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  1. #21
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    Yes - it was very realistic to think she could've beaten Witt in '84. She was the favorite to win based on her '83 Worlds win and she had the full backing of the USFSA as the #1 US skater. It was a 5-4 split with 0.1 difference on the 5th judges scorecard, and that was with the doubled jumps and single axels. Witt at the time hadn't quite developed into the 2nd mark skater she would become in the next quadrennial.

    It was the right result. Though I agree with the earlier post that Witt kind of lucked out that her rivals at both Olympics didn't perform more competently, because she would never have been an Olympic champion.

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    So considering how great a competitor Witt was ( winning silver at 82 worlds and taking into account if she nailed figures in Sarajevo unlike 83 worlds)...
    At that point in her career, I don't think Witt was an especially great competitor. I really liked this skater when she was a teenager and my lasting perception is one of chronic disappointment. She usually managed to land at least one jump on her can before the 84 season. I found it interesting that as her face got harder and less pretty, her skating got better.

    Given that Sumner was World Champion going into Sarajevo, I think it is fairly odd that anyone would ask if she had a chance to beat any of her contemporaries.

  3. #23
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    I wonder if Linda Fratianne could have beaten Sumners in Sarejevo? She skated a clean short with a 3sal/2loop and a clean long with 2 double axels, a 3sal and a 3toe in Lake Placid.
    Last edited by essence_of_soy; 06-28-2013 at 04:52 PM.

  4. #24
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    I thought Rosalynn was solid as an eligible skater, but truly came into her own from her second year as a professional. So many of her performances were original, exciting, elegant, and fun.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    At that point in her career, I don't think Witt was an especially great competitor. I really liked this skater when she was a teenager and my lasting perception is one of chronic disappointment. She usually managed to land at least one jump on her can before the 84 season. I found it interesting that as her face got harder and less pretty, her skating got better.

    Given that Sumner was World Champion going into Sarajevo, I think it is fairly odd that anyone would ask if she had a chance to beat any of her contemporaries.
    Interesting - her competitive record speaks rather differently. The only time she ever missed the podium after the 1981 season was 1983 Worlds where she bombed figures but still won the SP, was 2nd in the free and was the combined free skating winner. While Witt became a more refined and consistent skater from 1984 on, it came at the expense of some of the harder elements (aside from 1987 Worlds). I most enjoy the Witt who goes after everything and does 2z/3t's and tries triple flips and attempts 6 triple LP's. JMO obviously

  6. #26
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    Though she had a long and brilliant professional career, I'm a little sorry Denise Biellmann didn't stick around until 1984. She could have won everything in sight.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I wonder if Linda Fratianne could have beaten Sumners in Sarejevo? She skated a clean short with a 3sal/2loop and a clean long with 2 double axels, a 3sal and a 3toe in Lake Placid.
    I highly doubt it or that she would have been any factor by Sarajevo had she still been around (if she even made the team, which IMO there is a good chance she wouldnt have by then). She would have been mid 20s by Sarajevo which back then was old for an amateur singles skater, and I doubt she would have mantained U.S #1 status post 1980 had she continued with Zayak, Sumners, DeVries, Chin, all coming up. She hadnt improved any since 1976 or 1978 at the latest, and was just holding onto her skills at most, so likely would have started to decline post 1980. She had a nice run but still didnt win the OGM, and the USFSA would have been ready to move on to the next IT girl.

    Her figures were also not that strong and she probably would have started placing outside the top 5 in figures. Witt, Zayak, Biellmann, Leistner on a good day, 84 version of Chin, were all stronger technically and Sumners was more polished and preferred by the judges artistically than Linda ever was. 2 triples was also nothing special by Sarajevo, practically everyone in the field could do that or more.


    Now if you mean whether her Lake Placid efforts in free skating were superior for the time than Sumners were at the 84 Olympics, I would say yes they were easily for me anyway. Although Sumners still performed much stronger in free skating than Poetzsch had in Lake Placid, and in figures by Sarajevo was just as dominant as Poetzsch in 1980, and even Poetzsch beat Fratianne, so Sumners with her superior figures still probably would have come out ahead. Sumners's long program marks in Sarajevo were also higher than Fratianne's in Lake Placid for whatever that is worth.

