Wachsman - Waggoner

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by olympic, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,959
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8XUr7vzvMc&feature=related

    I always thought this pair had great potential. They got together in '85 and won the US Natl. Title in '86 after just a year together. They were quite young and retired after 4th at '88 Worlds, and a final group pair at Calgary [I don't know where they finished].

    Does anyone have any info on them? Why they retired so young when they seemed to be developing?

    He was kinda hot :shuffle:
    oleada and (deleted member) like this.
  2. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,954
    That was lovely.
  3. DaveRocks

    DaveRocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,310
    I'd also be interested to know the reason why they retired.

    Olympic: they ended up fifth in Calgary. Thanks for posting the video.
  4. Aaron MB Fan

    Aaron MB Fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    306
    Wow that was amazing. I really enjoyed them! Too bad they didn't continue.
  5. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,815
    4 minutes of Maleguena :scream: ... :lol:

    That was one of their best performances, but I don't remember them as being a very consistent pair though. Weren't they placed ahead of W&P after the SP at Calgary but then made one mistake after another to drop out of medal contention ?

    I think Rob was a pilot of some sort in the Air Force Academy back then and probably wanted to pursue that career option after 88.
  6. ~tapdancer~

    ~tapdancer~ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Messages:
    5,083
    Rob? Are you thinking of someone else? His first name is Todd. I remember them from that time period but it's been so long I can't remember why they retired. Apparently they were thinking of it already during 88 worlds since Scott mentioned it during the commentary. I loved their "Maleguena".
  7. DaveRocks

    DaveRocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,310
    By W/P, do you mean Watson and Oppegard? In Calgary, W&O were 3rd in the short and 3rd in the long. W&W were 4th in the short and 5th in the long.
  8. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,269
    Thanks for posting, that was quite nice. :) They had some particularly good transitions and unison.
  9. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,130
    I think by 1988 they both had had enough of skating and were ready to move on with their lives. Gillian had been 4th at US Nationals in 1984 with former British skater Robert Daw but they were ineligible for Olympics cause Robert had skated in Lake Placid in 1980 for Great Britain (a rule that has since been changed).

    As someone else mentioned Todd went on to get his pilot's license. I think he is still married to former US ice dancer Kristen Lowery who oddly enough is the daughter of Rita Lowery who coached Watson/Oppegard to the bronze medal at 88 Olympics.

    After competing I want to say Gillian went to Paris to study ballet and the arts. I "believe" she later got married and had a couple of kids.

    W/W were a really inconsistent team. More often than not their performances were disappointing. They pretty much bombed at both 86 and 87 worlds before getting it together and skating well in 88. They should have won US Nationals in 1988. Their win in 86 was a big surprise. They really didn't skate much better than the favorites and defending champions Watson/Oppegard but for some reason, in a time when the favorites always got the benefit from the judges, W/O didn't that day and W/W ended up winning in an upset.
  10. easilydistracte

    easilydistracte Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    I remember watching a [made-for-TV?] pro competition in the early 1990's where W&W had come out of retirement to compete. In the fluff piece prior to their performance, the focus was on Gillian and it was mentioned that she had attended Columbia University. The story didn't say much about Todd. They surprised everyone by pulling 10's (pro scoring system) and won the competition. Don't know the name of the music they used (and Dorothy Hamill used the same music in the same competition), but their performance was lovely and they looked really secure despite having been off the ice for so long. (As far as I know, it's not on Youtube; I've been looking for it and haven't been able to find it.) I don't remember ever hearing anything else about them since then.
  11. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    8,532
    Wow, they should have kept going, what a great long program.
  12. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,959
    I remembered liking W/W more than W/O even back then. They were inventive and even that '88 program of theirs was CoP friendly. Can I say it again? He was kinda hot.

    W/O always struck me as being a little on the skittish side when they competed. Like their basics weren't solid or perhaps they were a little mismatched? I remember Jill nearly falling on the SBS 2x in the LP @ Calgary, and I think they botched another move. Can't remember which.

    Funny that the US had the # 3 and # 5 pairs in Calgary '88, when both US teams were on the inconsistent side, apparently.
  13. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    3,368
    Fluff from the '88 Olympics.
  14. easilydistracte

    easilydistracte Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Didn't Jill fall on a death spiral one year when W&O were at Worlds?

    Getting off the subject for a bit, but I preferred Watson's pairing with Burt Lancon to her pairing with Oppegard. Here's one of W&L's 1984 performances at Sarajevo: Short Program. (Tried to link to their long program, too, but can't get the link to work!! Their helicopter lift in their LP is spectacular!)

    Okay, back on subject: Yeah, I would have liked for W&W to have stayed together for a while longer. Lots of potential.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  15. Cloudy_Gumdrops

    Cloudy_Gumdrops New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Messages:
    11,834
    That is a wonderful program. They were really good.

    I favorite-ed it on YouTube.
  16. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,959
    I think Jill fell on the Death Spiral in '85 Worlds? They finished 4th overall and it was her first year with Peter [Burt retired after '84; they were injured during '84 Worlds and had to withdraw during the SP I think?]

    Yes! I remember thinking W/L were one good pair when I saw them at Sarajevo where they finished 6th overall. How long were they together? Any comps before Sarajevo? They didn't seem to be together long at all yet they did really well at the Olympics.


