Rodnina & Ulanov v. Rodnina & Zaitsev

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by lulu, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Irina Rodnina won 10 World titles and 3 Olympic championships, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that she was a pairs skater and won both World and Olympic titles with both of her partners, Alexei Ulanov and Alexandr Zaitsev.

    As much as the Protopopovs did before her, Rodnina represented a new era in pairs skating-one that emphasized speed, athleticism and power. Even today, Rodnina is recognized as a singular force in the sport. Which brings me to the entire point of this thread... Her partners.
    Rodnina won 4 world titles and 1 OGM with Ulanov (and of course there was the whole :drama: business of R&U breaking up because Ulanov fell in love with another pairs skater). With Zaitsev, hand picked to skate with Rodnina after R&U imploded, she won 6 world titles and 2 OGM.

    Were Ulanov and Zaitsev, in terms of their skating, simply interchangeable? Or, were there distinctions in their skating, besides the fact that they were, you know, two different people. :p Or, was Rodnina such a dominant force, she could have partnered with virtually anyone and win titles?

    ETA: How did R&U compare to R&Z? From what I've seen on youtube, I prefer R&Z, but I don't have any definitive reason as to why, its more a personal preference.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  2. Vash01

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

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    I have never watched Rodnina-Ulanov. I have watched Rodnina-Zaitsev and they were impressive in their speed, power and consistency. They were trailblazers athletically in their times. I will have to look for a yt for R&U to do justice to this excellent thread.
     
  3. lulu

    lulu New Member

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  4. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    I have always wanted to see R&Z's full LP from 1973 Worlds.
     
  5. Vash01

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

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  6. Vash01

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

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    Thanks for the link, Lulu. I actually like R&U better than R&Z. Ulanov was not as tall as Zaitsev and they appeared better matched.
     
  7. floskate

    floskate Vacant

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    This is available at Fsvids. :)

    And here is a better chunk of their 1972 Olympics freeskate.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jH2dk9V3rRI#t=451s

    I love watching Rodnina skate. The power that she possessed always takes my breath away. The quality of her edges was really wonderful and she had beautiful knee bend. I prefer her work with Zaitsev because it evolved more. If you watch the 1973 Worlds LP, it's almost as though he has been pasted onto her in replacement of Ulanov but by 1978 he was very much an equal partner in the team. Their work also improved when they switched to Tarasova in the 1974-75 season. She was able to give them the stylistic cohesion they lacked under Zhuk. Despite their height difference, they had incredible unison considering the speed and athleticism of their skating. Their lifts were just unreal in difficulty and for me, more than make up for the lack of throw jumps in their programs. It wasn't until she retired that throws became mandatory really in pairs.

    Someone mentioned in another thread that she was also incredibly consistent. This is kind of a myth as she and her partners certainly had errors over the years. If you look at the information given in the 1971 video you will see a transcript of what commentator Eva Pawlik was saying. The short program at 1971 Worlds is the only time they did not place first in any section of a championship. Yet she did struggle with the double axel over the early 70's. UR at 1971 Worlds, stepped out early at 1972 Worlds although considering she was skating concussed, it's a miracle she didn't splat outright. By 1973 she had 'got' the double axel but had issues again at 1974 Worlds and Euros I believe. In 1975 they were seriously challenged by Kermer & Oesterreich at Europeans where the East Germans presented a LP with sbs 2x, double twist, throw 3loop and throw 2axel. Rodnina popped the sal in their 2x -1/2loop - 2sal combo but was otherwise clean but it should have been closer than it really was. That was the last time she was seriously challenged in competition. Their work in 1977 - 1978 was so improved and they were much more consistent with the double axel. I don't think they missed it once internationally from 1977 - 1980.

    ETA: I've uploaded those programs from the 1975 Europeans so if you're interested you can judge for yourselves.

    1975 Europeans - Rodnina & Zaitsev LP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liThqBwoXQo

    1975 Europeans - Kermer & Oesterreich LP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OQ6oKIxLw8
     
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  8. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Thanks for the information floskate.
     
  9. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    OT, but did TT coach any other pairs besides R/Z? Her pupils always seemed to be single skaters and ice dancers ...
     
  10. Alixana

    Alixana who is on vacation!!

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    The description of the video says 2009. If that's the case, major props to Rodnina for doing those pair moves at age 60!!! :eek:
     
  11. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I admire and respect Rodnina's work with both her partners.
    She had no equal when it came to athleticism, power, speed; and for lack of a better word, "determination".
    Certain other qualities may have been "sacrificed" in the desired transformation.

    However, no one could deny that she, Ulanov and Zeitsev changed pair skating forever; for all those that followed them.

    The video/performance above was part of a Gala, honoring Rodnina's birthday.
     
