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  1. #21
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    I also prefer watching S/N over Brasseur/truck driver and Eltsova/Bushkov. This is Shishkova/Naumov's Ave Maria, love the softness of their step sequence and their superb lines:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxVrFEGDasw
    It's a shame they weren't a bit more consistent.

  2. #22
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    These two were average, imo, especially compared to other great Russian pairs, but were better than Eltsova/Bushkov. They came up with a great performance in 1994 and should have won the bronze, but a Russian sweep would've been intolerable.

    I can understand their bitterness over not medalling in those Olympics, especially since they actually skated very well. But, in the grand scheme of things, the best pairs in the world were at that competition, and that made it the most accurate in my view.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv View Post
    I can understand their bitterness over not medalling in those Olympics, especially since they actually skated very well. But, in the grand scheme of things, the best pairs in the world were at that competition, and that made it the most accurate in my view.
    Yes, but the best skated pair at LiliHammer was not awarded the gold

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Yes, but the best skated pair at LiliHammer was not awarded the gold
    You mean M/D, right?

  5. #25
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    96 Worlds was just bizarre. Four first place ordinals, but the other judges all had them off the podium. They skated before K&D, and I'm wondering if those judges were expecting K&D to come through like they did at Euros and wanted to prevent a Russian sweep.

    What hurt them (minus any behind the scenes stuff) was using the same dull, poorly constructed "Don Quixote" LP for three years. Their skating is beautiful, but the program makes it chore to watch. I understand injury prevented them from coming up with something new for the Olympics in 98 though.

    Odd to think Eltsova/Bushkov were the National Champions going into the 98 Olympics and K&D just barely made the team with a performance that was superior to the one they gave at the Olympics.

  6. #26
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    I never saw the 98 Russian Nationals but I heard the top 4 all skated cleanly and the results were Eltsova & Bushkov 1st, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze 2nd, Kazahkova & Dmitriev 3rd, and Shishkova & Naumov 4th. Is this true.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I never saw the 98 Russian Nationals but I heard the top 4 all skated cleanly and the results were Eltsova & Bushkov 1st, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze 2nd, Kazahkova & Dmitriev 3rd, and Shishkova & Naumov 4th. Is this true.
    That's the order, although not all were completely clean.

    Buskhov singled the double axe.
    Sikharulidze fell on the triple toe.
    Dmitriev singled the second double axel, although they did a first set cleanly before that so not a huge omission. (same as the Olympics)
    S&N were the only ones to go completely "clean", though the landings of the triple toes were iffy.

    All the vids are on the fsvids site in the "98 Russian Nationals" thread to download if you want to see.

    I thought K&D skated with more confidence at Nationals than they did at the Olympics, and they did the shoulder to shoulder lift they awkwardly left out at the Olympics as well. The Olympic performance felt like a cautious and nervy "Just don't fall and we'll win." type performance.

    And what were E&B thinking (as well as the Russian judges who gave them 5.9s for presentation) with that S&M themed LOTD program? Did they really envision themselves winning the Olympics with that? It actually has some interesting transitions and stuff, but the overall effect is just weird and not in a good way.

  8. #28

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    The only thing I remember about Yeltsova-Bushkov's Olympic LP is their costume(s). They looked very strange. They did not skate well either. S&N would have done better, but how could the Russian fed not select its national champions to the Olympic team? Thank goodness K&D were selected.

  9. #29
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    I was at 96 Worlds in person, and Eltsova and Bushkov were the skating equivalent of Nembutal.

    Nobody in the top five skated cleanly (in the combined short and long), but Shishkova and Naumov should have made the podium.

    What sticks in my memory the most was when Artur Dmitriev went off axis in the side by side spin and almost chopped Oksana Kazakova in half.

  10. #30
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    ^ The results between '98 Russian Nats and Nagano are amazing.

    What happened in between at '98 Euros? Anything of note that may have shaken up the results going into Nagano from Russian Nats??

  11. #31

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    Re: 96 Worlds

    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    Nobody in the top five skated cleanly (in the combined short and long), but Shishkova and Naumov should have made the podium.
    I would agree - I almost posted earlier that Shishkova & Naumov's results of 96 Worlds bothered me a lot more than at 95 Worlds. The long program at that event was absolutely craptastic. I would have had Meno & Sand first in the free, then Eltsova & Bushkov and Shishkova & Naumov second and third in some order. Under this scenario, the podium is either E&B/M&S/S&N or M&S/S&N/E&B. I can't decide which result is the right one...really, the event was so bad that no one deserved to be World champion out of it.

