I believe that most Olympic and world championships are worth the same. Because no matter what sort of field you are in, u always had to work yourself all the way to the top. I mean although this past season hasn't been the strongest season, we have still seen skaters like Carolina, Alena and Akiko fight their way to the top like every other champion. So even if the standard is lower the in previous season, there are still those that are true champions that deserve the same gold medal as previous champions
There's nothing equal about Olympic and World titles or medals, or not ever winning an Olympic or World title (or medals), especially with the talent and deep fields that exist in all of sport these days. And of course there is nothing equal about ISU judging either.
In winning or placing, luck is always involved. And as a skater or athlete if you didn't have talent, you wouldn't be competing on a big stage anyway -- of course, many with talent don't ever quite make it to the biggest stages, especially some U.S. skaters who b/c of the large talent pool can't quite make it out of Nationals.
Winning (as has been said many times) is icing on the cake, or pie. Take your pick. For me, the Olympics these days is over-rated because of the over-commercialization and cultural image-making (which are all faux). I will watch though to enjoy the athletes and sports I enjoy watching. And I'll largely ignore the fs judging.
The best moments are not necessarily on the podium. The joy and satisfaction is probably more in overcoming challenges, skating your best, coming from behind to reach the podium when you're down and out, reaching personal goals. Taking a risk and successfully skating to something unexpected. Making an impact on the sport, or just making your Nationals, or making Worlds for the first time, or seeing a student of yours (if you are a coach) skate their best and achieve success.
The odds were also not so favorable to Yuna. Crushing expectations at the biggest competitions often undo the top dogs as well, and not just in figure skating. But to turn around and put on the best performance of your life when everyone expects you to do so is no small feat.
Sarah's win is not quite as legendary as you might say--the top dogs at SLC faltered. Had they actually put up a good fight and Sarah still outskated them, then I could see you point. But she was purely lucky. Luck is not the stuff of legends.
The OGM has historically and traditionally been built up to be the end all and be all for every athlete. For athletes, the Olympics only comes around every four years (except during the anomaly '92 and '94 years when they were in the process of separating Summer and Winter Olympics to alternate every two years, instead of taking place in the same year every four years).
Probably if you ask most athletes, particularly skaters (who have only had one chance at a medal, unlike some other sports) -- they will still say the OGM is their dream, or for many, just making the Olympic team and being able to compete on that stage. Figure skating is too full of politics traditionally, so there will always be debate about who won who shouldn't have won, and therefore discussion of who's win should be valued less. No matter what we think, likely them who hold the medals and the moments feel the richer and at what anyone else thinks. Except maybe for Plush who seems to have something more to prove, despite the fact he already has one OGM -- and of course the silver, which he devalued.
For Kwan, the Kween -- OGM will always be the one that got away. But she will always have the moment in Nagano '98 coming off the ice crying her eyes out because she actually thought she had won (which she recently admitted in an ESPN interview). Kwan gave her all and many will always feel she deserved to win in Nagano, and there are others who will always feel Tara was better. The judges were divided, and the German judge's opinion was the decider. It was debated endlessly for days afterward in the media, and has never stopped being debated among figure skating fans. Tara and Michelle were/ are both winners. Michelle rose above the deep disappointments of Nagano, Salt Lake (and even of her 2006 injury). Kwan TOWERS above everyone in her accomplishments on and off the ice. For me, there is a lesson in Kwan's journey, especially post-1998.
I think, to the athletes, the OGM has a satisfaction that goes with it that is unrelated to the commercial value of the title.
Thanks falling_dance and duane. Actually, falling_dance, I was thinking of 1994 ladies Olympic results when I referred to Jan Hoffman -- my BAD.
As far as Nagano results, when it all came out in the wash, yes there was a lot of division and excuse-making after the fact re the scoring. The media even tried to paint it that Michelle made a mistake in her fp before the final aired on tape in prime time. When everyone saw how graciously Kwan carried herself after the gold slipped out of her grasp (especially when she was expected to win OGM after her perfection in Philadelphia), the media backtracked a bit on all the OTT “Tara wins” articles -- I remember one article which errantly trumpeted that athleticism now rules when it comes to figure skating. It never has and it never will no matter what. Anyway, why the 5.9s for Tara for artistic presentation -- her second mark should have been more like five 5.8s and four 5.7s. Even Tara's technical marks were way too high and Michelle’s way too low (Hamilton suspected MK’s low tech marks were partly because MK skated first in the last group). Tara was a superbly talented and determined young athlete, but as a former roller skater she never had good technique or height on her 2-axel. And at the age of 15, Tara had not fully developed as a skater or a person.
Ah well, water under the bridge that yet continues to rise at high tide. Looking back, what nostalgia. And wow, that earth-shattering scream which surely caused permanent ear-drum damage for everyone in the vicinity.
Nice to see Tara has grown up to be a well-spoken and adept fs commentator. The same cannot be said for Sarah (her voice and timing are terrible). MK doesn't do much commentating, and what little she has done is middling. But at least MK's voice quality and sense of humor are outstanding. And as has been said before: After Nagano, MK turned silver into gold.
I will never understand Tara's presentation marks in Nagano, particularly since she received higher presentation marks than Chen Lu. Something is seriously wrong with that, IMO.