  8. #28

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    ^ Do not forget the scoring changed after the 1979-80 season. The same placements in Lake Placid would have resulted in a win for Fratianne under the scoring for the 1980-81 season.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I highly doubt it or that she would have been any factor by Sarajevo had she still been around (if she even made the team, which IMO there is a good chance she wouldnt have by then). She would have been mid 20s by Sarajevo which back then was old for an amateur singles skater, and I doubt she would have mantained U.S #1 status post 1980 had she continued with Zayak, Sumners, DeVries, Chin, all coming up. She hadnt improved any since 1976 or 1978 at the latest, and was just holding onto her skills at most, so likely would have started to decline post 1980. She had a nice run but still didnt win the OGM, and the USFSA would have been ready to move on to the next IT girl.

    Her figures were also not that strong and she probably would have started placing outside the top 5 in figures. Witt, Zayak, Biellmann, Leistner on a good day, 84 version of Chin, were all stronger technically and Sumners was more polished and preferred by the judges artistically than Linda ever was. 2 triples was also nothing special by Sarajevo, practically everyone in the field could do that or more.


    Now if you mean whether her Lake Placid efforts in free skating were superior for the time than Sumners were at the 84 Olympics, I would say yes they were easily for me anyway. Although Sumners still performed much stronger in free skating than Poetzsch had in Lake Placid, and in figures by Sarajevo was just as dominant as Poetzsch in 1980, and even Poetzsch beat Fratianne, so Sumners with her superior figures still probably would have come out ahead. Sumners's long program marks in Sarajevo were also higher than Fratianne's in Lake Placid for whatever that is worth.
    I agree that Fratianne would probably not have kept up with Zayak, Sumners and Chin by 1984. I look at videos of her in 1977 doing a split leap-back scissor leap-3toe combo in her LP and wonder why she watered down her content as the quadrennial progressed. She also cut back on the no. of 2x's in a program as time passed. That could've been at the advice of FC who we know during his time with Kwan and Lysacek strategized about what it would take to win rather than pushing the tech envelope. By FC's own account, Fratianne was his best student. I take that to mean listener and complier. Poetzsch in 1979 was a messy free skater and FC probably figured it wasn't going to take that much to win by 1980. Thus, Fratianne made sure to maintain the solo 3toe, 3sal, a couple of 2axels and called it a day.

    I also agree that in order to stay on top, one would have needed something beyond 2 types of solo triples in 1984. Sumners didn't really ever deliver any technical fireworks in her programs beyond 2 types of triples, which is what Fratianne could do on a good day, but she had superb skating skills (straight back, good speed, blade control) and had a little more effervescence on the ice, plus she had good figures.

    One more thing about Fratianne: I often think she is one of the more underrated US skaters : She actually did push the envelope for US ladies by introducing 2 types of triples in the mid 70s, won the '77 World crown as an underdog against favorite Poetzsch while running a 104-degree temperature, and has an impressive collection of hardware - 2 world championships, 4 national championships, Olympic silver medalist (wuz robbed IMHO), and by all accounts offered a steadfast work ethic and I never saw her meltdown at important competitions. She always held onto her programs even on a bad day. I think she suffered a bit coming onto the US scene on the heels of skaters like ice queen Peggy Fleming, the incredible Janet Lynn and effervescent yet dynamic Dorothy Hamill who all dominated their respective eras in skating AND personality for the years just before Fratianne surfaced as #1 US lady. Fratianne was quieter and more introverted on the ice but as stated above, did offer her own contributions to the sport.

    Anyway, sorry for the stream of thought. Back OT.

  10. #30
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    Fratianne garnered 4.2s and 4.3s for her figures at the Lake Placid Olympics. Sumners' highest score was 3.9 in Sarajevo...

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    Though she had a long and brilliant professional career, I'm a little sorry Denise Biellmann didn't stick around until 1984. She could have won everything in sight.
    Unfortunately for Biellmann I'm not sure if she had improved at figures after her worlds win to contend with Sumners or an upcoming Witt in 84. She could have perhaps gotten a Bronze.

  12. #32
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    Skaters always talked about "whose turn it was" for each Olympics. In 1984 it was Hamilton's and Sumners' turn. Basically theirs to lose. Hamilton skated horribly but the other contenders were too far behind after the figures so he was able to hold on. Roz didn't have the same advantage so her poor skate was able to be passed.

    Boitano talked about this in 1988. Despite his clean skating he said he was shocked to win because it was "Orser's turn", having ridden the bench long enough and being the only real gold medal contender on home turf. Orser lost by only one judge yet had so much less technical content (missed flip, one less 3A, no 3/3)

  13. #33

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    Zayak went from 4th in figures at 1982 Worlds to 13th in figures behind Tiffany Chin at the 1984 Olympics.
    There were some figures that Zayak had great difficulty doing because of the missing part of her foot.
    Her success really depended on which ones she was required to do.

