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  1. #61
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    I like Josee alot, but I think Chouinard is overrated by some people. She is a good skater when she is on but not only was she wildly inconsistent but even skating her best she usually wasnt good enough. As far as her competitive place (I am not talking about skating style) she was basically Fumie Suguri without any of Fumie's consistency or tenacity. At the 93 Worlds she skated clean in the short program and ended up a distant 4th, barely over Chen on a split vote, and above Sato who did only a triple loop combo. At the 94 Worlds in the short she skated clean in a depleted field missing the 3 Olympic medalists and still was a distant 3rd to Sato and Bonaly. Even had she done a clean long she would have probably never been battling for more than a bronze at any major event, even in 93-94 which arguably had no dominant or truly great skaters at the time (Sato and Chen flourished as skaters be it as amateur or pro much more after 94). She was never seen as a potential leader or major event winner.

    In the pro events she did well in some but that is mostly since she was one of the only women doing a triple lutz as skaters like Ito and Yamaguchi did not compete in most of her events (although she never came anywhere near beating Kristi in a pro competition, while Yuka beat Kristi many times in them), and most of the others were either 80s era skaters, undertrained pros (Baiul, Kerrigan). The aging Denise Biellmann even doing much easier jumps and with widely disliked (by the judges) artistry still managed to beat a clean Chouinard in some events. Of course give Josee credit for capatilizing on those opportunities and not letting herself go to waste as a pro like Nancy and Oksana and others did. At the World Pros she made only 2 appearances and came 5th and 4th.

    I cant see never see her coming close to Kwan or Chen from the 96 Worlds, and to beat someone like even young unpolished Slutskaya (even with 1 fall) would require her to skate a clean or almost clean competition which is pretty much impossible for her anyway. Even if you doubt Sato's chances to a degree I am 110% sure Sato would have been a much bigger potential threat for either the gold or a medal at the 96 Worlds than Josee would have been, even with home ice advantage.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    The World Pros around that time was not a weak event at all. That goes for all the disciplines. In all of them the top skaters were comparable to the top amateur, and in some events like the pairs and dance they were much better.
    In the ladies field, the 1999 event was quite bizarre. You had Lipinski and Bonaly being the top skaters at the event, but the thing is neither of them had anything professional or polished about their skating. Lipinski and Bonaly were amateurs through and through, both of them mostly relying on jumping skills and not really all that advanced in presentation and pure skating.

  3. #63
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    Once they began allowing pro ams in the fall of 98 it killed pro skating forever. It was ridiculous seeing for instance Kwan and Yagudin easily win the so called World Pros that year. Not that there skating wasnt professional in nature (much more than Lipinski or Bonaly) but they were still full fledged amateurs for a long time to come and it killed the whole concept of professional competition. Many of the pro (pro am) events had almost all eligible amateurs and 1 or 2 pros that finished last. The judges scored it just like amateur competition too, the most triples wins.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Once they began allowing pro ams in the fall of 98 it killed pro skating forever. It was ridiculous seeing for instance Kwan and Yagudin easily win the so called World Pros that year. Not that there skating wasnt professional in nature (much more than Lipinski or Bonaly) but they were still full fledged amateurs for a long time to come and it killed the whole concept of professional competition. Many of the pro (pro am) events had almost all eligible amateurs and 1 or 2 pros that finished last. The judges scored it just like amateur competition too, the most triples wins.
    Well, didn't Michelle feel that she was not really competing against the other skaters but really coming to show how much more impressive her jumping arsenal was and that these other ladies were really not fit to challenge her? I wonder what her approach to the competition was. Could she even look at those other ladies as competitors or did she just think of that event not as a competition but rather as a fun outing more like a cheesefest?

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post

    I cant see never see her (Josee) coming close to Kwan or Chen from the 96 Worlds, and to beat someone like even young unpolished Slutskaya (even with 1 fall) would require her to skate a clean or almost clean competition which is pretty much impossible for her anyway. Even if you doubt Sato's chances to a degree I am 110% sure Sato would have been a much bigger potential threat for either the gold or a medal at the 96 Worlds than Josee would have been, even with home ice advantage.
    But Josee beat Kwan and Hughes at the 2000 Canadian Open

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Well, didn't Michelle feel that she was not really competing against the other skaters but really coming to show how much more impressive her jumping arsenal was and that these other ladies were really not fit to challenge her? I wonder what her approach to the competition was. Could she even look at those other ladies as competitors or did she just think of that event not as a competition but rather as a fun outing more like a cheesefest?
    I think her "approach" was that she skipped the GP that season for the first time since leaving the junior ranks and she wanted to get a LP performance under her belt before Nationals and Worlds. She could have won the technical program with a much easier 2-3 triple exhibition, but she chose to put out her lp to gear up for the end of the season eligible competitions. She had already debuted her sp in several other pro-ams that season. It was because of her absence on the GP that season the the ISU invented the "seeded skaters" list, forcing top qualifiers in the World Championships to skate in GP events.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I think her "approach" was that she skipped the GP that season for the first time since leaving the junior ranks and she wanted to get a LP performance under her belt before Nationals and Worlds. She could have won the technical program with a much easier 2-3 triple exhibition, but she chose to put out her lp to gear up for the end of the season eligible competitions. She had already debuted her sp in several other pro-ams that season. It was because of her absence on the GP that season the the ISU invented the "seeded skaters" list, forcing top qualifiers in the World Championships to skate in GP events.
    Ok, so she basically just saw it as a practice session, or in other words like a cheesefest that's the perfect opportunity for her to get herself ready for more serious competitions. Just like I thought. Basically, she didn't care whether she was at Marshalls Challenge, the Hershey's Kisses Challenge, or the World Pros.

