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  1. #1
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    Was Kerrigan underrated by fans?

    It seems over the years Nancy Kerrigan has gotten the bad end of the stick by us skating fans in terms of her skating. She was known for choosing strange music, and some questionable choreography. That said is there something about her skating we're missing? She actually had great lines, very good technique on all her jumps, a beautiful Lutz, good spinner, a beautiful spiral, and she had good difficulty for the day. The judges loved her generally, with the exception of Lillehammer where they let the gold slip from her fingers, but do fans?

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    For me, she had a slight air of aloofness. I loved her skating, but there seemed to be a disconnect between her and the audience.

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    Honestly I think she deserved the gold at the 94 Olympics, and she pretty much deserved her other medals, many times since others made nearly as many mistakes as she made and not so much her own strong (not so strong) performances (92 Olympics and 92 Worlds and even 91 Worlds). However there is nothing that spectacular about her skating. She had good jumps when she did them, but not very good spins or footwork. Strong spirals for the time, they certainly put those of other top skaters like Ito and Bonaly to shame, and they were arguably the best in the World at the time, probably only Yamaguchi with a case for better. Still when people saw much better spirals so soon after from Kwan, Bobek, and Cohen the memory of those are clouded too.

    Her artistry mostly appealed to judges and skating gurus like Scott Hamilton but seemingly did not appeal much to fans. Add to all that she was very inconsistent and won all her major medals except the 94 Olympics with mistake filled programs but capatilizing on Harding and/or Ito also making mistakes, along with many of the secondary contenders blowing their programs those times, and there isnt that much to remember that enthusiastically. She was a good skater who was considered a leader in the weakish 93-94 period, but that is it.

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    i would say, a little

    i just find her skating v. graceful (if stiff and conservative) ... can watch her skates on youtube again and again. Love her cheesy choices of music as well ... beauty and the beast, born on the 4th of july, neil diamond medley (combined with strange 80s disco music), and all types of synthesizer music including the one for her short programme in lillehammer (to which she gave some cheesy name)

    almost 20 years ago, i was happy oksana won the OGM, but it didn't take me long to realize that nancy really outskated her on the night. (anyway, won't go into this again ... as this is not the point of this thread)

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    To answer your question, no I don't think so. It was pretty obvious that the judges favoured her - she could do four triples to another skater's six, she'd medal and they would not. Although she had the look the USFSA wanted, she didn't necessarily project the personality that fans take to. It's too bad the US media portrayed her as an ice princess because I think she was way tougher than most fans would have given her credit for. In some ways a good match for Harding. That toughness showed in her Olympic performances. She certainly earned my respect with that FS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrellH View Post
    For me, she had a slight air of aloofness. I loved her skating, but there seemed to be a disconnect between her and the audience.
    It's funny, but my feelings were the absolute opposite concerning Kerrigan . I actually found her to have a very real, salt of the earth personality that kept being mis-packaged as an ice princess. Her skating OTOH was very bland and her music choices and choreography were very bizarre. There was really nothing that incredible about her skating. If not for the whack , I actually think she would have been pretty much forgotten as a skater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabybackhand View Post
    Honestly I think she deserved the gold at the 94 Olympics, and she pretty much deserved her other medals, many times since others made nearly as many mistakes as she made and not so much her own strong (not so strong) performances (92 Olympics and 92 Worlds and even 91 Worlds). However there is nothing that spectacular about her skating. She had good jumps when she did them, but not very good spins or footwork. Strong spirals for the time, they certainly put those of other top skaters like Ito and Bonaly to shame, and they were arguably the best in the World at the time, probably only Yamaguchi with a case for better. Still when people saw much better spirals so soon after from Kwan, Bobek, and Cohen the memory of those are clouded too.

    Her artistry mostly appealed to judges and skating gurus like Scott Hamilton but seemingly did not appeal much to fans. Add to all that she was very inconsistent and won all her major medals except the 94 Olympics with mistake filled programs but capatilizing on Harding and/or Ito also making mistakes, along with many of the secondary contenders blowing their programs those times, and there isnt that much to remember that enthusiastically. She was a good skater who was considered a leader in the weakish 93-94 period, but that is it.
    Well her 91 worlds performance was actually a strong one, and she was able to beat Ito with it whom was arugably shaken after her run in with Bonaly. Her Beauty and the Beast was one of her best I think, but yes some of her other choices were definitely strange to say the least. At the 92 Olympics she argubaly could have beaten Yamaguchi in the SP based on the quality of her skils, but Yamaguchi had the superior artistic package.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnt175 View Post
    Well her 91 worlds performance was actually a strong one, and she was able to beat Ito with it whom was arugably shaken after her run in with Bonaly. Her Beauty and the Beast was one of her best I think, but yes some of her other choices were definitely strange to say the least. At the 92 Olympics she argubaly could have beaten Yamaguchi in the SP based on the quality of her skils, but Yamaguchi had the superior artistic package.
    Well comparatively to her 92 long program performances her 91 Nationals and Worlds performances were fairly strong, and she did well to beat Ito (even a bad one) and hot newcomer Bonaly at Worlds when she came in almost forgotten as the distant #3 American at the time. However even in those she still only landed 4 triples. Fortunately for her Ito also landed only 4, and Bonaly had such weaker basic skating and artistry and even jump quality it didnt matter she landed about 6 and an almost clean quad. 5 triples seemed to be her cap until the 93-94 season.

