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  1. #1
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    Did Bonaly deserve any of of the 93, 94 and 95 worlds?

    Surya Bonaly came second in 3 consecutive worlds to Baiul, Sato and Chen, while looking rather unhappy about it (especially in 94). So did she desreve golds in any of those years, and in which worlds? I think she came closest in 93, but lost due to presentation to Baiul. In 95 she was trailing out of the top 3 in the SP, but there was alot of ordinal flipping after Bobek and Markova took themselves out of it.

    Personally, although I prefer the other skaters, I think she deserved the 93 world title.

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    1993 Worlds- Yes

    1994 Worlds- Hell no, it was a disagrace she got 4 1st place votes and such crazy inflated technical marks. Her jumps were even weak here. The only reason I even agreed with her silver was the incredibly weak field.

    1995 Worlds- I could see a case but I would say no.

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    She lost to Baiuls charisma and spunk in 93, as she had by far a better technical performance and even her artistry wasn't that bad.
    I agree how did she think in 94 she was so much better than Sato with that performance. I think alot of it may have been that she saw the writing was on the wall, and the judges didn't want to give her a world title. She had beaten Sato many times before, that combined with losing the previous years worlds (and losing to Chen in Lillehammer) may caused her to act out on the podium.

    In 95 she gave a great technical performance but I don't think she deserved it over Chen. After this year she suffered injuries and was no longer a contender for major titles, and Slutskaya took over as top European woman.

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    I think she figured in 94 she would get it for sure by rep alone and she didnt even have to skate that well, just stand up and not have a disaester. Sato and Josee were potential threats but neither had even won a World medal before, and both had missed the podium (and placed behind her) at the Games. I would have scored Sato 5.8 technical, 5.9 presentation and Bonaly maybe 5.7 technical, 5.6 presentation for their performances there. I wouldnt have even had it close. This was also the one she came closest to winning it, despite it being the one she deserved the least though, which shows her likely perception on her rep guaranteeing her the title just setting foot on the ice, and her shocked reaction in the aftermath, were not poorly founded.

    In 93 her performance was far better, and perhaps her best ever, and despite that Sato's 94 winning performance and Chen's 95 winning performance were IMO superior to Baiul's 93 winning one, I might have even had her winning in 94 and 95 had she duplicated that. It was by far her cleanest technical performance, no even minor two foots or cheats which are almost unheard of for her, and probably her best ever artistic one too. I would have scored her 5.9 or 6.0 technically (remember scores are relative to the field there, she wasnt competing against Ito) and 5.8 presentation and given her gold easily. Baiul deserved about a 5.6 tops for technical merit (and yet her technical performance here was much better than the Olympics which brings her scores there into even clearer perspective, but anyway will try to keep this about Bonaly).

    Her 95 performance was something in between, better than her 94, but not as good as her 93. Her short program there was poor too, although even if marked correctly (5th behind Kwan) it would have kept her within striking distance of eventual winner Chen, after short program leaders Bobek and Markova faltered in their programs. I wouldnt have been outraged with her winning in 95 (I would have been had she won in 94, and I was a bit she didnt win in 93) but still agreed with the result there.



    On another note it interesting to wonder how the dynamic for the 94 Games would have changed had Bonaly went in as reigning World Champion, as most thought she should have. The judges now would have had to consider her a strong gold medal contender, although if she skated the same LP she did in Lillehammer (and I dont believe her position in things had anything to do with her poor performance there, she just got nervous, missed timed a few jumps badly, and got tired at the end) I am not sure if she still would have done any better than 4th.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 09-06-2013 at 03:04 AM.

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    I also agree her tantrum on the podium at the 94 Worlds, which IMO was a complete disgrace and could never be justified, was a cummulative reaction. She didnt show it at the time but she was probably peeved losing the 93 Worlds to Baiul after skating such a great and technically far more difficult program. Especialy after beating her at both the 93 and 94 Europeans. She was probably a bit peeved the judges gave Baiul and Kerrigan such hard marks she almost had no chance at more than bronze at the 94 Olympics before she even skated. As recent European Champion and the World silver medalist, she probably figured she deserved more respect than that. She was obviously extremely dissapointed to not medal in Lillehammer, even though she probably knows it was her own two botched triple lutz tries and not the judges which put her in that place. So overall a World title in what was one of the weakest fields in a long time, would have been the only thing comforting to her at that point and to ease a sequence of dissapointments. It didnt happen, so I think all logic went past her at that point.


    Slutskaya beating her at the 96 Europeans was the beginning of the end for her, even if she hadnt had the awful injury problems in the following year. Slutskaya was a more talented skater than Bonaly even in her heyday ever was, with much stronger and cleaner jumps, stronger elements, and although she also had many artistic shortcomings (especialy back then) light years stronger basic skating skills and overall flow. The hopes of Europe in the coming years were clearly going to be with Slutskaya and the other Russian women. With people like Kwan, Chen, Slutskaya, late blooming Butyrskaya, Lipinski, Szewcenko, and Bonaly having already peaked as a skater and already on technical decline in 96, her window was already closed shut for good as Barb Underhill said during her LP at Worlds that year.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 09-06-2013 at 03:15 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I also agree her tantrum on the podium at the 94 Worlds, which IMO was a complete disgrace and could never be justified, was a cummulative reaction. She didnt show it at the time but she was probably peeved losing the 93 Worlds to Baiul after skating such a great and technically far more difficult program. Especialy after beating her at both the 93 and 94 Europeans. She was probably a bit peeved the judges gave Baiul and Kerrigan such hard marks she almost had no chance at more than bronze at the 94 Olympics before she even skated. As recent European Champion and the World silver medalist, she probably figured she deserved more respect than that. She was obviously extremely dissapointed to not medal in Lillehammer, even though she probably knows it was her own two botched triple lutz tries and not the judges which put her in that place. So overall a World title in what was one of the weakest fields in a long time, would have been the only thing comforting to her at that point and to ease a sequence of dissapointments. It didnt happen, so I think all logic went past her at that point.
    Well said.

