Retrospective: The 1993 World Championships

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Retrospective returns and moves onto the 1993 World Championships.

    The key facts in relation to these championships are:-

    • Kurt Browning regains the world title that he had lost the previous season. He had been hampered throughout the 1991/92 season with a back injury. He competed in only 1 major event prior to Worlds, Canadian Nationals, which he won. Moreover, his main competition for the World title was expected to come from his compatriot, Elvis Stojko, whom he had only narrowly beaten at Nationals. Nevertheless, Browning led after the short program and went on to retake the title by winning the free skate, earning one 6.0 for artistic impression (from the French judge) in the process for his Casablanca long program. Stojko took the silver medal.

    • Oksana Baiul had made a sensational international debut a few weeks earlier by finishing 2nd to Surya Bonaly at the European Championships. However, she reversed the result at the World Championships by beating Bonaly into 2nd place to take the World title. Prior to the competition, she had displaced disks in her back and neck when crashing into the boards during a pre-competition meeting with Katarina Witt. The blades on her skates were also crooked and it was too late to change to a new pair of skates, which Viktor Petrenko had bought her. Nevertheless, she decided to compete anyway. Bonaly and Nancy Kerrigan were the pre-competition favourites for the title. Kerrigan led after the short program, with Baiul 2nd and Bonaly 3rd. However, Kerrigan suffered a complete melt down during the free skate (finishing a lowly 9th in that section, to drop to 5th overall) and Baiul went on to win both the long program and the title with an excellent free skate (the only blemish being the lack of a combination, although she had produced a superb 3Z+2R combination in the SP). Bonaly finished 2nd overall and Chen Lu took the bronze medal.

    • With Natalia Mishkutenok and Artur Dmitriev having retired, Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler win the pairs competition, winning both the short and long programs decisively in the process.

    • The ice dance competition came down to a battle between 2 couples who would go on to become one of the fiercest rivals in figure skating history - Maya Usova & Alexander Zhulin, and Oksana Grishuk & Evgeni Platov. As a result of tensions between Grishuk and Usova, Grishuk left coach, Natalia Dubova's, group in 1992. Platov acquired a new partner, whilst Grishuk attempted to find a new one in Germany, before returning to her previous coach, Natalia Linichuk. Platov then decided to re-team with Grishuk in the Autumn of 1992, and they were then coached by Natalia Linichuk. Usova & Zhulin would go on to win the 1993 World title comfortably, winning every section of the competition (both compulsory dances, the original dance, and the free dance). However, the tide well and truly turned the following season, with Grishuk & Platov winning both the Olympic and World titles. Grishuk & Platov would go on to win 20 consecutive competitions between 1994 and 1998, including a 2nd Olympic title.

    • A qualifying round was held at Worlds for the first time in the singles competitions in which the top 12 from each of the 2 qualifying groups would advance to the short program (then known as the technical program).

    Here are the videos for the medal winning performances:-

    MEN'S

    Gold: Kurt Browning (Can)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition 1, Exhibition 2, Profile

    Silver: Elvis Stojko (Can)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    Bronze: Alexei Urmanov (Russia)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition

    4th: Mark Mitchell (USA)

    Short Program, Free Skate,

    5th: Philippe Candeloro (France)

    Free Skate

    6th: Scott Davis (USA)

    Free Skate

    7th: Éric Millot (France)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    8th: Masakazu Kagiyama (Japan)

    Free Skate

    10th: Marcus Christensen (Can)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    11th: Oleg Tataurov (Russia)

    Free Skate



    LADIES

    Gold: Oksana Baiul (Ukraine)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition

    Silver: Surya Bonaly (France)

    Short Program, Free Skate,

    Bronze: Chen Lu (China)

    Free Skate

    4th: Yuka Sato (Japan)

    Free Skate

    5th: Nancy Kerrigan (USA)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    6th: Marina Kielmann (Germany)

