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  1. #1
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    Had Kwan won 98 Olympics and retired would U.S womens demise have been alot sooner

    The Kwan thread where some posters mentioned had she won the 98 Olympics she probably would have retired (I am not at all sure of that myself, but it seems the general consensus of most) got me thinking, as I actually think the U.S women might have seen a major collapse if that happened. Some would say in that case Michelle would have been the one to retire, and Tara would have been the one to go on many more years. I dont see that at all. People at the time said Tara just took her gold medal and ran, but it turns out her hips were already badly damaged, likely from practicing all those excessive number of triple loops and triple loop combos at such a young age. I dont see anyway she would have lasted as an amateur more than another year or two and she would have already been a dimished force at that. My guess for her would be if she won silver in Nagano, is she would have gone to the 98 Worlds and won gold or silver. She would have already lost her triple-triples in 99 but won silver at Nationals behind Kwan and silver at Worlds behind Butyrskaya. After that she would have seen a sharper drop off, unable to even do all her standard triples anymore, and probably gone pro. She might have even still gone pro right after the 98 season given her phsyical state which little was known about at the time, and which she didnt really open up to people about at the time, hence the unfair labelling she was taking her medal and running from the sport at 15, when as it turns out there was alot more to it than people knew.

    Hypothetically if both Kwan and Lipinski were gone though by the middle of the quad the Russian women probably would have been quite dominant, and not just Slutskaya and Butyrskaya, but people like Volchkova and Sokolova would have been more heavily politiked for. I am not sure if someone like Hughes would rise to the top at all without some like Kwan to chase, and with the U.S women slipping off the podium at some point. I dont see Hughes coming up and passing people like Butyrskaya and Volchkova as easily as she did at the 2001 Worlds (especialy as both skated very well there) if the Russian women were in control already at that point, and the U.S no longer has a strong presence like Kwan or Lipinski leading the way. Lets face it, Hughes at the best of times was a very flawed skater, and without the U.S in the forefront anymore to begin with, it would be quite easy to have kept her down in the mid pack. Cohen wouldnt become a real force until the 2002-2003 season as it was, but if the U.S women went through a period they were struggling to even keep 3 spots like now, I am not even sure what would have become of her.

    Would the U.S demise in womens skating we saw from 2007-2012 have happened even faster if Kwan had won the Nagano Olympic Gold and if (which form your own opinion about) she had gone pro or retired with it.

  2. #2
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    POLL: Quick, quick someone ...


    Who can name all of the ridiculous polls JJ has come up with so a poll can be created to vote on the most ridiculous and superfluous one of all!? It's bound to be one involving the ever-ubiquitous MK.


    I'm sure the media would have wanted MK to retire if she'd won, and hounded her about retiring, etc. But the fact remains, what happened is history and we can't change anything excepting perhaps our own individual present (which in turn affects both our future and our past).

  3. #3

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    No, Maria was still hungry and would have won 1999 Worlds.

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    No, I think Sarah and Sasha's results would have been relatively the same if Michelle had retired. Even if the US had only had two spots, Michelle wouldn't have been there to fill either of them, so they likely would have gone to Worlds all the times they actually did. I don't think Sarah's results were a result of politicking for her or against the Russian women - they seemed like lucky flukes to me sometimes, plus her underrotations weren't dinged that much in the "old" system. Actually, there's a small chance Sasha would have been better if she was not skating in Michelle's shadow. I think Sasha and Sarah would still have been motivated to improve because they would have been pushing each other.

    As for Tara, I agree that she would have retired after '98 or '99 because of the hip problems.