    I do recognize her strengths and weaknesses as a skater, but I always had a soft spot for Surya's skating. In addition to her fantastic "Four Seasons" program, I also loved her 1994 season SP: http://youtu.be/Ja2r4B1nUcc

    But yes, I do think she should of won the 1993 world title.

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    She needed to win in 1994. Shame that she accepted the medal.

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    She should have won in 93. She had the most difficult program technically and she did not make a single mistake.

    She should have won in 94 also, even though her performance had some mistakes. However, this was one of those 'could have gone either way' situation.

    I don't think she should have won in 95. She was lucky to get the silver (because Bobek bombed the LP which helped her win the silver- otherwise it would have been a bronze)
    Last edited by Vash01; 09-06-2013 at 08:41 PM.

  9. #9
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    This thread comes out every year

    1993 - her best argument for the title but I absolutely understand why they went with Baiul. Flawed 2axels and missing elements aside, she was a clearly superior skater in almost all aspects. At least Baiul's program was more interesting, and the elements that she did do were of good or very good quality.

    1994 - absolutely not. By far her worst showing amongst the 3 World Championships, and it unfortunately did not compare to the rare Yuka Sato with a lutz, a flip and 6 triples in total (the only other time being at the Olympics that season).

    1995 - absolutely not. She frontloaded everything, jumps were cheated, spins were a mess. Chen had it all that night, and I am actually surprised it was even close.

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    Of course she deserved the 1993 Worlds. Her technical content was superior, her jumps were clean, her program was one of the best of her in term of choreo, and she really sold it the best she could. I will never understand Baiul's World and Olympic titles !!!!

  11. #11
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    94 Worlds- ROTFL!!! I would place her 4th behind Kiellmann and Szewcenko there. Her skate sucked, even her 92 Olympics LP where she was passed by Ito and Harding, stayed behind a super bad Kerrigan, and lost to 15 year old Lu Chen in the LP to drop from 3rd to 5th overall and out of medals was much better than her 94 Worlds LP. How dare 4 judges place her 1st, it would have been the worst and most scandalous win in skating history if she wins this.

    95 Worlds- yes I would probably give her gold over Chen, although it was close. Her short was super bad, but she still deserved to be no more than 2 spots behind Chen after short so it wouldnt matter. Her long was technically way above Chen with the 7 triples, hard triple-triples, 2 triple lutzes, so good enough to win when Chen doubled the 2nd triple lutz. Anyway the others are lucky Bobek falls twice since she would have won the gold in a cakewalk otherwise. Markova also could have easily won since she was ahead of Chen and Bonaly after the SP, and become first Russian to win Worlds instead before the fugly Slutskaya became the first to do it.

    93 Worlds- Yes easily. Not even worth breaking down. She blew Baiul away in everyway. Chen was the only one who should have been close.

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    She deserved gold at the 95 Worlds for sure. 93 not sure, maybe but maybe baiul's win right too. 94 Worlds no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimGOAT View Post
    Markova also could have easily won since she was ahead of Chen and Bonaly after the SP, and become first Russian to win Worlds instead before the fugly Slutskaya became the first to do it.
    poor, forgotten Maria B

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    I am amazed that so many people think Bonaly should have had a chance at 95 Worlds - to me, the judging towards her there was almost as overly generous as 94. Two of her triples were badly cheated and she had nowhere near the quality of program of Chen or even Kwan. I would have had her behind Kwan in both programs, which would have put her off the podium overall, as she would have been too far behind Bobek after the short. And I think 4th is about where she deserved.

    I do agree with what appears to be the consensus on 93 (yes) and 94 (no way and it is crazy that she was even as close as she was).

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    94 is a joke. Not even close. Had Sato lost to Bonaly with how they both skated there and did a similar reaction to what Bonaly inexplicably had, it would have been far more understandable. What was up with the 5.9s for Bonaly for technical merit with 2 or 3 big misses, only 4 clean triples, and such a slow and uninspired program. Did the French pay off the judges to try and ensure her win after all the pullouts.

    95 it wouldnt be too bad if she won and not a big controversy, but agreed with that Chens wins.

    93 she should win.

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    Her skating was always so clunky to me that I never liked it at all, no matter the tech content. First thing I ever liked her for was the one foot backflip FU finish with her back to the judges.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesy View Post
    poor, forgotten Maria B

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    8 of 9 judges had Bonaly in first in tech in 1994! and it was totally justified due to Sato's big mistake and Bonaly's amazing combos of difficulty! She totally deserved 94 worlds! I don't know if 1994 was the worst home cooking of the 90's! Of many decades! It was amazing that Bonaly went to the medal stand that she took the medal! Amazing.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyedwards View Post
    8 of 9 judges had Bonaly in first in tech in 1994!
    Which was quite the joke, and an indication how badly overscored Bonaly was at the 94 Worlds. Her long program performance there was plain weak. Even her jumps, her major forte of course, were not strong that night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Which was quite the joke, and an indication how badly overscored Bonaly was at the 94 Worlds. Her long program performance there was plain weak. Even her jumps, her major forte of course, were not strong that night.
    Bonaly had a great and unprecedented sequence of difficulty and didn't have a double like Sato who didn't even have any impressive combos!

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