Incredible Zayak article from 1983

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by skateboy, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Didnt Elaine skate pro for a bit after the 94 Olympics too. Maybe Elaine would have done better in 83 and 84 if figures didnt exist.
     
  2. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Elaine would have done better in 83 and 84 if she was in better shape. Elaine was in great shape in 94. That the shape she should've been in during her hey days in the mid 80s. I also think Peter Burrows and Lynn Gelderman didn't package Elaine very well.
     
  3. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading in a book (which has been mentioned before on this board about Lady Figure Skaters and Gymnasts), 'Little Girls in pretty Boxes' [I think that was the title] that Elaine Zayak was Peter and Lynn's first big skater, that they were 'learning as they went along'. I also assumed that they were not only amateurs in packaging, but in the world of skating politik
     
  4. Mafke

    Mafke New Member

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    She had problems doing world elite level figures because of the foot. But I suspect that it was intense figure training that allowed her to become a great free skater in spite of the foot.

    That is, I really doubt that a young girl (with the same foot problem) starting to skate in the 90's would ever become competitive at the world level with MITF training. ymmv.
     
  5. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    While I'm not a woman, I would assume it is easier to get into prime physical shape at 28 when the body is fully matured than it would have been for Elaine back in 83-84 when she was 16-18 and puberty wanted her body to go in completely the opposite direction to the one she may have wanted!

    As an aside to the whole Peggy Fleming debate here, I was just reading an old old back issue of Ice and Roller Skate from 1982 when a letter to the editor caught my attention. It did so because the letter was written by someone I now know quite well. :lol: It was written in reply to a Worlds report the previous issue by Alex McGowan who used to write for Ice and Roller. Anyway here's the gist:

    With someone with the profile of McGowan speaking out against the critisism of Elaine, I do wonder if anything was ever said to Peggy regarding her comments on her?
     
  6. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    For some reason I've always had this image of floskate as a middle age woman with greyish hair in a bun. I think it's because the 'flo' in your screen name reminded me of the Flo "Kiss My Grit" character from the TV show Alice :). I now have to picture you in a different way.


    -----

    Regarding the criticisms leveled towards Elaine and other skaters. I don't think a skater or any athelete will have motivation to improve if they never hear any constructive criticisms about them.
     
  7. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    Firstly I'm 36, male and running in the opposite direction of middle age thankyou!! ;)

    Secondly, how is someone saying you're fat constructive? Some of the stuff that was said about Elaine was downright cruel back in the day.
     
  8. IceKween

    IceKween New Member

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    That quote was great, because I think many had that sentiment about Peggy's commentary regarding Elaine. It was just so harsh. And it appears Peggy was 'talked to' about it, but she only responded by giving half-compliments ("Elaine has improved her style, a LITTLE...") that only seemed cursory. Even after Elaine brought the house down in Sarajevo and the crowd was excited, a very unexcited Peggy said "Good, but not great" wrt the performance, like wth?
     
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I've always believed that Peggy thought that Ladies skating should be "graceful"; and well, "ladylike"!
    I don't think that she really approved of triples and "power" in Women's skating; unless very well disguised.

    Elaine didn't fit her idealized image, or concept of what was appropriate, in any way.
    She was the first of many!

    floskate,
    whole post :respec:
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  10. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    Zayak truly is a product of the transitional period in ladies skating. Of the many performances I have downloaded to DVD, I go back to 1981 worlds often.

    There were so many new skaters on the scene that year in Hartford, a new era was truly emerging. Skaters like Zayak, Katarina Witt, Denise Biellmann, Debi Cotrill, and Carola Paul had greater athleticism, speed, body awareness, musicality and intensity. What's more, this group was matching the men jump for jump.

    One of my fondest memories is seeing Elaine make her comeback live at the U.S. Nationals in Detroit. Even before she began her short program, the audience gave her a reception unlike any other in the entire championship.

    There was a sense we'd be in for something special.

    Afterwards, everyone jumped out of their seats not only with excitement at a great skate, but that Elaine came back on her terms.

    I'll never forget that day.
     
  11. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    I loved Elaine's comeback in 1994. She skated great--much better than anyone (myself included) expected from her.

    (The only thing I didn't like was that floppy ponytail on top of her head! But that's probably just me...)
     
  12. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    In many ways, Elaine really was a pioneer.

    Her programs just in terms of COP content alone, would stand - up today.

    Also, once it was understood that triple jumps would become a necessary part of women's competitive skating, this paved the way for others like Liz Manley, Midori Ito, Tonya Harding, Jeri Campbell, etc.
     
  13. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    That ponytail really suited her personality at the time.

    Just as Jayne Torvill cut her hair for Lillehammer, there was a part of me that craved seeing Elaine sport her Olivia Newton John inspired do in Detroit as well.
     
  14. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    How so when jumpwise all Elaine had were 3toes and 3sals and an occasional 3loop ? Yes she did a lot of transitions going into them but they were still only toes and sals.

    Linda Fratianne made triple jumps necessary for female figure skaters.
     
  15. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    I would've given Elaine a more sophisticated look in her LP.
     
  16. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    Linda had her two triple jumps each year in her LP but so did Anett and Dagmar (who had sal and loop) and Emi etc. Linda was the most consistent with them though for sure. But Elaine was the first to land triple jumps in difficult combinations such as 2z-3t and 2x-3t which even today 30 years after Elaine introduced it, is seen as a top drawer combo for ladies. And her loop was a lot more than just occasional. Sure she struggled with it a bit in '82 when her weight was up and down but it's not like she landed it once or twice. She was also one of the first ladies skaters - along with Ito in 1980 - to deliver programs with 5 - 6 triples in. Even with the Zayak rule, Elaine could regularly deliver 5 triple LP's, something many skaters 10 years later still couldn't do. So yes she absolutely was a pioneer.

    "Still only toes and sals" might be a valid comment (i.e. not good enough) on a ladies jump content today but back then that was really SOMETHING. And her transitions and combinations only served to make them even harder.
     
  17. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Who was the best women jumper in the World in the early 80s? Was it Zayak, Biellmann, Witt, or a young Ito who was competing as a junior?
     
  18. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    Well obviously it was Ito :lol: She had all triples bar the axel by the end of 1981!!

    Witt was good for the era and at some point regularly trained 4 different triples but we only saw a triple loop twice IIRC at 1983 Euros (fall) and 1987 Worlds (won the title with it). She tried her flip more often but it was only ever totally clean at 1981 Worlds and that was a tight landing. All the others were two-footed or fall outs I think.

    Biellmann had toe, sal, loop and lutz but I never did see all 4 in the same LP at Worlds or Euros. Plus she was off to Holiday on Ice in the summer of '81 and with that went her harder triples.
     
  19. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Wow I never knew Ito had the triple lutz and triple flip that early. I do know she was doing huge triple-triple combinations and other jump combinations at that age but I didnt know she already had a full set of triples that young.

    Whenever I watched Biellmann as a pro skater well into her 30s I was always surprised to see her only doing triple toe and triple salchow at that point. The jumps were so big and she did them so easily you figure she could have done all the triples, especialy when you saw Kristi still landing these tiny triple lutzes and triple flips with devastating consistency at the same time.

    Witt seemed to gradually regress as a jumper as she began growing a very womenly figure.
     
  20. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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  21. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Sometimes I get amazed Ito didnt enter senior events really until 1984 then I remember she was still only 14 in 1984. :lol: She was so far ahead of her time it is ridiculous.
     
  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I think I once saw her do a triple lutz at a pro competition in her late 20s, but basically she had given up the triple lutz and loop after she turned pro (and never had the triple flip).

    There was something weird about her arm position in the rotational jumps that probably prevented her from rotating as fast as she might have with more modern technique, so she needed all that height and distance she got on the triple toe and salchow to complete the rotations.
     
  23. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    It's not just the content, which is amazing enough; but, her "joy in skating" it, which is special.
     
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  24. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

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    Yes, thank you!!! As far as I am concerned, Elaine has never gotten the recognition she so richly deserves for her overall skating, which includes being a triple jump pioneer. Some seem to think that all she did was skate up the ice, perform a triple toe, skate back down the ice and do a triple sal. Now thanks to old video, FSVids and Youtube, we can see that she was MUCH more than that. The USFSA should be bowing down to this lady for representing her country with her talent and her sportsmanship. No matter how badly they or anyone else bad-mouthed her, she was class personified.

    And I too was in tears in 1994 at her comeback. That US Nationals was full of drama as everyone remembers, but it is Elaine's programs and the crowd's response to them that made 1994 memorable for me, not the Nancy/Tonya drama nor the ice dance controversy. And I was so happy that Dick Button as announcer gave her all the kudos she deserved. I was jumping up and down in my living room crying, I was so happy for Elaine.

    You are absolutely on the money. Midori Ito was very much ahead of her time on jump content, but it her joy and heart as much as her technical ability that makes her special to me.
     
  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    pollyanna,
    entire post: :respec:

    Thank you!
     
  26. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    There are not that many skaters even today who could skate either Elaine's or Midori's programs from the early 1980's. I still love Elaine's double axels sandwiched between spread eagles!
     
  27. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks floskate, pollyanna, and DORIS, for going into bat for me regarding orbitz's criticism of my statement about Elaine.

    Thank god for youtube, where we can actually witness what skaters like Elaine and company were doing, instead of getting some secondhand nonsense from the likes of Evy Scotvold claiming that all Elaine's programs consisted of were triple toe...triple toe...triple toe.
     
  28. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    It does make one wonder though why Evy Scotvold felt compelled to say that. He was well aware of what Elaine could and couldn't do. It's one thing to dislike Elaine or her skating style, and quite another thing to lie about it. Did the Scotvolds coach Lisa Marie Allen or Priscilla Hill or Sandy Lenz or something?
     
  29. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    I know the Scotvolds trained Lenz. My guess is his statement smacks of jealousy.

    After all, Zayak (who placed 4th at the 1980 US Nationals) was elected to the World team over Lenz, who was third, and chosen to skate at the Lake Placid Olympics.

    I'm not sure who coached Hill or Allen.
     
  30. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    It's perhaps worth mentioning that Elaine's coach, Peter Burrows, had not had a championship quality skater before AFAIR, and was no Carlo Fassi or even an Evy Scotvold in terms of political power. So Elaine would have been at a political disadvantage from the get go. Roz's coach Lorraine Borman, AFAIR, hadn't had an elite level skater either. However, Roz's family was quite well to do, and Elaine's was not. I seem to remember Roz reporting at one time shopping for a fur coat to console herself for a less than her best performance, AFAIR

    (Really, it appears they didn't do the PR coaching of these kids then that they do now, so interviews were much more interesting then :watch: )

    This is all 30 years ago, so don't count on my remembering all this stuff perfectly. ;)
     
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