Retrospective: The 1992 World Championships

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    Not only that but Sergei Ponomarenko is one of the greatest technicians of all time. At first, he was significantly better than she was but as she developed, she began to match his level. i think he should go down as one of the greatest ice dancers of all time. I can't believe there are people out there that think she was 'dragging' him around.

    Even if U/Z hadn't fallen, they didn't deserve to come anywhere close to K/P. Not only were they not as technically proficient but their content didn't come anywhere close. Even a young and developing G/P had far superior content in their programs.
     
  2. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    To add to that, I'm re-watching K&P's 1987 Worlds FD and Scott Hamilton mentions that Sergei Ponomarenko is probably considered the best male ice dancer in the world.

    I'm not as proficient as I'd like to be WRT the technical side of ice dance, and I love G&P and their voidy FD that year, but for me, U&Z's Four Seasons free dance was simply sublime.
     
  3. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Um...Sergei Ponomarenko is probably one of the best male ice dancers of all time, and K/P's choreography utilized both dancers (which was a welcome change after Bestemianova/Bukin).

    Maybe you're confusing Marina Klimova with Paul Duschenay who really used Isabelle as a prop in almost all of their choreography...or maybe even Sasha Zhulin who would literally drag Maya Usova in their their choreography. See 1991 Worlds FD.
     
  4. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    Yeah, Ponomarenko was the first male ice dancer to break out of the mould of just presenting the lady. Look at Alexei Gorshkov, Gennady Karponosov, Andrei Minenkov, Andre Bukin, etc and they basically were just props for their partners. Sergei was an extraordinarily strong skater and technician. Almost all the male skaters in Dubova's group were like Zhulin and Platov.
     
  5. duane

    duane New Member

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    And then, there would be a 5-year drought before a female champion would land a 3/3 in the FS.
     
  6. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    Yo, Christopher Dean, maybe?? I'm not saying Jayne was just a prop, but Chris was the one who riveted my attention.

    I loved U/Z because of their lines and elegance, but I agree. Nobody at the 92 Olympics or Worlds was in the same league as Klimova/Ponomarenko (not even the Duchesnays). There was such completeness to their free dance especially. I also agree about the technical difficulty of Usova-Zhulin vs Grishuk/Platov. I didn't notice it so much in 92 because of the presentation gap, but at 93 Worlds I remember being glad U/Z won because I loved that dance, but thinking that G/P's dance looked a lot more complex and difficult.
     
  7. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    Sorry, meant to say that Ponomarenko was the first Soviet male ice dancer. Forgot to mention the word Soviet.

    As steamy as U/Z's Blues FD was that year, that program was far too simple for my tastes in terms of the choreography. I definitely liked G/P's blues better (choreographed by the great Shanti Rushpaul who also did K/P's 92 FD). But they didn't help themselves with a lift that looked illegal to me (his arm was lifting Oksana above his shoulders) and at least one illegal separation. I still would've given them first though.
     
  8. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Apparently 6 judges were suspended for placing G&P as high as 2nd in the FD of the 93 Worlds. So for those who say the judges werent fussy about their programs that year, the ISU was even less so.
     
  9. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    Even with the illegalities, I still would've had G/P in first or second at the 93 worlds. I definitely would've had the Finns in 3rd. One team who I thought should've been higher was Navka & Gezalian. They were 9th but should've been top 5 IMHO.
     
  10. Nours

    Nours Active Member

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    That's true... for three months. I always hear this story as a fact even though it was only a political plot which didn't last long. I have the officials publications made by ISU from the IOC archives. It says six judges were indeed suspended : Liliana Strechova, Marie Lundmark, Eric Couste, Irina Nechkina, Ljudmila Mikhailovskaya, Eleanor Curtis. Demmy suspended them on the 12th of June after a meeting on the 10th with the technical commitee. The reason was at first their judging at 1993 World dance event. But their judging at Euros was in question too (it was almost the same panel). The IDTC lead by Kunz (and the referee at the 93 worlds dance event) also made a recommendation to the nationals associations the judges were from in order theses judges not to be sent at 1994 OG (and IMO, this was as big as a matter for them as the suspension was). All the judges suspended made an appeal and were outraged by the decision. Their meeting and hearings were held in Zurich from the 10th of september to the 12th. Except :

    "DECISION
    1. The Appeals made by Mrs Strechova, Mrs Lundmark, Mr Couste, Mrs Nechkina, Mrs Mikhailovskaya and Mrs Curtis are accepted.
    2. The decision of the I.S.U. Council from June 12th, 1993 regarding their suspension from November 1, 1993 till March 31, 1994, is cancelled.
    3. This decision is final immediatelly.
    4. All sanctions taken in consequence of theses suspensions should be recinded.

