View Poll Results: Which was the biggest pro competition

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  • World Professional Championships in Landover

    42 91.30%
  • Challenge of Champions

    2 4.35%
  • they were equally important

    2 4.35%
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  1. #1
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    Which was the biggest pro competition

    What was considered the biggest pro event in the 80s and 90s. Was it the World Professional Championships in Landover or the Challenge of Champions which was in a new location annually. Looking at the field over the years they appear similarily strong, often with the same skaters, sometimes one a bit stronger and sometimes the other. I found the Challenge of Champions more fairly judged whereas the World Pros in Landover seemed biased towards certain skaters, especialy Americans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I found the Challenge of Champions more fairly judged whereas the World Pros in Landover seemed biased towards certain skaters, especialy Americans.
    I agree that World Pro in Landover were not judged always fairly, but, IMO, it was not the goal ! My pleasure was to watch my favorite skaters, now professionnal, skating in a competition. I didn't care about the results !

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    [QUOTE=briancoogaert;2992244]I My pleasure was to watch my favorite skaters, now professional, skating in a competition. I didn't care about the results!/QUOTE]

    I don't think I even remember the Challenge of Champions.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    My pleasure was to watch my favorite skaters, now professional, skating in a competition. I didn't care about the results!


    I don't even remember the Challenge of Champions. From when to when did they take place?

  5. #5
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    Challenge of Champions was usually in December just after the World Pros.

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    Was it the one that was in Jaca, Spain?

    I don't remember it either, if it wasn't that one.

    There was also an US Open pro championships, AFAIR, that brought Hartshorn & Sweiding, and Rory Flack, among other pro stars who hadn't had huge amateur wins, to visibility.

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    World Pros was the one that usually had the best list of skaters. More importantly, it was the one the pro skaters themselves really wanted to win and considered most prestigious. That one was held in Landover MD (just outside Washington DC) for years and the crowd was (until its later years) always huge and noisy and quite knowledgable. I saw it for the first time in Dec 1984 or 85 (the year Robin Cousins skated Satan Takes a Holiday). I don't recall if it was still World Pros or using a different name by the time they moved to the MCI/Verizon Center downtown. It was originally held over two nights, with the "technical" programs on Friday and the "artistic" programs on Saturday night. In the last few years, they held the entire event on Saturday.

    I always enjoyed Challenge of Champions too. That one moved around, as was not alwasy held in the US. The format was slightly different in that it was a single skate weighing both technical & artistic equally. These programs sometimes had technical content comparable to eligible competitions (3A-3T combos, 6,7 or even 8 triple performances). After the competition phase, they all skated an exhibition program.

  8. #8
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    Re the Jaca World Pro's - The World Pro's as we remember them were actually held for the first time in 1973 and produced by Dick Button. It was basically made as a showcase for Janet Lynn who duly won the women's title beating Zsu Zsa Almassy. According to wikipedia this supposedly took place in Landover but I'm sure I read in magazines of the time that it was held in Japan, which would make sense considering Janet's superstar status there.

    Before that there was an event called the International Professional Championships, started for men in 1931 and sanctioned by the NSA (now NISA) which expanded to allow ladies and pairs in 1932 and renamed as the Open Professional Championships. Dance was added in 1939. In 1958 the event was taken over by the IPFSA and renamed as the World Professional Ice Skating Championships. I'm guessing some kind of wrangling over this name must have come about in 1973 via Uncle Dick's venture. By the next year the event was under the control of Pablo Garcia Marquez and the Jaca World Pro's ran from 1974 to 1990 and again in 1998. Some really great skaters won the Jaca competition including, Scott Cramer, Denise Biellmann, Robert Waggenhoffer, Underhill & Martini and Brian Pockar.

  9. #9
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    The World Pro was often just a coronation of the pro judges' favorite skaters. It was fun to watch for watch it was, but I never took it seriously.

    The most competitive pro competition was the Ryder Ladies. That one really felt like a real competition. It was too short lived and sorely missed, imo.

  10. #10
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    I thought the World Pros in general was corrupt so I picked the Challenge of Champions. I agree on the Ryder Ladies event.

  11. #11

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    The World Pro's as we remember them were actually held for the first time in 1973 and produced by Dick Button. It was basically made as a showcase for Janet Lynn who duly won the women's title beating Zsu Zsa Almassy. According to wikipedia this supposedly took place in Landover but I'm sure I read in magazines of the time that it was held in Japan, which would make sense considering Janet's superstar status there.
    Those interested in the Pre-Landover event might want to take a look at this:

    Ronnie Robertson World Pro Competition 1974
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZmXw49Kz-I

    It was shown as a "Wide World of Sports" telecast;
    Janet Lynn, John Misha Petkevitch, and the Protopopovs competed. amongst others.
    I cried because I had no way of recording anything then; and certainly never thought I'd see anything from the event again.

    Thanks to YouTube, I have!
    Perhaps, there is more footage somewhere.
    Last edited by skatesindreams; 12-20-2010 at 07:01 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Re the Jaca World Pro's - The World Pro's as we remember them were actually held for the first time in 1973 and produced by Dick Button. It was basically made as a showcase for Janet Lynn who duly won the women's title beating Zsu Zsa Almassy. According to wikipedia this supposedly took place in Landover but I'm sure I read in magazines of the time that it was held in Japan, which would make sense considering Janet's superstar status there.
    I think the first Landover World Pro occurred around December 1980. The format back then was a group competition: The Pro Stars vs. The All Stars. The All Stars was composed of recent Lake Placid Olympians like Fratianne, Cousin, Tickner, Tai and Randy. The Pro Stars had the old pros like Dorothy, Starbuck & Shelly, Toller, DeLeeuw. It was odd how the two teams alternated their win each year

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I thought the World Pros in general was corrupt ......
    A big exception was ca 1999, when Urmanov won the men with an amazing POTO routine laden with props. I'll never forget Dick Button's face when handing the big silver platter to Urmanov - smile masking disgust, as Uncle Dick rarely had good things to say about Urmy. The miracle is that Urmanov was invited to Landover.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    I think the first Landover World Pro occurred around December 1980. The format back then was a group competition: The Pro Stars vs. The All Stars. The All Stars was composed of recent Lake Placid Olympians like Fratianne, Cousin, Tickner, Tai and Randy. The Pro Stars had the old pros like Dorothy, Starbuck & Shelly, Toller, DeLeeuw. ....
    Those early-80s competitions lasted forever - past midnight. They used to do it all in one night -- Tech Programs, Artistic Programs and Group Numbers! The audience definitely got its money's worth, though.

    By the way, did y'all know that Yuka, Kristi and Dorothy tie for the greatest number of Ladies wins at World Pros? Yup, each won 4 times. (I could have sworn that Kristi won many more times!)

    Most wins for the other disciplines -

    Dance - Torvill/Dean - 5
    Men - Boitano - 6
    ...and the all-time Pro champs in any discipline....
    Pairs - Underhill/Martini - 7!!!
    Last edited by Frau Muller; 12-20-2010 at 08:00 PM.

  15. #15
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    World Pro's was the best. Brian B., Kristie Y., Ito and G&G really kicked up the technical merit of WP. In the early 90's, World Pro's for me was a bigger highlight than amateur skating until the 1994 games...when most of the pro's reinstated.

    Unfortunately, WP jumped the shark when it went Pro Am in 1999. I miss it.

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