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lulu
09-25-2012, 03:20 PM
Besides Trixie Schuba, what other skaters were particularly good at school figures?

aliceanne
09-25-2012, 03:37 PM
Scott Hamilton was good enough at figures to win the 1984 Olympics even though Orser won both the short and long program. Kira Ivanova was first in figures at Calgary. I think most of the international medalists of that era had to be good enough at figures to sustain their freeskating results. Weren't figures 60% of the total score at one time?

gkelly
09-25-2012, 03:46 PM
Weren't figures 60% of the total score at one time?

Yes, until the late 1960s.


Todd Eldredge won his figures-era championships (novice and junior US titles, 1988 Junior Worlds, first senior US championship in 1990) on the strength of his figures and consistency, placing 4th-2nd in the freeskates at those events; the first title he won by winning the freeskate was 1991 US Nationals after figures were gone.

lulu
09-25-2012, 03:49 PM
Scott Hamilton was good enough at figures to win the 1984 Olympics even though Orser won both the short and long program. Kira Ivanova was first in figures at Calgary. I think most of the international medalists of that era had to be good enough at figures to sustain their freeskating results. Weren't figures 60% of the total score at one time?

Until 1968 they were 60%. In 1988 they were 30% of the final tally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_figures

You're right that most of the international medalists in those days probably had to be fairly decent at school figures in order to medal, especially when they comprised 40%, or whatever, of the final score.

People often talk about Trixie Schuba as being especially gifted in school figures, besides Trixie, what other skaters were especially brilliant in school figures?

:)

eurodance2001
09-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Wasn't Peggy Fleming amazing at figures?

aliceanne
09-25-2012, 04:55 PM
Until 1968 they were 60%. In 1988 they were 30% of the final tally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_figures

You're right that most of the international medalists in those days probably had to be fairly decent at school figures in order to medal, especially when they comprised 40%, or whatever, of the final score.

People often talk about Trixie Schuba as being especially gifted in school figures, besides Trixie, what other skaters were especially brilliant in school figures?

:)

I think Schuba was in a class by herself. I can't think of anyone else who placed as low in the freeskating portion and still managed to not only medal but win gold at the Olympics. I think she placed something like 9th in the freeskate. She is also the only skater whose compulsory figure results I've never heard questioned by her competitors.

Vash01
09-25-2012, 05:09 PM
I think Brian Boitano and Debbie Thomas were both very good at figures.

gkelly
09-25-2012, 05:29 PM
Jeannette Altwegg was 4th in the freeskating at the 1952 Olympics that she won. I seem to remember reading she was lower than that in freeskating at the 1951 Worlds or maybe one of the Europeans that she won, but I can't find a source online so I'll check if I have it on paper at home.

Here's an interview with her last year (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/articles/570-jeannette-altwegg-recollections-from-the-past); she finds IJS marking puzzling but likes the short dance and dreams of doing quads. :D

TwizzlerS
09-25-2012, 05:41 PM
Holly Cook was supposedly very good at figures, particularly loops. She won her World medal the first and only time she went to Worlds based on her performance at figures.

ETA: Priscilla Hill was another excellent "figure" skater.

overedge
09-25-2012, 06:13 PM
IIRC Michael Weiss won US national novice figures and, I think, won medals at US nationals in figures at other levels.

To be fair, though, it is hard to tell who was "best" at figures by relying on the historical results (apart from Trixi Schuba, who everyone would name as the best). There were also some excellent figures competitors whose results did not reflect their ability because of sekret politicking that affected the placements.

floskate
09-25-2012, 06:21 PM
Priscilla Hill holds the record for the youngest american woman to gain her 8th figures test - aged 9 if wikipedia is to be believed but I remember Debbi Wilkes commenting on this also during a Skate Canada performance of Hills in the early 1980's.

Carol Heiss was very strong at figures. Some of her marks from the 1960 Olympics are astonishingly high and I have some silent footage of 1960 Worlds showing ladies figures and again her marks are way higher than anyone else.

Jeanette Altwegg was amazing at figures also. Most rated her at the time as the best exponent ever and certainly since Cecilia Colledge who was also renowned for her figures. But you can't count out Henie either. Didn't Frank Carroll tell a story about him and others as skating students aping her style and MVO going crazy saying you've no idea how fast she was and how good her figures were, so just stop it! :lol:

It's strange how all the top exponents are women. Surely there must have been some really outstanding male figures skaters?

Vash01
09-25-2012, 06:25 PM
It's strange how all the top exponents are women. Surely there must have been some really outstanding male figures skaters?

Gillis Grafstrom (sp?)

floskate
09-25-2012, 06:29 PM
Gillis Grafstrom (sp?)

Yes, the footage of Grafstrom doing 'special figures' is just beautiful to watch. The man was such an enigma. I kind of love the fact that he would just withdraw from championships because he didn't feel like skating that day and then return at another event and just destroy the competition!!

manleywoman
09-25-2012, 07:44 PM
Priscilla Hill holds the record for the youngest american woman to gain her 8th figures test - aged 9 if wikipedia is to be believed

I believe Hill is the youngest american PERIOD. And David Santee is the next youngest, who I think was 11 when he passed all of his.

It's in my podcast with him, I'd have to go relisten.

I can't imagine passing them all by age 8, and then having to do just those figures over and over for the remainder of my career.

suki
09-25-2012, 07:57 PM
I love a discussion about school figures. :P

Actually, there are coaches and skaters from that era who have said that Peggy Fleming was actually "better" at school figures than Schuba (they competed against each other for a few seasons back in the late 60s). (Granted that Fleming had a few more years under her belt than Schuba.) Fleming was reportedly "cleaner" and more "precise," but Schuba was faster in execution and had more power. Of course, Fleming was also an excellent free skater.