Battle of the Old-School U.S. Ladies: Fleming vs. Lynn

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by falling_dance, May 3, 2012.

Which performance do you prefer?

  1. Peggy Fleming, 1968 USN (Tchai 6/La Traviata/Samson et Dalila/The Thieving Magpie)

    13.0%
  2. Janet Lynn, 1972 USN (Pagliacci/Sunset/Leonore Overture No. 3)

    56.5%
  3. Michelle Kwan, 1979 USN (Selections by Xenakis; a cynical bid to outvoid Allen Schramm et al...)

    19.6%
  4. Thinking of a color between red and blue...

    10.9%
  1. falling_dance

    falling_dance D. Murakami's Newest Fan

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    Because it's the off-season:

    Peggy Fleming, 1968 US Nationals

    or

    Janet Lynn, 1972 US Nationals?

    I'm just interested to see how others vote and in reading what people here have to say. I will say that this is one of those instances in which my viewing taste diverges from my critical judgment; the latter says Lynn but I vote for Fleming on account of the former.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  2. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I voted for Janet Lynn because she has everything I like : powerful but elegant, technique and artistry, interpretation, freedom...
     
  3. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    What exactly was Lynn's problem with the figures? She had such nice edges free-skating. Was it nerves?
     
  4. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Michelle Kwan 1979??
     
  5. falling_dance

    falling_dance D. Murakami's Newest Fan

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    You don't remember?! The mylar space suit and helmet? The three false endings? Kwan and Carroll wrapped in multicolored furs and chain-smoking in the Kiss and Cry? Chris Schenkel and Dick Button arguing over whether the program was inspired by 2001 or the then upcoming release of Alien? The ponderous sarcasm in later accounts of it?

    The late Seventies. Those were the days!
     
  6. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Well, at least I know the answer to option #4 ;)

    Can't choose between these ladies. All I know is, all three are inspirational! Figure skating wouldn't hold as many lovely memories as it does for me without 'em.
     
  7. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Anyone would have had difficulty going up against Beatrix Schuba, arguably the best tracer of figures ever.

    In Sapporo there were six figures, making 60% of the total score.
    http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/winter/1972/FSK/womens-singles-compulsory-figures.html

    She had an insurmountable lead going into the FS

    Sapporo Olympic Ladies Compulsory Figure - Trixi/Janet
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTDLjhTUMbA
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  8. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    She said it was the figures that held her back at 72 Worlds, not the mistakes she made in the short program. She said she missed the loop on her loop and did a fish (a very tiny misshapen loop) instead.

    Figures take a lot of patience, and you have to press hard to complete the turns as there is no stroking going into them. A totally different skill than freeskating. Freeskaters often jump their turns when doing fast footwork.
     
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  9. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Thank God they got rid of the figures. Schuba looked and skated like a truck driver in the LP in Sapporo. No elegance at all.
     
  10. pollyanna

    pollyanna playing the Glad Game

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    Actually there was no short program in 1972. Short programs did not begin until 1973. :)

    I loved Janet Lynn's 1972 Nationals, but her 1973 Nationals is one of my favorite skating performances of all time. Her musical interpretation of the Debussy/Ravel music was simply sublime. I also loved her 1970 Nationals performance.

    Much as I love Peggy Fleming's skating, Janet will always win over her and any other female skater, with the exception of Midori Ito, because for me, Janet Lynn's skating was magical.
     
  11. Vash01

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

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    Michelle Kwan skated in 1979???

    I voted for her anyway. :lol:
     
  12. Mafke

    Mafke New Member

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    I've read different things including that she could do beautiful figures in practice but tended to crumple in competition (which also affected her free-skating though not as much).

    But even if her figures were much better there was still no way to catch Schuba, she would just be more competitive with Karen Magnussen for silver.

    I think that if Schuba hadn't existed Lynn's relatively weak mental game would have kept her from the olympic and world gold. But people wouldn't have minded her losing gold to Magnussen who was an excellent free skater too or maybe even Julie Lynn Holmes, who was a little tame as a free skater but very photogenic.

    One thing people forget is that Peggy Fleming had a commanding lead after figures in 1968 at Grenoble. She was good enough in the free to place first but it didn't matter. Even if she placed third in the free skating behind Seyfert and Maskova (both more interesting free skaters than Fleming in her eligible days imho) she still would have won easily.
     
  13. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I personally find Peggy Fleming one of the most overrated skaters ever. She used the same long program almost her whole career which I found somewhat tacky, her spins barely have any revolutions, and her overall skating just lacked command, power, and panache for me. Plus her Olympic winning LP was majorly lame. I love her as a commentator and representative of the sport much more than as a skater. Actually the show skating I saw her do as an older women later on was much more appealing to me than her amateur skating ever was.

    Janet Lynn by a landslide for me.
     
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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  15. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Come on, you may think Peggy was "overrated," but if you are not looking at her career within the context of the era in which she skated, IMO, you are underrating her skating and her accomplishments.
     
