How do you think Gordeeva & Grinkov would have fared at the Nagano Olympics?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by campbellka, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. campbellka

    campbellka New Member

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    I know in Katia's book, My Sergei, she mentioned that Sergei wanted to compete at the Nagano Olympics. I was watching a bit of the pairs competition in 1998 last night, and I do wonder how they would have done, had he not passed away. Additionally, you do wonder whether the really strong era of pairs was starting to unravel, or whether it was still really strong and still improving. I'm just curious about how many of you think they would have done. I think they could have still rocked it and been contenders for a third gold medal. What do you think? They would have been a serious threat against Kazakova & Dmitriev. I wish I would have been able to see this. :(
  2. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Active Member

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    They would have needed side by side triples in Nagano, honestly. I was never a huge fan of Kazakova and Dmitriev but I do feel based on the performances, their win was correct. Woetzel & Steuer were much better skaters though.
  3. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

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    I think they would've done well if you just look at their skating skills and ignore everything else that we know about his back etc. They had sbs triples in 1990 (not always consistent) and in later years Katia did them as a pro, so it's reasonable to think they may have had them and as we know, all of their other elements were considered very strong, as was their artistic impression. I always thought they would've been right up there.
  4. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    NO way W&S were better skaters. They were slow, their movement across the ice was not smooth. IMO a clean G&G had a chance even without the sbs triples and the lack of a throw 3R (or throw 3t) because the other pairs made mistakes. Also you cannot ignore that the judges always marked G&G higher because of their perfect technique (remember 1994?). K&D skated nearly clean (except for one singled axel in the LP) but their death spirals were so so, and the throws were small. However, K&D's win was correct in 1998, based on how everyone skated, and K&D definitely sold their programs.
  5. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

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    They definitely would've needed to upgrade to sbs triple toes, but other than that, I think they could've easily won in Nagano, assuming they remained in competitive shape and were consistent with the sbs triples.

    The field was pretty weak in Nagano. No other pair in 98 could match their lines, speed and unison...except maybe B/S, but they were so new and inconsistent then. K/D were an adequate pair, but a second-rate copy of the great M/D pairing IMHO. Definitely not a match against a clean G/G.

    Plus, the judges loved them and, as we saw in 94, they were more than willing to overlook some minor mistakes, so even then I think they would've been given a little margin for error.
  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    As weak as the Nagano and 95-98 pairs field was they would have definitely needed side by side triple toes IMO. The judges really started emphasizing that alot more after 94 than they ever had previous, and it being allowed in the short was a sign they wanted to see the side by side jumping pushed forward more. As long as they could have remastered those they would have had a good chance of winning. I dont think the judges were going to let any team who couldnt do triple toes win in 98 though, not even the great G&G. It seems the only one who frequently got away with never doing the triple toe was Jamie Sale. :shuffle:
  7. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I think Woetzel & Steuer are a team who were super lucky they didnt skate under COP as they would have struggled to even be a top 10 team (even in the weak 93-98 field) under COP. When I examine what they did most elements were weak. Twists were weak, both double and triple. Small throw triple toe, and big throw double axel but she often 2 footed and by then few teams were even doing that anymore. Weak lifts, so so to mediocre death spirals. Nice spirals, nice spins and jumps, when they didnt lose unision on them anyway. Simple and weak footwork.

    Then on PCS not many transitions or much overall choreography, mostly just stroking around with a few arm gestures between elements. Definitely not much performance, change of pace in the music selections, or interpreation. Their programs were often just one piece of music and level of skating with no variance. Not great skating skills, often poor ice coverage.

