The Matt Savoie Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by aemeraldrainc, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. aemeraldrainc

    aemeraldrainc Active Member

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  2. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

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    Matt has always been one of my favorite US men's skaters. With all due respect to Mike Weiss (whom I like), I felt Matt should have made the Olympic team in 2002. When Todd opted not to go to Worlds that season, my first thought was, "Oh, I hope that means Matt will get to go!" I was so thrilled that Matt did make the Olympic team in 2006.

    I'm not sure if we actually got to see Matt compete @ 1998 US Nationals. We were there, but was he able to compete back then, or did he have an injury? Back then was he still a junior, or was he skating on the senior level?
  3. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    You didn't get a response! Unbelievable. Matt has so often been mentioned favorably in other threads. Thanks for trying again to start a tribute thread for Matt, aemeraldrainc!

    In the underrated skaters thread, I had mentioned that Matt deserved his own thread. Here is part of my post about Matt Savoie from that thread:


    I will always associate Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings with this performance from Matt:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFAsNpBJbk0 2005 Nats sp

    Matt was so undermarked and so underrated -- he should have been scored in 5.7 - 5.9 range for technique and 5.9 - 6.0 for presentation and been in first place. Many youtube posters give Matt fine tributes and rip the judging. One post tho' which mentions that skaters placed before Matt had quads, except for Johnny, are absolutely incorrect. Evan Lysacek did not have a quad in 2005, but he was placed ahead of Matt, incredibly. The 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, and 5.1 !?, marks for Matt for this performance are absolutely shameful and disgraceful.

    Fortunately, Matt did not allow the disrespect from the judges and his own Federation to dissuade him from continuing to pursue his goals.

    Matt was an elegant, understated skater, and I believe his personality is also elegant and understated. What peerless and sublime transitions he exhibited on and off the ice, during and after his skating career:

    Matt Savoie graduated summa cum laude from Bradley University in 2002, with a major in political science and a minor in biology. He went on to earn his master's degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and received the AICP Outstanding Graduate Student Award for 2005. He was admitted to the law school at Cornell University in 2005, but obtained a deferral for a year to focus on making the Olympic team. He joined the program in September 2006, and graduated in 2009. Following his competitive career, Matt completed a four-year term as the athlete representative to the Single & Pair Skating Technical Committee of the International Skating Union. He is currently working as an associate in the law firm of Choate Hall & Stewart. (Wikipedia)

    Hopefully, others will post their memories about Matt and links to favorite performances. Thanks again, aemeraldrainc!
  4. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    I checked Wikipedia, paskatefan, which indicates that Matt placed 4th at U.S. Nationals in 1999, and he competed at Junior Worlds that same season and placed 4th. Also, Matt was first in Juniors at 1997 U.S. Nationals, and he placed 11th at senior U.S. Nationals in 1998. I remember thinking when I first saw Matt at senior Nationals early in his career (probably in 1999, the year he placed 4th), that he was going to become the next great U.S. champion, but for some reason the timing was never right for him, nor did he receive the full appreciation he deserved.
  5. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

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    Then we did get to see him! Thanks!
  6. museksk8r

    museksk8r Well-Known Member

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    Even as far back as 2005, the judges had an inexplicable love fest with Evan Lysacek, who actually was gifted a 6.0 for artistic impression in the SP of the same competition as this beautiful performance from Savoie. In what bizarre alternate universe should this performance by Lysacek ever be worthy of a 6.0? Everything about his performance qualities here are of a juniorish and immature quality, IMO. :confused::blah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAWdSzNdiZE and http://www.usfsa.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200405/uschamps/seniormen-short.htm The fix was in very early in the career of Evan Lysacek. No wonder a skater has so many opportunities for success when he has such blatant favoritism from his federation. :rolleyes:

    Matt's marks, on the other hand, are criminally low here; deplorable judging that in my mind should result in a ban from every judge on the panel of this event.
  7. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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    He's was so talented, I had the honor of meeting him and his coach one time, very nice people. Loved his entry into the 3A, great transitions.
  8. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Matt was so underrated by judges. My :sekret: tell me (though again, don't know how accurate this is) that he was told many times to move to a place where he could have a more politically-astute coaching situation, but he refused. Good on him for staying loyal and making the Oly team anyway.

    He should have National champ at least once. I remember Johnny Weir during a press conference after an SP that he didn't deserve to be in first after the SP and that "some other skaters" performed better.

