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  1. #1

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    Have *so many* top skaters ever been THIS inconsistent?

    I've been watching skating for a long time and really can't remember a time when SO MANY of the top skaters could soar - or sink - or both - at a given competition. A list:

    Czisny
    Abbott
    Rippon
    Nagasu
    Ando
    Asada
    Joubert
    Verner
    Kostner
    Faiella & Scali

    I'm sure I've missed some.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot more skaters are performing inconsistently these days? Is COP to blame, with so many requirements? Is it just a coincidence?

  2. #2
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    Isn't Czisny having her most consistent season to date?
    Abbott had an injury and very slow start to the season plus year after Olympics is sometimes a downer.
    Kostner was injured...Asada lost her confident at the Olympics...Ando? Nagasu stated she had "learned her lesson" but still has some maturing to get that competitive toughness so she won't melt at the wrong time.
    There aren't too many skaters who skate a perfect program every time. ???

    Or I could add, let's count the splatfests!
    Last edited by DreamSkates; 02-04-2011 at 10:37 PM. Reason: added comment

  3. #3

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    No COP isn't to blame because the skaters should be used to it by now.

    The majority of skaters competing at top level who are totally consistent and mistake free has always been in the minority.

    I do get annoyed that many seem to have expectations that it has to be all about the jumps. There is so much more to skating than jumps. Skating is a bloody hard sport and there is so much a skater has to do - jump and spin on top of actually skate. And then they are expected to put in work on the music and movement.

    And you can't say that most of them don't work extremely hard at it and are passionate and dedicated to their sport. But they don't go out there to intentionally fall on their butts.

    I forgive skaters who can do all that stuff really well but maybe make a couple of mistakes because it is not as if I am getting out there and doing it. And I can still looked a program and think how good it is regardless of a couple of mistakes because I can appreciate the work that has gone into it. So let's cut them some slack.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  4. #4

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    Yes.... off the top of my head... (and only the 90's because I remember most competitions from this decade)

    Men in 90's- Galindo, Urmanov, Candeloro, Barna, Wylie, Millot
    Women in 90's- Kerrigan, Harding, Ito, Chounaird, Sato, Chen, Bonaly, Bobek, Hubert
    Pairs- B&E, M&S, E&B, S&N, W&S, K&D, B&S
    Ice Dance- I can't think of any team that consistently had issues but G&P certainly had their share of spills...(but still won lol!!)
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icetalavista View Post
    I've been watching skating for a long time and really can't remember a time when SO MANY of the top skaters could soar - or sink - or both - at a given competition.
    Yes. 1993 comes to mind because it was also a post-Olympic year and thus the top skaters included some older skaters who had already been at the top but hadn't achieved their goals and were willing to stick around for the next Olympics (the two-year gap made that especially feasible) and a bunch of younger newcomers who hadn't yet proven which ones were going to make it for the long haul and which just had a good year that year.

    Also, it was early in the first generation that came to senior level post-figures, and for the ladies that meant a rush to include more triples than the previous generation could medal with.

    Look especially at the men's competition at 1993 Euros. Dmitrenko won by placing third in the long program, because no one else put two decent programs together there.

    Favorites heading into that season would have included Urmanov (redeemed himself with what would end up being his only world medal), Eldredge (sixth at US Nationals), Zagorodniuk (Dmitrenko got Ukraine's spot at Worlds), Candeloro (better long programs than short) . . . Stojko and Browning were about the only steadiest competitors out there.

    For ladies, Bonaly and Chen did pretty well that year. Sato did OK. Kerrigan won US Nationals with a so-so performance and bombed at Worlds. Harding didn't make the US team. Chouinard was inconsistent as always. Kielman didn't make much of an impact. Most of the other top ladies that year were newcomers, and few of them went on to establish a reputation for consistency.

