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  1. #1
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    What if Yamaguchi had chosen pairs instead?

    Would Kristi and Rudy have been a World/Olympic medal threat at some point?

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    It is hard to say. They were 5th at their first 2 Worlds which indicates forward progress, as the 1990 field was far stronger than the 1989 one. Still if I had to guess I see them most likely being a Meno & Sand type contender at best. A team that could win the bronze if some of the favorites fell apart. Watching them I dont see them being a championship pair even down the road, but it is impossible to know how they would have developed for sure. Maybe had they hung around for the weak 1995-1998 they could have been a gold contender then depending how they developed but only a bit player from 1991-1994.

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    Before the elimination of figures, both Kristi and Rudy had a better shot at an international medal in pairs than singles. However, after figures were eliminated they were far more likely to medal in singles.

    If they had continued, I think we would have seen a lot of firsts in the record books despite few medals, including SBS 3Lp and 3Lz. They already are the first to perform SBS 3F.

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    I guess it would have depended on how much stronger they could make their pair elements (they had already improved in 1990). Perhaps even more than that how their style would have matured, and whether they would have developed a real look together to get higher artistic marks. I am using a team like Brasseur & Eisler as a barometer for their future chances, and I honestly dont see them beating B&E unless they bombed (eg- 92 Olympics) so that is why I see a 3rd or 4th place cap on most of their results in the immediate future (keeping in mind B&E usually finshed 2nd or 3rd).

    Kristi looked majorly p-ed off when she saw Holly Cook bump her off the podium at the 1990 Worlds. I could tell right at that moment what she was going to do, and it was bad news for Rudy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Kristi looked majorly p-ed off when she saw Holly Cook bump her off the podium at the 1990 Worlds. I could tell right at that moment what she was going to do, and it was bad news for Rudy.
    I thought it was common knowledge there were rumors about her splitting the pair before that? But yes, I agree her losing a medal (and to Cook of all people) was the catalyst.

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    Oh yeah I had heard that before Worlds too. However Worlds made it clear it was going to happen. Not moving up from their previous years finish in pairs, and not having such a hot skate there; and Kristi having a rough long program in singles, and missing out on a medal there. I felt awful for him though as I had heard he gave up his singles career for pairs by that point, and it sure took him a long time to get back in the loop in a serious way in singles again.

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    Have there been many successful mirror pairs, though? I found them distracting to watch. BTW Holly Cook's bronze at Worlds is one of the most WTF moments ever.

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    I just remember reading then that G&G were told that Kristi and Rudi were going to eventually be their stiffest competition.

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    They would have won gold at the 92 Olympics, and bronze at the 94 Olympics. Would have won the World titles in both 93 and 94. Then they might have continued or stopped and cashed in as pros.

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    No way would they have beaten M&D at the 92 Olympics. They were just not in their league as a Pairs team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    No way would they have beaten M&D at the 92 Olympics. They were just not in their league as a Pairs team.
    ITA.

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    I do think they would have been a better pair, if Kristi only done pairs. Her single skating got better once she dropped pairs. She came across as very focused (to me).

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    I think as Kristi grew, Rudy's small size became an issue in regards to lifts. They might have gotten credit for side by side triples, but triples are considered a singles element, while lifts are a uniquely pairs element and I don't see how they could have kept up with the other pairs in that regard. Conversely, their small size made them ideal for singles skating. I think Kristi did the right thing, it is just a shame there wasn't someone looking out for Rudy's future at the time. He had dropped singles and bulked up for pairs.

    It would have been interesting to see them do pairs as pros though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrellH View Post
    I just remember reading then that G&G were told that Kristi and Rudi were going to eventually be their stiffest competition.
    The random (hearsay) thing I definitely remember was that it was Tamara Moskvina who loved Kristi and Rudy's skating, and she was telling her students at the time that if they wanted to be future World or Olympic champions, they had to fend off Kristi and Rudy.

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    Whoops! Double post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    No way would they have beaten M&D at the 92 Olympics. They were just not in their league as a Pairs team.
    This.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha is DIVINE View Post
    Have there been many successful mirror pairs, though? I found them distracting to watch. BTW Holly Cook's bronze at Worlds is one of the most WTF moments ever.
    G&G were junior world champs when Katia was 13, and they became a legend. Kristi & Rudy were also jr world champs but they were competing when the pairs field was dominated by legends - G&G and M&D. I believe Y&G could have developed enough to win at least a world medal. Their best chance for a WC Gold would have been in 94 since the legends did not compete then. Had they continued past 94, they had a great chance to win a couple of world championships because the pairs field became quite weak after the 94 Oly. They could have beaten K&N, Y&B and certainly W&S.

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    It is funny to think how different things are across different disciplines though. Many years later after Grinkov's tragic passing Gordeeva had to compete against Kristi in singles as a pro and she never came close to beating her, but was a distant 2nd in many events in 97-98 to her. I remember her telling the press after a couple of them she was thrilled to be 2nd to Kristi since Kristi was unbeatable, a giant you couldnt even think of beating. After one of them, I think it was the U.S Pro or something where she beat Witt and Hamill, but was 2nd behind Kristi, she said she felt like she won the other competition since Kristi was in her own event. After the 98 World Pros when she was 2nd to Kristi she told a reporter she thought Kristi could beat Michelle and Tara for the Olympic Gold if she wanted to come back. Yet when Kristi was chasing Ekaterina in pairs in 89-90 that is probably how she felt in the reverse.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I think as Kristi grew, Rudy's small size became an issue in regards to lifts. They might have gotten credit for side by side triples, but triples are considered a singles element, while lifts are a uniquely pairs element and I don't see how they could have kept up with the other pairs in that regard. Conversely, their small size made them ideal for singles skating. I think Kristi did the right thing, it is just a shame there wasn't someone looking out for Rudy's future at the time. He had dropped singles and bulked up for pairs.

    It would have been interesting to see them do pairs as pros though.
    I'm not sure that they were all that close, for awhile, after Kristi dropped pairs.

  20. #20
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    It is hard to say how they would develop. I dont think it is impossible they could have been competitive for gold by 92 though. Miskutienok & Dmitriev are a great team artistically but technically they are not that strong. Not a very good twist, simple lifts, and in Albertville she missed all the jumps in the long program too. Had Kristi & Rudy kept improving they could have been competitive with them.

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