    Would love to interview him for the podcast.
  9. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

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    I really miss Matt's skating. Never was judged fairly at all. It sucked.
  10. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree. I've said it before, but I think Matt's career would have been vastly different if it had been moved ahead five or six years. Yes, he competed under CoP, but he was just slightly past his prime (in terms of jump consistency) and had already been labeled an "almost boy" by the judges. His intricate choreography, inventive jump entrances, and flowing steps no doubt influenced many skaters that came after him. He was a skater totally built for CoP before CoP existed. I certainly think every single aspect of his skating is far superior to the current Olympic champ's, and in his prime he was consistently delivering 8 triple programs. So, it's not a stretch to think that under different circumstances he could be a World or Olympic Champ. Regardless of his gold medal-less resume, Matt was a wonderful skater who represented the US well time and time again, and I will always remember him.
  11. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Agree with all the above!
    Have you contacted him?
    I would be so happy if he did a podcast!

    My thoughts, from the other thread:

  12. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Matt was my special favorite when he was competing. I think he was a forerunner to Jeremy Abbott (my current special favorite) in his body movement, interpretation, intricate choreo, etc.

    My favorite Matt moment was his 2006 Nationals freeskate. Beautiful performance, and what a privilege to see it live and to feel the crowd fully behind him. :wuzrobbed:

    Now he's a corporate raiding attorney in Boston. Doesn't he look handsome in his suit and glasses? :)
  13. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

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    Oh please do!!! He has to be one of the most private/introverted/low profile skaters there ever was, yet hugely fascinating. Would love, love, LOVE to hear about him talk about his skating career and life in general.
    He's always had a huge :swoon: factor for me, not just in terms of skating. Loved those dark curls :D
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    manleywoman, his contact information is available in the link above, as well.
  15. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Matt may be the most underscored skater ever.
  16. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ITA! I was thinking in looking back at some of Matt's performances, how remarkable it was that he grew up and trained in his hometown, and that he managed to continue doing so when he became an elite skater, not to mention attending school at the same time and receiving excellent grades! Few skaters seem able to stay with the same coach throughout their careers (I think Derrick Delmore stayed loyal to Shirley Hughes; Brian B to Linda Leaver; and I hope this will happen for Jason Brown and Kori Ade too :) )

    I remember Johnny saying that too -- (I believe it was at 2005 U.S. Nats) and I recall immediately feeling that Johnny was referring to Matt's exquisite and unforgettable Adagio for Strings sp at 2005 Nats.

    I was hoping this would happen too. Glad you are hoping to do so. Good luck, and thanks!

    ITA! :cheer:

    Yes, thanks for posting. :)

    Matt seems so levelheaded and sane, but his skating also seemed to express such depth and complexity of emotions. Matt apparently had a wonderful relationship with his choreographer, Tom Dickson. I recall Matt discussing something once about the process of being courageous in revealing a different aspect of his personality and learning how to be a stronger competitor. Can anyone else recall or find the exact quote?
  17. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Kirk Wessler, of the pjstar, (Peoria, Illinois) Matt's hometown paper; has written some wonderful feature articles about him.
    I had the links, and lost them when my computer "crashed".
    If someone could help me locate them, I would be very grateful.

    They are well worth reading,
  18. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ It may be that some of Wessler's articles on Matt are no longer available online. I found this link:
    http://www.pjstar.com/blogs/wessler/x896450827/Peoria-s-Olympian

    And this: scroll down for Matt reference

    http://www.pjstar.com/sports/x576553184/Wessler-Right-kind-of-lineup-for-Bradley

    And in the below link, Wessler recalls how he first attended U.S. Nationals in 1998 to cover Matt's first appearance in seniors. Wessler said he became "hooked" on figure skating that year when "I saw Michelle Kwan paint a record 15 perfect 6.0s." :)

    http://www.lincolncourier.com/sports/x920797549/Wessler-Soccer-isnt-No-1-but-still-fun Scroll down

    Here's a nice feature on Matt and his Mom:
    http://ofadam.com/PJSfront/20060214.pdf
  19. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

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    I believe you are referring to the article written by Kirk Wessler. Excellent article. I can't find a existing link to it but luckily I have it saved:
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  20. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!
    This was one of several excellent articles Mr. Wessler wrote about Matt.
    I believe that Mr. Wessler's son was a friend of Matt's; so, he had a interest in him beyond the average "news story".

