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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Yuka was a huge star as a pro. Way bigger than as an amateur. ....
    Indeed she was. She'll forever be in the record books as being the winner of the last important World Pro championships held -- the last two 'Landovers' in Washington, DC, as well as the quasi-Landover Hallmark Championships in Columbus (2002, I think). Yuka was the last Queen of the Landovers.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerek View Post
    Who else from that era (other than Baiul or Kerrigan or any of the re-instated pros) would have also remained eligible under different circumstances?
    Tonya Harding.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    Indeed she was. She'll forever be in the record books as being the winner of the last important World Pro championships held -- the last two 'Landovers' in Washington, DC, as well as the quasi-Landover Hallmark Championships in Columbus (2002, I think). Yuka was the last Queen of the Landovers.
    I've always thought she only won one World Pro. I guess after the competition moved out of Landover, it stopped being the Dick Button's World Pro that I knew.

    How many comp did Yuka won skating to "Hat Full of Stars" ?
    Love Yuka but that song was so ZZZZZZZZZZ, especially if other ladies in the same comp also skated to GFB.

  4. #24
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    On another note how could Yuka have done if she continued? Could she have won another World title or stayed competitive for the podium all the way until 1998? She didnt even have a World medal before the 94 Worlds and that was an incomplete field. She didnt get a triple lutz until 93 though, and get a triple flip and start attempting a triple lutz in the short program until 94. As much as I like her skating I tend to think someone who had trouble beating the likes of Kerrigan, Baiul, Bonaly, and Chen would have alot of trouble beating the likes of Kwan, Lipinski, Slutskaya, and an improved Chen. Then again maybe her skating and reputation would have started to take off with that World title.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    On another note how could Yuka have done if she continued? Could she have won another World title or stayed competitive for the podium all the way until 1998? She didnt even have a World medal before the 94 Worlds and that was an incomplete field. She didnt get a triple lutz until 93 though, and get a triple flip and start attempting a triple lutz in the short program until 94. As much as I like her skating I tend to think someone who had trouble beating the likes of Kerrigan, Baiul, Bonaly, and Chen would have alot of trouble beating the likes of Kwan, Lipinski, Slutskaya, and an improved Chen. Then again maybe her skating and reputation would have started to take off with that World title.
    Interestingly it was another Japanese woman, Midori Ito, who was attempting a comeback for '98 Nagano but aborted it.

    If the Olympic years had not changed, ['96, '00, '04], I think Yuka would've stuck around for '96

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    But it was always the same group of 6 skaters or so that got invited to all of the made-for-tv competitions that popped up left and right back then. I'm not sure how lucrative it was for the no name elite skaters that turned pro.
    Not necessarily.

    I recall being introduced to a number of obscure skaters on the pro circuit that I never would've known otherwise.

    I remember skaters like Rory Flack-Burghart, Charlene Wong, Dan Hollander etc. as frequent regulars during the height of the skating boom--none of which had a world medal to their name.

    Sure, they weren't top billing skaters, but they probably made way more money during that period than they would've in any other skating venue.

    Someone who truly capitalized IMO was Caryn Kadavy. A no-name skater to most of the mainstream audience, only one world medal on her resume, and yet she made a name for herself (much like Yuka did) on the pro circuit by consistently placing well in several pro competitions.

    Unlike Wong or Flack, she still had 3 (relatively) consistent triples, which was enough to challenge for titles in any pro competition in those days.

    I guess my point was that there was an unprecedented opportunity post-1994 to carve a well-earning niche out for yourself as a professional skater, regardless of your amateur career, which had to be tremendously enticing for any skater competing during that time.

    Of course, having world and Olympics medals probably made that task infinitely more easy--but isn't that true in any situation?

    But I do recognize that these opportunities were probably open exclusively for North American skaters since that was where all the money was at the time.

    I'm sure for no-name, non-American/Canadian skaters, it must've been a lot more difficult.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBZ View Post
    I'm sure for no-name, non-American/Canadian skaters, it must've been a lot more difficult.
    I liked what I saw of Charlene Von-Haher (sp?) at one of the Ryder competitions, but she never appeared back on TV again.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Interestingly it was another Japanese woman, Midori Ito, who was attempting a comeback for '98 Nagano but aborted it.

    If the Olympic years had not changed, ['96, '00, '04], I think Yuka would've stuck around for '96
    If Ito could have kept her competitive level from the pro events in fall 93 and fall 94 she could have been competitive in her comeback. It was clear by 92 though she was past her amateur prime, she was getting injured and ill more often, and couldnt handle the stress and enormous expectations on her anymore. The pro environment and the only 2 competitions a year without the rigorous practice schedules were better for her by then. I think her comeback was always a huge mistake, and liable to disaester, and I am sad she made it as I would have loved to see her continue as a pro where she was amazing.

