Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by TheIronLady, Jun 8, 2013.
I have this nightmare that Sarah Hughes will show up again somewhere and do that Bob Fosse number.
I agree with this observation. I never felt like Sarah loved skating the way some of her peers did. Sure she had outside activities, and that was great, but to me it goes further than that. I read once that Robin talked her out of retiring in the summer of 2000 before she finally relented and returned to the ice. She had just finished 5th at worlds and was 2 years away from the Olympics and someone had to convince her not to retire. That seemed strange to me. Of course, there may have been more at play there.
But I disagree strongly that she had one brief shining moment. That sounds more like wishful thinking or sour grapes. I was never her fan but I saw her personally receive roaring standing ovations several times: 1999 Skate America short, 2000 Skate America long, 2001 Skate America long, 2000 nationals short and the 1999 winter proam. And by roaring, I mean most people were standing and many were hooting, hollering and stamping their feet. Then there were competitions I didn't witness in person but remember her getting big applause and/or standing ovations: 99 worlds long program, 2000 worlds short program and 2001 worlds long program. She skated many, many "clean" programs and was drowned with cheers at the end. Never a fan and never stood myself but I remember those moments well.
IMO, this pretty much describes Michelle's programs.
I don't especially LIKE either, but let me put it this way: I can, without trying, REMEMBER particular skates of Tara's. I might not adore her skating, and frankly I don't think EITHER girl was especially pretty, but Lipinski had a spark and energy that made her engaging as a performer.
True to some (great) degree.
Relative to Tara she had only one shining moment. Tara quit at 15 and fit in Nationals Champion, 2 time Grand Prix final Champion in the same year, Olympic Champion, World Champion. All won in very memorable fashion to boot. On top of that her exciting debut in 1996 and making Worlds at only 15, and her great comeback skate at Nationals 98 after falling in the short. Sarah has nothing close to that string of memorable moments in her career. She won only 3 international events and one was a C level tournament top skaters never enter after they are 14. She never won a U.S Senior title, which Tara managed well before her driving license and would likely have managed quite a few more if she continued even with Kwan to battle, while Sarah could have continued and probably still never won her own Nationals.
Tara made the Worlds team at 13 and won Worlds at 14.Sarah also made the Worlds team at 13. While Tara's eligible career was a short one, she has quite a resume.
Tara at her peak beat Michelle Kwan 4 times out of 5. She was an incredible skater and the level of skater Sarah could only dream of being. She had perfect pencil jumps with great air position, rotation, ascent, descent, landing position and flow out. Her triples were even way better than Sarah, even the flutz was a way better jump overall than that thing Sarah called her triple f(lutz). She skated with great speed and assurance, and her pro routines showed her huge artistic potential. Had she continued she would have been artistically a true 5.9 skater easily by 2002.
Sarah was a good skater, and had a fine career herself, but she was no prodigy like Tara Lipinski. She went to Worlds in 1999 only due to a younger skater who beat her at Nationals being too young by the rules. Had her Olympic win not happened she probably wouldnt have ever won a bigger title than a regular grand prix, not a Nationals or Worlds ever, even if she continued skating until 2006 (or beyond which is very unlikely with COP which was bad for her skating to begin with getting tougher around then).
Cannot care less, both of them. At least I was glad they've beaten kwawn when it counts ...
I never understood Sarah.
She seemed as a type of athlete that was just getting into liking what she was capable of. And that is when she turned her back to skating.
With Tara there was never doubt where she would rather be.
Does the Winter Olympics include a beauty contest?
Whether or not the Olympic judges score based on beauty and looks, some fans do. Well most fans do. Michelle Kwan was repeatedly in People magazine's most beautiful people list. That I know this is sad, but it's a fact.
Repeatedly? No. I think Michelle was in People's Most Beautiful Issue just once and only following a big letter campaign from her fans. I know because her fans kept emailing me a form template to send to People Magazine demanding they include her in their 1999 issue and the magazine finally did. While I love Michelle, I felt there were better ways to spend my time than accuse People of being racist if they didn't select her. It was Katarina Witt who was in it more than once. Lu Chen also made the issue the year she controversially lost worlds to Michelle. I too am surprised by all the references to looks when comparing which skaters were better. My two favorite skaters are Michelle and Tara. Neither was the prettiest skater of their time or is even classically pretty (countdown before an irate fan jumps in to argue but it's my opinion so ) but they are beautiful to me for reasons that go much further than their physical looks. And the judge snever cared that they weren't the prettiest girls in the competition when they skated, so I don't know why that's even entered the debate here.
That's interesting. I am as big a Kwan fan as there ever was and I never knew about any e-mail campaign to have her in People Magazine, I never received any e-mails, templates, etc.
Consider yourself lucky in that regard. I finally put filters on my AOL account to stop the insanity.
I think she got in legitimately. She also said something about having a flat butt I think in her profile.
What I'm saying is that some of her crazier fans were angry she wasn't chosen for the 98 issue and campaigned tirelessly for them to include her in their 99 issue. Their barrage of emails couldn't have gone unnoticed but they didn't have to choose her so that's something. I just disagreed with those fans' tactics. I have the issue somewhere and remember the flat butt comment and that she looked gorgeous in a candlelit profile shot. I'm sure People didn't regret their decision one bit.
I just recently re-watched Sarah's Olympic LP and it was a lot better than I remembered. I then watched Tara's winning program as well- I think they are very difficult to compare because at the time, Tara was a co-favorite for gold and defending world champion. She had already "grown" into her style of skating. Sarah was still developing and really didn't own her style. I also agree with you on the quality of Tara's jumps.
As for the level of competition and skating quality- I think it has gone down a lot and the level of consistency isn't there which is why Caro is in the medals with the kind of errors that she makes. I also think that under the 6.0 system there was more emphasis on a complete set of jumps. Now there seems to be more repetition in an effort to play the system and hide weaknesses. That's just my opinion based on what I saw in the ladies competition at worlds this year. I'll qualify my opinion that due to reduced television coverage and increased work load- and decreasing interest in the current crop of skaters, I don't consistently follow figure skating these days.
It sure helped Witt get those 5.9s and 5.8s for artistic impression
Gotta go with Hughes on this one, although her posture drove me nuts. I thought she was much more interesting than Tara. Also had the only illusion spin I could ever stand, and that's compared to everyone, I hate that move. Wonderful layback. Tara had zero sense of music, which I consider important to skating. Neither one of them had particularly great technique.
I only remember her being in the 2000 issue because it was after she had won Worlds in Nice.
And it was a bubble butt.
So basically, her fans instituted a letter-writing campaign to get her on a magazine. Unless one is a mega star like Brad Pitt or Matt Damon, that seems to be the best way to get a publication's attention. It's all about PR and who would help sell magazines anyway. Look at those New York Magazine's Best Doctor's of NYC. That's all the work of a publicist unless someone did something incredibly ground-breaking.
Exactly. Beautiful, in this context, is someone who has generated hype in some way during the time frame of the particular People publication -- via personal achievement and/or good old-fashioned PR. Exactly the same as what goes on with the Oscars. There are all out campaigns for the Oscar candidates. It's a matter of popularity to some extent. If some fan group managed to get their favorite skater in People magazine by way of a letter-writing campaign, I'd say the skater in question was extremely popular and beloved. Best picture and most beautiful will always be a matter of taste.
I work with celebrities and can tell you People's Most Beautiful (and Sexiest Man/Woman Alive) issues are completely agenda-driven. They are total PR campaigns.
People also has historically had a hard time featuring minorities in these issues (they ALWAYS go to their standbys Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez).
Rabid fan letter writing or not, Michelle had accomplishments, was the biggest name in the sport, was a minority, etc. She checked many boxes.
I don't know what the big deal is...it's not like she landed the cover or anything.
For what it's worth, I think Tara and Michelle grew into their looks and both are pretty.
