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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    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.
    Oh, I'm totally going on my overall impressions It's 4h30 am and I have insomnia.

    My initial point was that Kwan coped well as long as she was the front lady with Slutskaya - but that having more or different competitors around her didn't work out so well. IMO the 2002 win was totall about giving Irina her turn after all the Kwan turns, a bit of a token for lifetime achievement (not that I minded, I was a fan).

    I mentionned Cohen because she did finish ahead of Kwan at worlds, and IMO she was one of many factors meaning Kwan did not skate with her usual spark and commitment - just by virtue of being there and being considered a possible gold medal prospect.
    Yes, Kwan was older by that stage - but aren't Joubert, Takahashi, Verner and Kostner also well past their prime and carrying a bunch of battle wounds?

    Kwan was a great competitor. Do I think it's easier to be a great competitor when you get a bunch of 5.9s and 6.0s when you skate clean? Absolutely. And I'm not saying it wasn't deserved. Her overall quality of skating meant that she knew a clean performance would be rewarded, most likely of gold. That's quite a nice incentive, compared to the mental games someone like Asada now has to contend with: will my triple axel be downgraded? Will they slash all my loop combos? And will my components be 5 points lower than Yu-Na's even if I skate great?


    I also believe that naturally inconsistent skaters like Bereznaya/Sikharulizde, Savchenko/Szolkowy and Chan were helped into becoming semi consistent skaters thanks to the confidence building high marks received for messy performances early on in their careers.


    And finally, I agree with Ziggy: old championships were just as "messy" as the recent ones. In the 90s, I remember getting majorly excited everytime someone landed two jumps in a row.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    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 completely disagree with your list. It sounds like you just threw in a bunch of names without actually looking at their careers.

    Urmanov was not inconsistent until a groin injury pretty much ended his career.

    Milot was never a top level skater. Galindo and Wylie did have problems until they put it together eventually.

    How can you list Ito among the inconsistent skaters? She was one of the most consistent jumpers. Harding was less consistent, but still a very strong jumper.

    Chen Lu had one bad season, when she had problems with her coach. She was one of the more consistent skaters.

    Yuka Sato never had meltdowns like the other skaters mentioned by the OP (KOstner, Czisny, etc.)

    Bobek, Hubert and Chouinard were the only ones with real problems.

    Interestingly you left out the one lady that consistently had inconsistency problems- Sasha Cohen.

    The pairs list sounds totally meaningless. Most of these pairs had some good and some bad performances, which is typical of pairs skating.

    K&D were not that inconsistent, except in their first season, which is not unusual for a new pair.

    B&S had some real melt downs but they had enough strong skates to win championships. So you can't put them in the same bracket as Carolina who never won a world championship, and Alissa who never stood on a world podium.

    Of all the ice dance teams you found only G&P inconsistent? They were among the best ice dancers. Also in ice dance you are not going to see that many falls because there are not jumps and throws (high risk elements). At least you did not just list all the ice dance teams, like you did for the other three disciplines.l

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    Oh, I'm totally going on my overall impressions It's 4h30 am and I have insomnia.

    My initial point was that Kwan coped well as long as she was the front lady with Slutskaya - but that having more or different competitors around her didn't work out so well. IMO the 2002 win was totall about giving Irina her turn after all the Kwan turns, a bit of a token for lifetime achievement (not that I minded, I was a fan).

    I mentionned Cohen because she did finish ahead of Kwan at worlds, and IMO she was one of many factors meaning Kwan did not skate with her usual spark and commitment - just by virtue of being there and being considered a possible gold medal prospect.
    Yes, Kwan was older by that stage - but aren't Joubert, Takahashi, Verner and Kostner also well past their prime and carrying a bunch of battle wounds?