    Matt is a "local boy", who has excelled in every area; and continues to do so.
  21. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Great, thanks for posting that article, shine! It is probably not available online anymore. I'd never read it before. And thanks, skatesindreams for pointing out that Wessler's son was a friend of Matt's. That is fortunate for skating fans who have enjoyed Wessler's articles about our favorite skaters. :)

    Wow, re this excellent posted article by Mr. Wessler. I'd heard that Kathy Johnson has worked with Jeremy Abbott, but I didn't realize she'd also worked with Matt Savoie. I suppose then (after reading this article) that Kathy Johnson should be able to bring out whatever Patrick Chan might have inside himself artistically. If indeed Patrick is holding something back too, or if he has significant untapped artistic abilities. It does seem that Kathy Johnson is a great and passionate motivator at the very least. One obvious difference is that Chan is already a highly admired World champion, loved by the judges for his SS. It will be interesting to see how much Johnson will be able to help Chan in other areas of his skating.

    One minor detail in the article that I disagree with: "What Savoie did that afternoon [in 2006] in St. Louis transcended any program he had performed." IMO, what Matt did the previous year (2005) at Nats in his sp, was equally transcendent. Matt's program to The Mission at 2006 Nats was certainly spine-tingling and transcendent too, despite his fall on a 3-lutz. He recovered immediately to perform another planned 3-lutz flawlessly.

    ETA: In looking back again at Matt's 2006 Nats fp, I do get why Wessler believes it was Matt's "most transcendent" performance to that point. Matt came out of himself more perhaps. Truly, the music and the movement was as one -- so very uplifting.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  22. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear New Member

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    That scoring was such rubbish! And it ticked me off that at that point Lysacek had already skated that same SP for three straight seasons. (And he skated it a freakin' fourth time the 2005-2006 season!) Just criminal.
  23. stanhope

    stanhope Member

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    There are few skaters who have truly managed to move me, but Matt Savoie is one of them. His Mission program is my favorite men's LP of all time. If I ever met him in person, I'd tell him how horribly wrong the judges were not to award him first place marks in every competition he entered. He was sublime. I hope he knows how highly he is regarded among skating fans (and probably skaters too - Dick Button always loved him!).
  24. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9alzPB6Vms&feature=fvsr Matt Savoie montage

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr39_MaZ6v4&feature=related 2002 Nats sp (Beautiful, clean performance! How could Matt’s presentation marks have been lower than his tech scores??? Obviously the fix was in, which surely must have affected Matt after delivering such a wonderful short program)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBitkND3VlE&feature=related 2002 Nats fp
    Matt made a mistake on his first 3-axel in the fp at 2002 Nats, after that great sp. But then he recovered so well to skate such an intricate and beautiful performance, executing a clean 3-axel with even more difficult transition steps into it, later in the fp. 5.4 on presentation for this performance is ridiculous (consistent low-balling by the judges). Matt should not have been behind Michael Weiss. Looking at Matt’s facial expressions when he sees some of these ridiculous marks… :wuzrobbed But, ah well, Matt is the gold medal winner of our hearts – for all of us who love and will always remember his skating. Dick Button was obviously a great fan of Matt’s skating too. :saint:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqY2Q2WUl8&feature=related 2006 Nats fp
    (somewhat annoying commentary, but very complimentary too; however, tsk tsk Kurt, for the jinx ;))

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=7-zsYqfw-pg 2006 Olympics fp
    (even more annoying commentary – I wish I could find a clip of this 2006 performance by Matt at the Olympics w/o commentary)

    Once again, I never get tired of watching this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFAsNpBJbk0 2005 sp

    Early Matt 1999 Nats sp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDqTJe8HW6s&feature=related :)

    Not a good quality clip, but 1999 Nats fp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ktD7SbxmLE&feature=related (too bad for the tv capture poor quality; love the music)

    2006 Nats Exhibition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EUWTTWsCHw&feature=related
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  25. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    There are few skating performances that I can truly watch over and over, again and again, and be moved to tears every time. Matt's 2006 Free Skate in St Louis is one of them.

    And yes, I've contacted him just once, but never followed up. I need to try again.
  26. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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  27. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

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    Here's his 2005 FS from US Nationals. One of his lesser known programs that I really loved:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFBL9Z-SZIc&list=UUAQMQkfkMy7lDzbQhXD8Q6A&index=7&feature=plcp
    His triple axel entries were just insane. And he didn't just have one but several different ones. And his axel was high and airy - true technical mastery.

