Protopopov uber thread.
I just love them.
Few realize that Ludmila was the original Swan, not Oksana, not Weir.
They were so creative that we take their unison, spirals, and artistry for granted.
Before them Russia was nothing in pairs, but they were harrassed for being too old to be skaters even when still winning world medals.
Didnt they retire after 69 because Rodnina & Ulanov (who were never the powerhouse team that Rodnina & Zaitsev were) and Moskvina & Moskvin (who legendary coaches they later became, were only a top pair for that season alone, and would retire after that season) were being supported over them.
Great thread! I have loved their skating for many years. I recently watched their Swan program. Beautiful! I have their Ave Maria on tape, and I used to watch the Evening with champions on TV; I always looked forward to seeing them skate in it. They changed pairs skating forever.
Moskvina's pairs partner was Alexei Mishin, and not their coach Igor Moskvin.
Originally Posted by judgejudy27
From what I read, the USSR fed wanted to promote Rodnina-Ulanov after 1968, so they denied the Protopopovs the opportunity to go for their third OGM. Oleg Protopopov sounded bitter about it. After they moved to Switzerland it sounds like they never forgave their fed.
They were so beautiful on the ice, even in their show numbers in their 50s, I agree she was the original swan of the sport. They were definitely amazing, and definitely were the first ones to bring true beauty and pairness to the pairs event, along with bringing alot of technically inventive things to the sport too.
With all due respect, "bitter" is not quite the right term for describing political defection because the thought police thought your artistic sensibilities were too bourgeois for the current political regime. (South and west of Germany they were heroes for escaping.)
Originally Posted by Vash01
And how could you forgive a fed that said your training, from the beginning, was a waste of state resources because you were too old, although you were to become your states first Olympic Gold Medalists two times over.
If the USSR had it's way, Oleg would have spent his life pulling a lever in a factory for the 45 years after he was discharged from the military.
Last edited by bardtoob; 01-01-2013 at 08:31 AM.
I am not referring to the political side of it; he sounds bitter specifically about not being given the opportunity to go to the 1972 Olympics, in order to make room for R&U. That's a skating related issue (I see their defection as a political issue, but probably triggered by the rejection). The USSR was very rich in talent, and apparently they felt that it was time to bring on the athletic style of R&U which was athletically superior to the aging pair. I am not saying I agree with them, but my point is skating related. Rodnina & her partners did change pairs skating in a different direction, and they too were a great pair.
Originally Posted by bardtoob
That's all I am going to say about this, if you are going to take offense. I am done with this thread. I was really excited to see a thread about the Protopopovs, but if you are hypersensitive about the politics, I am just going to skip this.
Last edited by Vash01; 01-01-2013 at 08:33 AM.
Rodnina & Ulanov were not even the technically sensational team Rodnina & Zaitsev were. I would have rather seen the incredible P&P reign another 4 years, and the newly formed R&Z team take over after that, after 72.
No offense taken, Vash, but I'm certain the distinctions you make, which I understand, were hard to make in the situation, which some of the Russians on this board can attest to. There are museums all over the former Eastern Bloc for a reason that deserves to be remembered, particularly since the political challenges to their 3rd Olympics were based on the potential demand for professional exhibitions in west Vs need for pairs coaches in the USSR. Most feds do not do state planning, but just support training, sanction competitions, and provide competition officials.
If you feel you must, some things are more important. Why don't you start an Rodnina and Ulanov thread? Ulanov's reason for leaving Rodnina is worth a thread, in and of itself ...
Last edited by bardtoob; 01-01-2013 at 09:08 AM.
I will always be an uber of theirs.
This accessible book details the Soviet era's sports "system".
An entire chapter is devoted to how the Protopopov's were forced out of competition
The Big Red Machine: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Olympic Champions:
Thanks for the thread. My favorite Protopopov routine is their Ave Maria professional program.
What stands out most about their skating itself, is their fine attention to details and exquisite use of movement. Just minor things, such as in their Moonlight Sonata exhibition when they switch to a one hand lift. No, not the most difficult or creative move ever seen in skating, but so well timed, it is a wonderful highlight move.
Well, it seems that Charlotte (Oelschlagel) was the original Swan on ice
Originally Posted by bardtoob
And Sonja Henie also aspired to be Pavlova on ice
Ludmila was indeed lovely.
They competed at USSR Nats at 1970 and lost. The TES were very low 5.3, 5.4. Their time was just over and the time of Rodnina came. In the 1970th and the 1980th after they left the USSR nobody spoke about them. They were like "enemies of the people" according to Soviet authorities.
I hope video surfaces. Thanks
Originally Posted by gkelly
Originally Posted by gkelly
Thank you for this, I was askance when I read that inaacurate comment, thanks for setting the record straight. We should never forget those that came before us.
And here's Sonja's "White Swan" in all its phenomenal glory, copied 60 years later by Oksana Baiul, move for move, every single detail the same as Sonja's, right down to the costume, toepicks, and fingertips.
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/be...nja+henie+swan ***starts at 30 second mark***
That makes me very sad. What a cruel way to give a flick of a hand to such a legendary team who Russian pairs for decades to come would owe so much too. It is ok if they decided Rodnina was the new number 1, but they could have atleast given the Protopopovs a fighting chance of making teams if they still wanted to skate. I wonder if they were scared they would still be a threat to Rodnina if they were given a fair chance though, and that is why they felt they had to shut them out completely, but I dont see how that would be a bad thing, either way is a victory for their country and competition only is a positive thing.
Originally Posted by care bear
- Rep Power
That is amazing! Thanks for posting.
Originally Posted by NadineWhite