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Thread: 1992 Olympic Women's Figure Skating

  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    1992 Olympic Women's Figure Skating

    I viewed my videotapes of the 1992 Winter Olympics the other evening and greatly enjoyed the spectacular figure skating competition. It was fantastic! My impressions of the women's competition:

    1989 World Champion Midori Ito came into Albertville as the gold medal favorite, thanks to her victory at Trophee Lalique the previous fall (in the Olympic arena), and especially thanks to the fact that this was the first Olympics without the school figures in the singles competition – her weakness.

    Midori was awesome in her early Alberville practice sessions, landing triple/triple combinations and her triple axel/double toe with ease. Evy Scotvold, Paul Wylie's coach, told members of the press, "Midori is outjumping the men". The Japanese press and many others from around the world besieged her, however, and the stress and pressure took its toll on Ito as the women’s competition drew closer. She began to miss her triple axel and was clearly losing some of her confidence.

    In the short program warm-up, Midori started to warm up her entrance to the triple lutz, and Scott Hamilton, Verne Lundquist, and Tracey Wilson commented that it appeared that Midori was making a last-minute chance – substituting the triple lutz/double toe. Scott said, “I would never change my competitive program at the last minute, but it looks as though that’s exactly what Midori is planning to do.” She approached her triple lutz, rotated, and fell flat on the ice. She sprang up and landed the double toe. Midori’s marks were generous, however, and she was still in the hunt for a medal.

    Kristi Yamaguchi, the defending World Champion, who had finished second to Ito at the Trophee Lalique competition, skated a beautiful short program to “Blue Danube”. Her triple lutz/double toe was landed a bit “forward”, but it was a clean combination. Hamilton said, “In my opinion, this is one of the finest competitive short programs, if not the finest.” When Kristi skated to the boards, her coach, Christy Ness, embraced her and said, “Beautiful, honey”. It surely was. She was in first place after the short program.

    Nancy Kerrigan, the US silver medalist and defending World bronze medalist, skated a strong short program to music that was composed for her by Mark Militano, a former US pairs champion. She skated a very strong program and finished second to Yamaguchi. Nancy looked very confident in her short program performance.

    Tonya Harding, the US bronze medalist and defending World silver medalist, took herself out of the medal hunt by falling on her triple axel in her short program. Harding had elected to arrive late at Albertville, and perhaps she was suffering from jet lag. In any case, she crashed on the triple axel, and the rest of her short program looked very flat.

    None of the top women skated a clean long program. Yamaguchi nearly fell on her triple loop, and she watered her triple salchow to a double salchow. Ito fell on her first triple axel attempt but landed the second triple axel (the first triple axel by a woman skater in Olympic competition). Kerrigan made numerous mistakes and clearly looked as though she had blown her opportunity to win a medal. IMHO, her bronze medal was a gift. Harding skated a strong long program, but without the triple axel. IMHO, Harding outskated Kerrigan, and she would have won the bronze, had she not been in sixth place after the short program.

    Final result – Yamaguchi, Ito, and Kerrigan. Harding finished fourth.
    The medal ceremony was so uplifting, in my opinion. Kristi became the first American woman to win Olympic gold since Dorothy Hamill in 1976. Her parents and sister were in the stands, clearly thrilled with her victory. Kristi looked as though she could hardly believe it when the gold medal was presented to her. Midori Ito appeared happy with her silver medal, and the large contingent of Japanese fans waved “rising sun lanterns”. Nancy Kerrigan looked very happy to win the bronze, and her parents were very emotional during the playing of the National Anthem.

  2. #2
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Call me skeptical, but I wonder if Kristi's SP was as good as Scott said... considering he considers Yama (then and now) one of his closest friends can we say, possibly, bias?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle
    Call me skeptical, but I wonder if Kristi's SP was as good as Scott said... considering he considers Yama (then and now) one of his closest friends can we say, possibly, bias?
    KY SP was fantastic (and I dislike her skating). However back then , the ladies were only permitted to do one triple jump (in the combo). NK's SP was also very good (I think she had a shoot the duck into a double lutz).

  4. #4
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle
    Call me skeptical, but I wonder if Kristi's SP was as good as Scott said... considering he considers Yama (then and now) one of his closest friends can we say, possibly, bias?
    Tonichelle, you're absolutely correct that Kristi and Scott are close friends. I would hope that their friendship would not influence his professional reporting of her short program. However, Kristi's "Blue Danube" short program really was lovely - well skated, artistic, and athletically strong. I think he wasn't too far off base with his assessment.