  8. #68

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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Ok, so she basically just saw it as a practice session, or in other words like a cheesefest that's the perfect opportunity for her to get herself ready for more serious competitions. Just like I thought. Basically, she didn't care whether she was at Marshalls Challenge, the Hershey's Kisses Challenge, or the World Pros.
    That's like saying the GP series is a "practice session" for worlds. I think she took it seriously as a competition, but obviously she was thinking ahead at the same time. She has said time and time again in interviews that she doesn't pay attention to what other skaters are doing, she focuses on her own abilities and what she knows she can do.

  10. #70
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    I don't care if Michelle treated it as a practice session or not. She unleashed that perfect East of Eden at 1999 World Pro - that's all I care about.

  11. #71

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    I know Pro skaters cared about winning and all that jazz, but were there any established criteria or standards for which the judges had to go by in order to actually differentiate the performances? Or was it just up to the particular judge's (usually a skating personality) discretion to create his/her own standard?
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I know Pro skaters cared about winning and all that jazz, but were there any established criteria or standards for which the judges had to go by in order to actually differentiate the performances? Or was it just up to the particular judge's (usually a skating personality) discretion to create his/her own standard?
    As far as I know there was no rulebook (except some requirements or limits on the elements) and no formal or consistent training for pro judges. Different competitions sometimes had different rules. Mainly it was just up to the skater-personality judges to rank the skaters according to their own impressions of technical merit and artistry, based on their own experiences as skaters (and sometimes coaches).

    Of course there were usually only 4-6 skaters per event, so ranking didn't get that complicated, but the scoring was usually done by adding up scores, not ordinals.

    I don't know if there was always someone who filled the equivalent of the referee role. Either that person or a representatitive of the competition organizer (e.g., perhaps Dick Button himself for the competitions that he organized) might give some reminders before the event about what to look for, what kinds of qualities to reward.


    Now, the pro-ams that used ISU judges would have had more consistency in their short program segments, but I don't think there was much more training or consistency for how to judge the interpretive programs.

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by krenseby View Post
    Ok, so she basically just saw it as a practice session, or in other words like a cheesefest that's the perfect opportunity for her to get herself ready for more serious competitions. Just like I thought. Basically, she didn't care whether she was at Marshalls Challenge, the Hershey's Kisses Challenge, or the World Pros.
    UGH!

  14. #74
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    Yuka made the right choice.
    She was older than Lu Chen, and didn't have consistent Lutz and Flip. Her step sequences, so fast, and her excellent skating skills were known at the time she was amateur.
    She decided to turn pro, and finally, she is a very well known pro skater and now, a coach.
    She had a good amateur career, and a good pro career.

  15. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Yuka was only doing three different triples as a pro: sal, toe, loop. The lutz was a rare jump for her. She wouldn't have been competitive technically with the top 5 skaters in the eligible rank.

    Kristi would have done alright since she did all the triples minus the sal and axel, and the judges liked her.

    World Pro judging was always highly suspect. The judges definitely had their favorites and wouldn't have placed a Liashenko, for example, above more established stars who skated technically below par but othwerise solid programs.
    Kristi was an exception in the pro field because she maintained her jumps even as a pro. Most pro ladies did only two triples (toe, plus salchow or loop) and a double axel. Yuka was the same level jump wise but her basic skating, footwork and musical interpretation created a very good pro career for her. I agree about the world pro judging though. It was horribly biased and subjective. There were no established rules and the judges just picked their favorites, regardless of how anyone skated.

  16. #76

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    Skating Lesson's new interview with Yuka Sato
    Last edited by Maofan7; 09-26-2013 at 04:38 AM.

  17. #77

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    I still wish she'd have worn a hat at least once during the three seasons she used HFOS.

    I think I'm probably the only person who vastly preferred her amateur skating to her pro skating.
    Last edited by escaflowne9282; 09-26-2013 at 04:39 AM.

  18. #78
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    Sato is one of my all-time favourites (those knees! Those edges! Those neat little feet!) and i am happy she went pro when the pro scene here was still thriving in NA. I got to watch her all the time, and those match-ups with Kristi are some of my favourite figure skating memories. I really enjoyed the interview manleywoman did with her (thanks again for that, manleywoman!)...Yuka seems at peace with everything, and i love seeing her share her expertise with the current generation of competitive skaters. And while i prefer her as a singles skater, it has been a treat to watch her in pairs.

  19. #79
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    Sato had an incredible pro performance to Kitaro a Japanese composer. One of the best choreographed programs IMO,

    I think she made the right choice. I do think she could have been competitive in 95 worlds against Chen and Bonaly, but I think landing 6-7 triples per LP was a challenge for her. Chen was always consistent up until her tumble in the 96-97 season. Sato didn't show that until her pro career, but even there she had to get rid of the Lutz eventually.

    Sato also won the World Pros over Yamaguchi in 01, although they called it the Hallmarks Championships.

  20. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    But Josee beat Kwan and Hughes at the 2000 Canadian Open
    Yes, with a fall she beat a clean Kwan and Hughes, a accomplishment no one else ever repeated.

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