Mark Mitchell at 92 USN

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by IceKween, May 31, 2010.

  1. IceKween

    IceKween New Member

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    Was just watching his 92 Worlds LP performance and was wowed by it. He skated a new program since USN to Strauss that was elegant, musical, and a complete program.
    So I went back to the USN program to see what went wrong. Well, I think he was undermarked, but he used his (tired) old On the Waterfront program, that IMO just didn't 'sing'. I think that if he had skated Strauss at USN he most certainly would have been placed over Paul Wylie in the LP since Paul had one problem after another in his LP. The only thing Paul had over Mark IMO was the program. It's just a shame that Mark decided to keep that OTW program. It never showed off his elegance and musicality to his best.
    Anyone think if he'd done Strauss at USN with his same content as at USN he would have easily placed over Wylie and then gone to Albertville? I wonder if Mark ever thought about it.
    I'll post both YT programs, though the quality is terrible.
    USN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZCU0W3hk58&feature=related
    Worlds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9lZ79FGN5w&feature=related

    ETA: When you watch both Mitchell's and Wylie's SP and LPs at 92 USN and compare the two, it almost seems unconsionable that Mark was passed over. Wylie was a mess in both programs. And Mark only had a botched 3toe on the end of a 3flip-3toe combo. Wylie I don't think even did a combination in his LP. Just horrible judging.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  2. Screenie

    Screenie Active Member

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    I think you got it right at the end: Mark skated better than Paul, and Paul was put ahead of Mark. I'm not sure there's much that could have helped Mark (e.g. a different program), as he already skated better than Paul. The mistake is to think people were judging based on performance rather than based on who they wanted to send to Olympics.
  3. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    So much for the poor Paul wuzrobbed in Albertville cries (which btw I never thought he was anyway). He didnt even deserve to be at the Olympics in the first place. He and his fans should be blessed with his silver medal.
  4. Fergus

    Fergus Well-Known Member

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    Mark's skating fit so nicely in an effervescent, waltzing program, the Strauss was perfect for his style.

    And his lower back and shoulders were just :swoon:
  5. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    He had such beautiful lines, carriage, posture and musicality. It's a shame this performance at '93 Worlds fizzled [but not as horrendous as I remembered]:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=536YzmHvpb4&feature=related

    I think if he had used this opportunity to break-through, he would've been held in greater stead by the USFSA. Where was he at '94 Nats?
  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Mostly on the ice with his butt. :lol:
  7. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Mark's skating was all elegance but no pizazz.
  8. IceKween

    IceKween New Member

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    Mark was an elegant skater. Yeah, the pizzazz thing bothered me, but I think he really came into his own with that Strauss waltz and the following year's Don Quixote. It brought out everything he was great at. His long legs are just wonderful, and he knew how to place them.
    I think the problem with him was he wasn't a strong jumper, and except for Strauss and Quixote his programs were rather blah. 1n 1994 he went back to a boring program to (I think) Summertime that really was a hundred steps back from his programs the previous year. In the meantime Scott Davis was landing jump after jump and had the 'perky' or pizzazz thing going. I'd rather watch Mark Mitchell skate all day then spend a minute watching Scott Davis.
    It would be interesting to see how Mitchell would have placed in Albertville had he gone clean. Again it goes back to the program, and the OTW program just wasn't a good vehicle for him. Half of it was discordant and alienating.
    Oh well, still a fan after 20 years.
  9. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    Same here. Mark is my fave male skater (well, tied with Kurt).

    I loved loved loved Don Quixote, but THIS program is TO. DIE. FOR. :swoon: It showcases everything that's wonderful about Mark and his skating--flawless line and attention to detail, elegance, gracefulness. Just stunning.
  10. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Non sequitur. Whether or not Paul "deserved" to be there had nothing to do with how he was judged once he was there. (For the record, though, I'm not a wuzrobber in this case. I'd love it if Paul could have won gold at the Olympics, but I can accept that he was outjumped by Viktor.)

    On another note . . . how startling to remember that there was a time when Uncle Dick's commentary was concise and to the point. Those were the days. :D
  11. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Interesting.... I thought most of the wuzrobbing for Mark centered around the fact that the third Olympic spot was given to Todd Eldredge, who sat out U.S. Nationals due to a bad back, and then he did badly at the Olympics and blamed it on his injury?
  12. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Todd earned the U.S 3 spots in the first place though. If he felt he was healthy enough to compete he deserved to go. The team should have been Bowman, Eldredge, and Mitchell. Mitchell actually should have been the U.S Champion that year over Bowman IMHO.
  13. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

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    Mark Mitchell "losing" to Paul Wylie at 92 US Nationals was, for sure, once of the worst judging decisions I've ever seen at a skating competition. Never should have happened. Mitchell clearly outskated Wylie there. Wylie had 2 bad performances in Orlando.

