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View Full Version : Yuka Sato: a puzzling career



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DBZ
07-29-2011, 04:01 AM
Are you serious?
She had (and has) edges, style and artistry that were the envy of her peers and of other skaters' coaches.

I agree, which is why I don't really understand this mentality that Yuka was "lucky" to win her world title, because in any other year, she would've been creamed by the competition.

I just don't see how skaters like Nancy, Oksana, Surya, Lu Chen, etc., were so head and shoulders above her.

The girl could skate like nobody's business. She had the best edges in the field, well-choreographed programs and wonderful musicality. And when she was on (like at 94 worlds) she could be a threat for gold no matter who was competing IMO.

Her only issue was consistency, but then whose wasn't in 1994? The entire ladies field that season struggled with consistency. No one was putting two clean skates together, and results were all over the place.


On another note how could Yuka have done if she continued? Could she have won another World title or stayed competitive for the podium all the way until 1998?

Absolutely...*IF* she could maintain the consistency she showed at 94 Worlds.

I think it's logical to assume she would've improved artistically along with the rest of the field.

Take her SP from this pro competition, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiqKBgGr0CM

Now replace her loop combo with a clean lutz combo...don't you think the quality and maturity of that program would've challenged for top 3 in any worlds from 95-98?

I personally do. She was a quality skater through and through. If she landed the difficult triples, I don't see why she wouldn't be in the running for gold.

orbitz
07-29-2011, 05:06 AM
I agree, which is why I don't really understand this mentality that Yuka was "lucky" to win her world title, because in any other year, she would've been creamed by the competition.


I recall that a couple of Yuka's triples at the Olympics and at Worlds, especially the lutz and flip, had eeked out, pitched forward landings. I thought her presentation was cute back then but it wasn't sophisticated and nothing that made me go "WOW". I think she could've medalled in a few Worlds after 94, but I don't see her standing at the top of the podium.

Ozzisk8tr
07-29-2011, 09:02 AM
Hatfull of Stars as a routine was more like a bowlfull of vomit. As a skater however I think Yuka would have done much better post C.O.P. as her basic skills were sublime. I loved her skating.

VIETgrlTerifa
07-29-2011, 09:07 AM
From the sounds of it, I should feel lucky that I never had to suffer through Hat Full of Stars during its heyday. I absolutely love Yuka though and loved that Manleywoman interview. In the interview, Yuka says she always had an ideal of what she wanted her skating to be, and it clearly showed. Her edges were/are incredible.

Nours
07-29-2011, 09:56 AM
By contrast, Surya had to keep going -- she embarrassed herself on the 1994 World podium and probably felt the need to redeem herself, plus I'm sure she was hoping to win the World title and go out on a similar high note.



One more totally wrong things I hear about Surya... Actually she wanted to turn pro after the 1994 Olympic season but FFSG and TF1 who just bought all the skating tv rights for four years made her stay.

judgejudy27
07-29-2011, 01:15 PM
It is too bad Surya did not turn pro sooner. I read she had some huge money offers after the 95 Wrolds. Her amateur career would just go down the drain after 95 as both her jumping and skating diminished in quality, and the likes of Kwan, Lipinski, Slutskaya, and an ever more artistic Chen emerged. Even in Europe she was clearly surpassed by Slutskaya and Butyrskaya.

CaptCrunch
07-29-2011, 04:25 PM
One more totally wrong things I hear about Surya... Actually she wanted to turn pro after the 1994 Olympic season but FFSG and TF1 who just bought all the skating tv rights for four years made her stay.

Made her stay? You mean by paying her something like $750,000 to stay as an eligible skater. Candelero too was well paid to continue to skate to 1998. Skaters were getting big bucks those days to continue to compete. Just like Kwan, Lipinski, and Eldredge all had million dollar contracts with the USFSA to skate in their pro-ams.

allezfred
07-29-2011, 04:40 PM
Thank goodness Bonaly didn't retire after 1994 or we'd never have gotten The Backflip in Nagano.

Proustable
07-29-2011, 04:50 PM
I think Sato would've been competitive for a couple more seasons at least (for podium spots if not the title).

Cheylana
07-29-2011, 04:55 PM
So I really don't understand this thread
Summer, baby! :summer:

paskatefan
07-30-2011, 11:22 AM
She's done everything she's attempted completely and sucessfully.
She was a National Jr Champ and a National Sr Champ in Japan.
She was a World Jr Champ, then a World Sr Champ
She was a Pro Champ
She had a long Pro career.
She's done Choreography for Elite Skaters from several countries.
She and her husband coach some of the best of the best in the US.
She is well thought of, has been nominated for a coaching award, and has been recognized for her contributions to skating.
So I really don't understand this thread . What more could she possibly do?

I first heard of Yuka during the 1992 Olympics. TNT channel (I think) was showing the second flight of ladies during the afternoon, and I remembering being very impressed with Yuka back then. IIRC, she finished 7th at those Olympics.

I may be in the minority here, but I liked "Hatful of Stars." Please don't throw tomatoes at me! :lol: :D

manhn
07-30-2011, 04:16 PM
I'm sure for no-name, non-American/Canadian skaters, it must've been a lot more difficult.

Although the "no-name" part is certainly arguable, there were non-American and Canadian pairs and dance teams like Natalia Annenko and Genrikh Sretenski, and Elena Leonova and Andrei Khvalko who did very well for themselves relative to their international success.

Triple Butz
08-01-2011, 12:55 AM
I may be in the minority here, but I liked "Hatful of Stars." Please don't throw tomatoes at me! :lol: :D

That program is one of my favorites EVER. Haters, back off!!

blue_idealist
08-04-2011, 05:42 PM
I may be in the minority here, but I liked "Hatful of Stars." Please don't throw tomatoes at me! :lol: :D

That was a memorable program for me. Not my favourite or anything, but it was good.

Bournekraatzfan
08-04-2011, 10:38 PM
I agree, which is why I don't really understand this mentality that Yuka was "lucky" to win her world title, because in any other year, she would've been creamed by the competition.

I just don't see how skaters like Nancy, Oksana, Surya, Lu Chen, etc., were so head and shoulders above her.

The girl could skate like nobody's business. She had the best edges in the field, well-choreographed programs and wonderful musicality. And when she was on (like at 94 worlds) she could be a threat for gold no matter who was competing IMO.

Her only issue was consistency, but then whose wasn't in 1994? The entire ladies field that season struggled with consistency. No one was putting two clean skates together, and results were all over the place.



Absolutely...*IF* she could maintain the consistency she showed at 94 Worlds.

I think it's logical to assume she would've improved artistically along with the rest of the field.

Take her SP from this pro competition, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiqKBgGr0CM

Now replace her loop combo with a clean lutz combo...don't you think the quality and maturity of that program would've challenged for top 3 in any worlds from 95-98?

I personally do. She was a quality skater through and through. If she landed the difficult triples, I don't see why she wouldn't be in the running for gold.

THIS. Yuka is one of my all-time favourite skaters, and I am thrilled to see her share her knowledge with a talented crop of younger skaters.

Gosh, this thread makes me really miss the pro scene 90s...I loved the exposure pro skaters got at that time, and I felt skaters like Yamaguchi, Sato, and Chouinard really blossomed on the pro circuit.