Why didnt Ito come back for 94 instead of 96 Worlds if she was going to return

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by kwanoverrated, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Member

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    Although I am not sure how a 94 comeback would have gone for her, if Midori Ito wanted to come back why would she come back in 96 rather than 94. By 96 the field was much stronger, and she was much further removed from her last amateur event, and she was also 26 by then and would have been 28 by Nagano. She would have had much better chances in a 94 comeback than a 96 one. Did she even want to make the 96 comeback or did the Japanese federation force her back. Why wouldnt they instead have forced back Sato who was having her best ever skating in the pros around that point and would have been more likely to be competitive of the two.
     
  2. Vash01

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

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    Good question. I am guessing here. Ito had suffered a lot of injuries in her career, and I suspect she had already decided to retire after the 92 Olympics. She was enjoying her pro experience and probably did not feel ready to go through the grind of eligible training/competitions. Why did she return in 96? IIRC it was the Japanese fed that was more interested in her comeback than Midori herself. She had some health concerns at that time. She had lost a lot of weight. Quite possibly she made a comeback to help her country. In 96 they did not have strong Japanese lady skaters, and they needed more berths for the 97 worlds and then the 98 Olympics which were in Nagano.

    All this is my guess.
     
  3. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Ito was asked to come back in 1995-96 by the Japanese Federation to secure World team spots because they did not think they had a skaters that could do that. She did not really want to come back. She was a nervous wreck by the time Worlds came around, and developed a bleeding ulcer, which caused her to be anemic during the competition.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  4. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Member

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    Did they force her to come back or just strongly persuade her and out of her own genorosity she agreed? I remember watching her at Worlds and she looked positively ill before she ever started her LP and she was skating after Chen's row of (deserved) 5.9s and perfect 6.0s which probably dampered her mood even more. I felt so sorry for her.
     
  5. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Member

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    Did they ask Sato to come for 96 too? I wonder if they did her also but she declined.

    I wish Ito had come back in 94, especialy since Yamaguchi didnt. I am not sure she would have won but she would have been much more competitive than 96 probably, and she could have felt good about her comeback even if she didnt win and gone on to a long and happy pro career. After her sad comeback in 96 she was so discouraged she quit skating and didnt even return to pros. The pro skating World missed her greatly. She is truly a special and iconic figure.
     
  6. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    Not sure if the JSF asked Sato or not, but I imagine it would have something to do with their jump repertoire. Sato wouldn't have likely been able to compete with a two 3lutz program and possibly 3/3 combos (besides Bonaly that is). Ito, however, still had all the ammunition needed to compete at the top. In fact Ito of 96 could still compete with anyone today. Just shows what an amazing talent she was :kickass:
     
  7. briantoronto

    briantoronto New Member

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    Ito of 96 wasnt exactly amazing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vve8CnXsP4

    I doubt she would even be top 15 today with that kind of performances. Maybe you are thinking of another year.
     
  8. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    Obviously at 96 worlds she was very ill with a bleeding ulcer and anemia. Reports at the were that she was still unstoppable in practice leading up to the event. At japan nationals that year she could still land everything but just showed some rust.

    She still had the full repertoire of 6 triple jumps consistently leading up to 96.
     
  9. briantoronto

    briantoronto New Member

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    Well I never saw her skate any other time after late 94 except the 96 Worlds so that is all I have to go by. Do you have any tapes of her skates at Japanese Nationals that year.
     
  10. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    96 Japan Nationals
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT-dHwXPZc0
    Minus the 2 step outs, she skates a 6 triple long program with a 3axel. She looked like a force to be reckoned with to me.
     
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  11. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    Sato wouldn't be able to do do 2 3lutzs consistently, plus her 3flip was always wonky. The Sato of 95-96 though would have factored in at the 95 worlds, especially considering Chen missed one of her 3lutzs in the LP. After that I don't think Sato would be a factor on the amateur scene.

    I am sure Ito had all the jumps going into the 95-96 season, but it was kind of like deja-vu for her with all the pressure fom the JSF federation. Not to mention her body was alot older and had taken alot of pounding over the years. I am still sure Ito could have easily won in Lillehammer if she was healthy and had her 3A. She didn't even need to do one in the SP to be competitive. The level of difficulty had taken a dive since 92. With no Yamaguchi coming back, Chen had the most difficulty planned (behind Kerrigan) with a 3lutz/triple toe she took out.
     
