Retrospective: The 1992 Olympics

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    Thank you; that's interesting. What happened in 93? Did they obtain citizenship etc.?
  2. Minou

    Minou Member

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    There's an interview with Paula Zahn where she asks Mishkutenok (raised in Minsk) and Dmitriev (born in Ukraine) about nationalities and they express respectively, "I am Russian," and "Saint Petersbourg is my home now." Grishuk and Platov have Ukranian roots and names. However, I think they spoke Russian as a first language in an Odessa with stronger ties to Russia than one finds farther west in Ukraine.

    On a shallow level, I always think of Albertville as the cute Russian boys Olympics -- Dmitriev, Pomonarenko, Platov, and Petrov. Maybe it should be Ukranian. These are all Ukranian names ...?
  3. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    Ponomarenko is a Ukrainian name but I think Sergei was born and raised in Kazakhstan. I wouldn't be surprised if he had some Kazakh heritage.
  4. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    Re Slipchuk:
    Slipchuk didn't make the Canadian team in 88, although he did compete at 87 Worlds the year before (and at each of 89 through 92 Worlds). Neil Patterson beat out Slipchuk for the third spot in Calgary.

    Browning and Slipchuk both trained out of the Royal Glenora in Edmonton, but had different coaches - Browning was with Michael Jiranek and I'm pretty sure Slipchuk was with Jan and Cynthia Ullmark. There's a cute story in Kurt's autobiography about the first time he met "Slipper" as Kurt called him where Slipchuk went up to Kurt and said something like "Hi, I'm Mike Slipchuk and I can do a double lutz, what can you do?"...Kurt couldn't do a double lutz at the time and felt a little bit intimidated by the very confident little guy with the coke-bottle lens glasses. Slipchuk also coached out of Calgary (at the Glencoe club) for several years before becoming the high performance director...I'm struggling to think of who some of his skaters might have been, but he had some reasonably successful skaters at the national level. I believe he coached Courtney Sokal in 2001 when she finished 2nd in junior ladies behind Joannie Rochette (and actually beat Rochette in the free skate), but no one else is coming to mind.

    The skating moment I remember most about Slipchuk was him getting a nosebleed in the middle of the short program en route to his 92 Canadian title (Browning was injured, but it was a pretty big deal to beat Stojko who was heavily favoured to win after Browning's withdrawal). I think it's the only time I've seen a program stopped for that reason. I did really like his Stray Cat Strut SP from both 90 and 91 Worlds.
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  5. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    This is interesting; I'd forgotten Dmitriev was Ukrainian. So how did it work after 92? Were M/D and G/P given the choice who to skate for? Or were they told? Did they get , or already have, Russian citizenship?
  6. Eeyora1

    Eeyora1 New Member

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    I am pretty sure I can recall Platov being listed as Ukrainian at least one year in the Champions on Ice program but I think this is when he skated with Usova as a pro who was Russian.
  7. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Wasn't there something funny about her combination? I seem to recall that there was some kind of step between the two jumps or something similar.

    No more disastrous than Midori's. In fact, I think she should've been ahead of Midori for attempting a more difficult jump.

    She also did more than enough to beat Nancy in the FS. ;)

    Incidentally, does anybody remember what jumps Chen Lu landed in her programs? Not that long ago, some folks on here even thought she should have medaled.
  8. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Didn't know that. All the more interesting that she referred to her fellow countrywoman as a cree-minal. ;)
  9. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Did Harding actually beat Kerrigan in the free but was too far behind to beat her overall? That would be much more acceptable.

    Chen skated rather well in the free and landed 6 triples, including 2 lutzes and one of every other triple bar the axel. Her opening lutz was funky but she pretty much held it together and kept it clean. Her last jump was supposed to be a 3toe but she popped it and turned it into a 2toe 2 flip sequence which she stepped out off - this was in the final seconds of her program. She also displayed a detailed program with good choreography, if only marred by subpar spins and a lack of finesse.
  10. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    No, but what I was getting at is that she should have. A total joke.

    Thanks, Marco. Was she clean in the SP too? If so, sounds like she should've won the bronze.
  11. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Lu Chen ? Not perfectly clean : step out on the 2Flip. The combo was good but small, and the final 2Axel good but, she looked tired at the end.
  12. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    I would have Lu Chen 3rd in the LP.
  13. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    Even though Harding didn't even do the second jump of the combination? From what I remember back then, just doing the second jump of the combination (even if it actually wasn't in combination per se due to an error between the jumps) was still given credit for at least fulfilling the requirement. I also felt that Midori had stronger spins, stronger choreography, and had a much better program overall.
  14. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    I also would've put Lu Chen in 3rd in the LP.
  15. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Thanks, Brian. OK, so it seems that in the SP she could have been as high as 4th, or as low as maybe 8th. So if she finished 3rd in the LP, Tonya 4th, and Nancy no higher than 5th, she might well have won the bronze.

    Some folks say Nancy was robbed in '94. I think a better term is payback. ;)
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  16. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Did Midori complete the second jump? I don't remember Scotty saying anything about that when comparing the two, but he isn't the world's greatest commentator. ;)

    What would be the point difference?

    I'd have to go back and watch the programs, but I generally thought Tonya had better presentation than Midori. Of course, this was a SP, so spins, etc., could certainly make the difference.

    Anyway, regardless of how the programs should have been scored, I think reputation played the biggest role in the difference in their scores, just as it did with Nancy vs. Tonya in the LP.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  17. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^ I think that a Midori v. Tonya analysis of the '91 - '92 SP is intriguing. Both had essentially the same jump layout - 3x-2t, 2flip, 2x at the end of the program. I personally think Tonya had an edge over Midori on spins (except maybe the back sit - Tonya's position wasn't that great), neither had a great spiral position, but Midori probably had packaging that was more acceptable to the judges, which may have given her an edge on the 2nd mark. I think some of that came from the choice in music
  18. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Thanks for the info, olympic. IOW, Midori was more conservative, and Tonya was pushing the envelope a bit too much, so the former style was better rewarded. Sounds pretty typical of skating judging, doesn't it? ;)
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  19. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Chen was pretty much a newbie then. She was going to have squeeky clean in the short to be in the final group.
  20. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^It sure does.

    Another intriguing factor is Compulsory Figures. I often wonder what the podium would've looked like, who would've competed, and who would've stuck around until '92 if they had kept Compulsory Figures until then, instead of eliminating them in '90.

    It always seemed weird to me that they didn't end Figures at the conclusion of the '92 season. It just seemed like a natural end point. Plus, it would've given a group of skaters strong in Figures a fighting chance to shoot for the '92 Olympics.

    BTW, who were the strong Figures skaters in this era? - I think Jill Trenary, Patricia Neske, Natalia Lebedeva, Joanne Conway, maybe someone like Marina Kiehlmann or Evelin Grossmann?

    Of the 'big 4' - Tonya was better at figures than Kristi, Midori and Nancy, way better than someone like Surya. Tonya may have been quite the skating phenomenon, dominating in Figures (at least over the strong free skaters) and being a tech rival to Midori in the SP and LP (of course, personal life choices come into play, too)
  21. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    If I've ever seen the list of SP deductions as it existed in 1992, it was ~20 years ago, before the changes made ca. 1994.

    Here's the list as it existed in 2000: http://www.sk8stuff.com/f_rules/isu_short_program_deductions.htm

    There's no difference specified between falling on the first jump of the combo and then doing the second jump vs. falling on the first jump and not doing the second jump. In practice judges may have considered the difficulty and quality of the second jump, not to mention its actual existence, in setting their base marks, but leaving it out doesn't seem to have been a mandatory deduction.

    I think that in 1992 the deduction for falling on the first jump, or on a solo jump or spin, was 0.5, lowered to 0.4 ca. 1994.
  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Had figures still been in place Harding would have had a much better chance at the 92 Olympics. Then again she had a good chance even as it was and showed up not properly trained, and could have won it given the way Kristi and Midori both skated had she skated to her potential even with no figures, but had she not felt like she needed to do the triple axel in the short program for instance (or even the long perhaps) things still could have been different even not showing up fully prepared.
  23. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Regarding Ito and Harding in the 92 short program I think some of the factors were:

    1. Even if the rule didnt specify a difference between doing a 2nd jump in the combo after a fall or not, the judges much prefered you did one.

    2. Harding was never a judges favorite and had to work for all she got. Ito in her prime years deserved all her success of course, but she generally was well liked by the judges as well.

    3. The judges were probably unimpressed Harding tried the triple axel in the short after crashing and burning on it all week in pratice and so probably gave her no extra credit at all for trying the jump vs Ito, Yamaguchi, and Kerrigan who didnt. In fact they probably were more impressed with Ito's choice to try a safer jump, even though it didnt work out for her. One of the Harding books that came out around the time said it best, "if a skater isnt landing the jump, has never landed the jump, but tries it anyway and falls, the judges are more likely to roll their eyes and mark a fall with a harsher hand." Tonya of course had landed the triple axel but she hadnt been that week and the judges were probably unimpressed to see her try it when unneccessary in the short and fall on it.

    4. Harding was skating to music called sex something.

    5. Harding had been skating poorly in practice the whole time since she arrived. There was alot of talk of why she showed up so late. Some judges probably made her an afterthought in their minds by the time the event began, even though she came in as one of the favorites. When she fell it only reinforced it.
  24. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    The name of Harding's SP music was 'People are still having Sex'. Pretty voidy stuff generally, but especially voidy for an American skater!
  25. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    . . . and still much better sounding than Disco Classical circa 1979 or circa 2005 :rolleyes:
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  26. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it made much difference to the podium. Ito won her World title while figures were still around. Kristi & Ito were pretty even in Compulsory Figures (9th & 10th in 1990). I doubt figures would have made any difference in the outcome between those two.

    The only real major players who retired before 92 were Leisner and Trenary. Claudia Liesner had been competing at Worlds since 1981 and IMO she stuck around one extra year after Calgary to improve her final results. I think it was obvious that neither of them had the jumps to compete with Yamaguchi and Ito. Neither did a 3 Lutz nor a reliable 3 Flip. The years between 88 and 92 were a real watershed for Ladies skating. I think both these skaters had to recognize they were from the old generation and simply could not compete with the new. (Officially, though, I think Trenary's retirement was attributed to an injury.)

    If you look at the jump content between the 88 and 92 podiums, the difference is striking. In 88, Thomas' 3T-3T was considered a big deal. Witt won with her hardest triple being a 3Loop (she doubled a planned 3F). By the time the 92 Olympics came around, two ladies had landed triple Axels at Worlds and Kristi was reliably landing 3Lz-3T. Basically, the jump content for the top ladies has hovered around that same level for 20+ years. The difference is then we were talking about the best 2 skaters, today there more skaters with jumps at that level.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  27. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    Don't think figures would have made a difference in the 1992 Olympic result. The ladies who were best in figures that were still around were Patricia Neske,Joanne Conway and Željka Čižmešija, but even had Figures been still around and worth 20%, their OP and FS results would have dropped them far back. The wildcard may have been Tonya Harding had she performed even slightly better in the OP + FS.
  28. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Perhaps having figures in Albertville could have altered the outcome, but I think Seerek's analysis is correct and figures would have made no difference. It could have given Ito some edge over Yamaguchi, but it seems unlikely given Ito's nerve issues. The figures might have helped Tonya win bronze over Nancy, but this also seems unlikely because the judges could play with the SP and FS ordinals to get results they wanted. But how were Nancy's figures? I see that Yamaguchi beat her in figures at the 1988 Nationals. And what about Surya's?