    From the abund nt record in these appeals, the AC has identified the following importants events and facts : [...]
    2. An event review meeting was conducted by the Referee, Mr Kutschera and the Assistant Referee, Mr Kunz, (Rules 335 and 340, para 5). The individual judges marks were not questioned at this meeting. Because there were no questions, the individual judges were not required to explain any supposed deviations on their cards as foreseen in the rules. General remarks were made to the whole panel regarding some overmarked and some undermarked couples, especially from overseas. Further comments were made for the future improvement of the Ice Dancing. No explanation sheets were given to the judges regarding the top five skating couples. No criticism was expressed concerning the final result.
    3. The Referee did not ask any of the appellants for a written explanation within one month after the event. (Rule 345, para.3).
    4. In the Referees Report (Rule 345) all the appellants were rated only "fair" in all parts of the event (except Strechova, for Original Dance only, was rated "good") on the Judging Report form."Fair" is the category above "poor" and below "good" on this form.
    No copies of the Judging Report were sent to any of the appellants (Rule 345, para.5b) even though they were all assessed by the Referee to be in the category closest to "poor", that is "fair", which appears to be comparable to "mediocre" according to the Regulations.
    5. The Judging Report refers to some "striking differences" in the placing of each judge (except Strechova for OD). Other paper in the same report, i.e. classification lists, do not show any "striking differences". No witness, including Mr Kunz, could identify any "striking differences".
    [...]
    7. The Minutes of the IDTC meeting at Wurtzburg (prepared by C. Jones and confirmed to the AC as correct by W.Kunz) contain the following important text :
    "Mr. Felli, of the International Olympic Committee, has expressed the concern of the I.O.C. that the Free Dance programmes are very much show-oriented and that the protocol rarely changes throughout the event. The Committee discussed this at length and noted the concern raised.
    In view of the above the Committee recommended that drastic action be taken and it was decided, unanimously, to recommend to the Council that the following actions be taken :
    THAT the following six judges should not officiate at the forthcoming Olympic Games because of their placings for Gritschuk-Platov and Rahkamo-Kokko throughout the event. If agreed by the Council the a Press Release should be issued regarding the matter as well as appearing in a Circular Letter from the ISU office" (Underlining added)"

    Follows a lot of considerations about the violations made in order to suspend the judges by the IDTC and how it was impossible for them to suspend the judges only for one event (1994 OG). Only one major fact stands out : "This is shown by the suspension of L. Strechova who, to Mr Kunz surprise, recorded placings of 2,2,4 and 2 for the couple G-P. Mr Kunz thinks the inclusion of L. Strechova must be a mistake."
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  11. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    So I was right and judges were initially suspended for placing G&P too high. Frankly I think that is absurd, as G&P were atleast the 2nd best team of the event by far. I actually liked their 93 work much more than their 94 work, even if nobody else apparently did. What on earth would be the controversy about their OD placing, there was no borderline illegal moves or controversial moves in that like the FD. I think the suspensions if any should have been for the two judges who ridiculously placed Krylova & Fedorov FIRST in the FD over U&Z (and G&P). I wouldnt have even had them on the podium at that event, they were way overrated, and it was proven a year later with their huge drop in the rankings.
     
  12. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I don't get how Krylova/Fedorov places so high. Their FD was straight out of 1980 and why did they reuse that FD in 1994? Ice Dance is the one discipline where it's never ok to repeat programs.
     
  13. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    I agree. They surely looked like second best to me. What is especially bizarre is that they deemed the majority of the panel to be out of line, which kind of contradicts the whole "majority rules" premise of the ordinal scoring system. It wasn't unusual in those days for the second best team in Russia to also be the second best team in the world, so there was nothing obviously out of whack here.

    I had always heard that judges were suspended for the bronze medal placing of Krilova/Fedorov in their first Worlds. It is interesting learn after all these years that it was really about Grushuk & Platov. IMO, it looks like a case of stogy old school taking revenge on judges with a different vision of ice dance. I didn't always like their dances, but G&P were amazingly strong technical skaters.