  12. Kathryn2001

    Kathryn2001 Member

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    I so agree with all that has been said. I was a major skating fan of pairs in the 70's onward and even earlier since the Protopopovs were the ones that drew me on...young as I was. I think both Ulanov and Zeitsev were both very good in their own ways and obviously she and the russian Fed picked wisely when they picked Zeitzev for her new partner, BUT it was always my opinion that Rodnina was the one who was the powerhouse behind the success of both teams. I love their unison and combination/sequence jumps in their programs, even if they were a series of singles, it was impressive but from what I read about both partnerships back in the 70s, Rodnina was the "driver".
    And if I remember correctly, after R/Z won the l980 Olympics when Tai and Randy withdrew, the Russian Fed gave the order to R/Z they were to retire from competitive skating and give their younger teams a turn to win. So R/Z didn't go to 1980 Worlds, and instead it was another team (called the Gorilla and the Flea, but I don't remember their name) who were sent in their place. If anyone can add to or correct my memory of that, please do so.
     
  13. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Thanks for the insight Kathryn2001. Perhaps you are thinking of Veronika Pershina & Marat Akbarov? They did not compete at the Olympics, but did compete at the World Championships: http://youtu.be/nJSxyUWYhYo (video from 1982).

    One of the best known examples of the so-called "1 and a 1/2" or "Gorilla & Flea" partnerships was Marina Cherkasova & Sergei Shakrai. They also won the silver medal at the Lake Placid Games. Here is their 1980 LP: http://youtu.be/vcOjtMYdTNo
    She's actually much taller there than she was in their 1977 debut: http://youtu.be/6OInB6DYemw

    Another team to represent the USSR at the 1980 Olympics & World Championships was Marina Pestova & Stanislav Leonovich (he would later coach Gordeeva & Grinkov). Here is their performance at the 1980 Worlds: http://youtu.be/z9amxOGx9a8
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  14. Kathryn2001

    Kathryn2001 Member

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    I believe it was Cherkasova and Shakrai because as I remember it, this pair won 1980 Worlds in Pairs. the Russian Fed knew they would undoubtedly win if R/Z were not there and since R/Z had already won so many World titles, Russia wanted to pass the baton to the younger couple. I just checked the stats and Cherkasova/Shakrai did win in 1980 and that was the end of Rodnina's gold medal run. C/S however, did not go on to the fame and glory because they either broke up or whatever, because that was their last World medal. in 81 it was Vorobeva/partner, in 82 is was an East German team, and in 84 Valova/Vasiliev, and of course G/G followed V/V.
     
  15. Vash01

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

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    From what I read, Cherkasova had a growth spurt and she lost her athletic abilities after the 1980 worlds. They never grew into something special.
     
  16. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    What a funny era that was, the one after the Rodnina one in 81-84, must be the biggest hodgepodge ever. Especialy for the Soviet pairs, but in general. Charkasova & Shakrai rose super quickly up to ranks to a World silver, Olympic silver, World gold, then dropped to 4th in 1981 and soon dissapeared (split up, retired, didnt make out of the Soviet Union, I dont know). They were truly a flea and gorilla team though, whose success was almost entirely based on their height differential, once she grew, and she couldnt stay so tiny forever, they were always toast. Vorobieva & Lisovsky rose quickly, were 4th at the 1979 Worlds, missed the Olympics, won the 1981 Worlds, but after dropping to 3rd at Europeans and 5th at Worlds the next year, that was just about the last ever seen of them. Pestovich & Leonovich rose quickly too, 4th at the 1979 Worlds and 1980 Olympics, 3rd at the 1980 Worlds, missed a year due to injury, 2nd at the 1982 Worlds, then after dropping to 6th at the 1983 Worlds dissapeared, not sure if they just didnt make the Olympic team or they split at that point. Baess & Theirbach of East Germany were 1st or 2nd at every World of European event the whole 81-84 quadrennial until Sarajevo, but then after controversially losing their World title in 1983, dont even medal at the Olympics, and barely medal at their final Worlds. Valova & Vasiliev go from 5th in the Soviet Union in 1982, and several years not making the team in favor of teams that were younger than them, and win Worlds in their debut, then the Olympic Gold. Pershina & Akbarov compete at every Worlds for the Soviet Union that quadrennial, the first one when they were both only 13, and yet still dont get named to the 84 Olympic team for the Soviet Union, despite being at the Worlds after the Games. Their final Worlds is in 1985, and they dont win a medal in any of them, strange for a Soviet team who makes it to 6 straight Worlds, especialy ones who make their first Worlds at 13 and the Soviets probably expected alot from. Selezneva & Makarov dont even compete at a Worlds before the 1984 Olympics, and win a medal. Avstriskaia & Kvashnin win 2 World Juniors, then compete at the Sarajevo Olympics all before he is 20 and she is even 17, and then dissapear completely, never competing at a Worlds. You had Underhill & Martini and the Carruthers somewhere in the middle of all that too. It would been fun to watch with the unpredictability, but would also have been painful seeing the rise and fall of so many different pairs.

    Come to think of it the ladies division was almost as much a hodgepodge that quad with the biggest mish mashing of results and changing pecking orders and names ever. The 1982 World ladies event has to be the most comical thing ever seen, with the results and order through the event resembling a lotto or bingo board.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  17. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    That's my feeling, as well. Kathryn.