    Her Beauty and the Beast program was excellent but her long program performances hit their all time low that season. They basically got a bit worse all the time from when she started breaking through until their all time low around the 93 Worlds and a pro am event she took 3 hard falls and lost to Kadavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrellH View Post
    For me, she had a slight air of aloofness. I loved her skating, but there seemed to be a disconnect between her and the audience.
    It's interesting to compare Nancy with an earlier Scotvold skater, Sandy Lenz. The choreography is quite similar but it is in the performance, that Lenz really sells what she is given.

    Here are links to her short and free skates from the 1980 Olympic Games.

    Sandy Lenz - Short Program
    Sandy Lenz - Free Program

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oozU...e_gdata_player

    I remember being thrilled for her doing so well at the Olympics only to see her apparently look down at her rewards. She made so much more money than Yamaguchi. Although I am now more critical of media portrayals 20 years later and perhaps the media was not fair to her, I think her behavior could have been better.

    ETA: ... and there was that infomercial quality skating show that was insulting to Johnny Weir ... Yeah, I don't like Nancy Kerrigan again.

    ETA ETA: I still think she should have won the OMG, even if I don't like her again.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 08-04-2013 at 12:00 PM.

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    I wonder what Nancy would have been like as a skater if she hadn't been with the Scotvolds or had left them much earlier for another coach or coaches. Would she have had the same motivation or would the difference in coach or location have improved her skating and choreography?

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    Quote Originally Posted by centerstage01 View Post
    I wonder what Nancy would have been like as a skater if she hadn't been with the Scotvolds or had left them much earlier for another coach or coaches. Would she have had the same motivation or would the difference in coach or location have improved her skating and choreography?
    She probably enjoyed living close to family. I also remember reading that a small part of the problem in 1992-1993 season was not skating with Paul Wylie, since he turned pro. He encouraged her in practice. They also practiced an exhibition piece together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by centerstage01 View Post
    I wonder what Nancy would have been like as a skater if she hadn't been with the Scotvolds or had left them much earlier for another coach or coaches. Would she have had the same motivation or would the difference in coach or location have improved her skating and choreography?
    Its hard to say. Kerrigan had all the basic qualities for great skating, and she linked some nice elements like a spread eagle or a shoot the duck into a jump. It was the "aerobic" part of her programs that turned alot of people off. I think it was mostly Mary Scotvold who did the choreography for her programs, while Evy was the tech coach. Perhaps if they had a Nichol in their midst some of her choreography would have been less spastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    It's interesting to compare Nancy with an earlier Scotvold skater, Sandy Lenz. The choreography is quite similar but it is in the performance, that Lenz really sells what she is given.

    Here are links to her short and free skates from the 1980 Olympic Games.

    Sandy Lenz - Short Program
    Sandy Lenz - Free Program
    Wow, she was pretty awesome. She's like a Kerrigan who looked like she actually liked the choreography and knew how to move to the music.
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    Nancy is not at all underrated. There is nothing innovative about her skating. She didn't land any rare jumps or combos. Artistically, she was wooden, and had little interaction with the crowd. I think a solid argument can be made that she should have won the OGM in 94, but many have been saying this since the day after the competition.

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    I don't think anybody is saying she was underrated by the judges, but people (skating fans) talk about her and her skating with such disdain that you'd think she wasn't a top-level skater.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnt175 View Post
    Perhaps if they had a Nichol in their midst some of her choreography would have been less spastic.
    Please do not use that word as an insult. (My bolding.)
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    I could never warm up to her skating, even when she turned in a good performance. To me there was something robotic about her, and her off-ice personality was less than engaging as well.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    I could never warm up to her skating, even when she turned in a good performance. To me there was something robotic about her, and her off-ice personality was less than engaging as well.
    Same. She was stiff, robotic, wooden, and uncharismatic. It was extremely rare to see her smile or to see joy in her when she was competing. She had fabulous costuming though and she was pretty, but even that aspect of her was blown out of proportion with the continuous Audrey Hepburn references from the media. I have to admit I do find her disturbingly and unintentionally hilarious though. At the height of her on-screen dramatics, she was 23 in Prague ("I just want to die") and 24 in Lillehammer (all the eye-rolling, the she's just going to cry all her makeup off again remark about Baiul, "this is the corniest thing I've ever done" regarding the Disney parade), yet her behavior was indicative of a prepubescent girl having a temper tantrum or a meltdown. She was always being portrayed by the media that she was this darling American sweetheart when in reality she was very shy, incredibly uncomfortable in front of the cameras, bratty, and icy. Even though she had traveled and competed all across the world, she came across as very sheltered and entitled. I recall her skating many clean short programs when it counted, but she was incredibly unreliable in the LP. The closest she ever came to skating clean was at the '94 Olympics, but even there she doubled a planned 3flip. I believe it was the attack and having to focus on her comeback and overcoming adversity that allowed her to deliver that level of performance in Norway. Had everything gone according to schedule per usual, she may have had a repeat of Prague, Phoenix, Oakland, Albertville, Orlando, Munich, or Minneapolis, and may have ended up off the podium altogether. In a very bizarre way, the ordeal in Detroit made her career and made her memorable. Maybe that explains a lot of resentment Kerrigan has for Harding because she never wanted to be famous. I recall Nancy's mother Brenda also stating in an interview that Nancy never expected fame from figure skating.
    Last edited by museksk8r; 08-04-2013 at 02:53 PM.

  20. #20

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    I'll have to go back and watch the videos, but what I remember about Kerrigan vs. Baiul in the LP at Lillehamar is that Kerrigan delivered a program and Baiul put on a show. A fluffy pink trainwreck of a show, but a show nonetheless. Even so, until the results were announced, I was pretty sure that Kerrigan would win.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

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