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Thread: Favorite past and present skatert/pick 1 per discipline

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    Favorite past and present skater/pick 1 per discipline

    You only get to pick one skater per discipline.
    If you really don't like a discipline, ignore it, but please explain why your favorite is you favorite. Is it pure skating quality? Athletic ability? The perfect blend? Or is it something else you admire - a personal quality, philanthropy, perseverance in illness?

    I find this very hard to do and I hope I am able to ignore national bias, but given that I have been most exposed to us skaters, I supose that is inevitable. What is hardest to do is pick just one, so given that I remember skaters back to Fleming and like so many, I'm challenging myself and who ever cares to join in, who and why.

    Ice Dance: I know least about this and it's not my exactly afavorite discipline anymore, but I have to honestly pick Torvill and Dean. Watching 'Bolero' at the time was riveting. I liked every thing about them, and they were truly innovative. At the time, everyone knew they saw something different and performance was spot on perfect. That goes back 20 years now. I have another Canadian Pair who I think equal them, but that is breaking my own rule! (stuggle going on with brain, pick B&K, idiot! sigh*** remembering 'Riverdance'....)

    Pairs: Goordeeva and Grinkov. They had the advantage of being kids, then friends, then lovers then a married couple. Physically they were georgeous, they personnified romance, they prepared beautifully and they were great skaters. It's hard to pick a favorite Russian pair, let alone favorite pair ever. I did not like her pairing with Kulik as it looked amateurish in comparison, nor could I enjoy her as a single as she fell so much, but they were truly memorable. I wish I could have seen them in person. The unison when he was so much taller when younger must have been hard to achieve. (Biting at me for current is the best North American pair in so long, Canada's S&P, but I can't go there) Oi I'm confused)


    Men: This one is really tough and it took me a while to come up with who I really think was the best skater, and I finally have to say over time, I have really been amazed many times by the incredible footwork of Canada's Kurt Browning. He's down to earth, and while I don't like the clownstuff, I think his footwork, his athletic ability and jumps never came together at the Olympics, he has shown great resilence. He is older now and we won't see him much anymore, but I think he's the best all around skater, but not competitor I've seen. My runner up, Scott, a once really great skater/entertainer is my runner up, (Ok have runner ups!) They do at Miss America, is most admired for his philanthropy and overcoming physical adversity, but he agrees with me and says Kurt is the best he's ever seen. I wish I had a compilation tape of his. Gotta Skate 1 is very memorable for his skating. Hope I'm not disloyal to Americal,lol. My last and toughest category by far is ladies.

    Ladies: I thought about how much I loved our ladies here in America and how hard it was to pick 1 from 4 decades of watching skating - well not quite but almost, I have to pick as best female lady, Kristy Y who has impressed me most with her work ethic. Granted she was not in eligible skating after her gold medal, but then how many Oly gold champions stay, right? It's the fact that I never saw a bad performance, that she always tried her very best and kept all her triples or close to, as a pro through many years. So many skaters let us down with cheesy skates or vamping (none more so than that chinese goddess favorite of mine, LuChen, but Kristy, she is the total package and has had great luck to be loved and nurtured so much in her Japanese family. Also a good philanthropist with her Children's Wish foundation.

    My runnerups are all American skaters. I think their has to be a favorite per decade. Of all those, I have to say Nancy Kerrigan, people don't realize what she went through in training and rehab to give that performance in 94 Olys. I don't know another top skater who could do what she did, and she was so bashed again by the media for a couple dumb comments. It all took its toll on her pro career. She is not bitter at all about any of it, which amazes me.
    Last edited by Bijoux; 04-23-2004 at 08:59 PM.

