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  1. #1
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    Meditation vs Love story at SLC Olympics

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z5fWd7Fu5o
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjz1p...eature=related

    Kind of old topic, I know…but I’m rather curious to hear what skating fans think of these two famous Free programs. just personal opinions about the performances without taking in consideration all the after-effects (that are recalled and discussed much more often). Which one do you prefer, from an artistic point of view? And who thinks that Sale-Pellettier deserved the gold above Berezhnaya-Sikharulidze? On a technical side, was Sikharulidze’s stumble between the Axel and the Toe, worth of a silver overall, considering that Sale-Pellettier had a fall at the end of the Short?

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    Fall and all, I think S&P deserved top 3 after the short program so the "control their own destiny" point was pretty moot.

    In the free, B&S's program was so complex and well executed compared to S&P's that the minor step out should not cost them the title. But it's just me.

    I am much more interested to know what would have happened if S&P skated to Orchid (and cleanly), which was a brilliant program and one that could rival Meditation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    In the free, B&S's program was so complex and well executed compared to S&P's that the minor step out should not cost them the title. But it's just me.
    It's not just you, it's me as well.

    Anyway, Love Story is a beautiful, and very pleasant program, but there is nothing difficult in term of choreo, transitions...only cross-overs.
    Meditation is not my favorite piece of music, but B&S had so much speed and complexity. There is no debate for me that B&S are superior in everything, it's not about this little toe at the end of the side by side 2Axel.
    So, it's funny to imagine that under CoP, B&S would have won easily, without any problem (large margin after the SP, and after the LP, IMO).

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    I so agree.
    For me Elena & Anton more than made up for their one minor error with difficult choreography, spins & lifts.
    I wish Jamie & David had skated to their Orchid routine in Vancouver. It had a lot of potential.
    I only got to watch the Grand Prix events & final of these two couples leading up to SLC two years ago.
    They were both inconsistent in their events.
    But for me, even now I would still have B/S with the Gold medal.

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    Elena & Anton's program was a beautiful masterpiece. Technically intricate and mature. It really played to their strengths, and they hit some beautiful moves in the field moments that were gorgeous (combination of spread eagles, spirals, ina bauers). If you dissect element for element however, I think you'd have to give it to David & Jaime. The SBS double axels, split triple twist (B&S's triple twist was actually better than usual that day, but still was crashy) , the more difficult and intricate lifts, the better (and also the fact that there were two) death spirals. The SBS toes S&P had more difficult entrance but B&S were so in synch so I would tie them. The throws, Elena landed both a little bit forward whereas Jaime only did with the loop but I would tie them anyways. The spins, Jaime and David had difficult entrance but Elena and Anton had different positions so I will tie them again. The footwork I would give to Elena and Anton. So basically if we analyze element for element, the clear winners are S&P. Would Elena & Anton's advantage in what is now called PCS negate all the technical advantage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by maharbabackward View Post
    Elena & Anton's program was a beautiful masterpiece. Technically intricate and mature. It really played to their strengths, and they hit some beautiful moves in the field moments that were gorgeous (combination of spread eagles, spirals, ina bauers). If you dissect element for element however, I think you'd have to give it to David & Jaime. The SBS double axels, split triple twist (B&S's triple twist was actually better than usual that day, but still was crashy) , the more difficult and intricate lifts, the better (and also the fact that there were two) death spirals. The SBS toes S&P had more difficult entrance but B&S were so in synch so I would tie them. The throws, Elena landed both a little bit forward whereas Jaime only did with the loop but I would tie them anyways. The spins, Jaime and David had difficult entrance but Elena and Anton had different positions so I will tie them again. The footwork I would give to Elena and Anton. So basically if we analyze element for element, the clear winners are S&P. Would Elena & Anton's advantage in what is now called PCS negate all the technical advantage?
    S&P's throws were cleaner, but B&S had so much more amplitude.
    It's the same for sbs jumps. There is such a big difference in term of height between Sale and Pelletier, it has always been disturbing. B&S 3Toe was so synchro.

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    I'm happy to see the civil tone (so far) not necessarily so typical in discussions of these programs.

    I try to separate out "enjoyed more" from "better skating performance". I don't always succeed but I try.

    I enjoyed S/P more, which is a major feat considering how much I dislike the source material. But the speed and presence they had added up to more than the sum of the parts.

    I appreciate B/S's generally superior skating skills (as individuals, not all their pairs skills were better than S/P) but the minor errors that were almost always present bothered me more than similar errors by a lesser team would.

    Also, both the SP and LP of B/S were kind of similar in mood, maybe a little too similar, S/P showed greater stylistic versatility (at SLC).

    On the night (for me) B/S skated 90-95% of a more difficult program while S/P were around 105-110 % of a simpler one.

    Final : Kind of a toss up, I probably would go with S/P but I do understand those who would go with B/S.

    Basically it was a really close competition that would cause controversy no matter what the result.

    In the abstract that's good for skating as very close competitions and fans endlessly rehashing competitions helps support the idea that skating is interesting to follow.

    In this case, however, things worked out differently....

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    One cannot look at these two programs under COP. I think LS was choreographed by Lori Nichol who would have totally redesigned it if it was under COP.

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    I thought in 2002 and still feel in the same way: B/S should have won the gold medal and the Canadians the silver.

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    I was lucky enough to be in the stands that night. I also went to Logan where the Russians were training and watched Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze in practice a couple of days before the short program. I was also able to see Sale/Pelletier's amazing performance in the 2001 Four Continents program the year before in the Olympic arena.

    I had never been much of a fan of Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze before the Olympics. In practice I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. There was a quiet energy about them as well as amazing flow and speed. I came away thinking they would win if they skated the same way in the competition.

    In the actual performance, Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze did not have the same energy, speed or flow they had had when I saw them in practice. The nerves (especially his) were very much on the surface. They were tight. In contrast, Sale/Pelletier skated their best. I don't think it was quite as wonderful as the 2001 Four Continents skate but it was pretty close. I was a little disappointed they went back to "Love Story" for the Olympics as I thought they had progressed from that point and didn't need to go backwards. On the night, though, Sale/Pelletier had a much higher performance quality in all the intangibles and all the things you can see and feel live - that you can't see in a recording.

    I remember thinking that it would be close and I hoped very much the judges would give the gold to Sale/Pelletier. I was as disappointed as the rest of the audience but I can't say I was surprised. I always thought the judges who put Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze first were going by past impressions of great performances and not on the performance of that night.

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    Back in 2002 I was on the band wagon and definitely thought S&P deserved the gold and I was happy when they got it. However today I see things a little differently.I did and still do enjoy S&P performance and program more than B&S but I do understand why people see B&S win as justified and the more that time passes I wish to god they had just left things the way they were and left S&P with the silver and the more I listen to them I think they sometimes wish the same.

    I thought back then as well as today that they should've went with 'Orchid'. I loved that program it's my fave of theirs ever and they gave up on it way to easily.

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    Is it just me or are people irked by the addition of music to Meditation that Moskvina added.. the extra "flourishes"? I loved the subtleness of the GPF as flawed as it was .

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    So, it's funny to imagine that under CoP, B&S would have won easily, without any problem (large margin after the SP, and after the LP, IMO).
    I disagree: I think that if Brian Joubert could get higher PCS than Jeffrey Buttle at 2008 Worlds, to give just one example, S&P's TR score would have been close to B&S's, despite the differences in complexity. I also think S&P's CH and IN scores would have been higher, due to the relatively subdued performance by B&S.

    I know that Love Story was a an old program, but Meditation was hardly new or innovative: many of the elements, including the stunning spread-eagle/spiral combination, were familiar from earlier B&S programs, and the flip-up-and-over lift entrance, which was perfectly appropriate for Chaplin -- the truly innovative program they did, a masterwork IMO -- was out-of-place in Meditation.

    Since Meditation was made so late in the year, Moskvina wasn't about to have them learn entirely new elements, and took ones with which they were familiar from Chaplin or other programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I was a little disappointed they went back to "Love Story" for the Olympics as I thought they had progressed from that point and didn't need to go backwards.
    I'm not surprised that they did, because she had been ill, and according to the book "The Second Mark", they had been having so much trouble in practice leading up to SLC, they thought of quitting. They sounded like train-wrecks leading up to the Olympics, and Orchid was too difficult to attempt under those circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by maharbabackward View Post
    Is it just me or are people irked by the addition of music to Meditation that Moskvina added.. the extra "flourishes"?
    The actual ending of the music is quiet and very beautiful. The tacked on ending was disruptive, IMO.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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    I can't debate the technical elements of the two programs. But Love Story gives me chills every time I see the video. Meditation was just a pretty skate.

    What struck me in watching these two videos: no ugly catch foot positions in lifts or weird death spirals. I miss the purity of the pre-COP programs.

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    I may be the only one but I'm just happy there were two gold medals awarded in the end as both were deserving for different reasons

    This way I didn't have to choose a favorite.

    (... I wish the same could be true for dance this year. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by maharbabackward View Post
    Is it just me or are people irked by the addition of music to Meditation that Moskvina added.. the extra "flourishes"? I loved the subtleness of the GPF as flawed as it was .
    YES YES YES.

    Even with the big splat on the throw, I always much preferred the GPF skate to the Olympics. Like you said, I hated the extra flourishes that were added as well as the new "ta-da" ending that was probably added to get more of a reaction from the American audience. I also much preferred the fitted off-white costumes to the billowy blue/red ones at the O's.

    As for the topic, I always agreed with B&S winning, and I've noticed over the years more people coming around to that viewpoint. S&P definitely had a few superior elements (most notably the one arm lifts and lifts with changing positions), but their program was far inferior with the stops, posing, constant skating side by side, etc compared to B&S who were constantly changing directions, weaving back and forth, and used elements and connecting movements together in interesting ways (sbs spin into combo spin, spiral into throw, etc) Not to mention the only way Jamie started landing her jumps was to pre-rotate them ala Amber Corwin. It's most noticeable on the double axel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    I'm happy to see the civil tone (so far) not necessarily so typical in discussions of these programs.

    I try to separate out "enjoyed more" from "better skating performance". I don't always succeed but I try.

    I enjoyed S/P more, which is a major feat considering how much I dislike the source material. But the speed and presence they had added up to more than the sum of the parts.

    I appreciate B/S's generally superior skating skills (as individuals, not all their pairs skills were better than S/P) but the minor errors that were almost always present bothered me more than similar errors by a lesser team would.

    Also, both the SP and LP of B/S were kind of similar in mood, maybe a little too similar, S/P showed greater stylistic versatility (at SLC).

    On the night (for me) B/S skated 90-95% of a more difficult program while S/P were around 105-110 % of a simpler one.

    Final : Kind of a toss up, I probably would go with S/P but I do understand those who would go with B/S.

    Basically it was a really close competition that would cause controversy no matter what the result.

    In the abstract that's good for skating as very close competitions and fans endlessly rehashing competitions helps support the idea that skating is interesting to follow.

    In this case, however, things worked out differently....
    ITA with your thoughts.

    While I always enjoyed watching B/S, I found S/P more interesting. Guess I have a soft spot for S/P who I feel had an outstanding professional career too. I think S/P skated more cleanly and confidently in the fp at SLC. S/P were epitome of North American style, and that ain't too shabby. Looking back, I find it more disappointing that Shen/ Zhao were kinda dismissed in being relegated to a distant third place at SLC, when all three teams were very good. That's why I'm glad The Second Mark told the story of all 3 pairs teams and treated them all as top rivals and close contenders. It was thrilling to see S/Z triumph at Worlds 2003 when they were finally considered favorites for the gold. They exuded magic despite Shen's injury -- they would not be denied.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qqHEd0Bq9o

    This is my favorite of S/P eligible performances:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELys8PkIjEM

    Ultimately I feel that S/P and S/Z exhibited more passion and chemistry in their on-ice partnerships than did B/S, who while beautiful together somehow IMO did not fully express an emotional connection. Perhaps that is why the Chaplin (City Lights) program of B/S worked so well for them. It allowed them to convey the relationship between two characters other than themselves through interacting via telling a story.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXaxm...eature=related

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    On the night, though, Sale/Pelletier had a much higher performance quality in all the intangibles and all the things you can see and feel live - that you can't see in a recording.
    Thanks for this review. I wish more people realized what a difference being there live makes.

    As a Canadian, I was rooting for S/P (not that all Canucks necessarily were) and had never been a big fan of B/S. I was watching from my couch at home. When B/S finished their free, I remember thinking both "wow" and "S/P are in trouble." When S/P nailed their free, I still thought it was going to be close, and while I was disappointed they were 2nd when the results came up, I wasn't shocked. So it's interesting to hear how the mood differed for someone who was actually in the arena.

    I think the thing that's always bugged me a bit about B/S is, like someone mentioned upthread, the small errors that are often present, and the fact that moves often feel unfinished to me. Skaters of their calibre really could have taken an opportunity to run away with the event, and didn't. In areas where S/P sometimes lacked complexity, they still displayed precision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luna_skater View Post
    I think the thing that's always bugged me a bit about B/S is, like someone mentioned upthread, the small errors that are often present, and the fact that moves often feel unfinished to me. Skaters of their calibre really could have taken an opportunity to run away with the event, and didn't. In areas where S/P sometimes lacked complexity, they still displayed precision.
    THIS! I will preface this by saying I realize that Elena recovered (amazingly) from a serious brain injury; however, there was always a disconnect to me when I watched these two. It sometimes seemed like both their minds were not in the same place, and these small errors would add up. The errors also seemed more distracting with them because their heads just sometimes didn't seem to be together to finish things off as a pair properly. They should have almost always crushed their competition, but mistakes just got in the way too many times.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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    On the other hand, despite the flawed SBS jumps, their "Swan Lake" SP at Nagano was exquisite; it's still one of the most beautifully skated programs I've seen.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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