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Thread: 1992 Olympic Women's Figure Skating

  1. #16
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    There is no doubt Midori would have won had she been in third place. She had won the freeskate with that performance and a triple axel back then was a huge deal (actually it still is a big deal considering how few women have done/ attempted them). Plus she was a better skater than Kristi: deeper edges, better spins and lots of speed and power. When Midori skated clean or hit a triple axel, she always won the free program.
    Last edited by soogar; 02-15-2005 at 09:23 AM.

  2. #17
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    I have to take exception to the idea that Midori Ito was a better skater than Kristi Yamaguchi. Please. Midori was an extremely powerful skater, no question, and possibly the best woman jumper in skating history. But she was not a better overall skater than Kristi. Midori's presentation and interpretation skills were merely passable, whereas Kristi's are excellent. And Midori had nowhere near the line, polish, and refinement to her skating that Kristi has.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria
    I have to take exception to the idea that Midori Ito was a better skater than Kristi Yamaguchi. Please. Midori was an extremely powerful skater, no question, and possibly the best woman jumper in skating history. But she was not a better overall skater than Kristi. Midori's presentation and interpretation skills were merely passable, whereas Kristi's are excellent. And Midori had nowhere near the line, polish, and refinement to her skating that Kristi has.
    Kristi's line, finish and polish are solely attributed to her body type. Quite frankly, some skaters just look better than others even when they are doing the same thing as the other skater. I always thought KY was extremely overrated in the skating skills department. When she competed against Tonya in 1989, Tonya was labelled the athlete even though her spins and basic stroking were just so much better than KY's. If you look at KY's skating, she really doesn't get into the edges on her crossovers and her spins aren't that great. KY was really lucky that she had a top notch choreographer like Sandra Bezic choreographing her programs and her bodytype fit the style the judges liked. When Midori was skating programs to powerful music, it really suited her skating style even though the judges like to reward lyrical skating.

    Also in the exhibitions in 1992, Midori was so cute skating to singing in the rain (or whatever) with her umbrella and raincoat. She was very expressive.

  4. #19
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    I agree Soogar with respect to Kristi. I have never understood the claims of Kristi being artistic or having great presentation. I think what helped Kristi in the pres. mark was her programs. Kristi has always had great choreo. I always watch many of her programs thinking "Wow, what an amazing program, if only so and so would skate to it, it would be a masterpiece." Personally, I think Midori, Tonya and even Nancy were better skaters than Kristi. Unfortunately, they were not as steady and stable as Kristi.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    Kristi's line, finish and polish are solely attributed to her body type. Quite frankly, some skaters just look better than others even when they are doing the same thing as the other skater. I always thought KY was extremely overrated in the skating skills department. When she competed against Tonya in 1989, Tonya was labelled the athlete even though her spins and basic stroking were just so much better than KY's. If you look at KY's skating, she really doesn't get into the edges on her crossovers and her spins aren't that great. KY was really lucky that she had a top notch choreographer like Sandra Bezic choreographing her programs and her bodytype fit the style the judges liked. When Midori was skating programs to powerful music, it really suited her skating style even though the judges like to reward lyrical skating.

    Also in the exhibitions in 1992, Midori was so cute skating to singing in the rain (or whatever) with her umbrella and raincoat. She was very expressive.
    Sandra Bezic certainly enabled Kristi to bring out the best in her skating. Kristi's jumps were small and did not cover much distance, but they were usually textbook - clean, stylish, and secure landings. Midori Ito had huge jumps and covered far more distance on the ice, but she lacked the artistry that Kristi had in abundance.

    On the other hand, had Ito been at least in third place going into the long program, I think she would have won the Olympic gold medal, regardless of how the rest of the field skated, as she would have been in control of her own destiny. As it was, she needed help from Nancy Kerrigan and Suraya Bonaly, and she received none.

  6. #21
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    The notion that Nancy was a better skater than Kristi makes no sense. How can that be when she NEVER, EVER beat Kristi when they were both amateurs? There is no comparison between their amateur or professional careers.

