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Thread: For Emma: "War and Pairs"

  1. #1
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    Post For Emma: "War and Pairs"

    I posted this after the '02 Olympics as part of the spirited discussion concerning who should have won the pairs competition, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze or Salé & Pelletier. I rarely keep my posts but this one I did, considering the scandal and all.

    Also, since Mathman said that shortly after "War and Pairs" I put up a "monster" post saying "Michelle's skating sucked" ,which I say "Not! Dang ya! Dang ya! I oughta take Newton's Law and hang ya!" I'll look to see if I can find the original of that as well, but I since I have no idea where I stored it, don't hold your breath.

    BTW, I kept the responses of a number of posters, only three of which are still with GS: Mathman, Show42, and Heyang. I can post them as well or PM them to you if you're interested. Just let me know.

    So here, since Emma asked, and for anyone else who cares to suffer through it, "War and Pairs."

    WAR AND PAIRS
    Rgirl--Golden Skate Forum 2-14-02
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I watched my tape of the pairs this morning, at least the parts that made me crazy last night, with the idea of trying to see IF there might be any justification for the results. I watched it twice, once with the sound off, which I find usually reveals more about the skating. I tried to put myself in the place of a judge and this is what I came away with (I've put a dotted line on the back of my neck so people will know just where to aim when I put my head on the chopping block. And Mhu, the length of this is just for you--we're not just talkin' long-winded; we're talking hurricane force long-winded):

    For one thing, the competition and result between the two top teams reminded me very much of the 1994 Olympics with G&G versus Mishketunok&Dmitriev. G&G made one clear technical mistake in the short (the side-by-side spins) and Sergei made two or three technical errors in the LP (singled the double axel, singled a double jump in their jump series, and perhaps one other). Their LP to sections of Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata was described by some as "Pairs Skating 101" because there was nothing particularly innovative in the choreography. G&G's program came from the "Moscow School" (Marina Zuoeva sp?) of using mostly unison and very little counterpoint or opposition versus the "St. Petersburg School" of M&D and Tamara Moskvina of using opposition and "building" moves and holds into asymmetrical positions. M&D skating to Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto not only had the St. Petersburg/Moskvina choreographic style described above, but it was also a program designed to be skated with great passion, which M&D certainly delivered, versus the more abstract and "pure skating" design of G&G's program, which some felt was not only passionless but dry and unemotional.

    Since both teams were Russian, there was no national pride or bias involved (unless you count Moscow vs St. Petersburg). One's impression of which team "deserved" to win the gold medal was based solely on one's preference for the skaters, the choreography, the performance, and the technical difficulty. G&G made mistakes but, as we know, their underlying skating technique was about as good as it gets--great speed, great edging, exquisite line, the works. M&D performed a virtually flawless program technically--no missed jumps, no bobbles, excellent unison, "the skate of their lives" kind of performance. The energy of G&G's performance might be described as "understated," "cool," or "subtle," even though the theme of the program was, as Traci Wilson said, "the story of their love" and certainly one sensed that connection. But G&G never performed with overt emotional facial expressions or gestures--it was not their style. M&D's program, in contrast, was designed to be performed with great passion, both in the dynamics of the movements and in their gestures and facial expressions (Artur, as we know, was more expressive than Natalia, at least facially and with his overall abandon).

    I recall clearly that while the applause for G&G was appreciative, it was rather polite. M&D received a thunderous ovation from the audience. And of course we know the gold medal went to G&G (I believe G&G skated before M&D, but don't hold me to that). I recall Scott Hamilton as a commentator saying something close to, "I think the audience went for the passion and the judges went for the pure skating." Although certainly there was some debate among skating afficianados over the decision, in general most people could see that G&G had the superior skating skills over M&D and that Sergei was having a very uncharacteristic "off night" as G&G's practices had, according to Hamilton, been superb all week. M&D, on the other hand, had been having such disastrous practices that people were beginning to wonder if they would even medal, according to Scott. While M&D's LP performance was brilliant, it seemed that more than a few people felt that M&D had skated so well more on adrenaline and luck rather than secure technique and training.

