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Thread: 1995 Worlds - Ten Years Later

  1. #1
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    1995 Worlds - Ten Years Later

    I recently viewed my videotape from the 1995 Worlds, held in Birmingham, England. What a great competition!

    The Women:
    14-year-old Michelle Kwan skated two beautiful programs, error-free, and laden with triple jumps. At that stage of her career, Michelle was a skater who looked, and skated, like the young girl she was. There was no makeup, “young” artistry, and the judges, obviously, marked Michelle as a young girl skating in a adult competition. Kwan seemed pleased with her marks and was happy with her fourth-place finish. However, it seemed (to me at least) that her coach, Frank Carroll, wasn’t happy with the results. Clearly, Carroll looked as though Michelle should have won a medal. One of the commentators asked Michelle if she thought it was fair that she finished out of the medals, and she graciously said she was very happy with her performance. Good for you, Michelle! You have always been a class act, IMHO.

    US champion Nicole Bobek won the short program and looked poised to win the World title, as she had a beautiful “Doctor Zhivago” program that was loaded with triples, mature choreography, and artistry. Nicole started out strongly but then made two errors in the second half of her program. Her two errors seemed to destroy her concentration, and she finished rather poorly. Poor Nicole. She was so upset, as she realized all too well that she had blown a golden opportunity. At least she received high enough marks to win the bronze medal.

    I was really happy to see Chen Lu win her first World title. She skated two beautiful, beautiful (!) programs, and she won convincingly. She was overjoyed with her victory, and she cried tears of joy during the medal ceremony. Well done, Chen!

    France’s Suraya Bonaly won her third consecutive World silver medal. Without being critical, I think that her skating was an embarrassment, from an artistic point of view. Just a lot of simple stroking to one end of the rink – JUMP – then stroking to the other end of the rink – JUMP – etc. Boring, boring, IMHO. At least this year Suraya did not yank the silver medal off her neck, as she had done the previous year. She told the media she was happy to have won a medal in this competition.

    The Men:
    Canada’s Elvis Stojko successfully defended his World title with some wonderfully strong, masculine skating. Lots of triples and lots of confidence. It appeared that the judges had finally “accepted” Elvis’ brand of skating – not the old school classical style – and gave him marks that reflected his excellence. Great job, Elvis!!

    The silver medal was won by Todd Eldredge, who skated two strong programs. In my opinion, the judges scored this competition just right, with Elvis first and Todd second.

    France’s Philippe Candeloro won the bronze medal with his typical flamboyant and somewhat technically flawed programs. Without a doubt, Philippe was a great favorite of the audience, and he certainly showed a lot of showmanship.

    Scott Davis of the US finished 7th at this Worlds. I always enjoyed Scott’s skating, particularly his terrific “West Side Story” long program that won him the 1993 and 1994 US titles. At Worlds, however, he always made several mistakes and finished out of the medals.

    The Pairs:
    Radka Kovarikova and Renee Novotny won the World title with two strong programs. Evgenia Shikkova and Vadim Naumov of Russia finished second, and Jenni Meno and Todd Sand of the US finished third.

    Ice Dance:
    Russian dancers Oksana Grishuk and Evgency Platov successfully defended their World dance title, with Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko of Finland winning silver, and Sophie Moniotte and Pascal Lavanchy of France winning bronze.

  2. #2
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    Oh my

    Remembering this competition in England brings up a point that Michelle is going for her tenth consecutive World Championship medal. Had she been given the Bronze in 1995, she would have done that with last year's Bronze.

    In 1995, Michelle did a 7 triple performance to the "Introduction and Rondo Cappricioso" by Saint Saens (Weir uses this for his short this year) with wonderful Frank Carroll choreography (he is underrated as a choreographer) showing her developing mastery of skating programs.

    She had the third best long program that night, behind Surya Bonaly who skated an 8 triple performance and Lu Chen, who had a small jumping error or deletion. Surya was in 4th place after the Short Program due to a hand down on her jump combination, so to win or be second she needed help from Olga Markova, Nicole and Michelle, which she got. That is why she was happy, and she also was skating with a broken toe from a recent trampoline accident, and was in pain. Sure she was happy to win Silver and skate clean in the Long Program.

    Nicole landed her triple lutz (not much flutz in this event, Cathy Casey taught her decent technique which she abandoned) triple toe loop combination, her triple flip-double toe and her triple salcow. Then, she lost her attack and limped to the end. She was low in the Long Program, about 4th, so she was lucky to win any medal.

    My small complaint is the Short Program, where Michelle was 5th. Surya was not better than she in this program, but the judges wanted to keep Surya close enough to medal. Michelle did a triple lutz and flip in her program, and was immature, but wonderful.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
    Scott Davis of the US finished 7th at this Worlds. I always enjoyed Scott’s skating, particularly his terrific “West Side Story” long program that won him the 1993 and 1994 US titles. At Worlds, however, he always made several mistakes and finished out of the medals.
    I loved Scott's skating. I haven't watched any of his skating in years, yet I still remember parts of that West Side Story program. Beautiful!

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    Gee I wish I had this event on tape. I think overall Lu Chen deserved the title. I remember being so haqppy for Michelle and crying for her. She almost stole the show. I downloaded her programs and whoa they were fantastic.I do think she de4served at least third. However I think in the end maybe holding her back was the best thing. It made way to a beautiful mature skater and one of the best programs in history (Salome).
    Last edited by Eeyora; 02-25-2005 at 02:21 PM.

  5. #5
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    I loved worlds in 1995!

