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floskate
05-04-2012, 09:59 PM
Peggy was the BEST skater of her era without a doubt. My Mum always remembered her as the first lady who blended beauty with athleticism and while Burka, Maskova and Seyfert were better jumpers, they never had the package Peggy had. Add in her utter dominance of compulsory figures and she is hands down the best ladies all around skater of the 1960's.

That said, Peggy's skating package was really just a masterpiece of planning and preparation. Her free skating, while lovely, always lacked spontaneity and when compared to Janet Lynn, pales in comparison. Janet always had that instinctive, spontaneous quality to her work and Slavka just nurtured and refined what was already there. No major image or style overhaul necessary. I have watched so many of Janet's great amateur performances over and over and always manage to find something new. To my mind Janet was, and still is, the greatest female artistic skater to ever grace the sport. Her musicality is simply unmatched.

Mafke
05-04-2012, 10:28 PM
I personally find Peggy Fleming one of the most overrated skaters ever. She used the same long program almost her whole career ...
and her overall skating just lacked command, power, and panache...
Plus her Olympic winning LP was majorly lame...
Actually the show skating I saw her do as an older women later on was much more appealing to me than her amateur skating ever was.


I think many (most?) skaters back then used the same freeskate over and over. With hardly any tv coverage (and the lesser value of freeskating for winning) there was no real reason to come up with new programs every year.

Dick Button once said that she became better technically as a pro than she had been as an amateur and I agree. And as OGM she certainly was a fantastic ambassador for the sport.

And I do think she was the best overall skater (figures and free) of her era.

aliceanne
05-04-2012, 10:29 PM
Thank God they got rid of the figures. Schuba looked and skated like a truck driver in the LP in Sapporo. No elegance at all.

Schuba was one person I would have liked to have seen skate in person. Her peers both male and female were in awe of her figures. Her tracings were reputed to be not only clean, but her circles were way larger than any of the other skaters, which is pretty amazing considering you only get one push off.

Figures may not make exciting tv, but there is grace and beauty in the movements of a skater who is good at tracing figures. It is pretty amazing watching someone trace a complex figure in a single motion.

floskate
05-04-2012, 10:39 PM
Schuba was one person I would have liked to have seen skate in person. Her peers both male and female were in awe of her figures. Her tracings were reputed to be not only clean, but her circles were way larger than any of the other skaters, which is pretty amazing considering you only get one push off.

Figures may not make exciting tv, but there is grace and beauty in the movements of a skater who is good at tracing figures. It is pretty amazing watching someone trace a complex figure in a single motion.

ITA. Trixie's freeksating was definitely old school - mired in the late 50's, early 60's style of careful and considered crossovers, present to the judges, jump, smile, careful considered crosovers etc etc until end of program. But she was very consistent with what she did do and had a full arsenal of doubles although she rarely if ever competed the double axel. (She could do it and I have seen video of it in practice where she landed it cleanly, but lets face it she never needed it.)

While she was outshone by not only Magnussen and Lynn, but Morgenstern and Errath, she was more than a match for pretty much everyone else and her 5th-7th average free skate placements were justified. Had the system been skewed so that a skater who placed 7th in figures could pull up to 1st in free to win overall, there would be no hoopla. Put it into reverse and you just get major double standards in peoples attitudes to the results. Under the rules at that time, Trixie won fair and square and she will always be a legend of the sport due to her incredible figures that no one else could compete with.

TheGirlCanSkate
05-04-2012, 11:02 PM
Figures would have been fun to watch with modern technology. It was hard to see any marks on the ice on an old tv screen. But if they were done now you could overlay, outline, totally play up suspense and see the patterns easily. *sigh*

skatesindreams
05-04-2012, 11:12 PM
Peggy was the BEST skater of her era without a doubt. My Mum always remembered her as the first lady who blended beauty with athleticism and while Burka, Maskova and Seyfert were better jumpers, they never had the package Peggy had. Add in her utter dominance of compulsory figures and she is hands down the best ladies all around skater of the 1960's.

