Retrospective: The 1984 Olympics

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely fell in love with pairs figure skating due to Barb and Paul's pro performances. To me many of their programs just cast a spell and transported me away to a happy place - I pretty much even forgot I was watching skaters - if that makes any sense.

    Perhaps you are correct and Valova & Vasilieev did wait too long to go pro, I hadn't thought of that. I just thought their programs were not in touch with North American sensibilities, and since that's the part of their professional career I got to see.... The audiences never seemed to relate to them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I thought after regaining their World title in 85 Valova & Vasiliev might have gone go pro, if not even after the 84 season. To me there was always a good chance they would find themselves overtaken by Calgary, even before much was known about Gordeeva & Grinkov. They never seemed destined to be the next Irina Rodnina, lets put it that way.
     
  3. Vash01

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

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    If not for G&G, Valova-Vasiliev could have defended their 1984 OGM. It's not like their performance dropped off dramatically; it was rather an extraordinary young pair appeared on the scene, and was embraced immediately by their fed and by others. V&V were first beaten by G&G in 1986(?) at their nationals because V&V made mistakes. I don't believe that's a good enough reason for them to retire at that point. I also don't think that V&V's skating style would have changed a whole lot if they had turned pro in say, 1985. I never cared for U&M's programs, and felt that they were often held up by the pro judges (winning technical programs with a throw SINGLE axel, for example). I don't believe that anything that V&V did as pros would have changed their marks. It was like B&B in ice dance- the pro judges who were mostly N.American never cared for their skating, although they should have, IMO because of B&B's creativity.
     
  4. Taso

    Taso Well-Known Member

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    ITA with everything here, except V&V first lost to G&G at Worlds in 1986 after they'd fallen apart in the second half of the long program - they'd beaten G&G in their previous meetings that season.
     
  5. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    I never paid any attention to pro competitions; I always think skaters didn’t take them as seriously, more like glorified exhibitions. Just as way to stay in skating without having to try as hard as eligible skaters. More tv fluff than anything.

    I think most skaters who where in the top five in the world the year before the Olympics have a great shot at a medal. If you look at the skaters who were 4th at Worlds in 2009, 2 out of 4 disciplines moved up to get the silver just like C/C. Five skaters who medaled at Worlds 2009 dropped to either 4 or 5th at the Olympics. But most stayed pretty close to where they were in the world rankings.
     
  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    If G&G had never emerged I wouldnt be surprised if S&M had become Russian #1 over V&V before Calgary. S&M were nearly beating V&V by the 85 Worlds, but then became afterthoughts when G&G emerged. Yes V&V began losing to G&G at first because they made mistakes (especialy when they lost the 86 Worlds), however once they were overtaken by them it was highly unlikely they were going to get back on top no matter what (I dont think even consider their win at the 88 Worlds over G&G as getting back on top, it was becoming World Champions again which was great, but it wasnt the main event that year, and I dont think it made them the #1 pair again). I just think it was risky for a team like them to stay in for a 2nd Olympiad. They werent such a dominant team they were likely to stay on top another 4 years after already winning Olympics, Worlds, Europeans. Even when they were winning most of the major events they had losses (83 Europeans, 84 Worlds) and many of their victories were hard fought.

    I do think they might have had a better pro career if they turned pro earlier. If for no other reason they would be coming in as big stars and that would have helped them, rather than coming into the pro ranks not as big of stars anymore after several years of being dominated by G&G, and U&M already firmly established as the pro judges favorites and C&C as the popular American entries at big pro events; then of course G&G soon turning pro as well.
     
  7. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad that many of the participants didn't share your view.
    Ask Boitano, Wylie, Gordeeva, and the Protopopov's; for example, (among others) who did some of their greatest programs in these Pro Competitions.

    A subject for another thread...
     
  8. Taso

    Taso Well-Known Member

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    I can understand what you are saying by them having a better pro career had they retired at their peak. However, Perestroika didn't begin in the USSR until 1985, so Soviet skaters didn't have the option to go join a foreign show yet without defecting. If the option had existed, I'm sure teams like Linichuk & Karponosov would've retired as soon as they won their Olympic title instead of hanging on and dropping in the standings. In 1985 Tarasova formed the All-Stars, which T&D joined, and they toured abroad in the summers. Actually, S&M skated with the All-Stars, as did I think Kondrashova, while they were still elligible. Bobrin's Ice Theatre started the next year, in 1986, and they also toured abroad. V&V were in the midst of their Olympiad at this point, and there was no precedent for a Soviet skater to go off and work for a foreign show or compete in a pro even. In fact V&V were the first Soviet pair (non-Protopopov, they defected) to get involved with foreign professional competitions at all!