    Kwan was a great competitor. Do I think it's easier to be a great competitor when you get a bunch of 5.9s and 6.0s when you skate clean? Absolutely. And I'm not saying it wasn't deserved. Her overall quality of skating meant that she knew a clean performance would be rewarded, most likely of gold. That's quite a nice incentive, compared to the mental games someone like Asada now has to contend with: will my triple axel be downgraded? Will they slash all my loop combos? And will my components be 5 points lower than Yu-Na's even if I skate great?


    I also believe that naturally inconsistent skaters like Bereznaya/Sikharulizde, Savchenko/Szolkowy and Chan were helped into becoming semi consistent skaters thanks to the confidence building high marks received for messy performances early on in their careers.


    And finally, I agree with Ziggy: old championships were just as "messy" as the recent ones. In the 90s, I remember getting majorly excited everytime someone landed two jumps in a row.
    I think consistency has a lot more to do with training habits than anything else. Champions like Kwan didn't start landing their jumps after receiving top marks, they received top marks because they started landing their jumps.

    Besides, what about all of the skaters who say it's a lot more difficult to defend a title than it is to earn one for the first time? Look at a skater like Hughes: she knew a clean skate was still not going to get 5.9s and 6.0s and would likely finish behind Kwan, Slutskaya, and even Butyrskaya, yet she did it time and time again.

    Every competition has a different type of pressure from competitors, skating federations, media hype, gaining funding, lack of training, injury, personal issues, and countless other sources. True champions like Kwan, Slutskaya, Lipinski, Boitano, Yagudin, Plushenko, Lysacek (hate mentioning him but he did know how to compete) Stojko, and others were able to adapt to multiple situations, find inner focus, silence their nerves and compete.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    Oh, I'm totally going on my overall impressions It's 4h30 am and I have insomnia.

    ?

    Kwan was a great competitor. Do I think it's easier to be a great competitor when you get a bunch of 5.9s and 6.0s when you skate clean? Absolutely. And I'm not saying it wasn't deserved. Her overall quality of skating meant that she knew a clean performance would be rewarded, most likely of gold. That's quite a nice incentive, compared to the mental games someone like Asada now has to contend with: will my triple axel be downgraded? Will they slash all my loop combos? And will my components be 5 points lower than Yu-Na's even if I skate great?


    And finally, I agree with Ziggy: old championships were just as "messy" as the recent ones. In the 90s, I remember getting majorly excited everytime someone landed two jumps in a row.
    Kwan did not build confidence because she received 5.9 & 6.0s. She was rewarded with those marks because she consistently landed her jumps and was artistic too (for the second marks). She could handle the pressure of competitions; Cohen could not. That was the difference. Mental part of the competition has always existed; it did not come about because of COP.

    About the 90's- you were excited if someone landed two jumps in a row? Did you ever watch Midori Ito skate or Tonya Harding or Kristi Yamaguchi? Oh, and Michelle and Irina also skated in the 1990's with great consistency.

  5. #25
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    I think Kurt Browning (another skater of the 90s) was very consistent until he had that back injury in 1992. Then had that fabulous program in 1992, but bombed the short and did not win as many expected. He's gone on to be one of the best skaters of all time, but he did have a period of inconsistency, I believe, related to injury resulting in a loss of confidence.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    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?
    Judges saw underrotations prior to the IJS and judges considered that one skater was forced off the ice by a potentially dangerous nut job intruder in a tutu.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickButtonFan View Post
    Don't forget to add Patrick Chan to your list
    What a silly thing to say. He's only been to 3 Worlds and has 2 silver medals. Don't think you can consider such a young skater "inconsistent" when he's still developing- and much faster than anyone would have expected.

    Joubert doesn't belong on the list either for the reasons listed above; 10 straight medals at Euros and 6 straight at Worlds. In fact, he's by far the most consistent since Plushenko left in 2006 and seems to peak at Worlds.

    Sandhu must be added to the list. Unless you want to slot him under being consistently inconsistent. I remember their being a debate a couple years ago about who bombs more: Sandhu or Verner. I was arguing Sandhu but I think Verner has overtaken him at this point.