    I assume that Kristi's low to bad placements in figures in 89 and 90 were partly related to her knowing that figures would be gone by 92. My guess is that from 1988-1990 Kristi concentrated on her jump arsenal knowing that 91 would be her breakout year in singles. Around the 1990 Goodwill Games, she said that she was ahead of where she planned to be internationally at that time. From this I gather her plan was to hold figures steady but not sweat about improving them. If figures had been part of the game for 92, I believe she would have found ways to improve them from 1988 onward. She clearly would have needed to because Ito had a disastrous figures in the 1990 Worlds (finishing 10th), and still Yamaguchi placed only one ordinal ahead of her (9th).
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  29. Maofan7

    Maofan7 pacem dare occasionem

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  30. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Of course. I was just discussing what the skating merited, not what I actually expected the judges to allow. :)
  31. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Of course! This was the era of :wuzrobbed: but that was okay because the media explained it away as the skater was unartistic.
  32. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    I agree.

    It's a shame that Tonya wasn't awarded the silver medal at '89 Nationals, and thus stayed home for Worlds. It's also a shame that she was really sick at '90 Nationals--she probably should have withdrawn, but I guess she knew she had no chance then. She could easily have won a medal at '90 Worlds (and maybe even '89 Worlds), if not the whole thing. And she might well have won '91 Worlds if figures had still been in place. Yes, I think they should have kept figures until the conclusion of the cycle. Tonya was definitely unlucky in that regard. Then again, the judging of figures was often suspect, so who knows what they would have done with Tonya in that segment at the Olympics. ;)
  33. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Thanks for the helpful info.
  34. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Horrible! To have so much talent that you could actually demonstrate, but, after performing it, the authorities say otherwise because you happen to not be their type of person.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  35. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    That was unwise to attempt the triple axel in the SP. Did anybody tell her? The only way it would have made sense is if Nancy and Kristi had both skated first (and, as they did, cleanly), and then she skated before Midori. Does anybody remember the actual starting order?

    Of course, here are some things to think about:

    a) If Tonya had skated cleanly in the SP (with the 3A), would she have won the SP? I wouldn't bet on it.

    b) If Tonya had nailed the 3A in the LP and the rest of her jumps hadn't been two-footed, would she have won the LP? I rather doubt it. In fact, I wouldn't be totally surprised if she had finished 3rd in the LP.

    Probably. And of course, it's all about what they like. :)

    True.

    Definitely. Maybe her coach told her not to but she just didn't listen.

    :lol: Actually, only the title of the music was risqué--the music itself (without the lyrics) was not. Still, though, Tonya should have known better.

    That's also true. IOW, the judges weren't marking strictly what they witnessed on the ice. ;)
  36. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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  37. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Well, even without the figures, she finished 4th. Figures could only have helped her. And maybe if she had a decent cushion after the figures, she wouldn't have bothered with the 3A in the SP.
  38. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Well, she most certainly would have tried. How much she would have succeeded, who knows.

    Of course, if Kristi had spent time on figures post-1990, she wouldn't have been able to devote as much practice to the jumping. Obviously, that's true for the other skaters as well.

    I guess what it all boils down to is: Winning a competition is often relative. Under different rules/circumstances, the outcome might have been totally different. So, it's always important to look at the entire career of an athlete instead of just looking at one result, or just counting their major titles. Furthermore, as Carol Heiss once said, a gold medal won't make you happy for the rest of your life. And as Barbara Underhill pointed out to Kurt Browning, losing a competition, no matter how painful, doesn't compare with losing a child. So, when you keep all these things in mind, I guess who won what and who placed where--while it's all fun to talk about--doesn't really mean that much in the overall scheme of life. :)
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  39. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Yep. :( If you're unconventional, and especially if you're a woman, competitive skating might not be the best sport for you. ;)
  40. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    This is especially true now that all the programs are encouraged to look alike.