Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Entitiled
    Posts
    5,615
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0

    Best at school figures?

    Besides Trixie Schuba, what other skaters were particularly good at school figures?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,972
    vCash
    1271
    Rep Power
    5546
    Scott Hamilton was good enough at figures to win the 1984 Olympics even though Orser won both the short and long program. Kira Ivanova was first in figures at Calgary. I think most of the international medalists of that era had to be good enough at figures to sustain their freeskating results. Weren't figures 60% of the total score at one time?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Age
    52
    Posts
    10,243
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    10899
    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Weren't figures 60% of the total score at one time?
    Yes, until the late 1960s.


    Todd Eldredge won his figures-era championships (novice and junior US titles, 1988 Junior Worlds, first senior US championship in 1990) on the strength of his figures and consistency, placing 4th-2nd in the freeskates at those events; the first title he won by winning the freeskate was 1991 US Nationals after figures were gone.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Entitiled
    Posts
    5,615
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Scott Hamilton was good enough at figures to win the 1984 Olympics even though Orser won both the short and long program. Kira Ivanova was first in figures at Calgary. I think most of the international medalists of that era had to be good enough at figures to sustain their freeskating results. Weren't figures 60% of the total score at one time?
    Until 1968 they were 60%. In 1988 they were 30% of the final tally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_figures

    You're right that most of the international medalists in those days probably had to be fairly decent at school figures in order to medal, especially when they comprised 40%, or whatever, of the final score.

    People often talk about Trixie Schuba as being especially gifted in school figures, besides Trixie, what other skaters were especially brilliant in school figures?


  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    706
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Wasn't Peggy Fleming amazing at figures?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,972
    vCash
    1271
    Rep Power
    5546
    Quote Originally Posted by lulu View Post
    Until 1968 they were 60%. In 1988 they were 30% of the final tally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_figures

    You're right that most of the international medalists in those days probably had to be fairly decent at school figures in order to medal, especially when they comprised 40%, or whatever, of the final score.

    People often talk about Trixie Schuba as being especially gifted in school figures, besides Trixie, what other skaters were especially brilliant in school figures?

    I think Schuba was in a class by herself. I can't think of anyone else who placed as low in the freeskating portion and still managed to not only medal but win gold at the Olympics. I think she placed something like 9th in the freeskate. She is also the only skater whose compulsory figure results I've never heard questioned by her competitors.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    24,303
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    45242
    I think Brian Boitano and Debbie Thomas were both very good at figures.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Age
    52
    Posts
    10,243
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    10899
    Jeannette Altwegg was 4th in the freeskating at the 1952 Olympics that she won. I seem to remember reading she was lower than that in freeskating at the 1951 Worlds or maybe one of the Europeans that she won, but I can't find a source online so I'll check if I have it on paper at home.

    Here's an interview with her last year; she finds IJS marking puzzling but likes the short dance and dreams of doing quads.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    at my computer
    Posts
    1,482
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    106
    Holly Cook was supposedly very good at figures, particularly loops. She won her World medal the first and only time she went to Worlds based on her performance at figures.

    ETA: Priscilla Hill was another excellent "figure" skater.

  10. #10
    Watch me move
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Gwyneth Paltrow Fan Club headquarters
    Posts
    16,756
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    IIRC Michael Weiss won US national novice figures and, I think, won medals at US nationals in figures at other levels.

    To be fair, though, it is hard to tell who was "best" at figures by relying on the historical results (apart from Trixi Schuba, who everyone would name as the best). There were also some excellent figures competitors whose results did not reflect their ability because of sekret politicking that affected the placements.
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  11. #11
    Vacant
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Here and there
    Age
    40
    Posts
    8,742
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    5719
    Priscilla Hill holds the record for the youngest american woman to gain her 8th figures test - aged 9 if wikipedia is to be believed but I remember Debbi Wilkes commenting on this also during a Skate Canada performance of Hills in the early 1980's.

    Carol Heiss was very strong at figures. Some of her marks from the 1960 Olympics are astonishingly high and I have some silent footage of 1960 Worlds showing ladies figures and again her marks are way higher than anyone else.