    I frankly never understood how they became a top pair, even in the field of the time.
  8. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    B&S had greater speed and even better unison. However, you are right that they were new & inexperienced and we saw what the Olympic pressure did to them. So G&G would have beaten them, even with just a throw 2A and throw 3S. IMO the judges would have placed G&G over K&D even with just the sbs 2A (not sbs 3t). We saw how partial the judges were to G&G in 94- a clean and perfect skate by M&D could not beat them. K&D were not quite as great as M&D, although they were very innovative. On technique alone G&G would have won over all the other pairs, if they skated clean. However, unlike in 94, I don't believe they could have afforded errors in 1998.
  9. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    IMO their (W&S) world championship was a gift. IIRC she made major mistakes on at least one throw. The field indeed was weak when they won in 1997. I don't think the judges wanted to crown Yeltsova-Bushkov repeat champions, and Y&B's mistake (he fell on the sbs 3t) gave them the opportunity to give the championship to another pair (W&S). K&D had not yet developed, but IMO even they had skated a better LP than either of these pairs (their mistake on sbs jumps - IIRC Artur doubled his toe jump was punished severely by the judges and that took them out of gold contention). B&S were so new that the completely fell apart in the LP. Meno & Sand had the opportunity but they blew it. W&S won by default in 97. In 1998 it became clear that other pairs were better than them. However, I give them credit for fighting through Ingo's injury and skating well enough to win an Olympic medal that year.
  10. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Artur had doubled the triple toe in the short program at the 97 Worlds as well which had them in 5th or 6th place as everyone else in the top 9 had skated cleanly. I am sure that is the main thing that cost them the gold, not the double toe in the long as the other pairs had worse mistakes and had worse programs. Had they done a clean short I am sure they would have been placed 1st in the long and given the gold for the exact same performance. After the short and not being even in the final flight, they were not in contention for the gold, and only had a shot at the bronze if others made mistakes to come, and were scored accordingly, even though their long program ended up being the best of the night.
  11. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, Sergi passed away more than 2 years before Nagano, which means it is hard to judge how competitive their skating world have been.

    However, Katia has said she had a consistent 3S, and skaters that were touched by the Soviet system seem to have an exception long shelf-life, which I attribute to having had better access to sports medicine.
  12. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I think they would have got silver or bronze, unless they added the SBS triples. If they did, they might have won the gold. They definitely would have beaten W/S no matter what, but I can't remember exactly what B/S did.
  13. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    They would have definitely beaten W&S, who had poor skating skills, and IIRC one mistake (on the 2A).

    B&S did sbs 3t, 2A-2t sequence, throw 3S and throw 3R, all of which were harder than G&G's elements (except for the 2A-2t sequence; G&G could have easily added that), but with their mistakes it would have been easy for a clean G&G to beat them.
  14. PairSk8Fan

    PairSk8Fan Banned Member

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    Remembering the personalities and nature of competitiveness demonstrated by G & G, in my mind, they would have won easily by coming to Nagano TOTALLY PREPARED to SKATE MUCH BETTER THAN LILLEHAMMER.

    In 1994, Sergei made so many mistakes. In the SP, he flubbed the sbs spin. In the LP, he made at least two big mistakes including performing a single jump instead of a double and I believe a lift was troublesome. No champion should get a Gold medal performing a single jump or botching a lift.

    My guess? Sergei would want to come back and skate perfectly, which is what they would have tried to do. They would have won easily.
  15. campbellka

    campbellka New Member

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    That's what she said in the book. He wanted to compete to redeem himself. I still watch their 94 SP (Flamenco) and still think it's light years beyond what anyone does today.
  16. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    Is there any reason why you would think they showed up unprepared in '94, then? They should have known Mishkutenok/Dmitriev would be formidable competition.. really, more formidable competition than K/D, theoretically.
  17. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I know the question was not directed to me, but I will address it anyway.

    They were not unprepared at all in 1994. They were very well prepared, but from what Katia said after the competition, Sergei was very nervous. He did not sleep well the night before, and during the performance he was worried about Katia. That led to the small mistakes he made. I think he learned from it, and wanted another chance for a perfect skate. Sergei was a perfectionist, from what I read about it.
  18. campbellka

    campbellka New Member

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    99% of the time, he was a perfectionist and made no mistakes, but for some reason, had a little bit of a challenge at the 94 Games.
  19. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    It's not clear if he wanted to be perfect on the doubles or do tougher triples and do well on them. Even if he was better on the doubles the triples were coming fast and furious! K/D and B/S were doing really really well and I basically think G/G would have had much much tougher competition for the Russian title then maybe they could have even envisioned!
  20. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think they were underprepared for '94, I was just curious why the other poster might have thought that. Thanks for the background info.

