View Poll Results: Which reigning world champion was the biggest favorite to lose the Olympic gold medal

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  • Brian Orser 1988

    11 4.58%
  • Kurt Browning 1992

    49 20.42%
  • Kurt Browning 1994

    20 8.33%
  • Elvis Stojko 1998

    9 3.75%
  • Evgeni Plushenko 2002

    6 2.50%
  • Irina Slutskaya 2006

    63 26.25%
  • Michelle Kwan 2002

    82 34.17%
  • Other

    0 0%
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  1. #21
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    In 1988, Orser and Boitano were both former World champion. And in 1992, only one former World champion competed : Kurt browning.
    It probably explains why Kurt 1992 is getting more votes.

  2. #22
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    Slutskaya had dropped triple triples from her program at euros 2006 and then at the Olympics lost to Cohen in the short then in the free everything was going well until fall and double flip double toe where she lost over 10 points. So she looked strong all season against eligible people but was already going in a direction of reducing difficulty.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I am surprised how few votes there are for Orser in 88 and to a lesser extent Browning in 94. Orser in 88 was the clear favorite going in. I think hindsight and how legendary Boitano has become makes people forget that. He certainly was more favored than Kwan in 2002, Stojko in 1998, or Plushenko in 2002 by a good margin. Boitano winning wasnt a huge upset but he was the definite underdog facing reigning World Champion Orser in his home country, and having last easily to Orser their last 2 confrontations, including when he unveiled the new Boitano package at Skate Canada that season. The only time Boitano had beaten Orser that I know of in the past 5 years or so was Worlds 86 when Orser had a very bad LP. Orser in 88 should have more votes than just 5 IMO.

    Browning in 94 has way fewer votes than Browning in 92, yet Browning in 94 was healthy and much more artistically developed than the Browning of 92 who had to outjump his competitors to win, and he was facing essentialy the exact same field minus a few skaters and plus an old Boitano who certainly was not favored more than Browning.
    One difference was in '94, Petrenko was on a comeback after not competing in '93, while in 1992 he hadn't taken a break from competition.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    One difference was in '94, Petrenko was on a comeback after not competing in '93, while in 1992 he hadn't taken a break from competition.
    Very true and wouldnt that theoretically make Browning more of a favorite?

  5. #25

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    I think many considered Kwan to be the favorite because for the previous two seasons, she had been peaking just at the right time for Worlds, so maybe she would have done the same in 2002 for the Olympics. She lost head-to-head competitions to Slutskaya, but that was true in 2001 too and many argued that Kwan should have won the GPF that season over Slutskaya. Let's not forget that there were only two head-to-heads before Slutskaya and Kwan faced each other at the season's biggest event, so it's not as if there were a whole slew of competitions that Slutskaya kept beating Kwan in (three during the 2001-2002 season since there were the Goodwill Games that Hughes did not compete in and Suguri had beaten Cohen in for similar skates). Also, Slutskaya hadn't really skated a totally clean routine or at least one up to her level consistently at that point. Plus, she somehow lost to Maria Butryskaya at Euros prior to the Olympics.

    There were definitely warning signs that season. Kwan somehow couldn't prepare a new SP, went coachless (I'm not saying she shouldn't have left Frank, but she still should have used a coach, and it probably would've been better for her to leave Frank earlier if she was going to do so), and her jumps were smaller than usual. However, she was in pretty excellent shape by SLC Flip problems aside. She was skating with more speed, and her spins in terms of speed and length were probably looking better than they ever had (aside from the 2005 season where they were COPed and better stretched). I also remember reading positive practice reports and how consistent her jumps were. Even with their SLC mistakes, Irina and Kwan still skated pretty well, just not as well as Hughes much less as well as the standard Irina and Michelle had set. They both landed about five triples anyway.

    Also, I remember there was this perception (rightly or wrongly) that if Irina and Kwan skated comparably well, that they'd give Kwan the elusive Olympic gold medal and Irina the, at the time, elusive World title. I'm not sure where that came from, but it seemed right at the time.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 03-27-2013 at 05:14 AM.

  6. #26

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    I believe that had Kwan not gone to the 2002 Olympics without a coach she would have won the gold. Nobody could have predicted though that Irina would choke; she had been solid that season (and even more so in 2006). Irina was a much bigger favorite for the OGM in 2006 than Kwan was in 2002 (but Kwan was perhaps the biggest favorite among ladies, going into the 1998 Olys).
    Last edited by Vash01; 03-28-2013 at 03:54 AM.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by merrywidow View Post
    I voted for Orser. Sandra Bezic's choreography was the difference IMO in turning Boitano into an Olympic gold medalist. It was such a close competition. A true heartbreak for Orser.
    You nailed it. From some of Boitano's comments after the 88 Olys, it sounded like Orser was a huge favorite going into the games because -1)orser's superior artistry, 2)Oly in Canada. The judges were ready to give him the OGM even with mistakes, but Bezic & Boitano shocked everyone with a choreographical masterpiece, which leveled the field. Then it came down to Boitano's technical perfection vs. Orser's small miscues (flawed landing of the 3f and a 2A instead of 3A at the end). Boitano won the tie breaker on the tech marks (yes, you read it right).

  8. #28
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    Michelle Kwan is leading in this poll? It only means one thing - there are many Kwan fans on this board.

