Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by skateboy, Aug 4, 2010.
Yu Na Kim, 2007 Worlds SP
Sumners completed 1 triple salchow and 2 triple toes (one was barely there, but she held on), fell on a second triple salchow. Spins were slow and not particularly well-executed.
Elaine could have easily skated Roz's program. No way could Roz have skated Elaine's. Other than a hand down on a triple salchow, Elaine skated flawlessly, with much more difficulty. I think there should have been way more than one-tenth of a point difference in their technical scores, with the nod going to Elaine.
Oh - Level 4 linking ability! How did you make it go right to that spot in the youtube video?
At the top, in the URL, she added #t=4m17s.
Kim had better flow out of the 2A, but she barely held on to the inside edge of the IB. Roz's was no doubt an inside edge IB from beginning of the move to the end of the move until she went into the jump. I mean it was still an impressive move for Yuna, but I think Roz's was much more artistically successful.
Getting back to Elaine, I have to wonder if Roz could have made the comeback at Nationals in '94 that Elaine did. Sure, Roz had done alot of pro skating by then, but Roz came back from being completely out of shape to challenge Harding and Kwan. I was really inspired by that. Off to read the articles at the start of this thread now!
That is an interesting point and I don't know what jumps Sumners was doing as a pro so unless she was the rare skater who did harder jumps as a pro than as an amateur I doubt that she could do what Zayak did because she was years ahead of the other women!
I seriously doubt that Sumners could have done what Zayak did - the most difficult jump that Sumners had done in years was the double axel and her basic skating skills weren't what they once were either. Plus, even at her peak, Sumners didn't have the technical content that Zayak did.
I liked Sumners as an amateur skater, but I didn't enjoy many of her pro numbers. I've been watching lots of skating from 94-97 as I've been converting it to DVD and the thing that strikes me about Roz is how jerky and awkward her skating was during those years. And her "flirtatious" numbers were just annoying. That said, I should disclose that I might just be so irritated by her commentary (having just watched 96 World Pros) that it has coloured my perception of her skating.
I remember reading in International Figure Skating magazine that around 95-96, Sumners was working on getting her triple toe loop back. She looked really fit and toned back then, IIRC.
I remember watching my first World Pro competition in 1988 - 1)Denise Biellmann, 2) Debi Thomas, 3) Roz Sumners, 4) Dorothy Hamill
Dorothy just came off her pregnancy, skated to Whitney Houston with some doubles nand axels, got some 9.6s-9.8s, and said she expected 1s. Debi Thomas was trying very hard to have more artistic programs. Denise Biellmann was freakin' incredible - it was the first time I saw her skate, and she was so, so, so exciting (speaking of the Zayak-Sumners era).
I remember, having taped it, never ever being able to sit through Roz Sumner's program. It was a French showgirl number, and I do think she had a 2ax, but I remember always being so incredible bored. I wonder if I'd feel the same now.
Jumpwise, yes, Elaine could've easily pull off two 3ts and a 3s in her sleep; However, if we're going back to the argument that skating isn't all about the jumps, then Elaine could not have pulled off the performance that Roz gave. Roz probably couldn't complete Elaine's number of triples, but she would have skated Elaine's program with better speed, better posture, better musicality, etc. Both skaters had their weaknesses and strengths.
Roz had a rough first few years as a pro. She had weight issues, was unhappy with her Disney On Ice gig, and generally just didn't have inspired pro programs. Later in her career, she had a few gems like Walk Like An Egyptian and White Christmas. I watched the Egyptian number live in, and she electrified the audience that night. Too bad the judges undermarked Roz, and they were determined to give Debbi the win anyway after her Calgary disappointment.
Roz's posture and carriage were pretty amazing. But with Elaine, it wasn't just no. of triples. It was the entrances into the 3jump, the combos, the layout of the program. She didn't have Roz's posture or carriage but she held her own in the spins, too [layback was nice]. And over time her choreography and connection improved. I think a lot of people don't debate Roz's win. Just perhaps, they should've been closer on the judges' cards. Elaine was a true rival.
Elaine appeared to have better spins than Rosalynn. And she definitely did more jumps in her free programs. I dont think either of them had huge jumps (Elaine had bigger jumps when she first appeared) but Elaine was very effecient rotating and landing solidly, while Roz often seemed to eke out alot of the jumps she did do. They both did moves in field and different elements out of them, Roz more in her 84 program though.
Rosalynn was the better artistic skater, but I still found her bland and not as moving as many of the great artists of the future. Elaine improved her artistry each year as she got older, and by 1984 it was the best it had ever been and quite decent.
Technically I found it odd that despite Roz's good basics, she was not really a good triple jumper. And despite Roz's artistic abilities, I found her somehow cold and aloof while skating, if that makes sense. She never radiated warmth. Although, in the initial SI article that started this thread, it sounds like her mom may have driven her a bit crazy
I believe it's more a matter of what "style" is preferred at any given moment.
Zayak - perceived as having more powerful jumps, speed, and entries
Sumners - perceived as being more "artistic", with USFSA's "preferred image".
She could have but she would have looked pretty bad doing it. She does not have the polish or extension to pull off Rosalynn's program very well (other than the elements) and it wouldnt have fit her skating at all. The 5.6 or 5.7 I would have given her on the 2nd mark would probably be replaced by a 5.1 or 5.2 skating Sumners more artsy program which would have only showcased the very things Elaine wasnt. As for the marks I basically used the marks to place the skaters, my gut feeling after watching the two was to put Sumners just slightly ahead (though it was almost a toss up overall for me and I would have been fine with Elaine too) so I used the marks to do that. I could have given Zayak 5.9 technically, 5.6 artistically and Sumners 5.7 and 5.9 and still came to the same placing. I felt Zayak was clearly superior technically and decent artistically, Sumners decent technically and clearly superior artistically.
Ultimately both skaters were very good and had differing strengths, and neither were the ideal total package of a top skating champion to be honest. It is telling to the top skaters of this quad after Biellmann retired that a clearly pre prime Witt would have won every World or Olympic event from 82 to 84 without figures, and that most felt a 16 year old Tiffany Chin was the best free skater of the 84 Olympics- the same skater who would be buried in the U.S in the coming years.
Elaine also would not have won the title even if she had won the long program which many seem to be forgetting.
I do agree with the overall premise of this thread though that the USFSA and TPTB at the time seemed very anti Elaine which is unfortunate. It must be awful for a young kid with alot of talent who had already achieved alot to feel the whole skating World dumping on them all of a sudden.
There may also have been an (unconscious?) difference in perception of the two skaters if there was a significant difference in the quality of their school figures. I don't know whether that was the case, though.
Zayak's foot injury impinged on her ability to do many (but not all) compulsory figures. So depending on what specific figures were required at a competition, there could be a significant difference.
It's all very confusing to me - does that mean based on this evaluation the 1982 Worlds figures were favourable to Elaine vs. Roz? Elaine was 4th in figures, Roz 11th at 1982 Worlds. I assume that Elaine finished ahead of Roz in figures at 1982 US Nationals as well...
That's how it's announced in the tape.
Speaking as a big Sumners fan at the time, although Biellmann was my favorite, I agree, and if there wasn't a substantial difference in speed, which I can't tell from the videos, I wouldn't have put Sumners more than 1 point ahead of Zayak in the second mark.
I found Zayak quite musical in this program, particularly in the slow part.
Sumners miracelously went from 11th in figures at the 82 Worlds to 1st at the 83 Worlds, along with 5th at the 82 Nationals to 1st at the 83 Nationals. I guess she improved her figures a whole lot in a year.
Figures helped Zayak win the 82 World title too. Witt was 2nd to Zayak in the long but 1st in the short. Zayak was 1st in the long but 10th in the short. She never would have beaten Witt without the figures where she was 4th and Witt 9th.