  8. #28

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    Sandhu........inconsistent?...........He was always consistent........consistent in his inconsistency! How heartbreaking it was to be a fan of his.
    Addicted to FSU

  9. #29

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    Don't get me wrong, I love Ilia Kulik to death, but looking back on his career I'm not sure he should be counted as "consistent". There was the Euros gold in 1995 and the Worlds silver the following year, then he had a really splotchy timeframe up til the Olympic season.

    He was, however, consistently amazing.



    wingnut, I get what you're saying, but I think the issue a lot of people has with Chan's "consistency" is his ability or lack thereof of consistently skate clean. I know it's not all about the jumps, but a man who can't land his 3A properly deserves that tag. Let's face it, a 3A should be a basic skill for someone high-ranked at Worlds.

  10. #30

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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'm a little about Asada being on the list.
    As mucn as I admit that she is always a very slow starter, although she is still pretty young, she is already Olympic Silver Medalist, two-time World Champion (and when she won these titles both times she didn't have a coach.) , two-time GPF Champion and two-time Four Continent Champion (she competed 3 times at 4CC and each time she competed without a coach, but still managed to win 2 titles and one bronze medal). She won 4 consecutive Japanese titles (at such a tough competition!). But she is still put on the list. I wonder what more you could have expected from her?
    Last edited by galaxy; 02-05-2011 at 03:47 PM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbkenn View Post
    I think Kurt Browning (another skater of the 90s) was very consistent until he had that back injury in 1992. Then had that fabulous program in 1992, but bombed the short and did not win as many expected. He's gone on to be one of the best skaters of all time, but he did have a period of inconsistency, I believe, related to injury resulting in a loss of confidence.

    You obviously never saw Browing skate except at worlds every year. Browning was always a terribly inconsistent skater. From 89-94 pretty much the only time he ever skated clean programs was at worlds. Canadians, Skate Canada, Skate America, other GP events he was always wildly inconsistent.

  12. #32

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    Ando at the list?

    Since her debut at worlds 04 she qualified for every main international competetion (worlds, olympics) until now. in a country like japan, this is an effort itself.
    at worlds her lowest placement wa rank 6 in 2005, other places 4, 1, 3, 4.
    she had a tough year 2008, as she has to withdrew at worlds, but inconsistence is something further than that

  13. #33

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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
    How do you define "top skater," BTW? Is it based on international medals, or national ones in deep fields? Worlds/Olympics/Euros (and 4Cs once that started) only or fall competitions as well? Worlds top 10 or final group after short program even if they never won medals?

    Skaters who have competed at that level for several years, or is one successful year enough to consider them? (Obviously, the ones with only one successful year are likely to be the less consistent ones.)

    Should we look at results or cleanness of programs? If everyone makes mistakes, then the winner will have mistakes too. Does being good enough to win even with mistakes consistitute consistency?

    I wonder how much of American fans' perception of consistency in previous eras comes from the limited US television coverage of events other than US Nationals, Worlds, Olympics, and Skate America. If fans never saw the bad performances from foreign skaters who did well at Worlds, they could appear more consistent than they really were.

    For ice dance, especially in the 1990s and before, it's hard to base a reputation for consistency or lack thereof on results, since under 6.0 scoring top teams could often still place well even if they fell, and of course falls were less common in dance than in freestyle.

    Falling isn't the only mark of inconsistency, but it certainly stands out in ice dance. Teams who come to mind as having fallen in competition more than once in 6.0 competition include Blumberg/Seibert, Punsalan/Swallow, Grishuk/Platov, Delobel/Schoenfelder. Since P/S and G/P were competing at the same time, does that make their error one of less consistency than Faiella/Scali's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Urmanov was not inconsistent until a groin injury pretty much ended his career.
    No? Then why did he fall so often especially in fall competitions , and double his lutzes in short programs so often? Why did he fail to medal at 1993 Euros when he was a favorite going in (time off for injury will explain that one) . . . more significantly, why did he fail to win a second world medal of any color in 3 1/2 attempts as the reigning Olympic champion? Why did it take him that long to finally win gold at Euros, and that only in one of the most crazy mixed-up scoring events of all time?

    Milot was never a top level skater.
    Hm, fifth at Worlds twice, bronze at Euros and Champions Series Final once each. The Americans on Icetalavista's initial list (Czisny, Abbott, Rippon, and Nagasu) will do well to retire with similar senior international credentials, even if Czisny and Abbott have bested his result at the GPF once. Either that level of accomplishment counts as being a top-level skater or it doesn't, but if we're going to compare across eras we need to use the same definitions of "top skater" for each.


    Galindo and Wylie did have problems until they put it together eventually.
    So does that mean they were inconsistent but they weren't top skaters?

    Kind of like, oh, all the Americans on Icetalavista's list? (If Czisny can make top 5 at Worlds and/or medal at Four Continents this year, then she can be as much of a "top skater" as Galindo and Wylie -- more if she can do it again next year.)

    Going back further, how about the likes of Liz Manley and Anna Kondrasheva?

    How can you list Ito among the inconsistent skaters? She was one of the most consistent jumpers.
    Except at 1991 Worlds and 1992 Olympics, when it counted most.
    And "inconsistency" in figures cost her the 1990 world title.

    Harding was less consistent, but still a very strong jumper.
    Just like, say, Asada, huh?



    "Consistent" skaters are the exception, not the norm. Of course, the harder the technical content is, the more likely that we'll see mistakes from everyone. The trick is to make fewer than your competitors, or to be good enough at eerything else to make up for it.

    How many times did Michelle Kwan or Irina Slutskaya win competitions with one big mistake across two programs, or place second to each other?

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post

    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. Etc...
    It's like saying I'm not sure Witt would have won two Olympics if she had faced Lipinski :-s

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    michelle was injured when both michelle and tara skated . tara had the backing of the judges, michelle didn't as far as katarina and tara, i think katarina would have been tara.
    why tara ur's that wasn't called. unlike michelle minor mistakes which was, tara's wasn't

  16. #36
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    Yes, inconsistent skaters have long outnumbered consistent skaters.

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    How is "inconsistent" defined in figure skating and in general discussions about skaters? I think at times the label "inconsistent" is applied synonymously with the words "jump issues". Simply put, a lot of us (myself included) automatically think of jumps when "inconsistent" is used to describe certain skaters. Granted, a lot of people have also singled out mental preparedness as another component of consistency. To me this may be more pertinent on some fronts.

    Unless they'd learned poor/ improper technique early on, top skaters should be counted on to have a decent mastery of skating skills and most jumps. Jumps are trained to the point of them being part of muscle memory, similar to how certain steps are for ballet dancers. In other words, you mentally prepare the step briefly just before doing it, but you do not think about it while you're executing the move. You're simply allowing your trained body to take over in that situation. As for spins, there are many in the sport who consider them more difficult to master i.e. do them excellently than jumps. Similarly in ballet, it takes more concentration while doing turns as opposed to jumps. In skating, Mirai flaking out during her spins at Nationals is a perfect example of inconsistencies with concentration. Back to muscle memory, I'd read about it being discussed in skater interviews, and can't help but draw similar parallels from ballet.

    I can't help but think it's also a smidgeon unfair to compare pre-IJS, great jumpers like Yagudin or Browning to present competitors. We don't know how well Yagudin would've fared if he also had to whore for points under CoP rulebook. Maybe upping level of difficulty for footwork and spins, or adding transitions before jumps would've been enough to derail some of his jumping ability in his programs? I feel that present day skaters have it so much harder, both in having to constantly up technical content AND live up to artistic expectations from both skating fans and also the all-important judges. For me, it's more incredulous and unusual to see a consistent, top skater. They are a rare breed.

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    I think the new judging system is not good for inconsistent skaters !
    You have to do the jumps, with transitions.

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    portia did all the work of "fleshing out" my original stance, so now I'm going to add to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by portia View Post
    How is "inconsistent" defined in figure skating and in general discussions about skaters? I think at times the label "inconsistent" is applied synonymously with the words "jump issues". Simply put, a lot of us (myself included) automatically think of jumps when "inconsistent" is used to describe certain skaters. Granted, a lot of people have also singled out mental preparedness as another component of consistency. To me this may be more pertinent on some fronts.
    When I think of consistency, I'm thinking of having mostly clean, or major-error-free performances. One or fewer minor errors on jumps, spins or whatever else (e.g. pop, hand-down, wobble, etc.), with a fall counting as a major error.

    Quote Originally Posted by portia View Post
    Unless they'd learned poor/ improper technique early on, top skaters should be counted on to have a decent mastery of skating skills and most jumps. Jumps are trained to the point of them being part of muscle memory, similar to how certain steps are for ballet dancers. In other words, you mentally prepare the step briefly just before doing it, but you do not think about it while you're executing the move. You're simply allowing your trained body to take over in that situation. As for spins, there are many in the sport who consider them more difficult to master i.e. do them excellently than jumps. Similarly in ballet, it takes more concentration while doing turns as opposed to jumps. In skating, Mirai flaking out during her spins at Nationals is a perfect example of inconsistencies with concentration. Back to muscle memory, I'd read about it being discussed in skater interviews, and can't help but draw similar parallels from ballet.
    Correct me if I'm misunderstanding you, but you seem to be saying that because figure skating jumps rely more on muscle memory than anything else, we can realistically expect the elite skaters to be consistent with them like in ballet? If so, I agree about the muscle memory, but I disagree with the rest. Strap on a thin metal blade to the feet of ballet dancers and ask them to land their jumps consistently...furthermore, I would guess that figure skating jumps stress the vestibular system more, considering that before and after them, skaters are gliding in a certain direction at a certain speed, have to orient themselves in the air and back down, and land/balance on the blade. Muscle memory may decrease the need for conscious attention to every single movement, but I'd say there is still a significant concentration aspect.

    As for spins, I agree that good ones are likely just as difficult as the triple jumps and probably require more concentration during execution (but less on set-up and finalization.)

    Quote Originally Posted by portia View Post
    I can't help but think it's also a smidgeon unfair to compare pre-IJS, great jumpers like Yagudin or Browning to present competitors. We don't know how well Yagudin would've fared if he also had to whore for points under CoP rulebook. Maybe upping level of difficulty for footwork and spins, or adding transitions before jumps would've been enough to derail some of his jumping ability in his programs? I feel that present day skaters have it so much harder, both in having to constantly up technical content AND live up to artistic expectations from both skating fans and also the all-important judges. For me, it's more incredulous and unusual to see a consistent, top skater. They are a rare breed.
    Agreed. The IJS seems more demanding to figure skaters, which is related to the above points. The technical concentration that figure skaters need are no longer centred primarily on jumps and spins like they used to be. Now under IJS, there are added burdens of focus onto # of rotations on spins, transitions, element levels, and whatnot. I believe Sasha Cohen alluded to how annoying it was to have to count rotations while spinning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    Judges saw underrotations prior to the IJS and judges considered that one skater was forced off the ice by a potentially dangerous nut job intruder in a tutu.
    This was in response to the threat of Shizuka "psyching" Kwan out.

    If the judges considered Shizuka's jumps to be underrotated, they had a funny way of showing it by showering her with mostly 5.9s and a 6.0 before the other contenders had even skated. Kwan had already beaten Shizuka with an international panel at a cheesefest earlier that year with a fall in her program. I think if Kwan had not flubbed the QR and landed that final triple lutz, she would have been re-crowned, stripper incident or not.

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