considering the kerfluffle of the pairs and dance events the judges/ISU had to make sure a clean skater took home the prize otherwise the media would've made such a stink that figure skating would've been out of future games.
In no way should her triple flip count as a clean jump. I thought her 2nd triple lutz was clearly two footed and so did Scott Hamilton in the NBC booth and Paul Martini in the CBC. So either 4 or 5 clean triples. I thought Cohen had 6 clean triples actually so I might have to rewatch her performance. Under 6.0 thinking Hughes definitely had 7 clean triples, including 2 super difficult triple-triple combinations. Amazing that Irina still actually beat her on technical marks that night, and narrowly lost only due to the presentation mark of some judges. I can only imagine the controversy had Irina won gold by virtue of directly winning the LP with that skate.No, she landed six triples one foot, arguably more than any other skater of the Top 5. Suguri, Cohen and Kwan had 5 clean triples and Hughes as usual underrotated some of hers BADLY.
I am not sure if anyone is aware of this but had the Finland judge gave Irina 5.8, 5.8 rather than 5.8, 5.7 she would have won. This judge gave Sarah 5.7, 5.8 so only had Sarah ahead on the 2nd mark tiebreaker rule. Although I do agree with Blades that there is a very good shot both the American and Finnish judges only even placed Irina 2nd over Michelle due to wanting to make sure Hughes won, in which case the Finnish judge wouldnt have even been thinking of giving Irina the gold medal winning mark despite it appearing that way.
The German judge had to give Irina a 5.6 for presentation to prevent her from having the winning 5th vote too. Had this judge given 5.7, 5.8 rather than 5.7, 5.6 (had already given Hughes 5.7, 5.7 and Kwan 5.6, 5.7) Irina also would have won, although it appers David21 would actually be fine with that!?!
Actually, I wouldn't mind if Fumie Suguri had won. She was closest to clean in both SP and LP. And her LP is gorgeous.
Yeah, '02 was a very weird Olympics, but I think the podium was the way it should've been (love Michelle but she fell and Irina didn't). But I still think Michelle was the rightful winner of the Worlds later that season. Both Michelle and Irina skated cleanly but a bit conservatively (no triple-triple combo), but Michelle's basic skating skills were just so much more polished, IMO.
Personally I don't think the Michelle Kwan Olympic story is really complete if you don't mention 1994. That would have been the first time she qualified for Nationals as a Senior. The commentators kept mentioning how young she was and how her coaches did not think she was ready to compete at the Senior level but Michelle had gone behind their backs and taken the Senior Test anyway.
1994 was the year of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident. Tonya "won" and Michelle got second. A second place finish at Nationals normally would have earned Michelle a spot on the Olympic team; however, USFS decided that Nancy and Tonya should represent the US so Michelle became the alternate. At the time I felt bad for Michelle - the way she handled it earned my respect for her early on. Over the years, my respect for her continued to grow.
So you think that Irina's flip shouldn't count as a clean jump while you give Hughes a free pass for her ugly, small, underrotated jumps? That first "super difficult" 3-3 combo was in fact a 2.75-2.5 combination and in no way should have recievd full credit, 6.0 system or not. Her only lutz was also clearly underrotated.
And Irina's 2nd triple lutz wasn't two footed I'm quite sure of that.
And for the record, yes I'm applauding the judges who placed Slutskaya ahead of Hughes in the free. Hughes never should have been in the position to beat Sluskaya after the SP anyway.
ETA: Cohen slightly two-footed her 2nd lutz (or flip, can't remember) but that was only visible in the super slo-mo but that would make it also 5 clean triples from her.
My personal highlight of the the '02 season was Michelle's triple lutz double loop at nationals...
Under 6.0 thinking yes Hughes's jumps were all clean, including the 2 triple-triples. Basically if a jump was landed solidly on one foot, and was less than a half turn underrotated it was clean under 6.0. On the other hand a jump like Irina's triple flip which pitched way forehand and swung around to save the landing would not be a clean jump under 6.0 thinking. Her 2nd triple lutz wouldnt be either if it was indeed two footed, and if I, Scott Hamilton, and Paul Martini all thought it was, there is a good chance many judges did too.
Irina's performance was also extremely slow, and devoid of any confidence, attack, or assurance. The fact she came within .1 of winning with such a poor skate shows the judges were more than willing to hand it to her on a platter (especialy after Kwan's performance) so she only has herself to blame for not winning that night (just like in Turin).