View Poll Results: Pick the THREE best USA ladies rivalries....

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  • Tenley Albright vs Carol Heiss

    28 25.69%
  • Roslynn Sumners vs Elaine Zayak

    14 12.84%
  • Caryn Kadavy vs Jill Trenary

    7 6.42%
  • Jill Trenary vs Kristi Yamaguchi

    1 0.92%
  • Yamaguchi vs Tonya Harding

    17 15.60%
  • Tonya vs Nancy

    29 26.61%
  • Michelle Kwan vs Nicole Bobek

    2 1.83%
  • Kwan vs Tara Lipinski

    59 54.13%
  • Kwan vs Sasha Cohen

    21 19.27%
  • Cohen vs the Ice

    30 27.52%
  • Caroline Zhang vs Mirai Nagasu vs Rachael Flatt

    6 5.50%
  • Ashley Wagner vs Gracie Gold

    7 6.42%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1

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    Best USA Ladies Rivalry

    Pick the THREE best USA ladies rivalries....

    Tenley Albright vs Carol Heiss
    Roslynn Sumners vs Elaine Zayak
    Caryn Kadavy vs Jill Trenary
    Jill Trenary vs Kristi Yamaguchi
    Yamaguchi vs Tonya Harding
    Tonya vs Nancy
    Michelle Kwan vs Nicole Bobek
    Kwan vs Tara Lipinski
    Kwan vs Sasha Cohen
    Cohen vs the Ice
    Caroline Zhang vs Mirai Nagasu vs Rachael Flatt
    Ashley Wagner vs Gracie Gold
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 06-24-2013 at 12:01 AM.

  2. #2

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    Ugh... I made an error. Dearest admins: Can you please change one of the "Cohen vs the Ice" poll options to "Caroline Zhang vs Mirai Nagasu vs Rachael Flatt"?

  3. #3
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    1. Albright v. Heiss finishing 1-2 at Cortina '56, then swapping places at '56 Worlds on a 13-14 ordinal placement was probably hot stuff and indicative of tough competition. I also think Heiss was the first woman to do a 2x?

    2. Kwan v. Lipinski was a good rivalry: Kwan at her peak capable of being beaten by a tiny sequined machine doing a heretofore unheard of 3l-3l

    3. Wagner v. Gold is a book needing to be written, but Wagner's scrappy confidence vs. probably America's best jumper promises to be a good rivalry

    I think the rest fall short - Zayak was never going to beat Sumners once the Zayak rule was put in place even if I preferred Elaine. Trenary was never going to beat Yamaguchi once figures were eliminated. Harding was never going to beat Yamaguchi consistently due to her complete lack of work ethic. Sasha would not beat Michelle until she skated clean at Nationals, although International judges seemed to break with that idea

  4. #4

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    I liked Zhang vs Nagasu vs Flatt for sentimental reasons.

    For a brief moment it seemed that the USA ladies' performance at 2007 worlds was an aberration. A brighter future was on the horizon with not two but three American ladies contending for junior world champion, each of whom had unique strengths and ostensible potential to win senior world medals (with Wagner as an attractive, age-eligible spare). It was possible they would push each other for years down the road. As it turned out, Flatt pushed herself (or Tom Z pushed her) and the other two underachieved. I hold out a tiny, modest hope for these three. Rachael is done, but if she came back to join Nagasu and Zhang next season, I would enjoy seeing how the three--now women--come out in a final battle. There is a third spot for the taking.

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    I think Michelle vs. Tara was the best US Ladies rivalry. Without a doubt the top 2 skaters in the World during that one to two year period. The "Cohen vs. the ice" option cracks me up (even as a Sasha fan). The ice is what stopped her from winning both World and Olympic gold sadly.

  6. #6

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    I had meant to vote for Michelle vs. Tara but mistakenly clicked on Michelle vs. Sasha.

    ETA: It's too early to say whether Wagner-Gold is a rivalry. They have just competed against each other for one season.
    Last edited by Vash01; 06-24-2013 at 02:20 AM.

  7. #7
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    I think the best were Albright vs Heiss, Kwan vs Lipinski, and Yamaguchi vs Harding. The last one had potential to be one of the best since both were great skaters in different ways, but Harding let it slip away too many times.

    Kwan vs Cohen had potential too and she did beat Kwan at 2 worlds, but it was mostly after Kwans real prime.
    Last edited by Lnt175; 06-24-2013 at 02:16 AM.

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    Sumners vs Zayak had alot of bad blood, and that made it appealing in a way, along with the style contrast. Really was only a rivalry in 1982 though. Before that Sumners was no threat to Zayak, and after that Zayak was no threat to Sumners.

    Albright vs Heiss would have been an amazing rivalry had Albright continued after the 56 Worlds. It was a great rivalry in 55-56.