    Now I'm starting to wonder how M/D would have done in '98 if they were there. I guess maybe B/S wouldn't have been there if M/D were. K/D did win the Russian Nationals in '98, didn't they, or was it B/S?

    EDIT: Wow, didn't realize K/D were only 3rd at Russian Nationals in 1998. I guess they would have been the ones who wouldn't have been at the Olympics if M/D had been at Russian Nationals and within the top three. Funny that Eltsova/Bushkov won the Russian Nationals that year but were the only Russian team not on the podium at the Olympics. It would have been strange if the Russian team was G/G, M/D, and E/B, lol.
  21. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    I think you are right about this. G&G were (and still are) seen as the iconic pair and would have been placed ahead of less polished pairs with more technical content. Nagano pairs event was kind of a mess. Nobody expected Kaz/Dmitriev to win and Ber/S just gave it away. Judges placed a flawed G&G skate ahead of clean Mish/Dmitriev in 94, even with SBS 2A. It would be hard to rationalize not placing a clean G&G over a less good Kaz/Dmitriev pairing. I agree that Woetzel/Stoer were not in the same class as these 3 pairs.

    I also agree they may have needed to skate a cleaner program than they did in 94. Sergei faded really badly toward the end on their 94 FS. I since wondered if that had anything to do with the blocked coronary arteries.
  22. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    Considering how poorly skated the 1996 and 1997 Worlds events were, Gordeeva/Grinkov could have theoretically won those events as well (provided the judges still kept them in the top 3 after the short programs even with supposed easier content).
  23. PairSk8Fan

    PairSk8Fan Banned Member

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    I did not write that they came to Lillehammer unprepared. I did not write that at all. You are interpreting, and doing so incorrectly.

    What I stated was that I believe they would have arrived in Nagano totally prepared to SKATE BETTER than Lillehammer.

    There is nothing to respond to now, as your "question" does not apply.
  24. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Had there been M&D, I don't believe Y&B would have been on the team (they would not have won the Russian nationals). Obviously K&D could not have been there. So the Russian team would have been G&G, M&D, B&S.

    Wow! that would have been the greatest team Russia ever sent to the Olympics and they could have swept the podium. B&S would have skated better than they did in Nagano because they would not have faced the pressure of being the OGM favorites.
  25. trouble77

    trouble77 New Member

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    In my opinion I think that GG never really reached their full potential. I believe that they could have pushed themselves a bit more, both technically and artistically. For example, Katia started to execute double Lutz and triple toe-loops both in competition and during shows after Sergei’s death, and in the last 4 years has won 2 reality shows where she has executed clean throw double-flips. Now you can really see how she has developed artistically and back then how at the age of 24 and fulltime single mother, managed to challenge gold medallist Yamaguchi and finish second during a pro-competition. However, maybe because figure skating back then was not challenging enough or maybe because they were happy with what little they did to achieve their goals; they never made that extra effort. They didn’t even prepare exhibition programs – 9 times out of 10 they would use their short-program as exhibition.
    However, I have looked at GG’s LP from their Olympics in 94, and I have compared it to MD’s performance in 94 and KD’s performance in 98.
    Technically GG were stronger both compared to MD’s performance and later to KD’s performance.
    And I would like to stress the word “technically” as per ISU’s Scale of Values, Levels of Difficulty and Guidelines for Marking Grade of Execution in a senior program.
    I’m not sure what the rules where back then because we know rules change every year. However this year is states that a A Senior Well Balanced Program must contain:
    • maximum of 3 lifts
    • maximum of 1 twist lift;
    • maximum of 2 different throw jumps;
    • maximum of 1 solo jump;
    • maximum of 1 jump combination or sequence;
    • maximum of 1 solo spin combination;
    • maximum of 1 pair spin combination;
    • maximum of 1 death spiral
    • maximum of 1 choreographic sequence.
  26. trouble77

