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  1. #1

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    Retrospective: The 1985 World Championships

    Retrospective moves onto the 1985 World Championships.

    The key facts in relation to these championships are:-

    • Brian Orser was the favourite for the gold going into the championships, but he lost out to Alexander Fadeev (spelt alternatively 'Fadeyev') for the title. It would be another 2 years before Orser would win his first and only world title.
    • Brian Boitano wins his first medal at Worlds (a bronze). He would become world champion for the first time the following year.
    • There was much talk about Jozef Sabovčk performing the first ever quad at these championships, but it didn't happen. Ultimately, it would be Kurt Browning who would pull off the first quad (a toe loop at the 1988 world championships). Brian Boitano had attempted a quad toe at the 1987 world championships, but he fell and consequently lost his world title to Brian Orser.
    • Katarina Witt retains her world title, which she won for the first time the year before.
    • Debi Thomas performs at worlds for the first time, finishing a very creditable 5th. She would win the world title the following year.
    • Elena Valova & Oleg Vasiliev regain the world title which they had first won in 1983. They had lost their title at the 1984 world championships to Underhill & Martini.
    • With the retirement of Torvill & Dean, Natalia Bestemianova & Andrei Bukin win the world title for the first time. This was the first of four consecutive world titles for them, and they would top it off by becoming the 1988 Olympic champions.


    Here are the videos for the medalists:-

    MENS

    Gold: Alexander Fadeev (USSR)

    Short Program

    Free Skate

    Silver: Brian Orser (CAN)

    Free Skate

    Bronze: Brian Boitano (USA)

    Free Skate

    4th: Jozef Sabovčk (CZE)

    Free Skate

    5th: Vladimir Kotin (USSR)

    Free Skate

    LADIES

    Gold: Katarina Witt (GDR)

    Compulsory Figures

    Short Program

    Free Skate

    Exhibition

    Medal Ceremony

    Silver: Kira Ivanova (USSR)

    Free Skate

    Bronze: Tiffany Chin (USA)

    Free Skate

    5th: Debi Thomas (USA)

    Free Skate

    6th: Claudia Leistner (West Germany)

    Free Skate

    9th: Elizabeth Manley (CAN)

    Free Skate

    PAIRS

    Gold: Elena Valova & Oleg Vasiliev (USSR)

    No video available, just this clip from a review of the pairs competition

    Silver: Larisa Selezneva & Oleg Makarov (USSR)

    No video available

    Bronze: Katherina Matousek & Lloyd Eisler (CAN)

    No video available

    ICE DANCE

    Gold: Natalia Bestemianova & Andrei Bukin (USSR)

    Compulsory Dance

    Original Set Pattern

    Free Dance

    Silver: Marina Klimova & Sergei Ponomarenko (USSR)

    Free Dance

    Bronze: Judy Blumberg & Michael Seibert (USA)

    Free Dance
    Last edited by Maofan7; 04-21-2012 at 06:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Natalia Bestemianova makes for a stunning Carmen but that FD was not nearly as difficult as the couples that finished 2nd, 3rd, or 4th (Wilson and McCall IIRC). Marina & Sergei made a huge improvement that year and that FD is stunning in terms of its content and execution. I thought they should've been world champs that year (and in 1986, 1987, and 1988).

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    I remember watching this as a HS sophomore on CBS. It was Scotty's first year as a commentator

    Ladies - Ivanova, Chin and Witt were all within 0.2 of one another heading into the LP. It was anyone's game. Ivanova had the LP (and competition) of her life w/ 3 different triples, all clean. Witt skated a flawless LP, too but was a little less technically demanding than in year's past (no 3flip attempts / no 2z-3t). Chin skated after these 2 and popped the sal and splatted on a 2x, ending up with the Bronze. Thomas finished 5th w/ a 2x-3t in her LP, but she had a few mistakes in the middle of her program - splatting on a 3loop, turning out of a simple 2z (Didn't she strain her back or something after the SP and was thus slightly injured??)

    ETA - would Chin have been able to grab Silver without the fall on the final 2x? Also, how far back was Thomas? Would she have been a podium threat if she had skated a flawless LP?

    Men - This was supposed to be Orser's coronation, until Fadeyev stepped up. Boitano skated a nice LP to 'On Golden Pond' and got on the podium. I'm confusing Sabovcik's '85 and '86 performances. What happened to Sabovcik that he ended up off the podium?

    Pairs - I seem to remember this was a Soviet cakewalk, with last year's olympic champs V/V winning and Selezneva/Makarov 2nd. Katherina Matousek / Lloyd Eisler were 3rd. New pair Jill Watson / Peter Oppegard (replaced Burt Lancon) were 4th (I think). I don't recall anything really remarkable about this competition.

    Ice Dance - T/D were gone, so B/B won it with K/P 2nd. This was B/S's final competition and I remember from the interviews they were pretty disappointed with the Bronze. Maybe they expected to challenge for a higher spot?
    Last edited by olympic; 04-21-2012 at 07:01 PM.

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    Fadeev would have had to place only 3rd in the LP to defend his title the following year, which would mean even a weak performance would have done it for him, but he had a disaester. It is interesting to wonder how big a threat he would have been for Calgary had he been a 2 time World Champ in the middle of that quad, similar to how big a threat Butyrskaya would have been for SLC if she had defended her World title in Nice.

    I think the figures and short program placings were such Debi Thomas would have had to place 1st in the LP to overhaul Chin for the bronze. So she wasnt a medal contender in my estimation. I dont think anyone else was, the womens event was a 3 horse race all the way through, with the top 3 placing top 3 in some order or another in all 3 disciplines. Kira Ivanova was robbed of the gold here IMHO (although I am not unbiased as I am far from a Witt fan).

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    ...Kira Ivanova was robbed of the gold here IMHO (although I am not unbiased as I am far from a Witt fan).
    Do you think so? I'm also not a fan of Witt but outside of the jumps, Ivanova's skating IMO left a lot to be desired: She often looked bored with the non-jump elements just thrown in. But, I still think she gave 110% at '85 Worlds and deserved Silver. IIRC, Chin had marks (with the fall) of 5.6 - 5.8 on tech. I think she would've overtaken Ivanova for silver had she stayed on her feet, even without a 3sal.

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    The 1985 World Championships really felt like a post Olympic competition. Big stars such as Hamilton, T & D, U & M, Fox & Dalley, Zayak and Sumners moved into the pro ranks, leaving behind a lot of gaps to fill.

    New faces such as Boitano and Debi Thomas still had the look of skaters in development. 1986 would be a different story, however.

    I wonder, had Midori Ito not been injured, how she would have done in Tokyo. She beat Chin at Skate Canada '84, and Thomas at the NHK Trophy.

    My guess is that she would have finished 4th ahead of Anna Kondrashova, with historically weak figures keeping Midori off the podium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Pairs - I seem to remember this was a Soviet cakewalk, with last year's olympic champs V/V winning and Selezneva/Makarov 2nd. Katherina Matousek / Lloyd Eisler were 3rd. New pair Jill Watson / Peter Oppegard (replaced Burt Lancon) were 4th (I think). I don't recall anything really remarkable about this competition.
    I think the only remarkable thing about it was how weak the field was. Matousek & Eisler were a hammerthrower team that had several mistakes and still wound up 3rd overall. Selezneva & Makarov were pretty pedestrian (the only year I felt like they found their groove was their Michael Jackson program in 1990) and were 2nd. Valova & Vassiliev were really a cut above the field with the best program of their career that actually had a lot of interesting choreography on top of the big tricks.

    Ice Dance - T/D were gone, so B/B won it with K/P 2nd. This was B/S's final competition and I remember from the interviews they were pretty disappointed with the Bronze. Maybe they expected to challenge for a higher spot?
    I think they were disappointed to drop back behind K&P after beating them at 84 Worlds. But that Fire & Ice program that B&S had was terrible IMO and they made several small mistakes at Worlds, so I think they deserved their finish. Who knows, maybe they were just disappointed with their poor skate.

    I can't speak about difficulty, but I absolutely loved B&B's Carmen. K&P might have been technically precise, but their free dances in the 85-88 quad were completely dull and crap. They were capable of better, as evidenced by their beautiful ballet exhibition that they did in 86 & 87, but their competitive programs didn't show it. Their 89 Mack the Knife and 90 My Fair Lady programs were vastly superior and something like that might have beat B&B, but not with what they were putting out. I'd probably consider B&B's program the definitive performance of Carmen, and would have had them far ahead on the artistic impression mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    I'd probably consider B&B's program the definitive performance of Carmen, and would have had them far ahead on the artistic impression mark.
    That's fair enough but K&P were so far ahead technically of B&B, as were Wilson & McCall. And figure skating is a sporting competition and so even if many didn't care for K&P's artistically, just the fact that B&B's skating skills were so vastly inferior and their programs were a lot of less difficult should've dropped them below. But I guess it's all water under the bridge now as it's all in the past. But whenever I watch Klimova & Ponomarenko's programs from 1985-1988 (in addition to 1989-1992), I'm so blown away by not only the incredible range of steps, edges, handholds, turns, etc but also their clinical execution. Even if they weren't to your taste stylistically, they were almost untouchable technically.

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    I think Kira should have won 1985 Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    I think Kira should have won 1985 Worlds.
    Agreed. Her SP was fantastic and better than Witt's, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    Agreed. Her SP was fantastic and better than Witt's, IMO.
    I really like this Katarina Witt's SP. But I agree about the LP. I find Kira's basics better than Katarina's in the LP. I'm surprised how Katarina Witt changed between 1984 and 1985, even if it's the same LP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    I can't speak about difficulty, but I absolutely loved B&B's Carmen. K&P might have been technically precise, but their free dances in the 85-88 quad were completely dull and crap. They were capable of better, as evidenced by their beautiful ballet exhibition that they did in 86 & 87, but their competitive programs didn't show it. Their 89 Mack the Knife and 90 My Fair Lady programs were vastly superior and something like that might have beat B&B, but not with what they were putting out. I'd probably consider B&B's program the definitive performance of Carmen, and would have had them far ahead on the artistic impression mark.
    Agreed. The B&B Carmen was terrific and their best amateur work. A real Carmen indeed. Not surprising knowing the status Carmen the opera, Carmen the ballet and Carmen the novella had in the Soviet Union.

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    Also of note - this was the one World Championship where Cynthia Coull competed in both singles (10th) and pairs (7th)

    Agnes Gosselin managed her only top 10 placing at this event, and may have been the first Frenchwoman to place top 10 since perhaps Nicole Hassler in the mid 1960s.

    Barber and Slater got passed in the standings - there was to be no world medal in their resume..

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Do you think so? I'm also not a fan of Witt but outside of the jumps, Ivanova's skating IMO left a lot to be desired: She often looked bored with the non-jump elements just thrown in. But, I still think she gave 110% at '85 Worlds and deserved Silver. IIRC, Chin had marks (with the fall) of 5.6 - 5.8 on tech. I think she would've overtaken Ivanova for silver had she stayed on her feet, even without a 3sal.
    You are probably right on your last point, which just shows Ivanova was undermarked IMO. I dont usually like her skating but she really skated well at the 85 Worlds. I thought she skated with alot of passion in her 85 Worlds LP btw, and technically she was as strong or stronger than Witt in the LP, and Witt's not even well choreographed Olympic program for the second straight year was a major bore.

    One problem with Ivanova is she blew good chances of beating Witt at Europeans every year from 85-87 and gaining any momentum against Witt. Of course 1985 is the last year she skated that well at a World event anyway outside of figures and occasionally the short program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerek View Post
    Barber and Slater got passed in the standings - there was to be no world medal in their resume..
    I loved their Dragon Dance FD. Apparently Mike Batt's music was composed especially for them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXO7Fez3Wlc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerek View Post
    Also of note - this was the one World Championship where Cynthia Coull competed in both singles (10th) and pairs (7th)
    I loved Coull. Her Cats SP from the 1983 Canadian Championships was outstanding. If it hadn't been for weak compulsories, she would have been on the world team with Kay Thomson that year.

    Coull and Rowsom were both strong singles skaters, and they were among the first pairs to present two different sbs triples in their free routines. Prior to 1989, pairs could include up to three different throws in their programs as well, and in 1986 when they won world bronze, completed a throw triple loop, throw triple salchow, and throw double axel.

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    What is up with the ice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pixie cut View Post
    What is up with the ice?
    I remember from the broadcast that the ice didn't freeze properly ... or something like that. I think there were complaints about it from the skaters: The ice was 'slow'

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    I remember from the broadcast that the ice didn't freeze properly ... or something like that. I think there were complaints about it from the skaters: The ice was 'slow'
    It looks bizarre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pixie cut View Post
    It looks bizarre.
    I believe part of the issue is that the ice was built on a wooden platform covering the Olympic swimming pool. Apparently, it was sagging and cracking in places as well, too.

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