View Poll Results: How would Nicole Bobek's '98 US Nats programs have placed at Nagano?

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  • Bronze

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  1. #1

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    How would Bobek's '98 US programs have fared at '98 Olympics?

    There was much talk of an American sweep at the 1998 Olympics. Of course, Nicole Bobek's performances were disastrous and she finished in 17th place.

    Had she skated her US Nats performances in Nagano, how would she have placed?

    SP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tyZWhzrd3k

    LP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FblGVzjzxO0
    "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"

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    There was much talk of an American sweep at the 1998 Olympics. Of course, Nicole Bobek's performances were disastrous and she finished in 17th place.

    Had she skated her US Nats performances in Nagano, how would she have placed?

    SP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tyZWhzrd3k

    LP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FblGVzjzxO0
    Judges loved Bobek. I could see her 4/3 for bronze overall. I'm sure no one else will agree with me tho.

  3. #3
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    I do believe Nicole could have won bronze if she had replicated her Nationals performances at the Olympics. Comparing Chen Lu's Olympic programs filled with 4 under-rotated triples (the Lutz in the SP, the flip, the Lutz, and the toe loop in the LP) to Bobek's National programs (no under-rotated triples in either program and her only mistake being turning a 3loop to a 2loop in the LP), I believe the nod goes to Nicole. Obviously, the Olympic judges didn't give a care in the world to flutzing since Lipinski became Champion. Bobek's jumps were also bigger and her spinning ability was much better than Chen Lu's and Nicole definitely could compete with Lulu on an artistic level as well. If Bobek could have held it together, she could have been a World Champ in '95 and an Olympic medalist in '98.

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    Bronze. As high as second in the short and a clear third in the free.

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    Definitely third. I think she would have been 4th in the short. Butyrskaya's short was solid - she had no flutzing and did a harder combo and solo jump. But Bobek is a clear 3rd in the long. Butyrskaya and Chen skated fine but not convincingly, and Slutskaya's maturity just wasn't there yet.

  6. #6

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    Nicole would have deserved the bronze medal. The only way I could see it not happening is if the judges were just completely hell bent on making sure that the U.S. ladies didn't sweep the medals. The same way I think the judges were hell bent on making sure North American teams didn't sweep dance in Vancouver.
    -Brian
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    I loved Bobek's skating because she was like a throwback to the supermodel era featuring Witt, Trenary, Conway, Thomas and Kadavy.

    When skating became gymnastics on ice, suddenly the top skaters were barely 5 feet tall and built like 10 year old girls.

    I would have given Nicole silver.

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    Bronze. At her best, Nicole could't have beaten what Lipinski and Kwan put out there that night. But, if she skated as she did at Nationals, definitely bronze. There was a legitimate reason for those Campbell soup ads!

    O-

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    I would say Bronze now because of the real predictions of a total US ladies sweep! The sweep potential was absolutely there! And the nationals skates were excellent! Even with the triple bobeks.

  10. #10

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    There were too many skaters from other countries who were basically as good as Nicole. Judges would have had to see a LOT from her to place her over Maria B. in the SP and Chen Lu. in the FP. IIRC, she didn't have a triple jump in combination at 98 Nationals FP. I don't think split leap into 3t counted for purposes of the Zayak rule.
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    I think 5th or 6th really. Technically they werent that strong. Short program her combination was a big flutz-double toe, and only a solo triple toe. Long only 1 triple lutz, no triple loop, 5 triples, no triple-double. I also dont think the judges were that enthused of the idea of a U.S sweep. She might have changed the ordinals to put Butyrskaya or Slutskaya with the bronze. Then again I never thought Chen could medal in Nagano but with by far her best performance in years and tons of mistakes from Butyrskaya and Slutskaya she was able to medal so who knows.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    There were too many skaters from other countries who were basically as good as Nicole. Judges would have had to see a LOT from her to place her over Maria B. in the SP and Chen Lu. in the FP. IIRC, she didn't have a triple jump in combination at 98 Nationals FP. I don't think split leap into 3t counted for purposes of the Zayak rule.
    True, she would have only been credited with 4 triples with her Nationals performances, no triple combination which was required and could have incurred a deduction (although Maria also had none and didnt seem to be deducted, it was all the two foot landings and pops and shaky landings and scared and nervy looking performance that hurt her). Judges also might have counted her huge triple flutz as a flip giving her 2 triple flips not in combination, and one of those would be discounted too. I agree there were too many foreign skaters who were as good as Nicole, and the judges would not have had a U.S sweep unless all 3 were head and shoulders above the others, and Nicole was not.

  13. #13
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    Split jumps into triples absolutely qualified as fulfilling the Zayak rule under 6.0. Nicole's final toe did and would have counted at the Olympics, and she would almost definitely have won bronze in Nagano with those performances. Chen's free, while inspiring, didn't receive that strong of marks, especially for technical merit. Nicole's skate would have had no problem besting that set, and her presentation was worthy of a string of 5.8s.

