Ironically, looking back, I thought Lu Chen wuzrobbed in 1994. Nancy and Oksana both had less technical content than her.
Oksana Baiul would have been cool to have around for those 4 extra years too if she hadn't have won. I really believe it would have been better for her in the long run...
~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)
Well, obviously you can't count the posing sections in the skating, especially regarding speed. If you average out the ice speed over the 4 minutes of the program, more time spent not skating would lead to a lower average.3)Oksana had good speed?? The "program" has three resting spots where she "dances" at center ice at a whopping 0mph.
But when someone says a skater had good speed, that refers primarily to the time spent actually skating. And Baiul did skate with good speed when she was skating. I watched the short program at the 94 Olympics live and I can say with firsthand authority that Baiul was fast and exciting in the SP. I had returned home from Norway by the day of the long program and watched on TV, so I can only infer that her speed was good that day, but I think it's more likely than not that it was.
(Also, when I saw her live at Champions on Ice about 6 years later when she was well past her prime, she was faster than both Kwan and Slutskaya, for whatever that's worth. Again, doubtless more simple crossovers to achieve that speed, but the actual speed was outstanding.)
Of course it helps if much of that time spent skating is spent specifically doing crossovers, which are the most efficient way to gain speed. But that kind of speed is one thing that is rewarded. So is getting from a standstill up to full speed in just a few strokes, e.g., efficiency in "going from 0 to 60" as is said about cars.
So speed is one area of technique where Baiul was especially strong, other weaknesses aside.
Remember in 1994 there were no well-balanced program requirements as we know them now or even in the late 90s/early 2000s. There were limits on repeating jumps and rules about jump combinations or sequences that could incur deductions if violated, but at the time there were no requirements for spins and steps in the free program and therefore no deductions to be taken. The number or absence of those elements and their quality, good or bad, would factor into the technical merit mark in a wholistic sense, but it was up to each judge individually to decide how to reward or penalize.Oksana definitely had more artistic potential than Nancy, but her skills were not apparent in that horrid LP that should have had spin and step deductions.
Deductions were primarily a short program concept.
Most of the time when I re-watch a competition, my opinion changes from wuzrobbed to different opinions. One exception where every time I see it, my wuzrobbed opinion grows stronger is Winkler/Lohse. I can't imagine how they finished higher than tenth in the LP portion.
I think the most recent example of different opinion when I first saw it was this year's men's bronze medalist, but I think that's usually the case for singles. In a typical competition, usually you can justify 3-7 getting the third spot.
"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter
Wuzrobbed: Slutskaya over Kwan in 01-02 GPF. I don't think I'll ever get what was going through the judges' heads.
Different Opinions: Kerrigan over Ito at 91 worlds. I could kind of see what some judges might have thought, but I just can't agree with it (could... some... might have... boy am I in denial )
I would put Oksana/Nancy in the differing opinions spot. Oksana had "IT" to the max. She took the ice and commanded it. She was faster than Kerrigan could ever hope to be in just a few strokes. Her spins were faster and more interesting. Her lutz was a thing of beauty, so huge. Nancy was very workmanlike in her approach, but just didn't have charisma IMO. Nancy was like an interchangable Tonia Kwiatkowski back then. Sure most of the time made the jumps, always a mistake, choreo and music bleh, but hair perfectly in place with a prettied up spangly dress.
You really just had to see them skate side by side to get the difference between Oksana and Nancy. Oksana screamed superstar and was entrancing. Nancy was the hard working understudy IMO. Sometimes the star has a REALLY off day and the Understudy does a better job. But when the star of the show is still very very good, the understudy really has to knock it out of the park. Opening up on her first jump is what cost Nancy. And her lutz did look a bit ur'd but back then it didn't seem to matter. But Nancy didn't knock it out of the park. JMO.
Totally agree with you on the first point.
Nancy's speed: take it up with the judges who claimed that Nancy looked slow in comparison to Oksana. As for the lutz, there was definitely some turning on the ice. Her other triples were clean as a whistle. As others have noted here, Oksana was a VERY speedy skater (when not posing). No misinformation there.
As for Oksana's posing, I actually don't mind posing here and there. Nancy did a bit of it herself.
Last edited by skateboy; 07-13-2011 at 09:47 AM.
Sasha clearly skated better that night, I was there live, and not only did he skate brilliantly in the FS, both his QR and the SP was flawless too. I remember Yags trying several times to complete his 3l, without any luck...mostly doubles IIRC
Let me clarify that when I say "good speed" I am more or less referring to continuous speed and flow throughout a program. Not, "let me zoom from one end of the rink to the other for a two-footed jump, then rest for 30 seconds in the middle so I can do it again."
I also agree that Oksana was a super star with tremendous dance ability and charisma. If only she had been able to perform those skills while skating...
Of course this has been flogged to death and clearly will continue to be debated until time immemorial however, your assessment of Kerrigan as opposed to Baiul does not really apply at that time when they came to skate the LP in 1994 due to the preceding events.
I was never a fan of either (although when they worked, Kerrigan's jumps really were beautiful), but on that night in that arena Kerrigan skated better. End of. Whatever the reasons for her placement - the doubled flip, the meltdown in Prague a year earlier, the scandal even - she was better than Baiul when it mattered but the judges did not recognise this.
I remember a great documentary about Olga Korbut where a journalist who was present assessed that while she may have not been the most gifted athlete competing, a series of events conspired to make her a star and she performed beyond her own abilities for however brief a moment. I kind of think the same when it comes to Nancy in Lillehammer.
You spoke for me, floskate.
me three. Funny...when I saw this thread yesterday I had my reply all typed out-and I used Nancy/Tonya as "wuzrobbed" and I had "Kwan/Lipinski" as difference of opinion...but I never hit send because my 4 month old started crying. Ahhh infants! Keeping me from all my message board fun.