    Eldredge deserved his spot on the olympic team. He had gotten the medal at worlds the year before enabling the US to get 3 men for 92. Everyone that year wanted to see Todd go to Olympics.

    Bowman was most definitely a deserving winner in Orlando. He skated a flawless LP to win the event.
  14. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Bowman didnt do a triple axel though IIRC. That is why I would have gone with Mark. A triple axel was needed at the Games and that is the message I would have wanted to deliver to the top U.S men. Either way no way Mark should have been left off the team. Jon Jackson in his book admits that the result was fixed basically.
  15. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    I was in Orlando and remember seeing Eldredge skate in practice. He wasn't even attempting the triple axel. In his sp runthroughs before withdrawing, Todd was doing the 3lutz/3toe and footwork into the 3loop.

    Based on his bronze medal from worlds the previous year, I understand sending him to the games for the sake of the team.

    I agree with jj27 that Mitchell should have won. He clearly had the most technical content, landing a 3axel in both the short and long. OTW was a more cohesive performance than Bowman's jarring music cuts.

    Bowman however, did have a strong track record that season, having won Skate America over Barna (4th in Munich) and Eldredge (3rd).

    What surprised me was choosing Wylie over Mitchell.

    Yes, he was an elegant skater, but he was 20th in the short in Munich, before rallying back to 11th. Mark was a consistant athlete to that point, having beaten Paul a number of times. Most significantly, were his win at the 1989 Olympic Festival, and almost beating Kurt Browning at Skate America '89 for bronze.
  16. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I guess in the end it worked out since Wylie's career would have been over in every sense of the World if he finished 3rd at those Nationals as he should have and thus missed the team (of course Eldredge was getting the bye over him as well). Even admited he never would have any professional career had Albertville never happened, he would have just done to Harvard immediately as planned originally. We would have missed out on all those great years of pro skating from Paul.

    As for Mark I am not sure it would have made a big difference for him other than getting a chance to be at the Olympics. I dont think he would have medaled in Albertville, you would have seen Barna now probably getting silver and Bowman bronze. I dont think it would have made a big picture to him failing to medal at a Worlds, getting passed by Davis in the U.S in the enusing years either, or failing to ever win U.S Nationals or make the 94 Olympic team. He was always sort of destined for a career of underachievement alot like Nikidinov.

    Of course that is all in hindsight.
  17. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    I like Mark's skating, great choreography and field moves, but his jumps were rather low. When I saw his 3Lz it reminded me of Kate Thompson's 3Lz circa 1983-84.
  18. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes: Lots of :puppet: people wanted a lot for Todd, more than my stomach can take quite frankly, and after 3 Olympic berths there was never any Olympic medals and only one World Championship in a floundering field. Perhaps there was nobody better, but there was also not any reason to hold anybody else back either. Hell, Timothy Goebel was being coached by Frank Carroll post-CHJ and actually landing 3 quads in a program while Todd was well past his prime and the USFSA still wanted to dump Tim upon the return of TODD ELDREDGE :wall:

    I used to get the same feeling when thinking about Lysacek post-2006 Olympics, but at least he delivered winning sets of programs according to the current rules.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  19. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you get over your resentment of Todd already? You've done this time and time again! I wish he had won an Olympic medal (and I feel the same way for Kurt). Apart from the lack of that Olympic medal, he has had a distinguished career (6 US titles, 5 Skate America Titles, 6 world medals, etc.), with many performances earning standing ovations. That's not chicken feed. quads are not everything, either. Give me balanced skating anyday!
  20. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Give me Kurt Browning (the 1st Quad and 4 World Championships), Tim Goebel (2 Types of Quads, 3 Quads in a program, and an Olympic Medal) and a gorgeously choreographed Matt Savoie over a boring Todd Eldredge. Hell, give me interesting low jumping Mark Mitchell and flutzing Galindo . . .

    . . . Even when the Red Sea was parted for Eldredge, he still did not know how to walk through a la Lysacek, who is a far more balanced skater IMHO even if he is obsessed with Mediterranean masculine figures as much as Eldredge was obscessed with Anglo-Saxon noblemen.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  21. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

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    I have nothing against the other guys (I love Kurt), but I guess to each his own. I personally don't think Todd is boring. he has had many exciting programs (First Knight, Independence Day, The Glory, 1492, Lord of the Rings, Gettysburg ... I could go on and on)). Sadly, you don't seem to have any appreciation for them. I would appreciate it you would stop ripping him to shreds.

