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  1. #1
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    Can you name a sport that people did as well in the olden days as nowadays?

    Can you name a sport that people did as well in the olden days as nowadays?

    My question is motivated by the films of Laurence Owen and the Dineens at the 1961 championships. (Thanks to Floskate for posting on Youtube.)

    I don't mean to be irreverent, but from the glowing way the elder statesmen have reminisced about Maribel V. Owen's teaching methods and keen understanding of the technical aspects of the sport, I frankly expected more from her protégés than botched double jumps. Perhaps the shallow stroking and low leg lines were the style back then? Interestingly, the scoring (generally in the 4.5-5.0 range) seemed appropriately restrained.

    As per the Olympic motto, today's top skaters are more athletic and (I know this is subjective) are more dramatic and compelling performers than their 1961 counterparts.

    I wonder if there are any sports where this does not hold true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by just tuned in View Post
    I frankly expected more from her protégés than botched double jumps.
    The first triple jump in international competition by a man was Dick Button in 1952, which was a loop, and the first triple toe loop was '64, I think. The first in women's were later than the first in men. What were you expecting?

    Personally, I've been amazed by the pair skating I've seen from the '61 team. Those jumps together were amazing.
    The Junior Grand Prix: Where skaters who "come out of nowhere" come from.

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    Here's David Jenkins doing a triple axel from 1957. Look at the Sit position too. I was amazed when I first saw this clip.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2unF...642FFBEED84B72
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


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    It's important to look at those double jumps v. what had been done in the sport prior to that time. Context, in athletics, is important. After all, it's one thing to do a quad today -- it is very hard, yes. But at least you're not *inventing* the jump. There is established technique that you can learn and rely upon. Back then, quads didn't exist. Some of the triples possibly had never been done before, or at least not by women. You've got to see the skaters in context.

    The first double axel wasn't landed in comp until 1948 (Button). The first double-double combo was 1949 (Button). The first triple wasn't landed until 1952 (Button). And back in 1952, many in skating thought that a triple jump was not humanly possible - absolutely could not be done. So think of it relative to the times - a triple was not just hard to do; it was literally unbelievable. So doubles? Yeah, they were hard. And a double-double combo that included an axel, as Laurance did in that video? I'd imagine that was one heck of a thing in ladies' skating.

    And back in the time we're discussing, a *significant* amount of a skater's time wasn't spent on jumps - as jumping made up only a very small part of your total score. It was spent on figures, which were the majority of your score at each competition.

    A lot of the style you see in those old films, re: bent leg and etc., was influenced by the positions needed to do figures well. And yes, styles do change over time - what was considered artistically pleasing back then might not be so today.

    In general, all competitive sports are significantly different today than in the olden days, not least because of improvements in equipment and additional research and learning re: training techniques. It's also about what's valued - back in the 1960's, figures were valued. They were the main part of a skater's score. Not jumps. Figures were the emphasis of the sport, so when a person, today, talks about how amazing the skaters back then were - look at the skater's footwork, watch their figures.
    Last edited by GarrAarghHrumph; 02-19-2011 at 01:57 AM.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzisk8tr View Post
    Here's David Jenkins doing a triple axel from 1957. Look at the Sit position too. I was amazed when I first saw this clip.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2unF...642FFBEED84B72
    And as Floskate points out in the description, it was 21 years later that it was finally landed in competition.
    The Junior Grand Prix: Where skaters who "come out of nowhere" come from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by just tuned in View Post
    Can you name a sport that people did as well in the olden days as nowadays?
    Baseball, maybe? It took a whole lot of steroid use to break some of the longstanding records. And there's not much style that can change when it comes to hitting a ball. Bat materials can change and pitching can change a bit though. In a similar vein, maybe golf hasn't changed too much.

    And of course, no horse is topping Secretariat any time soon.

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    Darts, I think. Probably horseshoes.

    The problem with comparing in most sports is that the fundamental equipment has changed so very much. Gymnastics is hardly the same sport that it was in 1950; the equipment for women is tremendously different: sprung floors, fiberglass poles on uneven bars rather than solid wood, and the bars themselves are far further apart than in 1950. The vaulting horse is now a table. Balance beams are now padded and sueded, rather than being the polished wood that they were in my youth.

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    Hockey. In fact I would make a case for it being much better in "the olden days". Then there was more skill and less fighting.

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    Curling?

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Darts, I think.
    Most definitely. The only thing that has changed is the equipment, and there's not that much you can do with a set of darts other than change the metal, the point, or the barrel shape. The technique is pretty much the same as it has been for years, and since it doesn't require Herculean strength so much as hand-eye coordination, there's not much that can be done to improve upon raw talent and practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice.
    Gun Control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to buy cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    Most definitely. The only thing that has changed is the equipment, and there's not that much you can do with a set of darts other than change the metal, the point, or the barrel shape. The technique is pretty much the same as it has been for years, and since it doesn't require Herculean strength so much as hand-eye coordination, there's not much that can be done to improve upon raw talent and practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice.
    And beer?

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    Technology has alot to do with the advance of athletes in sport. For example, look at Tennis and Golf ....the wooden rackets/clubs that were used in the matches and compare them to today's materials. Today's rackets/clubs give advantages to the players that the past players did not have. Put a current racket/club in the hands of Bjorn Borg/Rod Laver or Bobby Jones/Ben Hogan and they would have been equal to or better than our champions today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    And beer?
    And that, too. Back when I used to do tournaments, though, tequila usually worked better .
    Gun Control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to buy cars.

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    Poker

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    Please keep in mind that 70% of the score back then was compulsory figures. Can you say Trixie Schuba? I much prefer the spins (flying sits, layback, delayed axels) of yesteryear. It was so refreshing NOT to see someone straining to grab their blade and yank it netherward.

    Back to topic...Archery? Equestrian events? Polo? Rugby?

    also, steroids have ruined many sports in my mind. I love watching the old clips of Babe Ruth and others. Remember when it was thought impossible to run under a 4 minute mile? Once it was broken, everyone could - even high schoolers!
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    Yeah, archery and equestrian were two that popped into my mind but even then I bet there are improvements via bow equipment and nutrition for horses. So darts it is!
    Figure skating is hard.

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    Bowling... the average score hasn't increased that much despite better equipment, use of elbow and wrist stabilizers, and consistent oiling of the lanes.

    As for skating, I'm old enough to remember how figure skates were constructed in the 50s and 60s. There was very little support, so the stress on the ankles and shins was probably 100% more than it is today. The landing had to be very precise for the skater to support it and come out with some flow. It's not that the skaters didn't have the physical ability to jump higher and get more rotations, it's that the equipment worked best when the jump was more "out" than "up", lessening the stress on landing.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    It was so refreshing NOT to see someone straining to grab their blade and yank it netherward.
    Netherward = downward...is that what you meant?

    Back to topic...Archery? Equestrian events? Polo? Rugby?
    Definitely archery, probably fencing/swordfighting too. And I'm not sure the different forms of wrestling are improved from the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    Netherward = downward...is that what you meant?
    Netherward = watching an American male pair skater in the required spiral sequence
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    The first double axel wasn't landed in comp until 1948 (Button). The first double-double combo was 1949 (Button). The first triple wasn't landed until 1952 (Button).
    You've got to hand it to Uncle Dick! He may drive some of us bonkers as a commentator, but he really is a legend.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

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