    I think there was also a school of thought that Rahkamo-Kokko were regularly undermarked in 93 & 94. Their programs always were very appealing so I suppose they had their advocates among judges and officials as well. But I can totally see why the suspensions were overturned. I mean, in a subjectively judged sport, it is hard to argue that 6 out of 9 judges got it so wrong they should be suspended. Usually their criteria for questioning judges involves being out of line with the majority, not agreeing with the majority. I wonder if maybe there was some unmentioned information about vote-rigging that really motivated this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  14. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    The 2 judges who had K&F 1st in the FD were among the 3 who had G&P 4th in the FD (the 3 who were never suspended and supposably judged correctly via the ISU), so the suspensions were obviously not based around K&Fs placement, although they probably should have been!

    Rahkammo & Kokko did lack difficulty unfortunately but their performances were still easily good enough for the bronze at the 93 Worlds IMO. In 1994 I thought they were undermarked in some places. In the FD at Europeans they finished 4th overall but 5th in that portion behind Moniotte & Lavanchy who fell and had another big trip. Yet at the Olympics it was them who fell and finished above a flawless M&L in the FD and overall. Talk about mixed signals. I thought they should have been 3rd in the Starlight Waltz at the Olympics over Torvill & Dean, 3rd in the Rhumba over Gritschuk & Platov. At Worlds I thought they definitely deserved higher than the bronze.
     
  15. Nours

    Nours Active Member

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    They had a Rock'n'Roll medley until Euros where they placed a disapointing 6th (compare to the previous year) and then switched back to their 93 FD. Krylova latter said Grishuk stole her idea of a Rock'n'Roll FD because G/P had another theme planned at first.

    The suspension was cancelled because of the rules violations by the IDTC. Sadly, I dont have the whole footage of the 1993 OD, it would be nice to have all the marks given. I remember being unimpressed with the OD that year, G/P and others. The OD from 1993 Euros is available at FSVIDS.net.
     
  16. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    One thing I also dont understand is why in 92-93 Usova & Zhulin were getting much higher technical marks than Gritschuk & Platov, often .2 average per judge even. The OD and FD (especialy FD) programs of G&P were generally much harder, and they executed them very well, and they also skated with more speed. They should have had atleast equal tech. marks, if not higher, everytime. The judges could have still used the presentation mark to put Usova & Zhulin in front if they wanted to, they didnt have to have higher tech. marks, which IMO were not warranted by that point.
     
  17. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    It was 5/4/24. I can't find that fd to see what happened that they could drop so much!
     
  18. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    Glad to hear others liked G/P's Blues FD. I'm fine with U/Z winning, but I'm still taken by the tone and difficulty of St. James' Infirmary.
     
  19. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    I loved both programs. I have no problem with U&Z winning, and I'm glad they got a world title, but I can see the argument for G&P being in first because of the difficulty of the dance.
    I also preferred St. James Infirmary to G&P's 1994 Rock n Roll FD. I also much preferred U&Z's Blues for Klook to their 1994 FD.
     
  20. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    The judges seemed to be giving them the thumbs down on their material that year. I wonder if the negative publicity surrounding the affair between Grishuk and Zhulin hurt their reputation. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, the judges were in their corner the following year.
     
  21. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    What do you mean 5/4/24? They were 24th in a segment?

    Wouldn't that be typical, to place the blame on the young woman, and not the MARRIED man engaging in the affair, sigh.

    As much as I love the FD from G&P, and would've placed it first (I would give U&Z the 1991 title), it did have connotations of domestic violence, and the ISU may have been hesitant to reward anything controversial in a pre-Olympic year, so as not to start a trend (see also, V&M's Carmen FD).
     
  22. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    What did people find controversial about V&M's Carmen?
     
  23. falling_dance

    falling_dance D. Murakami's Newest Fan

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    It appears that they finished 24th in the original dance at 1994 Worlds and then withdrew.
     
  24. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? You didn't notice pseudo-humping on ice and wonder why anyone thought that was a good idea?
     
  25. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if it was because their 1993 FD had long periods of separation which garnered a few deductions. There were more separations in St. James Infirmary than in their 1994 Rock n' Roll number (they were also longer).
     
  26. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for the info. I have been hearing this story for years, but could never heard any details beyond just the suspension.

