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  1. #1

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    Retrospective: The 1983 World Championships

    Retrospective moves on to the 1983 World Championships.

    The key facts in relation to these championships are:-

    • For the second year running, Scott Hamilton and Norbert Schramm finish first and second respectively. This was Hamilton's third consecutive world title
    • Brian Orser medals at Worlds for the first time, winning bronze
    • Rosalynn Sumners wins the world title. The previous year she had suffered the misfortune of sustaining an injury shortly before the start of the 1982 World Championships which left her with little time to prepare. Consequently, she had finished 6th. However, she put in a commanding performance to win the 1983 Worlds winning both the compulsories and the free skating sections (she finished 4th in the short program). A year later, in 1984, Sumners loaned out her medals to a local bank for display. However, when the bank was taken over, the medals were lost. Fortunately, around 20 years later (in 2004) they were found again in a safe deposit box.
    • Katarina Witt finished outside of the medals despite winning the SP and finishing 2nd in the FS, on account of a disastrous performance in the school figures in which she finished 8th. Had there been no compulsories section, then her combined SP and FS would have won her the world title, just as her combined SP and FS in the 1982 World Championships (in which she finished 2nd) would have won her that world title as well.
    • Elaine Zayak had to withdraw from the championships due to injury after having only completed 2 of the 3 compulsory figures (New York Times Report Here). Accordingly, she was unable to defend the world title she had won at the 1982 championships. Sadly, she would never again reach the heights she had achieved in 1982 as problems with her foot (part of which she lost in a lawn mower accident) would cause her more and more problems in the school figures
    • Elena Valova & Oleg Vasiliev win the first of their three world titles. They would ultimately become Olympic champions in 1984 and would undoubtedly have won further world titles and a second Olympic title in 1988 had they not run up against the formidable Gordeeva & Grinkov.
    • Just as Scott Hamilton won his third consecutive world title at these championships, so did the brilliant Torvill & Dean with their superb Barnum free dance. They had got the idea for the program the year before when they went to see Michael Crawford performing in the Barnum musical at the London Palladium. Their performance in these championships was especially impressive in light of the fact that they had to withdraw from the European Championships only weeks earlier due to an injury sustaining fall in practice to Jayne Torvill. However, she recovered in time for Worlds and with Michael Crawford looking on in the audience, their Barnum program was immaculate - they were awarded a perfect nine 6.0's for artistic impression (i.e. a 6.0 from every Judge). Earlier in the competition, they had been given six 6.0's for their Rock n'Roll OSP


    Here are the videos for the medal winning performances:-

    MENS

    Gold: Scott Hamilton - USA

    Free Skate

    Free Skate - 2nd Video

    Silver: Norbert Schramm - West Germany

    Free Skate

    Bronze: Brian Orser - CAN

    Free Skate

    6th: Brian Boitano

    Free Skate

    LADIES

    Gold: Rosalynn Sumners - USA

    Free Skate

    Free Skate - 2nd Video

    Silver: Claudia Leistner - West Germany

    Free Skate

    Free Skate - 2nd Video

    Bronze: Elena Vodorezova - USSR

    Free Skate

    4th: Katarina Witt

    Short Program

    Free Skate

    PAIRS

    Gold: Elena Valova & Oleg Vasiliev - USSR

    Long Program

    Silver: Sabine Baeß & Tassilo Thierbach - East Germany

    Long Program

    Bronze: Barbara Underhill & Paul Martini - CAN

    Long Program

    ICE DANCE

    Gold: Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean - GBR

    OSP

    Free Dance

    Free Dance - 2nd Video

    Free Dance - 3rd Video

    Silver: Natalia Bestemianova & Andrei Bukin - USSR

    Free Dance

    Bronze: Judy Blumberg & Michael Seibert - USA

    Free Dance
    Last edited by Maofan7; 12-29-2011 at 06:30 AM.

  2. #2

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    Thanks for this. Haven't gotten around to watching all of these yet, but watched the men.

    Wow, I'd forgotten how great Scott Hamilton could be! That was a beautifully choreographed program (despite the crazy music cuts, typical of 80s programs). To me, that's exactly how footwork should be--fast, difficult, perfectly timed with the music. Every part of that program had a meaning, as the commentator said. Fantastic!