    Yamaguchi vs Harding was a real rivalry in 89-91 but fizzled out thereafter, as did Tonya's career.

    Kwan vs Cohen was an overhyped rivalry since Sasha wasnt up to the task and beat herself before Michelle even had a chance to do so most of the time. Sasha didnt start beating Michelle until she went downhill with injuries and was past her prime.

    Trenary vs Yamaguchi was a good freeskating rivalry when Kristi was not near her prime level of skating yet, but due to figures Trenary was always certain to come out ahead.

    Trenary vs Kadavy was only a meaningful rivalry in Carlo Fassi's rink. Both were a bit player in the big picture of things.

    Kwan vs Lipinski and Cohen vs the Ice are the clear winners.

  9. #9

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    IMO Kwan vs. Cohen was a real rivalry because Cohen always had the potential to beat Kwan, with her superior spins, flexibility, if she landed her jumps. That was the big if but the possibility was always there for her to beat Kwan.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    I think the rest fall short - Zayak was never going to beat Sumners once the Zayak rule was put in place even if I preferred Elaine. Trenary was never going to beat Yamaguchi once figures were eliminated. Harding was never going to beat Yamaguchi consistently due to her complete lack of work ethic. Sasha would not beat Michelle until she skated clean at Nationals, although International judges seemed to break with that idea
    This is only partially true, and IMO only applicable to 1-3 events of their 4 seasons of competitive rivalry. Those events were the 1992 Nationals, Olympics and Worlds, and I'm not sure if any or all were the result of a work ethic issue or injury/illness. Even so, I think she was still competitive with Yamaguchi in Albertville, but made some poor choices- arriving late and throwing the triple axel in the SP. A clean 3z SP would've had her 2nd behind Kristi, which might have given her the motivation needed to complete just a couple more triples in her free skate. Had one of those 2 been the triple axel, I think she may have won or at least stolen a few ordinals given Kristi's lackluster performance.

    Anyway, reality is Harding should've beaten Yamaguchi in 1989 at Nationals and gone to Worlds in her place (if not for politics), and joined her on the 1990 World team where she would've - at worst - beaten her to a bronze medal (if not for illness), to add to their 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 rivalries where Tonya won Nationals and Skate America to Kristi's World (x2), Olympic and National victories.

    All in all, a much closer rivalry than the results show - one that could've been much more exciting and pushed each further had luck been on Tonya's side toward the beginning, and had she not given up once the tide had finally turned.

  11. #11

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    If Tonya had made the world team couple years earlier than she did, it would have been a great three way rivalry between her, Kristi and Midori.

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    Linda Fratianne and Lisa-Marie Allen at Nationals. Lisa finished 2nd to Fratianne 3 years in a row. She actually won the SP and LP over Fratianne at the 80 Nationals but didn't win the overall title due to poor figures. Fratianne's 80 Nationals LP was quite unfortunate.

    I don't think Yamaguchi and Harding were really in direct contention, eventhough Harding beat Kristi at 91 Nationals. Harding obviously felt more threatened by Kerrigan in 94 than by Kristi in 92. (Fortunately for Kristi !)

    Wagner and Gold had only one competition where they were both vying for the same title, so it's too early to rate their rivalry. I bet Ashley will retire after next year while Gold tries to continue to 2018, so there won't be too much of a rivalry between them in the future either.

  13. #13
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    Harding seems quite delusional since she was actually a real contender, even gold contender, in 92 yet stopped training and shows up at the Games jet lagged. Then in 94 when she had no hope of an Olympic medal as Kerrigan, Baiul, Bonaly, Sato, Chen, even Chouinard were all clearly above her in the World pecking order by then (ironically she was much less a contender in the much weaker 94 field than she had been in the stronger 92 field, but that is what happens when you go into a 2 year slump) she chooses to club someone, as if that would make her a real threat all of a sudden. I have no idea what went on in that girls mind sometimes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    IMO Kwan vs. Cohen was a real rivalry because Cohen always had the potential to beat Kwan, with her superior spins, flexibility, if she landed her jumps. That was the big if but the possibility was always there for her to beat Kwan.
    I see your point. However everyone should have already known by 2004, a good 2 or 3 years into Cohen's year of contention, the girl couldnt buy a clean LP to save her life, so could only beat other top skaters if they also failed to skate cleanly. Heck as I mentioned in another threat Cohen's only wins over Irina Slutskaya (I know she isnt part of this thread but just to give a barometer) were events Irina landed 4 clean triples or less.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Harding seems quite delusional since she was actually a real contender, even gold contender, in 92 yet stopped training and shows up at the Games jet lagged. Then in 94 when she had no hope of an Olympic medal as Kerrigan, Baiul, Bonaly, Sato, Chen, even Chouinard were all clearly above her in the World pecking order by then (ironically she was much less a contender in the much weaker 94 field than she had been in the stronger 92 field, but that is what happens when you go into a 2 year slump) she chooses to club someone, as if that would make her a real threat all of a sudden. I have no idea what went on in that girls mind sometimes.
    Well, I'll preface this by essentially repeating your last sentence: I have no idea what goes on in the mind of someone who would think of orchestrating, allowing and/or covering up such a horrible act, but I think that anyone who thinks the attack happened because Harding thought Nancy was her only direct competition for Olympic gold, whereas she didn't feel threatened or in contention for 1992 is definitely not looking at the big picture.

