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Thread: Calling all Skating Historians: the Olympic Gold standard over the years

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    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    Calling all Skating Historians: the Olympic Gold standard over the years

    Hi all,
    I was thinking about how the Olympic games and what it has taken to win gold as the century and the sport have progressed are very interesting to look back at, i.e. innovations, how champions have become champions by upping the ante in terms of difficulty. I don't know if there's an archive or something where one can look up what jumps OGM's did in their programs (I tried skatabase, but it didn't have that option anymore)...basically it would be fun for those of you skating history buffs to cite a few precursors of todays 7 triple, 2 3/3 combo programs that have sufficed to secure gold for the skaters performing them. I'm particularly interested in the transitions from programs way back at the beginning of the century and what they typically featured, to the first to double a jump, and how long it was before all the jumps in the top contenders' programs were doubles, and so on and so forth. Does that make any sense?
    Sarah

    p.s. a thread I read on Sonja Henie doing only single jumps, "so how was she so dominant" or something to that effect, reminded me of the historical perspective one must put the sport into when thinking back on past champions

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    Dick Button in 1948? 1952? Landed the double axel which upped the ante for mens skating.

    In 1970s Rodnina/Ulanov & Rodnina/Zaitsev really upped the ante for pairs skating in terms of athletic poweress. Including incredible speed, harder lifts, double twists etc. Extremely influencial on pairs skating.

    And in 1994 U&Z and G&P upped the ante for exciting backstage dramatics

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    Originally posted by lulu
    And in 1994 U&Z and G&P upped the ante for exciting backstage dramatics
    And when the dust settled, he ended up with a trophy wife

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    Remember in Sonje's day figures were worth at least 80% of the total. Also she had Papa Henie as a secret weapon. Things were also so much more politically manipulated than they are today. At one World Championship she won, I think 4 out of the 5 judges were from Norway. All that said, she was obvoiusly a star and the most striking skaker of her era.

    As for Dick Button, he not only did the first 2 axel, he also did the first triple jump - a loop - in the 1952 Olympics. Those years were the coming of age of the North American Skaters. Barbara Scott, the Janacek's, etc. etc. for two main reasons. One - Gustav Lussi and two - World War II. During the War many of the European skaters were unable to skate at all, let alone keep themselves fit. Many of them were involved in the fighting or were victoms of the fighting. When skating resumed, the Americans showed up with a whole new skating free style the dominated for several years.

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    Rinkside
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    Originally posted by lulu
    And in 1994 U&Z and G&P upped the ante for exciting backstage dramatics
    This is off-topic (should I start another thread?) but what's the story with this? I remember watching the 94 Olympics and that the commentators mentioned something about this, but I was too young to understand at the time.

    This is an interesting thread.

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    Wasn't it in 1998? I think that's when U&Z were already divorced but still skated together. I recall that Grishuk and Zhulin got "officially" together right after the 1998 Olympics. However, Navka is claiming to have had relationship with Zhulin even when he was still married to Usova. Usova (if my memory serves me right)always accused Grishuk of breaking up her marriage.

    Very intriguing,

    Yana
    Last edited by STL_Blues_fan; 02-15-2004 at 11:31 PM.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Usova's account of things is very ...mmm... interesting. Among other things, she talked in one interview about Gezalyan (Navka's partner at the time) beating Navka for sleeping with Zhulin.

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    Well, Usova claimed that Zhulin beat her, and Grishuk claimed that Platov beat her up too.

    There are a bunch of interviews addressing this issue, but here is a link to a russian story, where Usova claims that Zhulin and Grishuk were involved as early as 1990.

    http://sovsekretno.ru/2000/12/11.html

    I have an article somewhere in my figure skating files with similar facts in english.

    BTW - ptichka, are you from Leningrad? In one of your posts i got an impression that you are.

    Yana

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    This is an interesting topic, and I will have to think of something to contribute here as I love anything to do with the history of figure skating. Here is a site you may want to check out:


    http://www.jacksonskates.com/html/photos.html

    Donald Jackson lists some of the past skaters here and what jumps they did first.

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    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    Couldn't get the site here.

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    Re: Calling all Skating Historians: the Olympic Gold standard over the years

    Originally posted by sarahmistral

    I was thinking about how the Olympic games and what it has taken to win gold as the century and the sport have progressed are very interesting to look back at, i.e. innovations, how champions have become champions by upping the ante in terms of difficulty. basically it would be fun for those of you skating history buffs to cite a few precursors of todays 7 triple, 2 3/3 combo programs that have sufficed to secure gold for the skaters performing them. I'm particularly interested in the transitions from programs way back at the beginning of the century and what they typically featured, to the first to double a jump, and how long it was before all the jumps in the top contenders' programs were doubles, and so on and so forth.

    p.s. a thread I read on Sonja Henie doing only single jumps, "so how was she so dominant" or something to that effect, reminded me of the historical perspective one must put the sport into when thinking back on past champions
    Interesting question you pose, sarahmistral! (I, too, would like to know; no lie)

    I'd like to address your P.S. on Sonja Henie (an all-time favorite of mine).........IIRC she had a rigorous training schedule & diet regimen...........practicing two sessions a day: three hrs. in the AM & two hrs. in the PM, not to mention private ballet lessons off the ice as well as tutoring (per "Queen of Ice, Queen of Shadows: The Unsuspected Life of Sonja Henie").

    As far as her programs go, they too were packed with difficulty, relative to the era in which she skated........in fact she was the first woman to do a single axel in competition in the early 1920's.......not to mention her blazingly fast spins to go along with her superb balletic presentation. And how can one forget the diligent hrs. & hrs. of having to practice eighty school figures each morning to perfection. All things that contributed to her aura of invincibility ~ never to be equalled thus far ~ phenomenal record of having been undefeated from the years 1927-1936 (10 World Golds & 3 Olympic Golds).

    Peace & Love, Nadine

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    A.H.Black:

    Do you mean Barbara Ann Scott and the Jelinicks (Otto and Maria)?

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    Originally posted by Ladskater
    A.H.Black:

    Do you mean Barbara Ann Scott and the Jelinicks (Otto and Maria)?
    Yep. I wasn't thinking very accurately.

    I have a great little special about Gustav Lussi that was on PBS several years ago. They all talked about his influence on the sport. That influence extends through today. Especially when it comes to spins.

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    A.H.Black:

    Yes, I have a book "The Golden Age of Canadian Figure Skating" that mentions Gus Lussi.

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    I love this subject and wish there was a site that contained indepth info on the programs. I haven't found very much, but there are a few sites that might be interesting to some of you. I thought I would post what I have found. If anyone can add to the list, please do.

    http://www.iceskate-magazine.com/ This site has a great deal of information about figure skating's early years.

    http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/alb0int-1 Tenley Albright interview with some nice pictures. Click on the biography and profile buttons too.

    http://play.rbn.com/?abcsports/abcsp...wwos/Peggy1.rm This should bring up the ABC page and a Real Audio clip. It's an interview with Peggy Fleming and short clips of her 1964 Nationals program.

    http://web.archive.org/web/199611020...6/debbibio.htm I've posted this before. At the bottom of the page are 2 QT clips. They are clips of Debbie Wilkes and Guy Revell's 1964 Canadian Championships program. They won a silver medal at the 1964 games

    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-41-328-.../olympic_gold/ Barbara Wagner and Robert Paul (Canadian pairs OGM 1960) This interview was done at SLC before the pair's long. They do talk about their own Olympic experience. Can you believe someone bumped the record player and they had to start over?

    http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-41-328-.../olympic_gold/ Barbara Ann Scott (Canada OGM 1948) Radio interview done right after her Olympic win. Back then Worlds was 1 WEEK after the Olys and I bet everybody went too.

    Now for the big question, why can't I find as much info about American skaters?

    (I think everyone and his cousin has already been to the Olympic.org site, but just in case-
    http://www.olympic.org/uk/utilities/...&MediaType=vid )

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