1991 World Championships a retrospective

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by lulu, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    I love reading the retrospectives on this site, so I wanted to do a very basic one for the 1991 World Championships in Munich, Germany, which also has the distinction of being the first World Championship with no figures.

    Men:
    1st: Kurt Browning: Short Program Long Program

    2nd: Viktor Petrenko: Short Program (placed first in the SP) Long Program

    3rd: Todd Eldredge: Short Program Long Program

    Other highlights: Elvis Stojko became the first skater to land the quad-double-toe combo in competition

    Ladies

    1st: Kristi Yamaguchi: Short Program Long Program

    2nd: Tonya Harding: Short Program Long Program

    3rd: Nancy Kerrigan: Short Program Long Program

    Both Eldredge & Kerrigan placed 5th after in the short program and vaulted up to 3rd after the free skate

    Pairs

    1st: Mishkutenok & Dmitriev: Short Program Long Program

    2nd: Brasseuer & Eisler: Short Program (1st in the short) Long Program

    3rd: Kuchiki & Sand: Short Program Long Program

    Dance

    1st: Duchesnay & Duchesnay: C.D. 2nd C.D. Original Dance Free Dance

    2nd: Klimova & Ponomarenko: C.D. 2nd C.D. Original Dance (placed 3rd in the Original Dance) Free Dance

    3rd: Usova & Zhulin: 1st C.D. 2nd C.D. Original Dance Free Dance

    The dance portion of the World Championships was particularly exciting. At the 1990 World Championships, the Duchesnays earned 5 or 6 perfect 6.0s for their transformative "Missing" F.D., choreographed by Isabelle's husband, Christopher Dean. In 1991 they introduced a new innovative free dance, titled "Reflections" but according to Dean, the judges felt the program was too avant garde, so for the World Championships, Dean choreographed "Missing: II" a continuation of their 1990 Free Dance.

    Klimova & Ponomarenko were one of ice dancing's most well-balanced and well-rounded teams, their programs contained great difficulty. Brilliant technicians, their free dance in 1991 was a departure from their more traditional free dances in the past. In this free dance, performed to Lawrence of Arabia, Sergei is the desert sand, while Marina is the wind. The next year, Duchesnays would skate a very traditional routine to West Side Story and Klimova & Ponomarenko would skate their most famous (and IMO-their best) free dance to Bach.

    Usova & Zhulin: Although their competitive accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at-2 Olympic medals, 1 world championship title; I always felt that it never reflected just how good U&Z were as a dance team. U&Z, who had gorgeous edges, lines and extension also had the misfortune of competing against K&P and G&P, two of the most technically accomplished and proficient ice dancing teams in history. Their Original Dance and Free Dance are highlights for me. The theme of their Free Dance was Paganini and his Muse and is a skated with great intensity, particularly by Zhulin :)swoon::grope: ). The program might not have had the difficulty of K&P's free dance, but it was my favorite and reminded me a bit of their brilliant 1992 Four Seasons F.D.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
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  2. Judge Dred

    Judge Dred Member

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    Maofan7, who does the Retrospectives, has been working through the World Championships. I think they have got up to 1986 so far, and it would not have been too long before they did 1991 anyway by the look of things
     
  3. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    I love Maofan 7's retrospectives. :) I "jumped the gun" so to speak after watching the 1991 ice dance competition, and I really wanted to do a brief retrospective on that competition. I'm looking forward to Maofan's 7 retrospective when it comes up.
     
  4. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    The Australian judge in the ladies event had the long program: 1. Harding, 2. Kerrigan, 3. Ito, 4. Yamaguchi

    Had this judges mark been the one deciding the outcome the final results would have: 1. Harding, 2. Kerrigan, 3. Ito, 4. Yamaguchi

    What a joke that was. Ito had a disaester, and Kerrigan had only 4 triples, fell on an incomplete triple salchow, didnt try a triple loop, and barely landed the triple lutz. Does anyone know who that judge was.
     
  5. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I was so happy with the results at those championships.
    Even with time, and after watching it again, the results were ok.
     
  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I totally disgreed with the Duchensays win here. Their program was nowhere near as interesting as their 1990 or even 1989 and 1988 ones, and technically they are far from the best team, and this time without even their former creativity and captivating program to compensate, 1992 would be even worse in that regard and they still nearly won the Olympics, what a joke. I probably would have had Usova & Zhulin winning this year, although would have been fine with Klimova & Ponomarenko as well.

    I thought Petrenko should have won the mens event, but it was close and I can see the result the other way too.
     