  12. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    It goes to show what a talent she was to be able to produce that at almost 27 years old.
     
  13. briantoronto

    briantoronto New Member

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    Thanks. I wonder how she would have placed at the 96 Worlds with that. She still wouldnt have beaten Kwan or Chen IMO. Would she have been able to beat Slutskaya for the bronze? She should have since Irina took a huge fall on her side on her first jump, didnt have huge technical difficulty, and had childish artistry and programs, but the judges always loved Irina to bits and heavily overscored her there. She deserved something from 4th to 6th place at those Worlds but was still gifted the bronze, so probably would have over Ito too unless Ito was spot perfect and did a triple axel too.
     
  14. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    The judges might have given Ito the silver over Chen at the 96 Worlds if she skated perfectly and landed a clean triple axel. Although the gold was a 6-3 split between Kwan and Chen, 5 or 6 of the judges who voted for Kwan put a huge space between Kwan and Chens scores, and even had Slutskaya as close or closer to Chen in scores as they had Chen to Kwan as ridiculous as that was. Chen was so underrated in her career by judges, and this was another case.
     
  15. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    I believe the Federation wanted to have someone to qualify 2 or 3 spots for the ladies for Nagano Olympics. Ito's come back was supposed to last through 1998 (in which ideally she would skate in a Witt fashion) but obviously the unsuccessful outing at 1996 Worlds probably discouraged both her and the Federation to pursue this plan further.
     
  16. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    I never thought of sato coming back for Nagano instead of Ito! but Japan knew of the circumstances of 94 worlds! Ito was also going to be major promotion! She lit the cauldron! They had big plans for her! Shed probably carry the flag, skate, maybe do athletes oath, do lots of stuff! But her health really crashed bad. But they still wanted her to do stuff like light the cauldron. After all that was over maybe they approached sato but was probably resigned to whatever they got as host!
     
  17. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Her 96 Worlds finish shows maybe it made sense for her to not come back even for 94 though. She finished behind Bonaly at those Worlds for instance (5th to 7th) and Bonaly was already going way downhill at that point herself. Yet Bonaly in 94 Olympics didnt even medal (4th) and was a way better skater in 94 than 96. She even finished below Szewcenko at those 96 Worlds (6th to 7th) and Tanja was already ill and a weaker skater than 94 Olympics where she came only 6th as well. So it wouldnt be certain Ito could do well at the 94 Olympics. She would have to be way stronger form than the 96 Worlds to hope for even a good finish at the 94 Olympics, and maybe a medal.

    It made sense maybe she come back to help Japan with more spots though. Then again in 96 they had Yokoya who was easily capable of getting them 2 spots every year around then. She declined after 96 though.
     
  18. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Sato was very strong in pro competitions. Remember she often beat the likes of Yamaguchi and Ito at her pro peak, and also dominated and almost always beat people like Kerrigan and Baiul who she usually lost to as amateurs (part of that was those got weaker as pros too, I mean Baiul and Kerrigan getting much weaker as pros, not Yamaguchi and Ito). That shows she was still improving after 94 and probably would have had she remained amateur too. Then again pro competitions dont care about having all sets of triples and things like 2 triple lutzes or triple-triples are almost meaningless. So Sato could just dump the 3 flip from her programs altogether and still be fine, and if she stayed amateur she wouldnt be able to.

    I think she could have defended her World title in 95 based on her level in pro skating around then though. If she could beat Yamaguchi and Ito in pro events (where Ito was skating great, not struggling with nerves, health, durability, age, and endurance, like her amateur return), she could defeat a 5 triples/1 triple lutz Chen at Worlds. Chen only won Worlds that year since Bobek bombed anyway, she skated much better to lose in 96 than to win in 95. After 95 she probably would have only been a bronze contender unless she improved her jumping higher than ever before. Artistic wise I think she would keep improving, she improved alot as a pro in artistic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  19. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Member

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    These just aren't logical conclusions, I'm afraid. 1996 was a far different landscape than 1994 and even so, you've admitted that the skaters you reference were in different places in their skating in 1996 than they were 2 years earlier.