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    Bijoux: I totally agree with your assessment of Nancy Kerrigan. I hated her skating however I thought she was unfairly slammed by the press when they built her up to be an ice princess she never really was and then tore her down. I think Kerrigan was one of the luckiest skaters to have two Olympic medals (with the first coming from a crappy performance), sponsorship when her folks couldn't afford her lessons and her father even won the lottery! Despite my dislike for her skating, I think Nancy is true to herself and very honest in her opinions. I find her candidness to be refreshing in this day of scripted athletes. Plus upon reflection, Nancy was a good athlete who did a cool shoot the duck before her double lutz in her short program.

    For ladies: Katarina Witt , for her drama and divaness on the ice.
    Men: Alexander Fadeev (he was such a good jumper when he was on).
    Dance: Usova and Zhulin- grace and style, smooth as silk
    Pairs: Mishkutonek and Dmitriev - athleticism and artistry

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    my nostalgic tome and nk's ability

    Soogar, I think Nancy was a beautiful skater, in every way, but you are free to hate her. It's a 'free' (well not quite free) internet.

    I think Nancy's Albertville performance was beautiful. That's when I became aware of her really, my viewership having lapsed through some very ill years. I loved her performance. Funny, I hated Midori's skating-no artistry but those amazing jumps-esp. the one right out of the arena! But I found her humility and personality so charming. Did you see the 92 Oly's on TV at the time or have you a tape to look back at?
    Last edited by Bijoux; 04-23-2004 at 09:14 PM.

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    Ok, this is hard!!! But I'll give it a try...

    Men (this is the hardest one): Alexei Yagudin - I absolutely love his foot work! I can't thing of anyone else who could pull of the whole "Lord of the Dance" thing so well (ok & I think he's cute ) But Kurt Browning & Scott Hamilton tie for the runner up space, because I love how they are wonderful skaters & entertainers...

    Women: Kristi Y. wins this spot easily! She's such a graceful skater & knows how to connect w/ the audience. She has a sweet personality & it shows. She was also my first favorite skater as a child, & partly why I became hooked on f.s...

    Pairs: I'll have to go w/ Brasseur & Eisler. They are just so talented & seem to have so much fun on the ice! They're always interesting to watch. As for any runner ups, I have to say married pairs

    Dance: I'm not very familiar in this area, but I'd have to go w/ Roca & Sur. I think they skate beautifully & w/ such grace. The runner ups would have to be Belbin & Agosto for their exuberence & potential...

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    I think I may be reading this differently than may be intended, but I'll go ahead and put forth my favorites of both past AND present....

    MEN: Past: Brian Orser. Took me a while to actually like him, but I thought he was incredible in Sarajevo, and I liked everything he did after that. Plus I also sympathized with his near "perpetual runner-up" status.
    Present: Unsure if Yagudin counts or not, and if he doesn't, then this is a hard one because there's no-one out there that I'm THRILLED about. Oh, wait. Forgot about Kevin van der Perren. Getting past the fact he's so DARN CUTE :D , I'm very impressed with the way his skating has come along since I first saw him in 2001, and his jumps are fantastic. Who cares if he's got a quad or a triple axel or not? What he does do, is done extremely well.

    LADIES: Past: Denise Biellmann. Will never forget watching her in Lake Placid (80 Olympics) and watching her actually pick up that leg and put that foot up over her head and spin around like that!! And no-one -- BUT NO ONE -- has ever been able to do it as well as she can. Plus she was just a fantastic all-around skater, and I respect the fact that she's still in there in her 40s looking fabulous and still skating well.
    Present: Shizuka Arakawa. I love the ladies who are able to present a regal, elegant quality, and IMO Shizuka is able to do that, plus be so technically fantastic as well.

    PAIRS: Past: Underhill & Martini. A fantastic pair who always had this uncanny ability to skate to music in exactly the same way I would have choreographed it myself! They did a program to "Memory" (from Cats) one time that I swear, they, move for move, were skating to exactly what was in my head.
    Present: Shen & Zhao. How can you not love these two? What's not to love?? No one has ever completely blown me away with their Worlds performances 2 years in a row.