    And also two exhibitions of his:
    Solo Amore from 2005:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Me5RwzkG4

    Summertime from 2006:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4nAEsXi2Eo

    He was one of the most musically sensitive skaters and he was so versatile. I only wish he had more opportunites to compete on the international stage (amongst other things...).
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  28. ks1227

    ks1227 Active Member

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    :swoon: :swoon: :swoon:

    I agree about the tears manleywoman. Without a doubt, that is one of my two or three favorite men's performances EVER at U.S. Nationals. Too bad about the first Lutz, but to come back on the second one immediately following was great!

    Actually, I like Savoie even better than Abbott. :shuffle: But Savoie certainly paved the way for Abbott's style of skating.

    Honestly, during Savoie's career, I would get frustrated at every. single. Nationals when we had to watch Weiss, Weir, and Goebel get held up over the superior skater. In fact, I'm getting frustrated thinking about it now! :mad:
  29. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for those links, shine. Looking again at Matt's 2005 fp brought back memories. I haven't seen that program in awhile, and it is not easily found on youtube, so thanks again. Watching it reminds me of how upset I was when Matt did not at least make the 2005 World team. Incomprehensibly, he was placed in 4th behind Evan Lysacek (ironically, or not so ironically -- perhaps more via political backing bolstering Evan's talent, he came in 3rd at Worlds that year).

    Looking back, how clearer can it be that Matt deserved 1st in the sp at 2005 Nats, and at the least 2nd or 3rd overall after the fp (where he doubled a couple of jumps, but still skated so stylistically better than everyone except Johnny in the fp, and better than everyone in the sp)! I did not feel that Evan should have made the World team that year. Evan had a good but still "juniorish-looking" skate with a well-used program in the short, and he had a fair, flawed performance in his Singin' in the Rain fp. Oh well, I suppose Matt was not the U.S. Federation's "cup of tea" by that point (Matt always seemed to be the odd man out). While OTOH Evan was the favored new kid on the block, and as it turned out, Evan became the "antidote" to Weir's rebellious "flamboyance."

    It was great to see Matt make the 2006 Olympic team. He pushed himself to go even further with his skating (with the help of his coaching/ choreography team).

    ETA: More videos ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=0rzfra_ghjE 2001 Skate America

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=IEWjEhxwW_4 2005 SC

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=skdVOCa2_6Y 2000 Keri Lotion
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  30. museksk8r

    museksk8r Well-Known Member

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    A 5.1/5.1 from judge #2 and being ranked as low as 4th from another judge is just beyond absurd. I know he doubled two jumps that were intended to be triples, but the construction of his programs were so much more technically complex and stylistically more sophisticated than any other US men's competitor during the time he was competing. The elements he did complete were of superior quality and World Champion caliber. Reputation and resume ruled the land in 6.0, just as it does in COP. It's sickening to think how this brilliant skater's talent and abilities were not showcased to their full extent to the world of international figure skating championships for so many years simply because he didn't have some of the GP medals, World medals, or Olympic medals that his other National competitors had. :mad:
  31. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Thanks for saving/posting that Peoria Journal Star article, shine! I remember Kirk Wessler's excellent articles on Savoie during the 2005-06 Olympic season. (That was the earliest I recall seeing Kathy Johnson's name in a skating article.)
  32. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

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    The outrage in the constant underscoring of Matt Savoie is really beyond words. It's unimaginable that this brilliant FS from 2002 Worlds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w872zjNfzY was placed as low as 11th (!!!!!!). I don't think there is ANYWAY that it could have been placed that low if it was performed under today's scoring system.
    The list goes on and on and it's probably better for me if I don't discuss them :lol:
    I have so much respect for a skater like him who still kept their motivation to go on after being trivialized year after year the way he has been.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  33. Plusdinfo

    Plusdinfo New Member

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    I wasn't in the States to enjoy his skating from 2004-2006, and I don't remember much coverage of him before, so my enjoyment of his skating is almost all after his career. I agree with all who think he was underscored, but that's skating: a judged sport! Instead of focusing on that, I'm grateful to be able to see his great programs again and again.

    Matt is certainly appreciated.
  34. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    OH MY GOD!!! I can't believe Matt's placement for that beautiful performance filled with difficult elements -- Gosh, a 3-axel out of a spread eagle! :swoon: Who, I ask can do that move? No one else I can think of in today's field, except maybe Jeremy Abbott, and Johnny Weir (if he really tried b/c he has a great 3-axel), also perhaps Dai and Kozuka, especially Dai b/c he always challenges himself; and Sasha Abt in his glory days; also perhaps Ross Miner, b/c he also has a great 3-axel as well as very good spread eagles.

