually scored based on what she COULD do (besides 2005, she totally deserved that title), and rarely on what she actually did on the ice. Her presentation was juniorish and unrefined most of her career, and really, besides the triple-triples (which she pulled out, occasionally,) her biggest quality was speed (which often worked against her, IMO, because she often looked a tad out of control.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by zschultz1986 View Post
    Meh, Irina was very often overscored, IMO. She was usually scored based on what she COULD do (besides 2005, she totally deserved that title), and rarely on what she actually did on the ice. Her presentation was juniorish and unrefined most of her career, and really, besides the triple-triples (which she pulled out, occasionally,) her biggest quality was speed (which often worked against her, IMO, because she often looked a tad out of control.)
    I completely agree with you, and so does Dick Button!

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    I give her all the credit though, she had a crazy illness (still does, IIRC) and came back and her post-illness skating was MUCH more enjoyable to watch just because she always looked joyful on the ice (especially once she did the totentanz and the 2005 stuff... it just suited her more than the "pretty ballerina" stuff)

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    Yes, I liked the Scheherazade program quite a bit, more than I'd remembered.

    But wow- I just watched Irina's long and saw her marks, and there is no way she deserved such high marks!!! Scott and Sandra were clearly stunned. Her performance was not a good one for her- no triple triples, a botched triple flip, and only 5 triples total, same as Michelle. She absolutely should NOT have been scored above Michelle, and if she had been fairly scored, Michelle would have been 2nd in the long and 1st overall, right? What a travesty!

    I respectfully disagree. Michelle did not only have a "hand down" on the flip as you said in your other post. She had a bad step-out (basically a fall) on the flip and had a slight but very visible touch down of the free foot on the first toeloop. Irina landed six triples on one foot and only the flip had a weak landing. Even the American judge placed Slutskaya ahead of Kwan in the FS (too bad he didn't do the same in the SP ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by David21 View Post
    I respectfully disagree. Michelle did not only have a "hand down" on the flip as you said in your other post. She had a bad step-out (basically a fall) on the flip and had a slight but very visible touch down of the free foot on the first toeloop. Irina landed six triples on one foot and only the flip had a weak landing. Even the American judge placed Slutskaya ahead of Kwan in the FS (too bad he didn't do the same in the SP ).
    The commentators said Irina landed 5 triples, the same as Michelle. Michelle attempted seven, Irina six. And I don't think the American judge was immune to the pressure to place Slutskya ahead or to please TV audiences by awarding the gold to someone who skated a clean program. I think it may have been just as much about the desire to please audiences by rewarding clean programs in the wake of the pairs scandal than about boosting Irina for Irina's sake.

    Moreover, Irina should not have been placed ahead of Hughes in the free skate or received 5.9s for artistic impression.

    In my opinion, Sarah should have won the free skate, Michelle second, Irina third. Sarah, however, was over-scored in the short program and thus should not have been able to win the gold medal at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    The commentators said Irina landed 5 triples, the same as Michelle. Michelle attempted seven, Irina six.

    Wel, no offense to your commentators, but I counted differently...


    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    Sarah, however, was over-scored in the short program and thus should not have been able to win the gold medal at all.

    Then we have something we can agree on.

    Personally, I had Irina 1st in both the SP and FS and Suguri 3rd in the SP and 2nd in the FS but that may be controversial

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    Yes, I liked the Scheherazade program quite a bit, more than I'd remembered.

    But wow- I just watched Irina's long and saw her marks, and there is no way she deserved such high marks!!! Scott and Sandra were clearly stunned. Her performance was not a good one for her- no triple triples, a botched triple flip, and only 5 triples total, same as Michelle. She absolutely should NOT have been scored above Michelle, and if she had been fairly scored, Michelle would have been 2nd in the long and 1st overall, right? What a travesty!
    Unfortunately it isnt that simple. There are many different perspectives. Most people at the time believe Michelle should not have been 1st in the SP over Irina in the first place, so in that case she wouldnt have won with a 2nd place in the LP anyway. Many others though felt Hughes should have been much lower than 4th in the SP and never been in contention for the gold. There are some who think Sasha should have beaten one or both of Michelle and/or Irina in the LP too, and had Sarah been dumped way down in the SP properly, maybe she would have won the gold in that csae. The arguments could go on forever. There was no clearly deserving winner of the ladies event that year, just a clear deserving winner of the LP phase (under 6.0 thinking, under COP thinking she would be nowhere even with the splatfest that night) in Sarah Hughes.

    I think Irina was placed over Michelle for the simple reason Michelle fell and she didnt. Although you are right Irina gave a very subpar performance, and probably even further from her best than Michelle overall. Which is one reason I disagreed with the people who believe the judges were planning to give Michelle the gold had both skated cleanly there. I almost think the controversial short program result in Michelle's favor was as a way to apease the American public when the planned final result came in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    But wow- I just watched Irina's long and saw her marks, and there is no way she deserved such high marks!!! Scott and Sandra were clearly stunned. Her performance was not a good one for her- no triple triples, a botched triple flip, and only 5 triples total, same as Michelle. She absolutely should NOT have been scored above Michelle, and if she had been fairly scored, Michelle would have been 2nd in the long and 1st overall, right? What a travesty!
    The two ladies behind Irina fell and also did not complete a 3/3 successfully. Michelle's performance was as tight as Irina's also. At that point in their careers Michelle was only beating Irina when Michelle was cleaner, and she was not in SLC.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say Michelle's performance was as tight as Irina's. As soon as she landed the 3Lutz+2Loop, she settled down into the program and was doing very nicely. After the fall she continued to attack the program. Irina skated nervous throughout the whole thing, with inferior choreography and interpretation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    I wouldn't say Michelle's performance was as tight as Irina's. As soon as she landed the 3Lutz+2Loop, she settled down into the program and was doing very nicely. After the fall she continued to attack the program. Irina skated nervous throughout the whole thing, with inferior choreography and interpretation.
    Well, we have different opinions, but I think it's hard to dispute that Irina had more complex choreography than Kwan. Nonetheless, Kwan placed 3rd because she fell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    I wouldn't say Michelle's performance was as tight as Irina's. As soon as she landed the 3Lutz+2Loop, she settled down into the program and was doing very nicely. After the fall she continued to attack the program. Irina skated nervous throughout the whole thing, with inferior choreography and interpretation.
    She was also SLOW, I dont think I have ever seen her skate slow, and given that she needs speed, energy, and personality to make her presentation even adequate, she should have probably had a horrible 2nd mark for her performance that night (a couple judges did giving a 5.6, but not most).

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    As for the Michelle-Frank split, I think Michelle is the only person who truly knows why it happened--during TSL's interview with Frank Carroll, Carroll claimed to not understand why either, so I'll leave it at that. If Frank doesn't know, I highly doubt think any poster on this board has a clear and definite answer as to why.

    Regarding the 2001-2002 season as a whole, I kind of liked the "Miraculous Mandarin" program she debuted at the 2001 GPF (and to my knowledge, this is the only time we've ever seen this program)--it wasn't a perfect debut; not by a long shot, but I still liked it.

    No commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWarys9kuzM
    With (critical) commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKvcx7w8lEI

    It was definitely different to what she skated to prior to this program. It's a shame she didn't stick with it--and it irked me that Peter Carruthers(?) said she need to go "more mainstream to make it more familiar with people."

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