    So, although the G&G/M&D decision cannot be exactly compared to the B&S/S&P decision, I think there are important similarities, and they came to mind as I watched my tape of the last part of this pairs event.

    While I still feel that the decision could just as easily have been a 5/4 split in favor of S&P, I did see things in the cold hard light of day that, at least to my mind, would constitute a valid justification for a judge voting in favor of B&S. Some of the reasons include: "Meditation" is far more intricate and difficult to skate choreographically (though not necessarily technically) than "Love Story." As compared to "Love Story" only on choreography, IMO "Meditation" requires more one-foot skating; there is less side-by-side skating, hand-hold forward skating, or hand-hold backstroking; there is more consecution between the elements, that is, each element and/or series of movements is connected or derived from the move or element preceding it, which to me makes for better choreographic/visual flow; there is more equality in the difficulty of the individual moves for the man and the woman; there is a better use of symmetry and asymmetry; there are more moves where the skaters are in counterpoint to each other (ie, moving in an intentionally non-unison way) that then go seamlessly into unison skating; there is use of both mirrored unison and side-by-side unison; the entries into the elements (ie, lifts, jumps, throws) are either more difficult or better connected choreographically; and there is clear theme and variation with certain choreographic themes evolving throughout the program.

    "Love Story," of course, tells a story and in that sense evolves just as beautifually as "Meditation" does choreographically. However, to cite just one example where S&P's program might have been improved as to choreographic difficulty is the move near the middle of the program (as the "illness" theme comes in) where Jamie does a Charlotte (sp?) kind of pose with the supporting foot up in its toe pick (a ponche arabesque in ballet terms) and David is holding her hands as her arms stretch behind her. Change the "pose" to the same move, a Charlotte/ponche arabesque, but done while skating, perhaps David in a spread-eagle and Jamie on the flat or edge of her blade and there is more difficulty. My example is clumsy to describe and might not have worked choreographically, but being in still poses was something I noticed a lot more when I watched the programs a second and third time, especially with the sound off. I also noticed that "Love Story," which I believe was choreographed by Lori Nichol, has more side-by-side, hand-hold forward skating, and hand-hold backstroking than "Meditation," particularly when entering an element such as a throw or lift.

    Another thing that could justifiably be perceived as weaker choreography in "Love Story" are the gestures of throwing snowballs and playing tag. While we as an audience may love them (not my cup of tea but I can appreciate others appreciating them), they are not physically or technically difficult. Those sections involved almost all two-foot skating and required more acting for believability than skating technique to fulfill the choreographic demand.

    In S&P's favor, their major lift, which crosses the length of the rink, is one of the most spectacular and difficult lifts I have ever seen and it was executed absolutely brilliantly. It was as if David were twirling a ball or baton over his head rather than a woman. And Jamie's flow and line throughout that lift was exquisite. I certainly believe Sandra Bezic when she says they have the best lift in the competition! And the way they enter the death spiral and the death spiral itself is without rival, as were many other elements in their program.

    As most of us discussed last night, S&P skated with ease, flow, passion, confidence, and technically were without fault. B&S, as many of us discussed, seemed tight, uneasy, and restrained compared to the way they usually skate. Also, their lifts were more "standard" and not as difficult as S&P's. However, I feel a judge could justify a decision in B&S's favor based on, for one thing, the greater difficulty of their overall choreography, which therefore increases the technical difficulty going into certain elements and also as to the overall quality of their skating. What came to mind as I rewatched the programs was a comment Dick Button made while Sarah Hughes was doing a camel spin at nationals. He said, "Look at that inside edge on the spin! Isn't that beautiful!" I was looking at the slightly bent knee on her free leg, which, to my eyes, made the spin less than aesthetically pleasing. Perhaps judges, or at least certain judges, look at things we either would not look at, such as Button's inside edge, or would be unable to see either from the stands or on TV. I could see where a judge could feel that even with a performance that was not as fast, relaxed, and technically precise as B&S are capable of, that if that judged perceived the choreography to be superior to "Love Story" (subjective of course), he/she would give the higher presentation scores to B&S even when with Anton's bobble on the 3toe and with them not skating their best. That judge could justifiably fee that B&S's subpar skate was still better than a technically perfect, emotionally affecting performance by S&P. I wonder if some or perhaps most judges even take into account the audience reaction to a performance in competition? I'm not sure if they even should.

