Tonya Harding at the 1993 U.S. National Championships

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by essence_of_soy, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    The outcome of this event provided much of the impetus for the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.

    Having watched the ladies free skating again on youtube from Phoenix, I would have put Harding on the World team over Tonia Kwaitkowski, maybe even Lisa Ervin. Combining their short and free skating performances, they all skated about the same, but Harding looked like she was working her way back to form, and may have done better at Worlds than even Kerrigan's fifth place.
     
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  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Based on Harding's skating the entire 92-93 season I doubt she would have done any better than 5th place at the very well skated 93 Worlds, especialy as the USFSA clearly saw Kerrigan as their #1 by that point and wouldnt have politiked for Tonya at all in Prague, and obviously too late to do anything about it once gold medal favorite Kerrigan messed up bigtime in the long program. That said she clearly should have been on the World team over Kwiatkowski. I would have placed both Harding and Bobek over Kwiatkowski, and actually since Ervin was only 5th in the short Harding probably should have beaten her overall as well.
     
  3. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    As someone mentioned concerning Evan on DWTS this week, I think Tonya was being rated according to her potential, not how she actually skated relative to the other girls. IOW, since she had the ability to skate so much better, it didn't really matter to the judges that Tonya was superior overall (IMO at least) to Kwiatkowski. I think they were trying to teach Tonya a lesson.

    If she had really knuckled down, Tonya could have skated well enough to deserve a top-five placing in Prague. But I doubt the judges would have placed her that high.
     
  4. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I think they would have placed her as high as 4th or 5th in Prague based on how everyone skated if she skated quite well. I dont see them placing her on the podium though unless she skated lights out with a triple axel. Unfortunately she wasnt as in favor or seen as a leader anymore outside the U.S, and as I mentioned she would have been the USFSA distant #2 going into Prague and not received much backing as they perhaps unwisely would have still had all their eggs in the very jittery Kerrigan basket.

    I agree with you on why she wasnt put on the team. I think that is the same reason Bobek was also placed below Kwiatkowski when she easily could have been placed above. Ervin was rewarded for skating to the best of her limited potential, and Kwiatkowski you always expected to bomb and only land a couple triples back then so there wasnt the dissapointment factor there was with the acknowledged special talents like Harding and young Bobek.
     
  5. Kwantumleap

    Kwantumleap Well-Known Member

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    Why?
     
  6. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Well, one thing to keep in mind was that the ordinals in the freeskate were all over the place, to the extent that there were flipflops in the standings while the event was in progress.

    So I don't think "the USFSA" in the persons of the judges were speaking with a single voice in this decision.
     
  7. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I dont understand how the ordinals fliped between Harding and Kwiatkowski in the the long program (which dropped Harding beneath Ervin and Kwiatkowski both overall) after Kerrigan skated when Kerrigan got all 1st place ordinals in the long program. How would that change any ordinals.
     
  8. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but 1993 World's was well skated? The only 2 in top 6 who completed clean' programs with any degree of difficulty was Bonaly...but she had zero in betweens and Lu Chen. Baiul was fab but had no combination and she skated very juniorish.

    Kerrigan was a hot mess and so was Josee Chounaird. Yuka Sato also had issues. "IF" Josee and Nancy had skated well, I totally see them as the 2 that would have been in the top 2 slots (with Kerrigan winning). Bonaly, Chen and Baiul would have fought for 3rd with I think Chen or Bonaly getting the edge.

    Harding should have been at World's IMHO. Lisa and Tonia were awful that year. But IMHO, 1993 was just not a good year in general for US ladies.
     
  9. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I think the problem with Tonya too was that her skating looked very outdated by 1993. I don't know if I can explain it well. It's not her packaging (costumes, hair style, nail color, etc.) that I'm talking about but the way she skated. From her stroking to her really ugly spiral to MITFs that didn't really connect to barely there footwork throughout the routine anything to hardly held spins. Combine all of that to generic movie music just playing in the background everything just seemed very stiff and even old. Kerrigan wasn't the best skater ever by any means but her team packaged her better than Tonya's team did.

    Lisa Ervin and Tonia Kwiatkowski may not have been much better in terms of potential and talent but they didn't seem as stale as Tonya did and it looked like their skating was looking forward as opposed to stagnating at best.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  10. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    For the standards of womens figure skating the 93 Worlds was for sure an unusually well and cleanly skated event.