    I did like Timmy's "An American in Paris." I still maintain that quads are not everything, and too much has been made of them at the expense of other elements in a balanced program.
  22. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    That might be true on its own, or when you compare his jumps to Bowman or Petrenko, but absolutely not true when comparing them to Wylie's which at most times barely left the ground.

    Neither skaters were blessed with the jumps especially 3/3s but Mitchell could do clean jumps and combinations whereas Wylie could not even pull off a non-shaky 3toe2toe at most times.

    One thing that killed Mitchell was possibly his less ambitious layout. Wylie was attempting 2 3axels and 2 3lutzes then even if he didn't have the 3loop.
  23. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but when during Eldredge's career was there this huge opening at the top for him to take advantage of. In his younger years Petrenko and Browning ruled with an iron grip and when the skating became a splatfest at the 92 Games he was hurt. In 93 and 94 he went through his own slump which most athletes go through at some point. From 95-98 Stojko was a killer competitor, athlete, and technical skater, who rightly or wrongly was enormously respected by judges (despite his beliefs at the time), fans, skating experts, during the time and was very hard to beat. Kulik and Urmanov on their day were almost unbeatable even if they inconsistently had those days. Then in his later year prime Yagudin and prime Plushenko, nuff said.

    The year a big opening did come for him to win Worlds in 1996 he took it. He didnt really have any other opportunities to be honest. His only real opportunity to win an Olympic medal was 98 and unfortunately everyone had a bad day and his came on the wrong one.
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  24. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Impressive accomplishments - but if you put things into context, he couldn't even beat Stojko at most times :wall:

    Balanced skating is very important but his skating is so monotonous and he never bothered to express the beat or tone of the music. He was worse than Totmanina there. (and I would put Wylie in the same category, but on a higher artistic level - Wylie had great moves and attention to detail but his programs are all the same like Eldredge)

    I would take a no-world-title Bowman over Eldredge in a second. And Mitchell. And Weiss. And Savoie. And Jahnke.
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  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    He couldnt beat Stojko since the judges wouldnt let him barring something miracelous. At the 98 Grand Prix final Eldredge skated cleanly and the judges still placed him behind Stojko even falling on his quad attempt. At the 97 Grand Prix final Stojko landed a quad but fell on a triple axel, stepped out of a triple loop, and was still placed over a clean Eldredge. At the 95 Worlds both had a fall and no quad, and Eldredge through in his 2nd triple axel after falling on it, and he still couldnt beat Stojko. Both skated cleanly in the short program of the Olympics and Stojko was again placed ahead. It is not his fault the judges viewed Stojko so highly that even a quadless Stojko was rated higher than a clean Eldredge.
  26. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Really? The Bach program was the same as "Mission Impossible" and "Schindler's List" and and and . . . :D I realize Paul reused a lot of the same moves, but to say his programs were all the same is to stretch the truth to the breaking point.
  27. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    There you go.

    And to be honest he had what it took to win an Olympic medal in all the Olympics he went to.

    In 1992, the bronze would have been within reach or even silver, especially since everyone skated poorly.

    In 1998, he could go as high as silver when Stojko was injured, Yagudin was sick and Urmanov couldn't even skate.

    In 2002, if he didn't go for the quad in the sp and went for a clean sp instead with a 3/3, he would have been in medal contention and probably beat Goebel the way he did at 2001 Worlds.
  28. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Most of his competitive programs left the same impression yes.
  29. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Todd could have if he had ever been INNOVATIVE and pushed the sport, and the 1991 World Bronze was a freakin engraved invitation to the top of the sport.

    Of course, I actually like what you describe, :respec:, because it only highlights that he received far more attention than due for only doing the minimum expected.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  30. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I dont think he was going to beat Goebel at the 2002 Games even if he skated his best. Goebel did not all 3 of his quads at the 2001 Worlds, he missed one in the LP which helped Todd take the bronze. Goebel's presentation had also improved since the 2001 Worlds. At the Nationals when he lost to Todd he only made 1 quad I believe. At the Grand Prix final that year Todd skated as well as he possibly could minus a fall on the quad attempt in the last free program and couldnt beat Goebel.

    92 I would agree if he were healthy but he wasnt. The short he would have been 2nd or 3rd without falling on the double axel near the end. However I dont think he could have skated a strong enough long program to win a medal at that point in time.

    98 I agree he could have easily won the silver but I think that was his only clear opportunity.
  31. Verbalgirl77

    Verbalgirl77 is silently judging you

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    You don't see the thematic similarities between La Valse and Touch Me? A song that's a tribute to a waltz and a song about blackjack? Open your mind yo.

    Seriously, we're talking about the skater that made me a diehard figure skating fan in the first place, so I can't really be objective but...really? I wish a lot of today's skaters displayed the same "sameness" that Paul allegedly showed during his career.
  32. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    He really needed to capatilize on his 91 bronze and make a push to the top then and there while other hungry young pretenders were close behind him. Instead after his injuries in 92 legtimately hampering him he let himself slide off course for awhile and allowed guys like Stojko and Urmanov to reach the top before him and get the clout and recognition as the new leaders of the next generation. I think that is what hurt him the most. Even when he won his World title I dont think he was ever considered the dominant skater out there.

    In a way it is hilarious to think that Nancy Kerrigan of all people who was in a similar situation as the 91 World bronze medalist did a far better job of capatilizing on her new window of opportunity (competitively speaking) in many ways in the preceding years despite her failure to win a World/Olympic title than Todd himself did. Despite her critics and consistency issues she atleast scraped through decent enough performances to capatilize when Harding or Ito fell apart, and set herself up as the one to beat after Kristi's retirement, won 2 Olympic medals, and apart from the 93 Worlds managed to still stumble her way through to medals that were available to her.

    And yes he was kind of boring too, despite his excellent fundmentals as a skater. And yeah he probably does get alot more attention than he deserves for someone who was never close to a dominant skater. He won his World title in a year he didnt even win Nationals, was 3rd at one of his Grand Prix events won by Zagarodniuk, and was dead last or 2nd last at the Grand Prix final I think.
  33. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    I agree he didn't have a ton of opportunities but he did also have a big opportunity to win a second World title in 1998, since the top 3 didn't show up. Nevertheless he had a big mistake in the short (I think he fell on a jump) which gave Yagudin the World title, even though Eldredge won the freeskate.

    I don't really have a problem with Todd getting the spot, assuming he felt he was healthy enough (although the media certainly didn't extend the same courtesy for MK, who helped the US get 3 spots for the 2006 Olympics and the media practically had a meltdown when she "stole" Emily's Olympic spot).
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  34. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I forgot about the 98 Worlds. Definitely a huge chance blown there. What a watershed year on his career. He could have been an Olympic silver medalist and 2 time World Champion rather than 0 time Olympic medaliast and 1 time World Champion.
  35. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    I don't even think Eldredge deserved his world title.
  36. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    You can say the same about Evan. :p

    The difference between the two is that Evan came in at a time when quad mattered less, and that jump was what Todd never conquered.

    Had Todd competed post-2006 he could have been as successful as Evan.
  37. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer Kulik to Eldredge but he did not deserve to win that night. His Alladin program was immature, and he made a key mistake when he aborted the 2nd triple-triple combo (Eldredge had done two, as had Galindo, Stojko had done a quad) and then repeated the triple flip twice neither in combination. The funny thing is even if he had placed only 4th in the long program he would have still won silver overall that night, but no way did he deserve 1st in the long program and the win that night. It was great to see him actually skate well at a World Championships for once but his program and performance just werent strong enough that night to win. Had he duplicated his Centennial On Ice performance he probably would have won even with that cheesy Alladin number.
  38. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I dont the quad neccessarily matters less now so much. It is just the mens field is weak (as far as top end quality/consistency goes) and there are hardly any men landings quads with any consistency in addition to the other jumps, with some semblance of good programs and overall skating to go with it. Hence why guys can win without the quad. The best guy doing a quad and consistently landing other jumps today is Plushenko who is 27 year olds, has gone through multiple surgeries, and is a shadow of the skater he used to be, and still would have won the Olympics with one less shaky landing or one slight jump layout revision. I dont think you would see any of the performances from the 2008 Worlds, 2009 Worlds, 2010 Olympics, 2010 Worlds, apart from possibly Buttle's winning performances in 2008 and probably Takahashi's winning performance from the 2010 Worlds even on the podium at say the 2001 Worlds, 2002 Olympics, or 2004 Worlds. If you had Plushenko near his prime, Takahashi a bit more consistent, Lambiel a bit more consistent, you would never see quadless winners and even very few medalists, especialy amongst the current crop.
  39. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    8 of 9 Olympic Medalist at the 1992, 1994, and 1998 Olympic Games earned there medals without a quad and a majority did not even have clean programs.

    At the 2002 Olympics, Todd's technical content was dated, which should have been expected since he was 31 years old.

    If Todd had been a real competitor, then he would have been doing the 4T at 21 years old, 3 years after it had been introduced to competition, rather than at 31 years old, when skaters were doing 2 kinds of quad in one program.
  40. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    The point is that sometimes successes have to do with timing and luck. Evan, without a consistent quad, thrived at a time when it wasn't a mere jumpfest, but his fate could have turned out differently in a different era, say, in 2002. Todd could beat Elvis in an era when judges are looking beyond the jumps.