    I also feel that, despite what everyone says, no judge can ever really evaluate skaters based solely on the way they skate on the night of competition. Surely the judges, whether intentionally or unintentionally, know that for B&S this was a new program that was not performed until quite late in the season and that S&P's "Love Story" is from two seasons ago. And surely the judges do not watch practices just for the heck of it, and I think rightfully so. Even though we say it was whomever was the best on that night, we all know that consistency over the season and/or years, recognized standing, achievments, and past performances are at least a point of reference for a judge and at most a "baseline" to which they can compare the performance at hand. Whether or not judges should do this certainly is an arguable point.

    I will reiterate and reiterate that I STILL FEEL that the decision could have just as easily gone in S&P's favor. I won't write another tome on all the great things about their performance and "Love Story" as choreography, I will only say that, while that particular piece and style of choreography is not my preference, I certainly see its merits and it was abundantly clear that S&P skated it to near perfection. Last night, even as a B&S fan, I thought the decision was an outrage and completely unjustifiable. Today, after rewatching the event and trying to see it through the eyes of a judge (no, I haven't judged figure skating but I have judged dances and dancers many times), I could see justification.

    The last thing I will say ("THANK GOD!" they cry) is that I think one of the things that contributed to the outrage was the heavily biased coverage by Sandra and Scott. When I first saw them calling the short program, I described Bezic and Hamilton as my "figure skating commentator dream team." While I've heard Sandra "pump up" her favorites at the few other times I've heard her call a competition, this had always been far outweighed by the intelligence and insight she brought to the table. But last night, by about the time the second-to-last group were skating, her voice and agenda started to irritate me. I used to date an anchorman and the thing I was struck by when we first met was how different he spoke off the air. I know Scott annoys some people to distraction, but either I'm used to his voice or he was just blessed with a pleasant tone. With Sandra, boy, you could sure tell when a team she liked was about to skate--her voice turned lilting and almost sing-songy, at least to my ears. And when she got excited--I won't go into it, but let's just say I think she could use some broadcasting lessons in voice if she is going to keep doing this.

    But the main thing I find objectionable about the commentary in hindsight is the way they were unabashedly cheering for S&P. An example: When it came to S&P's last throw jump Scott said, "If she lands this the gold is theirs." That was a major faupaux! The Scott of Olympics past would have said, "If she lands this, the gold COULD be theirs." Big difference! I clearly recall the restraint Scott used in Lillehammer with Nancy and Oksana. As much as it looked as if Nancy had skated an unbeatable program, Scott never even intimated that the gold was hers. Such overt boosterism simply does not belong in coverage of the Olympics on US network TV. Excitement, great; pronouncing the winners before the judges do, nuh-uh.

    I lied before: THIS is the late thing I'll say. I still feel bad for Canada because as I will say and say and say, with just one different judge, the gold could have gone to Jamie and David. And overall, I still think the judging was piss-poor. I also rewatched Ina&Zim, Petrova&Tikhonov, and Tot&Marininin. Putting T&M over I&Z was not a close one at all, not in the free skate. And I might have even put P&T over T&M, but still behind I&Z. This is where I think I&Z's relatively late "bloom" hurt them. So even as I write this, I must say that if I think it is okay for judges to consider reputation and consistency in a positive way for a skater or team, I should be fair and say that it's all right for judges to let a lack of reputation and inconsistency affect their scores. So I may have to call "foul" on myself--perhaps the overall judging was not as bad as I first thought--however, I haven't evaluated all the teams NBC showed with their scores. And I ain't agoin' to.

