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  1. #1
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    Which 80s US Lady was most successful?

    Rosalynn Sumners or Debi Thomas?

    Each lady was primarily #1 nationally in her quadrennial. But, there are differences -

    National Championships - Roz 3 vs. Debi 2

    World Championships - tied at 1 each

    Olympics - each a medalist; but Roz silver and Debi bronze. Debi was figured to battle for gold while Roz was probably a fave.

    no. of World medals - Debi 3 vs. Roz 1 (only)

    no. of Worlds appearance - Debi 4 (each year 1985 - 88) vs. Roz 2 (1982 - 83)

    It kind of evens out, but do you have a choice? I would say Debi based on longevity while still grabbing a world championship (like Roz)

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    Olympic silver (losing gold by .1) *beats Olympic bronze. Advantage Sumners
    3 World medals beats 1 World medal. Advantage Thomas
    1 World title ties 1 World title. Equal, although Sumners won the LP phase at the Worlds she won so in a way it was more impressive.
    3 U.S titles beats 2 U.S titles. Advantage Sumners.

    Overall I would say Sumners had the better amateur career by a bit, despite that I like Thomas 100 times more than Sumnerzzzzzzzzz, and if you are asking who I think is the better skater objectively I would also probably pick Thomas. I think longevity is overrated. To achieve similar in a shorter career is more impressive if anything.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 08-30-2013 at 05:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    1 World title ties 1 World title. Equal, although Sumners won the LP phase at the Worlds she won so in a way it was more impressive.
    Yes, but Debi Thomas is the only skater to have beaten Katarina Witt during the 1984-1988 period. It's a great achievement !

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    Another plus for Debi is that she attempted far greater difficulty than Roz ever did. Maybe if Thomas had played it as safely as Sumners always did, she would have won more titles too. I find Thomas more aesthetically pleasing too to be honest; loved her long body lines. Plus, Debi's personality has always been more favorable to me than Rosalyn's. IMO, Debi is the best of the 80's!

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    Wanda Beazel makes Debi a legend. Roslynn was pretty and competent but nothing people hadn't seen before.

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    Well, I certainly don't envy Rosalyn Sumners and Roslynn Sumners the similarities of their names to that of the 1984 ladies' OSM.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

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    Quote Originally Posted by sousdonym View Post
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

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    Always preferred watching Sumners on ice v. off-ice, and in competition program over exhibition (until she turned pro that is).
    The opposite with Thomas. Preferred how entertaining and candid she was off ice v. on ... that is until her hilarious exhibitions when her personality really had a chance to shine through. Never thought her competitive programs connected directly with who she really was as a person or skater.

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    Sumners had the better career for sure, even as a pro. She had a very long pro career, while obviously Thomas went on to become a doctor, and had different goals in life.
    Thomas beat Witt at worlds, but Sumners herself beat Witt at the 83 worlds after she struggled with compulsories. As for whos the better skater, its hard to say, the only amateur program I liked from Sumners was her 82-83 LP. Thomas had a great Carmen too when she skated it well (88 US nats). Thomas was a much better jumper and technician, but Sumners had better flow and in-betweens IMO.

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    Both skaters should be an Olympic Champion today. I dont mean by that they deserved to win with their performances, but the 88 Olympic Gold was Thomas's to win before she took the ice for her final long program, and the 84 was Sumners's to win before she took the ice for her final long program.

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    One thing that Thomas has over Sumners is that she won the Landover World Pros three times, while Sumners never did (though the case for her can made at the 1986 competition).
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Both skaters should be an Olympic Champion today. I dont mean by that they deserved to win with their performances, but the 88 Olympic Gold was Thomas's to win before she took the ice for her final long program, and the 84 was Sumners's to win before she took the ice for her final long program.
    ITA

    ETA - Yep. Looking at Witt's tech marks in the LP, 5.6 - 5.8, there was room and all Debi had to do was wedge herself between Manley and Witt to win. She didn't even have to beat Manley and win the LP to take the OGM; Roz was the favorite going into Sarajevo to begin with and it's been said several times but if she had just not popped one of those 4 jumps into a double or 1axel, I would bet she would've been OGM in '84. Witt herself was not perfect; doubled a 3sal and left out a 3flip, plus she was not yet the dominant master of the artistic mark
    Last edited by olympic; 09-01-2013 at 03:52 PM.

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    I guess I think it was Sumner's to win more than Thomas' as the field that Thomas was up against, including especially in the US seemed that much tougher and deeper during the 1988 games than in 1984 IMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by falling_dance View Post
    One thing that Thomas has over Sumners is that she won the Landover World Pros three times, while Sumners never did (though the case for her can made at the 1986 competition).
    I agree Sumners should have won that world pros. The field was far more deep in 88. Zayak was never gonna challenge in Saraejvo. Sumners and Witt were gonna be 1-2 almost without a doubt. In Calgary, you had Manley and Ito upsetting the apple cart.

