Yu Na Kim and Mao Asada
Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan
Brian Boitano and Brian Orser
Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas
Alexei Yagudin and Evgeni Plushenko
Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski
Scott Hamilton and Scott Cramer
Jamie Sale and David Pelletier vs. Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze
Linda Fratianne and Anett Poetzsch
Todd Eldredge and Timothy Goebel
Cramer went on to win the Spanish World Pro event in 1980 and the US Professional title in 1981. He's a Doctor now I believe. Here's one of his best performances from the 1980 pre Olympic event at Lake Placid called Norton skate where he was beaten by.....Scott Hamilton!
Brian B. vs. Brian O. - I prefer friendly rivalries, although the one between Alexei Y. & Plushy was pretty amazing.
I don't consider Todd vs. Timmy a rivalry, but I do consider Todd vs. Elvis a rivalry. Loved seeing both of them on the World podium. I got the sense that it was also a respectful rivalry, like with the Brians.
As for the ladies - Michelle vs. Irina, Michelle vs. Tara
I voted for Yagudin & Plushenko, but If I could choose 2 options, I would vote also on Yuna & Mao.
no Michelle Kwan & Irina Slutskaya on the list?
And with her back problems Tara would have lost her triple-triple combos and without those she would have dropped out of the top 5 before long probably. At the time it seemed like a shame but in retrospect thank goodness for her she turned pro when she did. She probably would have taken silver at the 99 Nationals and Worlds then gone downhill in a big way from there.
I disagree with your disagreement. That is not to say Irina didn't have excellent qualities and didn't do things better than Kwan, but comparing routines and performances during the height of their rivalry, there was just a difference in quality of skating and even choreography. For all the grief Kwan gets for her lack of transitions, I don't get why Irina isn't criticized more for her mash-up, incohesive, pose-heavy, Rachael Flatt-style cutesy/bored looking angst, (front-load heavy SPs) choreography in the early 2000s that was emptier than most of the top skaters (in fact, I think she's a big reason why Kwan started scaling back on her choreography to stroke around in order to catch up to Irina's speed skating).
But we can just leave it at that because otherwise, we'd be talking in circles and it's obvious we'll continue to disagree on this point.
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce
I'm gonna throw some more love toward Fratianne/Poetzsch
- Fratianne's was the first eligible career I followed (to the extent that was possible at the time)
- it lasted for an entire olympic cycle
- there was the whole cold war vibe going on
- figures added a special mystique to the competition
- the lack of media overkill also added to the mystique
- the whole 'amateur' thing also added to the mystique
- it really was close most of the time
Battle of the Brians for sure!
In fact the only arguably controversial losses Kwan has ever had in a major event her whole career were agaisnt Lipinski .
Personally I would have been glad when both just retired and they moved on to some more interesting, consistent, and classy skaters. I would rather watch tapes of Watanabe, Marie Allen, Sandy Lenz, Denise Beillmann, or Elene Voderezova than either of any of their performances anyway.
Battle of the Brians, hands down. And the whole Nancy and Tonya saga was a circus act, not a rivalry.
PS- I'm waiting for esta to vote for Pasha vs. ussova
Still Judge Judy we'll have to agree to disagree on Kwan and Slutskaya; arguments have been made ad nauseum (and I was a part of many) for both skater's technical superiority (eg. Slutskaya jumped higher but had no run-out or flow, whereas Kwan's jumps were lower but had the best run-out and flow in the business. Slutskaya spun faster with bad positions, Kwan spun slower with better positions; Slutskaya skated faster with poor posture, Kwan skated slower with impeccable posture.) but really the overall impression was that there was nothing in the technical realm that Slutskaya did better than Kwan that could overcome the significant deficit she built up in overall quality compared to Kwan.
Here's my HQ video of Lisa Marie Allen:
Of the top skaters in the free I would have had it:
1 - Lisa Marie Allen
2 - Fratianne
3 - Vodorezova
4 - Poetszch
5 - Biellmann
Wierdly I was reading an old skating magazine this morning that had reports from these Worlds and the writer (not an American btw) suggested that Linda lost because Anett scaled back her SP combo from a triple jump to a double axel combo and thus went clean. Fratianne, Biellmann, Vodorezova and Allen did a triple jump for the SP. Back then when triple jumps in ladies were still quite rare, there wasn't much difference shown in the marking of technical merit.
Poetzsch skated as well as she had at this point in time in the free but the program is loaded with safety nets for when she inevitably doubled her triple attempts and it all starts to look like stalking one jump. Linda - while not my fave by any stretch of the imagination - at least had a more cohesive program with better quality elements and a do or die approach to her triples. It was then or never. Her only mistake the whole week, where she was under real pressure as the defending champion, was a double 3 out her her triple toe.
ETA: Swapped Vodorezova & Biellmann as I got them the wrong way round
My rankings for the LP at the 78 Worlds would have been:
1. Lisa Marie Allen- best overall performance by far IMO.
2. Elena Voderezova- best jumping of night.
3. Annett Poetzsch- her 2nd best ever long program ever.
4. Linda Fratianne- boring and she missed a jump too. Joke she won the long program with only 1 clean triple IMHO (ok Marie Allen only had 1 but the overall skating was far superior). I would have put her over Poetzsch if she had landed the triple toe cleanly though.
5. Denise Biellmann- mistakes, very undeveloped artistically compared to later years at that point.
I don't condone charges of conspiracy w/o evidence but FC was probably frustrated in '80 that Fratianne did better in Figures, outperformed her '79 world champion LP performance, yet still barely lost to Poetzsch perhaps overscored in the SP
Some of my fave rivalries -
Witt v. Thomas
Kwan v. Lipinski
Kwan v. Slutskaya
Yagudin v. Plushenko
Asada v. Kim
Lysacek v. Weir
It's fascinating to look at the free skates from 1978. What I found most interesting was how young these skaters were - Voderezova was just 13(!) at the time, Biellman 15, Potzsch and Allen only 17.
I can see why Fratianne placed first despite her somewhat rigid presentation. She had a miss on the 3T, but had a 2Lz+2T and 2A+2T and lots of difficult entrances and connecting moves.
Biellmann showed shades of greatness to come, but I definitely feel Allen should've been ahead of her. Speaking of Allen, could that program *be* and more '70s? The classical mishmash complete with the requisite "Firebird" She was lovely though.
Potzsch was solid too, it's shocking to see how similar Katarina Witt's skating is to hers.
Thanks for all the links from 1978 Worlds !
The only programs I've watched of Linda Fratianne and Annet Poetzsch are 1980 Olympics'. And really, I think Linda wuzrobbed !
But at 1978 Worlds, Annet's LP is better than Linda's IMO.
I am not a big fan of Witt, but Witt is way better than Poetzsch IMO. Poetzsch never even beat Fratianne in a short or long program after 76 while Witt would blow a pededstrian skater like Fratianne away in free skating, even the younger Witt probably. And of course Witt was far more consistent than Poetzsch who atleast half the time bombed in the free skating (77 Worlds, 79 Worlds, 80 Worlds, many other events). Poetzsch retired after 1980 since she trained with Witt and knew Witt would blow past her with ease almost immediately with the new factored scoring.