    And now comes the great sigh of relief from anyone with enough endurance to get to the end of this mess. And I didn't even go into the way they tarted up "Meditation by Thais" (I am certain Massenet did not have Harpo Marx and a high school orchestra editing over his music in mind when he scored this piece). Sorry guys, overstating my case in writing is either genetic or I'm just too lazy to shut up.
    Rgrrrrshut-the-hell-uprrrrrl

    I'm ready for the hatchet now.

    Rgirl

  2. #2
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    in all fairness Scott came back a few days later and apologised... *is still going to protect the man* while he was overly gushy over them... I think he got caught up in the moment. With the baubles of B/S I think he was just thinking like I was... if Jamie and David skate clean there's no way that they would keep them lower as I think both pairs are just about the same in ability to amaze the audience.

    That being said it's in the past and yeah I was an emotional wreck, and yes I was one of the ones that was so upset that I threw a fit that night... but looking back on it the only criminal thing about that evening was the way that the media handled it ON BOTH SIDES. It became a sort of media cold war... it was rediculous.

    I have come to expect Sandra's bias to come through in her commentary... I can't stand NBC's color commentator... and with Scott he has always had his small biases as well... (ie Kurt Browning, Steven Cousins, Kristi Yamaguchi, and more recently Timothy Goebel) it happens we're all human... Dick and Peggy do it too, but you wont see half the stink when they do it as you do when someone else does... because we all have our preferences of commentators. I like Scott and wish that he could work with Paul Wylie, Peter Carruthers, Verne Lundquist, and Terry Gannon (that's right no women and no pairs/ice dancers... heh heh heh)

    ok I'm rambling and I have to go... I don't know why I went on a commentator trip today...

    needless to say this stupid competition should be left in teh past... lol

    who's ready for the 2006 Olympic Scandal???? will it be in ladies? mens? or dance again? Surely they wouldn't touch pairs so soon after the last debacle! /tongue-in-cheek

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    Rgirl...this truly is great. Thank you so much for posting.

    I don't have tapes of 92 or 94 (but particularly the latter) to go back and look at M/D, and compare M/D with G/G (for 94) in light of what you wrote...I will say that M/D won in my book back then...I would love to rewatch and think it through what you wrote, as well as CoP (i realize that doesn't really work since they didn't prepare it for that purpose, but just as a way of thinking about the technical side of things). I guess at some point, even with CoP, great edging and other technical merits (like in lifts, etc.) versus intricate choreography ...and which one should garner more points, or how to evaluate this, may not be (easily) resolved, or how it is resolved (how the points are actually allocated) will always leave some of us uneasy.

    The idea you bring up about practices before the event shaping judges evaluations on THE event is really interesting to me...when you think about that, it sort of extends the competition...they have to be ON for a week or two, not just that night, in order to secure their outcome.

    About B/S versus S/P: that night we watched the competition, and a friend who doesn't follow skating asked what I thought...basically I said something like: B/S have finer line, better choereography and superior basic skating...but made a few little mistakes, S/P basically skated clean...based on past big events, that means S/P win, but I can see how B/S won sort of...now, when the controversy of judges emerged that's another 9 yards....but basically what I'm saying is even that night, I was surprised by the outcome, but could see it (and maybe since I was such a huge M/D fan, that was lurking in the back of my mind). Now, your description of how/why B/S had superior cheorography, noting things like hand hold, two footed skating, symmetry (or the opposite for all three)....Well, I just learned a ton from that (and it makes me start to think more about S/Z 99)....so thanks again!

    About S/P's amazing lift....it was, but somehow I thought someone was arguing back in 2002 that B/S overall had harder lifts...don't know if this is accurate or not. Also, you mentioned S/P's awesome death spiral...can you comment on the quality of B/S's....or what generally makes a death spiral awesome (I know, I'm keeping you busy...bus since yuo just taught us so much about 'regular' spirals... )

    I do agree that B/S looked tense and were tight...I can never determine speed from the tv so can't comment on that; and do agree that S/P didn't look tense or tight...but I just have to say that that program didn't 'sing' for me either...maybe because I had seen a more emotional performance of it when they first debued it.

