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  1. #1

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    It's so tough to win back to back OGM!

    Looking back, it seems to have become even tougher to win a back to back Olympic gold medal. There are only a handful of skaters to have accomplished that, and most of them are from the distant past.

    Sonie Henie (did it twice!- three in a row)

    Rodnina-Zaisev (76 & 80)
    Irina Rodnina- did it 3 times in a row (72,76,80)

    Dick Button 47 & 48 (or was it 48 & 49?)

    Belousova-Protopopov (64 & 68)

    Katarina Witt (1984 & 1988)

    Grishchuck & Platov (1994 & 1998)

    No one has done it since.

    A few skaters came close, but did not quite make it.

    Valova-Vassiliev: Gold 84, silver 88
    Mishketenok-Dmitriev: Gold 92, silver 94
    Plushenko:Gold 2006, silver 2010

    Plushenko was so close (less than 2 points overall) to winning the OGM again in 2010!

    Had Gordeeva-Grinkov decided to compete in 1992, they would have likely won the OGM, but from Katia's book it seems Sergei did not want to compete after 1990.

    M&D probably should have won the gold in 1994, but the judges said no.

    Viktor Petrenko had a great opportunity in 1994, since both Boitano and Browning made major errors in their SP. Viktor had only a turnout on his 3A combination. Had he landed the 3Z cleanly, he would have been in the final group, with a chance to win the OGM again. Artistically he was superior to the younger guys and none of them landed a quad. Of course a similar argument could be made in favor of both Boitano and Browning.

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    I hope Lysacek stays injury-free and pulls it off. It would be a great achievement, as you've pointed out. Thanks for the analysis.

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    Yep, it's quite an achievement. I'll always regret Yagudin retired at such a young age. He could have easily given one more Olympics a shot and possibly win it too.

    Frankly, I don't think any of the current champions will defend their titles in Sochi. Yu-Na is completely burnt out and I don't see her compete until 2014, unless she takes a long break and comes back only for the Olys, but then some of the little Russians will come of age, so she'd have some competition anyway. Shen/Zhao are out, obviously, and I really don't think Virtue/Moir will make it until Sochi either, with all her injuries and every season being a question. As for Lysacek... can anyone really honestly see him pull it off again? I can't.

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    Oddly, I think Lysacek has the mental make up to pull it off, and he has not had major injury issues yet. He seems to make the right strategic decisions, as we saw in 2010. I am not a fan at all of Lysacek's skating, so for me to say this is quite a compliment to his mental toughness.

    If Yu na takes a break for a year or two, and then comes back, I like her chances.

    V&M have the talent, but they will have to be injury free to make it to the top again. May be they too could benefit from a year off.

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    Arthur Dmitriev didn't win back to back OGMs, but he did win two, so I think he deserves special mention.

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    I agree with mia_joy. I dont see any of the current crop pulling it off.

    Shen & Zhou are definitely retired so that rules them out. Evan has no chance. It doesnt matter if he is mentally tough, he would need Chan to fall 6 times by Sochi to beat him, not to even mention the others he would probably need to blow by then and his being 28.

    That leaves only Yu Na Kim and Virtue & Moir. Tessa is having alot of injury problems so it will be hard for her to make it to Sochi and even then beating Davis & White could be hard, despite that I much prefer V&M's dancing. Yu Na Kim doesnt seem to have the motivation, even though she definitely has the ability to repeat.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable View Post
    Arthur Dmitriev didn't win back to back OGMs, but he did win two, so I think he deserves special mention.
    Artur and G&G won two OGMs but neither won back to back. Both were special, and it was a great achievement. It just wasn't back to back, so he was not on this list in the opening post. IMO Artur's achievement was even greater than G&G's because he skipped just 1993, and won three Olympic medals. Some may argue that G&G's was greater because they had been away from competition for 4 years. Both arguments have merit.
    Last edited by Vash01; 08-22-2011 at 05:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Looking back, it seems to have become even tougher to win a back to back Olympic gold medal. There are only a handful of skaters to have accomplished that, and most of them are from the distant past.

    Sonie Henie (did it twice!- three in a row)

    Rodnina-Zaisev (76 & 80)
    Irina Rodnina- did it 3 times in a row (72,76,80)

    Dick Button 47 & 48 (or was it 48 & 49?)