    One thing I notice about Sumners skating nowadays is how much she was influenced by Janet Lynn in her skating. She had a polish to her that Witt didn't in 1983 or even 1984.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    ITA

    ETA - Yep. Looking at Witt's tech marks in the LP, 5.6 - 5.8, there was room and all Debi had to do was wedge herself between Manley and Witt to win. She didn't even have to beat Manley and win the LP to take the OGM; Roz was the favorite going into Sarajevo to begin with and it's been said several times but if she had just not popped one of those 4 jumps into a double or 1axel, I would bet she would've been OGM in '84. Witt herself was not perfect; doubled a 3sal and left out a 3flip, plus she was not yet the dominant master of the artistic mark
    Yes I think Sumners made just 1 mistake too many. I think if she had even 1 less she would have won, even that last double axel would have probably swayed atleast 1 of the 3 judges who were close to picking her anyway to go the other way.

    I think Thomas would have actually won the LP over Manley had she skated perfectly. Despite that were alot of 5.9s given out to Witt (artistic), Ito (technical), and Manley (some on both) it is interesting to see not a single judge gave a single skater 5.9, 5.9. So the judges were clearly leaving room for Thomas to win the LP had she skated perfectly, which would have kept Witt at silver and Manley at bronze. Had she had just one mistake she probably would have lost the LP to Manley but beaten Witt which would have dumped Witt to the bronze and still given Thomas the gold. Once she made a second mistake it was already over, and she was going to be bronze overall.


    Yes the field in 88 was deep but it didnt all pan out. It was nothing like the incredible 87 Worlds ladies event where the top 8 who were all former or future World medalists did clean short programs, and the 3 medalists all did performances worthy of the World title. Witt's long program was her weakest in a World event since the 84 Worlds, Kadavy was sick and didnt even finish the event, Ito was out of any contention after figures, Ivanova was past her prime and only able to perform decently in figures, and Manley was just kept out of any chance of winning by the 3 portion formula. Too bad Ivanova and Ito couldnt combine as a team and have Ivanova do the figures and Ito the free skating that year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    ...I think Thomas would have actually won the LP over Manley had she skated perfectly. Despite that were alot of 5.9s given out to Witt (artistic), Ito (technical), and Manley (some on both) it is interesting to see not a single judge gave a single skater 5.9, 5.9. So the judges were clearly leaving room for Thomas to win the LP had she skated perfectly, which would have kept Witt at silver and Manley at bronze. Had she had just one mistake she probably would have lost the LP to Manley but beaten Witt which would have dumped Witt to the bronze and still given Thomas the gold. Once she made a second mistake it was already over, and she was going to be bronze overall.

    Interesting point about not one judge giving out a 5.9/5.9 and thus essentially locking any of Manley, Witt or Ito into 1st for the LP. Debi had worked hard on her artistry and technically was doing a 3-3 as well as a solid 3loop which had heretofore had been hit-or-miss, so I think you're right that Debi skating last and hitting it out of the ballpark would've won the LP above Manley. I think her '88 Nationals LP where she had hit the 3-3 and 3loop but doubled one of the 3sals may have been enough to win behind Manley in the LP but above Witt, thereby giving her OGM

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    Sumners nearly beat a clean Witt with a lot of big mistakes at the 84 Olympics, even with lesser jumps planned to begin with. Had the Canadian or West German not given Witt an absurd 5.9 for presentation she would have lost to Sumners even with her 4 or 5 mistakes. While a clean Thomas would lose badly to a clean Witt if both did the same jumps- 87 Worlds. That makes Sumners the better skater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickmercer View Post
    Sumners nearly beat a clean Witt with a lot of big mistakes at the 84 Olympics, even with lesser jumps planned to begin with. Had the Canadian or West German not given Witt an absurd 5.9 for presentation she would have lost to Sumners even with her 4 or 5 mistakes. While a clean Thomas would lose badly to a clean Witt if both did the same jumps- 87 Worlds. That makes Sumners the better skater.
    But Witt had only really developed a lot of credibility post-Sarajevo. Her 2nd mark in the 85 - 88 quadrennial became a solid 5.9 if not occasionally a 6.0, which made defeating Witt a taller order in that time period if she managed to stay on her feet. Going into Sarajevo, she was a top skater but Sumners was probably the slight favorite, which gave Sumners the credibility edge there and more room for mistakes vs. Witt. Yet, she still flubbed in both the SP and LP enough to give it away.

    Thus, Thomas defeating Witt was tougher than Sumners defeating Witt, yet Thomas managed it once in '86, so I wouldn't use Witt as a marker to ascertain who was better between Sumners and Thomas

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