When comparing Janet Lynn and Denise Biellmann, which of the two's careers was most damaged by the School figures?
Had there been no compulsories at the time Janet Lynn and Denise Biellmann were skating as amateurs, then in terms of where they finished in the free program (and where relevant, the short program as well), Janet Lynn would have won a silver medal at the 1970 World Championships, she would have won both the 1971 and 1972 World Championships, and she still would have won a Silver at the 1973 World Championships due to a disastrous short program. Janet would also have become Olympic champion in 1972. In terms of Denise Biellmann, she would have won Silver medals at the 1978 and 1979 World Championships, and a bronze at the 1980 World Championships. She of course went on to win the 1981 World Championships, and she would also have become 1980 Olympic Champion.
Nevertheless, where both Janet and Denise finished in the free programs (and where relevant, the short program) at the time does not tell the whole story. Had there been no compulsories, then all skaters would have focused their training on becoming better free skaters. Who can tell in those circumstances whether Janet and Denise would still have been the best free skaters of their generation. I strongly suspect that they still would have been, but nobody can simply take that as a given/a certainty. Moreover, take away the compulsories, then the pressure is firmly on each skater to perform in the short and free programs in the shoot out for the medals. Both Janet and Denise would in such circumstances have gone into the competition as favourites. How would they have coped with that? When the weight given to the compulsories was reduced for the 1972/73 season, with a short program being introduced, this made Janet the favourite going into the 1973 World Championships. However, a disastrous short program cost her the title. Did she have the ruthless streak required to become a world/olympic champion? Its impossible to tell as its not possible to gauge a persons overall temperament for the big occasion on just 1 competition. Nevertheless, Unlike Janet, Denise was able to seize her opportunity in 1981 and become a World Champion.
So, who's career was damaged most by the compulsories: Janet or Denise?