  7. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Absolutely agree with you about dance. I love Missing Part I, and think Mirror Image, Savage Rites and Elenor Rigby are great programs as well. Missing Part II felt blah by comparision and West Side Story? I thought it was the worst free dance of their career (post 1988). How that program beat U&Z's sublime Four Seasons is beyond me. Personally my favorite free dance was by Usova & Zhulin, I would personally prefer U&Z to win the free dance, but I'd have no problems with K&P winning as well.

    The 5.5 the French judge gave to K&P at the Olympics was an absolute joke.
     
  8. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

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    Thanks.

    What I remember most from these championships was the huge "ouch" moment when Midori Ito collided with Laetitia Hubert. As the great Muhammad Ali might have put it: I bet that hurt so much, her ancestors felt it too! Unfortunately, the injury almost certainly cost her any chance of winning the title and spoilt what would have otherwise been an great contest between her and Kristi Yamaguchi. In fact, it affected Midori so much, that it was also responsible for her fall into the TV Camera pit in her short program :eek::yikes: Poor Midori :wuzrobbed
     
  9. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    You're welcome :)

    OMG, I forgot about Midori's dive into the camera pit!
     
  10. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Ahhhhh back in the days when you could count on not just one but two US Ladies to be competing for the podium. Of course they did one better and swept the podium. Has that ever happened before or since for the Ladies event at Worlds?
     
  11. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

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    Here are some additional videos from these championships:-

    4th: Petr Barna (Czechoslovakia)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    5th: Christopher Bowman (USA)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    6th: Elvis Stojko (Canada)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    7th: Michael Slipchuk (Canada)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    8th: Alexei Urmanov (USSR)

    Free Skate

    Men's Medal Ceremony

    4th: Midori Ito (Japan)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    5th: Surya Bonaly (France)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    6th: Josée Chouinard (Canada)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    7th: Joanne Conway (Great Britain)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    Ladies Medal Ceremony, Profiles: Ito, Yamaguchi & Harding, Preview

    4th: Elena Bechke & Denis Petrov (USSR)

    Short Program, Long Program

    5th: Evgenia Shishkova & Vadim Naumov (USSR)

    Short Program

    4th: Oksana Grishuk & Evgeni Platov (USSR)

    Original Program, Free Dance, Exhibition

    The Key Facts from these championships, in additional to what has already been mentioned, are:-

    1. The reigning Ladies World Champion heading into these championships was Jill Trenary. However, she missed most of the 1990/91 season due to a serious ankle injury, and therefore missed the world championships. Unfortunately, the injury took a long time to mend and prevented her from regaining her previous form in time for 1992 nationals where she needed to be competitive to qualify for the 1992 Olympics. This, in combination with the elimination of compulsory figures (which were key to her winning the 1990 World Championships), led her to make the decision to retire in December 1991

    2. Kristi Yamaguchi wins her first of 2 world titles and she would go on to win the Olympic title at the 1992 Olympics. Up until the 1989/90 season, she had also been a pairs skater with Rudy Galindo. However, starting with the 1990/91 season, she decided to focus solely on her singles skating and it was this, in conjunction with a move to Canada in 1991 to train with Christy Ness, that transformed her skating and propelled her towards the Gold medal at the 1991 World Championships. The elimination of compulsory figures and the increased technical ability of her competitors (e.g. Midori Ito and Tonya Harding were landing triple axels by this stage), led Yamaguchi and her new coach to the conclusion that to be competitive, Kristi needed to combine both great artistry with a high technical level. That is, they decided that the only way to beat Midori, was to be a better all round skater than her. As part of this, to combat Ito's triple axel (which she decided not to go for herself), she decided to focus more on triple-triple combinations. It all worked and she was victorious at the 1991 World Championships, and in winning the world title, she avenged her defeat by Tonya Harding at U.S. Nationals a few weeks earlier. Kristi won both the short and long program in the process (in her long program, her artistic impression marks included a 6.0, she landed a 3Fx3T combination, and her only mistake was the popping of what was her nemesis jump, the 3S). Tonya finished 2nd in both the short and long to take the silver. Ito had finished 3rd in the short program despite the fall into the TV camera pit referred to in post 8 above, with Kerrigan in 4th. However, Kerrigan's 3rd placed finish in the free skate enabled her to take the bronze ahead of Ito, who finished 4th overall after placing 4th in the long program.

    3. Kurt Browning won the 3rd of 3 consecutive world titles at these championships, beating Viktor Petrenko into 2nd Place. Kurt had been in 2nd place behind Petrenko after the short program, but a strong free skate by Browning (which contained 3 triple-triple combinations - 3Ax3T, 3Fx3T, and 3Sx3R) enabled him to win both the LP and the world title (Browning's Own Assessment Of His Winning Long Program). However, Browning developed a back injury the following season which completely hampered him when it came to the 1992 Olympics, where he could only place 6th. He also lost his world title following the Olympics, finishing 2nd to Petrenko, who had also won the Olympic title. Browning regained the world title in 1993, but could only finish 5th at the 1994 Olympics after a disastrous short program.

