Lu Chens skating in the 94-95 and 95-96 seasons
I've been a big fan of her skating for a long time now. Has there been a consensus that her programs in these two seasons are some of the best skating done by a female skater in modern times? Not only did she have unique choreography in her Last Emperor, but subtle and difficult moves in her Spring Breeze and Rach programs. Technically she was also brilliant here. For me although she was very good before, and made a great comeback for that Olympic Gold, it was really these 2 seasons that made her a great.
Last edited by Lnt175; 01-23-2013 at 08:00 AM.
Reason: trying to link
She hit her artistic peak in 95-96 but was technically not as good anymore as 92-94. She never really had the whole package, hence why she won only 1 Worlds.
I really loved her!! Her Rachmaninov program was fantastic!!!
Yes, her technical and artistic abilties peaked at different times, but her 1 World title doesn't reflect her performances/ability. An argument can certainly be made for her winning Gold at the 1994 Olympics and 1993/1996 Worlds.
Originally Posted by kuzytalent
Prior to 1995, I think she was a victim of skating politics (China wasn't a skating powerhouse at that time) and judges having their pre-determined favourites in Oksana/Nancy.
On the flip side, I think she was given the benefit of the doubt at the 1998 Olympics, where many would argue she shouldn't have medaled.
Last edited by aidan; 01-23-2013 at 10:37 PM.
The thing that always bothered me about Lu Chen was her below par spins. Her Rach was amazing in 95/96, and you could make a case for her winning 93 and 96 Worlds plus the 94 Olys. Baiul was much more in your face with her presentation, so I guess that is what put Baiul over Chen in 93 and 94 though Chen was doing two lutzes and had a more complete program. I think you are right about Chinese skating politics, or the lack of them.
Another program that I thought was incredibly strong was her Clare de Lune SP in 94, it was just a work of art and showed her capability to interpret music.
Then after 96 her skating level evaporated, and with Kwan and Lipinski showing more complete and stronger technical skils she was passed up. I would have probably gone with Butyrskaya for the 98 Nagano bronze, I just thought Chen was no longer 'in the game' with that SP and the messy LP, as beautiful as it was.
Here's her Clare de Lune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML97VfCj3JU Just very nuanced and interpretive skating. How this was not seen on the same level of Baiul or Kerrigan is confounding, looking back.
I agree Chens Claire De Lune was a prelude to becoming a complete skater on the ice. Much more interesting than anything Bauil or Kerrigan did (although Kerrigan hit her program at least and had nice lutze as well). I don't see how she wasn't a complete package in those seasons though. Her spins were actually good in Last Emperor, and weaker in Rach. She easily couldv'e deserved to be a 3 time world champ and Olympic champion in Lillehammer.
I agree about Nagano being given the benefit of the doubt and basically medalling on artisitic impression and just standing up her program.
I absolutely adore Last Emperor and Spring Breeze. Rach 2 and Claire de Lune were also beautiful of course. She has always had great programs but her artistic development made her latter works stood out even more. In my mind she definitely was one of the most beautiful skaters of all times.
Yes, her spins were definitely decent (enough) at 1995 Worlds. They were poorer at 1996 Worlds though and made the case for Kwan stronger.
One thing though, since 1994, she really couldn't get low enough on her sit spins and she barely did any.
Personally I think Chen should have placed 1 spot higher at all of the 92 Worlds, 93 Worlds, 94 Olympics, and 96 Worlds. I would have had her winning gold instead of silver at the 96 Worlds. I would have had her winning silver ahead of Bauil at both the 93 Worlds and 94 Olympics, but behind Bonaly and Kerrigan respectively. I would have had her winning silver over a terrible Kerrigan at the 92 Worlds (although Hubert deserved silver or bronze there as well).
I totally disagree with the talk of her winning the 94 Olympic Gold though. Her short program performance alone (yes beautiful but her combination was quite botched up, much worse than Baiuls, and she was quite lucky to even be 4th) should remove any suggestion of her winning that event. Even if one argues her beating Kerrigan in the LP (presuming both beat Baiul naturally) there is no argument against Kerrigan placing atleast 3 spots higher in the short, and thus placing ahead overall. 93 Worlds I could atleast understand, although like I said I felt Bonaly deserved that one.
I've always loved Chen Lu and she was the one who made me a long term skating fan. Last Emperor is my favorite LP of hers overall due to the large number of transitions throughout the program and the spins were good for her standards. I love the simple upright spins at the start which fit so well in their timing with the music, it's unfortunate that we can't see movements like this anymore due to COP. I actually think her performance of it at 1994 NHK was superior in nearly all aspects than at Worlds. She landed the second triple lutz and her flip and lutzes had full rotation where as at Worlds they seemed a little short.
JudgeJudy, 93 Worlds and you go for BONALY? I'd have gone for anyone else, even the "Grace Kelly of Figure Skating". (That would be Karen Preston, another talk-up from Canadian media that never panned out..)
Originally Posted by judgejudy27
Yeah, Lu Chen screwed up her gorgeous Clare de Lune in Lillehamer, but it probably would not have made one bit of difference. Baiul had that masterful Swan Lake, Lu had Clare, and Nancy fricking Kerrigan was doing bunny Jane Fonda jazzercize hops. I thought Kerrigan's SP was beyond awfully awful. Scott Hamilton could only muster a lukewarm "Nancy has a very smart SP, she gets the job done". LOL. I think that was the first and last time the name Nancy Kerrigan and the word smart were ever used in the same sentence.
I so wish Mary could choreograph for me. "Hold an edge and LOOK SEXY!!" Yeah, that's what I want my choreographer to tell me....
I dont really know where they would have placed Chen in the SP at Lillehammer had she gone clean. With Bauil's error I would have placed her 1st probably but I am sure the judges wouldnt have. I am guessing anywhere from 2nd to 4th was possible. I dont like Kerrigan's SP either but based on the performances she was the clear and undisputed winner of the SP.
As for Bonaly, while I generarally detest her skating I must admit she really did a kick ass job at the 93 Worlds, it was her most complete program ever, and jump wise it was loaded and flawless (7 triples, lots of combinations including a triple-triple, 2 triple lutzes, and all fully rotated and clean jumps for once), and do think she deserved to win there, although I would have been fine with Chen winning as well. By contrast at the 94 Worlds I thought Bonaly was drastically overmarked and shouldnt have even received a single 1st place vote, or higher technical scores than Sato for that matter.
I like Karen Preston alot, and I thought she was far underscored her entire career, especialy in 92-93. Had she worn a Kristi Yamaguchi mask she probably would have won the 92 Olympics with the same performances, LOL! Her skating was a bit bottom heavy though and I think that is one reason she didnt gain much judges respect, along with her overly traditional look and packaging.
Lulu is really such an underrated skater. She is by far (and undisputedly for me at least) the most artistic ladies skater that ever burst on to the scene. And she had some nice jumps to back it up too.
Yes she was really aggressive on the flip and that second lutz. At worlds she played it a little safe but luckily for her it was enough for gold.
Originally Posted by Lainerb
I wish someone had her 1997 lp. I liked the 1997 sp, even without the jumps.