    But I bet if you look at other post-Olympic years, you'd see similar volatility.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icetalavista View Post
    I've been watching skating for a long time and really can't remember a time when SO MANY of the top skaters could soar - or sink - or both - at a given competition. A list:

    Czisny
    Abbott
    Rippon
    Nagasu
    Ando
    Asada
    Joubert
    Verner
    Kostner
    Faiella & Scali

    I'm sure I've missed some.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot more skaters are performing inconsistently these days? Is COP to blame, with so many requirements? Is it just a coincidence?
    I would consider adding Oda and Takahashi to the list. Not total headcases or anything but they've had their meltdowns. Oda does himself in time and time with those COP errors
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  7. #7
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    I think they used ot be just as inconsistent, but now they're not judged by reputation as much, so it's more evident in the results

  8. #8
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    Oh the glorious past when the world was a much better place...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icetalavista View Post
    I've been watching skating for a long time and really can't remember a time when SO MANY of the top skaters could soar - or sink - or both - at a given competition.
    I kind of understand what you are saying. Back in the day consistent skaters like Kwan, Lipinski, Hughes, Eldredge, Kulik, Plushenko, Yagudin, Slutskaya, and Elvis all dominated podium spots because they had consistency. They may not have always skated completely clean, but in general they didn't have melt downs, and had more clean skates than mistakes. If you look at the top skaters/teams now, you could easily argue they don't have the same record of clean skating as the old days. I don't know that CoP has anything to do with it though, times have just changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    I think they used to be just as inconsistent, but now they're not judged by reputation as much, so it's more evident in the results
    I still think PCS allows for reputation judging. Perhaps not as much, but it's obviously still there IMO. (and in a big way).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icetalavista View Post
    I've been watching skating for a long time and really can't remember a time when SO MANY of the top skaters could soar - or sink - or both - at a given competition. A list:

    Czisny
    Abbott
    Rippon
    Nagasu
    Ando
    Asada
    Joubert
    Verner
    Kostner
    Faiella & Scali

    I'm sure I've missed some.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot more skaters are performing inconsistently these days? Is COP to blame, with so many requirements? Is it just a coincidence?
    In skating terms, someone who has medalled at 10 european championships in a row is not inconsistent. (Oh, and 6 world championship medals as well). I just don't get why people place him in the inconsistent category at all. He's not a jump machine like Plush. He doesn't come up with his best *every* time, but close enough to feature on the podium more often than not over a period of a decade.

    If you compare him to skaters of comparable ability, like Verner, Ando and Kostner, he sure has made the absolute best of what he has.


    To answer your question, I think it's just the nature of the sport. In the past, there were fewer skaters at the top and more biased judging, so the favorites could get away with messy performances and still win.
    Apart from Kwan and Plushenko, I can't think of any skater who skated clear or near clean every single time. And even PLushenko had his moments...he was just a long way ahead of the pack in terms of jumping ability.

    ETA: I would also remove Asada from the list. She's been struggling recently, but her results up until this season were consistent.
    Last edited by millyskate; 02-05-2011 at 02:43 AM.

  11. #11
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    Hmm, yes, I guess there seems to be more inconsistency in some of the top skaters of today than in the past. My non-intellectual position is that I'm going to blame it on the IJS because that's what I like to do.

    Though, I would take Ando off the inconsistent list.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    No COP isn't to blame because the skaters should be used to it by now.
    ITA!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    The majority of skaters competing at top level who are totally consistent and mistake free has always been in the minority.
    ITA Again, what sport ever has perfection in 4 1/2 minutes? It's very rare, and even if we think it looked good or it won, I'm sure the athlete feels different.

    Quote Originally Posted by loopey View Post
    I still think PCS allows for reputation judging. Perhaps not as much, but it's obviously still there IMO. (and in a big way).
    I don't like it when judges don't utilize the range enough, clearly skaters are not 8s across the boards (they can be) but most are not. Some can have a 9s in execution and a 6s in transitions but you rarely see scores like that.

  13. #13

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    Wouldn't it be easier to name the consistent skaters since 1988? The list would be shorter...

  14. #14
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    Ando is consistent now but used to be a real headcase when she was younger.

    Mao belongs on the list, she's bombed her fall competitions the past 2 straight seasons, and even before that, she had her fair share of meltdowns in the FS such as 06 JW, 06 SA, 06 GPF and then at the 07 GPF she completely missed her 3lz in the SP. Joubert, like Mao consistently has good results, but he's a bit of a headcase as well in that he often makes big boo boos in at least one of his programs at any given competition. Takahashi also has good results but is capable of soo much better than what he usually delivers. His scores on the GP this season are reflective of that.

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    Don't forget to add Patrick Chan to your list

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinky166 View Post
    Joubert, like Mao consistently has good results, but he's a bit of a headcase as well in that he often makes big boo boos in at least one of his programs at any given competition. .
    Both Mao and Joubert were pretty solid when they were are the top of their fields. When the competition showed up, their nerves took a hit.
    I don't think that skaters have become less consistent. There is just more competition, hence more nerves, and a greater variety of skaters medalling. I like it that way.

    Many skaters can deal with one oponent (for ex Joubert v Plushenko) . But when a whole load of them turn up (Lambiel, Buttle, Takahashi, Lysacek), it all becomes too much to handle.

    The same can even be said of Kwan. She was consistent when she was clearly the best, or when she was up against her old traditional rival Slutskaya. She was not consistent for the duration of Tara Lipinski's career, which, fortunately for Kwan, was rather short. When the competition got tough and Arakawa, Cohen and others were laying it down, she lost some of her fire.

  17. #17
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    People's memories are really selective. Watch old videos and you'll see only a few clean programs at each event. The same we've got today.

    And even if there is slightly more inconsistency nowadays, remember that before IJS skaters didn't have to push themselves as much. The emphasis was on jumps exclusively and less of them were being performed.

    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKPRINCESS View Post
    Though, I would take Ando off the inconsistent list.
    She cheats her jumps all the time. I guess she's consistent in that, though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post

    The same can even be said of Kwan. She was consistent when she was clearly the best, or when she was up against her old traditional rival Slutskaya. She was not consistent for the duration of Tara Lipinski's career, which, fortunately for Kwan, was rather short. When the competition got tough and Arakawa, Cohen and others were laying it down, she lost some of her fire.
    This doesn't really make any sense- she was consistent when she wasn't clearly the best? You have it backwards, she was the best BECAUSE she was consistent. In 1997, Michelle was considered the favorite and with Chen out with injury she would have been considered "clearly the best" as reigning world champion. It was due to boot problems and a changing body that Kwan was inconsistent, not because of her competitors. The competition got tough when Arakawa and Cohen started laying it down??? (When did Cohen ever lay it down??) I think Slutskaya and Lipinski were much better competitors than Cohen and Arakawa, but by 2004 and leading into 2005/2006 Kwan was a little bit older and clearly injured which is why she didn't deliver as many victories.

    I can't think of anyone who was mentally tougher than Michelle, and I think her inspiration and will power to perform well under pressure came from within herself. She didn't seem to be too concerned about what the other skaters were doing. Take a look at the way she would warm up. I've been to a lot of skating competitions and a lot of times you can tell during the warm up what jumps and which parts of the program are going to be problematic in the actual competition. I've never seen a skater have a terrible warm-up but have a tremendous outing in the actual program as many times as I have with Michelle. Sometimes she would miss the axel, loop, or lutz combo 5 or 6 times in a row, but just tick them off like nothing when the music came on. It was truly extraordinary and a quality I haven't seen in any other skater for a long time.

  19. #19

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    Oh dear, I criticized th Kween I mean that having a cushion boosts confidence.
    Kwan at her best v Slutskaya at her best = Kwan knew she would most likely be marked the highest.
    The same can't be said v Arakawa or Lipinski.

    Kwan was a very consistent skater. I'm not convinced she would have been had she been faced with opposition of the quality Mao faced in Yuna. Knowing one has the judges backing in case of a clean program does wonders for confidence.
    IMO, for both Mao and Joubert, the sense that they don't have the judges behind them as much as others has really damaged the performer confidence they had at the start.
    It seems to me to be a different phenomenon than for Verner or Kostner, who have always been head cases.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    Oh dear, I criticized th Kween I mean that having a cushion boosts confidence.
    Kwan at her best v Slutskaya at her best = Kwan knew she would most likely be marked the highest.
    The same can't be said v Arakawa or Lipinski.
    This just isn't factually correct.

    Kwan and Slutskaya both skated flawless LPs in 2002 at worlds and the judges went with Slutskaya. Slutskaya also won the sp pretty much every time they faced off between 2000 and 2002 when both landed similar content. In both 2000 and 2001, had Slutskaya been clean I actually think the judges would have given her the nod. In fact, Slutskaya beat Kwan at all of their GP matchups in 2000, 2001, and 2002, and it was only at worlds that Kwan forged ahead. There was at no time any guarantee that clean Kwan=gold medal.

    Also, I see you've dropped Cohen from your list...

    In 2004, Kwan landed just 5 triples to Arakawa's 7 (including 2 triple/triples) and STILL was just one vote shy of winning the Long Program. What does that tell you about the way the judges viewed these two skaters?

    You can call me a Kwaniac if you want, but I'd suggest that you look at the actual wins and score cards (facts) before you make a generalization based on your overall impressions.

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