  5. #5
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
    Tonichelle, you're absolutely correct that Kristi and Scott are close friends. I would hope that their friendship would not influence his professional reporting of her short program. However, Kristi's "Blue Danube" short program really was lovely - well skated, artistic, and athletically strong. I think he wasn't too far off base with his assessment.
    ITA. I just rewatched Kristi's SP and it was exquisite. The lightness and softness of the choreography and her performance perfectly matched the characteristics of the J. Strauss's "Blue Danube" waltz, a popular dance performed with refinement and elegance.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I was winking for a reason. Big time Scott fan here, would not critisize him even if it were needed But I still find it funny that all she has to do is step on the ice and he gushes. It's like "yeah, Scott, we get it. Yama rocks"

  7. #7
    Matt Savoie~Soul Skater CzarinaAnya's Avatar
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    Thanks SFFL. I didn't get to see that. I guess I hadn't really discovered skating until 93/94, when I was 11. I love Kristi's skating, and I still think she could kick some tushy agianst today's amateur's.

  8. #8
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzarinaAnya
    Thanks SFFL. I didn't get to see that. I guess I hadn't really discovered skating until 93/94, when I was 11. I love Kristi's skating, and I still think she could kick some tushy agianst today's amateur's.
    I agree with you. I think Kristi is still in excellent shape, and she could probably give today's eligible skaters a run for any title out there.

  9. #9
    It's all about Plushenko.
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    Wow...some ladies actually had triple axels in their short programs?
    Now that's impressive!

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    Midori would have been in 3rd place in the SP even with the fall, but Surya Bonaly gave a surprisingly strong performance which earned her 3rd place. It put Midori in 4th and she was no longer able to control her destiny. She could win the gold only if she won the LP and Kristi placed 3rd or lower. That was not going to happen, after Kerrigan skated poorly and Harding fell on the triple axel. Midori, however, earned kudos by landing the second triple axel in her program toward the end (she fell on the first one, which would have been a 3axel-2toe combination). It gave her a well earned silver medal.

  11. #11
    Resident Kristi Fan purplecat's Avatar
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    Toni, I don't think Kristi and Scott were good friends yet...not until after she joined SOI. At least that's the feeling this Kristi fan had. He may have been biased, but only as a fan, I think, not really as a friend yet. And yes, it's still one of the finest short programs imo!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplecat
    Toni, I don't think Kristi and Scott were good friends yet...not until after she joined SOI. At least that's the feeling this Kristi fan had. He may have been biased, but only as a fan, I think, not really as a friend yet. And yes, it's still one of the finest short programs imo!
    Scott implies in his autobiography that they were fairly chummy before Kristi went pro, but I don't think they got to be really good friends till after. And Kristi was great in the short program in Albertville -- this was the year that I actually became a fan of hers, after finding her a trifle over-rated in previous seasons.

  13. #13
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    Midori would have been in 3rd place in the SP even with the fall, but Surya Bonaly gave a surprisingly strong performance which earned her 3rd place. It put Midori in 4th and she was no longer able to control her destiny. She could win the gold only if she won the LP and Kristi placed 3rd or lower. That was not going to happen, after Kerrigan skated poorly and Harding fell on the triple axel. Midori, however, earned kudos by landing the second triple axel in her program toward the end (she fell on the first one, which would have been a 3axel-2toe combination). It gave her a well earned silver medal.
    Yep. And, I've sometimes wondered how the judges would have marked the women's long program had Midori been at least in third place and in control of her destiny. Would they have marked her presentation marks higher so that she would have won the long program and the gold medal? After all, Kristi made two mistakes and landed only five triples, and Midori landed her second triple axel. Who knows? The end result was that the more complete skater, Yamaguchi, won the Olympic gold medal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
    Yep. And, I've sometimes wondered how the judges would have marked the women's long program had Midori been at least in third place and in control of her destiny. Would they have marked her presentation marks higher so that she would have won the long program and the gold medal? After all, Kristi made two mistakes and landed only five triples, and Midori landed her second triple axel. Who knows? The end result was that the more complete skater, Yamaguchi, won the Olympic gold medal.
    I too have wondered about it. Even if Midori had won the free at that point, there was no way Latitia Hubert was going to beat Kristi, so the competition was pretty much over after Nancy and Tonya (and of course Surya) placed lower than Kristi. Had Midori been in 3rd after the SP, it would have been a different ball game.

  15. #15
    http://p068.ezboard.com/bstrawberrycanyonfsc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    There was no way Latitia Hubert was going to beat Kristi
    Was this the competition where she earned the nickname, "The Human Zamboni?"

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