Which 80s US Lady was most successful?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by olympic, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    None the less, it did not do the "sport" any favors by underscoring the most athletic performances when they were seeing her perform well in practice all week.
     
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Yes that is true. That is figure skating judges for you though, especialy in the 6.0 days.
     
  3. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    In Elaine's defense, she was injured and had to withdraw from '83 Worlds which put her in a hole even more.

    It's too bad Elaine had a meltdown at '82 Nats because she would've retained her title going clean and maybe just maybe would've had a little more momentum because by '83 Nats, Roz could fall in the LP and still beat Elaine as defending World Champ. That competition, where Roz had a fall and Elaine was relatively clean, showed that Roz was the favorite moving forward
     
  4. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on all. Not skating well at the 84 Nationals also hurt her a huge amount going into Sarajevo though IMO. She had a real shot to win there, and probably would have had she skated like Sarajevo. Chin was awesome at Nationals but way down in figures (while Zayak was 2nd) which is the only reason she didnt beat Sumners there. Sumners was not the same skater she was in 83, and skated worse at Nationals than the Games. Zayak skating poorly there and scraping onto the Olympic team in 3rd place gave the USFSA no reason to back her politically over Sumners, the reigning World Champion, or even Chin who was their best skater at Nationals and their hot up and coming prospect.

    In a perfect World none of that would matter and only how well Zayak skated at the Games after two years of ups and downs would matter, but that wouldnt be realistic in this sport unfortunately.

    How easily Zayak beat Chin at Nationals in figures might indicate Chin's figures placing in Sarajevo was sadly correct (if she cant even place well at her own Nationals in figures, she will be buried at the Games), but Zayak's was probably unduly harsh. Although it is funny that Chin in her TSL interview with Dave and Jenny joked that she was amazed to be 2nd in figures at the 85 Worlds after being 12th at the 84 Olympics as she felt her figures didnt improve at all (yet she refused to even suggest or agree she might have been robbed to be 4th at the Olympics when asked, so it is hard to say what she was really thinking, she seemed to be purposely doing a nice girl interview).
     
  5. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

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    If Tiffany could have stayed in the form she was in during the 1984 Sarajevo season, she would have been quite incredible.

    Jill in 1987 had that 'no fear no holds' attack which was also thrilling, and such a well turned out lady with style.
     
  6. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention '84 Nationals. Roz and Elaine were both pretty subpar in the LP. I wonder what would've happened had Elaine skated well and Roz the same. Would the USFSA judges have given Elaine the crown?
     
  7. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Chin would have been the 1988 Olympic Champion had she mantained and built on her 1984 level of skating. She is still someone who breaks my heart as so much potential and talent was there and all it amounted to was 2 World bronzes and a U.S title, and retiring since she was a has been even in the U.S with no hope of qualifying for the Calgary Olympics. In 1984 she really combined everything that everyone in womens skating wanted to see. Big impressive jumps, ability to do a triple flip even, tremendous spins with wonderful positions and some difficult variations, terrific basic skating, musicality and choreography, and personality, youth, and vigor. She both fit the annoying pwetty princess ice queen mold that people like Fleming and the USFSA insisted upon, and the athletic and strong skater that European judges at the time liked. She was like a combination of the very best qualities of Sumners and Zayak, with her own unique style and look on top of that, but by next year it was already fizzling out fast.

    Olympic, I remember reading a quote in the New York Times where 2 judges from U.S Nationals who were in fact judging the womens event said if Zayak had skated cleanly as the last skater, the way the event had gone to that point, she would have won.
     
  8. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    So, it's quite possible that Elaine wasn't 'dead' to the USFSA even as late as '84. I wonder how that would've influenced Sarajevo judging? Elaine may have been as high as 3rd or 2nd in the SP
     
  9. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I think for Elaine had she won Nationals, you would have seen a much different situation at the Games. After doing poorly at Nationals and having WD from last years Worlds, they put all their support behind reigning World Champion Sumners to give her the best chance to win and dumped the other two politically (hence 12th and 13th in figures). Since Sumners had been shaky that year, even losing to Sandra Dub. I would have hedged my bets, and probably backed Sumners as the #1 but still pushed for the other two also.

    Elaine definitely wasnt dead to the USFSA yet though. At Nationals she fell in the short and still was placed over people like Jill Frost and a young Debi Thomas who went clean.
     
  10. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Active Member

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    Chin was a beautiful artist but was a weak jumper. That is why she get no medal at 84 Olympics and be passed by all younger U.S girls. I saw her skate at 85 Nationals, 85 Worlds, and 87 Nationals and she only do 2 triple at most. She never could become Olympic Champion.
     
  11. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Sumners knew she couldnt compete with Thomas. That is why she retired at only the tender age of 17 rather than continue on and try to win more Worlds and the 88 Olympic Gold. To ask who is better just ask yourself this, how would Sumners have done vs Thomas had she continued past 84? The answer seems obvious.
     