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

  14. #34
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    I thought Sumners deserved the gold medal as it was. Her mistake in the short should have been only a .1 deduction so I would have had her winning the short with 5.7, 5.9 vs Witt who I gave 5.8, 5.7. Chin probably winning the short with 5.8, 5.8, but Sumners only had to beat Witt in the short to guarante the gold. Then in the long Sumners had only 1 less triples than Witt and artistic was much better so she should have beaten her in the long anyway. I would have given Witt 5.8, 5.7 and Sumners 5.7, 6.0. Wit getting 4 5.9s for artistic in the long was a travesty since she had no artistic abilties at all yet and was super sloppy, and skating a terible choreography program which Peggy Fleming noted in the book. It shows it was probably fixed for her to win even if Sumners had skated perfectly the judges wouldnt let her win. She even said she knew that too on her Fire on Ice interview so gave up in the last minute of the long knowing the judges werent going to let her win no matter what she did.

  15. #35
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    Sumner's opened/popped jumps were too jarring to be ignored by the judges and people knowledgeable with skating. I also didn't think her LP performance deserved a 6. There wasn't any spark in Roz that night.

    She even said she knew that too on her Fire on Ice interview so gave up in the last minute of the long knowing the judges werent going to let her win no matter what she did.
    That's a bunch of crocks from Sumners if she really said that. I'll have to look up that piece on utube again, but I remembered it differently though. Roz said that she had skated the perfect program at the practice session the night before the final. On the day of the final, she knew that she had gave all she had at the practice ice the night before and realized she wasn't going to be able to replicate that perfect performance again. Well, I think that was a bunch of crock also. Sumners choked. Plain and simple. No need to make up some silly reason why she couldn't perform.

    -------

    ETA: Fire On Ice

    Roz said that did the LP of her life at the last practice session the night before the final. She woke up the next morning and just knew that it wasn't going to happen. So according to Roz, she pretty much already gave up the day of the final. What sealed the deal for Roz was seeing the expression on her coach after her coach had watched Kat skated her LP. Roz read from her coach's expression was that her coach didn't think she could win; So that of course put more self-doubt into Roz's mind that night.
    Last edited by orbitz; 07-01-2013 at 03:25 AM.

  16. #36
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    Sumners was never that great at clean programs anyway. She also fell earlier in the year at nats. I agree her skating was beautiful and flowy like at 82 nats and 83 worlds, but I agree no way did she deserve to place above Witt. Whats odd is she began great, hit the triples and looked confident (unlike say Cohen who bombed her first half of the LP in 06) but halfway through looked like she gave up.
    I actually think Zayak may have a case for winning the LP at both 84 Olympics and 84 worlds.

  17. #37
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    I thought Zayak's skating had became somewhat ponderous after her body matured in 82. The judges didn't favor her style of skating anymore. The SP was very good, but the energy she had in the SP was not carried through to the LP.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I thought Rosalynn was solid as an eligible skater, but truly came into her own from her second year as a professional. So many of her performances were original, exciting, elegant, and fun.
    I agree she gave many memorable performances. I always wondered why she didn't attempt even a triple toe in her earlier years though. She always had something going on in her programs though with footwork, wallys, one foot axel etc.

    BTW I wanted to add this thread wasn't meant as a bash to Sumners, as I think her overall skating were actually of superior quality to Witts at that time, and Elaines who was a bit raw sometimes. I was rewatching her 83 nats program and she threw in a triple toe at the very end of her program, after falling on a sal earlier. She seemed to hold back technically while Witt was a much stronger jumper (higher jumps and confidence). Too bad she didn't throw a couple more jumps in her Sarajevo program like that.
    Last edited by Lnt175; 07-02-2013 at 03:39 AM.

  19. #39
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    Skaters always talked about "whose turn it was" for each Olympics.
    Apart from ice dance (where the winners were carved in stone long before the events began) I don't think that was true anymore by the 1980s and I surely don't remember Sumners or even Hamill being seen as locks for the gold medal. (Hamilton probably was, but he had won every Worlds since Lake Placid.) There were favorites or co-favorites, but they still could lose with a big figures error or bad performances.

    I remember the turn concept as relating more to a skater's turn as US #1 (again, apart from ice dance where better teams waited for their turns as USSR/world dance team #1).

  20. #40
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    Hamill wasn't the heavy gold favorite heading into Insbruck, because she hadn't won any World title previously. Christina Errath won Worlds in 74 and Dianne DeLeew was World champ in 75.

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