    Belousova-Protopopov (64 & 68)

    Katarina Witt (1984 & 1988)

    Grishchuck & Platov (1994 & 1998)

    No one has done it since.

    A few skaters came close, but did not quite make it.

    Valova-Vassiliev: Gold 84, silver 88
    Mishketenok-Dmitriev: Gold 92, silver 94
    Plushenko:Gold 2006, silver 2010

    Plushenko was so close (less than 2 points overall) to winning the OGM again in 2010!

    Had Gordeeva-Grinkov decided to compete in 1992, they would have likely won the OGM, but from Katia's book it seems Sergei did not want to compete after 1990.

    M&D probably should have won the gold in 1994, but the judges said no.

    Viktor Petrenko had a great opportunity in 1994, since both Boitano and Browning made major errors in their SP. Viktor had only a turnout on his 3A combination. Had he landed the 3Z cleanly, he would have been in the final group, with a chance to win the OGM again. Artistically he was superior to the younger guys and none of them landed a quad. Of course a similar argument could be made in favor of both Boitano and Browning.


    You missed two skaters also from the distant past:
    Gillis Graftröm who won gold in 1920, 1924, 1928 and silver in 1932
    and
    Karl Schäfer who won gold in 1932 and 1936

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    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    I'll always regret Yagudin retired at such a young age. He could have easily given one more Olympics a shot and possibly win it too.
    I believe Yagudin retired because he had to. You have not heard of his hip surgery?

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    Back in the days, they have easier elements and jumps. All they have to do is stay on their feet and their country politics will take care of the rest. The rules are much harder right now and every skaters are doing harder tricks. Isn't Witt win her 2nd OGM with only Toe Loop and Salcow jumps??

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by wustfan View Post
    You missed two skaters also from the distant past:
    Gillis Graftröm who won gold in 1920, 1924, 1928 and silver in 1932
    and
    Karl Schäfer who won gold in 1932 and 1936
    Thank you! I knew I had missed someone, but didn't look up that far back.

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    I think the physical demands make it too hard nowadays. In the old days the problem was finances. However, if the rules change in the meantime and value finesse over physicality - who knows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderlen View Post
    Back in the days, they have easier elements and jumps. All they have to do is stay on their feet and their country politics will take care of the rest. The rules are much harder right now and every skaters are doing harder tricks. Isn't Witt win her 2nd OGM with only Toe Loop and Salcow jumps??
    Are you saying that the great skaters of the past won only because of the politics of their country?

    Are you suggesting that the quad combinations that Yagudin, Plushenko were landing was easier than what the skaters are doing now? Midori Ito and Tonya Harding were landing triple axel combinations. Do you think that was 'easier' than what the skaters are doing now? How many skaters are landing these consistently NOW?

    A sport develops over time, so what was state of the art in the past looks 'easy' now. The only real difference is that now the skaters get more credit for transitions, spins, footwork- something that was overlooked in the past, and jumps have relatively less emphasis.

    Witt won her 2nd OGM with only the 3t & 3s because- 1)Debie Thomas had a meltdown in her LP, 2)Manley was too far back in figures to catch up (Manley did win the LP), 3)Witt delivered when it counted. She used the kind of strategy Lysacek used in 2010- do only the jumps you are sure you can land, as long as the competitors are not doing much harder jumps. No one was doing flips so she took the 3f out. So it was a combination of factors.

    Again, that was over 20 years ago. It is only natural for a sport to change and develop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
    I believe Yagudin retired because he had to. You have not heard of his hip surgery?
    actually, no. I was only getting into skating at the time of Salt Lake and I believe it was also in the sad times when I didn't have an internet connection, so I didn't even have a chance to know his reasons.
    I've heard some things later, but I never thought it was directly what ruled him out of competitive skating for good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderlen View Post
    Back in the days, they have easier elements and jumps. All they have to do is stay on their feet and their country politics will take care of the rest.
    It was true to some extent but there were some rare exceptions. It was usually very hard to dethrone a champion back in the days (not sure how far we need to go back though, LOL); Once you win the world title you're most likely to repeat as champion until you retire or had a complete meltdown. But in the 70s we started to see more skaters not being able to repeat as champions (except for Ice Dancing and Pairs).



    The rules are much harder right now and every skaters are doing harder tricks. Isn't Witt win her 2nd OGM with only Toe Loop and Salcow jumps??
    There were three portions of the competition back then. Witt won the school figures and the SP, which probably should have went to Debbie who was the stronger technical skater. She placed 2nd in the LP and won overall. Witt only did the 3sal and 3toe but only two other skaters, Ito and Manley, had more triple content.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post


    There were three portions of the competition back then. Witt won the school figures and the SP, which probably should have went to Debbie who was the stronger technical skater. She placed 2nd in the LP and won overall. Witt only did the 3sal and 3toe but only two other skaters, Ito and Manley, had more triple content.
    I don't think Witt won any portion of that competition ('88 Olympics). I believe Kira Ivanova won the figures, and I can't remember who won the SP (Debbie?), Manley won the LP. Debbie was ahead of Witt after the figures and SP. Debbie apparently choked on the LP.

    I think the only reason Witt beat out Manley for the OGM was because of some convoluted interpretation of the ordinals.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I don't think Witt won any portion of that competition ('88 Olympics). I believe Kira Ivanova won the figures, and I can't remember who won the SP (Debbie?), Manley won the LP. Debbie was ahead of Witt after the figures and SP. Debbie apparently choked on the LP.

    I think the only reason Witt beat out Manley for the OGM was because of some convoluted interpretation of the ordinals.
    It was not all that convoluted. Manley had to be in the top 3 after the SP in order to win the OGM by winning the LP. She was not in the top 3. That's just the way the 6.0 system worked. Witt did not win any portion of the 3 phases, but she did well enough in each. Those who lost the gold did poorly in one of them (Ivanova and Debie in LP, Manley in Figures). IIRC Jill Trenary and Caryn Kadavy were high enough after SP to medal (but not gold), but Caryn had fever and she had to WD; Jill skated a diluted LP full of doubles instead of triples.

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    Witt definitely won the SP in 88. She was in first overall after CF + SP, with Debbie trailing second. Debbie jokingly said in an interview before the final that she was following Boitano's example, since he too was in 2nd place behind Orser heading into the long.

    I didn't even realized Ivanova was still competing in 88 and that she won the CF ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    It was not all that convoluted. Manley had to be in the top 3 after the SP in order to win the OGM by winning the LP. She was not in the top 3. That's just the way the 6.0 system worked. Witt did not win any portion of the 3 phases, but she did well enough in each. Those who lost the gold did poorly in one of them (Ivanova and Debie in LP, Manley in Figures). IIRC Jill Trenary and Caryn Kadavy were high enough after SP to medal (but not gold), but Caryn had fever and she had to WD; Jill skated a diluted LP full of doubles instead of triples.
    Manley was 3rd going into the long program in Calgary. She could not win though unless someone beat both Witt and Thomas in the long program for her. Which nearly happened as Ito lost 2nd place in the long program to Witt on only a 6-3 split. Manley had been 4th in figures and 3rd in the short program. Witt was 3rd in figures but 1st in the short program. Thomas was 2nd in figures and 2nd in the short program, but since figures were 30% and the short only 20%, Thomas had the overall tiny lead on Witt going into the long. If Manley had been 2nd in the short program or 3rd in figures she still would have been 3rd overall, but would have been able to control her own destiny in the long program. She narrowly lost 2nd to Thomas in the short and probably would have had it if she didnt bobble on 2 different elements.

    Trenary and Kadavy had no realistic chance of a medal going into the long program. Jill was 5th in figures and 6th in the short program. Kadavy was 7th in figures and 5th in the short program. Only if Manley bombed did either have a shot at the bronze.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Witt definitely won the SP in 88. She was in first overall after CF + SP, with Debbie trailing second. Debbie jokingly said in an interview before the final that she was following Boitano's example, since he too was in 2nd place behind Orser heading into the long.

    I didn't even realized Ivanova was still competing in 88 and that she won the CF ?
    Boitano and Thomas were both leading going into the LP despite placing 2nd in both figures and the short program. So thst must be what she meant.

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