  12. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this was the reason for her retirement. Most skaters at the time skated 1 quadrennial and that was it
     
  13. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    OK but who would have won had she continued. I say Thomas. More talented, more complete, more athletic, better line and power. Sumners would have placed 2nd fiddle to Thomas in the United States from 86 onwards had she continued.
     
  14. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    Sumners was 20 in 84, but I agree she definitely would not have been competitive in the 85-88 quad. The difficulty level went up, so not only did she have Thomas but she didn't have the consistency Witt did. She wouldn't even come close to Manley, Kadavy and possibly Ivanova even with figures. She may have medaled at the 85 worlds, if she did landed 3 triples, considering Chins performances there wasn't too great.
     
  15. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Sumners couldn't have competed with Fratianne.
     
  16. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    I guess it depends. Fratianne was steadier with more powerful jumps; but Roz had an edge on components. Both did 3 sal and 3 toe so if Roz was clean a la '83 Worlds, the edge would go to her
     
  17. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Had Fratianne stayed in Sumners would have passed her easily as the top U.S lady in 83 (if Zayak hadnt already supplanted her before that). Fratianne never did more than 2 triples and Sumners despite being seen as "unathletic" in the face of Zayak, Witt, Biellmann, was often doing 3 or 4 that year. Sumners also would easily beat Fratianne on the 2nd mark. There was no reason for Fratianne to even consider staying in, she had already peaked, and her technical had plateaued for years and she was just struggling to keep what she already had by then.

    On the other hand if one compares them within their own time Fratianne was the greater and more consistent champion IMO who did more to push the sport forward in her own era (77-80) especialy technically, than Sumners ever did in hers. Sumners just managed pretty skating that met the technical requirements of the time, but nothing many others hadnt before. Good for her own era, but not a skater for the ages, although winning the Olympic Gold would have made her famous regardless.

    I do wonder if Fratianne or Sumners had won the Olympic Gold, which both very nearly did, if either would be revered the same way Fleming, Hamill, Yamaguchi, Heiss, Albright, are. I suspect not. I think they would get more Lipinski level respect these days at best. More than Hughes mind you.
     
  18. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Fratianne had the 3S-2L, and could have done more in her own time. Type of triple rather than number of triples was more important in from 1976-1980. Repetition was redundant.

    Neither Fratianne nor Sumners could beat team Jutta Mueller, but across the three phase format, Linda did better. Furthermore, Zayak should have been wedged at the top of the SP and LP at the 1984 Olympics like Biellmann was in 1980.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  19. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ITA. I meant to state in my earlier post that Sumners usually repeated one of her triples for a total of 3-4 triples per LP whereas Fratianne only did 2 triples.

    I think reverence for either skater depends on certain factors - Fleming and Hamill had certain personality traits (ice queen; ballerina; perky; even a famous hairdo) that really made the non-fan public take notice. I don't know if either Sumners or Fratianne did. Fratianne could've won but she personality-wise seemed the quite, studious, introverted type which wouldn't grab the attention of the general public. Sumners was 'perky' and 'princessy' and had blonde hair / blue eyes, but she didn't have anything extra that Fleming or Hamill didn't exhibit before.
     
  20. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Why are some of you defending Sumners abilities. She was a pretty good skater with average skills who fluked her way near the top for like 1 year in a weak transition time for the sport. She isnt even in the league of Fratianne and Thomas, truly great skaters who are still admired today. Had Biellmann not retired at 18, Wainmann's career not fallen off, and Zayak not gone on decline and been mostly out of shape after 82, the 84 Olympics would have been a battle between those 4 for the gold. Sumners at best would have been someone who had a chance to sneak in for bronze, along with others who retired before 84 had they been there like Wegelius, Kristofics Binder, De Vries. Sarajevo was a weak field with almost all the prominent people of the quad declined or retired altogether. A skater who had been out of international competitions since 81 due to a ban won the bronze, what does that tell. A skater nobody had heard of before the Games and who would never win a World medal even in later years much improved- Anna Pomashova or something like that, also had the chance for the bronze there. Even the 83 silver and bronze medalists behind Sumnres at Worlds Leistner and Vodorezova showed up at the Games in awful shape and skated terribly, making the path to gold easier for Sumners, and she still proved too weak and nervous to get it in the end. Vodorezova also won that bronze at the 83 Worlds like 40% the free skater she was in the 70s, which proves with her improved figures she would easily have clobbered Sumners for the title had she not gone through her arthritis and other problems since she was a teen phenom.

    81-84 was just a crazy schizoid era. Look at the 82 Worlds results for instance, they look like a lottery board. Someone like Vikki de Vries won many internationals over World Champions, yet could never place higher than 7th at Worlds and couldnt even make the 83 and 84 teams for the U.S. Someone like Tracy Wainmann won events over World medalists like Kristofics Binder, Ivanova, and Sumners, but couldnt ever place higher than 10th at Worlds, and never made another Worlds after 81. Those are just some examples what a crazy and unorganized quad it was and it was an average skater like Sumners who benefited to be at the top despite non impressive skating from any vantage point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  21. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Anyone who watched the 84 Olympics can also say that Chin was a much better skater than Sumners by that point. Chin was just as artistic and beautiful as Sumners, but way more athletic, stronger jumper, way better spins (Roz always had weak spins), and at that point anyway she didnt choke and make mistakes under pressure like Sumners always did, and did there too to all but gift Witt the gold which the judges clearly wanted to hand the Sumners but she refused to accept. If it werent for figures it would be Chin battling Witt for gold and Chin would have had a good shot to take it, and Sumners fighting to hold off Ivanova and Zayak for bronze. Figures elevated Sumners into more a contender than she otherwise would be, and eliminated strong skaters like Chin and before 84 Witt.