    Free Skate

    7th: Tanja Szewczenko (Germany)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    8th: Karen Preston (Can)

    Free Skate

    9th: Josée Chouinard (Can)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    10th: Lenka Kulovaná (Czechoslovakia)

    Free Skate

    11th: Marie-Pierre Leray (France)

    Short Program

    13th: Lisa Ervin (USA)

    Short Program, Free Skate



    PAIRS

    Gold: Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler (Can)

    Short Program, Long Program

    Silver: Mandy Wötzel & Ingo Steuer (Germany)

    Short Program, Long Program

    Bronze: Evgenia Shishkova & Vadim Naumov (Russia)

    Short Program, Long Program

    4th: Radka Kovaříková & René Novotný (Czechoslovakia)

    Short Program, Long Program

    5th: Jenni Meno & Todd Sand (USA)

    Short Program, Long Program

    6th: Marina Eltsova & Andrei Bushkov (Russia)

    Short Program

    7th: Michelle Menzies & Jean-Michel Bombardier (Can)

    Short Program, Long Program

    8th: Calla Urbanski & Rocky Marval (USA)

    Long Program

    10th: Jodeyne Higgins & Sean Rice (Can)

    Short Program, Long Program



    ICE DANCE

    Gold: Maya Usova & Alexander Zhulin (Russia)

    1st CD, 2nd CD, Free Dance

    Silver: Oksana Grishuk & Evgeni Platov (Russia)

    Free Dance

    Bronze: Anjelika Krylova & Vladimir Fedorov (Russia)

    Original Dance, Free Dance, Exhibition

    4th: Susanna Rahkamo & Petri Kokko (Finland)

    2nd CD, Original Dance, Free Dance

    14th: Shae-Lynn Bourne & Victor Kraatz (Can)

    2nd CD
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  2. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Should we re-litigate the whole Bonaly v. Baiul thing here? :EVILLE:
     
  3. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Had Lu Chen's short program been better I might have made a case for her winning the title. However as it was, while her short program performance was very good, 5th place was definitely correct. It just wasnt as strong as the top 4. Granted technically with Bonaly 3rd in the short and Baiul 2nd, the judges could have given Chen the title by placing Chen-Bonaly-Baiul in the LP but being 5th in the SP the judges are not even considering you for more than a bronze unless others blow. Josee had a very good short I thought, and I thought should have atleast been 3rd ahead of Bonaly. I would have scored them the same on elements, and Josee higher on presentation.

    Elvis was majorly gifted in the SP. He had 3 mistakes, a three turn in his combination, a big step out on a double axel (!), and a visible stumble during his footwork. Even the incredibly messy and poorly skated short program, he should have probably been something more like 10th-12th and had no chance of a medal. It turns out he had some ordinals down as low as 16th, and it was just mostly luck he ended up as high as 5th, alot like Hughes in the SLC SP. It was amazing that Eric Millot of France ended up 4th in the mens short putting his down on a triple lutz-double toe combo, while Chen who did a clean triple lutz combo ended up 5th in the womens short. That just shows how well the womens event was skated at these Worlds, and how poorly the mens was.

    I still definitely think Bonaly deserved the title. It was her best LP ever by far. Totally clean jumps, no cheats or iffy rotations or questionable two foots like usual. Pretty good spins, and as strong of choreography, delivery, and basic skating as she will ever exhibit. Sufficient to win over Baiul's technically limited program missing many of the basic requirements of a good and well balanced LP, even if Baiul is by far the more talented skater. Then again I could see a case for Baiul winning the SP over Kerrigan (although would never happen with Nancy going clean as Kerrigan was the heavy pre event favorite this year) and as I mentioned Josee being over Bonaly in the SP, which would have given Baiul the title anyway.
     
  4. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I liked Woetzel & Steuer at this point. They actually had some better quality elements, and more interesting and appealing programs. I find as years went by I liked them less and less.

    Menzies & Bombardier looked very promising around then. Amazing it would be their highest ever finish at Worlds.
     
