PDA

View Full Version : Who's career was hurt most by School Figures: Janet Lynn or Denise Biellmann?



Pages : [1] 2

Maofan7
09-26-2012, 10:35 PM
When comparing Janet Lynn and Denise Biellmann, which of the two's careers was most damaged by the School figures?

Had there been no compulsories at the time Janet Lynn and Denise Biellmann were skating as amateurs, then in terms of where they finished in the free program (and where relevant, the short program as well), Janet Lynn would have won a silver medal at the 1970 World Championships, she would have won both the 1971 and 1972 World Championships, and she still would have won a Silver at the 1973 World Championships due to a disastrous short program. Janet would also have become Olympic champion in 1972. In terms of Denise Biellmann, she would have won Silver medals at the 1978 and 1979 World Championships, and a bronze at the 1980 World Championships. She of course went on to win the 1981 World Championships, and she would also have become 1980 Olympic Champion.

Nevertheless, where both Janet and Denise finished in the free programs (and where relevant, the short program) at the time does not tell the whole story. Had there been no compulsories, then all skaters would have focused their training on becoming better free skaters. Who can tell in those circumstances whether Janet and Denise would still have been the best free skaters of their generation. I strongly suspect that they still would have been, but nobody can simply take that as a given/a certainty. Moreover, take away the compulsories, then the pressure is firmly on each skater to perform in the short and free programs in the shoot out for the medals. Both Janet and Denise would in such circumstances have gone into the competition as favourites. How would they have coped with that? When the weight given to the compulsories was reduced for the 1972/73 season, with a short program being introduced, this made Janet the favourite going into the 1973 World Championships. However, a disastrous short program cost her the title. Did she have the ruthless streak required to become a world/olympic champion? Its impossible to tell as its not possible to gauge a persons overall temperament for the big occasion on just 1 competition. Nevertheless, Unlike Janet, Denise was able to seize her opportunity in 1981 and become a World Champion.

So, who's career was damaged most by the compulsories: Janet or Denise?

Tak
09-26-2012, 11:31 PM
Midori Ito.

orbitz
09-26-2012, 11:37 PM
Janet. 72 was really her last chance to win the World title.

Denise would've been very competitive for medals from 81-84 if she hadn't retired.

Maofan7
09-26-2012, 11:37 PM
Midori Ito.

She suffered as a result of compulsories too, as did many other skaters. However, I am just comparing Janet and Denise for the purposes of this thread.

judgejudy27
09-26-2012, 11:59 PM
Biellmann would have probably been in the medals every year starting in 78 without figures, but the Olympic major event she probably would have won is the 1980 Olympics. Had she continued competing she proabably could have dominated atleast until 84, even with the figures. There was nobody to stop her those years really, even Witt in 84 wasnt that good yet.

Lynn and Ito were the ones hurt the most, but I will say Lynn the most as Ito might not have been totally embraced right away even without the figures judging by her often too low free skating scores from 86-88.

Alex Forrest
09-27-2012, 12:41 AM
Janet Lynn for sure. She would have been a multiple World Champion as well as Olympic champion since her free skating was so far ahead of the others. That Lynn never won a World or Olympic title is sad.

One reason I did not say Biellmann is that she did win a World title. You would think that Denise would have won most of the majors without figures, but I think that since she came from Switzerland, she was not going to be 'allowed' to dominate US and GDR skaters. I remember Denise as a pro, and she frequently was shafted IMO, because of her athletic and non-princessy style. I think w/o figures she would have been treated the same way.

The two others that sprang to mind were Zayak and Ito. However they are both World champs and there was NO way either would have won Olympic gold even without figures.

Susan M
09-27-2012, 01:43 AM
I think Biellmann. Lynn was an all-time great free skater because of her musicality and presentation and light, easy jumps, but she loses points with me for choking away her chances when the ISU changed the rules mainly for her benefit. Who knows how well she would have competed going into the FS in first place after the SP.

Bielmann had nice presentation, textbook, powerful skating, and was easily outjumping her competitors. (She was doing a triple Lutz when the other top ladies had 3S and 3T only.) I think if all the top ladies were training to compete without compulsories, Biellmann would still have been the best of them.


