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



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judgejudy27
10-10-2012, 08:38 PM
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.)

I thought Bonaly definitely should have won the 93 Worlds or atleast beaten Baiul (I think Chen also has a case for winning those Worlds). That is why I was surprised when Bonaly made a mistake and didnt skate as well as the 1993 Worlds and beat Baiul who had improved artistically since 93 and jumped similarily to the 93 Worlds. I think you are right on why the European Championships judging seemed more favorable towards Bonaly than the World judging though, although many of those judges were still the same.

I didnt think Bonaly was that great at the 94 Worlds though. I think even her jumping display there is overrated, she had to put her hand down and step out of the triple loop to keep from falling, and the triple toe of her triple flip-triple toe was so cheated it was barely more than a bad double with a three turn. Sato didnt have a triple-triple attempt or 2nd triple lutz but actually landed 1 more clean triple than Bonaly, and all her attempted jumps were clean. I never understood the belief of anyone Bonaly should have won those particular Worlds, nor her four 1st place votes.

briancoogaert
10-10-2012, 09:33 PM
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.
She had started skating really, really young. At 2.5 yo or something like that. But she never really had any coach.
That's why her basics were not good. She always favored quantity over quality. She is a real athlete who loves sport, but I don't think she ever had a real skating coach when she was really young !

query5
10-13-2012, 10:47 PM
yamaguchi i don't think would have because she wouldn't been able to handle the pressure at that time.

being reigning ogm champ they would have followed her.
remember in 1992 -she wasn't suppose to win midori was, even though she was reigning world champ midori was suppose to win due to triple axel, kristi didn't do triple/triple-just a triple double,
remember she didn't reinstate due to the pressures behind the scene. being reigning ogm would have been followed and expected to win (something she wasn't familar with)
she might/might not have been able to handle it. we don't know since she didn't come back. as far world pro's she did lose to denise beilman and yuka sato- that i know of.
kristi would have been ready for the competition skating wise, mentally probably but with the hoopla of the media one never knows.
she is good skaters but the expectation of fans, public, media might have been a bit overwhelming. she couldn't handle low scores on dancing with stars, and complain. so i dont think she would have won-medal yes, not won.

shsocu
10-13-2012, 11:32 PM
yamaguchi i don't think would have because she wouldn't been able to handle the pressure at that time.

being reigning ogm champ they would have followed her.
remember in 1992 -she wasn't suppose to win midori was, even though she was reigning world champ midori was suppose to win due to triple axel, kristi didn't do triple/triple-just a triple double


I guess a triple lutz/triple toe doesn't count as a triple/triple combination? :confused:

Skater91
10-14-2012, 09:08 AM
Really Midori Ito should have stayed and won.

Jessica
10-14-2012, 09:04 PM
yamaguchi i don't think would have because she wouldn't been able to handle the pressure at that time.

being reigning ogm champ they would have followed her.
remember in 1992 -she wasn't suppose to win midori was, even though she was reigning world champ midori was suppose to win due to triple axel, kristi didn't do triple/triple-just a triple double,
remember she didn't reinstate due to the pressures behind the scene. being reigning ogm would have been followed and expected to win (something she wasn't familar with)
she might/might not have been able to handle it. we don't know since she didn't come back. as far world pro's she did lose to denise beilman and yuka sato- that i know of.
kristi would have been ready for the competition skating wise, mentally probably but with the hoopla of the media one never knows.
she is good skaters but the expectation of fans, public, media might have been a bit overwhelming. she couldn't handle low scores on dancing with stars, and complain. so i dont think she would have won-medal yes, not won.

I'm not sure what Kristi you've been watching all these years. IMO she was always able to handle pressure. I guess you missed all the 3-3's she used to do. She won more pro competitions than Denise Beilman and Yuka sato put together and the one week on Dancing with the Stars that she scored lower than her normal high score, she took what the judges said and came back the next week and blew the competition away. There certainly wasn't any "she couldn't handle low scores." Please provide proof where she complained.

orbitz
10-14-2012, 10:46 PM
Really Midori Ito should have stayed and won.

If Midori couldn't handle the pressure from her home country to win in 92 then what make you think she wouldn't also have wilted under pressure in 94?

duane
10-14-2012, 11:39 PM
I think Yamaguchi easily would have won 2nd Oly gold. I have no clue whatsoever about K&P, so I guess I can't really vote in the poll.

essence_of_soy
10-14-2012, 11:58 PM
I loved Yamaguchi's Madame Butterfly and Fantasie Impromptu programs and would have loved to see her skate them in eligible competition as well as the pro events she won using them.

judgejudy27
10-15-2012, 12:26 AM
If Midori couldn't handle the pressure from her home country to win in 92 then what make you think she wouldn't also have wilted under pressure in 94?