    DANCE: Past: Blumberg & Seibert. I figure Torvill & Dean are the all-time favorites of enough people, so I'll throw a little support to one of the unsung great couples, IMO. Terrific choreography and talent, and "Scheherezade" from Sarajevo is one of the greatest free dances of all time.
    Present: I like Denkova & Staviyisky best, but they don't at this point really blow me away all that much. I like the fact that they're one of the few who go out of their way to be different, and even if I don't like everything they do, I give points for at least TRYING. Plus bonus points for being from a country that never won medals before.

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    bugs are smarter than we are bronxgirl's Avatar
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    a quick question

    I remember being utterly captivated by Denise Biellman's Free Skate at Lake Placid. Her spins of course astounded me. But what was the name of the piece of music she skated to? My poor tired brain cannot recall it at all.

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    MEN
    Past: Paul Wylie - He felt everything...every beat of the music
    and every emotion. No man since has been able to come
    anywhere close (Yagudin was half way there) in the
    presentation department, IMHO.
    Present: Brian Joubert - Okay, 2004 Worlds was the first time
    I saw him....but WOW! I was very impressed. He has
    everything. His jumps are incredible and his presentation
    skills (which I find to be great) will most certainly improve.

    ICE DANCE
    Past: The Duchesnays - I love Torvill & Dean, but thought
    I'd offer up something different! They were so different and
    daring. That jungle themed FD from Calgary was great, as
    was "West Side Story" in Albertville.
    Present: Belbin & Agosto - They love what they are doing
    and it shows. They come alive when they perform. I'm hardly
    ever excited by ice dancing, but they do that for me. I'm certain
    their technical elements will improve every year.

    PAIRS
    Past: Gordeyeva & Grinkov - What more can be said? They
    are the measuring stick for every pair (for me). They were
    powerful and lyrical...and skated as one (let the cheese begin)!
    Present: Shen & Zhou - JonnyCoop did a fine job of explaining
    it...I feel the same way.

    LADIES
    Past: Chen Lu - I first saw her skate her "Claire de Lune" SP
    at the 1994 Olympics...and even with flaws I was awe struck!
    I couldn't understand why all of the commentators were going
    nuts for Baiul and Kerrigan when Chen Lu was clearly a
    power house. She became a legend with "Rach" in 1996, but
    there were so many other incredible moments - 1993 Worlds,
    1995 Worlds, 1998 Olympics, etc. She was such a phenomenal
    artist.
    Present: Michelle Kwan - SURPRISE! I won't gush, but she has
    consistantly managed to amaze and move me. I can't wait to
    see what she does next season!

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Re: a quick question

    Originally posted by bronxgirl
    I remember being utterly captivated by Denise Biellman's Free Skate at Lake Placid. Her spins of course astounded me. But what was the name of the piece of music she skated to? My poor tired brain cannot recall it at all.
    That I'm afraid I can't help you with. I was only 12 at the time and didn't really in those days pay that much attention to details like that. I do remember what she wore, though....:D I've got a pretty good archive on stuff like that, but the early 80s section is pretty limited.

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    Bijoux:
    I had watched Nancy throughout her career starting from her 5th place finish at Nationals (before her teeth were capped) to her 1994 Olympics performance (which was the only time she had ever skated a clean long program (worlds, oly, and nats)). The only thing that was beautiful about her skate in Albertville was her Vera Wang dress.

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    great thread--take two

    Okay, I just wrote a REALLY long post, explaining why I chose each skater, only to have it vanish because I used too many smilies , so here I go, I wound up breaking the rules, opting to give a "podium" of my all time faves, so here goes, once again...

    Pairs:
    Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze/Mishkutenok & Dmitriev (my golden pairs--tee hee--I find B&S so beautiful, lyrical, and capable of delivering brilliant programs with themes other than love, i.e. Chaplin; as for M&D, Rach at 94 goodwill games was the first ever pairs performance I've ever witnessed, and even though Lu Chen's Rach was sheer brilliance, even she couldn't dislodge them from my mind--truly broke the mold, and were better than G&G in Lillehammer--I have to see much more of G&G)
    Shen & Zhaothat Nutcracker--WW--I tear up every time)

    Dance:
    Anissina & Peizirat based entirely on the magic of their Romeo & Juliet--I'm not familiar enough with ice dance to judge on this too much, but if I'd had to award a medal at those olympics based on artistry alone, they'd have had it in the bag. Popularized the reverse role lift and made it mean something in their powerful, emotional Romeo & Juliet. My favorite dance performance ever, and therefore, since I've seen less dance than any discipline, my fave team ever, though I reserve the right to change my mind when I finally get around to getting old Torvill & Dean tapes

    Men:
    Philippe Candeloro--ah, my French heartthrob; he owned the character driven program, maintained reasonable to good jump content in his programs over a long enough time span to medal at two Olympics that were four years apart and have good showings at major events, and he was the first person I ever saw skate, the reason I'm here right now, procrastinating on my MA thesis research--wait a minute, should I really be thanking him for this?--during a Goodwill Games broadcast in '94--that Godfather drew me in and had me entranced. He left me wanting to feel that same way about any other male skater again, which brings me to my silver medalist...
    Alexei Yagudin--I was so moved by his whole Olympic experience, those fabulous programs, (and peaking in the right year, which is so rare among so many great skaters we've seen) and the years of toil that preceded it all, which unfortunately also took their toll, but he deserves to be happy and satisfied with what he's accomplished, and he's certainly made millions happy with his skating, flawless all around at its best--cohesive programs in a different style from Philippe's, my all time favorite, though he did do some good character work as well
    Stephane Lambiel/Eman Sandhu (dilemma dilemma--Stephane has the exquisite lyricism and stands up, but I think Eman's dance quality is second to none; now, if he could only stand up )

    Ladies:

    Lu Chen--for her and for PHilippe, whose career was very similar to hers, "BronzeIsGolden" (TM-name is property of GS poster BronzeIsGolden ). Lu Chen's exquisite, effortless artistry came from very deep within her and her unparalleled ability to emote while her every movement flowed is, in my eyes, what every lady should strive for, though not many have the natural talent she was blessed with, and in spades, to boot. She, too, brought the jumps and stood up and medaled on very big occasions, and I have seen very few programs like hers since. Now, what I look for in a program, and ultimately in a favorite skater, what makes them great to me is not the jumps or even the in-betweens themselves, but rather a more intangible "glue" that really makes a program flow from beginning to end and stop looking like a jump-and-element checklist, with true emotion, and of course, the natural artistry of a Lu Chen as a spectacular weapon to really sell her effort to win, really helps--and it's very important that they can do this and at least medal as a result, on big occasions--in this day and age, if they don't, we never get to hear about whatever brilliant performance took place before the final group, at least here in the US For Philippe, the "glue" was his belief in the roles he took on and his devotion to the audience, without being clownish (that came later, in show skating). I can even see that in another great, Midori Ito--though not necessarily a lyrical skater, it wasn't just the jumps with her; her boundless energy and the way it mounted as she landed jump after huge, spectacular jump, her weapon just like Lulu's was her package of lyricism, musicality and emotion, not only brought in the audience but it "glued" Midori's programs together, making them a cohesive, flowing whole.
    My silver medal goes to Oksana Baiul, for possessing similar talents and competitive fire to Lulu, but Lulu sustained that sort of excellence over time at the competitive level, something only a select few manage to do.
    My bronze medal goes to Yukina Ota, who I expect will have the jumps and leave no one unmoved
    And since American ladies get pewter (what a copout, they say lol), I have to mention Sasha Cohen as one who, despite the burden of expectation heaped upon her, which has caused more problems for her in competition than it's solved, has been able to capitalize on that much-heralded talent and musicality to deliver an exquisitely cohesive performance now and then--my all-time favorite? Her SP at the 2002 Olympics, which got her on my "podium".

    So now that I've totally shattered the rules, please, by all means continue, as you were

    Sarah

    p.s. great skaters remind me of Lay's...can't have just one...
    Last edited by sarahmistral; 04-23-2004 at 11:31 PM.

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    This is tough, there are so many, but if I have to pick, here goes...

    Ladies--past would be Janet Lynn....light, lyrical, the joy of skating radiated from her face, everything was so effortless.
    Present would be Michelle Kwan......the feeling of flight when she skates, her edges and musical interpretation.

    Men....Past would be Paul Wylie for his tenancity, clean lines, fast feet, spread eagle, and musical intepretation. Present...just recently Johnny Weir for his balletic line (reminds me so much of John Curry) and musicality.

    Pairs.....Past would be G and G. Two shall skate as one. Need I say more? Present would be Shen and Zhao for their power and the ability to connect with each other and the audience. They draw you in.

    Dance....Past would be Klimova and Pomenrenko for the connection with each other....they just float. Present.....You know, I don't think I have one yet......42

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    hmmmmmmmmmmmm ok

    Men: I go back and forth... but I think I'll have to go with uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Kurt Browning(I'm SO SORRY SCOTT!). post-92... he really became an artist after Casablanca, and I think he's the best skater EVER to not have an Olympic medal... and personally he's a better athlete and role model than a lot of the ones that do.

    Ladies: Again this is hard... Kristi Yamaguchi, I guess... she's still so consistent... and I think it's great she's being a mom first, skater second!

    Pairs: Jamie Sale and David Pelletier... again very hard... but they just draw me in... and are one of the reasons I began watching competitive skating again...

    Ice Dance: Torvill and Dean... nuff said!

    well dude! just totally not tell me we get runner ups/past present votes

    Men: Still very hard... runner ups are Paul--he's my Christian Brother, yo! gotta go with someone I can look up to completely and totally even if I am a few inches taller and Scott... but that was a given... he's the reason I love skating

    Ladies: Yuka Sato -- smooth and silk... and Josee Chouinard -- so sweet... doesn't need no stinkin jumps

    Ice Dance: Roca and Sur... soooooooooo pure

    Pairs: Gordeeva and Grinkov... nuff said!
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 04-24-2004 at 12:41 AM.

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    Re: Re: a quick question

    Originally posted by JonnyCoop
    That I'm afraid I can't help you with. I was only 12 at the time and didn't really in those days pay that much attention to details like that. I do remember what she wore, though....:D I've got a pretty good archive on stuff like that, but the early 80s section is pretty limited.
    Although I was (ahem) slightly older than that , I'm afraid I didn't pay that much attention to the details like that either back then

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    This IS difficult!!

    Ok, here goes.

    Ladies -

    PAST: Possibly Oksana Baiul. It's kind of strange, as upon repeated viewings I'm not sure I'd give her the gold medal at either the 93 Worlds or 94 Olympics, but I love her skating. Oksana is one of the most naturally artistic, charismatic, dance-y skaters ever. My favourite programmes of hers are her Swan exhibition in 94 Olympics, and several of her professional ones. And I still maintain that she had probably the best flying camel ever.
    Other skaters I really like include Kristi Yamaguchi and Midori Ito.

    PRESENT: I don't know! I like so many of the present skaters - Kwan, Cohen, Slutskaya, Suguri, etc etc. I think I'd actually have to go with - Sasha. I would have probably said Michelle before, but I don't know. I love "The Feeling Begins" but her last few LPs have not been anywhere near as good as I'm sure she can do. Having said that though, Salome, Red Violin and Fields of Gold are three of my all-time faves. But this is about Cohen! Sasha's Malaguena was fantastic, and I also loved her 02 SP. She's a beautiful skater and a great spinner, and when she's on, she's ON. She just needs to keep it together in the LP aswell as the SP (and reverse the trend of taking things out of the programme rather than adding more in).