    Jeanette Altwegg was amazing at figures also. Most rated her at the time as the best exponent ever and certainly since Cecilia Colledge who was also renowned for her figures. But you can't count out Henie either. Didn't Frank Carroll tell a story about him and others as skating students aping her style and MVO going crazy saying you've no idea how fast she was and how good her figures were, so just stop it!

    It's strange how all the top exponents are women. Surely there must have been some really outstanding male figures skaters?

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    24,303
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    45242
    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post

    It's strange how all the top exponents are women. Surely there must have been some really outstanding male figures skaters?
    Gillis Grafstrom (sp?)

  13. #13
    Vacant
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Here and there
    Age
    40
    Posts
    8,742
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    5719
    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Gillis Grafstrom (sp?)
    Yes, the footage of Grafstrom doing 'special figures' is just beautiful to watch. The man was such an enigma. I kind of love the fact that he would just withdraw from championships because he didn't feel like skating that day and then return at another event and just destroy the competition!!

  14. #14
    podcast mistress
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Ready to interview Uncle Dickie at any time.
    Posts
    7,814
    vCash
    2367
    Rep Power
    1742
    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    Priscilla Hill holds the record for the youngest american woman to gain her 8th figures test - aged 9 if wikipedia is to be believed
    I believe Hill is the youngest american PERIOD. And David Santee is the next youngest, who I think was 11 when he passed all of his.

    It's in my podcast with him, I'd have to go relisten.

    I can't imagine passing them all by age 8, and then having to do just those figures over and over for the remainder of my career.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    85
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I love a discussion about school figures.

    Actually, there are coaches and skaters from that era who have said that Peggy Fleming was actually "better" at school figures than Schuba (they competed against each other for a few seasons back in the late 60s). (Granted that Fleming had a few more years under her belt than Schuba.) Fleming was reportedly "cleaner" and more "precise," but Schuba was faster in execution and had more power. Of course, Fleming was also an excellent free skater.

  16. #16
    Vacant
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Here and there
    Age
    40
    Posts
    8,742
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    5719
    Quote Originally Posted by suki View Post
    I love a discussion about school figures.

    Actually, there are coaches and skaters from that era who have said that Peggy Fleming was actually "better" at school figures than Schuba (they competed against each other for a few seasons back in the late 60s). (Granted that Fleming had a few more years under her belt than Schuba.) Fleming was reportedly "cleaner" and more "precise," but Schuba was faster in execution and had more power. Of course, Fleming was also an excellent free skater.
    Wasn't it Dorothy Hamill who also commented in a Diary of Ladies Figure Skating that there has always been some discrepancy over the respective values of quality figures by European and North American judges? Something about clean turns being preferred over more accurate tracings? That might account for some of those thoughts?

    Also Schuba was very different in physical appearance by 1971/72 than she was in 1968 when she last competed against Fleming. Her more mature build was supposedly an asset to figures but she was still 3rd in Grenoble to Fleming and Seyfert - even on the US judges card.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Staring at the ocean, anywhere anytime
    Posts
    9,670
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    4440
    Tim Wood had the best ever score in compulsory figures according to a recent interview he gave with About.com

    http://figureskating.about.com/od/fa...n-Tim-Wood.htm

    I also hold the all time highest score in figures for both men and women in figures at Olympics and at Worlds. I think that is a pretty nice piece of trivia!

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Entitiled
    Posts
    5,615
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks for the information, very interesting about Priscilla Hill as well, I can't imagine what kind of mental control, dedication and discipline it took to master school figures at such a young age, same for David Santee.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,889
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    16643
    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI View Post
    Tim Wood had the best ever score in compulsory figures according to a recent interview he gave with About.com

    http://figureskating.about.com/od/fa...n-Tim-Wood.htm
    Wow!
    It certainly is.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    85
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Good point, Floskate. I hadn't considered that. I will say this, I have seen videos and still photographs of Peggy Fleming doing school figures. Her tracings are a thing of beauty and she looked almost balletic when she did them (total control, no wobbles, etc.).

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •