PDA

View Full Version : Whose been the best since Katarina Witt retired?



Pages : 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

olympic
03-18-2011, 03:45 AM
Another thing to consider about Witt - In '88, Kadavy was slotted to compete just after Manley. If Kadavy had competed and skated lights out with her artistry and 2 3 loops [2x - 3l seq., 3loop - 2toe] would the judges have also placed her ahead of Witt's 'Carmen' in the LP like Manley? Or would the judges have somehow held Witt up with the 2d mark to keep the 'Battle of the Carmens' a possibility??

judgejudy27
03-18-2011, 03:58 AM
The interesting thing is Kadavy could not have won a medal of any color based on the factored placings going in even had she won the long program, bumping Thomas to 5th, that is unless the judges then placed Thomas 6th in the long behind Trenary (she beat Jill in the long on only a 5-4 split as it was).

I think if Kadavy had skated her best she still would have been placed only 4th in the long program behind Manley, Witt, and Ito however. Based on the short program she had little political push behind her for that event, she was probably perceived as the #3 American even below Trenary going in. And there is no way the judges would have placed Ito or Kadavy 2nd in the long program as Manley winning the gold was an unthinkable scenario to the judges IMO, so they would make sure Witt or Thomas was 2nd in the LP even if they ceded Manley the LP that night.

I think if Thomas had skated her best she actually would have been placed 2nd in the long program behind Manley which would have bumped Witt to bronze (and given Thomas gold overall). Of course Thomas winning the long program if she skated her best was possible too which would have atleast salvaged Witt silver.

olympic
03-18-2011, 11:45 AM
The interesting thing is Kadavy could not have won a medal of any color based on the factored placings going in even had she won the long program, bumping Thomas to 5th, that is unless the judges then placed Thomas 6th in the long behind Trenary (she beat Jill in the long on only a 5-4 split as it was).

I think if Kadavy had skated her best she still would have been placed only 4th in the long program behind Manley, Witt, and Ito however. Based on the short program she had little political push behind her for that event, she was probably perceived as the #3 American even below Trenary going in. And there is no way the judges would have placed Ito or Kadavy 2nd in the long program as Manley winning the gold was an unthinkable scenario to the judges IMO, so they would make sure Witt or Thomas was 2nd in the LP even if they ceded Manley the LP that night.

I think if Thomas had skated her best she actually would have been placed 2nd in the long program behind Manley which would have bumped Witt to bronze (and given Thomas gold overall). Of course Thomas winning the long program if she skated her best was possible too which would have atleast salvaged Witt silver.

You make a lot of interesting points. It was pretty obvious by the SP standings that the judges slightly favored some over others when all were clean, and that Kadavy was going to be on the losing end of the stick. A shame that Thomas and Trenary were preferred because Kadavy had the overall package [of course, that was when she was 'on' and she was a bit of a headcase]. But, I liked Thomas just as much. It was also weird that even if she had a longer international history and a world medal, Trenary was preferred.

In fact, watching youtube videos of the Kadavy's SP, you can tell by her body language she was a bit deflated in the K & C when she saw her marks. It would be interesting to know if Fassi was pushing one of Trenary or Kadavy more to the USFSA and Internationally.

judgejudy27
03-18-2011, 05:17 PM
I dont think Trenary was that big a favorite of the judges at the time either. She landed a triple flip combo in the short (even if very shaky) and end up only 6th in the short, and her figures placings were below people like Witt and Manley who were probably not better at figures. I think Thomas was by far the USFSA golden girl at the time, and neither Jill or Caryn had much hope other than a bronze if others imploded. Trenary was favored over Caryn since she was seen as their future. Of course nobody could forsee that figures would be eliminated altogether (though there was talk of it) and that Jill would never learn any new triples along with getting injured.

olympic
03-18-2011, 05:47 PM
I dont think Trenary was that big a favorite of the judges at the time either. She landed a triple flip combo in the short (even if very shaky) and end up only 6th in the short, and her figures placings were below people like Witt and Manley who were probably not better at figures. I think Thomas was by far the USFSA golden girl at the time, and neither Jill or Caryn had much hope other than a bronze if others imploded. Trenary was favored over Caryn since she was seen as their future. Of course nobody could forsee that figures would be eliminated altogether (though there was talk of it) and that Jill would never learn any new triples along with getting injured.