    ETA - Here was W/L's disastrous SP at '84 Worlds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l454WYxAG_U&feature=related

    From the commentary, they had only been together for 18 months prior, which means their 6th place at Sarajevo was something else!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  17. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    12,385
    Exactly the same music as Surya Bonaly in 1989 and Kristi Yamaguchi in 1992 !!! (just 30 seconds more in the middle.)

    I am really impressed by them.
  18. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,130

    Funny you should mention Watson/Lancon. Their LP in Saravejo is one of my all-time favorite LP's in pairs skating. Loved it. There was a romantic quality to their skating that is absent in almost all other pairs. Technically the program was very easy (the sbs jumps and only 1 throw) but from an artistic and presentation viewpoint I loved it. I was so disappointed that Burt quit after the 84 season. However, I did become a big fan of W/O over the next 4 years. They were a very glamorous couple.
  19. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,130
  20. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,697
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  21. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,959
    I think the reason I preferred W/L to W/O was the fact that they seemed to gel as a couple more. Perhaps it was the less height difference, but they just seemed to interact better. I loved the innovations, too.
  22. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,815
    W/O had the beauty and the big tricks but you're right that they never really gelled as "two people skating as one." The big height difference, the unmatched body lines, and the mirrored jumping were distracting, imo.
  23. easilydistracte

    easilydistracte Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Thanks for all the links, y'all!

    Here's the music that W&W skated to in that pro comp back in the 1990's: Pie Jesu.

    I wish there were video of the actual performance. It was quite lovely. If I remember correctly, Gillian was dressed extremely simply in a plain white dress, white tights and white skates while Todd was in all black. The program flowed beautifully.
  24. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,437
    Wachsman and Waggoner probably should have stayed 1 more year because I think the named skater rule would have sent all of them, Yamaguchi/Galindo and Seybold/Seybold to the 1989 World Championships.

    I think the key event that kind of skewered the judges favor was probably the 1987 US Nationals LP where Watson/Oppegard skated a great LP and Wachsman/Waggoner kind of made a mess of the LP.

    The United States were in retrospect quite fortunate to have 2 top 5 pairs teams at the same time.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,324
    W&W would have no problem beating both Y&G and S&S at the 89 Nationals IMO. Especialy the Seybolds who they never had problems beating before and who skated poorly at the 89 Nationals. So how many spots the U.S had for the 89 Worlds would be a moot point for them, they had nothing to worry about. And with how atrocious the field at the 89 Worlds was in pairs they would have won the silver if they just had a decent competition.
  26. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    17,476
    IIRC this win was discussed in a book (I think it's Christine Brennan's first one) as an example of judges "holding up" skaters. I know there are a lot of flaws with this theory and it's pretty subjective, i.e. people tend to think that another skater has been "held up" if their own favourite loses, but in the competition which this book discusses, W/W fell quite a lot and still ended up winning.

    I have to say, looking at the videos that have been linked here, that pairs was a lot more impressive to watch when skaters didn't have to go through a gazillion moves in each element to get maximum points. There is something to be said for skaters holding a position long enough so that the viewer can appreciate the beautiful lines and the strength and skill it takes to do such difficult moves well.
  27. easilydistracte

    easilydistracte Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    294
  28. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    6,959
    ...and who knows how much of an influence that would've had on them to stay until Albertville '92: There was a window of opportunity to be an undisputed top pair w/ Y/G splitting after '90 and the Seybolds disappearing [whatever happened to them]
  29. Maximillian

    Maximillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    2,039
    I think that W/W did not get along well personally, which might have contributed to their premature retirement.
  30. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    17,991
    This is a nice thread.

    I really like W&W's FS performance at 88 Worlds. I don't think they could have skated it better. And they did a great Malguena.
  31. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    3,368
    Yeah, this was also my impression.
  32. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,447
    I remember how snippy David Santee was to them in the K&C (he was working for ABC interviewing the skaters) when he informed them that they had finished in 5th place.
  33. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,815
    I think poor David Santee was really inexperienced as a TV journalist and was thrown into the big time without much of a safety net. He just wasn't very comfortable in front of the camera at that point.
  34. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,130


    I'm not sure I understand this. True that W/W did not skate all that great at 86 Nationals but W/O were the heavy favorites there. W/O were defending champions and had been 4th in their first worlds the year before. W/W had never even been to worlds before. At 85 Skate America W/O had won while W/W were 3rd. Was Brennan saying that W/W got held up and won?
  35. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,105
    What's the named skater rule?
  36. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,721
    Am I hearing correctly that Gillian is pronounced with a hard "g" as in gorilla?
  37. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,488
    Wachsmann and Waggoner make me weep for the current state of U.S. pair skating.

    Back in the 1980s, next to the Soviets, U.S. pairs were often the next best in the world.
  38. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,324
    There is more depth in pairs today than there was in Calgary. Back around then the Soviets were head and shoulders above the rest. Valova & Vassiliev had their worst performance ever and still easily won the silver in Calgary.

    The U.S has had several pairs since Calgary that were similar level of conention to W&O and W&W. Meno & Sand, Ina & Dungen, Ina & Zimmerman.
  39. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    9,815
    Huh? The only American team since the Kennedy brother and sister team won Worlds in the 50 that were considered a gold medal threat to the Soviet was Tai & Randy in 1980. That was a 30 years gap. After Tai & Randy no other American pairs even came close. The Carruthers winning silver in 84 was a total fluke .
  40. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    17,476
    Oh really?? Since the discipline has changed so much and the judging system is completely different, I don't even know if the two can be compared.