    I think between Sato and Ito, Sato was the more likely to succeed in a comeback by that point, although I dont know if she could have beaten the likes of Kwan either.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    IHowever, did Yuka really ever have the chance to demonstrate her own skating skills during her competitive career?
    Are you serious?
    She had (and has) edges, style and artistry that were the envy of her peers and of other skaters' coaches. I don't see what is "puzzling" about a career where someone manages to generate that level of respect and appreciation, unless you measure success only by medals or titles.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  10. #30

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    She's done everything she's attempted completely and sucessfully.
    She was a National Jr Champ and a National Sr Champ in Japan.
    She was a World Jr Champ, then a World Sr Champ
    She was a Pro Champ
    She had a long Pro career.
    She's done Choreography for Elite Skaters from several countries.
    She and her husband coach some of the best of the best in the US.
    She is well thought of, has been nominated for a coaching award, and has been recognized for her contributions to skating.
    So I really don't understand this thread . What more could she possibly do?

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Are you serious?
    She had (and has) edges, style and artistry that were the envy of her peers and of other skaters' coaches.
    I agree, which is why I don't really understand this mentality that Yuka was "lucky" to win her world title, because in any other year, she would've been creamed by the competition.

    I just don't see how skaters like Nancy, Oksana, Surya, Lu Chen, etc., were so head and shoulders above her.

    The girl could skate like nobody's business. She had the best edges in the field, well-choreographed programs and wonderful musicality. And when she was on (like at 94 worlds) she could be a threat for gold no matter who was competing IMO.

    Her only issue was consistency, but then whose wasn't in 1994? The entire ladies field that season struggled with consistency. No one was putting two clean skates together, and results were all over the place.

    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    On another note how could Yuka have done if she continued? Could she have won another World title or stayed competitive for the podium all the way until 1998?
    Absolutely...*IF* she could maintain the consistency she showed at 94 Worlds.

    I think it's logical to assume she would've improved artistically along with the rest of the field.

    Take her SP from this pro competition, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiqKBgGr0CM

    Now replace her loop combo with a clean lutz combo...don't you think the quality and maturity of that program would've challenged for top 3 in any worlds from 95-98?

    I personally do. She was a quality skater through and through. If she landed the difficult triples, I don't see why she wouldn't be in the running for gold.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBZ View Post
    I agree, which is why I don't really understand this mentality that Yuka was "lucky" to win her world title, because in any other year, she would've been creamed by the competition.
    I recall that a couple of Yuka's triples at the Olympics and at Worlds, especially the lutz and flip, had eeked out, pitched forward landings. I thought her presentation was cute back then but it wasn't sophisticated and nothing that made me go "WOW". I think she could've medalled in a few Worlds after 94, but I don't see her standing at the top of the podium.

  13. #33

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    Hatfull of Stars as a routine was more like a bowlfull of vomit. As a skater however I think Yuka would have done much better post C.O.P. as her basic skills were sublime. I loved her skating.
    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.


  14. #34

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    From the sounds of it, I should feel lucky that I never had to suffer through Hat Full of Stars during its heyday. I absolutely love Yuka though and loved that Manleywoman interview. In the interview, Yuka says she always had an ideal of what she wanted her skating to be, and it clearly showed. Her edges were/are incredible.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    By contrast, Surya had to keep going -- she embarrassed herself on the 1994 World podium and probably felt the need to redeem herself, plus I'm sure she was hoping to win the World title and go out on a similar high note.
    One more totally wrong things I hear about Surya... Actually she wanted to turn pro after the 1994 Olympic season but FFSG and TF1 who just bought all the skating tv rights for four years made her stay.

  16. #36
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    It is too bad Surya did not turn pro sooner. I read she had some huge money offers after the 95 Wrolds. Her amateur career would just go down the drain after 95 as both her jumping and skating diminished in quality, and the likes of Kwan, Lipinski, Slutskaya, and an ever more artistic Chen emerged. Even in Europe she was clearly surpassed by Slutskaya and Butyrskaya.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nours View Post
    One more totally wrong things I hear about Surya... Actually she wanted to turn pro after the 1994 Olympic season but FFSG and TF1 who just bought all the skating tv rights for four years made her stay.
    Made her stay? You mean by paying her something like $750,000 to stay as an eligible skater. Candelero too was well paid to continue to skate to 1998. Skaters were getting big bucks those days to continue to compete. Just like Kwan, Lipinski, and Eldredge all had million dollar contracts with the USFSA to skate in their pro-ams.

  18. #38
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    Thank goodness Bonaly didn't retire after 1994 or we'd never have gotten The Backflip in Nagano.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  19. #39
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    I think Sato would've been competitive for a couple more seasons at least (for podium spots if not the title).

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by centerpt1 View Post
    So I really don't understand this thread
    Summer, baby!
    "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

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