    Pairs judging in the mid-90s was a little bit weird and always seemed to be about either rewarding a pair for their program's choreography (regardless of how well it was skated) or judging to make up for a previous result. Take 97 Worlds, where Eltsova & Bushkov skated way better in both the short and long than they had at 96 Worlds and even had a bit of personality in the SP (their Sixteen Tons program, probably the best they've ever done) but lost to a shaky Woetzel & Steuer, who messed up the spins in the short and had a couple mistakes in the free, on top of being SO tight. I kind of felt like because W&S finally had a well-choreographed free program that suited them and E&B had already had their World title the year before, that W&S got the nod. I don't think that there was any conspiracy or fix in, just that some of these things may have played a subconscious role in how the event was judged.
    Last edited by Erin; 07-06-2011 at 04:14 PM.

  12. #32

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    I agree with you Erin. The 95 result was a close one, but there was no justification in denying the podium to S&N in 96. That probably cost them a spot on the Olympic team in 98, as they were no longer a factor. The pairs field was weak in the mid-90s compared to the era of the great Russian pairs. The judging, particularly for the gold in the mid-90s was like the Oscars- make up for previous denials of deserved medals. W&S should not have won in 97, IMO. Y&B were actually better. Again, all these pairs were just OK, not great. It wasn't until 98 that the field became stronger with the development of B&S and K&D. In the mid 90's S&N should have been among the top pairs- it was hard to pick just one at that time, but for some reason they were not.

  13. #33
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    I agree Eltsova & Bushkov should have won the 97 Worlds. Kazahkova & Dmitriev should have won the LP and possibly silver overall over Woetzel & Steuer who did not deserve to win either the SP (spins were way out of sync) or LP. They were rewarded since they had the best season and were held up even though they didnt deliver at Worlds. And being rewarded for having their best programs ever, even though they didnt skate them that well at Worlds.

    I agree about the 96 Worlds too. Meno & Sand deserved to win the LP, even if mainly by default. They were the only top pair who really delivered. S&N and E&B should have been 2nd or 3rd in the LP in some order, and the overall podium been some combination of those three. Woetzel & Steuer blew their performance with a sliding fall on a throw double axel, singles double axels, and some other minor stumbles, and were ridiculously held up still to win silver.

    Both the judging and skating during this period was erratic.

    Woetzel & Steuer also undeservedly won the 95 European title which should have gone to Kovarikova & Novotny, who skated much better than they did at Worlds and still lost. Which led to the questionable Worlds result as payback.

    On the whole one thing that is consistent is that Woetzel & Steuer were the most gifted pair of that period. They arent that strong even when they skate cleanly, and in major events they almost always made huge errors and were most times still held up (except for 95 Worlds thank goodness, but that was even worse than usual for them). It was almost a fitting climax to their careers to lose the Oly silver to a 3 major error Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze (IMO justifiable too given the huge gulf in quality between the pairs and that W&S were injured and sluggish anyway) and if that seemed an injustice to some, it was the ultimate irony as well after all the gifts they had gotten previously that quad.

  14. #34

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    This thread got me watching some pairs programs from 1995 and then from other seasons. 1995 Worlds was probably my favorite Worlds, I must have watched my tape a million times. Anyway, I just realized that Meno and Sand won world medals 3 times with the SAME long program. Has anyone else done that? They even had their best result the 3rd time around, haha
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  15. #35
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    Woetzel and Steuer were gifted a few times, I guess (I didn't follow skating that closely during those years), but they really deserved the '93 silver medal they got. I just recently watched that performance, and they were ON.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    This thread got me watching some pairs programs from 1995 and then from other seasons. 1995 Worlds was probably my favorite Worlds, I must have watched my tape a million times. Anyway, I just realized that Meno and Sand won world medals 3 times with the SAME long program. Has anyone else done that? They even had their best result the 3rd time around, haha
    I believe Victor Petrenko won 3 medals with the same FP program...in 90/91/92. ( or 89/90/91) When his music used to come up in practice..the other skaters would do the opening poses , such was the familiarity with the program.I believe he wore the same costume..black pants and muted gold top each time

    I thought it might be an idea to deduct for the use of the same program for 3 years in a row when he was in contention for gold all 3 times.