    But no, Michelle was only pumped up by Americans in 2002 Olympics. Her best chance was in 1998, not 2002. Michelle was lucky to stay on the podium in 2002.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyre View Post
    Michelle Kwan is leading in this poll? It only means one thing - there are many Kwan fans on this board.

    But no, Michelle was only pumped up by Americans in 2002 Olympics. Her best chance was in 1998, not 2002. Michelle was lucky to stay on the podium in 2002.
    Oh yeah, lucky to be on the podium when she hadn't placed lower than second at that point in her career for the past 7 seasons outside of Skate Canada and being the reigning World Champion two years running before SLC. Oh and placing first in the SP and receiving a majority of second place ordinals in the LP with no 4th place vote.

    Say what you want, but you can't deny that Kwan was a favorite going into SLC even if she shared that title with Irina. IMO, those two were the biggest favorites together because nobody could have conceived of the idea that one of them wouldn't be on that top step...Skate Canada notwithstanding.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 03-27-2013 at 10:05 PM.

  10. #30
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    I agree Kwan was a favorite going into the 2002 Olympics, arguably the slight favorite, but she wasnt even close to the biggest favorite for gold on this list. In fact of the options on the list I would put her 2nd last ahead of only Plushenko in 2002 (who IMO was not the favorite at all). Most FSUers dont even read polls with Kwan on it though, they just see the name and vote automatically, lol!

  11. #31

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    Well, you also have to consider that 2002 was coming off of the initial internet message board boom, so obviously more people will remember the huge attention Kwan received going into SLC.

    Not many would remember Browning, Orser, or Stoijko. It's not as if Irina in 2006 is far behind in the poll.

  12. #32
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    People also probably think of what a legend Boitano became and dont think Orser was favored for the 88 gold at all, but in reality he clearly was. He had won the 87 Worlds over Boitano easily, beaten Boitano at Skate Canada that season easily even with Boitano's already improved artistry, won the SP at those Games easily, and his only loss to Boitano that quadrennial was the 86 Worlds where he had a nightmarish LP.

  13. #33
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    I think of all of them the one where it's like WHY is Browning, more in '92 than '94, but either way it's still kind of mindboggling he never won a OGM. I think in 2002, it was more an even split, either Irina or Michelle was going to win (and for neither to do it was, while not TOTALLY out of the blue, still unexpected.)

  14. #34
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    Michelle could compete at ease in any competitions other than Olympics. Her chances of not being super nervous at Olympics was second to none. When she dumped Frank Carroll so close to the Olympics, I knew at that point that she had just lost the chance. I thought, "Are you seriously thinking that you could win the Olympics without your coach?!" But she managed to stay up in SP. That was a little surprised to me. However, If I remembered correctly, her SP was visibly tight. Thanks to the reputational judging. I never thought Sarah Hughes could win. But I remembered seeing Hughes's magazine cover photo, and Hughes was hailed as Olympic hopeful. I thought it was Irina's to lose.
    Last edited by Eyre; 03-28-2013 at 04:15 AM.

  15. #35

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    I actually thought Kwan seemed pretty calm and had a subdued fire in the SP in SLC (fist pumps during a spin, reacting to flip landing, etc.). She got a row of 5.9s in presentation for a reason. If anyone looked tight in the SP, it was Irina even though she executed most of her elements well (I remember Irina's spirals were looking better than usual while Kwan's spins were better than usual...love that they both worked on what the other was strong on).

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Very true and wouldnt that theoretically make Browning more of a favorite?
    Yeah, I did vote for Browning in '94, just pointing out another detail.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I actually thought Kwan seemed pretty calm and had a subdued fire in the SP in SLC (fist pumps during a spin, reacting to flip landing, etc.). She got a row of 5.9s in presentation for a reason. If anyone looked tight in the SP, it was Irina even though she executed most of her elements well (I remember Irina's spirals were looking better than usual while Kwan's spins were better than usual...love that they both worked on what the other was strong on).
    I thought SLC was Irina's poorest short program of the year. She was a bit cautious, had a noticeable pause between her footwork steps and the triple flip, and her last spin was unusually weak. It was telling she didnt get any 5.9s for required elements (although still had the highest elements score) which was unheard of for her in a SP. Had she done her Worlds or GP final SP she would have won the short easily, especialy with Kwan's triple flip. Butyrskaya also skated a very slow and unusually weak SP for her standards, which pretty much killed her chances for any color medal as she never rises in the LP, only fights to hang on. I remember there being alot of controversy at the time of the Russians being held down and the Americans protected by home ice, but I agreed with the placings except for Hughes being way too high, and Suguri way too low (yes I am defending Fumie Suguri, drop down in amazement).
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 03-28-2013 at 05:44 AM.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    Yeah, I did vote for Browning in '94, just pointing out another detail.
    The reason browning was considered the huge favorite in 1992 was because of the previous competitions where Petrenko blew any real shot at winning because of the stamina issues he had in lp's! The lp in 1992 was not without some problems but It was clearly superior to almost anything before in the past 4 years. So that is why si and others were predicting him to win again and not browning. At least in 1994 browning had someone who competing who showed they could win something big.

  19. #39
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    are we talking of the biggest choke ? Michelle Kwan
    If we talk about Fluke Mistakes , Irina Slutskaya

  20. #40

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    But Kwan and Slutskaya made very similar mistakes in their long programs.

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