    Men -

    PAST: Probably Kurt Browning. Despite the attitudes he's shown towards Alexei Urmanov, he seems to be a good guy, and his skating is wonderful. He's artistic and has flair, and his footwork is often amazing.

    PRESENT: Evgeny Plushenko. Although I was nervous when watching many of the skaters at Worlds, Plushenko was the only one who really had me on the edge of my seat, nervous for him. (Especially after Euros.) He rocks! I love the way he has such a unique style, and the way he does things (especially in the exhibitions) that are so different to what any other skater would do - and gets away with it. He's the best in the world. Sometimes I wish he'd perform something choreographed by a new person, but at the same time, no! He's original. Sex Bomb at 01 Worlds made me a fan. (And I think he's gorgeous.)
    Runner-up: Stephane Lambiel. I've liked him since the first time I saw him (02 Euros LP), when he was in his home country and despite not having a 3axel or quad, he came 4th! (And possibly could have been higher.) He skated totally cleanly with two 3-3s, wonderful choreography, fantastic footwork, and blinding spins as usual. And his LP at Worlds this year is one for the ages. The look on his face at the end nearly made me cry.
    2nd Runner-up : Kevin van der Perren. I liked him anyway after last year, but his LP at Worlds this year was so great! I couldn'd believe it when he landed the 3axel (a real bugbear for him), then his trademark amazing 3salchow-3toe-3loop, not to mention a 3flip-3toe, 3lutz, and (IIRC) two 2axels. It was the performance of his life, and you could tell by the way he reacted when he finished.

    Dance -

    PAST: Torvill & Dean. The first skaters I remember ever seeing (in 94 Europeans) and they really did instantly grab me. I thought their skating was so beautiful. They've had so many fantastic programmes, they revolutionised ice dancing, and they were so good technically and artistically. They also have the highest ever ratio of 6.0s in a career (155), in a competition (29 in 1984 Worlds) and in a performance (13 in free dance, 1984 Worlds).

    PRESENT: Out of the current crop, I like Denkova & Staviyski, Faiella & Scali and the Kerrs. I also liked Bourne & Kraatz, and several programmes of other teams (e.g. L&A, A&P etc). I'm not an uber-fan of any of them yet though.

    Pairs -

    PAST: Another difficult one. Do you go for Gordeeva & Grinkov or Mishkutenok & Dmitriev? ... Ok, at a push, I'd have M&D as the top and G&G as the runner ups. Two amazing teams, different but both so talented. G&G's 88 SP was magnificent, aswell as their LP and their 94 LP, but M&D's 92 and 94 LPs were fantastic aswell.

    PRESENT: Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze are also favourites of mine, and I also really like Abitbol & Bernadis, but out of those still competing I'd have to say Shen & Zhao. Their LPs at the last two Worlds were just amazing. They are just improving so much all the time, especially in the second mark.
    Last edited by icenut84; 04-24-2004 at 04:51 PM.

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    Isn't it hard to choose?

    I have seen B&E and loved their speed, tricks and felt they could have won the 94 Olympics. G&G probably did not deserve the Gold, but were the sentimental favorites. I saw B&E in a pro thing, and they wiped away Artur and Oksana years after they were done with comp. skating. I guess I'm a sucker for the romantic pairs. B&E are just retiring this year. Lucky Canada to have so many tours with great Canadian skaters. Why can't we have the CBC here in the USA?

    I love everyone's choices. I guess I was trying to look at the skaters who've been around awhile. Paul Wylie was so incredible, despite his falls I feel he was so undermarked and unsung until he got his silver. That was a great moment, and I feel he outskated Petrenko, who I did not care for as an eligible very much. Interesting how both men became much better as pros. I am still waiting for a male skater too, to have his line and presentation. In the age of quads, I think we'll wait a long time.

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