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Thread: The ladies triple Axel club

  1. #1
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    The ladies triple Axel club

    In honor of the debates that we have going on about the importance of high powered technical elements versus beautiful presentation, and how the CoP fits into the equation, here is a three-part homage to the ladies who have pushed the technical envelope and established the gold standard for ladies figure skating in the post-figures era.

    The triple Axel club

    Midori Ito. Remains the greatest jumper in the history of ladies figure skating. Beloved the world over for her charm and modesty.

    Live by the triple Axel, die by the triple Axel. When Ito fell on her first triple Axel attempt at the 1992 Olympics, this opened the door for Kristi Yamaguchi to win the free program. Ito reportedly felt "ashamed" that she had let her country down. She remains a popular icon of the sport, but did not skate outside of Japan much as a pro.

    Tonya Harding. Best U.S. jumper, the height and power of her jumps have never been matched by a U.S. lady. Unfortunately, by the 1994 Olympics she was past her prime ... plus, of course ...

    Tonya made a series of terrible life decisions off the ice, the worst being her choice of men. The attack on Nancy Kerrigan and its attendant publicity made millions for everyone else in the sport, but Tonya never saw a dime of it.

    OT -- Tonya's skating career was sponsored in part by George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees.

    Yukari Nakano and Ludmilla Nelidina. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at Skate America when both of these ladies hit triple Axels, one after the other. The first triple Axels in a decade.

    But it was kind of an anticlimax. Neither of the jumps was of excellent quality (I couldn't tell if the rotations were cheated on not), and the programs were otherwise unmemorable. Nakano never achieved top ranking in Japan, and Nelidina found that she could not handle the pressures of competing on the world stage and retired.

    Mao Asada So far so good for this prodigy. How about that super 3A she landed in the LP at junior worlds! So far, she looks like the complete package, with presentation skills quite mature for her age. Go Mao!

    Kimmie Meissner Was it underrotated? How would it have been evaluated under the new judging system? If the tech specialist had downgraded it to a double, with a minus 1.0 or minus 2.0 GOE for the landing, she might have received as little as 1.9 points for it.

    Under 6.0 judging, it got her the U.S. senior ladies bronze medal. Go Kimmie!

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 03-25-2005 at 08:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Rinkside
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    I have to agree with your assessment of Ito - I saw her at the 1993 World Pros. She landed the best triple axel of anyone - male or female - that evening and was completely charming in the Kiss & Cry area.

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    We don't know if Kimmie and Mao will still be able to do the 3A after going through puberty. It's so much easier for undeveloped girls to do the 3+ revolution jumps, but as they approach maturity, the ability to complete the revolutions falters.

    Ito and Harding were both short (5' or less), muscular women who had enough upper-body strength to continue doing the jump.

  4. #4
    Always Believed! Sk8n Mama's Avatar
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    Midori and Tonya still have the best 3 ax for ladies ever. They were both so high there was no doubt about them being clean. To me, Kimmie Meissner's would still be a double in the CoP-loks like 3/4 cheat. Mao Asada's would probably be counted as a triple but with reduced GOE for about a 1/4 turn cheat. Asada's is achieved through very fast rotation, the jump isn't very high but it had lovely flow out. I'm still waiting for a big, high, clean 3 ax. Will anyone ever top Midori's???

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sk8n Mama
    Midori and Tonya still have the best 3 ax for ladies ever. They were both so high there was no doubt about them being clean. To me, Kimmie Meissner's would still be a double in the CoP-loks like 3/4 cheat. Mao Asada's would probably be counted as a triple but with reduced GOE for about a 1/4 turn cheat. Asada's is achieved through very fast rotation, the jump isn't very high but it had lovely flow out. I'm still waiting for a big, high, clean 3 ax. Will anyone ever top Midori's???
    I think you've got it right. I saw Mao's LP at junior worlds, and the triple axel was greta, and perhaps a tad underrotated for les than 1/4 turn, but she has a beautiful flow out of it, following the line of the jump (she doesn't turn back into the contrary direction of the jump), and she gets into the the jump with ease. I Believe she can get more height into it, just a bit to get it fully rotated in the air

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    In honor of the debates that we have going on about the importance of high powered technical elements versus beautiful presentation, and how the CoP fits into the equation, here is a three-part homage to the ladies who have pushed the technical envelope and established the gold standard for ladies figure skating in the post-figures era.

