All warm and fuzzy about:
- Ilia 1998 and Yags 2002
Truly magical, majestic performances, just like made for the history book of figure skating!
(... unfortunately Men's Olympic skating went almost completely downwards from then on ...)
- Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze 2002
Now more than ever!
- Shen & Zhao 2010
Not as brilliant like they've been 2003 and 2004, but an undoubted, deserved victory; and what an fantastic exclamation mark at the end of a long, exceptional skating career!
Honourable mentions to Urmanov and Ilia (again) for preventing Stojko to become ...
The wins I found most satisfying involved skaters I had been interested in for several years and liked a lot (while Gordeeva & Grinkov in 1988 skated great, I hadn't particularly liked them before 1988), who delivered good performances (not backed into a championship (example Scott Hamilton, whom I liked, but who just didn't skate that well when he won) ), and where there was no controversy about the results to spoil the feeling (I liked both B&S and S&P, but the controversy spoiled the satisfied feeling) . If the win was not a coronation, and even more if I believed the winner was the underdog, it was even more satisfying (Boitano, Arikawa).
Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao 2010
Shizuka Arikawa 2006
Alexei Yagudin 2002
Klimova & Ponomarenko 1992
Natalia Mishketunok & Artur Dmitriev 1992
Brian Boitano 1988
Jayne Torvill & Christopnher Dean 1984
Dorothy Hamill 1976
Lyudmila Pakhomova & Alexandr Gorshkov 1976
"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine."
Lots already mentioned such as T&D, Robin Cousins, (I remember being allowed to stay up and watch with my Mum and being so excited that he won, although as an adult I think Hoffmann probably earned it on the night.) Loved Boitano's win in '88 although I was heartbroken for Orser, G&G in '88, Kulik, Yags, S&Z etc. Shizuka was THE highlight of '06 as well.
Looking back though, the one that really satisfies me even now is John Curry in 1976 because it really wasn't supposed to happen. He finally got his act together in terms of consistency on the triples, but if it wasn't for the Czech judge going against the eastern bloc at Europeans and thus swinging that victory for John 5-4 over Vladimir Kovalev, he would probably never have won in Innsbruck no matter how he skated. Now that is a SKARY thought!!!
other results (silver/bronze) that I loved:
Paul Wylie - 1992
Midori Ito - 1992
Shen & Zhao - 2006 (that bronze medal was a "golden" achievement for them, considering Hongbo's injury that season).
Pang & Tong - 2010
Joannie Rochette - 2010
Tanith & Ben - 2006 (should have been on this year's Olympic podium too)
Meryl & Charlie - 2010
Last edited by museksk8r; 12-22-2010 at 02:33 PM.
Gordeeva & Grinkov
Anissina & Peizerat
Virtue & Moir
Shen & Zhao
and honorable mention: Stephane Lambiel's silver!!
Having only really lived through the 2010 Olympics so far, I can say I actually felt more satisfaction for each win in retrospect, because on the day I was distracted by what was going on below. In fact, I'm another one who was more satisfied for Pang & Tong then for Shen & Zhao, because they skated so perfectly and the odds had been so much against them. Also when Evan won, my first reaction was merely intense relief that Plushenko had not, though I was very satisfied for Frank. Then Plushenko started his ranting, and I found myself getting deeply satisfied that it was Evan who had beaten him, because he'd just strolled in expecting it while Evan had worked the hardest.
I am pleasantly surprised at the number of people who said Shizuka Arawaka. She is my pick too, and my all-time favorite Olympic performance by a woman.
If Plushy and his coach had really tried to adapt his programs to COP then I think he would have been seen as working as hard as Evan, but it felt like Plush was willing to rest of what he was capable of pre-cop and that was that. Whereas Evan and his team really analyzed his points after each competition and made the necessary tweaks as the season progressed.
For me, complete satisfaction were John Curry, Ilia Kulik, Torvill/Dean, Klimova/Ponomarenko, and Gordeeva/Grinkov, personal favorites who skated the lights out and whom no one could have outskated. (Orser could have and might have outskated Boitano, but the latter didn't register at the time.)
I was ecstatic that Arakawa won, because for me, Arakawa is the finest Ladies skater (although not competitor) of the Triples Era, but it was one of those "You can't take it away from [her]" victories, after the that she was a default champion who only won because others failed and was too conservative by not attempting the 3/3's she landed in practice.
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
On the other hand .... it's not so much about working hard as working smart. Plushenko seemed to channel his tremendous willpower and unquestioned tecnical brilliance to do the program .... that he felt like doing without taking the finer details of CoP in account. (This is in addition to the fact that he had, for him, an off night and his jumps were weaker than they had been all season. It's amazing that he could land them but when the air position is that bad there's no way the judges can dump a lot of points on you).
Lysacek had the better strategy of working with (instead of against) the CoP system to maximize his strengths (which included being younger and having more endurance than Plushenko) and minimize his weaknesses (no quad, which is in fact not a required element).