    I don't think I saw Worlds in 2002, or else I just didn't see Matt's fp performance. Whenever I heard that Matt came in 11th at Worlds that year, I always thought that he had faltered somehow!!! Did he have a poor sp? What terrible judging! :mad: I can only guess that part of the scoring for Matt was based on the fact that he came in as the #3 U.S. guy... Ah yes, I checked and I see that Tim quad king Goebel came in second with a silver medal at 2002 Worlds and Michael Weiss was 6th. So, that's the answer: Matt was the odd man out b/c Tim and Michael were the more popular, favored U.S. guys -- so the U.S. Fed had no desire I suppose to politik on behalf of Matt for a better, more deserved placement. I like Tim and Michael and they are both wonderful skaters who contributed a great deal to U.S. skating, and they both continue to contribute to the sport and to skaters. However, once again what a shame. I think Matt's skating will be longer remembered and revered. Matt got caught betwixt and between the dawning of a new era in the scoring, the crowded U.S. men's field, and the damnable quad craze.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  35. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I believe you "hit the nail on the head".
    USFS - indeed, few federations - will rarely "promote" their #3 entrant with TPTB.
    That may be why he was never able to advance beyond the top of the "second rank", despite the quality of his performances.
  36. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Judge #2 was Joyce Burden.

    Her rankings for the second mark were:

    1st: Johnny Weir, 6.0
    2nd: Timothy Goebel, 5.9
    3rd: Evan Lysacek, 5.8
    4th: Michael Weiss, 5.5
    5th: Matthew Savoie, Derrick Delmore, Scott Smith, 5.1

    Judge #8 was Doug Williams.

    His rankings for the second mark were:

    1st: Johnny Weir, 5.9
    2nd: Evan Lysacek, 5.8
    3rd: Timothy Goebel, 5.7
    4th: Michael Weiss, 5.6
    5th: Braden Overett, Derrick Delmore, 5.5
    7th: Matthew Savoie, 5.4

    http://www.usfsa.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200405/uschamps/seniormen-free.htm

    :rolleyes: :scream:

    I'd love to hear their explanation of how they arrived at those rankings and their general theory of how the 6.0 system was to be applied.
  37. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Wow, Vagabond :eek:

    Just looking at that scoring rundown from U.S. Nationals gives me heartburn! And actually, as I think about it, the relative craziness of those marks does make me realize more fully that the old 6.0 scoring, as constituted, was arcane and ridiculous. I still think the ISU should have focused sooner on reworking the judging system prior to the 2002 Olympic scandal. But once the scandal broke and they were “forced” to make changes, they should have been more judicious :)lol: fat chance). They could have tried to meld 6.0 numbering with a new approach to judging criteria, or at the least not cloaked the judges’ scoring identities in anonymity.

    In any case, although the current IJS provides us with explanations and opportunities for the skaters to be scored more visibly on their elements, the way GOE and PCS, and indeed most of the categories (IN, TR, CH, PE) are applied from skater to skater and from event to event, is still haphazard, politics-based, and often just as ridiculous as the way some judges applied 6.0 scoring. Now, tho’ I especially abhor the sky-is-the-limit point totals, and the mostly boring, double-take kiss ’n cry reactions.

    How can these 6.0 kiss ’n cry reactions be topped:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lH9mg_ZneA&feature=related Rudy G 1996 Nats

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKmUW8wPB0s MK 1996 Worlds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWQSoIEAxns MK 2004 Nats

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIkfE30GPWU&feature=related JW 2004 Nats

    Yep, below is one of the rarer great kiss 'n cry reactions under IJS (mainly b/c T/T were not expected to medal). Also, we hear the commentators running down the judges’ scoring, so online viewers are made aware before the skaters realize, which IMO can’t compete with seeing a row of marks from the individual judges flash on the screen in real time:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61OOffoS0ZY Tran/ Takahashi 2012 Worlds fp

    IJS does allow more skaters to still have a chance for the podium after the sp. However, there are so many problems to be worked out under IJS, not the least being the way point-gathering strategies tend to be a detriment to artistic freedom in the fp. Also, the ugliness and overabundance of spins and slow as molasses revolutions being cranked out, plus the boring sameness of many skaters’ moves in programs.

