Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,520
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0

    Sharp Figures, Dull Skating

    Yugoslavia/Coratia's Željka Čižmešija finished 7th in figures and 19th and 20th in the SP and FS at the 1989 worlds. A year later she was the last woman to compete in figures in the history of the sport at the 1990 worlds. Here is a thread to discuss these kind of skaters...

    "Figures specialists" seem more likely to have been Europeans, from the communist East, and/or tall Germanic ladies. Why was that? Why didn't Canada or the USA produce as many athletes who dropped dramatically after figures? Was David Santee a figures specialist of sorts? I don't know much about his career but he placed higher in figures at several world championships.

    Below are some figures "specialists." Whether you love or hate their lackluster free skating, these competitors made the history of the sport interesting. They also made the scoring sometimes bizarre.

    One of the famous Soviet figures specialists, Sergei Volkov, had a reputation for tight control over his nerves. Handling nerves had to be more essential for compulsories than free skating where music and adrenalin provide more help to the mind/body. Volkov was also known to have a beautiful, silent glide. His build does not seem ideal for free skating--or at least jumping--but maybe it was an asset for figures. Certainly his work ethic was. He was observed to be a dedicated worker. As Frank Carroll still says today, training figures for competition demanded discipline.

    Sergei Volkov - 1976 Olympics - Free Skate

    Volkov's coach said in a Russian interview: "His manly power on the ice bewitched, but at the same time his skating turned out too dry and academic. To make a free spirited gesture in any program... was as impossible as for a member of the Polit Bureau to dance the kazatsky dance before the presidium at the party congress. " A stolid temperament or inhibited expression seem to be likely characteristics of the figures specialist.



    Ladies
    Kira Ivanova (URS) 1988 Olympics SP

    Claudia Leistner (West Germany) 1988 Olympics SP

    Željka Čižmešija (Yugoslavia/Croatia) 1990 Worlds SP (this isn't as bad as I thought it would be...)

    Beatrix Schuba (AUT) 1972 Olympics FS

    Dagmar Lurz (West Germany) 1980 Olympics SP

    Karin Iten (SWI) - won CF '74 worlds, placed 14th/17th in SP/FS Strange Documentary

    Isabel de Navarre (West Germany) - won CF '76 worlds, placed 7th/12th in SP/FS 1976 Olympics

    Marion Weber (East Germany) 1976 Olympics

    Sandra Cariboni (SWI)- 6th in CF '85 worlds, placed 19th/20th in SP/FS 1984 Olympics

    Men

    Jean-Christophe Simond (FRA) 1984 Olympics FS (cool music in the second half of program)

    Sergei Volkov (URS)
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 06-19-2013 at 08:18 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Some place competitive and athletic, but ultimately more like an audition than anything else.
    Posts
    7,798
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    19516
    The US has figures specialist. Let's not forget that Holly Cook, who only had reliable 3T and 3S, earned a World bronze behind Midori Ito, who had a reliable 3T, 3S, 3Lp, 3F, 3Lz, and 3A, because Holly earned 4th place in figures despite having almost no international reputation.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 06-19-2013 at 01:39 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Some place competitive and athletic, but ultimately more like an audition than anything else.
    Posts
    7,798
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    19516
    Duplicate post.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,520
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    The US has figures specialist. Let's not forget that Holly Cook, who only had reliable 3T and 3S, earned a World bronze behind Midori Ito, who had a reliable 3T, 3S, 3Lp, 3F, 3Lz, and 3A, because Holly earned 4th place in figures despite having almost no international reputation.
    I debated Holly Cook. She was not a refined skater, but she almost was a decent free skater. Unlike Claudia Leistner or Kira Ivanova, who did not skate with energy and sometimes were un-watchable, Cook had jumps that were impressive. Like the younger Vodorezova, she had speed and a mighty double axel. She also had the stereotypical American showmanship. For example, see her flashy traveling sit spin at the end of her program. Holly Cook (USA) - 1988 Skate America, Ladies' Free Skate I would put her more in the category of Jill Trenary rather than a figures specialist. She simply got lucky at 1990 worlds altogether.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 06-19-2013 at 05:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cerro Torre
    Posts
    3,496
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Why didn't Canada or the USA produce as many athletes who dropped dramatically after figures?
    Such skaters either didn't make the World and Olympic Teams or, if they did, weren't big stars. The stars, like Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton, were the ones who were strong in both figures and free skating and were usually the ones who one the national championships.

    The American skater Monty Hoyt, for example, finished sixth in Compulsory Figures at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games, twelfth in Free Skating, and tenth overall, which meant he was overshadowed by his teammates, fourteen-year-old Scotty Allen (the bronze medalist) and Thomas Litz.

    Monty Hoyt's Sports Reference biography:

    Monty Hoyt was from a wealthy Denver family, his father, Palmer, the editor and publisher of The Denver Post from 1946-70. His mother was a Denver socialite, Helen May Hoyt, and it was described that they “entertained presidents, Supreme Court justices, opera stars, advice columnists, publishing magnates.” Monty Hoyt came to national attention when he won the 1959 US Novice title. In 1961 he won the US Junior title and was supposed to attend the 1961 World Championships. But he cancelled at the last minute, saving his life when the plane carrying the US figure skating squad crashed near Brussels, killing all aboard. Hoyt went on to win the 1962 US Senior Championship, and placed third in that event in 1963-64. He competed three times at the World Championships, placing sixth in 1962, and 11th in 1963 and 1964. He later graduated from the University of Denver and earned a Marshall Scholarship to Oxford University. He became a Washington correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, worked as a judge for US figure skating events, and was a member of the Presidential Commission on Olympic sports.
    http://www.sports-reference.com/olym...ty-hoyt-1.html


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Age
    53
    Posts
    10,471
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    21476
    I'd nominate the young Todd Eldredge as a borderline case. He was good at figures and good at jumping, but not yet as strong at other aspects of freeskating. He won US novice and junior titles, world junior title, and first US senior title on the strength of the figures (and short program where applicable), placing 2nd-4th in the freeskate. It wasn't until 1991 Nationals, the first year figures were dropped, that he won a major title by actually winning the freeskate.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    181
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    423
    Michael Weiss had strong figures

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,520
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Wasn't there a special figures U.S. nationals competition held post-1990 for a few years? Who won those events?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Age
    53
    Posts
    10,471
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    21476
    There were figures-only events held at US nationals (and qualifying competitions) in 1991 through 1999.

    The full figures results are listed at the bottom of the Wikipedia pages for 1997-1999, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Un..._Championships

    The winners of every national event at all relevant levels and disciplines, going back to 1914 where applicable, are listed in the back of the directory section of the rulebook. But that's only available online on the Members Only section of the USFS website, because the majority of the document includes officials' and committee members' home addresses.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •