View Poll Results: If the 2014 Olympics were held under the old rules, which ladies skater would win?

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  • Kim Yu-Na

    36 38.30%
  • Mao Asada

    29 30.85%
  • Carolina Kostner

    12 12.77%
  • Ashley Wagner

    1 1.06%
  • Gracie Gold

    1 1.06%
  • Elizaveta Tuktamysheva

    5 5.32%
  • Adelina Sotnikova

    3 3.19%
  • Alena Leonova

    1 1.06%
  • Kaetlyn Osmond

    3 3.19%
  • Akiko Suzuki

    2 2.13%
  • Li Zijun

    0 0%
  • Valentina Marchei

    1 1.06%
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  1. #1

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    If the 2014 Olympics were held under the old rules, which ladies skater would win?

    Lets say hypothetically that the old 6.0 system and compulsory (school) figures were still in place and had always remained in place, with compulsory figures making up 60% of the marks. Under this system, there was no short program, and the free program made up 40% of the marks. This was the system that used to exist up until around 40 years ago. Thereafter, the percentage of the marks taken up by compulsories were gradually reduced, a short program was introduced in the early 1970's, and compulsories were ultimately eliminated altogether after the 1989/90 season. But, as stated, lets say hypothetically that things never changed, and that compulsories still existed under a 6.0 system, making up 60% of the marks. If that were the case, which of the 12 ladies singles skaters listed in the above poll would be best placed to win the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

    It should not be assumed that the current favourites would still be favourites. The old system required a completely different skill set. Just as Trixi Schuba would stand little chance under COP/IJS (she was never more than an very average free skater), many of today's skaters would really struggle under the old regime. How many of them would have been able to perform school figures to the standard that Trixie was able to? Moreover, many of the current favourites lack the artistry required to obtain high marks in the free program for artistic impression under the old 6.0 system. Hence, its not beyond the realms of possibility that the person who would actually win would not be one of the current favourites, but a Trixi Schuba type skater who is currently struggling lower down the rankings (suggestions please!).
    Last edited by Maofan7; 03-02-2013 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #2

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    I chose to ignore the school figure problem and voted for Mao because underrotations were less of an issue under Ordinals, and she has all the other qualities valued under that system.

    But since I voted for Mao before thinking about school figures, I'll justify the vote by saying Mao was willing to relearn her jump technique, which suggests someone willing to work hard at a tedious task, which might also describe mastering school figures.

    On the other hand, I just looked at the list of Olympic women medalists before and after the elimination of school figures. Before, not a single woman of Asian family background won a medal; after, every Olympic cycle has had at least one (some, like Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan, Americans). So there could be an unexplored bias against Asian skaters and school figures which would argue against Mao Asada's chances.

    Next time I'll read the question all the way through before I vote, and then probably not vote!

  3. #3
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    Interesting topic.

    Politics from the more powerful ISU nations often influenced compulsory figures results, so Wagner or Leonova would probably win figures, with Asada and Kim hovering around 7th or 8th.

  4. #4
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    With figures and 6.0, I think Carolina Kostner or Akiko Suzuki would win. They have the edgework and really get the audience involved with their programs (Mao gets the most applause from Japanese audience and wouldn't be the case in London). With that same mindset, Kaetlyn Osmond would rank very high in 6.0 too because of her spunk (like a more technically proficient Tara Lipinski but I'm sure she'll mature out of her juniorish choreography)

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    Carolina Kostner should easily win everything in sight if compulsory figures and skating skills were the most important factors in figure skating competition.

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    Sometimes skaters who had great skating skills in free skating still were not that good at figures. It is hard to tell.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by missing View Post
    I chose to ignore the school figure problem and voted for Mao because underrotations were less of an issue under Ordinals, and she has all the other qualities valued under that system.

    But since I voted for Mao before thinking about school figures, I'll justify the vote by saying Mao was willing to relearn her jump technique, which suggests someone willing to work hard at a tedious task, which might also describe mastering school figures.

    On the other hand, I just looked at the list of Olympic women medalists before and after the elimination of school figures. Before, not a single woman of Asian family background won a medal; after, every Olympic cycle has had at least one (some, like Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan, Americans). So there could be an unexplored bias against Asian skaters and school figures which would argue against Mao Asada's chances.

    Next time I'll read the question all the way through before I vote, and then probably not vote!
    The fact is there were not a great amount of top Asian skaters or of Asian decent before the school figures were finally eliminated. Tiffany Chin was the closest to getting a medal when she finished 4th in the 1984 Olympics but the school figures did her in. Ito did herself in with her school figures also in 1988.
    Last edited by Jammers; 03-02-2013 at 06:24 PM.

  8. #8

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    Under the old rules, I think Yu-Na would win if she did the same number of triples as Mao, regardless of the type, because of tie going to the artistic marks in the LP.

    ETA: I missed the part about compulsory figures. I'd change my vote to Kostner. My argument is later in the tread.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 03-03-2013 at 06:37 PM.

  9. #9

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    I voted for Yu Na before I read that figures were part of the equation. We have no way of knowing which current skater would be good at figures. A skater like Janet Lynn, who floated over the ice in free skating, was not good at figures. On the other hand, another good free skater, Peggy Fleming, was good at figures. So you just never know. Under the modern 6.0 system, without figures, I think Yu Na wins--but not if she makes mistakes in her short program like she did at Korean nationals.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    Carolina Kostner should easily win everything in sight if compulsory figures and skating skills were the most important factors in figure skating competition.
    I think the skaters who did well in figures seemed to be good under pressure. Some skater like Rachael Flatt would probably win the figures.

  11. #11

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    Oh, figures ... Flatt is the ideal skater for figures era competition (A Hamill). On the list, Leonova, by far (An Ivanova).