I also think Sarah Hughes grew into quite a lovely young lady (That makes me sound so old and she's only less than a year younger than me, haha). Her longer brown hair is so much better for her than her Robin Wagner look.
Yep to all of the above.
What was that "Robin Wagner" look? It seemed like an attempt at Dorothy Hamillishness, and given Wagner's age perhaps it was Wagner's idea.
The 2002 look was Jef Billings from the top of her head to her toes.
Not her fans. Maybe her agent or USFSA.
I honestly was not a fan of that cut at all.
I just called it the Robin Wagner look because her hair cut and color was getting closer to Robin's style than Hughes. I know Billing had total control over her Olympic look, but I remember reading that going to Billings was Wagner's idea.
Does he still design and style skaters?
It was an improvement on the "Ramona Quimby" look she was sporting immediately prior to that.
Too bad that Sarah was pushed to try to look like Hamill and skate like Kwan. I probably would have liked her if she had developed her own style (and fixed her posture).
Has Robin Wagner had any successful skaters besides Sarah? I am not counting her blip with Sasha in 2004, as she in no way either helped to make Sasha, nor visibly that I can see helped to improve her in their brief time together. I would have credited her if Sasha won the 04 Nationals and/or Worlds under Wagner, hadnt had a now stripped down/weaker Swan Lake under Wagner, or had she stayed with her more than a quarter of a season, but none of this occured.
Fontana made her comeback under Wagner and qualified for the Olympics beating out Marchei, so I guess that semi counts as something.
I agree re Wagner and Cohen. Imo it was really under Tarasova that Cohen showed improvements.
Totally agree! Wagner did nothing for her. Certainly didnt help calm her competitive nerves since she fell and lost the Nationals and Worlds, and totally stripped down her Swan Lake. Had she done her original version of Swan Lake she might have won Worlds even with the mistakes, as it seems the judges were really wanting to give it to her there. However the mistakes, combined with the overall tenative performance, combined with Shizuka's triple-triples, combined with the bare bones choreography of Wagner's version, were too much together to overcome.
I saw some good things about her skating and even at times competitive progress in her second stint with Nicks too. Too bad she was injured most of the 04-05 and 05-06 seasons. Wagner was never more than a brief stopover until she decided on her next real coach after she decided to leave Tarasova.
Wagner's biggest skill seems to be self-congratulation. She is smarter than many others, but her skill as a choreographer is zero, and I don't know if she has ever reconciled with the Hughes.
I have wondered why Nicks was not given enough credit for improving Sasha. Tarasova pushed Sasha, but she was not improved as a competitor under her. She blew big chunks at '03 nationals and '03 worlds. She was worse there than at any competition while with Nicks. Okay there was '00 junior worlds and '06 senior worlds, but her Tarasova years were not a breakthrough.
Many think her choreography and actual skating skills (at least in the 2003-2004 season) improved. She also dominated the GP events until she lost the GPF to a deserving Fumie Suguri in the 2003-2004 season. I think what helped Tarasova's reputation was the Swan Lake LP and that she took on Shizuka Arakawa who won Worlds right after. I do think Tarasova was overrated in that respect because she only had Arakawa for a few weeks with Shizuka bombing her one full season with her. Arakawa did win the Olympics, but with Morosov.
I think the reason Nicks doesn't get as much credit is that in the beginning of Sasha's career, her choreography wasn't the best and her skating skills and ice coverage did leave a lot to be desired. Tarasova really helped in those respects and Sasha became the skater who was able to beat a totally on and technically outstanding Irina Slutskaya at the 2006 Olympics SP. Yes it was by hundredths of a point but the old Sasha may not have been able to do that. IMO, Sasha really improved in the period from 2003 to 2004. So her improvements as a skater was noted during the Tarasova period and already existed when she came back to him. As for her routines, she already had that Dark Eyes SP under Tarasova. People also knew her Romeo and Juliet was done by David Wilson. I think at the time, most people were happy to see her back in the West Coast where she said she was happiest and with Nicks because he knew how to deal with her.
Sarah didn't mention her in her HOF acceptance speech.
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