Leonova too much like a poor womens Slutskaya

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by judgejudy27, May 25, 2011.

  1. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Why do some fans repeat over and over that Kwan was around a long time and Tara was not? This is so obvious it does not bear mentioning. Why do Kwan fans predictably go to pains to come up with explanations about why Tara had competitions so much easier than Michelle and nothing that applies to Michelle applies to Tara? We know some were traumatized that Michelle did not win in 1997 and 1998, but I worry that some of you rehash these explanations for public validation because you are not over it yet. Skaters' careers (and their children's careers) have been born and died since 1998! Some more objectivity from folks about Tara does not seem an unreasonable expectation 100 years later!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
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  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Michelle was actually lucky she didnt win in 1998. If she had she might well have turned pro (not certain but quite possible) and not been anywhere near the legend she is today. Of course still a legend in a larger way than Tara currently is, since she would always be remembered for her performance at the 98 Nationals, 96 Worlds, 98 Olympics (had she won) but not anything like she currently in with such dominance and longevity in the sport. And had she won in 1998 she would have for sure been gone after 2002, win or lose, which would have prevented things like her 9 National titles, 9 World medals, etc...
     
  3. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Because she wasn't. I'm talking amateur status...not professionally...

    Michelle Kwan competed at the senior level from 1993 until 2005. She was on the podium at every event she entered from the 1994-'95 season until her final appearance at worlds in 2004-'05 where she placed 4th. Michelle competed at the senior level for 12 years.Reference

    Tara Lipinski competed at the senior level from 1995 until 1998. She didn't compete on the senior GP during the 1995-'96 season and was 15th at senior worlds. After that season, Tara was on the podium in every event she entered during the 1996-'97 and 1997-'98 seasons. Tara competed at the senior level for 3 years. Reference

    Simple math tells us that 12 > 3 which means Michelle competed longer than Tara. The facts are there: Tara was competitive at the senior level for 2 years before going pro...now if you're counting Tara competing professionally (which I don't...) then you can add 2 or 3 years to that...still doesn't change the outcome though...:HA!::shuffle:


    I never said Tara had it easier. I simply said that given that the focus was largely on Michelle 80% of the time, Tara was able to skate with less pressure on her shoulders and, obviously, that worked out well for her. Michelle was the favorite. During the 1996-97 season, she was the world champ and all eyes were on her. That pressure got to her at nationals and a bit at worlds as well. Tara was able to skate well in both situations and won. 1998 after winning SA, Michelle went out with a stress fracture. 1998 nationals, she was the focus again b/c no one knew how she'd perform. Still, the pressure of defending the title got to Tara, she made mistakes, Michelle won in grand fashion and reasserted herself as the one to beat. Michelle went into Nagano as the fav, Tara as the possible upset (ie. underdog).

    Tara had to work and compete; I'm not saying she was able to skip thru each competition with no worries whatsoever, but not being the main focus had its advantages. It's a little easier to breathe without that bullseye on your back...
     
  4. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I have to point out that you just wrote another three paragraphs to make a point (again!) that I already noted is rather obvious and so well understood by all of us that I don't see why it needs discussed. Kwan was around longer than any of the greats. Lipinski competed for barely longer than Oksana Baiul. It seems to me that some fans have an insecure desire to refight the battles of 1997 and 1998 that Kwan lost. Kwan would not think Tara was less of a competitor than herself.

    Thanks for this clarification. I think you are being fair here, and your clarification makes a good point that the media was picking favorites and trying to stir up storylines. So there were pressure differences at different times that each had to cope with. Anyway, Tara handled the pressure of being US champ in 97 much better than say, Jill Trenary in 87, Tiffany Chin in 1985, or, one could argue, Roslyn Sumners in 1984.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  5. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    How interesting that a thread about Leonova and Slutskaya has turned into...

    ...a thread about Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan.

    Has this ever happened on FSU before?
     
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  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Sumners was expected, atleast by Americans, to win in 84 though which as mentioned before Tara wasnt in 98 especialy. The presure on her in Sarajevo was much higher than Tara in 98, although that being said Tara is far and away a tougher and more reliable competitor than Sumners anyway. Tiffany was not the favorite to win Worlds in 85 but she was clearly the top American hope, and so they still put alot of pressure and hopes on her to win over the favorite Witt. Tara was not even top American for the 98 Olympics, despite being reigning World Champion, and not the one that was expected or hoped by her own country to win.

    Skaters like Sumners and Trenary are not considered mentally strong competitors, so it is to be expected Tara handles pressure them then atleast.
     
  7. pollyanna

    pollyanna playing the Glad Game

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    No, I don't think it has. I guess there's a first time for everything.

    Why does it bother you so much?
     
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  8. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    As I said, because it's lame that anyone felt the need to start talking about this. This was a thread about Leonova. That people bring up obvious truisms about Michelle Kwan and Lipinski -- in a Leonova thread-- suggests these posts are more therapy for still traumatized Kwan fans rather than thoughtful conversation or exchange about Lipinski or whatever relevant statements were made.