  16. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    Peggy was the BEST skater of her era without a doubt. My Mum always remembered her as the first lady who blended beauty with athleticism and while Burka, Maskova and Seyfert were better jumpers, they never had the package Peggy had. Add in her utter dominance of compulsory figures and she is hands down the best ladies all around skater of the 1960's.

    That said, Peggy's skating package was really just a masterpiece of planning and preparation. Her free skating, while lovely, always lacked spontaneity and when compared to Janet Lynn, pales in comparison. Janet always had that instinctive, spontaneous quality to her work and Slavka just nurtured and refined what was already there. No major image or style overhaul necessary. I have watched so many of Janet's great amateur performances over and over and always manage to find something new. To my mind Janet was, and still is, the greatest female artistic skater to ever grace the sport. Her musicality is simply unmatched.
     
  17. Mafke

    Mafke New Member

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    I think many (most?) skaters back then used the same freeskate over and over. With hardly any tv coverage (and the lesser value of freeskating for winning) there was no real reason to come up with new programs every year.

    Dick Button once said that she became better technically as a pro than she had been as an amateur and I agree. And as OGM she certainly was a fantastic ambassador for the sport.

    And I do think she was the best overall skater (figures and free) of her era.
     
  18. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    Schuba was one person I would have liked to have seen skate in person. Her peers both male and female were in awe of her figures. Her tracings were reputed to be not only clean, but her circles were way larger than any of the other skaters, which is pretty amazing considering you only get one push off.

    Figures may not make exciting tv, but there is grace and beauty in the movements of a skater who is good at tracing figures. It is pretty amazing watching someone trace a complex figure in a single motion.
     
  19. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    ITA. Trixie's freeksating was definitely old school - mired in the late 50's, early 60's style of careful and considered crossovers, present to the judges, jump, smile, careful considered crosovers etc etc until end of program. But she was very consistent with what she did do and had a full arsenal of doubles although she rarely if ever competed the double axel. (She could do it and I have seen video of it in practice where she landed it cleanly, but lets face it she never needed it.)

    While she was outshone by not only Magnussen and Lynn, but Morgenstern and Errath, she was more than a match for pretty much everyone else and her 5th-7th average free skate placements were justified. Had the system been skewed so that a skater who placed 7th in figures could pull up to 1st in free to win overall, there would be no hoopla. Put it into reverse and you just get major double standards in peoples attitudes to the results. Under the rules at that time, Trixie won fair and square and she will always be a legend of the sport due to her incredible figures that no one else could compete with.
     
  20. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Active Member

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    Figures would have been fun to watch with modern technology. It was hard to see any marks on the ice on an old tv screen. But if they were done now you could overlay, outline, totally play up suspense and see the patterns easily. *sigh*
     
  21. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    You speak for me, once again, floskate.
    ETA: I agree with your comments about Beatrix Schuba, as well.
     
  22. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ITA, and thanks so much for providing context for this discussion.

    The 1960s were definitely a different era, and Peggy's career should also be looked at in terms of how quickly she was able to rise through the senior ladies ranks in the U.S. after the devastating 1961 Sabena airline crash which killed the entire U.S. skating team. The U.S. was in a rebuilding phase for years afterward -- the aftereffects of the crash have ramifications to this day in many ways (young Peggy lost her coach in the crash, and coaches like Carlo Fassi and John Nicks came to the U.S. to help fill the void). Of course, Fassi became Peggy's coach, and it has often been said that Peggy's mother had a very instrumental role in her career (i.e., promoting her image, making her skating outfits, etc).

    Peggy had a very graceful, lyrical style which was quite different from the ladies fs champions of her era. Although she did not have her best skate at the 1968 Olympics, Peggy became legendary for her graceful style and in the U.S., her name became synonymous with figure skating. Peggy starred in five U.S. television specials, and became the skater that other aspiring and eligible young ladies figure skaters in the U.S. looked up to and desired to emulate. Peggy was part of a great tradition in U.S. ladies figure skating, but she also heralded a new era. Had the crash not occurred so many things might be different. Laurence Owen might have been the skater who would have heralded a new and different era with her style of skating. Janet Lynn followed Peggy and took the sport to unsurpassed heights with her awe-inspiring talent.

    I completely agree with floskate's assessment, in particular that Janet Lynn "is the best artistic ladies figure skater to ever grace the sport."
     
  23. giselle23

    giselle23 Active Member

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    I totally agree. If I could pick one skater I would like to be able to skate like, it would be Janet Lynn. I watch many of her videos over and over, too. And if it weren't for YouTube, I never would have known anything about her.
     
  24. pollyanna

    pollyanna playing the Glad Game

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    I agree with you, Floskate and skatesindreams as well. And I thank the deities that Howard Craker's son-in-law offered for sale his recordings of US Champions back in 1985. I'm forever grateful that I could scrounge together the funds to buy the ladies tape, because I thought Janet Lynn's performances were lost to me forever. And now look at what we have thanks to great fans who saved her performances, the internet, FSvids, and youtube. It's a miracle, just like Janet Lynn's skating was.
     
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  25. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Howard Cracker is a hero and must have been so blessed to have witnessed all that great skating.
     
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