    trouble77 New Member

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    Here is my technical analysis
    Lifts
    In 1998 KD had 2 lifts, both executed with 2 hands, and very slow.
    In 1994 MD had 2 lifts, both executed with 2 hands, the lifts were very slow. Arthur took time to adjust to the weight of his partner both in 1994 and 1998.
    In 1994 GG had 3 lifts, both executed with 1 hand. The first and the last lift are quite interesting because in the first lift Katia is using Sergei’s harm as a gymnastic uses a pommel horse. She is changing position while he rotating. Whilst in the last lift, Sergei is fully supporting Katia’s weight, it’s a dangerous move and it looks as if timing is everything in this move. All these lifts are executed with tremendous speed and ice cover. They get in position very quickly.

    Twist Lifts
    I don’t want to state the obvious. GG had tremendous ice cover, and Katia was really flying above Sergei’s had. Pairs have learned to do that now. But there is a difference. Pairs nowadays don’t have the same ice cover, or the same speed. Here there is a link to have a frontal look of GG performing the split twist.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY7HFPSmx8M what from 0.47



    Throw jumps
    The toe loop and Salchow are considered the easiest jumps while the loop and flip are more difficult; the most difficult throw jump is the Axel. The score is affected by the quality of execution, including the speed going into the element and distance and height of the throw. The man should continue skating in a smooth manner, without stopping or lunging forward too much from the exertion.
    Dmtriev had a technical issue when throwing the lady. He would simply stop and wait for the lady to land before resubmitting his skating. DK and MD had small throw triple Salchow and triple toe loop..

    GG had the most difficult throw – the double Axel and a throw triple Salchow.
    GOE: GG’s double Axel had both an unexpected/creative/difficult entry. Katia like Oksana on her throw jump, landed slightly forward. But really not harm for both ladies.
    What made GG’s throw jumps better compared to DK and MD is the fact that Sergei had a better position at release and Katia had a good air position. Also GG had good speed, height and distance. Their throw jumps were effortless throughout, with good control and flow on the landing (see GG’s second throw jump)
  27. trouble77

    trouble77 New Member

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    Solo Jump
    MD had a double flip and a triple toe-loop – very good
    KD had a triple toe-loop and the double axel– the triple toe loop was good, but Arthur is landing slightly forward.
    GG had a double Axel. Compared to MD and DK GG’s sync during their jumps was extremely good, unmatched. They also had better ice coverage.
    They second solo jump the double Salchow, singled by Sergei, was in fact included in a combination jump. GG had a total of 2 combination jumps. The Salchow was included in the combination jump Axel-half loop- Salchow toward the end of their programs. Although Sergei singled the Salchow, this combination jump was difficult since it was executed with high speed and they covered the entire width of the skating rink. It was also performed with great unison.

    Jump Combination
    KD had a double Axel double toe loop combo and MD had a double Axel double Flip combo.
    Once again, GG were unmatched in terms of flow and good timing/speed from entry to exit, but KD and MD had good combination Jumps.
    GG on the other hand had a slight bubble when Sergei landed his double flip. However Sergei didn’t land on two feet, there wasn’t a step out or a touch down. Sergei had a weak landing, like the one from Arthur during his triple toe loop with KD. Therefore I’m confident to say that if Arthur jump was ok, then also Sergei’s jump was okay.GG had also another combination jump, already mentioned above.

    Side-by-side spin
    We have Simple SBS spin and Difficult SBS spin.
    Simple: A simple variation of position is a movement of a body part, leg, arm, hand or head, which enhances but does not change the basic position of the main body core. A simple variation does not increase the Level.
    Difficult: A difficult variation is a movement of a body part, leg, arm, hand or head, which requires more physical strength or flexibility and that, has an effect on the balance of the main body core. Only these variations can increase the Level.

    KD and MD had a very easy spin: sit spins and then grab-foot spins standing on one leg. This is probably due to the fact that Arthur has always had technical issue: he couldn’t center and balance the rotation while spinning.
    GG did not have this issue and their spin was technically more difficult.
    G&G did flying camels, back sit spins -SINGLE LOOP in sit position-back sit spins. While they are doing the camel spin they are looking up, which has an effect on the balance of the main body core. GG executed more revolutions(13) compared to KD (10) or MD (8).


    Combination Spin
    GG/KD/MD spins were good.
    KD and MD executed they trademark spin.
    GG had a interesting spin that ended with Sergei lifting Katia above him.

    Death Spiral
    The Back Outside death spiral is probably the most challenging of the death spirals and it was the one who caused so many issues during this season among pairs. Because it was compulsory pairs couldn’t avoid it.
    KD and MD had only 1 death spiral in their LP, the forward inside death spiral.Both Ladies had issue with the back outside death spiral and Natalia never attempt one during the Olympics. Oksana had to do hers during the short program and in my modest opinion I think that an Olympic champion should be technically strong, and not just “hung in there”. It was painful to watch and laughable.

    GG had 2 death spirals in their LP and not just one like for KD and MD. They had a forward inside as well as the back outside death spiral. GG also executed a back outside death spiral during their SP.
    Once again, in terms of execution of the death spiral and based on the number of death spiral executed during the LP, I would say that GG were technically stronger.

    GG also had other elements that were compulsory until a couple of years ago:
    GG had one carry lift
    GG had one massive spiral.
  28. trouble77

    trouble77 New Member

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    Now when we say that GG were not technically strong compared to MD or KD or any other, which should focus on the fact that GG’s LP was packed with elements, it just that they really made everything look so easy that people don’t see that. This is me being nasty, but I would like to add that GG did their stretching before stepping on the ice and not while performing.
    GG had 2 death spirals, MD/KD only 1
    GG had 3 lifts, MD/KD only 2
    GG had 2 combination jumps, MD only 1 combination jump
    GG had 1carry lift. MD/KD none
    GG had 1spiral. MD/KD none
    GG had 1 extra set of SBS butterfly spin at the end
  29. chanunderrated

    chanunderrated Member

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    While G&G might have won in 98 this is a flawed comparision since the judges were emphasizing the importance of harder SBS jumps much more in 98 than 94, especialy the triple toes. G&G might have been able to overcome it, but they would have been the last champions of major titles ever with no 3toes.
  30. duane

    duane New Member

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    I don't agree with those who say G&G would have needed sbs triples in 98. I can easily see the judges giving gold to a clean G&G over K&D, and wouldn't disagree. K&D's skating always had a teacher/student, still-in-development feel to me.
  31. JJS5056

    JJS5056 New Member

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    Interesting. Judgejudy mentioned the same theory upthread. Almost sounds like the two of you... well, nevermind.

    G/G could have easily won gold in Nagano. That field was the weakest in Olympic competition since at least the 1970s (and possibly further back). It's tough to speculate for many obvious reasons, but in terms of content, I'm not sure whether to assume they would have pushed themselves and included the triples or played it safe with double axels. Had they won 96 and 97 Worlds with 2A's, would the judges have considered 3T's to be of such importance anyway? And, entering the competition having won the previous two Worlds in addition to their earlier success would have certainly given them a bit of a boost in reputation scoring.

    I think they were more likely to have won with 2A's, as a solid short would have knocked B/S - the only team that could possibly match their quality - out of the top 3, making it easier for G/G to skate to gold in the free. 3T's would've been a greater risk, and they seemed to be at their worst when trying to up their difficulty previously in their career. Regardless, they would've certainly won a medal; the color would have depended on their consistency and whether we are assuming B/S might've performed better with less pressure.