    In the short program the top 8 women- Kerrigan, Baiul, Bonaly, Chouinard, Chen, Sato, Preston, and Szewcenko all skated cleanly. The top 5 all had a triple lutz combination. In the long program the 3 medalists- Baiul, Bonaly, and Chen all skated cleanly and excellently. Baiul and Bonaly had probably the best free programs of their careers that night. Sato who finished 4th skated almost cleanly and very well. Kiellmann who was 5th in the long to move up to 6th overall had the best performance of her life that night. Preston had one of her best performances ever with 6 clean triples and only one fall and was 5th overall before a wild ordinal flip bumped her to 8th overall (basically what was a 5-4 split between her and Szewenko for 6th vs 7th in the long switched with a single out of line 6th place ordinal for Chouinard which bumped Preston below Kiellman, Kerrigan, and Szewcenko overall). Szewcenko had an inspired performance, better than her bronze medal performance at the 94 Worlds probably, skating cleanly with 5 triples. Kulovana had probably the skate of her life that night too in front of her home crowd, skating cleanly with 4 triples. The only dissapointments of the last 2 flights were Kerrigan and Chouinard, and they both were in a big way yes, but the rest saw so many inspired performances, over half the women probably having personal best, so many clean performances, and the ones that wont were also very strong.

    I agree that the field was lacking a Yamaguchi or Ito type leader, and with Kerrigan the frontrunner of that field skating poorly it maybe lacked a true World Championship caliber skater. However as far as personal bests and so many women skating well, it was an extremely and rarely well skated event.

    As much as I like Josee I am pretty surprised you think she was slated that well with everyone skating well. In the short program where she skated cleanly she was still placed a distant 4th behind Kerrigan, Baiul, and Bonaly. My feeling is with Kerrigan bombing had Josee skated well she probably would have been given the bronze behind Baiul and Bonaly, but ahead of Chen. Then again Josee was skating last so maybe if she brought the house down like she did at Canadians, maybe the judges would have gotten caught up enough to give her the gold. Who knows for sure, but I dont think going in she was that kind of frontrunner in their eyes, even in this field, at all. Bonaly and Chen clearly deserved to beat Baiul IMO at these Worlds and still did not, so I try to think along with what the judges were thinking rather than the actual skating merit in this case.
     
  11. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    On another note the womens event that year was certainly far better skated than the mens. To put it into perspective Chen landed a clean triple lutz-double toe in her short program and ended up only 5th in the short. Eric Millot in the mens short had a triple lutz-double combination too and put his hand down and still ended up 4th in the short, higher than Chen in the womens short. Now that is a pretty rare situation. Stojko ended up 5th in the short and coming back to win silver despite 3 major mistakes in the short.
     
  12. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    I guess we will have to agree to disagree. The women's events for many years in the early 90's were gawd awful. Bright stars at moments... but nothing spectacular. I don't think their was any really good skating in the women's event until the Kwan/ Chen rivalry and the Kwan/ Lipinski/Slutskaya rivalry. I have it all on tapes and could go back but nothing in the years 1992-1995 stand out for me as being spectacular.

    Mind you, ladiezzzzzz is ladiezzzzz for a reason for me. Give me the drama of the dance or the quad combos' vs program component men skaters anyday...
     
  13. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    The Kwan/Chen rivalry only existed at one event really. Chen crashed and burned in each meeting with Kwan that season until Worlds, and was never a threat to Kwan after Kwan winning those 96 Worlds. I also dont think Slutskaya first became a major rival to Kwan until after Lipinski had been gone almost 2 years anyway.
     
  14. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    I do know that if Kwan didn't look so juniorish in '95, I think she would have placed higher at '95 World's. So it wasn't just 1 yr/ 1 event rivalry.

    Slutskaya won bronze in '96 World's and was European Champion that same year. In 1997 she just missed the podium to Gusmeroli for bronze but retained her Euro title. I believe she was 5th in the Olympics in 1998 but won silver that same year at the World's and the European's.
     
  15. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    So in other words if Kwan was older in 1995 she would have been Chen's rival that year too. Hence why I said their rivalry was limited to only the 96 Worlds really. :lol: Slutskaya was arguably the top European threat in the from 96-98 but she was never really a big gold threat at the World level those years. It was always Kwan and Tara or Chen, with the rest fighting for bronze.
     
  16. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

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    Trying to get this thread back on track....I mean isn't it about 93 US Nationals? ;)


    USFSA was very foolish to send Kwiatkowski to worlds that year. She had looked really good in practice leading up to that SP but then wiped out on one of her jumps. Then she was very disappointing in the LP landing something like only 2 triples. I actually thought at the time that Bobek should have finished 3rd overall and gone to worlds. Anyone but Kwiatkowski who clearly deserved to be in 5th place overall. A month later the USFSA got what they deserved by sending Kwiatkowski to worlds when she bombed in qualifying.

    Sending Harding wouldn't have been a bad choice. Nationals were early that year, in January, and she would have had 7 weeks to get ready for worlds. I agree though that international judges would have been hard on Harding come Prague.

    And yes there were several flip-flops during the event which made it very exciting even though it was a very poorly skated event. After Bobek skated Harding remained ahead of Tonia K but then after Ervin skated Tonia K moved ahead of Harding (I think I have that order right).

