I am in the K&C at the 1980 Olympics telling Frank Carroll he will have a male skater from KAZ with a 4T, 3A-3T and a World Silver going into the 2014 Olympics ...
Kondrashova was a beautiful skater but a weak competitor, lacked power, confidence, and security out there, and seemed to be a weak and unstable jumper. Kind of a poor womens Sumners. I have the feeling she would look way better in practice than she did in competition though.
I admire the skaters that admit they want to win, but as far as Kat's skating goes I really didn't like how she entered into her jumps, she had this hunching thing going on that wasn't so pretty. I think it's really amazing though that she got 2 gold's in the olympics.
The only routine I actually enjoy watching from her heyday was her 1987 Worlds free. Otherwise, I found her performance sort of shallow and empty and it's not as if her actual skating gave you much to admire. For a long time, I allowed Witt to paint a horrid picture of 1980s Ladies skating. Thank goodness I later discovered Kadavy, Chin, Kondrashova, and 1980s Ito, among others. Although I'm not sayin Sumners deserved to win or anything, but I must be on another plane because I found her skating and program a thousand more times enjoyable than what most posters who comment on it say. I guess I'm with the Italian judge who gave her a 6.0 for artistic impression.
I get it, people love her persona and her costumes and look. I understand she brought coherency to ladies skating in terms of music cuts and themes (at least in 87 and 88). I also understand hat her detractors can sound like bitter Americans who hate that she beat American skaters (just as much as her supporters can sound like they defend her so much because she beat North American skaters). For me though, I can't get over her horrible posture, wooden movements, lackluster basics, unimpressive tech content, and her one-note interpretation.
Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 05-22-2012 at 06:27 AM.
Agreed that she was the one of the fiercest ladies' competitors ever. I LOVED her 88' Carmen program, posing and all.
As luck would have it, I sat next to her at 2005 Skate America during the Ladies' FS. I didn't try to engage her in conversation or get all fangurly, but she spoke to me a few times and was such a sweet, down to earth person. I remain a fan.
Varla: "You knew my mother?? What was she like?" Coco: "Very sweet." Evie: "Uh-huh, and a BIG pothead!" -- from "Girls Will Be Girls" (2002)
When I look back on the 80s and see all the titles Witt amassed, I'm still kind of shocked. She wasn't really ever the best skater at an event, the American dolls always just seemed to fail to deliver. In Sarajevo, Sumners and Chin were infinitely better skaters and performers than Witt. But at the time Witt had 'the face'. Her lurching crossovers, the Mueller bad choreo, it was a testament to her face that she overcame her bad skating.
The 80s were strange. If I had it my way, Caryn Kadavy would have skated cleanly at every worlds and probably won a couple of them. Caryn had beauty, grace, dance ability and triples. Too bad Carlo never gave her that meme. Instead we knew that the US girls would bomb and Witt would do just enough to win. And hey, a win is a win, not knocking Witt. At least Witt went out with Carmen, an iconic moment in skating.
I will not be ignored! -Me
I have not read through the thread, so I am only responding to the opening post.
In 1984 when I saw her skate in the Olympics (on my small TV screen), I thought she was very beautiful and charming. By 1988 I knew a lot more about her, as a multiple times world champion. I was rooting for Debie Thomas for her athleticism, but there is no denying that Katarina was a charmer. She could express a character. Technically she was limited, but so were most ladies of her era. She was a great competitor and she was tutored by a smart coach who knew how to help her win. I believe she totally deserved both her Olympic gold medals.
After 1988, ladies FS changed a lot. The ladies started doing more difficult triple jumps and Katarina, now past 22, could not keep up with them. She returned to the Olympics in 1994, knowing that she had no chance of winning the medal, but she skated an artistic program to send a message ('where have all the flowers gone).
As a pro, she was able to use her artistic qualities much more, and she created some masterpieces. She did not win many competitions because even in the pros new OGM winners like Kristi Yamaguchi brought more difficult jumps, but I always appreciated her maturity.
Katarina's strength was in expressing the music, and she had quite a range as an artist. Sometimes it is nice to just watch the skating without a lot of jumps (in a non-competition environment). She had great rapport with the audience, and she really sold her programs.
Some of her programs that I liked a lot (if jumps are not used as a measuring stick):
1987 worlds LP (Westside story)
1988 Olympics LP (Carmen)
Where have all the flowers gone
Lemon Tree (it's a fun program)
I am forgetting the title of the flirtatious program she skated in 1995/96
In the same year as Evita, she skated a great artistic program (black dress)- I don't remember the title, but it had something to do about women.
I have all of these on tapes, but I will look for them on YT and post some links. Some of them may not be available on YT.
Debi actually provided an interview for the book "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes," and she commented that after Nationals in 1988 she wanted to keep practicing, of course, for the Olympics, but she wanted to go a bit easier and just stay positive and relaxed. However, her coach Alex McGowan, and her mother literally just browbeat her endlessly about "practice, practice, you have to be Olympic Champion" and were on her case so constantly it wore her out. She said by the time she got to Calgary, she was just tired of it all. When she too-footed the second jump in her first combination, she just gave up, believing she couldn't win because of that.
The sad thing is that is she had just kept going and pushing and landed the rest of her jumps and done the rest of the program to the best of her ability, I think she would have won. Her fault, of course, she allowed herself to be psyched out. I still remember Kat saying she knew Debi wouldn't beat her when Debi did her usual ritual just before she went out of slapping her coach's hands, and their hands essentially missed the slap. That's when Kat knew immediately that Debi was off her game.
"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
If Debi had skated her best Witt probably would have won only the bronze as Manley probably would have still won the long program with Debi 2nd, thus bumping Witt to bronze overall.
It's interesting the different outcome if Debi skated her program perfectly. Witt really got lucky in 1988. Of course you make your own luck and she was as trained as she could be. It all ended up fine, since Witt was able to have a pro career due to her gold medal, Manley had a great pro career due to her silver, and Debi ended up going to medical school which was her goal all along.
I will not be ignored! -Me
I also love the pro program to the German version of "On My Own" from Les Miserables. I have it on tape, and I thought I had converted it and posted it on FSVids, but I can't find it anywhere.
She was at her flirtatious best in 1990's Mr. Monotony. I especially admire the recovery when she skated right off the ice after the 3toe.
Not so fond of Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love which seemed to consist of a lot more stripper posing than skating.
Debi skated an amazing SP and still lost to Kat's craptastic tackiness, so I'm not at all confident of this "if only Debi had been a little cleaner in the LP, she would have won" theory.
I saw this live with SOI, and it was a fabulous performance.
Here is 1987 worlds LP (West side story):
Does anyone remember her skating to a Marlena Dietrich song at the Goodwill Games in 2000?. She was so amazing. She did not need any jumps with that kind of choreography.
It shocks me that so many people did not like her. Maybe if she was North American she would have had a better reaction.
I loved her. The 80's would have been quite bland for me without Witt.
She was a beautiful & talented skater. Was she technically the best? No. But when others made errors most of the time she went for less difficult jumps but better artistry. Caryn Cadavy was the only skater that could match her chorography back then IMO.
Ros was a jerky skater for me. She never looked fluid or calm. Thomas was a very nice girl who sometimes went for too much.
But I, like many on here liked Katarina more as a Pro skater.
Her Angels program was one of the best. And her 'I Am Ready For Love' program.
At what event did Katarima skate to "Summertime"?
I sure you don't simply mean she'd be criticism free had she been na. Re: please reads any thread mentioning Flatt, Evan, Leung, Weiss, lipinski, hughes, etc...
Eta: I meant her 80s packaging was "tacky". As many have stated, by 94 we loved her packaging. She certainly never had a problem working in NA and getting ads, pr, etc...