To me even on video Elaine looked alot slower and I imagine from the comments even from herself and her coaches of needing to lose weight to be lighter and faster again that she must have been pretty slow at those Nationals.
Ha, though it was 27 years ago, I totally remembered reading this article -- as I did every single SI article back then. Nice to read it now. I'd only watch worlds/Olympics skating back then, so never had seen the performances until today.
Got to say that the right decision was made. Elaine was molasses slow out there ("I" do see a distinct difference), and every move besides her jump air-rotations was or at least appeared ponderous ... her size certainly contributed to the appearance. I don't respect the repeated triples much, either, but of course will ignore that since it was within the rules for 1983.
Though Roz herself was no lyrics-in-motion that night, she was clearly the better skater. Eh, easy come easy go. (I always rooted for Kat anyway)
The REAL news in that article was Scottie hinting about the debuting of his now-famous ("masculine" ) blue track suit costume!
She had nice knee action and moved smoothly, regardless of her speed, although in terms of relative speed, she attacked her jumps nicely after gliding into them with strength. She transitioned her body well between movements, and had fine control over her free leg coming out of spins and spirals. I thought her movement was very integrated, and while her posture wasn't extraordinary, it was better than a number of top Ladies skaters today.
Perhaps, floskate could clarify this?
Squibble, in this earlier discussion, I/we talked about the impact of Elaine's foot on competition results:
Having only half of her foot would affect her balance and control, on certain figures.
As someone who used to skate a lot of figures, I can attest to the fact that figures can be up one day, down another, just like in singles. You have to be in such a zen-like mindset to get all those tracings perfect, let alone the turns, loops, etc. One wrong move, or a little nervousness, and you can blow a figure as obviously as falling on a jump.
Based on 6.0, for ladies at the time, Elaine's content could have started at 6.0. Roz's was much easier, so probably should have started no higher than 5.8, maybe even 5.7, given that she had NO combinations, other than a couple of double-doubles. Elaine had one hand down, that's it. I think her technical score should have been 5.9. Roz outright fell on a triple, eked out another and had slow, not very effective spins. I think her technical score should have been 5.5 or 5.6 tops. Artistically I could see giving Roz a 5.8--she had nice choreography and lovely carriage. Elaine had decent choreography--I'd give her a 5.7.
As for Zayak not winning even if she'd won the LP, does anyone remember how they both skated in the SP? I heard Roz was 1st and Elaine 2nd. Did Elaine screw up, or did the judges just dump her? Hard to believe she didn't do harder content than Roz.
I'm sure Roz did 3t-2t as the SP jump combo, which was the same combo Elaine did.
Wow, I'm quickly becoming a Zayak fan! I watched her 1984 Olympic and Worlds performances and she skated great, slimmed down and improved artistically by miles. She was totally screwed at the Olympics.
I think Peggy Fleming felt threatened by Elaine. The American Olympic champion after Peggy was Dorothy Hamill who, like Peggy, had the same content (no triples). Suddenly Elaine comes along with all these triples--the exact opposite of Peggy, spunky and athletic. Peggy had a very hard time saying anything positive about Elaine. After Elaine's Olympic LP (the skate of the night IMO), Peggy said "not great, but strong." Yeah right, Peggy.
Peggy was on a jihad to get rid of triple jumps from the ladies event during that era. Elaine was therefore the devil to Peggy.
Furthermore, at some Nationals (I think her first or second as a senior), Elaine was interviewed to ask what skater inspired her. Elaine said Sonia Henie. The interviewer (might have been Button?) said most of the US girls said Peggy Fleming. Elaine said oh no, she wanted to be like Sonja Henie, she won more than one Olympic gold medal and was a movie star. After that, Peggy never had a nice word to say about Elaine.
In the article, Elaine is cited as being upset that USFS wanted to tell her what to say in interviews. I imagine the above interviews would have been one of those they complained about.