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Thread: Olympic Pairs -2002

  1. #1
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    Olympic Pairs -2002

    I started the Olympic threads by mentioning the Ladies 2002, someone else continues it by talking about 1994 Pairs and I wanted to put my two cents in about the controversial 2002 Pairs competition.

    I went for S/P over B/S. Clean and electrifying program ( to me at least) vs. some mistakes from a classically pure and entertaining program....
    What do you all think and how would you have judged that competition?

  2. #2
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I have been and continue to be impressed with B&S. I did not think S&P could even be close to them scores. I knew S&Z would hit after the Olys having learned what more they had to do. But on THAT NIGHT, I acknowledged I&Z as the bronze medalists over S&Z.

    My interest in S&P stemmed from their Wagner skate. As we all know Wagner's music is just overwhelmingly sensuous. While I love it, I never considered it as skateable. Skaters are much too young or inexperienced in life to capture that music. S&P did.

    While my interest grew after the Tristan und Isolde music, I still didn't think they could take on the 19Century Ballet style of B&S. The Russian team of the 60s set that style for all pairs in stone. Even S&P had balletic moves but not the standard of B&S. For me, though, this is figure skating which I don't believe has to follow some sort of theatrical dance only but I know the fans love high arabesques and scrumptuous ina bauers.

    My argument for the S&P win is simply they skated with as many elements as B&S; skated them well, skated them clean; told the Love Story which so many fans demand (I don't). My big fault with B&S was that besides that unfortunate accident, he lost control of being the lead. Elena took it up for about a minute before he was able to get back to it. It was a close race and S&P won by a nose, imo.

    I haven't seen B&S lately but if doing an Elvis Presley imitate is considered being versatile with just about how many skaters have done that, I would think of them limited to 19th Century Ballet style.

    S&P have grown tremendously as an SOI Act and as featured in Holiday shows. Regardless of the Olys, I would consider them the better team now.

    Joe

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    Joe - interesting pov. Even though I have a different take on these two pairs, I always find your discussion about styles and particularly ballet to be quick interesting. Definitely, a good read too.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Hi Aviva Dawn, a lot of people are expressing their opinion about that on the "What has suspect judging meant for YOU" thread also.

    MM

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    In terms of lyrical quality, as eligibles, no one could top B&S. S&P were a strong, solid team but for most of their eligible career, they seemed a little held back in terms of their confidence level.

    What changed everything for them was winning Worlds in 2001 (their Wagner programme I am just now beginning to appreciate as a truly spectacular artistic programme). After that, they became truly confident in their skating and it improved in their relation to both the music and each other, which is why IMO it was a good idea to go back to their Love Story programme for the Olys; they were at a point where they could truly interpret something like Love Story.

    Granted, on any given skate, B&S's Méditation could have probably run rings around S&P in terms of intricacy and classic choreography. But B&S didn't skate cleanly; they had a mistake on their jumps. S&P skated cleanly. On the athletic side of FS, S&P won out. Artisticly speaking, although B&S may have had the better programme on paper, they had a mistake which disrupted the artistic presentation; something the judges (should have) noticed.

    Bottom line: S&P skated a better programme; the gold was theirs

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    Had B &S skated clean I would have given them the gold hands down. However the point is they didn't.

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    I just posted a response to the SLC pairs controversy in the other thread that Mathman mentioned. I don't feel like repeating it verbatim, but I essentially came out on the side of S/P instead of B/S. It wasn't just the jump issue, I had some issues with the presentation side of B/S including speed. They just didn't seem to be skating as fast as they normally did (although I do admit that speed is hard to judge from tv).

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2
    I just posted a response to the SLC pairs controversy in the other thread that Mathman mentioned. I don't feel like repeating it verbatim, but I essentially came out on the side of S/P instead of B/S. It wasn't just the jump issue, I had some issues with the presentation side of B/S including speed. They just didn't seem to be skating as fast as they normally did (although I do admit that speed is hard to judge from tv).
    Wasn't this one of the many topics we talked about during nationals? deja vu!

    seriously though, I was rooting for both, but Elena and Anton seemed to lose it after his bauble. It wasn't a glaring error, but it became one thanks to the media.

    Jamie and David skated Love Story as best as they ever had, and they won that night. Sure, they didn't get the medal they were going for, but they won the crowd, and at least the Western World over.


    The only real tragedy of the whole thing is that both teams were villified by the media. Jamie and David got hit hard by certain European news outlets, and Elena and Anton got hit even harder in the US and Canada. Rosie O'Donnell even said she had wished Elena had never recovered from the skate blade accident, and even said that when they did that fluff piece she was thinking "Big whoop, so what" and yet that woman is still heralded as the "queen of nice" UGH They were featured on Leno's "Cheaties" box... it just really is sad that THEY are what the rest of the world has to judge us on

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2
    I just posted a response to the SLC pairs controversy in the other thread that Mathman mentioned. I don't feel like repeating it verbatim, but I essentially came out on the side of S/P instead of B/S. It wasn't just the jump issue, I had some issues with the presentation side of B/S including speed. They just didn't seem to be skating as fast as they normally did (although I do admit that speed is hard to judge from tv).
    You are right in that you cannot judge speed from TV. B&S were faster than S&P and they skated very well. I saw the competition live and I have a very different perspective. You and several other posters here seem to be influenced by the comments of Scott and Sandra. I drew my own conclusions since I was watching it live, without a biased commentary.

    The bobble on the double axel by Anton was extremely small. It lasted for the blink of an eyelash (in fact they were back on unison after that blinked eyelash) and did not affect rest of their program at all. Skaters have made much bigger mistakes and still won on the strength of the rest of the program. One mistake does not mar an entire program and theirs did not. When a TV network replays even a small mistake a million times with the accompanying negative comments it can have an impact on viewers.

    I also disagree with Joe that Anton lost the lead after the mistake. One thing that sets B&S apart from other pairs is that they are equal. In my mind the man does not have to be the leader.

    What made B&S's skate superior to me was the difficult choreography, sophisicated music, lines, postures, and better speed (yes, they were still faster than S&P). S&P could not come close with the Love Story program. Had they skated Rachmaninoff/Orchid, they could have at least been competitive (from what I heard they were not comfortable with that program- not surprising considering the more challenging choreography). A clean performance does not necessarily mean a better performance. We have seen this numerous times in figure skating. Nor does louder crowd noise make it a better performance. S&P were essentially on home ice in Salt Lake city. Had both pairs been Russian there would have been no controversy (as in 1994).

    B&S were simply better that night, even with the bobble. There is no rule that a pair (or a skater) must skate their best to win. B&S did not have to skate their best, but they were still better than S&P.

    That is my opinion based on what I saw, without a biased commentary.

    Vash

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz


    I haven't seen B&S lately but if doing an Elvis Presley imitate is considered being versatile with just about how many skaters have done that, I would think of them limited to 19th Century Ballet style.

    S&P have grown tremendously as an SOI Act and as featured in Holiday shows. Regardless of the Olys, I would consider them the better team now.

    Joe
    I find it very unfair that you are comparing B&S's first ever program (Elvis & Marilyn) as pros with the numerous S&P programs you have seen.

    B&S have some beautiful programs like 'Let me fall', 'If I could' which are vintage B&S programs. 'Kalinka' is lively, and skated with great speed and lots of fun. The longer version of Meadowland which they skated couple years ago in Ice wars was a strong skate, although they only skated it a few times. They were still able to do sbs triple toes and sbs spins in unison. Unfortunately most pro pairs are not doing sbs jumps (not even doubles)- it is my big complaint against the pros. B&S's throws are even bigger than when they were skating eligibles (S&P had very small throws; they have improved the distance by about a foot- just a guess). They have more height on the throws (earlier they had the distance). Their lines are even better. I find S&P's pro skating boring because they have mostly lifts, and very little 'skating'. One still sees B&S's superior skating, but apparently you have not seen their skating since Elvis & Marilyn. I find it very unfair that you are drawing a conclusion without looking at enough information.

    Vash

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    I find it very unfair that you are comparing B&S's first ever program (Elvis & Marilyn) as pros with the numerous S&P programs you have seen. Vash
    That's true, Vash. Except for that Pro competition, I haven't seen other B&S programs. I should not have made the comparison.

    Joe

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    Well, continuing on with what Tonichelle touched on, what I find extremely unpleasant is the bitterness shown towards S&P ever since the scandal. S&P skated and thought they had won and when they came second, they showed their emotions. That's all there is to it. And Vash, I would hardly call S&P boring....and I have to disagree that their programs are mostly lifts with very little skating. Yes, their lifts are various and spectacular but their skating has much more depth than you seem to give them credit for. The lifts are what gets focused on when people remember their programs or write about them because they are so memorable, but S&P are hardly one trick ponies. Look at their "Come Fly With Me", 'Who Wants to Live Forever", "Come Away With Me". Vastly different programs, with vastly different moods......featuring intricate, innovative choreography. Their lifts are just a part of their skating.

  13. #13
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    At the time i thought the FS results should have been: 1) S/P, 2) B/S, 3) I/Z.
    Now i'm not so sure about S/P vs B/S, i do think S/P's performance was more magical, but maybe B/S's quality of skating was better overall. But i definitely think I/Z should have been higher than 5th that night!

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    I agree with Vash01 on this one. B/S deserved the win over S/P. B/S had a superior program, and were/are superior skaters to S/P. The mistake that B/S made was not big enough to cost them the gold. S/P made the mistake of going in with Love Story as their program which overall was more simple. If you watch their feet, they're on two feet most of the time doing crossovers into elements. B/S had interesting entrances into many of their elements and they had ftwk. throughout the program. If S/P had gone to the Olympics with "Orchid" as their program, and skated that clean, then they definitely would have deserved the gold.

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    Custom Title 76olympics's Avatar
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    I may have to hide behind a "virtual tree" after saying this--but I did think S and P were better that time when I watched the competitiion. And-this isn't characteristic for me. G and G are my favorite pair skaters ever and I frequently visit websites about them and love to watch videos of their performances,

    And I like B and S as skaters much much more than S and P. They are lyrical, fast, and appeal to me much more than S and P generally. Their City Lights program is pure magic. But-they were pallid (to me) and tentative that night, and S and P were just "on." I really felt their performance and jumped up before the crowd even erupted (I saw it on TV so I was not affected by home crowditis).

    For me, it was a similar situation to the 1998 Olympics Ladies. I have never cared for Tara. She just didn't resonate with me and seemed too young for me to even relate to. But-I had to concede she was better that night. She did deserve the win.

    That said, noone should have behaved badly to B and S. That is just awful. The judges made the decision. And-corrupt judging is no new thing. It could have very well been that the French judge voted with her head, heart AND pocket.
    Still, in my extremely humble opinion, it was very close and my choice that night would have been S and P.

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