    The others are too ideally suited for freeskating. Flatt and Leonova have the type of body that could make good tracings ... Could you not see Flatt and Leonova in the mix with Hamill, de Leeuw, Errath.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 03-03-2013 at 06:24 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    The others are too ideally suited for freeskating. Flatt and Leonova have the type of body that could make good tracings ...
    What's the ideal body type for being good at figures ?

  13. #13

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    never Leonova, she has no flow over the ice.
    I think Caro would be great, and if I'm not remembering wrong, she trained them

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    What's the ideal body type for being good at figures ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzvtjbcv-Cs

    Trixie was 5'7" and 148 lb
    Karen Magnessen 5'3" and 117 lb
    Janet Lynn was 5'3" and 108 lb

    Christine Errath was 5'2" and 110 lb.
    Diane de Leeuw was 5'5" and 126 lb.

    Dorothy Hamill was 5'3" and 121 lb
    Anett Pötzsch was 5'4" and 121 lb
    Katarina Witt was 5'5" and 121 lb

    Midori Ito was 4'9" and 97 lb.
    Jill Trenary was 5'4 and 115 lb.
    Kristi Yamaguchi 5'0" and 93 lb.

    Oksana Baiul 5'3" and 95 lb.
    Tara Lipinski 4'10" and 79 lb.

    However, Oksana and Tara's smallishness might be attributed to their young age; they both had short careers compared to:

    Chen Lu 5'4" and 115 lb.
    Michelle Kwan 5'2" lb and 108 lb.
    Maria Butyrskaya 5'3" and 108 lb.
    Irina Slutskaya 5'3" and 108 lb.
    Shizuka Arakawa 5'5" and 110 lb.

    ... Yu Na Kim is 5'5" but only 104 lb ... while Rachel Flatt is 5'2" and 110 lb, like Errath.


    ... after the competition format changed so did the trends.

    The heights and weights are from http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/ ...

    ETA: Hold on ... ... at 5'6" and 132 lb, Kostner is more like Schuba in build, but still trending towards a CF/SP/FS skater. She is Diane de Leeuwish.

    ... Definitely Kostner with Flatt still being the US frontrunner.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 03-03-2013 at 06:40 PM.

  15. #15
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    Why on earth does Asada have so much support in this thread. 6.0 was about cleanliness more than difficulty which would not be in her favor at all as she has barely skated any clean long programs since she was 15. Furthermore while her basic skating skills are fairly good she doesnt strike me as one who would excel that much in compulsory figures either given her body type, and that the Japanese ladies never were placed that well in figures (in part as they werent very good at politiking back then I suppose).

  16. #16
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    I was too much a casual fan during the 90s and didn't get into skating until after 2006. I'd appreciate it if someone can explain how body type is a factor in executing compulsory figures. What I understand about figures (saw a few clips on youtube and practiced a bit myself when I began skating 5 years ago) is that so long as your upper body (arms included) and lower body is in balance, you can make the figure 8s in the ice. I never even considered how my body type could be a hindrance.

    Thanks!

  17. #17

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    Among other things, you need more weight to make deep, defined tracings, so skaters with more height benefit from being able to carry more weight while still being athletically proportional.

    Some skaters are more naturally muscular and athletic than others, like a 5'1" but 106 lb Tonya Harding, who could jump like Ito but was closer to Trenary in figures.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 03-03-2013 at 07:03 PM.

  18. #18
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    Had figures still been around in 92 Harding might have won the 92 Olympics. She was way better in figures than Yamauguchi, Ito, Kerrigan, or Bonaly, and might not have felt she had to go for the triple axel at all.

  19. #19

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    I doubt some of those weights--Kostner in particular. I think Carolina weighs less. I also question whether the ability to make deeper tracings (because of weight) was the key factor. It was the quality of the tracings, wasn't it--staying on the edge, making the loops, etc.? Dorothy Hamill, by the way, said in her book that she wasn't very good at figures. She gave thanks to Janet Lynn for being the impetus behind the devaluation of figures.

    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzvtjbcv-Cs

    Trixie was 5'7" and 148 lb
    Karen Magnessen 5'3" and 117 lb
    Janet Lynn was 5'3" and 108 lb

    Christine Errath was 5'2" and 110 lb.
    Diane de Leeuw was 5'5" and 126 lb.

    Dorothy Hamill was 5'3" and 121 lb
    Anett Pötzsch was 5'4" and 121 lb
    Katarina Witt was 5'5" and 121 lb

    Midori Ito was 4'9" and 97 lb.
    Jill Trenary was 5'4 and 115 lb.
    Kristi Yamaguchi 5'0" and 93 lb.

    Oksana Baiul 5'3" and 95 lb.
    Tara Lipinski 4'10" and 79 lb.

    However, Oksana and Tara's smallishness might be attributed to their young age; they both had short careers compared to:

    Chen Lu 5'4" and 115 lb.
    Michelle Kwan 5'2" lb and 108 lb.
    Maria Butyrskaya 5'3" and 108 lb.
    Irina Slutskaya 5'3" and 108 lb.
    Shizuka Arakawa 5'5" and 110 lb.

    ... Yu Na Kim is 5'5" but only 104 lb ... while Rachel Flatt is 5'2" and 110 lb, like Errath.


    ... after the competition format changed so did the trends.

    The heights and weights are from http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/ ...

    ETA: Hold on ... ... at 5'6" and 132 lb, Kostner is more like Schuba in build, but still trending towards a CF/SP/FS skater. She is Diane de Leeuwish.

    ... Definitely Kostner with Flatt still being the US frontrunner.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    Hold on ... ... at 5'6" and 132 lb, Kostner is more like Schuba in build, but still trending towards a CF/SP/FS skater. She is Diane de Leeuwish.
    Funny, she doesn't look Diane de Leeuwish!

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