View Poll Results: Your favorite US Nationals ladies champion, 1981-1995?

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  • 1995 Nicole Bobek

    19 16.24%
  • 1993 Nancy Kerrigan

    3 2.56%
  • 1992 Kristi Yamaguchi

    55 47.01%
  • 1991 Tonya Harding

    12 10.26%
  • 1987, 89, 90- Jill Trenary

    7 5.98%
  • 1986,88-Debbie Thomas

    12 10.26%
  • 1985- Tiffany Chin

    6 5.13%
  • 1982, 83,84- Roslyn Sumners

    1 0.85%
  • 1981- Elaine Zayak

    2 1.71%
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  1. #1

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    Your favorite US nationals ladies champion during 1981-1995

    Looking at the pre-Michelle era, but not too far back (starting after the 1980 Olympics, and ending before Kwan's first US title), who is your favorite US nationals champion?

    Looking back, this was quite an accomplished group of ladies- Five world champions among them. Everyone won at least one world medal.

  2. #2
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    I liked them all for different reasons.

    The two I really enjoyed watching and were personal favorites: Nicole Bobek and Tiffany Chin.

    I wish Caryn Kadavy would have won a title a some point also.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliasJohnDoe View Post
    I wish Caryn Kadavy would have won a title a some point also.
    Me too. Also Angela Nikodinov.

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    Tough but I went with Yamaguchi. It was her or Bobek but Bobek just never could keep it together.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    It's Debi Thomas, btw (my pick). Although, Kristi was very good too and even better when she turned pro. Nicole had it all in terms of ability, but she lacked discipline and really needed help with perfecting her technique on jumps. Then, I'd say Tonya, Tiffany, and Cadavy. Jill Trenary was a beautiful skater when she had it together. Kerrigan was a very athletic skater and looked beautiful on the ice, but she never really put it all together until 1994 Olympics, by which time the judges were in love with Oksana's precocious artistry.

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    The greatest and most accomplished skater was Kristi Yamaguchi by a large margin, but my favorite was definitely Debi Thomas. Athletic and technically supberb, but with great basics and a wonderful line on the ice, an original bold style of skating, and very well rounded in that she was good at figures, had excellent spins with great positiong and centering, explosive jumps, and good footwork.

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    Not to mention she was an amazing student at the time, went on to an amazing career as a doctor, and had a great and interesting personality on and off the ice. She had a wonderful professional career too, even if a relatively short one, winning 3 World Pro titles, and being a superstar of Stars on Ice for the quad. I so wish she had put it all together and won the 88 Olympics and Worlds, both titles were sitting there waiting for her to take.

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    Nicole Bobek

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    It was a toss up for me between Kristi and Tiffany Chin. I adored the latter.

  10. #10
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    Kristi 1992 !
    One of her best performance ever. Amazing !

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    It's Debi Thomas, btw (my pick). Although, Kristi was very good too and even better when she turned pro. Nicole had it all in terms of ability, but she lacked discipline and really needed help with perfecting her technique on jumps. Then, I'd say Tonya, Tiffany, and Cadavy. Jill Trenary was a beautiful skater when she had it together. Kerrigan was a very athletic skater and looked beautiful on the ice, but she never really put it all together until 1994 Olympics, by which time the judges were in love with Oksana's precocious artistry.
    Thanks for the correction to the spelling of her name. I always forget whether she spells it with b or bb.

    BTW it's Kadavy

    I never found Kerrigan artistic, not even at the 1994 Olympics. She was a technical skater, IMO, and not always consistent, but she benefitted from the rest of the field not being consistent either. She did put it together technically at the 1994 Oly (the 2f instead of 3f was a minor mistake, in my eyes), but artistically she could not come close to Oksana who was not only a natural, but also expressed deep emotions on the ice.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    The greatest and most accomplished skater was Kristi Yamaguchi by a large margin, but my favorite was definitely Debi Thomas. Athletic and technically supberb, but with great basics and a wonderful line on the ice, an original bold style of skating, and very well rounded in that she was good at figures, had excellent spins with great positiong and centering, explosive jumps, and good footwork.
    Well said. Debi was an amazing skater and incredibly accomplished both on and off the ice.

    My own personal favorites are Tonya Harding and Debi Thomas, followed by Kristi Yamaguchi. Although as you mentioned, Kristi is certainly the most accomplished skater on the list.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    The greatest and most accomplished skater was Kristi Yamaguchi by a large margin, but my favorite was definitely Debi Thomas. Athletic and technically supberb, but with great basics and a wonderful line on the ice, an original bold style of skating, and very well rounded in that she was good at figures, had excellent spins with great positiong and centering, explosive jumps, and good footwork.
    Debi was the first black skater to win a winter Olympic medal. She was definitely a pioneer, and an incredibly intelligent woman who went to medical school after a short but successful pro career, and is a practising physician now.

  14. #14
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    I voted and realized it was for US Champion and not US Champion *performance*. (I voted Jill Trenary 1990 out of all those performances). I agree 100% with Judge Judy. Debi was probably my favorite US Champ during that period, I just didn't like her winning programs in 86 and 88 compared to others in this poll. Obviously Kristi with a 7 triple program was high on the list, but she didn't seem to find herself skatingwise until she turned pro, she was too cookie cutter. Harding was a good call, but she had not style, yes, she had 'presentation', but she had no style IMO.

