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Comebacks in 94 that never happened, how would they have gone
There were many comebacks to skating in 1994, but there are many that didn't happen to. Yamaguchi, Ito, Biellmann, Manley, Orser, Bechke & Petrov, Klimova & Ponomarenko, Duchensays, all were talked about maybe coming back but never did. How would each have done.
These would be how I think for each one:
Yamaguchi- would have won everything easily and returned to pros.
Ito- She is much harder to say. She did show some high level of skating still in pros but her comeback in 96 was a disaster. I am not sure if her body could take the rigors of amateur competition, and her soul and mind could take the stress. I am going to guess she would have come back skating better than 96, but still nowhere near her former best and probably been 4th or 5th in Lillehammer. Anywhere near her best and with the triple axel she could have a chance to win though (as long as Kristi didn't also return).
Manley- She was doing triple lutzes cleanly so maybe she would have had an outside shot at a medal. Still she never had a triple flip and even her 4 triple LP in Calgary doesn't measure up technically anymore. Chouinard skated very well at Canadians, well enough to win a medal in Lillehammer had she done it there, so she wasn't even going to win Canadians but she would have probably bested a poor Chouinard at the Games but no medal.
Biellmann- She would have easily won Swiss and gone to the Games but no triple lutz or flip by then so no chance of being competitive.
Orser- Would have gone to Games as 3rd man over Sebastien Britten and come about 10th like Britten did.
Bechke & Petrov- This would be one of the most interesting comebacks. They were beating Miskutienok & Dmitriev pretty consistently in the pros but M&D were not skating well as pros that year. Shishkova & Naumov were skating great that year and better than M&D before the Games. It is amazing to think but M&D might have been the one to miss the Olymipc team had they come back, or it might have been S&N, or it might have been B&P. I am not even sure which 2 teams would have made it with Gordeeva & Grinkov in this case. At the Games B&P instead of S&N could have completed a Russian sweep if that was the team, although they would have had to skate perfectly clean to be placed over Brasseur & Eisler, the reigning World Champions. I don't think they could have won gold.
Klimova & Ponomarenko- Won gold easily at all events. Their old rivals Usova & Zhulin had become World Champions in their absence and normally might be favored that year since it was "their turn" but with their divorce their skating went down the toilet that year, and they were even usually losing to a really old Torvill & Dean and a baby Gritschuk & Platov, so it would have made it easy for K&P to slide back to the top.
Duchensays- Technically outdated and no longer had reputation going for them like 91-92. Would have been out of top 5. Good thing they decided last minute to not comeback.
I see that you have strong likes/dislikes for certain skaters. Your name in particular makes it really obvious about one skater in particular.
I am really looking forward for the season to start (still 2+ months to go), so we can talk about some real events. These hypothetical threads are getting a bit old. However, if you enjoy them, go ahead.
Did Bechke and Petrov themselves ever actually talk about coming back in 1994? Or is this what commentators speculated at the time? I can't imagine Elena wanting to (plus they were going through their divorce in 1994......)
Same question for the Duchesnays: did they ever consider a comeback? AFAIK, Isabelle didn't want to compete anymore what also explains why they never competed at pro competitions. Well - the scenario (just a "what if"!) of them coming back for the '94 olympics seems terrifying: it would have been outright war between them and T/D, and not just on ice. It wouldn't have been impossible, though, the did marvellous programs after turning pro, and one of these programs tamed for competition should have brought them back into top 5. I like the thought of them finishing higher than T/D . In my dreams.
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I happen to like all the skaters I mentioned in this thread. The skaters I downplayed their chances in a comeback like Orser, Manley, Duchensays, there were obvious and good reasons to doubt them doing well, do you not agree?
Originally Posted by Vash01
I dont even dislike Michelle Kwan. I am neutral as far as like/dislike when it comes to her. That I objectively think she is way overrated, doesnt mean I dislike her. It isnt her fault she is so overrated, and not a reason to dislike her, or her skating.
I believe wholeheartedly that a clean Ito would and should beat a clean Yamaguchi any day in any rink. Midori did every triple in existence and she had improved artistically in her later years. Kristi never acquired the 3Axel or the 3Salchow really. I think post-'92 there would have been much more pressure on Kristi and less on Midori; sadly for Midori, it was just the opposite in the run-up to Albertville with everyone expecting Ito to win it all.
Originally Posted by kwanoverrated
I agree if Ito came back and skated with her 3A again, she would beat Yamaguchi easily. Ito had the whole package and by the time she turned pro, she was beating Kristi there as well (at the world pros she did anyhow). The only way Yamaguchi would have a chance is if Ito fell or stumbled (like 91 worlds and Albertville), and she had her 3/3. That being said if all went relatively clean I see Ito and Kristi gold/silver in Lillehammer.