    I wonder if some fans are having insecurities because Tara is doing commentary and was mean to Leonova...lol :lol:
     
  9. pollyanna

    pollyanna playing the Glad Game

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    If you allow it to bother you so much, why not just NOT read the thread? Simple, non?
     
  10. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Adding to the ignore list also works ...
     
  11. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    Tara didn't have the pressure of being the favorite, but she probably had to resist being bitter at USFSA choosing MK over and over and basically ignoring her except to say she's not Michelle, lol.

    She never believed passing Michelle was impossible, regardless of USFSA's obvious preference, and she kept working her little hips off. (sorry, couldn't resist!) I find that emotional resiliance / optimism to be very admirable. I wish she hadn't injured herself, but I do admire her fighting spirit.
     
  12. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I wish she hadnt been practicing that triple loop-triple loop which wrecked her hip. In an indirect way one could say Kwan ruined Tara's career perhaps even while losing to her most times at Tara's peak. By that I mean Tara knew the only way to beat Michelle, especialy a clean Michelle, was the triple loop-triple loop combination. If Michelle was not around Tara probably wouldnt have even bothered. Chen was past her prime and Slutskaya was in a major slump around the time she first rose to the top. She could have won with more standard jumps, and perhaps had a longer career be it in the amateur or pro ranks.
     
  13. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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    Sometimes people like to repeat themselves.
     
  14. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    I have to point out that you just wrote post after post to make a point (again!) that I and others already noted ad nauseam over the last decade is rather obvious and so well understood by all of us that I don't see why it needs to be discussed ...

    ... except to add support to my theory that all threads in the Figure Skating Universe are really about Michelle Kwan :D

    ... Maybe it should be a rule that one off season should be observed before participation in off season discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  15. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I swear I'm not a bitter Kwan fan. Hindsight is 20/20 and Michelle not winning Olympic gold is probably the best thing that ever happen to her (and the USFSA to be honest). Her drive to win that gold medal pushed her through 3 quadrennials of competition and she won title after title after title after title. She never accomplished her goal of being an Olympic champion but she did herself one better: she became a legend...and I prefer it that way.

    So, sorry for repeating myself. The question of Tara being around for a "long time" prompted me to double check because, as I remembered, she came in quick and left out quick. I like quoting facts so when the opportunity presents itself, I can't help myself. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    I wish some of these American girls had Tara's competitive spirit. Say what you want about Tara but she was one tough cookie and wasn't intimidated by anyone. So different from the top american girls.
     
  17. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    ITA with this 100%. You simply can't quantify the amount of pressure from one situation to the next, which is what several posters have tried to do re: Tara. The bottom line is: Tara blew the roof off of the rink in several instances on the biggest stages of her life and rarely flinched. I'd love to see some of our US girls have just an inkling of her guts and determination.
     
  18. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    ^^At 13, 14 and 15 years old, all of the current crop of ladies skated just like that: gutsy, fearless and determined. That's why everyone is scratching their heads right now because in the junior ranks, Mirai, Caroline, Ashley and Rachael kicked @$$! The US ladies swept the podium at jr. worlds twice (2007 - Zhang, Nagasu Wagner; 2008 - Flatt, Zhang, Nagasu), swept the JGPF in 2006/07 (Zhang, Wagner, Megan Oster), and top 2 at JGPF 2007/08 (Nagasu - 1st, Flatt - 2nd).

    I mention that to say, youth has its advantages especially in ladies' skating. When you're young, you don't over-think the situation; you just go out and do it. Plus, you're tiny. Your center of gravity is lower, you're faster, you can rotate faster and generally, jumping is easier. By the time puberty hits, things change. There's an adjustment that has to be made to a new height and weight--some of them don't make it through that adjustment.

    Caroline Zhang has clearly suffered the most from her body change. She was very tiny back in 2007, her first year senior and she did very well. Medaled in both of her GP events, came in 4th in the GPF, 4th at nationals and 2nd at jr. worlds. But that next season, she grew several inches and gained weight. Add that to her horrible technique and she's never been right since.

    Mirai grew so much by the time she hit puberty, her body had a hard time keeping up with itself and she ended up injured her entire first season senior. Rachael used to be really tiny and skinny, but puberty added a few pounds to her and seriously reduced her speed. For Ashley, I'm really thinking her body changes affected her ability to rotate, which is probably why she's frequently called for URs and 2-footed landings...

    To be so young and be allowed to compete at such a high level has it's advantages. Tara had barely hit puberty by the time she made it to Nagano--definitely before her growth spurt. Check out a podium picture of her sandwiched between Michelle and Chen Lu...she's like a good 4 inches shorter and 15-20 pounds lighter than both of them! Lol!

    I think that's one of the reasons age restrictions have been put in place when it comes to senior level skating. Back when Tara won, a lot of it had to do with losing clearly capable skaters to the pro-circuit (which was more attractive back then). Now, I think it's about keeping younger skaters in their place until they're mature enough to be considered a senior. Plus, it levels the playing field.

    It'd be great if the US girls could have maintained that fearless instinct they had when they were juniors...if they had, they'd be running things right now. Hopefully Christina Gao and Agnes Zawadski will shake things up for the US next season. Fingers crossed!
     
