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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 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 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 zschultz1986 View Post
    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)
    I actually really loved Irina as a competitor and person and there were many aspects of her skating that were great- her attack, energy, ebullience, spins, height on jumps. But her 2002 Olympic long was not a good performance for her. She lacked dynamism, triple triples, and sparkle. She knew it herself. Look at her face after she finishes!

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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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    I am a big fan of Michelle, but I can't honestly say she had a gold medal performance that night, a two-footed landing and no triple triple, and a bad step out won't win gold when someone else landed seven triples and skated cleanly. Neither did Irina. Both were cautious. IMO I think Sarah did have the performance of the night. I think Irina knew it wasn't enough. Irina was a powerhouse and athletic, and I love her. It's tough to call whose free skate was better between Michelle and Irina. I liked when Irina did her own style and not try to conform. She has her own style, to me, her energy and athleticism had its own beauty. Figure skating is a sport, and Irina treated it like one. I agree she was at her best after her illness when she just enjoyed being on the ice.

    I felt for Michelle in 2002, just not meant to be, sadly. I think what effected her more than not having a coach was being the World Champion and the Olympics in her home country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coppertop1 View Post
    I am a big fan of Michelle, but I can't honestly say she had a gold medal performance that night, a two-footed landing and no triple triple, and a bad step out won't win gold when someone else landed seven triples and skated cleanly. Neither did Irina. Both were cautious. IMO I think Sarah did have the performance of the night. I think Irina knew it wasn't enough. Irina was a powerhouse and athletic, and I love her. It's tough to call whose free skate was better between Michelle and Irina. I liked when Irina did her own style and not try to conform. She has her own style, to me, her energy and athleticism had its own beauty. Figure skating is a sport, and Irina treated it like one. I agree she was at her best after her illness when she just enjoyed being on the ice.

    I felt for Michelle in 2002, just not meant to be, sadly. I think what effected her more than not having a coach was being the World Champion and the Olympics in her home country.
    No, Michelle definitely did NOT have a gold medal winning performance in 02.

    It just comes down to that Irina was just NOT enjoyable (for me) if she wasn't powerful. That means triple-triples and speed, because she didn't finish her movements to make them big, so she needed to the speed to make her performances "bigger" and with more impact. I equate her to Joubert, without the jumps he's nothing exciting (like a Daisuke or a Buttle or a Lambiel). Lacking in many areas, and just NOT refined.

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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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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    I think there is clearly more to her split with Frank Carroll but he's too much of a gentleman to say. They both seem to have excellent heads on their shoulders and don't tend to do rash things. So it makes no sense for Frank to see he doesn't know why Kwan would just up and leave without a solid explanation.

    I couldn't stand Scheherezade. And she couldn't handle Kawahara's choreography and just turned the program into the start of the boring typical Kwan program that we'd see for the rest of her competitive career. She basically fell on that flip, she didn't just tap her foot down. But she also UR'd and possibly two footed her flip in the SP. I could not believe Kwan won that SP. At all, considering that was where Slutskaya always had the edge. I really wanted Kwan to win gold, or even Sasha. Slutskaya and Hughes just didn't appeal to me in any way. Uggh.

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    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post
    I couldn't stand Scheherezade. And she couldn't handle Kawahara's choreography and just turned the program into the start of the boring typical Kwan program that we'd see for the rest of her competitive career. She basically fell on that flip, she didn't just tap her foot down. But she also UR'd and possibly two footed her flip in the SP. I could not believe Kwan won that SP. At all, considering that was where Slutskaya always had the edge. I really wanted Kwan to win gold, or even Sasha. Slutskaya and Hughes just didn't appeal to me in any way. Uggh.
    Scheherazade was a good program but it wasn't great. I liked the slow section in the middle and the footwork and double falling leafs at the end were wonderful. When you compare Lyra to Scheherazade in terms of it being an Olympic program, you clearly see the difference. It was missing something...

    Watching with an objective eye (as objective as I can be where the Kween is involved ) I can see where she probably URed her 3F in the SP. But under 6.0 unless it was a disruptive jump error it could be glossed over and that's what happened in the SP there. Plus, Michelle was on home ice so her being in the lead going into the FS made sense. Yes, Sarah probably should have been lower after her SP but (again) home ice advantage kept her higher in the standings there.

    The FS wasn't good for Michelle or Irina. Michelle 2-footed that first 3T and basically (but not technically) fell on her 3F. She skated pretty tightly until after that mistake on the flip but she did finish out the program strongly; she fought for the rest of it and didn't give up. Irina was very tight as well and didn't perform as well as she could have. Sarah skated sans the kind of pressure Michelle and Irina faced and came out better for it. I do think a good number of her triples were URed but under 6.0 where visibly clean skating is the name of the game, she came out on top that night. By virtue of those rules Irina beat Michelle...but I think even with the jump errors Michelle's program as a whole was stronger than Irina's and should have edged her out.

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