    Yeah Sumners would be beating Fratianne by 1983 if she stayed in but big deal, a 17 year old beating a 24 year old in womens skating. Even 16 year old Kostner back when she was a holy mess could beat 24 year old Kwan the times they met.
     
  22. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    I agree Sumners really lucked out especially with Biellman retiring and Zayak struggling in 83. Both should have been the top skaters in this quad, with an up and coming Witt on their heels. Then again you do have to take into account figures, and how strong she was in this area, while Biellmann and Chin were on the other end of the spectrum in that phase of the competition.

    Chin was at her best in 84, but she was not USA #1 and that hurt her standing (especially in figures). I'm not sure I'd say Witt was gifted the gold, unless you mean she lucked out because the others didn't deliver or were past their prime which is what happened as is.
     
  23. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Zayak at 83 Nationals was still landing alot of triples but her jumps had become small and heavy unlike powerful and dynamic like the years before, and her skating had become slow and ponderous. She struggled from the time of her World title until the Olympics, and had she skated like she did at the Olympics for time before that she would have never lost the status she did and would have scored much higher there.

    Dont forget Tracy Wainmann. Many thought she was the next big thing and a potential 1984 winner as well before her mind and body failed her and she quit skating at only 14. Amazing to think she is even younger than Chin and Chin was the youngest contender at the 84 Olympics but Tracy was already World class by 1981, beating World medalists.

    The 1984 Olympics should have been Biellmann vs Witt vs Wainmann vs Zayak for gold, and had she not had her physical problems in 79-81 add Vodorezova as a 5th one fighting for gold, then Sumners, Kristofics Binder, Wegelius, Cotrill of Britian, fighting for bronze. Maybe add Leistner had she not been injured, Chin, and Thompson of Canada had she improved since 82 (which she didnt) to those fighting from behind to try and get a medal too. What an amazing event it could be then. That is what it should have been. Instead all those people had either retired or declined and we have a weak event with Sumners the gold medal favorite and a skater who had been banned from figure skating since 1981 winning bronze, blech. So glad Sumners didnt win despite her favored status. Would have been the worst skater to win Olympics if she had.
     
  24. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^ I always thought the '84 Olympics was one of the blander ladies competitions. A lot of ladies who could've mixed it up a lot more either faded or retired - Biellmann, Kristofics-Binder (Queen of figures in this time frame), Cottrill (strong figures; athletic free skater w/ a 3loop), Wegelius (Figures);
     
  25. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    These skaters would have also helped Sumners. Had Sumners had more people between her and Witt after figures she probably would have won the gold. Once Witt ended up 3rd in figures, Sumners was in huge trouble. Witt was always the superior free skater. I dont think Sumners even once beat Witt in a combined short/long program in a competition.
     
  26. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I always find the dismissiveness of Sumner's skating to be disheartening around here. Was she as strong of a skater as some of the ladies that came before her and after her? Probably not. However, I found her attention to detail, flow, finished quality to be pretty beautiful. Even in Sarajevo where she popped a gazillion jumps, I still found her skating to be beautiful. I know people for some reason really hate the "ice princess" style and think anything that deviates from that is automatically superior, but it was her style and she did it very well.
     
  27. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    re Sumners - I can only speak for myself, she has finesse and polish but her skating skills lacked a certain wow factor to me and she came across as kind of cold even icy. This was in direct contrast to the warm and bubbly Zayak. Yet, I sat as a teen thru years of Peggy slobbering all over her while dissing Zayak. Maybe that is why I personally felt no love for her or her skating
     
  28. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Sumners had weak spins. Her footwork also wasnt impressive. To effectively pull off the ice princess style to the point of people loving and appreciating it I think you atleast need eye catching spins. Hers were far from it. Had she borrowed Tiffany Chin's spins and not given you such a feeling of uneasiness, like she could bomb at anytime, I think people would have appreciated her skating more, even with the ice princess style.

    It would also be hard to be a big fan and emotionally invest in someone you never had confidence would come through in the clutch. When she took the ice for her Olympic program, while the opening was clearly still there for her to win, you just could sense she wasnt going to pull it off. Atleast with Debi Thomas you had a feeling of optimism there was always some chance she was going to deliver.
     
  29. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but I guess because I didn't grow up watching that era, I didn't find Sumners to be so deficient compared to her contemporaries. I actually find Tiffany Chin's style to be highly overrated here. Maybe without the knowledge of what was expected from that era, I am able to enjoy Sumner's skating.