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  5. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    I can see all Oksana's weaknesses in that SP ... but none the less, I am :swoon: all over myself when I see that program. It is my favorite of all her programs. You can keep Broadway and Tchaikovsky.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
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  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I wish Lu had her 94 Claire De Lune short program this year. Skating that cleanly I am sure she would have been higher than 5th, and probably had a fighting shot of the title this year.
     
  7. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    New York Times article on Oksana Baiul's 1993 world championship win.
     
  8. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    I loved the repetition of Canada winning both the men's and pairs events in Prague in the same arena where the Jelinek's and Don Jackson won in 1962, 31 years earlier. I know the Jelinek's were there to watch Brasseur & Eisler's victory. It's also a weird irony that Kurt's only major mistake was on his triple lutz; the very jump Jackson pioneered in the same venue all those years before.
     
  9. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Neither of those happened.
     
  10. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Good thing Oksana changed the SP. I liked the flamenco, but Swan Lake is one of my all time favorite programs. Even though I liked the Broadway number a lot as well, considering how much she matured in her SP it's a shame she didn't have a new LP... her Meditation program would've been glorious.
     
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  11. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    Bonaly should've won! :soapbox: :glamor:
     
  12. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I understand why Bonaly was so upset.
    However, she didn't handle the situation in a way that enhanced her future chances.
    Quite the opposite, in fact.
     
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  13. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    ^Are you thinking of 1994?
     
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    When did she have the "tantrum" on the podium?
     
  15. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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  16. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to keep straight because didn't she have a few tantrums? Even though only one was on the podium...
     
  17. robinhood

    robinhood Active Member

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    I think Chen Lu's free program was so underrated this year. I know everyone remembers her Rach and The Last emperor programs, but this one with the music of Nausicaa (a fantastic film, btw, if u haven't seen it) is the most challenging she ever did. It's really a COP program, loaded with transitions that put Chan into the rear view and backloaded with very difficult jumps. She was just not as in your face as Oksana, but really subtle and beautiful...pity the commentators kind of ruin the view of her performance
     
  18. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

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    ^I LOVE Nausicaa - the film, the music, AND her programme. :respec:
     
  19. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    I agree about Chens program, and it showed she was very diverse and capable of different styles through the years. I do agree the commentary does ruin the program a bit because they obviously did not like it that much.
     
  20. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Video on the Usova/Zhulin and Grishuk/Platov story.
     
  21. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Where was Tonya Harding in terms of the 1993 World Championships? Basically, she had a disastrous U.S. Nationals, finishing 4th (hampered by a cold). Consequently, she failed to make the team for Worlds. Here are her short program and free skate from Nationals. Nancy Kerrigan, Lisa Ervin, and Tonia Kwiatkowski (1st, 2nd , and 3rd at Nationals respectively) were selected instead of her. Kerrigan went on to finish 5th at Worlds, with Ervin 13th, and Kwiatkowski eliminated after the qualifying round in 31st place. I think it highly likely that had Harding been selected for Worlds, then fully recovered from her cold, she would probably have placed higher than Ervin and Kwiatkowski ultimately did. Hence, it was a poor decision not to select her.

    Would Harding have been a medal contender at 93 Worlds? The major problem she had during this period was that she never managed to successfully land another 3A after 1991 Skate America and her career consequently went into decline thereafter as a result. She would never make the podium at a World Championships or Olympics again and her only top 3 finish at a major competition post 1991 was a third place at 1993 Skate America. She did "win" U.S. Nationals in 1994, but was disqualified in circumstances that are well documented.
     
  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Based on her level of skating the 92-93 season I doubt Harding would have been a medal contender at the 93 Worlds. She landed 0 clean triple lutzes and only 1 clean triple flip all season. That kind of content she would have made top 10 on a decent day, but that is all. The top 7 LPs at Worlds (this means the people who finished 1-8 minus Kerrigan who was only 9th in the free skate and was 5th due to fluke ordinals and her short program win) were all much better than anyone Harding had done all season long.