    BTW essence, this event had nothing to do with the attack on Kerrigan a year later. I don't think any of that came into play until 93 NHK.
     
  17. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    Anybody have an idea how Ervin, Bobek, Harding and Kwiatkowski did at their fall internationals for the 1992-3 season? I'm not sure there was a clear cut #2 that season.
     
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to do some research about the senior events.

    At 1993 Junior Worlds, Ervin had just won her third straight silver medal, whereas Bobek, who had been 4th the year before, did not do so well (stories about her sneaking out of her room to party).
     
  19. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

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    Harding bombed at Skate Canada in the fall of 92. She showed up overweight and out of shape. She skated poorly and finished off the podium. I can't remember where Kwiatkowski went in the fall of 92. Need to think about that one. NHK maybe?
     
  20. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

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    Bobek was 4th in 91 and didn't go in 92. In Seoul in 93 I think she finished 16th or 17th.
     
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  21. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    OK, here's what Ben Wright has to say about those ladies' fall 1992 results in his Skating in America book:

    Skate America
    Kerrigan 2
    Bobek 6
    Ervin 8

    Skate Canada
    Harding 4

    Nation's Cup
    Kwiatkowski 5

    Chrysler pro-am (first cheesefest :) )
    Kerrigan 1
    Harding 2

    NHK
    Ervin 10
    (incidentally, Kyoko Ina was 8th)

    Jr. Worlds
    Ervin 2
    Bobek 16
     
  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    It is funny how Szewcenko placed only 3rd and 4th at Junior Worlds in late 92 and late 93, yet placed much higher at Senior Worlds those same seasons than any of the women who beat her at Junior Worlds.
     
  23. dr.frog

    dr.frog Well-Known Member

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    I was at that nationals. What a mess of a competition.

    IIRC, Harding skated first in the final group. She landed, what, 3 triples? Folks I was sitting with were all wondering why she had so little content, and thought her marks were too high for what she did.

    Bobek and Kwiatkowski were both really sloppy. I always figured the thing that tipped the balance in Kwiatkowski's favor was that she landed the only triple lutz in the final group.

    Kerrigan was slow as molasses and looked like a nervous wreck, but after Harding failed to deliver any kind of serious challenge it was obvious that she was going to win no matter what just based on seniority.

    Ervin didn't have the difficulty in her jump repertoire, but she was the only one in the final group to go out there and really attack her program and performance. Really, the only two performances from that entire ladies free skate competition that left any kind of positive impression were Ervin's and Kwan's. The rest were all somewhere between :yawn: and :yikes:.
     
  24. Margot

    Margot New Member

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    I was also at the 1993 Nationals. I was disappointed Kwiatkowski placed 3rd over Harding. Then Kwiatkowski didn't make the cut at Worlds and the US could send only 2 skaters to the 94 Olympics and Worlds.
     
  25. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Incidentally if Harding had gone and placed top 8 at 1993 Worlds, US would have 3 spots and she probably wouldn't have to whack Kerrigan. (And Kwan would have competed in Lillehammer)
     
  26. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Who knows though. Maybe Harding wanted to make sure she was the no. 1 U.S. lady going into Lillehamar. It wasn't that she just wanted to be on the team, but she wanted to take Kerrigan out of the equation altogether thus gain complete USFSA political backing. Harding may have been so desperate at that point that she felt she would never be in favor as long as Kerrigan was still viable for the Olympics, even if Harding shaped up in time for 1994 Nationals.

    Of course my theory only works if we believe that Harding had any involvement with the whack, ;)
     
  27. Tony Wheeler

    Tony Wheeler Well-Known Member

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    No.. Pretty sure you needed a medal back then to earn three spots for your country, so no, the USA would have been set with two skaters unless Tonya would have gotten into some miraculous shape between Nationals and Worlds and pulled off a podium placement.

    We were just discussing the 13 points or less rule in another thread, and it was passed at the ISU Congress in 1996, and went into place during the ISU Championships in 1997 for determining spots in 1998.
     
  28. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Considering how well Surya Bonaly, Lu Chen and even Oksana Baiul and Yuka Sato skated at 1993 Worlds, I don't think Tonya Harding could have been better than Kerrigan's 5th place.
    Anyway, she could have easily been the 2nd US skater at those Worlds. ;)
     
  29. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Thanks Tony. I had no idea.

    Guess that means the only way to have Kwan at Lillehammer besides wishing ill on Kerrigan's recovery is to have Harding confess before then (which would never have happened).
     
  30. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Sato didnt skate that well though. Only a triple loop combo in the short which is why she ended up 6th in the short when Kerrigan, Baiul, Bonaly, Choinaurd, and Chen all cleanly landed triple lutz combos. Then in the long only 4 triples managed- a triple lutz, two triple loops, and one triple salchow.