    Sad that Elaine Zayak had to drop out. She'd gained some weight, but still had all her triples (including the loop). As the defending world champion, she very well may have medalled, paving a way to a better Olympic finish than what she got.

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    What a nice copy of T&D's Rock n Roll OSP that is! The copy I have has a Canadian commentator talking nonstop over the top of it (Otto Jelinek, perhaps?)

    I've always wondered what the music was for that program. It sounds like Variations on a Theme by Paganini redone with a back beat

    Does anyone know what it really is?

    Also, really nice copies of B&B's and B&S's silver and bronze FD's.
    Last edited by DORISPULASKI; 12-29-2011 at 08:03 AM.

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    Roz always left me cold. I respect her skating basics, but she always looked like the landing of any triples was a chore. Her speed, straight back and great basics yet not entirely secure jumps make me think of her as an American version of Lepisto.

    Gutted that Zayak couldn't compete. I think if she were healthy, she would've done well enough to medal but not defend her title.

    V/V made their debut this year, didn't they?

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    I remember hating Janet Lynn's commentary back then; I thought it was lifeless, but now I don't think it was bad at all. She spoke just enough during the performances, I think.

    What was Witt's opening music in her LP? Was it a song from The Four Tops? This was the last time she attempted the 3flip in competition.

    Leistner's music cut was a mess, and the choreography was awful.

    Love T&D's Barnum, but I like the Mack & Mabel program better.

    Didn't know Roz's gold medal was lost for 20 years. She must have been p.o. at the Bank for losing it, LOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    What was Witt's opening music in her LP? Was it a song from The Four Tops? This was the last time she attempted the 3flip in competition.
    The opening cut was London Symphony Orchestra's version of "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" by the Four Tops from the "Hooked on Rock Classics" album.

    Katarina attempted 3 flip one last time in the fall of 1983 at Skate Canada (two-footed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI View Post

    I've always wondered what the music was for that program. It sounds like Variations on a Theme by Paganini redone with a back beat

    Does anyone know what it really is?
    It is from the "Variations" as played by cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber; adapted from the Paganini Variations by Andrew Lloyd-Webber:

    http://www.amazon.com/Andrew-William...pd_sim_sbs_m_1

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    Oh I do wish they hadn't made Witt change her SP costume from Europeans. As kitsch and campy as it seems now, she really was trying new stuff back then.

    Other than Barnum, the only thing I ever think of when watching this championships is teh pairs result. To this day I still would give it to Baess & Thierbach over V&V whose sbs 3t's seem to have bedazzled the judges enough to overlook the other major errors.

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    Oh I do wish they hadn't made Witt change her SP costume from Europeans. As kitsch and campy as it seems now, she really was trying new stuff back then.
    floskate, I couldn't agree more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    ....pairs result. To this day I still would give it to Baess & Thierbach over V&V whose sbs 3t's seem to have bedazzled the judges enough to overlook the other major errors.
    Even so, the most beautiful and musical pairs LP of the competition belonged to Underhill/Martini. I actually preferred this version to the 1984 edition to the same Gershwin Concerto music, even though they won Worlds in 84. The 1983 choreography is, to me, more sophisticated & the black costumes sleeker than the blue-1984. U/M 1983 is still among my top programs of all time, in any discipline.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    LOL that the commentator referred to Claudia Leistner as "one of the most exciting athletic female skaters that we have".

    Roz was pretty as a picture. Everything was so refined about her skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    ....
    Other than Barnum, the only thing I ever think of when watching this championships is teh pairs result. To this day I still would give it to Baess & Thierbach over V&V whose sbs 3t's seem to have bedazzled the judges enough to overlook the other major errors.
    Perhaps the Soviet Fed was pushing really hard for V/V since it was a pre-Olympic championship and all. There was a probably a bit of frustration in the Soviet Union over the lack of a solid pairs team since the retirement of R/Z in 1980: Vorobieva/Lisovski, Cherkasova/Shakrai, Pestova/ Leonovich all tried and failed to deliver any lasting results in the interim.

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    Scott's 1983 program was my favorite of all he did.
    It suited him perfectly.

    I really appreciate Robin Cousins' commentary.

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    Nobert Schramm's and Elena Vodorezova's musics should have been banned/

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    This is how I remember the results in Ladies -

    1. Rosalynn Sumners
    2. Claudia Leistner
    3. Elena Vodorezova
    4. Katarina Witt
    5. Anna Kondrashova
    6. Kristiina Wegelius
    -
    -
    9. Tiffany Chin

    Does anyone recall who finished 7th and 8th?

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    I don't recall, but I know where to look it up: http://www.eskatefans.com/skatabase/...adies1980.html

    Kay Thomson was 7th and Manuela Ruben was 8th

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    And here is Kay Thomson's LP from the Championships:-

    Kay Thomson - LP

    The interesting thing about Kay Thomson is that she was one of the very few ladies skaters who regularly included a triple lutz in her programs at this time and you will see that she included one in this program.

    Also Kristiina Wegelius LP (she finished 6th, having fallen from 1st to 9th overall the previous year following her FS):-

    Kristiina Wegelius - LP

    And Kitty & Peter Carruthers LP from the pairs competition in which they finished 4th:-

    Carruthers & Carruthers - LP
    Last edited by Maofan7; 12-31-2011 at 08:28 AM.

  18. #18
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    Kay was coming off the back of a strong national championship where she became the first woman to land 3z/2t in the SP. Unfortunately it didn't work out for her here but she's always fascinating to watch because of her amazing spins. She did regularly try the triple lutz but this was her ONLY triple jump. She was trying the flip in the 1984 season but I never saw her land it. I always wondered why her only triple was the lutz.

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    This is the first time that I've actually had time to go and watch some of the performances to participate in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    Wow, I'd forgotten how great Scott Hamilton could be! That was a beautifully choreographed program (despite the crazy music cuts, typical of 80s programs). To me, that's exactly how footwork should be--fast, difficult, perfectly timed with the music. Every part of that program had a meaning, as the commentator said. Fantastic!
    I agree. I'd always remembered Scott's 1981-1984 programs as being somewhat interchangeable (probably because of the crazy 80s music cuts), but this one really was excellent.

    I'd forgotten how flail-y Brian Orser was back in those days. He sure had crazy windmill arms! But the choreography in the first two sections of the program is very good and his footwork was also very well done. This was really the first program where Orser established himself as more than just a jumper.

    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Oh I do wish they hadn't made Witt change her SP costume from Europeans. As kitsch and campy as it seems now, she really was trying new stuff back then.
    The Euros costume was cool, but I don't think it really had anything to do with the program (not that the Worlds one did either). The Youtube comments under the Worlds program describe her as being dressed as Mozart, but I think there was about 5 seconds of Mozart music in there. Even by 80s standards, that was a lot of music cuts. Good old Hooked on Classics...

    Other than Barnum, the only thing I ever think of when watching this championships is teh pairs result. To this day I still would give it to Baess & Thierbach over V&V whose sbs 3t's seem to have bedazzled the judges enough to overlook the other major errors.
    I haven't gotten around to the pairs competition yet, but when I first watched this competition, my inclination would have been to have V&V completely off the podium. I'm curious to see if my opinion stays the same on this viewing.

    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Roz always left me cold. I respect her skating basics, but she always looked like the landing of any triples was a chore. Her speed, straight back and great basics yet not entirely secure jumps make me think of her as an American version of Lepisto.
    I never liked Roz as a pro skater, but I do have an appreciation for her amateur skating. Maybe it's because she's so lovely compared to Witt, Vodorezova, Leistner (especially).

    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Kay was coming off the back of a strong national championship where she became the first woman to land 3z/2t in the SP. Unfortunately it didn't work out for her here but she's always fascinating to watch because of her amazing spins. She did regularly try the triple lutz but this was her ONLY triple jump. She was trying the flip in the 1984 season but I never saw her land it. I always wondered why her only triple was the lutz.
    Kay's jumping technique was pretty bad...for me, the big mystery is not why she couldn't land the other triples, but how on earth she landed the triple lutz. Loved her spins, though.

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    IIRC, Kay Thomson had had a vertebrae removed from her back (or one was missing?) which is why she could get into those amazing positions in her spins. I remember that, given the jumbled standings after the SP, she could have won the whole thing (at least according to Johnny Esau...)

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