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Thread: Ever been an Olympic champion/medalist who hadn't yet been to Worlds?

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    Ever been an Olympic champion/medalist who hadn't yet been to Worlds?

    Mainly asking in reference to Lipnitskaia/Machida, but I'm curious about this.

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    I don't believe so, although Mirai and Sasha have come close. With a few notable exceptions, young skaters competing for medals is a somewhat recent phenomenon as they would have been held down due to school of figures which ended after 1988.

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Just did a quick excel calculation. Yay data!


    Out of all the 39 Olympic medalists, only six ladies did not have a World medal.

    But out of the 39 Olympic medalist in Ladies Figure Skating from 1964 to 2010, all but one had previously competed at Worlds.

    Kira Ivanova of the USSR, who won the bronze in 1984 behind Katarina Witt and Rosalyn Summers, is the only Olympic medalist in the last 50 years who did not have previous Worlds experience.

    So Julia would be making some major history.

    I'll do men later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    Kira Ivanova of the USSR, who won the bronze in 1984 behind Katarina Witt and Rosalyn Summers, is the only Olympic medalist in the last 50 years who did not have previous Worlds experience.
    Kira competed in the 1979 and 1981 World Championships, and the 1980 Olympics

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    Kira competed in the 1979 and 1981 World Championships, and the 1980 Olympics
    Opps! Thanks for pointing that out. Guess I looked too quickly. Her medal is impressive considering that she hadn't been at Worlds in a while.

    So okay, Julia would be really making some major history!

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    Thanks for the info! So if Machida (I should probably also add Han Yan... or even Brown if I'm being very wishful) or Lipnitskaia won a medal, they would be the first to win an Olympic medal without Worlds experience. Impressive.

    Just goes to show how fast those two have progressed, but also how the new system can benefit skaters if they've got the technical chops, whereas under 6.0 they would have likely been held back no matter how well they skated (a la Kwan in her Worlds debut).

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Decided to do the men too.

    Like the Ladies, every single men who medaled at the Olympics in the last 50 years had competed at the World Championships at some point.

    So Machida (+Brown, Yan)would be making some history if he gets on that podium.

    However, 9 men (including Paul Wylie in 1992) won an Olympic medal without having a World medal previously.

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    Also, thanks for the stats about the men and women who hadn't medalled at Worlds but won Olympic medals. Can always count on you, Mrs. P!

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    Thanks for the research, Mrs. P! Also, thanks to CSG for starting such an interesting and fruitful thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Just goes to show how fast those two have progressed, but also how the new system can benefit skaters if they've got the technical chops, whereas under 6.0 they would have likely been held back no matter how well they skated (a la Kwan in her Worlds debut).
    I don't think 6.0 punished young skaters any more than COP. We had some very young World and Olympic champs like Baiul and Lipinski, with Baiul winning Worlds her first time out.

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    I can't wait to do the earlier years. But alas, my lunch hour was over. Hope to have more data over soon.

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    Question: Did something extraordinary happen?

    Answer: Klimova/Ponomarenko

    They had never attended a Worlds before attending the Olympics in Sarejevo, and won the bronze medal there

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Question: Did something extraordinary happen?

    Answer: Klimova/Ponomarenko

    They had never attended a Worlds before attending the Olympics in Sarejevo, and won the bronze medal there
    Cool! Haven't gotten to Ice Dance or Pairs yet. That's next.

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    In addition to Klimova & Ponomarenko in 1984, Selezneva & Makarov in 84 won the pairs bronze, but had never been to a Worlds for Russia as of yet. Those are the only two instances in history I know of, but I wouldnt be surprised if it happened one or two other times in pairs. It is by far most likely to have happened in pairs and dance, as Russia has so much depth they could easily send someone who didnt make it to Worlds yet who medals at the Olympics. In singles it is alot harder to see happening, and if it has, I bet it would be an American lady.

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    Is it possible that the existence of the Grand Prix circuit nowadays might give skaters more of a chance to develop an international reputation before they reach a Senior World championship? As I recall, when I started watching skating in the mid-1970s, just about the only televised events for skating in the U.S. were Nationals, Worlds, and the Olympics. (Presumably Europeans would have been televised in Europe.) These days, a skater such as Lipnitskaya can gain exposure and start impressing people way before Worlds or even Europeans, so I could see her medaling at the Olympics on the strength of her senior results this first year.

    I agree with Pangtongfan that during the heyday of Soviet pairs and ice dancing dominance, the U.S.S.R. could send a lesser known pair or ice dance team out who would qualify to medal at any international meet. They were that good, and of course they also had the political clout. However, I haven't actually found an exemplar of that other than the ones already mentioned.

    I thought that the greatest possibility was Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Chakrai, that Soviet pair known for their extreme height disparity (she was 12 and he was 18 when they first won the European championship in 1977. But no--they made it to several Worlds before the 1980 Olympics, where they won the silver behind the perennial champions Rodnina and Zaitsev. By the next year, Marina was too tall for her partner to throw her into the amazing lifts and other tricks that had set them apart from the field, and she retired.

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