    4. Mishkutenok & Dmitriev won the first of 2 consecutive world titles at these championships, and they would go on to win the 1992 Olympic title as well. They retired after the 1991/92 season, but made a comeback for the 1993/94 season in an attempt to retain their Olympic title. However, they came up against the great Gordeeva & Grinkov (the 1988 Olympics champions), and G&G took the title. M&D's signature move was the "Natasha's spin" (named after Mishkutenok) in which Mishkutenok (who was renowned for her flexibility) would perform a split with her head turned upside down with her arm around Dmitriev's leg (whilst Dmitriev held her upraised skate), to achieve a position in which they were vertically aligned during the spin. Its included in their Liebestraum long program, which they used during both the 1990/91 and 1991/92 seasons, and with which they won both of their world titles and the Olympic gold medal. Indeed, at these championships, Canada's Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler had taken the lead after the short program, and it was a superb performance with their Liebestraum free skate that enable Mishkutenok & Dmitriev to win both the free skate and the world title.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  12. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    That was the only time one nation swept the top three spots in Ladies at the World Championships. There are examples where other countries swept dance, mens, or pairs. At the 1969 Worlds, Rodnina & Ulanov, Moskvina & Mishin and the Protopopovs swept the top three spots in pairs.
     
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  13. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Thanks so much for the videos! :cheer2:
     
  14. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Midori fell into the camera pit because (1) she jumped too close to the board (her 3lutz travelled an incredible distance in the air) and (2) there was an opening in the side barrier or the camera. She landed the 2toe on the ice with just an inch to spare between her and the barrier. If there wasn't an opening there then she wouldn't have fallen. It was a freak accident. Of course Ito also wouldn't have fallen if she and her team had placed the 3lutz take-off closer to the middle of the ice.
     
  15. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

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    I really don't think it would have happened had she been injury free and not been psychologically affected by the collision. It had not happened earlier in the season at the NHK Trophy, Skate America, or Japanese Nationals. Why should it happen now all of a sudden? Quite simply, because she was injured, in pain, and psychologically affected. She had done that program numerous times in training and in competition and knew when she should make the jump combination, but the fact that her mind was distracted by the injury and the pain mean't that she misjudged it. Inevitably, therefore, the collision was a contributory factor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  16. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    :wuzrobbed Wuzrobbed of my epic Midori vs Tonya face off. :mad: The competition where the Splat Incarnate infected Midori with her splattiness ... as far as I'm concerned, the most memorable thing about the Human Zamboni's career.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  17. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    My perspective is a little bit different because I saw 1991 Worlds years after the fact and saw Missing II before Missing I (so I didn't have the comparison), but I loved Missing II from a pure enjoyment factor. That said, I agree that the Duchesnays did not deserve their win - they were completely outclassed technically and were lucky to be mentioned in the same breath as K&P and U&Z IMO. I also have a slight preference for U&Z winning but would have been OK with K&P.

    On the men - I can see the case for Viktor, as he was just so polished and had beautiful positions and lines. But I felt like he could have done so much more and his programs completely let him down. The constant mugging and posing in his long program was a big negative when comparing him to Kurt and the program was also really empty with lots of plain stroking. The last time I re-watched this competition, I was struck by how many connecting steps and footwork Kurt had in his program, even though he didn't really become known for that kind of thing until later in his career. When you add that to the way Kurt pushed the envelope with his combinations, I have Kurt with the win, even taking into account Kurt's Zayak rule violation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  18. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Aww I like Huebert. But a battle between both Ito & Harding at their best would have been absolutely epic.
     
  19. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    That was Harding's big chance to win Worlds and she blew it. She never had another chance like that ever again.
     
  20. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Kuchiki & Sand: They trained under John Nicks, forming their partnership when she was 12 and he was 25. Despite the age between them, they placed 2nd at their first U.S. nationals in 1990. The next year, they won the title and placed 3rd at Worlds. They placed 6th at the 1992 Olympics, but dissolved their partnership just a few months later, and according to this article, seemingly not under the best circumstances either. In 1993, Kuchiki returned to competition as a singles skater . She competed at U.S. nationals where she placed 12th. The next year she was back as a pairs skater, and placed 4th at U.S. nationals with Rocky Marval. Her sister, Tamara, was an ice dancer.

    I enjoyed their SP at this competition, but I would assume that their bronze medal here was a bit unexpected (?)
     
  21. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Now the other Natasha ;)
    At the 1991 European Championships M&D performed a new SP to Can-Can music. However, this SP was not well received by the judges and at Worlds that year they went back to their SP for the previous year, The Dying Swan.
     