She suffered as a result of compulsories too, as did many other skaters. However, I am just comparing Janet and Denise for the purposes of this thread.
Not to mention that compulsories were eliminated while Ito was still competing so they didn't really affect her all that much. Her one World title came while compulsories were still around and she had chances to win Worlds and Olympics after they were eliminated. Delightful as she was in 1988, it was not just compulsories that kept her out of the medal picture in Calgary. Look at her second marks.)

Of skaters not included in the poll, I think a better argument could be made for Elaine Zayak, who was outjumping the field but could not do well in compulsories because she was missing some toes on one foot.

orbitz
09-27-2012, 01:50 AM
Zayak's skating was hurt most with the Zayak's Rule and also with her body maturing. Even if figures were eliminated from 83 onward, Elaine wouldn't have been on top of the podium.

gingercrush
09-27-2012, 01:52 AM
Probably Janet Lynn. But for all that could be said, figures for her never seemed as weak as they did for Biellmann. Only mentally she was prone to mistakes. Denise Biellmann was a great skater but also was finding herself beaten in the short program for instance.

As with all these scenarios where you remove figures or compare them to the COP system or put COP skaters into a 6.0 scenario. Most skating is mental and most World Champion and Olympic wins came about because of the mental weakness of other skaters. Both Lynn and Biellmann were prone to being mentally weak. When the short program was introduced Lynn faltered. Biellmann often had difficulty performing a clean program. Midori Ito did see figures get removed and mentally she could be prone to making mistakes.

I often think these skaters would have struggled regardless of the systems in place primarily because when the system was changed success didn't ensure.

Triple Butz
09-27-2012, 02:38 AM
Lynn and Ito were the ones hurt the most, but I will say Lynn the most as Ito might not have been totally embraced right away even without the figures judging by her often too low free skating scores from 86-88.

ITA...the judges weren't buying into Midori until 89 (why? I couldn't tell you...) Remember the 87 NHK trophy judging in the FS? What a joke.

orbitz
09-27-2012, 03:20 AM
Ito in 88 was a bouncy, bubbly kid. Her 89 LP presented a more mature Ito, and she had the 3A.

judgejudy27
09-27-2012, 03:21 AM
Janet Lynn for sure. She would have been a multiple World Champion as well as Olympic champion since her free skating was so far ahead of the others. That Lynn never won a World or Olympic title is sad.

One reason I did not say Biellmann is that she did win a World title. You would think that Denise would have won most of the majors without figures, but I think that since she came from Switzerland, she was not going to be 'allowed' to dominate US and GDR skaters. I remember Denise as a pro, and she frequently was shafted IMO, because of her athletic and non-princessy style. I think w/o figures she would have been treated the same way.

The two others that sprang to mind were Zayak and Ito. However they are both World champs and there was NO way either would have won Olympic gold even without figures.


You are right Ito probably wouldnt have won the 88 Olympics without figures, but that is a pure crime if so. Without figures she should have been the clear winner with her spectacular in everyway 7 triple free skate (nobody else did more than 4 IIRC), especialy with the tech. score as the tiebreaker. Atleast Manley would have been a more worthy winner of those Olympics than Witt, although who knows without the figures they may have fudged the scores futher to still make sure Witt won. :blah:

I wonder if Bielllmann still would have won the 1980 Olympics without figures, or they would again have fudged the scores to make sure Fratianne or Poetzsch won instead. They did allow her to win the free skate, although IMO not nearly as decisively as she should have, but only not even being in real contention for any medal.

aliceanne
09-27-2012, 03:58 AM
I'm not sure either Biellmann or Lynn had the overwhelming desire to be Olympic champions. They were too independent. If spending more time on figures meant taking time away from freeskating they weren't interested. Neither of them seems to look back with regret.

Seerek
09-27-2012, 05:12 AM
There is a story that part of the reasoning behind why Gabby Seyfert retired in 1970 because Trixie's Schuba's lead in figures would end up being insurmountable by 1972 Olympics(although Gabby did successfully come from behind to win 1970 Worlds). How much better did Janet Lynn have to be in figures to even be in the range of overtaking Trixie Schuba in 1972 Olympics and/or Worlds?

briancoogaert
09-27-2012, 12:08 PM
IMO, Janet Lynn.
Denise Biellmann retired too young, and she's been World champ (and not Janet Lynn :( )