    The triple Axel club

    Midori Ito. Remains the greatest jumper in the history of ladies figure skating. Beloved the world over for her charm and modesty.

    Live by the triple Axel, die by the triple Axel. When Ito fell on her first triple Axel attempt at the 1992 Olympics, this opened the door for Kristi Yamaguchi to win the free program. Ito reportedly felt "ashamed" that she had let her country down. She remains a popular icon of the sport, but did not skate outside of Japan much as a pro.

    Tonya Harding. Best U.S. jumper, the height and power of her jumps have never been matched by a U.S. lady. Unfortunately, by the 1994 Olympics she was past her prime ... plus, of course ...

    Tonya made a series of terrible life decisions off the ice, the worst being her choice of men. The attack on Nancy Kerrigan and its attendant publicity made millions for everyone else in the sport, but Tonya never saw a dime of it.

    OT -- Tonya's skating career was sponsored in part by George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees.

    Yukari Nakano and Ludmilla Nelidina. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at Skate America when both of these ladies hit triple Axels, one after the other. The first triple Axels in a decade.

    But it was kind of an anticlimax. Neither of the jumps was of excellent quality (I couldn't tell if the rotations were cheated on not), and the programs were otherwise unmemorable. Nakano never achieved top ranking in Japan, and Nelidina found that she could not handle the pressures of competing on the world stage and retired.

    Mao Asada So far so good for this prodigy. How about that super 3A she landed in the LP at junior worlds! So far, she looks like the complete package, with presentation skills quite mature for her age. Go Mao!

    Kimmie Meissner Was it underrotated? How would it have been evaluated under the new judging system? If the tech specialist had downgraded it to a double, with a minus 1.0 or minus 2.0 GOE for the landing, she might have received as little as 1.9 points for it.

    Under 6.0 judging, it got her the U.S. senior ladies bronze medal. Go Kimmie!

    Mathman
    Midori did not lose the OGM in 92 because of her fall on the first triple axel in the LP, but rather because of her fall on the triple Lutz in the SP. She was 4th in the SP, and she needed to 1)win the LP, 2)someone else beat Krisii in the LP in order to win the competition. Before she even took the ice it was obvious that she could not win the title because Tonya, Surya, and Nancy had placed lower than Kristi. There was no way Lateria Hubert, skating last, was going to beat Kristi in the LP. So the OGM was not attainable even before Midori took the ice. Had she landed all her jumps and received all 6.0's she still could not have beaten Kristi overall. Winning the LP was not enough to win the gold.

    I do believe that she was the greatest jumper ever in the ladies discipline. She used to land beautiful triple axels that would have made the men proud in her days. She had initially planned on a triple axel-double toe combination in the SP, but she was having trouble with it in practices due to all the pressure by the Japanese media who were following her around. Since Tonya fell on her 3A, Midori and her coach decided to go for the 3lutz-2t in the SP. She used to land this combination without any trouble but the pressure got to her and she fell on it. Her loss was not due to the triple axel.

    Tonya also landed beautiful triple axels and triple axel-double toe combinations but her ability to do the triple axel seemed to wane in 1993. Midori landed beautiful triple axels even as a pro, as late as 1995 or 1996 (I can't remember the dates).

    Mao Asada's 3A looked good. So did Nelidina's.

    I don't agree that Kimmie Meissner actually landed the triple axel in the US nationals. It was underrotated.

    Vash

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