    Then again who knows. She might have peaked for Worlds. She certainly had the talent if she got herself in great shape. The caliber of skating at the 93 Worlds was in fact quite excellent that year. Despite the talk of people of the "weak" 93-94 field the caliber of skating at the 93 Worlds overall blew away the 92 Worlds and even 92 Olympics. Harding would have needed a pair of great skates to make the podium there and definitely would have needed the triple lutz and some strong jump combinations.

    I agree she should have been sent to Worlds over Kwiatokowski. Kwiatkowski was a journeywomen at that point, who never delivered more than 2 triples per program, had poor international results at the invitationals she was sent to through the years (eg- that season her best was a 5th at Nations Cup in a super weak field where Tanya Bingert the 5th ranked Canadian took silver) and it was a total waste to send her. Plus she didnt in anyway outskate Harding and Bobek at Nationals, at best her free skate was on par and her short program there worse. Bad move on the USFSA's part.
     
  23. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    I agree that Tonia should have been replaced with Tonya. It also makes one wonder if the attack on Kerrigan would have even happened had the USFSA did the right thing in 1993 by sending Harding to Worlds. Harding and company must have felt it was a HUGE slap in the face by the USFSA to have been left off the World team given Kwiatkowski's very weak competitive history at the time plus the fact that Tonia failed to even qualify for the SP. They may have felt that if the USFSA was willing to send someone like Kwiatkowski over Harding, then selecting Kerrigan and Kwan over her in 1994 would also have easily happened no matter how Tonya skated.
     
  24. TwizzlerS

    TwizzlerS Well-Known Member

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    I have often thought the same thing. However, you'd think Tonya and her husband and henchmen would have targeted Tonia or Lisa.
     
  25. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^I think Tonya was being 'taught a lesson' at '93 Nats about the price to pay for slacking off
     
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  26. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Christine Brennan in her book speculates the only moderately talented, and more more focused on school than skating around then, "good girls" Ervin and Kwiatkowski were sent to Worlds over Harding and Bobek to deliver a message to the other two. Bobek had created a fiasco at the World Juniors in Korea, stealing from a minibar, and the police had to be called. A huge scandal for the USFSA. Harding had been way out of shape and badly underperforming all year, although she was in better shape at Nationals but unfortunately god sick. All the top women at those Nationals landed only about 2 triples (including Nancy who won very easily with only 3, a foreshadowing of her flop as gold medal favorite to come at Worlds). 12 year old Kwan in content blew them all away landing 5. So it basically come down to whoever the judges wanted to favor.

    I do agree Harding missing the 93 Worlds and the paranoia with the U.S women having only 2 spots, probably led largely to the Harding attack. Another was her showing at 93 NHK. In a book on Harding it stated she skated a clean short though and due to 3 or 4 newbie judges on the panel she was dumped down to 7th anyway, while bonaly and Chen who fell in the short wound up 3rd and 4th. She ended up 4th overall at that event behind Bonaly, Sato, and Chen and was very upset with her finish there, and apparently that is when her and her team decided she wouldnt be seen as a medal contender even if she made it to the Games unless Kerrigan was out of the way and she was U.S #1.

    I really wish I could see 93 NHK and all the performances to test the accuracy of some of these comments. I suspect if she really did skate "clean" what it means is she ended up doing something like only a double loop-double toe in the short, like 92 Skate Canada, and that would in fact mean her low short program placement made sense, even behind big name skaters like Chen and Bonaly who atleast tried a triple lutz and missed it. Now if she landed a triple lutz combo and was 7th in the short in that field, I could see that being enough to lose her stack completely.
     
