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View Full Version : Would Yamaguchi and Klimova & Ponomarenko have won 2nd Oly Gold if reinstated



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essence_of_soy
10-08-2012, 02:32 PM
Slighty off - topic, but it's good to see how a few of the winners from the current JGP series landed triple lutz / triple toe loop combinations in the ladies field.

Off the top of my head, I can list:

Elena Radionova (RUS)
Angela Wang (USA)
Satoko Miyahara (JPN)

lulu
10-08-2012, 06:29 PM
Yamaguchi talked about reinstating to skate pairs but obviously did not.

That's a really interesting "what-if" scenario. :) I am assuming by reinstating, she would have meant reinstating to skate pairs with Galindo. I'm not sure if Yamaguchi & Galindo could have toppled G&G or M&D in 1994. But they were a great pair team, and I think if they had continued to skate together and if Kristi focused on pairs skating instead of singles, there could have easily been a three-way contest for the bronze medal between Y&G, B&E and S&N, with any of those pairs winning the bronze.

If Kristi decided to reinstate to skate pairs after focusing on singles skating and winning the OGM in Albertville, I'm not sure where Y&G would have ended up.

judgejudy27
10-08-2012, 07:43 PM
Yamaguchi & Galindo were nowhere near a team like Brasseur & Eisler at the 1990 Worlds, and B&E were alot better by 93/94 than they were in 1990. While it is impossible to know how they would have developed had they stayed together, the 1994 Olympics was way too strong a pairs event for them to have ever medaled in IMO. The 1992 Olympics, and maybe even the 1998 Olympics (if they were still amateur somehow by then) would have been their best chance.

Meanwhile had they simply reinstated for the 94 Olympics, having been off pairs skating for over 3 years, I would say they would have done well to even get a spot on the U.S Olympic team, probably would have only since Courtland & Reynolds were so poor at Nationals that year.



I'm sort of amazed that 1993 NHK has not shown up on YT. I would have LOVED to see this comp.

Me too. If the reports are true and Harding did skate a clean short and was only placed 7th (in a field missing a ton of skaters including Baiul and Kerrigan), and that Chen and Bonaly fell in the short and were 3rd and 4th, well I can almost see how that made her and her team temporarily lose their minds and sanity, and go on the crazy spell they went on for the next month.



In a wildly different direction I think that if Yamaguchi reinstated, Tonya would have stepped up her training and tried to earn the national title. Instead she was up against Snow White and her faux-princessy BS that the USFS just seemed to love. I would suppose that if someone just felt that Nationals was just a pre-determined coronation, Tonya might have wanted to take Kerrigan out. If Yamaguchi was in it, and she had great skills, Tonya would trained harder and had better programs.

Interesting views. Very hard to guess how Harding and her mind works, but if she would be willing to motivate herself to work hard enough to try and beat Kristi, why wouldnt she be willing to motivate herself to work hard enough to try and beat Nancy, who was probably easier to beat. The USFSA did love Nancy, but they probably would have loved Kristi just as much, especialy since Kristi did what Nancy had failed to ever do at that point, bring home gold medals for the USFSA. However if the U.S had only 2 spots and Kristi and Nancy were both there, Tonya would have had no choice but to become an animal in training that season if she had any aspirations to make the Olympic team, well either that or club atleast one of them.

Maybe you mean she thought the USFSA unfairly built up Nancy as being better than her when she felt she really wasnt even then, and it made her incredibly bitter and jaded, whereas Kristi she respected more and would have had a better attitude about giving her all for an honest and true athletic confrontation.

Alex Forrest
10-08-2012, 09:39 PM
Maybe you mean she thought the USFSA unfairly built up Nancy as being better than her when she felt she really wasnt even then, and it made her incredibly bitter and jaded, whereas Kristi she respected more and would have had a better attitude about giving her all for an honest and true athletic confrontation.

Yes, that was what I meant. It is possible that with Kristi back in the picture, the Nationals would go back to a more athletic competition, since Kristi always outjumped Nancy. So Nancy is knocked down a peg. Then you have Tonya who could potentially outjump Kristi, so would also be considered a contender. It changes the way the competition is approached. I think if Tonya was motivated to outdo Kristi she would have worked harder that season (or not, she really was a mess).

I am still shocked that Tonya let herself go after 91 Skate America. She just needed to maintain that level for only a few more months.... Why oh why didn't she do that?

leafygreens
10-08-2012, 09:53 PM
If Tonya had medaled in 1994 would it have been stripped?

VIETgrlTerifa
10-09-2012, 04:27 AM
There was an interesting theory on FSU years ago that doubted Tonya would have pulled that stunt with Kristi. It went along the lines of Tonya respected Kristi's skating and didn't mind (though I'm sure didn't like) losing to Kristi if she had to lose. It was Nancy that drove Tonya crazy. Nancy was propped up over Tonya throughout the years, and I think 1993 Nationals and the hype between Nancy's princess packaging vs. Tonya's trailer park trash image with the USFSA playing clear favorites with Nancy who really wasn't that much better than Tonya drove Tonya at least be complicit in the whack.

Alex Forrest
10-09-2012, 01:07 PM
Tonya probably woudtnt have if Kristi was in. Tonya may have taken it as an athletic endeavor rather than a Miss America pageant.

scootie12
10-09-2012, 08:34 PM
It was so long ago now, but I also thought the big motive behind the whack was primarily due to the fact that there were 2 spots for the Olympic team, and there was a possibility Tonya could have been pushed off one of those spots based on her track record up until that point.

I have a feeling if Kristi stayed in and won a medal at '93 Worlds, the US would have 3 spots (also based on Nancy's placement), and in some sense, making the team would be more of a non-issue. I think she was basically a shoe-in for a 3rd spot if it was available at the time.

Considering Tonya had a good showing at Skate America in the SP (1st place over a slightly flawed Oksana), and a decent showing in the LP (up until the blade problem), I think she proved she was certainly capable of placing in the top 3 at nationals, and also showed she was taking training more seriously. Also, based on her actual performance at Nationals, she would have easily been in the top 3.

Lastly, if I recall correctly, Tonya did not skate well in the SP at NHK, but did a decent LP, which is why she finished where she did. I thought she pulled up pretty far, but it wasn't quite enough to medal. If that was the case, there was a good reason for the judges placements. It also seems odd to me that a clean Tonya, a month prior at Skate America, can defeat a relatively clean Oksana (in the SP), the world champ, but does not beat the more B-list skaters competing in that event. I'd love to see a video so we could get the real story, but again, it seems odd she'd be held up at one international event, and then the next suddenly be held down if, in fact, she skated cleanly. I always felt the judges wanted to give her consideration as long as she skated well, so I never really understood the logic of the politics from one event to the next if her team claimed the judges didn't like her.

leafygreens
10-09-2012, 09:37 PM
There was an interesting theory on FSU years ago that doubted Tonya would have pulled that stunt with Kristi. It went along the lines of Tonya respected Kristi's skating and didn't mind (though I'm sure didn't like) losing to Kristi if she had to lose. It was Nancy that drove Tonya crazy. Nancy was propped up over Tonya throughout the years, and I think 1993 Nationals and the hype between Nancy's princess packaging vs. Tonya's trailer park trash image with the USFSA playing clear favorites with Nancy who really wasn't that much better than Tonya drove Tonya at least be complicit in the whack.

But we aren't sure if Tonya knew about it or if this was Jeff's idea. I doubt Jeff put that much thought into "Tonya respecting Kristi but not Nancy". I don't think Nancy was whacked because there were "only 2 spots" either. It would have been Nancy and Tonya on the team anyways, not Nancy and Michelle and Tonya stays home. So I think Jeff had Nancy whacked so that Tonya could medal at Olys since 92 was Nancy 3rd Tonya 4th. I don't think she knew, but that's another conversation...

Seerek
10-09-2012, 09:59 PM
re: 1993 NHK Tonya Harding would been hard pressed to get into the medals after a 7th place finish in the technical program, it appears that she would have had to win the long program.

Rank Name Nation TFP SP FS
1 Surya Bonaly France 2.5 3 1
2 Yuka Sato Japan 3.5 1 3
3 Lu Chen China 4.0 4 2
4 Tonya Harding United States 7.5 7 4
5 Kumiko Koiwai Japan 8.0 5 5
6 Liudmila Ivanova Ukraine 8.0 2 7
7 Karen Preston Canada 8.5 5 6
8 Rena Inoue Japan 14.0 12 8
9 Bo Zhang China 14.5 11 9
10 Tatiana Malinina Uzbekistan 15.0 10 10
11 Laetitia Hubert France 15.5 9 11
12 Kateřina Beránková Czech Republic 16.0 8 12

Two tidbits:

Kumiko Koiwai actually placed ahead of Rena Inoue in this competition, but only finished 3rd at Japanese Nationals and Inoue ended up getting the Olympic Spot after winning silver.

Liudmilla Ivanova was a interesting story - made the Olympic team in 1994 as the 3rd place Ukrainian lady, however still competed back and forth as a Junior up until 1996.

Twilight1
10-10-2012, 03:49 AM
Klimova & Ponomarenko and Yamaguchi were at the top of there game in 1994 so I have no doubt that they would won in 1994. The interesting thing is what that would do to the podium. I think Yamaguchi winning gold, would have kept Baiul in skating longer and I don't know if Grishuk & Platov would have medal led at all. Torvill & Dean may have even placed above Usova & Zhulin which may have kept them in longer too.

The chain reaction of this would have been cool to see as almost all my fave ice dancers would have stayed in longer. Lol

Susan M
10-10-2012, 05:18 AM
I think Yamaguchi winning gold, would have kept Baiul in skating longer
Baiul only had about one more good year after the Olympics before her body began to mature (fairly fast) and her jumping consistency would have really been affected. She was really lucky they changed the winter Olympics from 96 to 94, because she may well not even have medaled by 96 (even with Kristi & Kerrigan retired).


