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

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03-19-2011, 12:14 PM
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.

I don't believe Witt ever attempted a 3flip at World. The only time I can recall her even attempting one was at 83 European, and that one was two-footed.

03-19-2011, 12:14 PM
If we're talking about complete packages, the person most robbed in 1984 was Zayak. Her short and free programs were crowd - pleasing and dynamic. Her jumps and spins looked easy, and she had great connecting elements. She would have done very well under CoP.

As a professional, I loved Rosalynn Sumners. She truly grew into a show skater with a distinct look of her own. As an eligible, she gave off too much of a princess quality. Her triple jumps looked difficult and swingy as well.

Chin was great, too, but her music cuts were just god - awful.

03-19-2011, 12:31 PM
Witt was like a modern Sonja Henie. She brought a lot of glamor and star quality to the sport. It could be argued that no one after her has achieved as much international fame for the sport. But of course her fame wasn't all due to her skating. ;)

I personally liked Tiffany Chin's skating the most from that era. Unfortunately, her potential was never fully realized.

03-19-2011, 12:43 PM
I don't believe Witt ever attempted a 3flip at World. The only time I can recall her even attempting one was at 83 European, and that one was two-footed.

Yes she did do a triple flip at Worlds in 1981, 82 and 83.

1981 Worlds held on but clean (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hLuhzIyma0)

1982 Worlds 2footed and step out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUEte1kaxqY)

1983 Worlds 2footed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2NnxTTZdvM&feature=related)

1983 Europeans double flip and triple loop (fall) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI_kgMXmihM&feature=related)

Her final triple flip attempt:
1983 Skate Canada 2footed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djm1iaXn89w&feature=related)
but better than most of the others she did.

03-19-2011, 02:26 PM
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:

Beautiful explanation as to why Witt was a winner, even if a handful of other skaters were better!

Roz had beautiful basics, but she was not really a strong jumper. Her triples always looked 'eked-out' even when she was on.

03-19-2011, 04:37 PM
I am not sure if I remember right but at NHK 87 didnt Witt also bomb the short program and end up 3rd ahed of a young Kerrigan who skated cleanly? If so she didnt even deserve to be in position to catch Ito after the short (not that she deserved to win the long program with that skate either).

I agree she was the consumate competitor, performer, and star though. She was the kind of star who transcended into the regular sports Worlds. That is why it is hard to define her as an actual skater, since it was those things more than her actual skating ability that made her such an amazing champion.

03-19-2011, 07:33 PM
This excellent discussion on 1980's ladies figure skating has just reminded me of something. In 1990 Worlds, the person in second place going into the LP (and ahead of both Jill Trenary and Midori Ito who would end up in first and second places respectfully at the end of the LP) was Holly Cook! Remember her? She finished 4th in the free and that was enough to keep her ahead of Kristi Yamaguchi. Accordingly, she ended up winning the bronze.

What ever happened to Holly? She finished 6th in Nationals the following season and then just disappeared.

03-19-2011, 08:09 PM
The death of figures was the death of Cook's career and many like her. She was never going to be competitive with Yamaguchi, Harding, Kerrigan, or Trenary in free skating. She wouldnt have even made the 1990 World team without figures since Kerrigan beat her in both the short and long programs at Nationals. Heck she wouldnt have even made it with figures had Harding not been sick and bombed her performance.

To be honest I was pretty stunned at her marks at the 1990 Worlds. I didnt see what was better about her performances than people like Lebedeva for example. She did a good job stepping in and being pretty consistent in all 3 phases when nearly all the favorites screwed up in one of the phases and that kept her in contention and ultimately put her on the podium. The margin in quality between her and Yamaguchi in the short and long programs was huge, but the field was so weak that year still nobody slotted in between them in either. I always was pretty sure her 90 Worlds medal was going to be a one off for her, especialy with figures gone.

I think she retired since the 91 Nationals showed she wasnt competitive anymore post figures.

03-20-2011, 08:33 AM
It was a different class and school of skating than it is, today.
There were figures being taught and less difficult jumps done in competition by most.
Artistic was actually valued by judges. lol

Katarina & women like Midori Ito were different for their time.

03-20-2011, 09:05 AM
well there were many great skaters after witt, there is michelle kwan, midori ito, mao asada, yuna kim.... but the skater that moves me the most is definitly asada, so my vote goes to her...

03-20-2011, 01:33 PM
I'm quite amazed that Sasha Cohen, Sarah Hughes, and Oksana Baiul made this poll while the likes of Yuka Sato, Chen Lu, and Maria Butyrskaya didn't . . . just saying. :shuffle::slinkaway

03-20-2011, 01:47 PM
^Yes! Lu Chen!

03-20-2011, 02:06 PM
Just wondering, was Katarina good at figures? Yes?

03-20-2011, 02:16 PM
Just wondering, was Katarina good at figures? Yes?

Eh. Not really good.

1983 - 8th
1984 O - 3d
1984 W - 1st
1985 - 3d
1986 - 3d
1987 - 5th
1988 O - 3d
1988 W - 1st

03-20-2011, 02:47 PM
She was 3rd or higher nearly everytime which would suggest the judges rated her as very good at them. She never was below someone like Trenary who supposably had great figures. Whether she actually was in another matter perhaps.