    1) There is the chance that the attack was planned only by Gilooly and company; people with little knowledge of the skating World and without any real sense of Harding's ranking at that point. They likely based the attack on the obvious facts: there were 2 spots for the Olympics (thus, two spots for the chance at the media attention, marketing opportunities and - ultimately - money) and Harding was dumped to 4th at the most recent Nationals. Kerrigan was a lock, leaving Harding in competition with 2-3 inconsistent, inxperienced skaters. With Kerrigan gone, Harding's chances of being 1 of those 2 skaters went up considerably.
    2) If Harding had some involvement, it isn't hard to understand that she was more vulnerable emotionally in 1994 than 1992. In 1992, she was winning competitions within months of the Games and in top competition shape. At that point, her being in contention was entirely in her control; if she did her best, she could win. Meanwhile, she was a long, downward trajectory heading into Lillehammer and her results from Albertville through 1993 NHK continually showed her that she was losing relevancy. Getting older, it was getting harder and harder to stay in shape, combining with the judges' treatment to perhaps give her a sense of losing complete control of her career and results.

    In no way am I justifying her or her people's actions; but, the timing and motivation was much more complicated than where she could theoretically place at either Games.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I see your point. However everyone should have already known by 2004, a good 2 or 3 years into Cohen's year of contention, the girl couldnt buy a clean LP to save her life, so could only beat other top skaters if they also failed to skate cleanly. Heck as I mentioned in another threat Cohen's only wins over Irina Slutskaya (I know she isnt part of this thread but just to give a barometer) were events Irina landed 4 clean triples or less.
    True, but there are exceptions to situations like that. Case in point- Paul Wylie. Who would have thought, based on his record of not delivering in competitions, that he would win an Olympic silver medal? He barely made the US Olympic team in 92. So a skater can have one great performance. It could have happened with Cohen, but it didn't.

  17. #17

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    I have wondered why Tonya never seemed as threatened or jealous of Kristi as she was by Nancy. I think it comes down to her sense of desperation. Becoming the first woman to land a 3A and winning a national title made her marketable. Dick Button and others recognized her sense of music and physical gifts and gave her show opportunities. Then she started to appear washed up to the media at both 1992 worlds and throughout 1992-1993. Her triple axel was non-existent in competition. She knew she was better than Ervin and Kwiatkowski--even without the triple axel. She would have beaten both at worlds. I think the judging at 1993 Nationals showed how much the USFSA and media support for Nancy rendered Tonya dispensable. She was not wide of the mark when she began to worry that she would never make any money in skating without another national title. As she always said, coming the background she did and having no education beyond a GED, skating was her only career. It is sad, but I suppose this is what happened.

  18. #18
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    I voted Kristi vs Tonya and Michelle vs Tara.
    The first rivalry was impressive because they were so different.

  19. #19
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    Tonya was probably peeved at the judges pet Kristi was, especialy when Kristi wrongly beat her at the 89 Nationals, 90 Nationals short program, and many other times. However she was probably more peeved at Nancy since she atleast respected that Kristi was a great champion who along iwth besting the best artistic skater of the era, also pushed herself in a big way technically with 2 triple lutzes, trying 7 triples, very difficult triple-triples which were harder than say Michelle Kwan would ever try. Nancy was just a pretty skater with weak and inconsistent technical and not even much artistry, who mostly got marks for her looks, so that probably annoyed the heck out of Tonya. Plus all the frusteration over the years was boiling over more by 94 than it had by 92.

  20. #20
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    Zhang vs Flatt vs Nagasu ended up being no rivalry. In terms of careers it is Flatt >>>>> Nagasu >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Zhang. Many of those others werent evenly matched either.

    Kwan vs Cohen head to head is something like 16-2 Kwan. Well then if you think Cohen was a big rival to Kwan was Butyrskaya? They have about the same head to head vs Kwan and Maria has beaten Kwan in the short program a bunch of times like Cohen, even many times Kwan was relatively clean like Cohen, but when you cant ever do it in the long when it matters you arent a real rival. I mean if someone said Maria was Kwan's rival one would laugh, so how is Cohen who had a similarily bad head to head, and she faced an older, slower, and weaker Kwan than someone like Maria did.

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