Agreed. Love Midori but IMO she was always done from amateur competition after 92. Too many years of pounding on the body and mind. There was never any talk of her going past 92. She was still a great skater in pro competitions (limited # of them), but an amateur comeback from her probably would have looked alot like the 96 Worlds.

VIETgrlTerifa
10-15-2012, 12:28 AM
I don't know. It's amazing how one can change in two years. Midori in 1994 may not have necessarily looked like Midori in 1996, especially if she were to take a lighter schedule and enjoy herself in 1993.

lulu
10-15-2012, 12:41 AM
From what I recall reading, and correct me if I'm wrong, unlike in 1988, Ito was a strong favorite for the OGM in Albertville. Going into the 1994 games, were there any strong favorites for the OGM?
If Ito entered the competition in 1994 as simply one of the potential medalists, and not as a favorite, that might have taken pressure off her.

Vash01
10-15-2012, 07:46 AM
From what I recall reading, and correct me if I'm wrong, unlike in 1988, Ito was a strong favorite for the OGM in Albertville. Going into the 1994 games, were there any strong favorites for the OGM?
If Ito entered the competition in 1994 as simply one of the potential medalists, and not as a favorite, that might have taken pressure off her.

You are correct. Ito was a strong favorite to win in 1992, but it wasn't just the pressure of being the favorite, but the way the Japanese press chased her around really got to her.

In 1994 it was different. Oksana and Nancy were co-favorites to win the OGM. Neither had Midori's ability to land jumps. IMO Midori would have been a favorite once again, but may be she would not have been chased by her press, as much as she was in 92 (after what happened). May be she would have learned to ignore it. It's all speculation, but I would have loved to see either Midori or Kristi come back in 94.

briancoogaert
10-15-2012, 08:14 AM
You are correct. Ito was a strong favorite to win in 1992, but it wasn't just the pressure of being the favorite, but the way the Japanese press chased her around really got to her.

In 1994 it was different. Oksana and Nancy were co-favorites to win the OGM. Neither had Midori's ability to land jumps. IMO Midori would have been a favorite once again, but may be she would not have been chased by her press, as much as she was in 92 (after what happened). May be she would have learned to ignore it. It's all speculation, but I would have loved to see either Midori or Kristi come back in 94.
I guess that if Kristi or Midori had come back in 1994, they would have been stronger favorite for the Gold than Nancy and Oksana.

judgejudy27
10-17-2012, 07:33 AM
We will never know but personally I doubt a successful comeback for Midori in 1994. Maybe not as bad as 1996 but if a crystal ball were to be invented I would be shocked if it showed her winning in 94 had she returned, even in a field that is well below her peak levels of skating. Maybe a bronze at best. I think she always knew she wanted to be done by 92, she was even declining a bit already by that point, and it was a struggle for her to hang on for that one last shot at gold in 92 which unfortunately didnt go her way. Years of physical pounding on the body, injuries, and of course the emotional strain of years of press from the Japanese press had accumulated to the point I dont think she could have gone any further, hence why she didnt even go to a final Worlds after the Olympics (in fairness maybe it being in Kristi's home area and Kristi having all the momentum after the Olymipcs was another reason, as understandably she probably didnt want to face a likely defeat after her already dissapointing Olympic loss). Kristi is the truly baffling case, not really Midori, who returning in the first place would have been a shock, and was something that was never speculated or discussed at the time, and nor was her ever continuing past 92 ever remotedly considered by anyone in the years leading up to Albertville with everyone pretty much knowing that was Midori's amateur finale; and meanwhile pretty much everyone having expected Kristi to continue on until atleast 94, win or lose in Albertville, and even her initial retirement coming as a big surprise.

Midori was great in some of the pro events, and skated at a higher level than the best amateurs in some of them, just as Kristi did in nearly all of hers, but as Barb Underhill said when commentating on Midori in 96, "it is a whole different feel than professional competition." The rivalry between Ito and Yamaguchi as pros, albeit brief for only a few years, was even better than their amateur won with both women skating their best more frequently than their amateur confronations. Their amateur rivalry was overrated in fact with Midori dominating an up and coming and immateur Yamaguchi, then Midori beset with horrible luck and mishaps in the big events once Kristi had come into her own.

I think it was reported Midori never wanted to come back in 96 at all. The Japanese basically pressured her into returning. Such a shame as it ended her pro career as well which had been going well to that point.