    Sorry for the OT rant – I will get back to Matt!
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  38. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    I remember attending an old cheesefest -- 2002 Crest Whitestrips in Auburn Hills, MI -- and Matt, despite a delightful program with seven triples -- came in dead last, behind very sloppy efforts from Takeshi Honda and Alexei Yagudin. At the time I figured I was an ignorant fan who couldn't see his faults, but in retrospect I think he was just grossly and perpetually undermarked.
  39. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Jeez, those results for Matt at that 2002 cheesefest certainly look as if they were predetermined. :rolleyes:

    Many feel that Matt would have been scored more fairly under IJS -- I suppose ideally and in terms of point values, he should probably have been. He did compete a couple of years under IJS anyway, didn't he? In any case, IJS in the long run may not have helped Matt either b/c of the dastardly politics, and the danged quad.

    ITA -- a very sad state of affairs. It is interesting, yet painful to look back at how and try to figure out why the beauty of Matt's skating was consistently under-rewarded.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_United_States_Figure_Skating_Championships
    I double-checked the results at 2002 Nationals and 2002 Worlds. Actually, Matt took 4th place :mad: at Nats in 2002. Todd Eldredge was first that year (Goebel 2nd, and Weiss 3rd), but I guess Todd was injured b/c he did not attend Worlds, which gave Matt his first chance to compete at Worlds. So Matt not only had the disadvantage of competing at Worlds as the 3rd* U.S. guy (w/ no Fed support), he was also probably viewed as a relative unknown by international judges, which means being totally dumped on in the scoring, especially under 6.0. Again, what a shame!

    *(Ironically, as we all remember, Evan went to 2005 Worlds as the 3rd place U.S. guy and came out with a bronze medal, because he had a great deal of Fed support -- that's why he was at Worlds anyway, instead of Matt.)

    Looking at the 2002 Worlds performances from the U.S. guys, Matt clearly deserved a higher placement -- at least a bronze medal. IMO stylistically/ artistically Matt was even better than Yagudin and Goebel (except Matt didn't have the danged quad!) There was no way that Yagudin and Goebel were not going to go 1, 2 at Worlds that year, especially after their showing at the Olympics a month earlier. Plush was second at the Olympics, but did not attend Worlds. Another great under-rated skater at that Worlds was Sasha Abt (who I feel was in many ways a better skater than Yagudin and Plush -- but Abt didn't have the political support and he also was unlucky with injuries). If Plush had attended, Goebel would likely have been dropped to third. With Plush not there, Abt, despite skating very well (especially in the sp), was not the politically popular Russian that Plush and Yagudin were. As a result, the ISU seems to have felt they had to give a top guy from another country the opportunity -- so Takeshi Honda got the bronze over Abt. ETA: Actually, Honda was the top guy from the home country, since Worlds took place in Japan that year -- another reason why politics didn't work in Abt's favor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7iRsCpvNuk M. Weiss 2002 Worlds fs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=2CTERlh1d10 Goebel 2002 Worlds fs & fluff feature
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfRJm3kIkPU&feature=endscreen Abt 2002 Worlds sp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K2k4fQUIw4 Abt 2002 Worlds fp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uutt5Hszqhc&feature=relmfu Yagudin 2002 Worlds fp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w872zjNfzY Matt 2002 Worlds fp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9SxUPJdVGc Honda 2002 Worlds fp

    The clips are also interesting in that Goebel performs a 3-axel out of a spread eagle (likely inspired by Matt), altho' Goebel doesn't do it quite as well, even despite the fact his blade got caught and he wobbled slightly before going into the 3-axel. I notice too that Weiss around this time had changed his style of skating, very likely once again due to the impact and influence of Matt's skating. I have to say that Matt truly deserved to be at least placed above Weiss at Nationals and Worlds (especially b/c Weiss altho' he often attempted a quad, never cleanly landed one). The quad is a huge factor during that period, unfortunately. Goebel's lightning quick ability to turn revolutions and land multiple quads is the main reason why he was able to move up so quickly in the U.S. senior rankings. To his credit, Goebel was a fighter -- and strangely after he lost his ability to consistently land quads, Goebel made strides in developing other aspects of his skating.

    For Matt, as someone indicated earlier, I suppose the fact that he stayed loyal to his first coach and did not take the advice to move away from home and train with a "top" coach, meant that TPTB dropped him off their politically relevant radar.

    BTW, is Matt's last name pronounced "Sa-vwah" or "Sa-voy"?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  40. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Should be "Sa-vwah." :swoon:
    Is "Sa-voy." :fragile: