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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I couldn't stand her back in her amateur days. I saw a interview with her before an event (the 1988 Olys I think) where she came across as such a self-entitled bitch. The interviewer asked her about East Germany, and if she thought it was fair that just because she was an athlete, she was able to jump ahead in line, if you will, and get a new car, when other regular citizens had to wait for such things. Witt seemed really entitled that she deserved it more than other regular East Germans. That plus never loving her skating, and another interview where she was confronted about the skating to other people's music thing and she looked like she was lying through her teeth "oh, I wasn't trying to intimidate, I was just enjoying their music" . . . I'm not a fan.

    However, I will agree 100% that the only other competitor who was as fierce was Henie. Witt knew how to bring it when she needed to bring it, and was not against using all the tools in her toolbox (ie: her looks) to win.
    To be fair, it was the only way a distinguished individual in the former Soviet Block could feel their achievement- by having those kind of priviledges, as all prize money was taken by the government. And it became a point of pride- to be able to get for yourself, or your family, some things that were not available otherwise. I have no idea, maybe she was an entitled b....., but I would not judge her replies by the Western standarts.

    I, personally, adored her- but I was quite young, and she was glamorous, daring, sexy, very "Western", while being from the Soviet Block, and that alone made me admire her tons. She was a great show woman with nerves of steel. I did not know enough about skating then to judge the finer points...
    improving my ballad- like lines

  2. #22
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    During her competitive years, I thought she got more attention and accolades than she deserved

    But now, I can really appreciate her competitiveness and determination to win when I look at the current state of US ladies

  3. #23

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    She really knew how to sell a program and capture the mood of the music. It probably helped that she had charisma too which not many of the skaters of that era had.

    Her interviews in the 80s did appear pretty cold and impersonal, but skating for East Germany at the time you probably had to be pretty careful what you said.

    On the other hand, her professional interviews were quite fun. I loved one where she had done a triple toe. She said she didn't even think she was going to do it, then did it and was a good one. She was so laid back and relaxed.

    I always like the stories about her and Roslyn Sumners. They became really good friends during their professional careers but had nothing to do with each other whilst competing.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  4. #24
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    Feisty competitor.Charismatic performer .True diva

  5. #25

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    In all fairness, her "cold" 80s amateur interviews may have been part of the Communist Bloc media persona ... Cold, impersonal, distain for imperfection, a normal expected outcome of a planned economy (machine) ....

  6. #26

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    I think Witt is an amazing survivor. She did what she had to do to survive under the East German regime. She was allowed to tour more than any East German before her. When the Wall came down she was able to make a successful career in the unified Germany, although many suggested she should leave due to the Initial hostility towards her as a privileged member of the East German regime. She remains loyal to Mueller, who has been ostracized by the German skating federation.

    She was an amazing competitor. She could pull off her most difficult jumps when her competitors skated well, and would leave them out when they made mistakes.

    As far as her saying her Carmen was better, I don't understand people who want skaters to be humble and gracious going into a major competition. If you don't believe you are better how can you win?

  7. #27
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    She was one of the all time greats in terms of competitive nerve. She was also an amazingly charismatic entertainer.

    Her skating (compared to her record) is a little flat. Competent enough but rarely amazing.

    A great champion, competitor and entertainer, but not a skater's skater (in terms of amazing edges or musicality or precision or versatility).

  8. #28

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    I think she and Thomas made skating interesting with their blunt, not always politically correct interviews. They seemed like true competitors. You knew they were hungry for the title and wary of each other. They achieved the same tension as Tonya/Nancy without the knee whack.

  9. #29
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    Witt's career was perfectly timed with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Under the communist regime, everything was paid for. Then, when she turned pro, she had the opportunity to take full advantage of capitalism.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    In all fairness, her "cold" 80s amateur interviews may have been part of the Communist Bloc media persona ... Cold, impersonal, disdain for imperfection, a normal expected outcome of a planned economy (machine) ....
    I agree with this. All Eastern Bloc athletes were portrayed this way.

    I don't remember much other than wanting Debi Thomas to win in 88. And Witt to wear a BRA already in her later skating years
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  11. #31

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    She is one of a kind. Absolutely charismatic and fierce competitor at the sma time someone who knows to pay respect and tries to send a good message to the world.

    I've recently seen this side of her yet again during the bidding competition for 2018 WOG and was assured of my impression of her.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I think she and Thomas made skating interesting with their blunt, not always politically correct interviews. They seemed like true competitors. You knew they were hungry for the title and wary of each other. They achieved the same tension as Tonya/Nancy without the knee whack.
    ITA. Such an era doesn't come that often.

  13. #33

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    I am a bit in awe of her competitive spirit - she really did step up, every time, when the pressure was on. Evey time she skates, you know she's "on" and she loves what she is doing. Competition or artistic program.

    What I didn't like about her was more a product of media portrayal in the early/late 80s - Sports Illustrated did these icky "Communist Cupcake" profiles, contrasting her with American skaters who were less pretty, less gritty, less bombshell-y. Who had a chance when La Witt, the horndog sportswriter's dream girl, was going for gold?

  14. #34

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    Another thing I really respected her for was her comeback. In an interview she did say she was going out there to show that it doesn't matter your age, you can still get out there and do it. At the time being a rather new adult skater, I was quite inspired by this.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    To be fair, it was the only way a distinguished individual in the former Soviet Block could feel their achievement- by having those kind of priviledges, as all prize money was taken by the government. And it became a point of pride- to be able to get for yourself, or your family, some things that were not available otherwise. I have no idea, maybe she was an entitled b....., but I would not judge her replies by the Western standarts.
    Not to mention that her interviews would also have been monitored, so there is a change that she lied. There's also a chance that what she said wasn't even what she thought but what she was told to say.
    If she had taken a wrong step, her career would have been over.

    As far as my thoughts on her, I have no recollection of her amateur competitive days. My mom loved her, so I rooted for her.
    But I'm not a particular fan of her. She certainly has a lot of confidence and comes across as thinking highly of herself. She doesn't seem like the kind of person who's familiar with the word modesty.

  16. #36

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    I wasn't really a fan of her skating. I did like her sp at the 94 Olys but usually all I could see were her giant man hands. And you could tell she never took ballet because of the way she used her hands & arms.

  17. #37
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    She was strong in competition, she had really strong nerves.
    As someone old enough to remember her performances before 1984, I am amused that the historical perspective of her is of her mental toughness. In her early years, she could be counted on to land one or more jumps on her can in the free skate. She was a frustrating mess before she finally put it together to win in Sarajevo. Before 84, the most interesting thing about her was her stunning physical beauty. Ironically, as she got older, she became a stronger competitor, but her face took on a hardness that made her much less pretty.

    I agree with those who think she sometimes won on reputation toward the end of her eligible career (and well into her pro career). If you go back and look again, she made safe choices to double jumps sometimes in her free skates. She was as smart a competitor as there was and knew exactly how much or how little she needed to do to win.

  18. #38

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    i was too young to watch her back in the day ( i was born in 1984), but I love her now. I love that she was sassy, and i LOVE that she was curvy! Watching her as a not so flat chested 13 year old really encouraged me.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWarhol View Post
    i was too young to watch her back in the day ( i was born in 1984), but I love her now. I love that she was sassy, and i LOVE that she was curvy! Watching her as a not so flat chested 13 year old really encouraged me.
    Witt reminds me of how much I loved (and miss) the 'super model' era. The skaters were fully grown women and hot to look at as well.

    The degree of difficulty has changed in 25 years. So, curvy body types are no longer in the equation (if you want to win).
    Last edited by essence_of_soy; 05-20-2012 at 09:31 AM.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    as all prize money was taken by the government.
    After OGM 1984, at the age of 18, she has got a new car, a nice apartment. She could travel abroad with west money. The most beautiful face of socialism (c)
    I loved her skating really.

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