    And I'm sorry, if someone pays for hair and makeup ala Miss Universe and is put in a $15,000 Vera Wang dress, I guess that skater would suddenly be deemed 'artistic'. Never bought it or those chiclets. She was last on my list here. Bobek was second last here too. She had such scratchy and basically NO technique, I could barely watch her. Bobek was the exact opposite of Bonaly. Bonaly was all jumps and no skating skills, and well Nicole, you get the picture. But both were barely watchable to me for different and similar reasons.

    I'd guess my favorite US champions during that time were: Thomas (first black), Chin (first Asian American), Trenary, Yamaguchi, Harding/Sumners, Zayak, Bobek, and Kerrigan.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Thanks for the correction to the spelling of her name. I always forget whether she spells it with b or bb.

    BTW it's Kadavy

    I never found Kerrigan artistic, not even at the 1994 Olympics. She was a technical skater, IMO, and not always consistent, but she benefitted from the rest of the field not being consistent either. She did put it together technically at the 1994 Oly (the 2f instead of 3f was a minor mistake, in my eyes), but artistically she could not come close to Oksana who was not only a natural, but also expressed deep emotions on the ice.
    Whether one agrees with the perception or not, the perception at the time Kerrigan was in her prime from 1991-1994 was that she was a very artistic skater. That is how she won the bronze and even placed 3rd in the LP at the 1992 Olympics when she had more mistakes and landed less triples than all of Yamaguchi, Ito, Harding, Bonaly, Preston, and Chen in the LP. That is how she medaled at nearly every Worlds and Olympics for a few years when before the 93-94 season when she finally got her act together (as far as training and consistency) she was a splatty long program who never got past more than 4 triples in a long program ever. The only skaters at the time who were considered better artistically were perhaps Yamaguchi and Bauil. As for the 1994 Olympics, again whether one agrees with it or not, Kerrigan practically tied Bauil on the 2nd mark, with 5 or 6 5.9s and the rest 5.8s for both. The huge controversy about Bauil's win was that she won 3 of her 5 judges based on technical merit, when those 3 judges had them tied artistically.

    Kerrigan like Jill Trenary, is a skater who skating doesnt stand the test of time very well however.



    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Debi was the first black skater to win a winter Olympic medal. She was definitely a pioneer, and an incredibly intelligent woman who went to medical school after a short but successful pro career, and is a practising physician now.
    I was bummed when she retired from pro skating in 1992. I still miss seeing her skate, but amazing to see someone who literally wanted to do it all and had it all, and whose life did not revolve around skating like virtually all of her peers. I got sad when I read some of her stories of racism she had to deal with coming up the ranks when she was younger, but I guess she was the same incredible fighter to keep going and push through all that to the top, as she proved to be in every sense as an adult into the public view many years later.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    I voted and realized it was for US Champion and not US Champion *performance*. (I voted Jill Trenary 1990 out of all those performances). I agree 100% with Judge Judy. Debi was probably my favorite US Champ during that period, I just didn't like her winning programs in 86 and 88 compared to others in this poll. Obviously Kristi with a 7 triple program was high on the list, but she didn't seem to find herself skatingwise until she turned pro, she was too cookie cutter. Harding was a good call, but she had not style, yes, she had 'presentation', but she had no style IMO.

    And I'm sorry, if someone pays for hair and makeup ala Miss Universe and is put in a $15,000 Vera Wang dress, I guess that skater would suddenly be deemed 'artistic'. Never bought it or those chicle
    Neither Kerrigan or Bobek won Nationals with particularly strong performances, and both capatilized on weak transition years where they had virtually no competition (Kerrigan would have for sure won again in 1994 had she been able to skate, probably with a better performance than 1993).
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 01-13-2013 at 09:56 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Kerrigan like Jill Trenary, is a skater who skating doesnt stand the test of time very well however...
    I think many would disagree. Trenary and Kerrigan are very entertaining and kind of glamorous skaters. I think their programs were from a different aesthetic era, but it's not like the disco programs you see around the time of Anett Potzsch and Linda Fratianne which seem horrid and barely understandable today.

  17. #17
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    I see alot more negative comments regarding Trenary and Kerrigan than positive ones, and opinions that werent held in the day (eg- Kerrigan wasnt an artistic skater) so based on that I would say their skating didnt stand the test of time very well. Rosalynn Sumners is another whose skating didnt seem to stand the test of time very well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I see alot more negative comments regarding Trenary and Kerrigan than positive ones, and opinions that werent held in the day (eg- Kerrigan wasnt an artistic skater) so based on that I would say their skating didnt stand the test of time very well. Rosalynn Sumners is another whose skating didnt seem to stand the test of time very well.
    I think overly negative comments about Kerrigan and Trenary are superficial and partly made because they fall a lot. I hear positive comments about Kerrigan's jumps. People will compare Agnes' lutz to Kerrigan's.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-13-2013 at 11:43 PM.

  19. #19
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    As for Jill, how can you not appreciate something about her skating? She is a beautiful piece of 1980s jewelry, and notice the speed on her landing edges. If the skaters today studied some of her technical qualities, they might surpass the generic and rise faster.

    Jill Trenary 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival FS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Hn1EJrHlhM

    Jill Trenary 1988 Olympics SP
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MqqEmxAQ_c

  20. #20
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    I had a hard time picking on this one, so I went with the first one that really stuck out to me: Nicole Bobek. Sorry that she couldn't get her $#!+ together.

    I love everyone on the list, though. Well, almost everyone.

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