    Finally, I do remember that Sale landed a bit pitched forward on a throw...and think (from memory) that the landing on the throw twist was close (like maybe too close)...but I could be wrong here, the only point is technically, i guess, we should consider these elements too...anyway: i was surprised at the result that night (again based on the idea that if one of the top three skate clean and the others have bobbles, the clean one, or cleanest one, wins), but could sort of understand it; now, from your discussion of choreography, I understand what I intutitively thought back then better (if that makes sense at all). I do think it terribly unfortunate that this result then had the controversy attached to it. And...I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Shen held the landing of that quad...of course, selfishly, I'm glad she didn't so that I get to see them skate now (that is assuming they would have retired from competition if they won 02). But, I must agree that the judging of pairs overall seemed off...I agree with what you said of the 5-6 teams...it just didn't seem right at all. I remember that after the pairs i just had this sinking feeling that the rest wouldn't be that great...then, there were dance controversies, Plushy missed a quad and Kwan a flip, sasha fell on something, Irina missed her 3x3 i think and looked flat (latter ones not a judging problem, but just a downer over all) and that yucky vibe seemed to be there until the exhibition.

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    Thank you Rgirl! That was something I felt about B/S and was not able to put it into words. The choreography was simply exquisite, so were B/S. That program is a piece of art. I guess under COP there would be no dispute who should be first.

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Again...will this never be put to rest? And I thought Hockey fans were infamous for chewing the cud over some past game that is already in the history books, but you guys here at Golden Skate take the cake.

    I rest my case.


    PS - Speaking of Lilting voices - how about the ever gushing Peggy Flemming? Talk about adnauseam. Peggy's syrupy comments make Sandra's seem like sweet n' low. I'll take Sandra anyday over Peggy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladskater
    Again...will this never be put to rest? And I thought Hockey fans were infamous for chewing the cud over some past game that is already in the history books, but you guys here at Golden Skate take the cake.

    I rest my case.


    PS - Speaking of Lilting voices - how about the ever gushing Peggy Flemming? Talk about adnauseam. Peggy's syrupy comments make Sandra's seem like sweet n' low. I'll take Sandra anyday over Peggy.
    Ladskater: I asked Rgirl to post this because I was not reading GS or other skating boards back in 2002...I only started doing this last season but have been a fan since 1976. I've learned more about the sport since joining these discussions and since CoP (and related discussions about what constitutes proper technique) than i learned by watching by myself for 20+ years. So I asked to read about this particularly heated moment in skating history and learn from Rgirl (and any other who wants to join in) in the spirit of a sincere fan who wants to be more knowledgable about the sport. It wasn't to churrn up the waters or 'beat a dead horse' (god, who would want to do that???). However, I will say that talking about old news/events in many sports is part of the joy of the sport...the memory of great and terrible moments and what it meant for subsequent trajectories in that sport...but that is, ofcourse, just my opinion.

    About commentators: I generally dislike the way figure skating is commentated...maybe it's because i watch football (meaning soccer) and basketball and occasionally other sports like swimming....but I like 'facts'...what's the element, what's the record by that athlete of hitting that element; what's up with the referrering (judging)...and the overall enthusiasm for any great move (for example, with football/soccer, it doesn't matter which team or who scores (and if it is rare for that person, that is noted and appreciated), a goal is a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!!! Maybe I dislike the commentators in skating becaue they tend be touchy feely (well Peggy does) and that is too sugary for my tastes...hence why i prefer Button...but the general format of FS commentating just leaves me wanting to turn the volume off - problem is, i want to hear the music and roar of the crowd too.

    I think it is fair to say that Scott should't have delcared S/P gold medalists...BUT: he could have said something like, typically when you skate clean and the other two of the top three don't, the gold is yours..let's see if the judges follow up...or some such thing. But honestly, I don't even remember much of the commentating that night...and that wasn't a major issue per se for me (given my already stated dislike of figure skating commentating's format). I actually have no memory of Sandra's comments...makes me want to check them out though just for fun.