    With Midori, I feel that when Midori skated her absolute best, she was unstoppable. But I seriously disagree that Kristi's artistic advantages over Midori are "solely" due to her body type. Kristi's carriage, line and posture (at least in the 1991 and 1992 seasons) were superior to Midori, this is very clear just by looking at the tapes. I submit this was because she worked on it. You could argue that these qualities were helped by the fact she had the "right" body type for a good line, but you could also argue that Midori and Tonya were lucky to be born with the "right" body type to do a triple axel. Also, Kristi certainly had much better choreography and not all the credit should be given to Sandra Bezic. Kristi still had to perform it. "Malaguena" was a very challenging program, especially the way the jumps were meshed into the choreography. At the 1992 Nats, Dick Button even commented that Kristi had a "very difficult program." That she was able to perform it with smooth presentation is a testament to her abilities.

    Midori and Kristi are just very different skaters with different strengths. Midori's strengths were the height, flow and power of her jumps, ice coverage and speed. Kristi's strengths were her consistency, line, carriage/posture and choreography. Both ladies also had a high level of technical difficulty in their programs.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre Mage
    The notion that Nancy was a better skater than Kristi makes no sense. How can that be when she NEVER, EVER beat Kristi when they were both amateurs? There is no comparison between their amateur or professional careers.

    With Midori, I feel that when Midori skated her absolute best, she was unstoppable. But I seriously disagree that Kristi's artistic advantages over Midori are "solely" due to her body type. Kristi's carriage, line and posture (at least in the 1991 and 1992 seasons) were superior to Midori, this is very clear just by looking at the tapes. I submit this was because she worked on it. You could argue that these qualities were helped by the fact she had the "right" body type for a good line, but you could also argue that Midori and Tonya were lucky to be born with the "right" body type to do a triple axel. Also, Kristi certainly had much better choreography and not all the credit should be given to Sandra Bezic. Kristi still had to perform it. "Malaguena" was a very challenging program, especially the way the jumps were meshed into the choreography. At the 1992 Nats, Dick Button even commented that Kristi had a "very difficult program." That she was able to perform it with smooth presentation is a testament to her abilities.

    Midori and Kristi are just very different skaters with different strengths. Midori's strengths were the height, flow and power of her jumps, ice coverage and speed. Kristi's strengths were her consistency, line, carriage/posture and choreography. Both ladies also had a high level of technical difficulty in their programs.
    Kristi had better flow on the ice than Midori, and better lines. Midori had amazing height, speed, and power in her jumps, and she was an excellent spinner too. I do believe judges tend to reward female skaters that are more artistic. Had this been the mens field the difficult jumps would have been rewarded more. Krisit is normally a very consistent skater but she did make two mistakes on jumps in her LP. Normally those would have given her lower placement than Midori but the latter being in 4th place after the SP changed the complexion of the entire LP competition. To this day I have wished that Midori had gone for the triple axel rather than the triple lutz, although logically it seemed like a very sound decision to replace the triple axel, since she had been so consistent with the 3 lutz over the years.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    Kristi had better flow on the ice than Midori, and better lines. Midori had amazing height, speed, and power in her jumps, and she was an excellent spinner too. I do believe judges tend to reward female skaters that are more artistic. Had this been the mens field the difficult jumps would have been rewarded more. Krisit is normally a very consistent skater but she did make two mistakes on jumps in her LP. Normally those would have given her lower placement than Midori but the latter being in 4th place after the SP changed the complexion of the entire LP competition. To this day I have wished that Midori had gone for the triple axel rather than the triple lutz, although logically it seemed like a very sound decision to replace the triple axel, since she had been so consistent with the 3 lutz over the years.
    I wish that Midori had gone for - and landed - the triple axel in her short program. Had she done that, she would have been in second place, if not first place, going into the long program, and I think she would have won the gold medal. As it happened, Midori started to get nervous in the days preceding the ladies' figure skating competition, and those nerves showed in her practice sessions, as she started to miss her triple axel. Her nervousness was evident in the short program, as she fell on her ususally 100 percent reliable triple lutz.