I was also wondering where judges / TPTB saw Manley relative to Trenary and Kadavy. Kadavy was reigning world bronze-medalist and I remember reading published predictions for the '88 Olympic Games, which listed Witt and Thomas as gold and silver favorites, then those publications traded between Trenary and Kadavy for bronze, not mentioning Manley. I thought Manley was considered a headcase leading up to Calgary, but I could be wrong: She bombed the LP in '87 but I think she finished well in both '85 and '86 Worlds, so she was always there, just beneath the podium.

judgejudy27
03-18-2011, 06:14 PM
The judges at the time always liked Manley alot more than Trenary and Kadavy. Manley may have won the 86 World title with her free skate had she not blown both figures and the short program (she was 3rd in the free despite not skating in the final flight). And she probably would have won the 87 World title had she skated her long program including the triple lutz cleanly. She consistently and easily beat Kadavy and Trenary when all skated clean programs, even with lesser jump content in some programs. In Calgary she nearly took 2nd in the short program over Thomas despite an easier jump combo and a noticeable bobble in the camel spin.

I can see people not expecting Manley to skate as well as she did, but if she skated well she was always going to be marked higher than Trenary and Kadavy regardless how they skated, especialy on home ice. I think the short program in Calgary is a good indication how the powers that be saw the 3 relative as Manleys short was quite ordinary and clearly weaker than Kadavy and no better than Trenary probably.

VIETgrlTerifa
03-18-2011, 07:01 PM
I accidentally voted for Irina Slutskaya when I meant to vote for Michelle Kwan, but it looks like it won't make much difference.

judgejudy27
03-18-2011, 07:05 PM
I am surprised Ito doesnt have alot more votes. I thought she was a big favorite on this forum.

floskate
03-18-2011, 07:15 PM
I am surprised Ito doesnt have alot more votes. I thought she was a big favorite on this forum.

She is, but when I saw this thread and looked at the options I immediately thought Kwan, just because she was such a great competitor, as Witt was. Maybe that's what people were comparing. I mean, when it comes to actual skating, there are a lot of skaters since Witt who i would rank above her. A LOT! :shuffle:

Loves_Shizuka
03-19-2011, 07:19 AM
^Agreed, and that was my first thought. Witt was great at many things, but in terms of actual skating, you're talking Ito, Yamaguchi, Kwan, Slutskaya, Arakawa, Kim and Asada who, IMO, are better.

VIETgrlTerifa
03-19-2011, 07:39 AM
I also think that it's quite telling that people more about Witt's competitive strength as opposed to her skating strength. It seems to be "common knowledge" that many of Witt's competitors were superior to Witt in terms of skating. For those of you who actually watched skating during Witt's heyday, was that actually the case or is that something some people (like Christine Brennan) made up?

Also, for those of us who had to watch 1980s skating through youtube or other videos, do you find Witt to be inferior to her competitors? As for me, I sort of do, but I don't know if it's because I'm unfairly judging Witt through a contemporary skating lens and comparing her with her record which gives a viewer a sort of expectation about her skating. I can say that I greatly preferred Cadavy and Ito over Witt. But again, maybe it's because I started really watching skating in the late-90s and prefer certain things over others.

Loves_Shizuka
03-19-2011, 09:22 AM
^I've watched 88 a few times, and in my not very qualified opinion, I found Thomas and Ito to be far better skaters.

floskate
03-19-2011, 09:40 AM
I also think that it's quite telling that people more about Witt's competitive strength as opposed to her skating strength. It seems to be "common knowledge" that many of Witt's competitors were superior to Witt in terms of skating. For those of you who actually watched skating during Witt's heyday, was that actually the case or is that something some people (like Christine Brennan) made up?

Also, for those of us who had to watch 1980s skating through youtube or other videos, do you find Witt to be inferior to her competitors? As for me, I sort of do, but I don't know if it's because I'm unfairly judging Witt through a contemporary skating lens and comparing her with her record which gives a viewer a sort of expectation about her skating. I can say that I greatly preferred Cadavy and Ito over Witt. But again, maybe it's because I started really watching skating in the late-90s and prefer certain things over others.

Interesting points. I think it's true that she was never the package that her contemporaries were but she had a few things going for her that others did not. When she first came on the scene she was only about 14 I think but what she did have above some of her contemporaries in 1981 - 83 was consistency on her bread and butter triple jumps. Other than Biellmann and Zayak, most skaters were doing either triple sal or triple toe and some attempted both but they weren't very consistent. Witt had a wonderful triple toe with tons of speed in and out; very powerful. Her sal technique was more suspect but she pretty much always landed one of the two and again, when it worked, the quality was high. Plus she was also pushing the technical boundaries of the sport by doing combo's such as her 2z-3t. She was teh second woman ever to land a clean triple flip in a World championship and she also had a triple loop although she had way more success with the flip. As an example of this, at the 1983 Europeans she actually planned a 6 triple LP (2 toes, 2 sals, flip and loop). She doubled the flip and fell on the loop but still this was waaay more than anyone else was attempting at the time other than Zayak and she was going through her fall from grace with the USFSA and the judges. (Of course Ito was already doing this and more in juniors.)

She also was stunningly beautiful. :swoon: She could sell a program like no one else at the time, even when the program was utter crap - this is the girl who went out and skated the hell out of the Muppet theme :lol:. By the time she won the Olympics, she had a lot of political push which no doubt helped her figures scoring in Sarejevo :shuffle: but she did deliver in the short and free and presented an allure that no other girl had. Sumners was the better basic skater but she had nowhere near the star quality that Witt had. I do think that her ability to 'sell' the sport and increase its popularity certainly helped her get the marks from judges. She was the ideal postergirl. She could skate very well, she was consistent, she had a mysterious allure to westerners due to coming from behind the iron curtain and she was drop dead gorgeous and many men just couldn't help but fall in love with her.

She also had a killer instinct. The stories are famous of course and while I do believe that Chin, Thomas, Kadavy, Trenary Manley and Ito were all MUCH better skaters, Witt had it all over them in terms of competitive nerve. She always did what she needed to do to win, whether that was improvising to someone else's music in practice, cutting them up on the ice, flirting with the judges or whipping off a triple loop to win back Worlds when no one believed she could do it. She was gifted a few times too of course, most notably beating Ito at 1987 NHK where Midori landed 7 triples in a competition with no figures. :mad:

She was impossibly glamourous with a natural beauty and star quality that could knock you down flat at 30 paces, and tended to make the American girls look like overdone pageant queens with huuuge hair. I loved her, but even as a kid watching her all through the 80's, her back crossovers got on my last nerve. :lol:

essence_of_soy
03-19-2011, 11:18 AM
A true testament to Katarina's competitive drive, during the free skating warm - up at the 1987 World Championships, she actually fell on the triple loop. So, to go out and land it when it mattered, showed her 'all or nothing' spirit.

I think that's why I love the super model era so much. The ladies looked like women and not 4'9" transplanted gymnasts.

orbitz
03-19-2011, 12:09 PM
I think Witt's skating style in the early 80s was workmen like when compared to skaters like Roz and Tiffany. During the 84 Olympic Dick said that Roz floated above the ice while Katerina dug into the ice. I didn't care for Kat's Gerschwin LP in 84 and 85 but no one else stepped up to skate better. There was a definite attempt to be more graceful in 84 when comparing it to her 83 LP.

87 World LP was Witt's best performance. Everything came together. It didn't matter in that LP that her back was hunched or she was pumping across the ice or the lack of extensions, lines, etc. The program, the performance, even the bat-winged outfit ... everything just worked. I don't think anyone could say that Witt that year in her LP was "inferior" to anyone else. (The frenetic SP was another matter though, LOL.)

88 Carmen was so-so as a program choreographically. I know she only did 3toes and 3sal, but those triples were huge, had great speed coming in and out, and covered great distance though.

I think if you break Witt's skating down into pieces then yes one can argue that she was "inferior" to skaters like Roz, Chin, and Kadavy. But judging Witt's skating in its entirety then she was superior than all of those mentioned skaters.