    I still wish Shishkova/Naumov had competed over E/B. E/B's programs that year were especially trashy, and they were on a downward trajectory technically. S/N never received the respect they deserved. They should have been 3-time World Champions and made the Russian teams well beyond the 1996 season IMO.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  32. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I had a real blonde moment within that past post.. I was speaking as if K/D and M/D could both be pairs at the same time.. as if Artur Dmitriev could somehow clone himself.. *smacks head*
    Vash01 and (deleted member) like this.
  33. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I think you've stumbled onto a great idea. Skate with one partner, then run into the dressing room to change to the other costume and skate with the other partner.

    Perhaps this idea would work better in a new compulsory dance event. Maybe they could do it like show jumping, where they take the top 4 couples after the preliminaries and have them each skate the CD again with each of the other 3 partners. Medals could be awarded separately to the man and woman with the cumulative best scores.

    (For those who don't follow show jumping, they have the top four riders jump the course again on each others' horses.)
  34. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    You are wrong about the throw jumps. As singles skaters, the axel is the most difficult jump, but the double axel is not more difficult than a triple toe (although some skaters just can't do the axel). In the throws the throw 3t is more difficult than the throw 2A. That's why you don't even see pairs doing the throw 2A at the senior level anymore.

    In general, G&G's throws were great but at the 94 Olympics Katia had a forward landing on the throw 2A, as if she almost came to a stop on the landing, then recovered. Scott Hamilton made a big deal about Sergei's flow continuing and Artur coming to a stop. Artur did not actually come to a stop; he was just had less flow.

    Nobody questions G&G's superior basic skating skills but in the 1994 Olympics both their SP & LP had minor flaws, while M&D were absolutely clean, with some of their moves harder than G&G's. M&D were a lot more creative in their choreography and a lot more passionate in their musical interpretation. Also M&D skated with more confidence. This really was a toss up, and not a slam dunk for G&G as you are making it sound, but I see from your thesis-type posts that you have a strong bias toward G&G, and you will justify every move of them as more difficult and better than M&D's.

    As much as I loved G&G, I have to say that they did not really bring anything brand new to pairs skating until after they turned pro. M&D were innovative, and they really changed pairs skating from a series of standardized elements to creative work of art on the ice.
  35. campbellka

    campbellka New Member

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    Sounds like you have a bias toward M&D.
  36. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I love them both. I really could not pick a winner in 94; it was that close. The reason I posted positive comments about M&D is that they often don't get credit for their greatness.
  37. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that would be interesting. It might help solve the problem of people who can't find partners lol.
  38. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    I agree these two performances were pretty much a toss-up. I think, technically, M&D did outperform G&G, because of the SBS triples and the lack of errors. I think it is a bit revisionist history/ grasping at straws to make a great deal over lifts. In that era, lifts were lifts and no one got much extra credit for more difficult ones. M&D's lifts were hard enough to be gold medal worthy.

    I honestly don't understand the need for anyone to rationalize at length over the superiority of G&G or to attempt to re-frame this very narrow win like it was a blowout. G&G are, I think, still widely held as the vision of what great pairs skating should be. Kind of like with Greg Louganis in diving, when the Chinese decided to build a pairs program, they started by gathering as much G&G video as they could. IMO their performances speak for themselves; they really need no defending.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  39. butyrskafanatic

    butyrskafanatic Member

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    You referring to Vash01? Nothing he said didnt make total sense or was in bias of M&D. It is not like he said M&D had the hardest lifts or the worlds best triple twist over G&G, B&E, and S&N. He certainly made alot more sense than the apparent G&G fanatic who even claims a throw double axel is the hardest throw, and they had the best executed throws that night when they were the only one in the final 4 to badly tip forward their edge on one, LOL!
  40. duane

    duane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,173
    I wonder how great a flow Sergei would have had if instead of throwing the bird-like 4'11", 80lb Katia, he had to throw a partner who was 4 inches taller and 25 or so pounds heavier. ;)