    I always enjoyed watching Midori skate. She had such joy and energy, and she was one of the most gracious, delightful skaters of her era. IMHO, of course.

  9. #24
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    If we are talking about beautiful skating, I think that is a very subjective topic. Midor, Kristi and Nancy were all beautiful skaters in their own way. If you want to volunteer your opinion on who was the most beautiful skater, that's ok. It's your opinion.

    If we are talking about Sports in which beautiful skating is combined with athleticism then we have to allow for which of the above 3 skaters genuinely satisfies those requirements. If this is the final say, then I believe one has to look at their body of work, and not just the OLY gold medal.

    I only know these ladies from a few skating competitions. I have no real opinion on them. I do like all three and for various reasons but that has to do with the first paragraph.

    Fans who have seen them in several competitions - not necessarily competing against each - could reach their own conclusion as to who is the most beautiful competitive skater. It's not easy to pick one out and then, so what?

    Joe

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    I do believe judges tend to reward female skaters that are more artistic. Had this been the mens field the difficult jumps would have been rewarded more.
    I think it's interesting comparing Midori to the men at the Olympics. In the free skate, Midori did 5 different triples. If I rember correctly, I don't think any of the other top men or women did that (except maybe Stojko whom I didn't see).

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01
    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.
    Letitia Hubert was the final skater in the women's 1992 Olympic long program. The poor thing - she fell again and again and again, and by the time she finished her program, her legs were battered and bruised. It was a sad way to end an otherwise thrilling and wonderful figure skating competition.

  12. #27
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    Not my favorite Ladies' competition

    There were no clean performances in the top six performances. Not my favorite event, as Kerrigan was not very good in the Free Skate at all, Surya was not very good, Tonya Harding was overweight and crashing on her axel, Chen Lu was young and immature, Kristi made an uncharacteristic error and Midori, while wonderful, also had a rough time.

    One must also remember that Kristi was born with club feet, once a crippling congenital deformity. She also had to study the school figures, so it is amazing she did all she did in the first place. It is not often mentioned about her, but she did skate with a handicap. She is also so slight and tiny and weaker than Tonya, Nancy or Midori. She showed speed, but wasn't as powerful as the others.

    All the events in 1992, with the exception of Dance, had flawed medal winning performances in the Men's, Ladies' and Pairs' events (even M&D made errors). Not the best overall skating in an Olympics.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiSk8Fan
    There were no clean performances in the top six performances. Not my favorite event, as Kerrigan was not very good in the Free Skate at all, Surya was not very good, Tonya Harding was overweight and crashing on her axel, Chen Lu was young and immature, Kristi made an uncharacteristic error and Midori, while wonderful, also had a rough time.

    One must also remember that Kristi was born with club feet, once a crippling congenital deformity. She also had to study the school figures, so it is amazing she did all she did in the first place. It is not often mentioned about her, but she did skate with a handicap. She is also so slight and tiny and weaker than Tonya, Nancy or Midori. She showed speed, but wasn't as powerful as the others.

    All the events in 1992, with the exception of Dance, had flawed medal winning performances in the Men's, Ladies' and Pairs' events (even M&D made errors). Not the best overall skating in an Olympics.
    In my opinion, Tonya Harding skated a better long program than Nancy Kerrigan, but she was too far behind after the short program to challenge for a medal. Kerrigan made several major errors, and by the time she finished her program, she looked as though she wanted to scream. Even Nancy's parents said they thought she had blown her chances for a medal and that, in their opinion, she placed fourth after the long program.

    Yes, indeed, Kristi Yamaguchi was born with club feet. She had surgery as a youngster, and her doctors recommended athletics as a means to rehab her feet and ankles. Kristi fell in love with figure skating from the get-go.

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