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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I can see why figures were such a sore point with so many skaters who didn't medal. Let's say you have six skaters and their figures competency is similiar. How you rank them makes the difference in making the podium or winning the gold, and you do have to rank them, you can't give them all the same placement. Unless someone makes an obvious mistake (Janet Lynn said she made a "fish" on a loop) or someone is so obviously superior like Schuba (her tracings were reputed to be much bigger than everyone else's and so accurate that the 3 tracings looked like one) there was a lot of opportunity for politicking without even overtly cheating. The figures competition always came first, so once the judges had given you a low ranking there, there was no way they could save you even if you had the freeskate of the century. I suspect a lot of times their rankings were based on whom they thought would have the best freeskate as well as politics.
    The politics aspect of figures most people will never understand. For example, Rosalynn Sumners was 5th in compulsory figures in 1982 US Nationals and 11th in compulsory figures in 1982 World Championships. The next year, Rosalynn was 2nd in compulsory figures in 1983 US Nationals, 1st in compulsory figures in 1983 World Championships. Did she really improve that much in one season?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerek View Post
    Did she really improve that much in one season?
    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: Uh...no.

    Which makes you wonder--was she really even better at figures than Zayak?

    Nowadays, they could take pics of the tracings with a digital camera and splash them up on TV.

  3. #23
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    Roz had a hip injury in 82. That had to have affected her in the SF.

  4. #24

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    Remember, Elaine lost about half of her foot when a baby, due to an accident.
    It affected her balance when doing certain figures:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Eqk6PoS1M

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Roz had a hip injury in 82. That had to have affected her in the SF.
    What is SF? Skating figures? Snobby female?

    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    Remember, Elaine lost about half of her foot when a baby, due to an accident.
    It affected her balance when doing certain figures:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Eqk6PoS1M
    Thanks--yes, no doubt that made figures difficult for her. Kristi had a similar problem, didn't she? Have there been any other famous skaters who had abnormalities in their feet?

  6. #26

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    I read that Kristi wore corrective shoes when she was young.
    However, that's very different from doing figures with half your foot, due to the change of edges required.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    I read that Kristi wore corrective shoes when she was young.
    However, that's very different from doing figures with half your foot, due to the change of edges required.
    Elaine's left foot was severed from heel to toe (she only had 2 toes) so the left figures were a problem for her. Landing jumps on her left foot was also a problem (toe loop, salchow). She had an insert in her skate but the severed foot definitely affected her balance. She said she chose not to emphasize it while she was skating because she didn't want people to view her as disabled and unable to compete at the highest level. She did start skating at age 3 so she had time to learn how to compensate, but she was never going to be tops at figures.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by falling_dance View Post
    I'm pretty sure that Sumners was a commentator on the 1998 Goodwill Games and the 2000 Masters of Figure Skating. I want to say that she shared the commentators' booth with Hamill and Carruthers during the 1997-1998 Grand Prix Final, but I could be wrong.
    Yeah Sumners was a commentator for about 5 years, much more than one gig. The comment she made about Kwan was at the 2002 Canadian Open. I don't remember her ever saying Kwan was phoning it in. I do recall her saying she was "wishy washy." It was a rude, unfair comment that came out of nowhere. Sumners was a shrill, catty commentator. I'm glad she's not getting work in that area anymore. Good riddance.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Elaine's left foot was severed from heel to toe (she only had 2 toes) so the left figures were a problem for her. Landing jumps on her left foot was also a problem (toe loop, salchow). She had an insert in her skate but the severed foot definitely affected her balance. She said she chose not to emphasize it while she was skating because she didn't want people to view her as disabled and unable to compete at the highest level. She did start skating at age 3 so she had time to learn how to compensate, but she was never going to be tops at figures.
    Was she left handed or right handed? I don't remember. If she was left handed (rotating clockwise), she would be landing on the left foot. She was the greatest jumper of her time, so I suspect she did not land on the left foot. Did she do only toe loop & salchow (although all jumps are landed the same way so the type of jump should not have mattered).

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    What is SF? Skating figures? Snobby female?



    Thanks--yes, no doubt that made figures difficult for her. Kristi had a similar problem, didn't she? Have there been any other famous skaters who had abnormalities in their feet?
    SF = School Figures (not sure why they were called 'School' figures)

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Was she left handed or right handed? I don't remember. If she was left handed (rotating clockwise), she would be landing on the left foot. She was the greatest jumper of her time, so I suspect she did not land on the left foot. Did she do only toe loop & salchow (although all jumps are landed the same way so the type of jump should not have mattered).
    Salchows and toe loops (also axels) take off on one foot and land on the other. Loops take off and land on the same foot. Flips and lutzes land on the same foot that you pick in on, so no, not all jumps land the same way or have the same impact on your foot, hip, etc.

    She was naturally a clockwise jumper but her first coach taught her to jump counterclockwise because of her severed foot. By jumping counter clockwise her right foot would always be considered the take-off foot. For the the loop, flip, and lutz it would also be the landing foot. For the toe loop, salchow, and axel the left foot would be the landing foot. She did all the jumps as doubles. She did toe loop, salchow, and later loop as triples.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Salchows and toe loops (also axels) take off on one foot and land on the other. Loops take off and land on the same foot. Flips and lutzes land on the same foot that you pick in on, so no, not all jumps land the same way or have the same impact on your foot, hip, etc.

    She was naturally a clockwise jumper but her first coach taught her to jump counterclockwise because of her severed foot. By jumping counter clockwise her right foot would always be considered the take-off foot. For the the loop, flip, and lutz it would also be the landing foot. For the toe loop, salchow, and axel the left foot would be the landing foot. She did all the jumps as doubles. She did toe loop, salchow, and later loop as triples.
    I know how the jumps are done - no need to explain. (I have been skating since the early 1990s, and watching since 1988, and I know how the jumps are done). They all land on the same foot (right or left)- that's all I was referring to, since you were talking about her severed left foot..... I was specifically asking about Elaine because I could not remember which way she rotated.

  13. #33

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    Back to Roslyn. I found her rather boring as a pro. Didn't watch much as eligible - just a tape of her 1984 Oly performances. She was an OK skater and there wasn't anything in particular that caught my eye. However, I liked her 'Black velvet' routine as a pro. She skated with SOI for many years and rarely missed a show. It showed her dedication. I don't have strong positive or negative feelings about her skating. Her commentating could be better, but that can be said of most US commentators.
    Last edited by Vash01; 04-13-2013 at 12:31 AM.

  14. #34

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    Never crazy about Roz's skating, especially her wild way of rotating in the air. I think she was overscored big time at the '84 Olympics.

    As a person, she struck me as bitter, negative, snarky and snotty.

    Perhaps she's matured now.
    "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"

  15. #35

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    Rosalynn came from an area (Pacific Northwest) that at the time didn't have a lot of high-level skaters or well-known or well-connected coaches. So she had to work really hard to build a reputation as a strong skater, because she didn't have the politicking advantage of coming from somewhere like Boston or Colorado Springs or being coached by someone really famous. I am not saying that the people who she competed against were bad skaters who were unfairly pushed, but just that she was at somewhat of a disadvantage in building a reputation.

    Once she got better known, she chose to remain with the coach and the rink she was at, rather than move to somewhere more visible or better-regarded, and I understand that was not well received in all parts of the US skating community. The rink she trained at was also not "the" rink to train at if you were a high-level skater in that area, so she also had to deal with skating politics in her own region as well as within the larger skating community.

    I am not recounting this to justify her coming across as bitter and snotty, because I think she does come across that way at times, but just to try to explain why she might have felt that way. Unusually for this thread, I liked her amateur skating, but I think she matured a lot as a performer as a pro skater.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  16. #36
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    Interestingly, Roz was a Jr. World Champ, 3x National Champ, Sr. World Champ and Olympic Silver Medalist.

    However, I would have to say that over the years, Elaine has had a more lasting impact on the sport and in the minds of fans: Not only being a national and world champ herself, but being revolutionary in landing multiple triples in an LP, causing a rule to be named after her (the Zayak Rule), an emotional comeback in '93 which resulted in her placing 4th at US nationals at the age of 28 w/ jump content not too far off of what the top ladies were doing (I think Tanja Szewczenko also did a 3l-2t in the SP in '94), plus, IMO, she had a more exuberant, engaging personality for fans

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerek View Post
    The politics aspect of figures most people will never understand. For example, Rosalynn Sumners was 5th in compulsory figures in 1982 US Nationals and 11th in compulsory figures in 1982 World Championships. The next year, Rosalynn was 2nd in compulsory figures in 1983 US Nationals, 1st in compulsory figures in 1983 World Championships. Did she really improve that much in one season?
    While I don't doubt that politics may have been involved from time to time when it came to figures, Roz might have actually improved that much. As someone who trained figures extensively (albeit as a roller skater), I can tell you that figures are much more nerve-wracking than free skating. And on ice it's even harder, having to create your own pattern. You have to be rock-solid steady, which is much more of a mind game than in free skating, where you can "make up" for certain deficiencies. If you're nervous in figures, the slightest bobble or botched turn can move you down several placements. Dorothy Hamill said that her legs used to shake when she skated figures. It's not impossible that Roz worked really hard on her figures and got her head together as the seasons progressed.
    "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"

  18. #38
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    Since I first knew of Rosalynn's personality through her high school classmates, it influenced my opinion of her skating. Let's just say that I would always root for her competitors....

  19. #39
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    Some of the best free skates I saw Sumners do where before she became a favorite. In 1980 and 1981 especialy. At Skate Canada 1981 she attacked the long program and di 4 triples very well. Had she done that performance in her long program at the Olympics she would have won the gold easily, and deserved to. It seems once she got on top she lost her nerve. At 82 Nationals and Worlds she had a bad injury which is why she didnt try much jump wise.

    At the 84 Olympics I dont know whether she choked or she just hoped huge artistic marks would carry her to victory even popping everything in her program, but she was mistaken. On the Fire on Ice documentary she claims she gave up in the final minute of the program which is why she popped her last 2 jumps, which makes no sense at all. She even implies it was fixed and she knew Witt was certain to win before the final free skate even began. What a crappy attitude, and she is obviously wrong as they almost gifted her the gold even with 4 or 5 mistakes.

  20. #40
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    Roz was a much better free skater then some of you are willing to give her credits for.

    Inside edge Ina-Bauer into 2A from 83 Nationals. The choreography and presentation in the last third of this LP was excellent, IMO.

    Strong split-3t towards the end of her 84 National LP and a strong final 2A right before the ending pose. I bet Roz wished she had done those in Sarejevo.

    White Christmas from World Pro. Appropriate choice of music as there was a blizzard outside the arena that night. Many people stayed home rather than brave the snow storm to come to Landover. I think Roz lost this competition to Debbie Thomas skating to Paula Abdul's "Cold Hearted Snake". Roz's artistic program should've definitely beaten Debbie's.

    Power of Love from a Pro-Am competition.

    Roz talking about her Interio Designing business. She has 3 houses! Wow. Good for her. She sounds very knowledgeable about her new career. She does look a lot older than I expected though

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