Manley would not have been a medal contender, although I do think she could have finished respectively and ahead of Witt, who had weaker jumping anyway.
Its harder to say for Biellmann, was she working on getting her Lutz back. I think she could have been in the 6-8 range, depending on how many jumps she was getting back.
As much as I love G&P I do think K&P would've won in 94. The idea of D&D coming back and skating against T&D is delicious.
I wonder if G&P could've come back in 2002, or Pasha with a different partner (she looked better than ever in her pro events in 1999 and her training was really half-assed then). Evgeny was probably too injured by then, but maybe if he'd rested for a couple of years and they mounted a comeback in 2001 once K&O retired, they would have been in a good spot to win another gold. FP&M were World Champions doing the type of aggressive skating G&P came to be known for in their last years, but were not as fluid or technically strong as G&P.
I think Kulik in 2002 or Yagudin in 2006 were plausible considering Plushy came back for 2010 and possibly 2014.
How about T&M? They would be 32 and 36 in Sochi. S&Z were 31 and 36 in Vancouver. With T&M's consistency, it's possible they could've won a second gold in Vancouver at 28 and 32 (hope I didn't screw up the numbers) and could even consider Sochi!
B&S would've been 32 and 33 in Vancouver, again comparable with S&Z in 2010 and comparable to S&S now (Aljona is a bit younger). It would be more challenging since they had never skated under CoP, plus we'd have to imagine they were still skating together in shows and had timed pregnancies/marriages for competition. It's interesting to think of Russia still having a powerhouse pairs program in 2010 and keeping their streak alive.
Of the ones mentioned:
Duchensays- They were never coming back so not sure why they were mentioned. Even if they had well they didnt have Christopher Dean's choreography anymore obviously. I am honestly not sure what they could do to be competitive without Dean's choreography.
Ito- She was never coming back so not sure why she is even mentioned. Even if she did I doubt she would have done well. Her 96 comeback was a disaester. She was done and happy to be done with amateur skating by 92. The only way she would be back is if she were forced to be and nobody can do well in that mental state.
Beckhe & Petrov- They were never coming back. Not sure why they were even mentioned. They found their niche as pros. They also have never done a competition as amateurs that would even medal at the 94 Olympics, let alone win. They never did a clean competition as amateurs, the 92 Olympics was closest.
Orser- This is the most baffling of all. I never heard a thing about him even thinking of coming back.
Biellmann- never heard anything about her coming back either. She also wouldnt be competitive. Dont get me wrong, while I was never a fan, she was an absolutely amazing pro skater at her age. Her jumps rivalled Ito in power and with better form than Ito and amazing flow out. Her spins were better than any women in the World other than Kreig at the time. She had amazing power, fitness, basic skating, and was very daring with a wide range of artistic styles and bold program choices as pros, even if I hated many of them. However the only triples she did were a triple toe and triple salchow. That is not enough content for medals in 94, in 84 maybe. She probably would have beaten Witt though which would have been funny to see just due to Witt's ego being further deflated.
Anyway none of those 5 were ever coming back or ever even considering it as far as I know.
The ones whose comeback prospects I took seriously at the time, but in the end didnt:
Yamaguchi- I agree she might have won but I am not sure if it would have been as easy as some speculate. She had never faced Baiul as an amateur, and never faced Kerrigan skating with the focus she had that season. She also would have been under huge pressure as the heavy favorite to win, and the only time she ever faced that was the 92 Worlds, but she would atleast have some legitimate competition skating well at the time unlike the 92 Worlds.
Klimova & Ponomarenko- Based on the programs in Lillehammer easy winners.
Manley- meh doubt she would have done much. She sort of had a triple lutz sometimes as a pro but almost always missed it and beyond that had only a triple toe, triple salchow, and double axel. Maybe a Witt like finish. She did say in her book she was planning a comeback but it never panned out.
The only ones of those who were even considering a comeback ever were Yamaguchi, Klimova & Ponomarenko, and Manley. I never heard a thing about any of those others even thinking about, and I frankly dont picture any of the others wanting to either for various reasons.
Originally Posted by Cherub721
I find many of those quite interesting and far more interesting than the OP's suggestions.
T&M would probably have won another OGM in Vancouver. People like to harp on Shen & Zhao not winning in Turin only since he was injured but S&Z have NEVER done a competition at the Olympics that could even come close to beating T&M and didnt again in Vancouver. They have in some other competitions perhaps, but never the Olympics itself. S&Z lost the LP to Pang & Tong. T&M always easily beat P&T, so if they were their usual perfect selves they would have had no problem deprving S&Z their gold dream again.
Didn't Yagudin have to retire from amateur competition due to injury? Skate America 2002? He likely wouldn't have been able to compete in 2006.
They could have had another choreographer working with them. After turning pro, they had programs by other choreographers, and they could have worked together for competition as well, why not. I just submit these thoughts because I feel they are the only case in which the choreographer is getting more credited than the skaters themselves.
Originally Posted by judgejudy27
Agreed, the Duchesnays didn't want to get back to competitive skating, so why contemplating.
I haven't yet answered the original question of the thread: I think that Klimova/Ponomarenko would have won easily, as IMO, they were technically and artistically superiour to all three couples who were on the podium. Technically, T/D might have been a challenge, but since K/P were younger and fitter, they would have managed more difficult elements. This is only a mind-game referring to the '94 Olympics, of course. After that, G/P would become hard to compete.
I thought Kristi's comeback talk was for pairs not singles. Since she never did anything about it, I assume it was just that - talk. From what I have read she trained seriously for her pro competitions so I think of the people mentioned it would have been easiest for her to compete in 94.
Ito lost a tremendous amount of weight sometime between 92 and 96 and was reported to be anemic, so I don't think her life was going well at that time.
Orser and Biellmann were in their 30's by then.
Ice dance was so political I think the deck was stacked against anyone who had previously gone pro.
The thought of the Duchensays finishing above Torvill & Dean in Lillehammer is a hilarious one I must admit. As much as I like and respect T&D as an ice dance team, his oversized ego taking an even bigger hit is just too funny a picture not to get a bit enthused over. Not that Isabelle is much better in that regard, they were truly made for each other pesonality wise, I wonder why they split.
Isabelle seems to have settled into a life of coaching and raising a family outside the spotlight - Dean seems to still crave drama. I don't see him ever settling down.
Originally Posted by judgejudy27
Jill Trenary is an absolutely gorgeous women and seems very down to earth, regardless if her skating hasnt aged well in the minds of skating fans (atleast on this site). I am surprised he wouldnt do everything he could to keep her. Having sleepovers and little affairs and going to his former skating friends and Jayne before her for all his problems and worries. I dont blame her for leaving him and surprised they stayed together so long.
Originally Posted by aliceanne
Out of the above, I'm not even 100% sure Elizabeth Manley or even Bechke and Petrov could have been a sure bet to even get out of nationals to make the Olympic/World teams that year.
Very true. The only time they won Soviet nationals (1992) was when Mishkutenok and Dmitriev were not there. It's like M&D were Elena's kryptonite, LOL.
Originally Posted by Seerek
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I had forgotten that. Chouinord, Preston, and Humphries all skated extremely well at Nationals. If they did the same skates at the Games Chouinord probably would have won gold, Preston and Humphries both placed top 6, so it would have been hard for Manley to make it to the Olympics. Unless she landed the triple lutz she had no chance.
Beckhe & Petrov would have made it. Either Shishkova & Naumov who were the young unproven kids, or Miskutienok & Dmitriev who were regularly losing to B&P in pros and who werent skating well that year except for the Olympics would have been bumped instead I think.
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I dont think so. This was not 1992 anymore. Kristi was considered the dominant skater by then, not Midori. Since 91 she had won back to back Worlds, Olympics, World Pros, 2 Challenge of Champions. If both came back Kristi would have been the one considered heavy favorite to win that time, unlike 92 where Kristi won even with Midori as favorite.
Originally Posted by Lnt175
You mention their pro meetings but Kristi won more of those than Midori. Midori won only 2 times over Kristi ever as a pro, and both of them Kristi missed her only triple lutz attempt too. Midori at the 94 World Pros as one example skated very well with the triple axel in her first program and a clean 2nd number and still lost to Kristi. Midori in her pro programs was trying all her jumps she would as an amateur, while Kristi wasnt even doing 2 triple lutzes or a triple lutz-triple toe like she would in all her amateur programs if she returned.
That is if Midori was even skating well in her hypothetical comeback try which I have doubts about. As others mentioned her personal life and skating were largely a miracle around then, although as a pro she did look pretty good, but amateur skating is a whole other ballgame.
Just so you know I like Midori's skating alot more than Kristi's, who I find one of the most boring and overrated skaters ever (even more than Kwan maybe). Skating and skating judging is all about politics, reputation, momentum, and consistency though, and Kristi had all of those more in her favor than anyone else by 94 though.
Wasnt Biellmann like around 35 by then? Isnt that a bit old to remaster a triple lutz after losing it for years.
Last edited by kwanoverrated; 08-28-2013 at 10:15 PM.