    Szewzchenko had only just learnt the lutz by the 1994 Games, and was competing with the full set in 1996; she was also a much more complete skater and one with a reputation having won World bronze at just 16 in 1994. Illness aside (and has it ever been documented when she began feeling ill?), 1996 Worlds was one of Tanja's best ever skates.

    Ito herself was a much different skater in 1994 than 1996. I think a fairer comparison given their ages would be Maria Butyrskaya who, as a medal contender in 1998, was beating skaters that she was struggling to keep up with in 2000. 2 years is along time for a ladies skater in her mid-twenties. It's a fair assumption to believe 1994 Ito would've had more endurance and been stronger, allowing her to skate stronger long programs and also skate multiple competitions in a season with less chance of exhaustion.

    It would have only been 2 years (or less since she would've had to start training in 1993) since she trained competitively vs. 4, and she would've been skating under less pressure than in 1992 or 1996 had it been her own decision to reinstate as opposed to the JSF. Lastly, you're using her worst performance of the year, 1996 Worlds, and assuming she could not - or would not - have been able to skate it any better. However, her performance from Nationals that year would've had her much higher at Worlds - one of the deepest ever, BTW - and likely earned her a medal at the 1994 Games.
     
  20. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    I agree Sato was incredible in the pros. Her first world pro victory over Yamaguchi is still one of the biggest upsets seen. Sure beating Baiul and Kerrigan was also a huge deal since she lost to them more often than not in the amateurs, but Kristi is one of (if not the best) pro skaters. Sato not only kept up her difficulty, but also explored some very difficult chreographic masterpeices.
    That said I don't think she would be competitive after 95 worlds because I'm not convinced she would maintain consistency on doing 6-7 triple LPs, and also facing younger athlethic skaters like Kwan and Slutskaya. Even Chen couldn't just rely on her artistry and had to keep up her technical content during this time, and Chen was a much more consistent skater than Sato was in amateur competition.
     
  21. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Who knows what the standards would be. Sato did 6 clean triples at both the 94 Olympics and 94 Worlds and seemed to be still improving as a skater. Slutskaya never did more than 6 triples before 2000, and was a terrible artistic skater. Kwan was great but her rise to the top was made easier by the dearth of strong veteran holdovers by 96/97. Only Chen was left, and even her not for long.

    Sato has 4 World titles to 4 for Kristi. At the World Pros Sato leads 3-2 when they met head to head. Sato participated more regularly in the other pro events though, while Kristi seemed to deem many of them beneath her. One could argue Sato is the best pro skater ever, over Kristi. One could also argue Biellmann based on longevity. It is too bad Ito didn't return to pros after her 96 comeback. Amateur skating was past her by then, but she still could have continued to be a great pro career, and make it a great 3 way rivalry with Kristi and Yuka at the top.

    Kerrigan and Baiul were mediocre pros and no threat to any of Yuka, Kristi, or Midori in pro events. Even Biellmann was closer competition to those three than Kerrigan and Baiul in pros, and Biellmann has beaten all of Kristi, Midori, and Yuka in pro events too, despite being like 15 years older. Kerrigan and Baiul should be embarrassed with their level of skating as pros, especialy Baiul an Olympic and World Champion.
     
  22. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    Keep in mind though that Slutskaya was capable of doing 3/3s as early as the 96-97 season. Both she and Lipinski raised the bar considerably. Kwan was so far ahead of both that she didn't need more than a clean set and maybe her triple toe/triple toe, but anyone else had to have a full set of triples and a 3/3 to pass Lipinski at the end of the 97 season. Slutskaya had a slump, but came back at worlds.

    I agree Sato was on par or better than Yamaguchi as a pro.
     
  23. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

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    Sato and Yamaguchi were BOTH incredible pros, and very different. Both expanded their range artistically while also maintaining tremendous baseline technical levels. Not sure I could name one ahead of the other. Both just tremendous in my opinion.
     
  24. kuzytalent

    kuzytalent Active Member

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    Where could Ito have placed at the 96 Worlds had she skated well? 3rd or 4th, higher than that, lower?

    94 Olympics where would she have placed and how would she have skated. How would she have placed if she skated well but without a triple axel (with a triple axel she wins almost gaurntee in that years field which is why I ask without).
     
  25. kuzytalent

    kuzytalent Active Member

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    You overrated young version of Slutskaya. 96 she was a great technical skater with huge jumps and fast spins which the judges loved but no 2nd triple lutz or triple-triples. 97-99 she occasionaly did a triple-triple but had trouble skating clean programs ever.

    She might have lost bronze at the 96 Worlds had Ito or Butyrskaya skated better, and only won silver at the 98 Worlds since most ofthe Olympic field missed. She even fell in the short there. At the 95 Grand Prix final in December she did 2 clean programs and lost to Kwan who had a mistake in both. It wasnt until 2000 she became a great skater doing triple-triples and better artistry but still choked and didnt do her best in big events (2000 Worlds, 2001 Worlds, 2002 Olympics).

    She probably wins 97 Worlds if she dont fall in short skate though.
     
  26. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    Had Ito been skating well in 96 without the 3A, I do think she could have won bronze over Slutskaya, but it would not be assured. Butyrskaya as is, IMO should have won it over Slutskaya. I do know she was no big comeptition to Kwan during this time. Kwan was so far ahead of everyone except Lipinski, that Slutskaya would have needed a Kwan melt down to overtake her.
    Slutskaya was always a judges favorite though, and even prior to 2000, she was receiving marks that were too high for some of the skates she put out (96 worlds being one of them).
     
  27. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Slutskaya should have been below both Butyrskaya and Szewcenko at the 96 Worlds. I nearly barfed when I saw the marks they gave her with a huge ass fall, some other shaky landings, no great technical content, and a junior level presentation. Yeah she wa the reigning European Champion and had been 2nd at the GPF so she had some street cred, but it is not like this was a former World Champion, she didnt even have a World medal yet, and was skating 1st in the final flight. I am not sure even if Butyrskaya, Ito, or Szewcenko had skated perfectly she would have lost the bronze at those Worlds. Szewcenko definitely not, Butyrskaya or Ito maybe, but they would have to be totally perfect to be placed even over Slutskaya and her fall. Butyrskaya put her hand down on her last triple loop and lost the bronze even though it was still a way better skate.

    The time Slutskaya was most overmarked of all was the 2000 Worlds. I cant believe with 6 triples, no triple-triple, a big pop open mistake, and having to rearrange the program and overall lacking confidence and impact her other performances all season had had she still took 3 judges off Kwan's skate of a lifetime and nearly won. She also had higher technical marks than Kwan who had 7 triples, 2 triple lutzes, a triple-triple, and skated the fastest I ever saw her, but lost it barely on the presentation (still had a couple 5.9s even for presentation though herself). Slutskaya then complained to the media that she didnt win those Worlds, LOL!

    The judges did always love Slutskaya. At the 98 Olympics when she did only a double lutz-double toe in the short Chris Cuthbert of CBC said she would be slotted into 6th behind the 5 clean performances, but Paul and Sandra interjected they doubted that, the judges loved her and would still hold her up in 4th or 5th place more likely so she wouldnt be totally shut out of a medal chance (which they did). Scott Hamilton predicted the same thing on CBS before her marks even came up.

    In fairness to Slutskaya despite how much a judges pet she often was, her 2 World titles, 2 Olympic medals, and virtually all her Grand Prix final titles and world medals did end up being the correct result in the end. It is one of those cases so much wrong (many of her scores or program placings) still ended up thankfully being mostly right in the end. The only exceptions are her bronze at the 96 Worlds and her gold at the 01-02 Grand Prix final.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  28. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    At *27* years old? Ha! Look at her now...as in this year.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uejr_-fJcUo
     
  29. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    Lnt175 I have a question for you since you seem to be a big Ito fan and followed her career closely. Do you believe Ito could have won the 94 Olympics (I am talking without Kristi, just the field that was there) without the triple axel? Without the triple axel, but skating well otherwise would she have had a chance at gold still and how much, or would she have been 3rd behind Baiul and Kerrigan in that case, or maybe even 4th. What is your view on that.
     
  30. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member

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    How many spots were they wanting? I believe the rule had changed by then and it wasn't just the top finisher but the placements of everyone to create points for the next year. Something like all equal 11 makes 3 spots, all equals 22 makes 2 spots. So if Ito did really well it wouldn't matter unless they had other good skaters. I don't remember the other Japanese at the time, except the ones already pro (Ito, Sato). They did not get good skater again until Suguri in 99 or 2000.