  27. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    I agree about the theories about Harding. Nonwhitstanding that falls NHK, she made things pretty easy for the judges to dump her in the standings and give the newbies a chance. Still she easily would have made top 10 at worlds, which she should have been sent; still a huge drop off from her hey days of gold medal contender. In some ways the judges were saying she was past her prime and should have retired after the Albertville season.
    In hindsight though she was not favored when USA ladies was very strong in 87-90 when she was outskating many on the world stage, but was left off world teams.
     
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  28. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

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    I wonder when Tonya showed up looking better than ever in the short at 93-94 Skate America, the USFSA started patting themselves on the back for the tough love approach of not sending her to worlds. Of course then came the LP, complete with missed jumps and equipment problems.

    I wonder what happened to Tonya that season. Like it's been said, we don't really know 100% what happened ay NHK, but she showed up to Nationals in not as good shape as she did SA, which I always found odd. Did she stop training for a while in between the NHK and Nationals? When she got to the Olympics she was closer to the shape she was in at SA but skated worse in both programs than she did at Nationals when she looked heavy and undertrained.
     
  29. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Given all the drama going on in Tonya's personal life by 93-94 it is not surprising her weight and physical condition flucuated so much. Her biggest 2 mistakes ever were stopping to train before the 92 Games, and then just letting herself go completely in the 92-93 season. She was a real gold medal contender for the 92 Olympics by fall 91. It could be argued with beating Yamaguchi 2 of their last 3 meetings and Ito's 4th place at Worlds, she was even the gold medal favorite for Albertville at that point. I would actually pick her 91 Skate America performance as the Skate of the year, even over Yamaguchis 92 Nationals performance and Itos Trophee Lalique performance (I know some might disagree). Her stock dropped greatly with her 3rd place at the 92 Nationals though. With the caliber of skating at the 92 Olympics including big falls by the two favorites Yamaguchi and Ito she would have easily won gold with her best performances, but instead showed up jet lagged, made excuses, and finshed 4th behind a lackluster Kerrigan. I think she genuinely tried to right the ship for Worlds but it was too many changes (new programs, new approach, new/old coach) in too short a time and she came 6th. Given the again dissapointing caliber of skating there she could have easily been 2nd to Yamaguchi (who was never losing there as it was basically her hometown event and a Yamaguchi lovefest) with even reasonably good performances.

    At that point though she should have taken her new positive approach she tried to take for the 92 Worlds, realized she had a whole summer, and realized with Ito and Yamaguchi gone, and an Olympics only two years later she had a potential dream situation. She could have made that little half quadrennial all her own if she showed up in her fall 91 shape, especialy with her improved artistry she showed at the 92 Worlds, and came out super determined and showed everyone in her fall events she was ready to kick ass. In hindsight we see those 2 years totally lacked a strong leader in the womens field, hence all the controversies over who should have or could have won the 93 Worlds, 94 Olympics, even 94 Worlds, and that could have easily been Tonya. Instead she showed up looking like a pregnant women (when I saw her at Skate Canada 92 which I actually attended live I honestly thought Jeff had knocked her up and she was pregnant), barely able to rotate a triple salchow or triple toe, and saw her stock continue to plummet so deep. At that Skate Canada event for instance headcase Josee Chouinaurd landed ONE triple and still beat Tonya off the podium. Nancy Kerrigan skated very poorly all season, her worst season of skating ever as she couldnt handle her new favorite status, and like Tonya was seriously undertrained that season (in Nancys case too many endorsements and appearances according to her coaches), and still didnt come to losing to Tonya once which reflects how Tonya was skating. After not making Worlds in 93, her stock had sunk to the point that nothing short of a miracle in the 93-94 season would have ever risen her to be a serious contender on the World stage again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  30. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    It was sort of shocking to me to see how out of it Tonya Harding was at the 1993 Nationals. Yes, it's arguable that she should have placed on the team, but her skating simply did not look good at that competition. She looked completely out of shape, uncaring, and worst of all, outdated. You do not want to be passe in your federation's and in the judges' eyes. You'll no longer get the benefit of doubt and it's hard to win back.
     
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