    FYI, Selezneva & Makarov and V&V squared off four times in the 1984-85 season, and S&M actually won the first two outtings at Moscow News Cup and Soviet Nationals. Unfortunately, S&M shot themselves in the foot at Euros and Worlds that year with mistakes in their long programs after winning the sps. S&M never recovered politikally from becoming the Soviet number 3 team, whether they were screwing themselves with stupid mistakes or outskating everyone.

    *Interestingly, in dance in 1985K&P and B&B had the same exact results at Moscow News, Nats, Euros, and Worlds with the newer team winning at home and the more seasoned team abroad.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
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  9. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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  10. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Many but not all, obviously they appreciated the chance to skate after their eligible career was over and shows weren't as popular. Of course some are going to get better with age and experience but there was a big difference competing at the Olympics vs the World Pro competition. So some may have lost their competitive edge. But like you said...A subject for another thread.
     
  11. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that information. I hadnt really considered that.

    It sounds like 1985 was their window, they blew it, and they were never given a second chance. A shame, they were a quality team who had alot of interesting things to bring in their own right. I wonder how differently things would have panned out for them had they become World Champs that year.

    Wow so K&P had victories over B&B as early as the 84-85 season. I never knew this. It sounds like in both pairs and dance the Russian fed. was still trying to sort out who their #1 over the rest of the quad would be at that point.
     
  12. Vash01

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

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    You may have a point there. Had they (V&V)turned pro after 1985 worlds, they would have been recent OGM winners and current world champs and that might have helped them get high marks from the judges. The pro competitions judging was a joke even back then, although not as bad as it became later. Selezneva-Makarov were skating really well, but they had some bad luck in the late 1980's (I think she got sick just before the 1989 worlds, and they did not do well in the 1988 Olympics). I don't think S&M would have become USSR's #1 pair even without G&G and V&V. It would have been a wide open competition and the USSR was so strong at that time that another pair could have emerged. M&D came on the scene in 1989, and they were the real deal.
     
  13. Vash01

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

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    In the 1980s and 1990s the pro skating was really good. The judging was always subjective and biased, but the skating was great. Skaters actually had a future outside of eligible competitions and cheesefests. They took the pro competitions seriously. G&G, Paul Wylie, Kristi Yamaguchi, and several others created several masterpieces as pros. More recently the skaters are staying eligible much longer, probably because there are no serious pro competitions, and they can make money as eligible skaters too.
     
  14. pollyanna

    pollyanna playing the Glad Game

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    Yes it was. And it brought back skaters like John Curry, Toller Cranston, Janet Lynn, Dorothy Hamill, JoJo Starbuck & Ken Shelley, Norbert Schramm, the incredible Scott Hamilton - Robin Cousins matchups, Don Jackson, Babilonia & Gardner, Regoczy & Sallay, Torvill & Dean, Blumberg & Seibert, and as skatesindreams says, the Protopopovs, plus we got performances from great skaters like Katherine Healy who chose not to compete in the amateur ranks. For me, pro skating in the 1980s and early 1990s was every bit as amazing and fulfilling to watch as "amateur" skating.
     
  15. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    At times, even more so!
     
  16. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    :mad: SHHHHHHH ... I WANTED TO KEEP THESE VIDEOS OF WEAK MIDDLE AGED SKATER TO OURSELVES :revenge:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?=1&v=cPJfdTYIhcs

    Just look at them here ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?=1&v=WKSk0YVrRCQ

    ... And 15 years later, where was the darn wheelchair when they needed it ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qky5kw67nX4&feature=related

    BTW, I'm certain this skater could not have faired well in amateur competition with this program ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q637NhSOHpk&feature=related

    It certainly would have harmed her Olympic legacy if she were to have cut her Olympic Lp there and pasted that there.

    ... And imagine if she took something like this head to head with Michelle Kwan ....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWGTyPEdlXg
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  17. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    The pro competitions around 1995 were higher caliber than the amateur. In every event in fact:

    Pairs: Gordeeva & Grinkov, Bechke & Petrov, Brasseur & Eisler, Underhill & Martini >>> Kovarikova & Novotny, Shishkova & Naumov, Eltsova & Bushkov, Woetzel & Stuer. Kovarikova & Novotny botched their LP at Worlds and still won, in one of the major pro competitions that year if they skated like that they would have finished dead last. Comparing the amateur pairs to the pro pairs around then was a laugher.

    Men: Boitano, Petrenko, Browning, Wylie > Stojko, Eldredge, Candelero, Urmanov. Petrenko's winning performance from the Challenge of Champions was his best skate ever and would have easily beat Elvis at Worlds this year. Yet he wasnt even able to get an invitation to the World Pros this year after losing to Hamilton and Boitano at the Gold Championships. Candelero and Urmanov as they were skating this particular year and still regularly placing top 3 or 4 wouldnt have even been invited to any of the major pro events.

    Ladies: Ito, Yamaguchi, better than ever Sato > Chen, Bobek, Bonaly. Kristi at the Challenge of Champions was dropped to 3rd behind Ito and Sato by stumbling out of her 2nd triple lutz attempt. At the Worlds Pro Ito landed the triple axel and 6 triples in her technical program and still lost to Kristi. Bobek fell twice, turned out of another jump, badly flutzed her only lutz attempt, and took 3rd, and nearly 2nd at Worlds.

    Dance: Torvill & Dean, Klimova & Ponomarenko, Usova & Zhulin > Gristchuk & Platov, Rakhammo & Kokko, Moniotte & Lavanchy. G&P are the only ones who could have even survived amongst the former group.

    The amateurs were sure happy these silly pro events were around otherwise these skaters would have crash landed their podiums and left few, and quite possibly no survivors.
     
  18. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    It took until 1997 for the pros to truly catch up to the amateurs again, and even then definitely still not in pairs (the pro pairs were weaker by then but the amateur pairs were even worse than 1995). Finally in 1998 the amateur pairs caught up or surprassed the pro pairs.
     
  19. BackOnTheIce

    BackOnTheIce New Member

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    This argument is so tiresome. School figures for ALL skaters was the equivalent of barre work for ALL dancers (including modern/contemporary.) Dancers stand at the barre every damn day of their lives regardless of whether you are as accomplished as Nureyev/Baryshnikov/Fonteyn or a first year corps de ballet member. Reinforcement and practice of fundamentals on a daily basis is essential to a sound technique for a lifetime AND it was a very good warm up. :soapbox:
     
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  20. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    You have to take into account that the pros were only performing elements that they were good at. For example, how many pro pairs were attempting SBS 3toes or even 2A? Zilch! You hear people say how B&P or Kadavy was so much better as a pro than as eligble skater, etc. Well Karen was usually only doing one 3toe per program. B&P was doing SBS 2flip and throw 3sal, but they rarely had issues doing those during their eligible days.
     
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  21. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of Pros and the '84 Olympics together in this thread - It's too bad Denise Biellmann couldn't stick around until Sarajevo. She had a good chance of winning ... if she stayed vertical
     
  22. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Holiday on Ice, Europe, must have offered her an awful lot of $$$$!
     
  23. eurodance2001

    eurodance2001 Active Member

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    She has a good chance of winning TODAY if she could land her usual two toe loops and two salchows in combination in competition.. :lol:
     
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  24. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget about the lutz, and she was able to do a loop at one point
     
  25. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

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    I'm willing to meet you half way on this one.

    Kadavy for example usually attempted 5 triples with 2 3r, 2 3t and a 3s, but never iirc ever pulled. It off once. As a pro she usually tried 3 triple programs, abandoning the pesky 3s and could always at least land a 3r her most difficult triple and money jump.

    Similarly, kristi went from the 7 triple lp she usually tried and only once ever pulled off, to 5 triple tech programs, abandoning the pesky 3s and pretty much always landing the 3z her money jump.

    I know detractors love to act like pro skaters are lazy gits who quit all the hard stuff the day they turn pro, but it's not really true and it definitely IMHO does damage to all of skating to abuse the pros. $peedy killing off pro skating pretty much took eligable skating down with it, sooo :shuffle:
     
  26. matti

    matti Active Member

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    I got this impression that 3loop was the easiest triple for Caryn Kadavy, like 3flip and 3lutz were for Kristi Yamaguchi (well, excepting 3toe). Kay Thomson only could do 3lutz. And so on... It all so personal.

    BTW - I hate how mastering 3flip and 3lutz gives skaters unfair advantage, because they are so similar...artificial...less than spectacular... Vive Axel jumps! ;)
     
  27. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

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    They're not that similar, not in this context. Back in the day, you either had one or the other. I'm not sure anyone pre-hamilton/Ito actually had both.
     
  28. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    If we're talking about Lutz + Flip the only ones I could think off might have been Minoru Sano in the 1970s (landing both in 1977) and maybe Vern Taylor - Jan Hoffman had 3 lutz but no 3 flip