That said, Peggy's skating package was really just a masterpiece of planning and preparation. Her free skating, while lovely, always lacked spontaneity and when compared to Janet Lynn, pales in comparison. Janet always had that instinctive, spontaneous quality to her work and Slavka just nurtured and refined what was already there. No major image or style overhaul necessary. I have watched so many of Janet's great amateur performances over and over and always manage to find something new. To my mind Janet was, and still is, the greatest female artistic skater to ever grace the sport. Her musicality is simply unmatched.

You speak for me, once again, floskate.
ETA: I agree with your comments about Beatrix Schuba, as well.

aftershocks
05-05-2012, 01:11 AM
Peggy was the BEST skater of her era without a doubt. My Mum always remembered her as the first lady who blended beauty with athleticism and while Burka, Maskova and Seyfert were better jumpers, they never had the package Peggy had. Add in her utter dominance of compulsory figures and she is hands down the best ladies all around skater of the 1960's.

That said, Peggy's skating package was really just a masterpiece of planning and preparation. Her free skating, while lovely, always lacked spontaneity and when compared to Janet Lynn, pales in comparison. Janet always had that instinctive, spontaneous quality to her work and Slavka just nurtured and refined what was already there. No major image or style overhaul necessary. I have watched so many of Janet's great amateur performances over and over and always manage to find something new. To my mind Janet was, and still is, the greatest female artistic skater to ever grace the sport. Her musicality is simply unmatched.

ITA, and thanks so much for providing context for this discussion.

The 1960s were definitely a different era, and Peggy's career should also be looked at in terms of how quickly she was able to rise through the senior ladies ranks in the U.S. after the devastating 1961 Sabena airline crash which killed the entire U.S. skating team. The U.S. was in a rebuilding phase for years afterward -- the aftereffects of the crash have ramifications to this day in many ways (young Peggy lost her coach in the crash, and coaches like Carlo Fassi and John Nicks came to the U.S. to help fill the void). Of course, Fassi became Peggy's coach, and it has often been said that Peggy's mother had a very instrumental role in her career (i.e., promoting her image, making her skating outfits, etc).

Peggy had a very graceful, lyrical style which was quite different from the ladies fs champions of her era. Although she did not have her best skate at the 1968 Olympics, Peggy became legendary for her graceful style and in the U.S., her name became synonymous with figure skating. Peggy starred in five U.S. television specials, and became the skater that other aspiring and eligible young ladies figure skaters in the U.S. looked up to and desired to emulate. Peggy was part of a great tradition in U.S. ladies figure skating, but she also heralded a new era. Had the crash not occurred so many things might be different. Laurence Owen might have been the skater who would have heralded a new and different era with her style of skating. Janet Lynn followed Peggy and took the sport to unsurpassed heights with her awe-inspiring talent.

I completely agree with floskate's assessment, in particular that Janet Lynn "is the best artistic ladies figure skater to ever grace the sport."

giselle23
05-05-2012, 05:25 AM
Janet always had that instinctive, spontaneous quality to her work and Slavka just nurtured and refined what was already there. No major image or style overhaul necessary. I have watched so many of Janet's great amateur performances over and over and always manage to find something new. To my mind Janet was, and still is, the greatest female artistic skater to ever grace the sport. Her musicality is simply unmatched.

I totally agree. If I could pick one skater I would like to be able to skate like, it would be Janet Lynn. I watch many of her videos over and over, too. And if it weren't for YouTube, I never would have known anything about her.

pollyanna
05-06-2012, 02:25 AM
I totally agree. If I could pick one skater I would like to be able to skate like, it would be Janet Lynn. I watch many of her videos over and over, too. And if it weren't for YouTube, I never would have known anything about her.
I agree with you, Floskate and skatesindreams as well. And I thank the deities that Howard Craker's son-in-law offered for sale his recordings of US Champions back in 1985. I'm forever grateful that I could scrounge together the funds to buy the ladies tape, because I thought Janet Lynn's performances were lost to me forever. And now look at what we have thanks to great fans who saved her performances, the internet, FSvids, and youtube. It's a miracle, just like Janet Lynn's skating was.

bardtoob
05-06-2012, 05:20 AM
Howard Cracker is a hero and must have been so blessed to have witnessed all that great skating.