    I could never understand why anyone could be suspended for G&P's placement, especially when K&F's seemed far more suspect, but from what it reads it just seems like there was some sort of anti G&P crusade going on behind the scenes.

    Wasn't this right after G&P left Dubova for Linichuk? :sekret:
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  27. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Another thing I often wondered, lost in the buzz about Torvill and Deans return and everyone following how they did, whether they won or not, was how after falling (or always being) way behind U&Z in the judges eyes until the 92-93 season were able to fly past them in the critical 93-94 Olympic season, denying them both the European and Olympic titles. Yes I know at Europeans that T&D won, then G&P and then U&Z, but U&Z were over T&D before G&P skated but G&P won the FD easily, but were too far behind to win themselves, but also switched the ordinals between U&Z and T&D and dropped U&Z down from 1st to 3rd. Then they denied them the Olympic Gold by 1 judge. I always wondered what made this possible. Was it:

    1. G&P really improved that much in just one season.
    2. The judges finally clued into G&P and their superior technical abilities vs U&Z and rewarded them, after seemingly being oblivious to it for 2 years. I would like to believe this, but I am too aware of all that went into ice dance judging at the time to believe this was the most likely reality.
    3. Oksana Gritschuk changed her look a huge amount in 1994, changing her hair totally, her whole on ice demeanor, and they suddenly just seemed more adulty and potential champion like as a result.
    4. Something happened in Russia that made U&Z lose their status as Russian #1 to G&P. Something the U&Z camp did that really pissed off some of the higher ups, or something else.
    5. U&Z were on such a massive decline with their marital spat and coaching problems and other issues, that they lost some of the very things that made them special in the first place (especialy their previously sensual on ice chemistry, and captivating programs, which they were still able to produce somewhat in 93, but almost none in 94) and made them vurnerable to being passed from behind.

    It is just super unusual due to politiks for a team that it was supposed to be the turn of to lose their #1 status to a younger and lower ranked Russian team out of nowhere, especialy in an Olympic year. Also I would have thought the Russians would prefer G&P to not win that year, so they would be certain to return for Nagano. U&Z were retiring anyway, so I figured the Russians would just try and get them the gold, and then send them off. As it was they initially retired after the 95 season, and then renegaded and came back, but they could have not had them for Nagano, while they would have been certain to have them had they not won.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  28. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Well, the other poster who answered you has the idea, though I would put it more delicately.

    Oh wow. I always thought they just didn't send a third team.

    IMO, their 1993 programs and skating were far more mature. I just think the 94 FD stood out so well in comparison to the other two FDs, being faster, trickier, fresher (T&D had recycled some moves)... they had reasons to mark them down (separations etc) too, but overall, it was probably some combination of a weak year, technique, and political considerations.
     
  29. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I remember showing my sister the top 3 1994 Dance teams and asking her who she liked the best without telling her who actually won. This was after I had explained the backstory behind Oksana Grishuk v. Zhulin and Maya Usova. Before I showed her the videos, she did not want Oksana Grishuk to win at all (even though I asked her why she didn't have as much animosity against Zhulin, and she said she did, but I noticed the difference in tone. This was possibly due to Maya Usova was the jilted wife and my sister didn't want to see her suffer). She also liked the story behind Torvill/Dean's comeback. However, after viewing all three, she grudgingly said that she thought Grishuk/Platov were way better than both U/Z and T/D. I guess the judges could've been in the same boat.
     
  30. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    One thing about Grishuk & Platov in 93-94 was that they showed up to the European Chps looking extremely fit and ready to compete. I remember British commentators were saying how fantastic they looked in practice and I'm sure judges were at those practices. And although their material that year was technically inferior to their programs in prior years, they looked really youthful, exuberant, and jazzy. Usova & Zhulin came up with material that was not well suited to them but I will say that their content greatly improved that year. That was probably the biggest reason why their speed and flow really seemed to cut down as they looked much slower relative to previous years. That was my biggest problem with both U/Z and T/D that year, their free dances made them look almost geriatric. That being said, i also had major issues with Grishuk & Platov's programs that year too. Their compulsories looked better than ever but the rhumba was dance that was not well suited to them and although their FD had moments of brilliance, those moments were not weaved together very well as there were too many open spots in the choreography. That's probably my biggest problem with Linichuk's choreography as she tends to emphasize parts or segments rather than the whole.