    I thought Nicole Bobek had a great Dr. Zhivago with good choreography, and it was by far the best season she ever had. Looking at her now it is unbelievable that she once landed a 3z3t, which no one did for years after that and only recently has been brought back by Shizuka and Miki. When she landed the 3f3t right after that, I was amazed at how she had increased her jump elements after nationals. Of course, she fell apart after that and came in 3rd. It seemed like she could not believe she was the skater who could win worlds after all the problems and inconsistencies. Soon after that, she left Richard Callaghan and never reached that level of discipline again. I think she made a great contribution with her spiral. Back then everyone marveled at her spiral extension and Michelle really improved hers to compete with Nicole. If it were not for Nicole, Michelle's spiral would probably not have become "one of the iconic moves in skating." If only one of Michelle's early competitors had been an unbelievable spinner . . .

    Michelle was so exciting to watch that year. I loved her Rondo program, and I agree that Frank's choreography served her well. I especially loved her opening where she did the 2a and then the 2a2t. It was so well timed with the phrasing of that music that now whenever I hear it I think of her jumps. 1995 was the year that she paid her dues and the judges were shamed for denying her a medal.

    It really was Chen Lu's year. She was great at the Olympics in 94, but she really had an artistic breakthrough with The Last Emperor. Her costume and choreography were beautiful. My favorite part was her footwork/spiral sequence where she interspersed poses to reflect the rhythm of the drums in the music. I think that most other skaters would not have been able to perform that section without it being a disaster or a joke.

  6. #6
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    wow

    seems so long ago!

    If Michelle wore some makeup, had her hair in a bun, and a not so kiddie dress she would have won that night. It's a shame she was underscored in the SP because she really could have had won the bronze. I am glad Nicole won that bronze; it as been her meal ticket all these years along with her National title.

  7. #7
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad640
    I loved worlds in 1995!
    Michelle was so exciting to watch that year. I loved her Rondo program, and I agree that Frank's choreography served her well. I especially loved her opening where she did the 2a and then the 2a2t. It was so well timed with the phrasing of that music that now whenever I hear it I think of her jumps. 1995 was the year that she paid her dues and the judges were shamed for denying her a medal.
    Definitely, 1995 was Michelle's "paying your dues" year. I remember that, during her long program, Sandra Bezic, who was commentating, said, "This is a beautiful program. The only thing the judges can mark Michelle down for is for being fourteen." Indeed, Michelle was still a little girl that year.

    But, boy, did that ever change in 1996!!

  8. #8
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    I vaguely remember watching this one on TV; I definitely remember Chen Lu's reaction when she and her coach realised she had won the gold medal.

    Both of Michelle's routines that year were really top notch. I'm surprised the judges only ranked "Yellow River" (her SP) only 5th in the competition; it had a 3flip as the solo triple compared to the much lauded "Romanza" that she did the next year which had a 3toe. I thought Carroll's choreography was just right for her at the time; by '96, she had her "choreographic epiphany" and was working with Lori Nichol

    I remember they kept making a huge hullabaloo over Surya's medal ceremony fiasco at the '94 Worlds basically every time she came up to skate. My mom didn't agree with Surya's placings at all though (she never liked Surya, especially after the medal ceremony fiasco)

    1995 was definitely Nicole Bobek's year. It was the one year she really buckled down, found her consistency, and skated like everyone expected of her. I thought 1998 was going to be a return to that same Nicole, but with the death of Carlo Fossi and her absolute meltdown at the Olys, it wasn't to be.

    I forgot that 1995 was the competitive zenith of two of my favourite teams: Kovarikova/Novotny and Rahkamo and Kokko, who were both excellent as pro skaters (IIRC, the former settled down and had children together, the latter got weirder and weirder with their music choices and eventually retired).

    And whatever did happen to Moniotte/Lavanchy, who IIRC were also the bronze medalists from Lillehammer?

  9. #9
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    Matt, M&L were not the bronze medalists at Lillehammer, Torvill&Dean were. Usova&Zhulin got silver, Grishuk&Platov the gold. M&L finished 4th or 5th, IIRC. They seemed to have lost favour prior to 98. They finished behind B&K and A&P in 96, then finished 4th ahead of A&P in 97. At the Nagano games, I don't think they even finished in the top ten (interestingly, they also skated to Riverdance that year). I remember hearing that there was a big battle between them and A&P for favour with the federation and internationally. I read an article where Moniotte was complaining that A&P were chose by the federation over them. I think she might have written a book about her life as a skater.

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    [QUOTE=Antilles]Matt, M&L were not the bronze medalists at Lillehammer, Torvill&Dean were. Usova&Zhulin got silver, Grishuk&Platov the gold. M&L finished 4th or 5th, IIRC.[quote]

    Fifth, behind Rahkomo and Kokko as well. Then they won silver, ahead of R&K, at 1994 Worlds, and bronze behind them at 95 Worlds.

    They seemed to have lost favour prior to 98. They finished behind B&K and A&P in 96,
    Actually, they didn't compete at all in the 1996 season; Sophie had broken her ankle at the start of the season.

    then finished 4th ahead of A&P in 97. At the Nagano games, I don't think they even finished in the top ten (interestingly, they also skated to Riverdance that year).
    Right, they were 11th in Nagano.

  11. #11
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanity_claire
    seems so long ago!

    If Michelle wore some makeup, had her hair in a bun, and a not so kiddie dress she would have won that night. It's a shame she was underscored in the SP because she really could have had won the bronze. I am glad Nicole won that bronze; it as been her meal ticket all these years along with her National title.
    I respectfully disagree with you. Even had Michelle wore her hair in a bun and wore some makeup in 1995, she still probably would have finished out of the medals. While a more mature hairdo and markup would have enhanced her appearance, in 1995, Michelle still skated like a youngster. IMHO, she was still finding her way, artistically, and she just wasn't in the same league as some of the older women.

    It wasn't until after the 1995 Worlds - in April/May of that year - that Michelle started to work seriously with Lori Nichol and started to develop mature artistry.

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