Retrospective: The 1992 Olympics

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

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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!
     
  5. 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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  6. 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
  7. 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.
     
  8. 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
  9. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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  10. 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. :)
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. 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. ;)
     
  13. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Thanks for the helpful info.
     
  14. 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
  15. 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. ;)
     
  16. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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  17. 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.
     
  18. 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
  19. 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. ;)
     
  20. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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

    neptune New Member

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    I went back and watched the two programs. I really don't think that Midori's spins, while very good, were any better than Tonya's overall. Her choreography and program perhaps seemed more "professional," and it was certainly a fine package overall. But I wouldn't call it mesmerizing. Especially at the end, the power faded away as Midori tried to seem "ladylike." Although the program itself was well done, was it the best vehicle for showing off Midori's power and jumps? I don't think so. Midori could have done much worse, of course, but I'm not sure the program particularly played to her strengths.

    OTOH, I think Tonya's program was definitely her. It may be have been a bit rough around the edges, and perhaps the choreography could have been improved, but the program as a whole was original and riveting. The energy never really let up, and I think it fit Tonya extremely well.

    As skating judges go, however, I could certainly understand why they would "get" Midori's program and not Tonya's. ;)
     
  22. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    One of my favorite programs from these games. So artistic and, who else does an entire footwork sequence on one foot? :eek:
     
  23. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    I can see where you're coming from. I personally didn't find Tonya's program to be riveting though so perhaps that was my problem.
     
  24. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    True. What I was thinking though is you may have seen a lot of dramatic movement in the standings between the CF, SP and LP which (for me) would've made for more dramatic TV viewing.
     
  25. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    David Liu gave the earliest, and IMO the best, example of one-foot step sequences that I'm aware of.

    I have seen one-foot sequences in competitive programs from Surya Bonaly, Dmitri Dmitrenko, Galina Maniachenko, Irina Slutskaya, and Rohene Ward.

    And exhibition programs from Brian Boitano and Alexander Abt.
     
  26. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    It's not necessarily a problem--we just probably have different tastes. I happen to like programs that have are rather unconventional and edgy, but that's not everyone's cup of tea. :) Perhaps you would like her SP from '93 better, or from another year.
     
  27. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    I also like unconventional programs. For example, I love Denkova & Staviski during their super-voidy days. But for whatever reason, that program (and most of Tonya's programs) have failed to capture my attention.
     
  28. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I found Midori's programs that year boring. It looked like she was trying to hard to compete with Kristi in artistry in the judges eyes that she almost copied her same style and programs, including the same Spanish themed short program as Kristi's long program. It definitely wasnt her best package.

    I actually really liked Tonya's short program that year, but the judges were probably offended by the music title. Her long program that year I didnt like as much with the bizarre and uncohesive music cuts and choreography, although I liked the first part, which she extended into a more cohesive theme for her long program the 14 months after the Games.
     
  29. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Tonya actually skated after Nancy, but well before Kristi and Midori. I guess I could a scenario she was worried the judges would place her 4th in the short behind Kristi, Midori, and Nancy, and she wouldnt be in mathematical position to win the gold simply by winning the long program, and maybe that is why she tried the triple axel combo. I really dont think the judges would have placed her below Nancy in the SP though. The judges knew Tonya was one of the favorites for the gold, and they knew Nancy wasnt really a threat for the gold that year, and they would have wanted the big 3 all in the hunt for the gold after the SP if possible. I know that goes against how they scored the LP where Nancy with more mistakes and less triples was still placed over Tonya by almost every judge, but the situation was totally different by then with one 2nd in the SP and in contention for the gold medal, and the other in 6th and almost out of medal contention.

    I wouldnt bet on it either, especialy as she skated early which would have held back her marks regardless. So really my guess is she would have ended up in the exact same place with either a triple axel combo done cleanly (2nd behind Kristi, 3rd if Midori skated well) or a triple lutz combo done cleanly (2nd behind Kristi, 3rd if Midori skated well). So definitely was never worth the risk in the SP, in the LP sure go for it.

    Here I disagree with you. If Tonya did her 91 Nationals or 91 Skate America LP, and been top 3 after the short, she would have for sure won the LP and the gold medal. With how Kristi and Midori skated they would have had no choice, and it would have been a scandal had she not won with a clean skate with the triple axel. Furthermore when she does skate cleanly with the triple axel the judges have shown they are willing to give her 5.9s and 5.8s even for artistic impression, if she has clearly outjumped her competitors (which she clearly would have done in this case). It is only when she doesnt hit the jumps that they really hit her hard on artistic scores.
     
  30. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    To beat your opponent, you have to focus on what you do well, not try to mimic what they do well. :) Kristi could easily out-"elegant" Midori, but no way she could out-"power" her.

    14 months? :huh: I didn't care for her LP at '93 Nationals, but maybe if she'd had a different outfit and had skated it better, I would have.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013