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Thread: The best at compulsory figures

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    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    The best at compulsory figures

    Gillis Grafström (SWE) is considered one of the best skaters ever in compulsory figures and was famous for his interpretation of music.

    As some of you may know,
    the inaugural 2015 World Figure Championship and Figure Festival (sanctioned by ISI) will be held Aug. 25 to 29, creating a new legacy of World Figure Competition while offering the opportunity to introduce newcomers to the discipline.

    The Figure Festival will be Aug. 25-27, with interactive workshops to create a supportive learning environment for all ages and abilities to learn the Compulsory School Figures. Figure Festival skaters will be encouraged to learn from Figure Skating Olympians all the aspects of the edges, turns, circle-eights, loops, serpentines and paragraph figures.

    Figure tests and ISI figure competitions will be included in all the Figure Festival opportunities. Coaches are encouraged to sign up as well and bring students to learn the foundation of figure skating at the festival. Some local skaters and coaches are already planning to participate in the Figure Festival and/or the World Figure Championship.
    What are your thoughts on the current state of "figures"?

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    Bona Fide Member FSGMT's Avatar
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    ISI? Is it just a typo or is it another organization?
    Anyway, the whole thing seems wonderful! We still have figures (and the related controversies ) in roller skating, but figures on ice are something really extraordinary, so I'd really like to see this discipline promoted! How will the event be judged? 6.0?
    And, about the thread title: is there any actual decent-quality footage about compulsory figures from the old days (apart from the American coverage of 1988 Olympics and those last years)? I would really appreciate it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    And, about the thread title: is there any actual decent-quality footage about compulsory figures from the old days (apart from the American coverage of 1988 Olympics and those last years)? I would really appreciate it!
    https://youtu.be/SscrUDzeDcs

    Some decent-quality figures coverage of the ladies figures competition from the 1972 Olympics! In the video, you will be able to understand exactly why Trixi Schuba crushed Janet Lynn and Karen Magnussen at figures every time they competed. People complain about Schuba winning all those competitions with blah freeskates, but it's pretty clear to me how and why Schuba always had a huge lead in figures over Lynn and co. after watching this video.

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    Wasn't Jill Trenary really good at figures? I think Tonya Harding was good at figures as well. I thought figures would have been very interesting to see live but they were gone before I really got into skating.

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    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    Ice Skating Institute (ISI) was founded in 1959. It's an international governing body for recreational figure skating.

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    Size 7 Knifeboots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    They've created a FB group leading up to the WC that I'm fairly certain anyone can follow/join.

    https://facebook.com/groups/417864058269890

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    Trixi Schuba is considered one of the best ever,if not the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrice View Post
    Wasn't Jill Trenary really good at figures? I think Tonya Harding was good at figures as well. I thought figures would have been very interesting to see live but they were gone before I really got into skating.
    The TV coverage of figures was poor anyway. I would have liked to seem them as a kid, it was always weird that somebody was leading and you really didn't know why. And I don't think that the audience in the arena could see it clearly, only the judges and the skaters could.
    I'm looking forward to this competition in August with the black ice and how the video coverage will be. I think figures could be presented nicely with modern technology.

    The interesting thing is that Schuba's marks were never questioned, despite the fact that she had a immense lead after figures in her later career. Some experts even thought that they were too low ... and I think she could have been a better freeskater, but she didn't need to be. Schuba obviously gained some weight in her career (she looked slimmer after her career) to have that advantage in figures also. She was there to win the medals, not to please the audience.
    I remember that Witt's marks in figures were questioned all the time, but she was certainly looking very pretty doing them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psusanne View Post

    The interesting thing is that Schuba's marks were never questioned, despite the fact that she had a immense lead after figures in her later career. Some experts even thought that they were too low ... and I think she could have been a better freeskater, but she didn't need to be. Schuba obviously gained some weight in her career (she looked slimmer after her career) to have that advantage in figures also. She was there to win the medals, not to please the audience.
    I remember that Witt's marks in figures were questioned all the time, but she was certainly looking very pretty doing them.
    I'm not surprised that Schuba's marks in the compulsory figures were never questioned--if you watch the video from the 1972 Olympics I posted above, her figures vs. Janet Lynn's figures were like night and day: Schuba's circles were much bigger, her edges more sure and clean, and her carriage, flow and steadiness of edge were all significantly stronger.

    IIRC, Sonia Bianchetti wrote in her book that one of the reasons why she advocated for abolishing figures was because of Katarina Witt--apparently Witt's figures were quite mediocre, but the judges would hold her up in the compulsory figures because she was so popular, they wanted her to be in the running going into the free skating portions so as to not disappoint the audience. Bianchetti thought if the judges were going to fudge the marks in the figures portion for the skaters who were strong at freeskating anyways, there was little point of keeping the compulsory figures anymore...

    As for other skaters who were good at figures, I've heard that Peggy Fleming, Scott Hamilton, and Alexander Fadeev were all very strong figures skaters. Here's a video of Scott Hamilton doing figures, with some close-ups of the tracings after and Dick Button's commentary: https://youtu.be/jU9Hy1upUr0?t=4m48s Hamilton's tracings look great!

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    What a wonderful youtube channel! The video is clearer than it was on my tv at the time! And westnyacktwins has all the ABC coverage
    I loved the film of Gillis Grafstrom!


    Here is the first half of coverage of men's compulsory figures 1984 Olympics
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jU9Hy1upUr0

    Here is the second half of coverage of men's compulsory figures 1984 Olympics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7yCgMJOObs

    First half Ladies compulsories 1984 Olympics
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qlNER-BRufg

    Second Half Ladies compulsories 1984 Olympics
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y413Q01i9aA
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 07-22-2015 at 04:15 AM.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    1988 coverage

    from 3Axel1996

    Men's 1988 Coverage first half
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDdLXYNiS9k

    Men's 1988 Coverage second half
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJDOxzANY1s

    Ladies 1988 Coverage first half
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31-yn9XYq0k

    Ladies 1988 Coverage second half
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GQwszzIeWo



    And compulsory figures through the years by floskate.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2LP8ZQa6BE

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Rinkside
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    What about John Curry?

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    Welcome to the Trixi Schuba thread!

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Trixie!! best evah at figures!

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