...and I don't know if Grishuk & Platov would have medal led at all. Torvill & Dean may have even placed above Usova & Zhulin which may have kept them in longer too.

With 3 of the 4 top dance teams all Russians, it would have been interesting to see how the politiking went. You may be right that G/P would have been left to wait their turn. I think you are wrong though in thinking either T/D or U/Z would have continued competing after 94 had Klimova/P stayed in and won 94 gold. Torvill & Dean clearly said they were reinstating for another Olympics, so win, place or off the podium, they were not continuing. I doubt Usova/Zhulin could have continued either. By that point their marriage was so fractured they were barely speaking to each other.

Clay
10-10-2012, 05:57 AM
re: 1993 NHK Tonya Harding would been hard pressed to get into the medals after a 7th place finish in the technical program, it appears that she would have had to win the long program. (cut)

Kumiko Koiwai actually placed ahead of Rena Inoue in this competition, but only finished 3rd at Japanese Nationals and Inoue ended up getting the Olympic Spot after winning silver.

Liudmilla Ivanova was a interesting story - made the Olympic team in 1994 as the 3rd place Ukrainian lady, however still competed back and forth as a Junior up until 1996.


IIRC from the reports, she skated first in the short program, fell, and was given low marks. That put her in the first group for the free, where she had little chance of receiving high marks. She may have skated first in the free skate as well? There are a few youtube clips of her performing a spin at this event, so it was filmed, just not shown on NHK.

She was practicing 3loop-3loop that year. Her coach wanted another lutz or flip, but Tonya said no way. You can see this somewhere on those Nancy/Tonya scandal videos on youtube, but I forget which one.

Koiwai and Ivanova both had the potential to shake up the standings at any given event. Both disappeared around 1996.

judgejudy27
10-10-2012, 11:58 AM
In the Tonya Harding book "Fire on Ice" it was said she skated a clean short at NHK that season, and Lu and Suyra both fell and came 3rd and 4th, and Tonya was quoted as saying "Erika and I both felt like we were gyped, the rest fell on their butts." Maybe the writer still made a mistake, and Tonya still said that since she was upset the others who were perceived as higher up in the World than her at that point placed well above her in the short despite that they also fell. Given that Sato and Chouinard both made bigger mistakes than her in the short in Lillehammer and beat her that is easy to believe happening. Since Ivanova placed 2nd in the short I have to imagine that nearly everyone missed something, so Tonya would have been upset to place 7th even if she made a mistake, let alone if she skated clean as some reported.

As for Skate America short Baiul did a double lutz-double to combination which is an easier combination than Katarina Witt did at the Olympics so I dont think beating her in the short there was any big deal or groundswelling of support for Tonya, but what was amazing is that Bonaly the reigning World silver medalist was 3rd in the short behind Baiul's double lutz while doing a triple lutz-double toe.

The ladies judging throughout the whole season was wierd and hard to follow, I was surprised Baiul lost to Bonaly at Europeans when Bonaly never a judges favorite missed her final triple lutz, and Baiul skated a cleaner performance than her Olympic one would be, then surprised with the Olympic decision after Baiul's skate, then a bit surprised with the Worlds decision (although I agreed with it) too.

Susan M
10-10-2012, 08:31 PM
The ladies judging throughout the whole season was weird and hard to follow, I was surprised Baiul lost to Bonaly at Europeans when Bonaly never a judges favorite missed her final triple lutz, and Baiul skated a cleaner performance than her Olympic one would be, then surprised with the Olympic decision after Baiul's skate, then a bit surprised with the Worlds decision (although I agreed with it) too.

I was also surprised when Bonaly won Europeans in 94, especially as Baiul was already World Champion by then. Maybe we were already seeing the power of French politiking.

ISU judges never quite knew what to do with Bonaly. She was often landing more triple jumps than her competitors, but there were glaring weaknesses in other aspects of her skating (and even with her jumping technique). She had started skating at a fairly late age, and it showed in her underdeveloped basics. Her basic stroking was scratchy and seen as substandard even for a junior skater. Her edges were not strong and spirals were pretty weak. ( Those skating skills improved a lot by the time she turned pro.) Also, her choreo often had long stretches of nothing setting up some of her jumps so folks tended to devalue those. (I suspect the transition component in COP was created in part with her in mind.)

While the European judges were willing to give her titles based on her jumps and overlook the weaknesses, the non-Euro judges rarely placed her first. They looked at her skating basics and just could not hold her up as the image of what skating should look like. At 94 Worlds, Bonaly outjumped queen of edges Sato by a good margin and still lost. She won 4 of the 7 European judges, but Canada & China went for Sato.

For the curious -
Bonaly won France, Belgium, Poland, Bulgaria
Sato won Finland, Canada, Hungary, Germany, China
(I took the ordinals off the TV broadcast of Sato's free skate found on Youtube.)