    The flutz was a non-factor. It wasn't held against her in 1995 and it wouldn't have been held against her in 1998. Lipinski's 5.9s for technical merit, especially in short programs, proved time and time again that the judges weren't taking that flaw seriously yet and probably didn't until IJS.

    Regardless, was 0% chance of them counting it as a flip. Even under IJS, the benefit goes to the skater and it was clear that she was intending on completing a lutz jump based on the entry and the completely different technique (3 turn) into her actual flip later.

    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I loved Bobek's skating because she was like a throwback to the supermodel era featuring Witt, Trenary, Conway, Thomas and Kadavy.

    When skating became gymnastics on ice, suddenly the top skaters were barely 5 feet tall and built like 10 year old girls.

    I would have given Nicole silver.
    You loved her skating because she looked like a supermodel? Yes, screw her triple lutz-triple toe, huge jumps, extension... everyone knows the most important aspect of this sport is the ladies' bodies. More disturbing is that anyone would be looking at, let alone caring about and judging, how these athletes are "built," since it's fairly obvious what the '10 year old' comment refers to and a large portion of girls in this sport are under 18.
    Last edited by JJS5056; 05-05-2013 at 02:27 AM.

  14. #14

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    No one can use Nicole's flutz as a way to say she wouldn't have medaled. That is just silly. Lipinski had an insane flutz and Kwan's wasn't textbook, either. A flutz was of no concern to the judges at the time. Clearly.
    -Brian
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    No one can use Nicole's flutz as a way to say she wouldn't have medaled. That is just silly. Lipinski had an insane flutz and Kwan's wasn't textbook, either. A flutz was of no concern to the judges at the time. Clearly.
    This. I think the only top rated lady in Nagano who had a true lutz was Maria B.
    Last edited by skateboy; 05-05-2013 at 06:12 AM.
    "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"

  16. #16

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    Definitely. Fourth behind Butyrskaya in the SP though. Both of Maria's jump passes were more difficult and executed perfectly.

    5 triple LP from Nicole definitely destroys what Chen, Butyrskaya, and Slutskaya put out there. I don't think it would even be particularly close in terms of ordinals.

    If Maria skates her NHK, GPF, or Euros LP, she beats Bobek though. Too many evil Euro judges on the panel. I think she needed one triple to beat Maria, I really think the bronze was hers to lose, and unfortunately, she did.

    Slightly off topic, does anyone know why Bobek turned pro in 98-99 after competing on the GP? She had respectable results even if the skating wasn't (but no one skated well that autumn). It seems kind of random she would turn pro before even trying for Worlds. Her Mask of Zorro SP is soooo freaking good...the reprise of Evita in the LP was less successful, though.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    This. I think the only top rated lady in Nagano who had a true lutz was Maria B.
    Didn't Lu Chen have a true Lutz? Her SP on Youtube has a slo-mo replay of it and it looks like it takes off from a true outside edge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxER4...ailpage#t=252s

    I voted 4th just because I don't know what the judges would have done. It was a 3-way split between Bute, Slute, and Chen, so that makes it seem like there was no real consensus on who should have gotten bronze. That said, I'm not entirely convinced the judges wouldn't have been inclined to justify giving Bobek 4th or 5th place votes overall and propping up Chen, Bute, or Slute for personal reasons. I mean I know Chen underrotated a lot of her jumps and her spins were weaker, but I think Chen would still win on the presentation mark overall (due to the emotion, interpretation, and construction), while I think Slute and Bute were appreciated for other reasons as well. I found Bobek's LP to be forgettable, though her performance itself was nice (although that was more due to her performing it more or less cleanly rather than her actual presentation). Bobek may have won the bronze due to the ordinal splitting, but I'm not convinced it's a slam dunk the way other posters believe.

    I think the SP rankings would have been:
    1. Kwan
    2. Lipinski
    3. Butyrskaya
    4. Bobek
    5. Chen
    6. Slutskaya (though I think Bonaly should have been ahead).

    Although, I can see Bobek's much later skating order compared to Bute giving her advantage if she coupled that with a clean and inspired performance.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 05-05-2013 at 07:19 AM.

  18. #18
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    double post

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alchemy void View Post
    Slightly off topic, does anyone know why Bobek turned pro in 98-99 after competing on the GP? She had respectable results even if the skating wasn't (but no one skated well that autumn). It seems kind of random she would turn pro before even trying for Worlds. Her Mask of Zorro SP is soooo freaking good...the reprise of Evita in the LP was less successful, though.
    She planned to skate at 1999 nationals but health issues, endometriosis and an ovarian cyst, forced her to withdraw. Her training never really got back on track afterward and she finally turned pro after being denied a bye to 2000 nationals. It's a shame about her missing 1999 nationals. She was getting better and better as the season progressed. I don't think she had a shot at beating Kwan in the U.S. but she might have medaled at 1999 worlds. Had she not been injured, Hughes would not have made the 1999 world team, wouldn't have been eligible for the 2000 worlds and wouldn't have been a factor in Salt Lake City. One can dream at least.

  20. #20

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    double post
    "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"

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