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    I dont think Hughes was heavily politiked for (and probably would have been more if anything if Kwan was gone and she was U.S #1). However I definitely think she got a skating while American bonus since because of Kwan (and to a lesser degree up and coming consistent Hughes) the U.S were still seen as so strong, and you thought of their tradition, their leadership, etc.....Had the U.S not even medalled at the 2000 (possibly even 99 as well) Worlds this perception would not have been the same. Of course she also had things going for her, he was a super consistent skater who regularly rotated 6 or 7 triples that under 6.0 standards were regarded as clean (though they really werent), and this contrasted heavily to the wild inconsistencies of most of the Russian and European contenders aside from Slutskaya; and also some nice moves like her layback and spirals. However that in conjuction with the she is an American perception at a time the U.S were still seen as super strong and dominant because Kwan had stayed in, was what led to her gaining favor with the judges and rising to the top. Slutskaya was already seen as very strong and a potential winner of any major event even with Kwan, but without her Butyrskaya would have been established as the dominant skater along with Slutskaya and been seen as stronger too, and other Europeans like Malinina, Gusmeroli, who could have medalled at the 99 or 2000 Worlds would have been seen as stronger than they were too. I dont see with the #1 American being a girl with a bad flutz, high mule kick, small jumps, UR 3-3s, and bad posture, Hughes ever getting to the podium at the well skated 2001 Worlds, or rising to the top 3 with the U.S having been less of a factor for a couple years already. JMO.

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    Yeah I believe the presence of Kwan was good for all Americans. Kept the machine going in all events. Like with no russia d/s and no France d/s In the 2009 gp all European power in ice dance couldn't be concentrated and there was no teams to beat vm or dw and right before he Olympics all good demostrstions of ice dance were north American and they have not lost control and no team can compete with vm or dw and get scores close to them. Kwan was like that. She was a total talent and kept the American machine going in ladies and I totally agree that the Russians would have totally dominated and only Kwan could beat them sometimes at the pre 2002 Olympics worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    ...Actually, there's a small chance Sasha would have been better if she was not skating in Michelle's shadow...
    Hmmm, that's often suggested, but I believe the chance is/ was miniscule because Sasha never proved she could focus consistently throughout two competitive programs in big events that mattered with or without Kwan's presence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Hmmm, that's often suggested, but I believe the chance is/ was miniscule because Sasha never proved she could focus consistently throughout two competitive programs in big events that mattered with or without Kwan's presence.
    Exactly. Kwan didnt matter at the 2004 Worlds, 2005 Worlds, 2006 Olympics, or 2006 Worlds to Sasha winning or not, as Kwan present or not turned out to never be in contention to win any of those events. Yet did Sasha win the gold medal at any of them. No. She had a clear chance to win all too except possibly the 2005 Worlds (and no coincidence that is the only one Sasha came somewhat close to a clean competition, showing the bigger the opportunity the harder she will likely fall).

    The real question is if Sasha came up without Kwan and her rivalry with her to motivate her, and without the U.S at the forefront already when she emerged, would she have even had the incentive, motivation and opportunity to do as well as she actually did. Sasha herself admits she could be very lazy after all. Either way I dont see her shining in a bigger way without Kwan, although I understand how some would think that, as she had countless opportunities with or without Kwan in the 03-06 quad (even some in 2002) and blew them all away. I think without Kwan to chase and her rivalry with Kwan, and having too easy a time being U.S number 1 and winning all those Nationals despite choking at everyone from 03-05 and falling on her tush and other stumbles at each (which against Kwan meant 2nd place and need to work and focus harder Sasha) would have been a detriment to her international success if anything.

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    I have not read the other posts, but I would say NO. The US ladies were very strong at that time. Sasha, Sarah and other young ladies would have carried the baton very well. The demise really started after the 2006 Olympics, so 1998 was way too early to be talking of the demise (or even a slow down) of US ladies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I have not read the other posts, but I would say NO. The US ladies were very strong at that time. Sasha, Sarah and other young ladies would have carried the baton very well. The demise really started after the 2006 Olympics, so 1998 was way too early to be talking of the demise (or even a slow down) of US ladies.
    I agree.
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

  11. #11

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    God the thread title sounds like someone died.

    There has been no demise about US ladies skating. Maybe not as strong but no demise.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    God the thread title sounds like someone died.

    There has been no demise about US ladies skating. Maybe not as strong but no demise.
    I was just thinking the same thing!
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I have not read the other posts, but I would say NO. The US ladies were very strong at that time. Sasha, Sarah and other young ladies would have carried the baton very well. The demise really started after the 2006 Olympics, so 1998 was way too early to be talking of the demise (or even a slow down) of US ladies.
    That's a great point, since the US did have Kimmie Meissner as World champion (even though that was a bit flukish), and then things started to go way downhill from there.

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