  17. #37
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    Oh yeah, god that opening to VP's FS. The snivvle at the judges, the head bob. ba-da-ba-da-bump-ba-da, repeat. uggh.

    Paul Wylie I think used 89/90/91 programs but he was never in contention.

    And Surya seemed to have done her Four Seasons for at least that.

  18. #38
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    Woetzel and Steuer, in their prime, were very fast and explosive. Their elements had great speed in and out, and many (but not all of them) had amplitude.

    They actually lost a lot of this by 1997, but still seemed to be marked as if they had it. By 1998, I think the judges had caught on that they were skating much more slowly (partially due to injury, partially due to strategy), and some of their big elements like the throw double axel had become smaller and were done with less speed in order to improve consistency.

    I'm probably the only person who agrees with the result at 1995 Europeans . I think their "Island" free skate is one of the great untold skating masterpieces. Skating to ambient music has never really been done before or since by a high level eligible skater, and they did it tremendously well IMO. I love them, but from 1996 until they turned pro, they went on a downward slide into genericism with simpler choreography.

    As for Shishkova and Naumov, Evgenia was always under-powered for a female pairs skater. Beautiful lines, but shallow stroking and teeny-tiny underrotated jumps so small that Naumov would need to take off a noticeable half-second earlier. I think she was seriously 70 lb. in their prime. (Mandy Woetzel was 80-something pounds, so 70 seems right for Evgenia, who is a visibly smaller build.) They skated slowly and they moved slowly on top of it. To me, their programs always felt seven minutes long. In a ballet competition, they wins hands down. In a skating competition, IMO they were the weakest of their peers and had to rely on errors from others or Soviet-loaded panels, both of which happened frequently in those days.

    At 1995 Worlds, I think the judges marked what they wanted to see with Kovarikova and Novotny, but I was OK with that. They were a gorgeous pair who could've been one of the all-time greats had they really put it together, stuck around longer (there was a huge age difference), etc. Forget 1995 Europeans, the medal they were truly robbed of was the 1992 Olympic bronze. An eventual World title was a fair trade for that travesty.

    At 1996 Worlds, Shishkova missed all of her difficult side-by-side jumps. Totally blew the triple toe in both programs, making about 1.5 rotations each time, and then eked out a flawed (maybe two-footed), underrotated, mistimed double axel in the free. You can't have a World Champion pair who doesn't land a clean side-by-side jump -- and the wimpy axel-double salchow sequence doesn't count for much. The pairs on the podium all demonstrated some mastery of each type of element, while having errors on other, often easier elements. S/N's errors all came in the same area, and I think that hurt more in those days.

    At 1997 Worlds, I think it rightly or wrongly came down to the fact that Woetzel and Steuer were the only team (other than I/D) to do clean side-by-side triple toes in the short program and free skate. All of the favorites' triple toes -- Bushkov, Dmitriev, and Sand -- went MIA that week. (Well, Sand's was always MIA.) W&S did an element very well that (almost) none of the other top teams did, and when all else is sort-of equal, that tends (or tended) to win. That and the program was gorgeous, if kind of generic. And it was their turn.

    Those are my theories at least. Judging was so much fun prior to COP. Fun trip down memory lane.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    All of the favorites' triple toes -- Bushkov, Dmitriev, and Sand -- went MIA that week. (Well, Sand's was always MIA.)
    Although oddly, Sand did end up landing the triple toe in the SP at Worlds that year. I actually would have had Meno & Sand first in the SP in 97, with Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze second, Eltsova & Bushkov third, and Woetzel & Steuer fourth (so basically the top 4 all in the reverse order). Since M&S and B&S both bombed the free, it wouldn't have made any difference in the end, so I've never gotten too worked up about it. The 97 pairs results was a bit like 95 where I could see the arguments why it was wrong, but I didn't really care. I was never a huge fan of W&S, but they were one of the better pairs in the mid-90s when they were on and I was happy they got a World title. Plus, the thought of Eltsova & Bushkov as two-time World champs was probably a bit much.

    (And agree 100% that Kovarikova & Novotny missing the bronze medal in Albertville was highway robbery.)

  20. #40
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    Evgenia Shishkova.. 70 lbs? really? And Mandy W. 80 lbs? I thought all those pairs ladies were around 95 lbs..

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