Back in 94 did you expect Baiul would dominate the sport for years to come

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by hertmirsh, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. seagulls

    seagulls New Member

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    Back in 94 she did look likely to dominate womens skating through 2002. I don't think it was projected Michelle Kwan would become an all time great, Baiul would turn pro right away, and all that happened since then.
     
  2. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...see-chouinard-olympic-figure-skating-champion

    I don't know why anyone would think back then that Oksana would dominate Olympic Eligible skating for no other reason than she was very poor and wealth from skating and Olympic Eligibility were mutually exclusive at that time. She lost her Olympic eligibility right after the Olympics by skating in nonsanctioned events, never skated in an exclusively Olympic eligible event again, and clearly let the window for reinstatement lapse in 1995 to the public disappointment of the Ukrainian Skating Federation. The idea that Oksana might have dominated Olympic eligible skating after the 1994 Olympics must be some fantasy that must have been imagined 20 years later and entirely removed from the historical context.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  3. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Looking back on the Baiul-era, the time from her OGM to full-fledged pro career was the blink of an eye. I don't think I ever expected her to be amateur again. She also quickly descended into alcoholism and it was obvious within a couple of years that she was done with being amateur.

    I can't even remember anyone back then talking about Baiul entering another competition after she won. I got the impression that, the orphan was about to cash in on her spoils, and that was the end of it. Did anyone really expect her to stick around?
     
  4. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where you were living in 94, but the US federation and media absolutely expected Kwan to be a future great. They were hyping her from her first senior Nationals.
     
  5. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    That's because at 1993 Nationals, when she was only 12, she was the most appealing to watch because she was actually prepared and graceful rather than stiff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
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  6. Spartacus

    Spartacus Member

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    There is no doubt in my mind that if she'd added a 2nd lutz, remained injury free and focused on training that she'd have defended her Olympic title and beyond.
     
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  7. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    ^ I think those are big ifs.
     
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  8. kuzytalent

    kuzytalent Active Member

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    Her knee injury and growth spurt would have made them impossible for that matter (not to mention being a poor Ukranian given the keys to riches in the United States and no longer having a major skating goal to strive for).

    I do think she could have won the 94 and 95 worlds with her old difficulty with a good skate though. Even if she might not have deserved them, the judges would have given them to her. Starting with the 96 worlds she would have to add more jumps than she had been doing to win major titles, no matter how much the judges loved her.
     
  9. Amantide

    Amantide Well-Known Member

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    Well, that was not wrong to think though. They were very young, and especially Kulik had no World title.
    I'm still "mad" at him for that decision, although it was good for him I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  10. kuzytalent

    kuzytalent Active Member

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    I think it makes sense people at the time expected Baiul, Kulik, and Tara to compete for many more years, atleast another Olympics, and win many more titles. It is easy to look at things in hindsight and laugh. Remember in the 88-93 period you had a whole bunch of skaters who kept competing years at the top level- Boitano, Orser, Witt, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Browning, Petrenko, Kerrigan, Ito. Granted of those only Witt, G&G, and Petrenko continued after winning an Olympics, and two of those went pro briefly and came back, while Witt was probably forced to keep competing for political reasons. Only Yamaguchi though won young (20, not that young) and just left, and even she surprised alot of people. So looking at the past few Olympics at the time one wouldn't necessarily assume all those would just immediately quit. The pro skating boom post Lillehammer couldn't be known yet, and was already drying up by Nagano when Tara and Kulik won. Baiul seemed to start the trend of winning Olympics young and quitting young. For a long while it was winning the Olympics old then quitting, then became to hang around awhile, then winning young and quitting young.
     
  11. Spartacus

    Spartacus Member

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    LOL @ the traditionalists and stans of the Olympic Gold-less.

    Just because she doesn't perform the way skaters did back in your day doesn't mean she's a bad figure skater. Just because figures are no longer required - does that mean it's no longer figure skating? A skater goes out there and 2foots jumps - they're not figure skating?

    She was not only a figure skater, but a performer, an entertainer and she had her OWN style unlike most. She preferred to set a mood first, then skate.

    If she hadn't won that Olympic title, y'all would call it "innovative".

    Anyway, that Sasha, Johnny, Adam even Michelle and countless Icons of the sport looked up to her and tried to emulate her is enough evidence she was doing something right! :p

    Oh look, she even has her own emoji on here. #Legend #Icon :oksana1:
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  12. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    Every skater has their OWN style. It might be a bad style but it's still their OWN style. I think you meant to say that she had a style you liked.

    I called that 2 minute warmup after her name called being a drama queen, you call it setting a mood. to-ma-to. To-mah-to. Sarah Hughes also pretentiously "waited for her skates to tell her to skate" at 2000 Skate America in a pre-skate extravaganza that rivaled Oksana's biggest calls for attention. After much derision backstage, Hughes never did it again. Nor did Hughes ever pout like a spoiled brat again (or throw Kwan the utter death glare) as she did at the medal ceremony at that same competition. Hughes must have been drinking a lot of Robin Wagner's Kool-aid before arriving in Colorado Springs because she was a sassy drama queen at that competition but wised up, unlike Baiul. Actually, it's a shame, Baiul didn't have to work for her victories as Hughes at least had to, or we might have seen her become a much better figure skater.
     
  13. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    I don't entirely agree with that. There are a lot of skaters, even at the elite level, who are very generic and skate a lot alike. (I suppose they have a style, but it isn't really their own, it is kind of lots of people's.) I think that was the distinction Spartacus was making - a skater who stood out as a pretty unique stylist. I think of a skater like Kerrigan as someone who was very clean and textbook, but bland, with no special style of her own (esp if you discount the weird choreo she was usually given). I remember a show program once where the skater (probably Gary Beacom) was dressed all in a black unitard that completely covered him, even the head and face. If you made the two final flights from almost any event dress like that, how many of them could you pick out just from how they moved? (No fair relying on being short or tall or the size of thighs or bosoms.) I'm sure there'd be some, but I'm also sure there would be some we'd get wrong.

    Even among skaters one could recognize just by their way of moving, there is a large range, from fairly ugly styles that stand out for their jerkiness or stiffness to those who stand out in a good way for their grace or musicality.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
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  14. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    The generic skaters may not have an appealing style but they do have a style as you admitted. I didn't like Kerrigan's style but it was distinctive. If she wore a paper bag over her face and a bulky plastic bag for a costume, I'd still recognize her skating in a heartbeat. And in fact there are some lower level skaters that I've looked at and thought they skated like Kerrigan.
     
  15. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I thought that Jenny Kirk was becoming Kerrigan 2.0 while she was under the Scotvolds.
     
  16. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    She sure was. Ever After was the only Kerrigan program I ever saw that wasn't skated by Kerrigan.
     
  17. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I never sensed that. I thought their styles of skating were totally different. Kirk also never had the athletic ability, power, or beautiful line to model her skating after Nancy.
     
  18. nikjil

    nikjil Active Member

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    I never thought of Bauil as dominating during the period when she won. She couldn't beat Bonaly, a skater not exactly beloved by the judges at Europeans. She won the one worlds after Kerrigan fell to pieces and her Olympic win was not a blow-out. While I didn't really expect her to go pro right away, I thought she'd have a hard time staying on top, because it was obvious there were younger, more technical skaters waiting in the wings.