  19. Domshabfan

    Domshabfan Searching for Cizeron's Instagram

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  20. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    ^^ From what I understand, that'd be every thread on the forum! Lol! I'm done talking about Ms. Lipinski, I promise.

    Seriously though, back to Alena Leonova...

    I think it's good she had such a good showing at nationals and worlds this year. With the newer girls coming into the senior ranks this year, I think it's good that Alena has made a case for herself. But I'm really wondering how her federation will treat her next season? It's clear that Adelina, Liza T, Polina and the other Russian Babies are the ones who are being prepped for Soichi in 2014. I wonder if Alena, who despite only being senior for a handful of years is rather "old" by skating standards, will be pushed aside to make way? Adelina, Liza T and the rest need the experience and once they get it, they'll be tough to beat.

    That's always the case when younger skaters come up. A lot of it has to do with the skaters but some of his has to do with what support the federation is giving. To me, Alena was kind of a place holder; someone to get Russia's name back in the mix after a 5 year hiatus...maybe they'll expect her to pass the reins to the newbies. Point is, competition in Russia is going to be some of the toughest in the world. That kind of home competition breeds tough competitors on the international scene...that's why the US was so competitive for so long and why Japan has had so many top ladies...
     
  21. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    kwanatic, one thing that I think helps is the fact that Leonova with Marakova got the third spot for the ladies at Worlds. So she (and Marakova) both have the opportunity to really cement themselves in as one of the Sochi hopefuls. More than that, Eliza and Adelina are still not age eligible for the 2012 Worlds, so they simultatenously have some breathing space. I'm not sure which skaters are eligible for Worlds, though, so I could be wrong about the breathing space.
     
  22. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Good point. I keep forgetting that Adelina, Liza T and Polina are eligible for the senior GP but not worlds. Earning that 3rd spot will really help Russia's chances next year. People ask what's the big deal about the US failing to earn that 3rd spot back and that's it: more skaters means more opportunities for experience and exposure to the judges, which will be critical in the race to Soichi.
     
  23. Vash01

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

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    I was not traumatized by Tara's win over Michelle in 1997 and 1998 and there is nothing to get over. In the 1997 US nationals I was actually excited that the jumping bean Tara beat the more refined and artistic Michelle. IMO 1998 was a toss up and largely determined by the skating order.

    I don't rehash out of trauma but because posters like you keep insisting that Tara faced the same amount of pressure as Michelle in 1998. There was no comparison where pressure/expectations were concerned, and Tara, admirable though she was, skated with less pressure and more freedom (like Sarah 4 years later). It's just a fact, so you are the one that's not being objective. Your comment about it being 100 years ago is so over the top that I am afraid you are the one losing objectivity here.
     
  24. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    If you are going to judge amount of pressure based on the freedom with which one skates, what about Sasha in 2002? Was there so much more pressure on Sasha than there was on Sarah (or Tara in 98)? Sasha skated with zero freedom. And actually, Sarah was the bronze medalist and worlds. She had been touted as the next Tara since October when she beat Michelle and Irina at Skate America.

    I would agree that nobody ever faced as much pressure as Michelle did during her long and challenging career, especially in 2002, but why would people think Tara had it so easy in 98?
     
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Sasha actually skated very well at the 2002 Olympics. She made only one mistake, falling on a very difficult triple-triple she rarely tries or lands. She came 4th since she was a newbie and a much weaker skater than Kwan and Slutskaya at that point, so had no margin for error. If the Olympics werent in the U.S she probably would have been 5th behind Suguri anyway. I am surprised she was touted as such a big contender there.
     
  26. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    Both lutzes were also slightly double-footed. She still got a few ordinals above Sarah Hughes for that skate IIRC, and not from the North American judges...
     
  27. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by much weaker, but Cohen was definitely strong (much stronger than Hughes in all respects!) and capable of beating Kwan/Slutskaya on merit - albeit not on reputation.

    Anyway, people on this board seem to have probs responding to comments while also staying on topic. At least relate your comments on Sasha and SLC back to Tara somehow! Maybe eventually we can get from there back to Leonova! LOL!
     
  28. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Cohen in 2002 was slow, had weak edges for a top skater, had choppy crossovers, and her Carmen wasnt even well choreographed at all. She was still a very good skater but definitely not on par with Kwan, Slutskaya, or even Hughes yet. She improved a huge amount after moving to Tarasova in 2003.

    I dont know how you can say she was superior to Hughes in all respects at that point. Hughes was a much stronger and more consistent jumper, had much better basics and flow (at the time), and had a much better choreographed long program. Sasha was pretty competitive in the short already, but not in the long.

    Salt Lake was the only event of the season where Sasha finished in front of even Suguri or Butyrskaya (unless you count Maria's DNF at Worlds).
     
  29. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    Sasha > Leonova
     
  30. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    The distinguished Russian judge disagreed with this. She gave Hughes the 10th place ordinal in the SP and 4th place in the FS. This was about right. Your account is revisionist and slightly inaccurate.


    Sasha was definitely > Leonova.