  22. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    I think Todd Sand was having difficulty with his back and Kuchiki was growing. He alluded in an article (interview?) I read that lifting her was becoming an issue. Also, Sand and Meno were seen together at National 1992. I understand the romance grew at Albertville. It was a perfect situation for Meno/ Sand. Too bad it left Wendland and Kuchiki without partners although both have had successful careers since.

    I liked Kuchiki with Rocky Marval and I still remember them in practice in Detroit 1994. I wish they might have stayed together, but there was no way their story had the public appeal that Calla and Rocky's did - truck driver and the waitress.

    My memory is faulty on Bechke/Petrov. I thought this was the infamous "cats" year. The middle eastern music was awful but not as bad as the cats music. Was that music in 1990?
     
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  23. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Isn't it ironic that Ito failed to even medal at the first Worlds where figures was dropped? She totally left her best skate that season at NHK. I wish she had landed her 3lutz or 3flip and save the world from seeing that boring program from Kerrigan winning a World medal. :scream:

    So glad Yamaguchi did enough to win, or alternatively that Harding didn't do enough to win. I just can't stand that kind of program (Harding) winning Worlds. Elements wise what Harding did was superb, but the music, edit and choreography was just too tacky. I was thinking if Harding did not totally botch her toe/toe combo and had done a 3/2 instead, she might have won. Her 3axel was unbelievable!

    Interesting battle between Browning and Petrenko. I think the judges got it right. Petrenko really nailed that short program. It was an artistic masterpiece, even though Browning's had harder choreography. Too bad about the diff in technical merit. 3 3/3s vs no 3/3s is too obvious.
     
  24. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    The Cats sp was used for the 1989-1990 season: http://youtu.be/2zCG5cl6AzA :scream:

    Thanks for the information on Kuchiki & Sand. I probably would have enjoyed Kuchiki & Marval as well.
     
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Kerrigan's performance wasnt that bad, it was actually way better than either her 92 Olympic bronze performance or 92 World silver performance I thought. Had she done one of those Ito probably still would have medaled in 91 even with her problems, and poor Yagiyuma would not have attended every Worlds from 88-95 except 94 but missed out on both the 92 and 94 Olympics.
     
  26. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    :lol: "Meow, meow, meow" wasn't considered vocal back then?
     
  27. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    :lol: I guess not. The entire time I watched the program, I kept on thinking of the "Meow Mix" cat food commercial. The costumes are pretty scary as well.
    Of course a few years later B&P skated their lovely Nutcracker long program and went on to have a very successful career as professional skaters.
     
  28. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    A little side note to your excellent summary: "Natasha's Spin" although best associated with Mishutenok & Dmitriev, was actually invented by pair of Lyndon Johnston (yes, he was named after former U.S. President) and Denise Benning. Besides the Natasha Spin, M&D were also known for the variation on death spirals, which is emphasized in their Liebestraum routine and their 1988-1989 exhibition, as seen here: http://youtu.be/yOY0VpPVO8Q?t=3m25s. The person behind many of M&D's creative moves on the ice was Tamara Moskvina, who coached M&D and the 4th place finishers, Bechke & Petrov. Moskvina also help B&P develop their signature move, the "impossible" death spiral. Moskvina herself was a figure skater, she won a silver medal at the 1969 World Championships with her partner Alexei Mishin. As a single skater, Moskvina performed the "Beillmann" spin at the 1965 European Championship, Denise Beillmann, for whom the spin would eventually be named after, was 3 years old at the time.
     
  29. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    My memories of 91 worlds:

    Midori Ito's fall into the camera pit, and then reentering the rink with a huge smile. Later though Latitia Hubert ran into her during a warmup and Midori was injured. She was almost coerced by her fed to skate the LP anyway. She skated poorly and finished off the podium. Kristi won her first world championship and the US ladies swept the podium. However, as a Midori fan, I was heartbroken for her.

    M&D coming into their own, with Liebestraum. They always had the flexibility and the innovative moves, but in 91 they were able to put it all together, with one of the best pairs program ever.

    Viktor Petrenko's beautiful LP which should have won on artistic marks, over Kurt Browning's 'mainly jumps' LP. Even Kurt looked shocked in the K&C when Viktor's marks went up.

    Klimova failed the drug test after the Europeans and was initially disqualified, but the results from another lab were in their favor, and they were allowed to compete at worlds. However, they missed some practice time and were distracted. Still, they were good enough to beat Duschenays, IMO, even though I loved D&D's Missing. The drug episode resulted in K&P leaving Dubova (she did not believe them) and going to Tarasova. It turned out to be a great move for them, because in 92 they skated one of the best FDs of all times.
     
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  30. Judge Dred

    Judge Dred Member

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    Midori Ito had the crash with Hubert in the practice session before the short/original program