    ETA: Rgirl said she had responses to her original post that she would share if any one was interested....I intentionally did not respond to that statement for two reasons: a) I didn't want her to have to work so hard, and b) i feared some people would be like: not this again...so I write this to share that I'm not unaware that for some people enough is enough, and I want to respect that/them...but again, I would like to remind people that not all of us have been around as long as others, and not all of us share the view that discussing history is boring or cud chewing....I do hope that there is room enough for everyone, i mean, can't we just ignore threads that bore/bother us?

    Anyway, I do appreciate the time Rgirl takes with all of this, so just wanted to say thanks again.
    Last edited by emma; 06-23-2005 at 09:57 AM.

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    Everything about B&S was gorgeous before the Olys. They were the heads on favorites. I think that's what many fans saw during the Olys: the better team. Perhaps there should not have been a competition and the award just given to B&S.

    The question posed, as I see it, is whether the best team should win or the best team that night should win'?

    I think Kwan is the greatest skater (note not balerina) in the World but she doesn't always win and rightfully so. But should the Olys give her gold because she is the greatest regardless of how she skates that night? I don't think so.

    Joe

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    Joe, of course the best team/person should win that night (or with a combination of two nights, short and long, and add another if a qualifying round counts). If you honestly think that did not happen on a particular night --- i'd love to hear why, as I have watched comps and felt that way. BUT, there is a question...bad and wrongfully biased judging aside...of how to evaluate different technique and different artistry and the sum of the two for any group of skaters...I can't control the judging, but I can try to learn what good evaluations would look like, and that's my interest here. To repeat, I was really suprised that S/P didn't take the gold THAT night...but, thought perhaps there were reasons of technique/skill and/or artistry that were being counted that I didn't have the ability to evaluate (i thought this way in 94 too with pairs and women's; thought it in 99 worlds with pairs, thought it in 98 women's - even though i thought Tara did win, just thought it could've gone another way too)...or if not ability per se, I just didn't know or fully understand what range of factors and how/why the judges were incorporating them into their final placements. Again, why I like CoP is that at least on the technical side, I may come to better understand this and participate, in a sense, more fully in judging...PCS completely different scenario.

    I guess too that I'm saying you seem sooooo sure about what correct judging is or should be, and who should win what when...how do YOU figure it out when it's close? I mean forget 2002 pairs...was there another competition that you thought was as much as possible fairly judged but YOU would have called it differently, and if so why? Finally, if you think all judging is unfair...ok...but I would still ask you to explain (because I'm interested in your thoughts) how you would compare two (or more) clean or similiarly clean skates among top contenders (not in hype, in skill) to select the winner.

  9. #9
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    I know this is an ancient debate---but here goes! I think you can be a B and S fan and still feel that S and P should have won that night. B and S are among my all- time favorites; generally , I favored them over everyone else. But-I am going to have to stick with my impression of that night (unaffected by the commentators, BTW). S and P just were better that night. They were clean and the whole performance gelled. It had spirit and momentum. B and S just didn't skate THAT PARTICULAR NIGHT up to their capacity, IMHO.

    I had a similar impression in the Tara-Michelle 98 Olympics. I like Michelle and her skating much more. I loved Angelica as a program. The performance at Nationals was magical. But-the performance at the Olympics was lackluster--not dreadful but without that spark. Tara's performance was the best that night.

    I know we will never convince each other on this issue. That's why it is still argued over again and again. I have a feeling if B and S had skated a great City Lights in 2002 (taking an old program as well)--my feelings would be absolutely opposite--even if S and P had skated "Love Story" as well as they did. But-as it happened--I would still give it to S and P that night.


    That said---I hated the media storm. It was embarrassing and overblown. There again-those behind the scenes deals had been going on for decades. I guess it was the moment for it to be exposed to public sight then. Sigh.....

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    emma - I don't think hindsight rationale is a reason for giving skaters an edge. I can't believe that a judge is thinking that one skater's music is much more intricate than the other. He may think that after the competition, and so what? but not during. His job is to see what the skater is doing and whether the skater is making use of the music he is using. I can't believe they compare music selections during the competition, or for that matter, after the competition.

    That competition was close. There was only one mistake by B&S. In my opinion that affected their skate THAT night. It did not affect the wonderful team that B&S are.

    Yes, there have been many close races. I'm sure you are aware of Baiul double footing most jumps but looking very dahling at such a young age and all the problems she had growing up.

    Joe

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    I've said it before, and will probably say it again. Most people who can be objective aboout this say that it could have gone either way- it was so close. So maybe the correct decision was actually reached in the end, judging controversies aside- the result was actually a tie! Why shouldn't there be ties in FS, after all, if the results are that close? Other sports have them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by emma
    I guess too that I'm saying you seem sooooo sure about what correct judging is or should be, and who should win what when...how do YOU figure it out when it's close? I mean forget 2002 pairs...was there another competition that you thought was as much as possible fairly judged but YOU would have called it differently, and if so why? Finally, if you think all judging is unfair...ok...but I would still ask you to explain (because I'm interested in your thoughts) how you would compare two (or more) clean or similiarly clean skates among top contenders (not in hype, in skill) to select the winner.
    What a nicely-phrased question, Emma. Joe and a lot of other regulars on the board really are experts at this sport and have well-supported opinions on these issues, which are always a delight to read.

    But as for me, I have the same question that you are delicately bringing up here. I watch a competition. I think skater A skated better than skater B. The judges say, no, skater B was better.

    My question to myself is, what are the judges seeing that I am not? The judges are experienced, well-trained, impartial experts. I am more at the stage of, gosh that was pretty. That is why it is so useful to me when our own expert posters can break it down for me.

    But then still there is no agreement, which makes me believe -- as you pointed out in another thread -- that part of the sport of figure skating is the interaction between the skaters and that particular panel of judges. I don't think the NJS will affect that.

    Mathman

  13. #13
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    Joe, of course the better team of the competition should win. IMHO, even with S's error in SBS jump, B/S's program was still a better one compare to S/P's technically near perfectly performed program(a three-year old one) that night. Rgirl's analysis was very to the point IMO. In addition, if I remember it right, did Jame sat on the ice at the end of their SP? Did they repeat the closing pose, and if things happened to Michelle happened then, was there going to be a deduction for overtime on top of the fall? B/S had a perfect, enchanting SP. So even when there was a tie in LP, I wonder if the SP would be a tie breaker. Anyway, I'm not as diplomatic as emma is, I just think that it is unfair that when you think one team is better that night, you denied the right of others to think the other way.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hongligl
    Joe, of course the better team of the competition should win. IMHO, even with S's error in SBS jump, B/S's program was still a better one compare to S/P's technically near perfectly performed program(a three-year old one) that night. Rgirl's analysis was very to the point IMO. In addition, if I remember it right, did Jame sat on the ice at the end of their SP? Did they repeat the closing pose, and if things happened to Michelle happened then, was there going to be a deduction for overtime on top of the fall? B/S had a perfect, enchanting SP. So even when there was a tie in LP, I wonder if the SP would be a tie breaker. Anyway, I'm not as diplomatic as emma is, I just think that it is unfair that when you think one team is better that night, you denied the right of others to think the other way.
    I must disagree. I think the best performance, not team, should win. The OGM isn't a lifetime achievement award. At least, it shouldn't be. IMO, B&S were the better pair, but I don't believe they gave the better performance that night. Since the Olympics are about the performances given on the nights of competition, how old S&P's program was should have no bearing on the matter.

    I've heard some say that S&P should have been docked for the second pose. If they had been, there probably would have been an even bigger scandal. S&P's program had clearly stopped. They were laughing and hugging before goofing off with the second pose. It's not like they jumped right up and tried again. Using the second pose as cause for an overtime deduction makes no sense.


    I know the horse is dead, but it's not like we are going to save the poor thing by being nice to it now. Anyway, it's better to beat a dead horse than a live one!
    Last edited by SusanBeth; 06-23-2005 at 10:56 PM.

  15. #15
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    I agree with many of you. Ithought B/S were overall better skaters. I would rank them higher on my top pairs of all time list. However on that night S/P were the ones with the clean performers. Had B/S skated cleanly with more freedom. The gold would be theirs hands down.

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